Parenting Socially conscious Ritually aware Pagan Children


There is a school of thought that states that there is no place in ritual for children, I disagree quite strongly. I have found from experience that children thrive on the experience of ritual especially when performed with their family. Now as I see it there is also a difference between Ritual and Ceremony with one being the fundamental "magic" core and the other being the tradition and the theatre of the Rite.

There are many rituals and Rites where it is not appropriate for children to be present for example a traditional women's rite requires it's female participants to be of an age and men participating in male only rites have their own markers. There are personal rituals and some healing rituals where it would be completely inappropriate to include children and there are also secret rituals that would require too much se recy on the child's part that make it unfair to include them.

That is my first point to make, children adore Ritual so much that you must accept that they will talk about it with their friends and at school. If you are attempting to hide your path from the outside world and wish to reside in the closet a little longer then my advise would be do not take your children to a ritual. This is tge main reason why they must understand what the ritual is about and what you have done.

I have always included my children in any ritual I attend, we come as a package deal. If people wish me to go then they need to understand that I will come but dso will my brood. This has never been a problem and the children need to learn ritual etiquette anyway. If you think about it a large number of Pagans will remember being dragged to church by our parents from a young age and being trained how to behave. The only way we learnt was to be taken along regularly. Now for some of us this was a smooth process and for others it was a horrible experience that has left them hating the church and everything it stands for.

My older children have learnt that I expect them to behave in ritual whether that be a Pagan gathering for a Sabbat or attending Church on a Sunday with their grandparents, it is all the same. They need to learn the steps of a ritual and they need to be prepared beforehand. My younger two haven't had as much experience but they can be taught gently. It is all in the preparation. I will use this Beltaine as an example.

We were lucky enough to be invited to attend Beltaine with a local coven. I made sure in advance they were prepared for children. My daughter who is not quite four decided that this sounded quite exciting and got all wound up about it. She wanted to dance and this was before I explained Beltaine to her. In the morning I told her that today was Beltaine and that was a special day because we celebrated the fact that there were lots of flowers out now and it was getting closer and closer to summer and on this day we were going to a house were we would meet new people and we would do a ritual that was special because it was a fire festival so there would be something to represent fire and there would be lots of flowers and then after the serious bit we could dance and share food.

This meant that all I had to do was repeat this same structure to her and when we got there she knew that we would meet new people then do a ritual where she had to be sensible, then there would be a fire and maypole and she could dance and the food was at the end. This meant she had in her head the steps so there was no need for nagging or harassing.

Now my two year old had a lot less preparation time. He knew we were going somewhere special because he got to wear his good clothes, he had his own flower buttonierre, so he felt special and he helped pack the food we took. Not having as much experience though he did blow out the candles and try to jump the fire but then he is only at the start ofg his training and it does get better.

Hillary Clinton once stated something very astute and I embrace it wholeheartedly, "It takes a village to raise a child" and so it does. While I do not believe that children should start formal instruction until they are emotionally and intellectually mature enough I feel that they need knowledge and they need to learn the basics like mythology, correspondences, basic runes, tarot, elements and herbs. I believe they should be able to grow their own garden and get their hands mucky and hug a tree occasionally. I believe they should be taught how to ground and centre and have guided meditations. I believe there is a lot of teaching that can happen before formal training begins and they choose to walk their own specific path.

Children are not stupid and they will seek out that which we deny them access to if they feel we are being unfair. Exposing them slowly and under our controlled circumstances gives them access to an experience that hopefully helps them grow into strong spiritually aware socially conscious individuals.

Once again though I must point out though that you can not expect your child to walk your path, each path is unique to the individual AND times change, life flows on and the world adjusts and the experiences our children have are never identical to our own. They are their own people and they will grow up uniquely themselves, warts and all and believe what their life shows them to be true. And that is what is right for them.

We must be tolerant of them and their beliefs and challenge them to be tolerant of others too. Ultimately, these are the most important lessons behind raising socially conscious and ritually aware children; respect that everyone is individual and; what is right for them is just that and that it is better than okay for everyone to walk their own path and believe their own things and; there are many ways to peel an orange.





Some Flowers in Season at this time and their meanings

Acacia: Platonic Love, concealed love
Alyssum (sweet): Worth beyond beauty
Apricot Blossom: Timid Love
Aster: Daintiness, Symbol of Love
Azalea: Fragile and Ephemeral Passion
Begonia: "Beware! I am fanciful!"
Blue Bell: Delicacy and Humility
Cactus: Bravery and Endurance
Camellia: Excellence and Steadfastness
Camellia, red: You're a flame in my heart
Camellia, white: You're adorable
Camomile: Initiative and Ingenuity
Chrysanthemum: You are a wonderful friend
Cornflower: Delicacy
Daffodil: Emblem of Annunciation/Regard, Unrequited love
Dahlia: Good Taste
Daisy: Gentleness, Innocence, Loyal love
Dandelion: Oracle of Time and Love, Faithfulness, Happiness
Day Lily/Hemerocallis: Emblem Of The Mother
Forget-me-not: Faithful Love, Memories
Fuchsia: Amiability
Geranium, Oak-leaf: Friendship
Geranium, Rose: Preference
Gladiolus: Strength Of Character, I am really sincere
Iris: Faith, Wisdom, Valor, Your Friendship means so much to me
Jasmine, Red: Folly and Glee
Jasmine, White: Amiability and Cheerfulness
Jasmine, Yellow: Timidity and Modesty
Jonquil: Violent Sympathy and Desire, Love me, Affection returned
Lavender: Constancy
Lilac, Mauve: "Do You Still Love Me"
Lilac, Pink: Youth and Acceptance
Lilac, White: "My First Dream Of Love"
Lily, Calla: Majestic Beauty
Lily, Day: Coquetry
Lily, Orange: Hatred and Disdain, Wealth, Pride
Lily, White: Majesty and Purity, Virginity
Magnolia: Dignity, Splendid Beauty
Marigold: Sacred Affection, Cruelty, Grief, Jealousy
Orange Blossom: Your Purity Equals Your Loveliness, Innocence, Eternal Love
Pansy: Thoughtful Recollection
Passionflower: Faith and Piety
Peach Blossom: Generosity and Bridal Hope
Pear Blossom: Health and Hope
Peony: Healing, Life, Happy Marriage, Gay life
Petunia: Anger and Resentment
Phlox: Sweet Dreams
Rose, Coral/Orange: Enthusiasm, Desire
Rose, Dark Pink: Thank you
Rose, Light Pink: Admiration
Rose, Red: Love, Desire, Respect, Courage, Job well done
Rose, Red & Yellow: Congratulations
Rose, White: Charm, Secrecy, Silence, You're Heavenly, Reverence, Humility, Youthfulness and Innocence
Rose, Yellow: Infidelity, Joy, Gladness, Friendship, Jealousy, Welcome Back, Remember me
Rosemary: Constancy, Fidelity and Loyalty
Snapdragon: Presumption, Deception, Gracious lady
Snowdrop: Hope and Consolation
Thyme: Courage and Activity
Tiger Lily: Wealth and Pride
Violet: Modesty and Simplicity

Water Lily: Eloquence and Persuasion

Wisteria: Youth and Poetry

Zinnia: Thoughts of Absent Friends


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