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Pagan Parenting

PAGAN PARENTING


If you, as a parent, just heard from your child that he or she wants to be a Pagan or Druid, or you are a pagan yourself and want to raise your children in that tradition, then this page is for you! Here you will find tips on Pagan Parenting, as well as several activities that you could do together with your child.


HELPFUL HINTS FOR PAGAN PARENTS
By Eagle Owl, a Druid mother


It’s not easy being a parent in this modern world and being a pagan parent can bring added pressure because although paganism is growing in popularity, we’re still a minority. Here are a few ideas that may help you with the most important job you will ever do: raising your children!

1) Kind words and hugs reassure children of our love and it helps if they know that we love them ‘whatever’ and that we are proud of them. The 3 most powerful words in the world are ‘I love you’ and we must never be afraid to use them.

2) Encourage a positive outlook; welcome every good thing that comes your way and show gratitude and your children will learn to be appreciative too.

3) It’s a huge responsibility being a parent and we have the means to influence our children’s attitudes. As parents we shape the future through our children so we have to show them the way.

4) Be fair, open and honest with your children. For if we lie, how can we expect our children to be truthful? By attempting to teach them honesty, honour and integrity, we will find these virtues easier to adhere to ourselves!

5) It is best to raise our children to be tolerant of other religions and to think for themselves. This also includes their asking questions!

6) Laugh with your children. Be a part of their fun and always be approachable. It will strengthen the bond between you. Children can teach us how to be happy and how to reconnect with the child-self within us all.

7) Always act responsible and show some respect to your children’s opinions. Depending on their ages, you can include them in any family rituals that are appropriate. Who knows? These could be the beginning of family traditions! Provide them with suitable activities such as seasonal crafts and decorating the house, so they will enjoy being included.

8) We all make mistakes so make sure your children know this because that way, they won’t be afraid when they make mistakes too.

9) It is useful to teach your children to be responsible. This can begin with simple tasks such as making their own bed and move onto more significant things as they get older.

10) Always listen to your children. They can sometimes teach us things we have been taking for granted. Above all, enjoy them because they grow up all too soon!



 

Strolling the Path Hand-in-Hand With Your Children
by Lyon

Remember the first time you looked into your child’s eyes? I remember looking at my daughter the day after she was born. She was wired with tubes and cords and odd-looking things because she had been born prematurely. I was afraid to touch her, so all I did was look at her. She had the most incredibly wise look in her eyes. I was overwhelmed with the realization that I was now totally responsible for the safety and education of another human being. It was up to me to teach her how to be an honorable and contributing member of society. I also wanted to share with her the joy that my path as an eclectic Pagan brought to me.  
If you are like me, you want to do the best you can to give your child the knowledge of who she is and where she came from as well as a good foundation of where she can go in her life. As Pagans, one of our challenges is doing this with little or no support system.  
More established religions have large communities with regular meetings scheduled for their children, such as Sunday school. There are many children’s books written with simplified bible stories for teaching their children their religious beliefs. Pagans have little of this because Neopaganism is a relatively young religious choice. Our numbers are small, but our religion is currently one of the fastest growing around.  
As Pagan parents we have to look hard to find literature that we can share with our children that also mirrors our religious paths. What an awesome responsibility and daunting task!  
Many Pagans with children choose not to bring up Pagan children. The reasons for this are many. Some parents feel it wrong to force a certain religion on their kids in the same manner they were force-fed the religion of their own parents. Others live in areas where an outwardly Pagan child would endure ridicule or abuse from peers.  
As our numbers grow and younger adult Pagans get hand-fasted or married (or not) and have children, more children are being brought up “out of the broom closet”. But the problem of the best way to raise a Pagan child as a Pagan still exists.  
What is a Pagan parent to do? Where can a Solitary with a family turn for guidance? Luckily for us, our resources are starting to grow. There are now several good books for Pagan mothers and fathers out on the market. The numbers are still few, so we have to use our imagination and look for other avenues that will teach our children our values without compromising our belief systems.  
Actually the lack is a good thing. One of the things that bring many people to a Pagan Path is the fact that no one way is forced down anyone’s throat. That goes for our children. A Pagan child is taught that all paths leading to the Divine are valid. If we are teaching that all paths are valid, it is only fair to our children that we allow them access to other points of view. How else will they be able to make an informed choice when they are old enough to decide for themselves?  
Following are a list of good books that a Pagan parent can use with their children. At this point in time I know of no children’s books written specifically for the Pagan child, but I have hope that in the not too distant future that will change.  



Pagan Parenting Books

If you are interested in Pagan parenting books, there are several good ones on the market right now. There are also several that are out of print but you may be able to find them used at a reasonable price.  

Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions by Starhawk, Diane Baker and Anne Hill A wonderful resource containing just about every aspect of Pagan life. The book has brief explanations of many of our beliefs, as well as stories, crafts, recipes, songs and ideas for Sabbats, Esbats and Rights of Passage. My daughter has loved the book since I first purchased it. It gets regular use in our home. There is also a companion music CD. Circle Round and Sing: Songs for Family Celebrations in the Goddess Traditions by Anne Hill This CD contains 13 child friendly Pagan songs. I have used the CD in my children’s circle to help the little ones get into the mood for ritual.
 
Celebrating the Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth Honoring Activities for Parents and Children by Cait Johnson and Maura D. Shaw Divided into three parts this book explores the connection to Earth, celebrations of the Sabbats and contains listings for further reading, correspondences and resources.  

The Pagan Family: Handing the Old Ways Down
by Ceisiwr Serith (out of print) The book addresses not only important events in the pagan year but important events in the life of a family such as births, deaths, marriages, coming of age, and more.  

The Family Wicca Book: The Craft for Parents & Children
by Ashleen O’Gaea (out of print) Ashleen uses her own experience in raising her son as Wiccan to help other Pagan families deal with similar issues in raising their own children. This is a good book for your library. It was the only decent one available when my daughter was first born. I was disappointed with it though because I wanted more explanation for family centered activities for the holidays.  

Wiccacraft for Families
by Margie McArthur This is a complete handbook covering all aspects of Wicca written for family use. Covers the Sabbats and other Circle workings, Passages (birth, puberty, marriage, aging and death), Home Blessing, Spirit Quests and more. Oriented towards younger children.  

While not specifically written for Pagans, a good book to have is Spiritual Parenting: A Sourcebook for Parents and Teachers by Rabbi Steven M. Rosman, Ph.D., M.SC.  Chock full of activities, meditations and exercises to increase your and your child’s spiritual awareness, it also has an excellent bibliography and list of resources.  

Pagan Parenting: Spiritual, Magical & Emotional Development of the Child
by Kristen Madden (out of print) This book contains meditations to connect with your unborn child, to help prepare for birth, as well as beginning journeys for children! The ceremonies are great for kids of all ages. There are bedtime prayers, grace, and songs for Sabbats.  



Picture Books for Kids

If you are looking for books written specifically for Pagan children, you’ll have a long search ahead of you, but there are a lot of books written that have a good Earth honoring theme. There are also many books written on the many myths from around the world. Many of them will find a comfortable place in the Pagan home. This is where Pagan parents have to be inventive and do their research to find books for their children that will teach Pagan beliefs while being entertaining at the same time.  
Pagan Kids' Activity Book by Amber K. A coloring/activity book for Pagan kids, geared for the under-13 age level, it covers all the basics.  

All I See Is Part of Me
by Chara M. Curtis. In this bestseller, a child finds the light within his heart and his common link with all of life.  

A Fairy Went A-Marketing
. This is a delightful, rhyming book about a fairy buying animals at the market then giving them their freedom.  

The Dragon and the Unicorn
by Lynne Cherry. A lovely book about forest conservation perfect for children ages 3-7. This book tells about a dragon and unicorn that befriend the daughter of a king who is destroying the forest where they all live. They show her how the forest is alive and by killing it, her father is also killing the very thing that he needs to survive.  

The Book of Goddesses
by Kris Waldherr 26 Goddess from all over the world are each given two pages in this illustrated book for older children.

Dragon Tangle
by David Elliot A short, silly tale about dragons causing mayhem at a Renaissance style fair.

Children of the Earth Remember
by Schim Schimmel a book whose environmental message is we share the Earth with all Goddess’ creations.



New Books

A Book of Pagan Prayer by Ceisiwr Serith I haven’t seen this book yet, it just came out in June of this year, but the reviews are praising it highly.




Lyon
is an Eclectic Pagan living in Missouri. She has been following a Pagan lifestyle since the mid 1980s. An accomplished artist, she is currently in the process of locating a publisher for her illustrated Pagan children’s book An Ordinary Girl, A Magical Child for young readers. Lyon also has several websites. One (http://www.handcraf tedpagan. com) is geared toward unique handmade gifts and fine art for the Pagan home. She lives with her husband, her 8 year-old daughter and two old cats of undetermined ancestry.




Ten Healing Crystals for Children

Excerpt from: A Guide to Gem and Crystal Therapy
by Karen Ryan, Crystal Energy Therapist


Crystals are truly gifts from the Earth. Children seem to have a natural attraction to pick them up and fully explore any kind of stone or crystal. They will often use all their senses, seeing what the crystal looks like, feeling the texture with their fingertips, or even rubbing the crystal against other parts of their body. They are curious to know what it sounds like when the crystal drops on the ground or plops into water, what it smells like and tastes like.

Some children use their psychic senses, telling what the crystal is saying to them; or they will mysteriously use the crystal for healing without any instructions. Children can respond very quickly to the healing energy of crystals. However, please consult the best available qualified medical help on the care of your children and use your common sense in regards to your children's health and wellness.

Take your children to a rock shop, gem and mineral show, museums as well as to areas of high mineral content (check a geological survey map) such as quarries, caves and mines. Let your children pick crystals for themselves. Often they will select a crystal that is helpful to their healing process. One four-year-old girl I met selected an Apache Tear, used for the grieving process. The little girl, clutching it in her hand, remarked, "Oh, I want to wear this all the time!" I asked the mother if there had been a death in the family recently. Astonished, she replied, "I just lost my brother four weeks ago, but we didn't tell her". The girl was obviously sensitive to the family's sorrow and needed some protection from the feelings of others around her.

I have listed some crystals to help in your child's healing. Let your child carry the crystal in his or her pocket, or place 1 or 2 in a small medicine bag around the neck. Let your child even sleep with his or her special crystal. Crystals often get lost or misplaced by children, so you might want to have a few extras on hand.


Amethyst
A "Master Healing Crystal". Amethyst's most noted healing quality is its ability to purify and transmute all forms of negativity. For children "in transition", whether it be a growth spurt, a major disappointment such as failing a grade, or even hearing the devastating news of divorce or death, Amethyst accepts all negative emotions and provides comfort through spiritual acceptance. For children with various disabilities or with either physical or emotional pain, an Amethyst cluster in the room will help clear unwanted discharged energies, bringing the room back into a balanced state. For local pain, hold an Amethyst directly on or over the area for up to 20 minutes.


Apache Tear
The "Grief Stone". Apache Tear is actually Obsidian and is very dark but transparent. When you hold a small piece up to the light you can see through it. However, if you have been using the Apache Tear to absorb negative emotions, you will see it cloud up and become opaque. Sometimes it will clear up after the grieving is over.


Aventurine
The "Leadership Stone". Aventurine strengthens and restores the Heart energy, providing a balance of male and female energies. This crystal is green and very loving, embracing, and protective of the Heart. Many children who are shy, timid, or suppressing their leadership qualities need a crystal like Aventurine. This stone helps the individual to become active and to initiate action on their own accord. Asthmatic children seem attracted to this stone as it opens up the lungs and they experience a sense of relief.


Carnelian
A "Self-Esteem Crystal". Carnelian is used to help restore feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. The deep orange colours relate well to strengthening and blending the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd chakras, promoting self-security and self-love. The pinker shades relate to enhancing love between child and parent, through self-acceptance. This crystal is also used for dermatological ailments such as acne, by holding the stone over the skin and moving it in circles for several minutes, several times a day.


Clear Quartz
The "Healing Crystal". Clear Quartz is a general all-purpose healing crystal. Each Quartz crystal has its own energy signature and healing mission. When a child makes contact with the right crystal, the energy is discharged either very slowly, or quite suddenly so it feels like a very mild electric shock. This natural energy can be just enough to transform a disharmonious thought pattern, burn off some negative emotional state, or even place the spiritual seeds of one's future into consciousness. Using a cluster of Clear Quartz crystals for children is particularly nice, as so many different types of crystals (record-keepers, transmitters, channelers, etc.) are included. There's a crystal for any occasion! Crystal clusters are also helpful to organize scattered thoughts and to deflect negative energies.


Rose Quartz
"The Love Stone". Rose Quartz is another terrific general healing crystal for children especially for those who have a lot of hurt feelings or aggressive tendencies. Rose Quartz can soothe a broken heart shattered by seeing raw Reality - the ways things are, rather than the way one wants them to be. For hyperactive children Rose Quartz soothes erratic emotional states, anxiety, fear, compulsions, and many other mental disorders. Some neurological benefits have also been noticed with muscle spasms relaxing when Rose Quartz is guided over the nerve centres. For young hearts, Rose Quartz helps to keep the Heart chakra open, vital and protected, filtering in good energies and keeping out the bad.


Lapis Lazuli
A "Psychic Balance Stone". Lapis Lazuli is an incredible stabiliser for children who show psychic gifts early in life. The deep blue colour stimulates expansion of consciousness in a supportive way, promoting purification and clarity of spiritual insight. Lapis Lazuli provides self-acceptance of one's given gifts and encourages openness of one's spiritual awareness. This stone is highly prized for its protective powers and stimulation of all psychic senses.


Jade
A "Soother of Emotions Stone". Jade is easily obtained and can be openly worn by children as regular "jewelry". Emotionally sensitive children often need a supportive system to ensure that their feelings do not overwhelm them. Jade enhances confidence, self-assurance, and self-reliance. Jade is very inspirational in helping one achieve one's desires in life. This stone is often available from a Chinese goods merchant and is often sold in the shape of thin coins.


Tiger Eye
A "Grounding Stone". Tiger Eye has thin rutile inclusions, and when rocked back and forth the light reflects in a certain way as if the tiger's eye were winking at you! Let your children explore this fascinating stone and help them find the flashing Tiger's Eye. This stone is excellent for grounding psychic energy and providing security for opening up the psychic centers. Sometimes children get carried away and get lost in their dream world. Tiger Eye helps to pull them back into their bodies (after astral travel). This stone is very useful to put action to one's thoughts. Tiger's Eye is about being practical. Perhaps every parent needs one for their child before trips to the shopping mall.


Pyrite
A "Protection Stone". Iron Pyrite comes in many different shapes, from sun discs to cubes. Children are attracted to its shiny brassy surfaces. Pyrite is like a small mirror; negative energy is reflected away. The terror of being unprotected is reduced. There is also a feeling of physical empowerment, that life in the physical form is perfect, and love is abundant.

From:
http://groups.msn.com/WalkWithRaven/paganparenting.msnw?action=get_message&mview=0&ID_Message=16789&LastModified=4675608176427439206



Lists of pagan books for your children:

Pagan-Friendly Books for Young  Readers:
http://www.homestead.com/barbooch/books1.html

Pagan-Friendly Picture Books
http://www.homestead.com/barbooch/picturebooks.html

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Ever wondered if the legends of King Arthur, and the knights and ladies of Camelot, were based on the myths and legends of the Celts, or even on the Germanic and Greek ones? 

King Arthur and the Gods of the Round Table

This book will not only offer an indepth search of parallels between the Arthurian and Celtic legends, but also searches for the pagan symbolism hidden within the many medieval stories of the King of Camelot.

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KING ARTHUR AND
THE GODS OF THE ROUND TABLE

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