Parenting Pagan Children without the need for labels


I have spent many years now on a spiritual journey that has meant that I have worn a number of labels to help those around me to know who and what I am. Ultimately though we need to come to terms with the fact that labels are not necessary in determining our identity for ourselves but useful when relating to the outside world.

I personally structure my identity in a number of ways. I am firstly a woman, secondly an Australian, thirdly a mother, daughter, sister and wife, fourthly a socialist, always a spiritual being and I wholeheartedly embrace my uniqueness and individuality. It has taken me a long time to get to a place where I know myself very well, accept myself warts and all, appreciate my life with all the good bits and the bad bits and have the security within myself to write about it.

I have found over the years that the labels I use for my spiritual path change as I earn more and ask questions and research and grow and experience more of the world. I have always been very in tune with the Otherworlds from a very young age and for a number of years having been raised Catholic, I walked the path of the mystic. More recently I have just gone under the more generalised label of Pagan but recently I spent a bit of time analysing what I believe and what the labels actually mean.

I have always encouraged my children to be open minded and embrace all spiritual paths and philosophies until they find what is right for them. I encourage this while also reminding them that the spiritual journey is an ongoing journey that meanders through our lives. The most important thing is to accept that everyone has an individual experience of deity and the otherworld and everyone walks a different path.

As a result of my recent self exploration I have come to the conclusion that "pagan" is no longer an adequate term for my spiritual path. After much contemplation and meditation I have finally formulated a label that adequately describes the path I walk. Accepting that labels are more for others than for ourselves and that they can often detail personal aspets of our identity we have the choice of being either specific or very vague. I personally see no benefit in hiding in the closet and completely denying an aspect of our personality.

The issue is helping our children to find their own individual identity without the need for labels in a world that thrives on pigeon hol;ing people into neat little boxes. I believe the only way to do this is to open them up to experience many different cultures and beliefs. To expand their minds to embrace diversity and difference and to seek to be the best they can while respecting first the laws of the land and secondly the rules of the clan and at all times strive for their dreams and follow their hearts.

This can seem daunting however I have found a few little secrets that make it easier

1. If they ask a question answer it honestly as soon as possible

2. Be open about what you believe and explain your practises to them if they are interested.

3. Let them experiment with other paths always being open and honest about it.

4. Read, Google and research anything they discuss that may seem unfamiliar to you

5. Never stop growing and learning, even your kids can be your teachers.

6. Dont ever forget to breathe, hug a tree, take time out and just relax.

7. Remember it is all a learning experience and it can be fun!

So I am blessed with a beautiful Pagan daughter, a Baptist/Buddhist StepSon, A Moon Worshipping Son, A Druidic SOn who has got a bit lost along the way from lack of stimulation, A Goddess ReIncarnated as a Daughter, An Alternative Spiritualist Step Son who is still dabbling in occult research and a gorgeous little son who loves stars, and trees and fish but loves to torture the cats by chasing them and squealing, maybe Loki reborn...?

Ahh what a post modern world we live in! And that is the nature of belief these days. We take what is meaningful for us as an individual and discard that which means nothing. Our belief is shaped by our experiences and where as in the past we wouold have just taken what was preached to us as gospel nowadays we are inclined to question and explore more.

So here I sit typing this message and detailing how unimportant labels are in reality yet at the same time detailing why they are sadly needed. We must continue to go through life as the square peg however one day someone may make a square hole and life will be peachy.

So I am no longer calling myself PAGAN... I am now calling myself an ECLECTIC POLYTHEISTIC AEONIST. I hope each of my children can tweak a label for themselves but there is no rush and no hassle about it.




Some terms and paths

You may like to investigate with your children

Heathen, Heathenism, Pagan, Paganism, Pagans, Witch, Witchcraft, Wicca, Wiccan, Magic, The Craft, Old Ways, Old Path, Neo-Pagan, Neopagan, Neo-Paganism, Nova-Pagan, Nova-Paganism, Neo-Witch, Neo-Witchcraft, Neowitch, Neowitchcraft, Green Witchcraft, Kitchen Witch, Hedge Witch, Celtic, Druid, Druidry, Shamanism, Shaman, Asatru, Odinism, Nordic, Meso-Pagan, Gypsy Magic, Chaos Magic, Dragon Magic, Ceremonial Magic, Egyptian Magic, Strega, Stregheria, Italian Witchcraft, Goddess Religions, Fairy Magic, Earth Religions, Satanism, Occult, Animism, Buddhism, Polytheism, Aeonism, Magician, Wizard

Some symbols you may like to investigate

Ankh, pentagram, Pentacle, Celtic Cross, Broomstick, Dragon, Oak tree, Eye of Horus, Scales of justice, Cats, Stars, Triple Goddess, Scroll work, Bells, Triplets,



from My Family and Dragonfly


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