Children and Spirit|
Author: Christina Aubin [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: March 6th. 2000
Times Viewed: 23,470
The simplicity of raising Magical Children is, that all children are magical when they are born. Babies still remember the Goddess and the other side when they return to this world, in a very real way. I have heard speculation over the years, from a variety of sources, which suggest this is the reason that infants cannot speak from birth until they reach 2-3 year age range. We all travel here through the Pair Dadeni, Caldron of Rebirth, Cerridwen's Caldron, through the Dark Goddess into life again, for She receives us and readies us to reincarnate once more. As illustrated throughout historical literature, this passage renders one unable to speak, as they have seen the other-side and this experience cannot be told to us, those who can not remember having been through the portal and back. So infants, it is thought, still retain the memory of the journey toward rebirth clearly and this begins to lessen as they progress into the full embodiment of their incarnation.
The key factor in raising spirited Goddess children is helping them maintain that intrinsic understanding of the Goddess & God. Those of us, who were not raised in Pagan/Witch households, experienced the extensive journey needed to return to the Goddess. The unwinding of all the "programming" we have received, the re-establishment of our relationship with the Goddess/God, nature, Her cycles and the reawakening of our innate wisdom and knowledge was not easily attained. It was a long, healing and at many times, painful process by which we undo that which was done and re-do that which should have been done. This path working was essential to our personal knowledge and wisdom, and serves as a foundation upon which we can Spiritually nurture our own beautiful children in the ways of the Goddess and God, that has been tragically lost by our global society.
As Pagan/Witch parents who have once again found the joy of living within the Goddess, we can raise our children in a manner that does not go against their very essential nature. They will not have to separate fact from fiction about what it means to be a Witch/Pagan, as one who lives and loves in the beauty of the Goddess & God. We are beginning to see the effects of our efforts in raising children in a Goddess world today, as there are many delightful children and adults who were raised Pagan/Witch. These wonderful folks embody the self-reliance, thoughtfulness, ethically, and strength offered by this path and the raising of children within it.
As the number of Pagan/Witch/Goddess parents increase, so will community skill at guiding these fine little people. We can meet, discuss and share our journey as parents and people who love these little bundles of beautiful potential. Guidance of children through their Spirit growth is not only a task of parents, but also of the larger Pagan community. This includes those wondrous people who choose not through biology, but through love, to participate in the lives of our children.
We, personally, are fortunate to have an interweaving of adults who love our children immensely and partake in their journey of spirit. They offer a diversity of role models for my children, each a manifestation of the Goddess and God, in many forms. How better for a child to understand their own potential, than to see that potential in the faces interwoven in the beautiful tapestry that is this community & our friends? The very diversity that can create uproars between individuals and groups in this Pagan community, is also the very diversity that illustrates the many colors on the pallet of life.
Magical life is a fortunate life, it is not to say that there are no downsides to the hills, but the downside of the hill only leads us on another journey upward to a new summit. The joy arises out of our essential knowledge that the journey is not in pieces but rather the value of the whole. The journey about the Wheel of Life is one with its ebbs and flows, recesses and heights, and valleys and mountains. As I have heard spoken so adeptly, one cannot value the mountain without valuing the valley.
The gift of a magical life allows us to revel in the experiences of raising spirited children. There needs to be no drudgery, no lectures, no drilling, no fear, no exacting punishment, no stain of sin, no living life based upon fear of an all-consuming evil. Our Goddess is not one who sits apart from us in fierce judgement, but rather she is the many-faced Mother, Crone and Maiden. She demands that we find our own way, to live our lives as our own, to make our decisions and see through to the consequences, to find the bliss that is in responsibility and understanding. She gives to us unconditional love, room to grow and the genuine magnificence that is life. She imparts on us the ability to explore the myriad emotions contained in the many facets of existence through Her understanding and guidance. As She teaches us, we teach our children, and we find ourselves changed forever.
What a joyful experience is to see the Goddess & God through the eyes of a child. These eyes, through which we see that every moment is magical and every emotion rich, the eyes that can see the potential in everything and everyone. The eyes, through which, being is beautiful.
Pint size magical life
Magical life is not one lived in segment upon segment. We are not magical on Sunday from 12 - 1:30, and then forget it for the rest of the week, until confession. We are Magical moment to moment, action to action and response to response. The Goddess permeates the very fiber of our Being, She is us and we are Her. Every act is a magical act, and we do Her honor in this.
The carrying on...
Life is a magical journey and no one needs to remind a little 'un of that! They are fully aware of the Magic, their physical world is unfolding and who could believe such wonder? At this stage, it is as if they were teaching us that elemental magic that exists everywhere and in everything. The lessons are unspoken, yet they speak so loudly.
At the earliest stages I strive for nurturing their inherent endearment of the natural world and provoking a deep appreciation for Her beautiful work. In this practice we help to keep active the dynamic innate bond with the Goddess and God.
With my little guy we say hello to the moon every night - when She is out. We go outside and wave to Her and say "hello." I say to him, "See the moon?" Now he automatically looks up and says "hi" and waves. I am not sure he notices as She changes, but he always is aware of where She may be, and this is an important foundational piece.
In the winter we dance in the falling snow, experiencing the wonder of winter. Sledding and throwing snow, experiencing the season and the elements. Building snowmen & ladies, making snow candles, feeding the birds, and shoveling out. Sometimes we lay on the couch with the shades up high and watch the snowfall from the sky.
In the spring, we play in the dirt, scout out sprouting plants. Fall in love with the brightly colored tulips and Irises and revel in the smell that only spring brings. In Early spring we pant seedlings and watch them sprout. We are down at the park more and more - walking and enjoying all that is spring. We check out the birds nesting in the trees, the duck sheltering on the shore, the piping plovers making their new homes, we watch their babies as they are born, running all over the shore. It is magical to watch other animal families grow. We pick the first berries of spring and make gooseberry pie, candied flowers, and rose water.
Summers are full of gardening, beach walking, sand digging, crab catching, scouting around the sea grass and in tidal pools, watching the busy traffic of life, hiking, canoeing and swimming. As the harvests come rolling around, we head to the local farms and pick our own fruits and vegetables. We eat freshly pick berries with sweet cream, we make blueberry grunts, strawberry shortcake, blackberry jam. We spend time on adventure walks through the marsh and into the woods, quietly we watch the deer and fox. We pick flowers, shells, feathers and more. Enjoying the sweetness that summer has to offer us.
Then the fall, with its vibrant colors and shades in the trees and plants, comes along We pick our own pumpkins, squash, apples and pears. We make apple crisp, pear cobbler, pumpkin pie and squash soup. My son taste tests each pumpkin in the field until he finds his "Fred" the pumpkin. We carve and light the pumpkins bright, we collect leaves, acorns, sticks and vines. We decorate our yard and home in the beautiful colors of fall. We scout through the woods, watching animals ready themselves for winter, pile leaves to dive in, watch the changing sunset and enjoy the beauty that is only fall.
At this young age there needs not to be a lot of explanation, as they are learning through taste, touch and smell and these are the lessons that ring true in the soul. Each small act keeps stirring that intrinsic magical knowledge they hold so dear.
As my daughter has matured, her awareness and expression of Magic has matured as well. When she was four, she began to have bad dreams, so we got her a dream catcher. We read a story of the dream catcher, smudged hers, and 7 years later it still hangs by her bed (getting smudged every few weeks). We also began a nightly ritual of a magic "good-dream" bedtime drink - warm milk with honey and cinnamon. As time went on she did not need this as much, but I do know to this day when something is bothering her, I can hear her in the kitchen mixing milk, honey and cinnamon and I know we need talk over warm milk and honey.
Children still touch so closely the face of Magic; they understand it in a way grown-ups can forget and strive to remember. I find that over the years, my daughter did not need me to give her rituals, as she made her own up as she went along. This magic is the most powerful, as it comes from that connection to the Goddess that they bring with them and that we assist them in keeping vibrant and alive. In my opinion, they do not need dogma, training, or even words, for they know at such a cellular level what we wish to "teach" them, that it just needs the proper environment.
One evening a few years back we were having a sleep over for my daughter and two other "witchlets" from our temple. The house we lived in at the time had a very active Spirit life and there would be bumping all night long. I peaked in to check on the children before heading to bed, the three of them were sitting on the floor on their sleeping bags, casting a circle. It seems Sable, who was visiting, was a bit nervous, so the three of them decided that the best way to handle the situation was to cast a circle to sleep in. So they did and all nestled down peacefully for a good nights sleep.
In fostering the natural magic children hold and express so freely, without restraints and dos and don'ts, we empower our children with the ability to find their own solutions, first perhaps to childhood fears, but then to life in all its aspects. It allows children to gain a sense of control in their lives, a control they will not so easily surrender when they get older.
It was at that point that I realized children already know so much and what they need is not instruction but rather observation and participation. My daughter, through observation and a lot of intuition, has created her own magical practice. (Granted it began by calling circle with 20 stuffed animals!) This organic practice of hers has empowered her to confront many childhood fears and situations with confidence, and it has been exceptionally helpful as she begins voyage into her pre-teen and teen years. As I listen to her I realize that under the silliness and giddiness of this little girl there is wisdom and a foundation planted firmly in the Goddess, and this wisdom will guide her through the turbulent waters of the teen age.
As she has gotten older her ability to participate in the daily magic of life has expanded. She is able to do more and more hands-on crafts and doings, she now is fully involved, and in fact some could say in charge, of holiday decorating. She bakes, makes candles, plants and harvests, she makes gifts, and is a superb crab catcher.
Life is magical down to its very essence. There need not to be lots formal ritual, as living life, in of itself, is the most powerful ritual there is. Most children do not have the ability to focus long enough to get through a formalized adult ritual, by their very nature they are in active mode and need to keep moving about sometimes at high rates of speed. It should be recognized that trying to keep a little one standing, attentive, and not breaking the circle can be exhausting for their adults and disrupts the energy of the adult circle. So in planning rituals, remember the little guys, and plan for them as well, perhaps a child's activity or game, get creative.
Children understand the basic principle that magic at a certain level is play. Magic stimulates the imagination, the creative energies, left brain functioning, and the sheer bliss of being enraptured with life, perfect in that moment. Children live magic, at a very natural, fundamental level. They touch the ancient creative, magical powers every moment and they understand it in a way that we lose as we age and strive to regain.
Allow children to live their magic, observe them carefully, and you will be amazed at what they know, that which we have forgotten. Play with your children, not in a formalized "tiny tot tumblers" type of way, but running through the fields with them searching out the Faeries in the flowers. Listening to the sounds of the ocean, and the words she speaks in the waves, watch the clouds drift overhead and be amazed at the stories they tell. Play your life daily with your kids, they offer us a route over the threshold of magic, in a very special way.
They will indicate, if you listen, when they are ready for more. This will vary from child to child, but if you keep the lines of communication freely flowing then you will know. You can then bring in further activities and explanations, as they are ready. I will supply a listing of things we have done throughout the years as a reference point, but use your imagination and creativity and your children as a guide. We also implement the school's curriculum to introduce deeper concepts of our path; you would be amazed at the openings that will be provided by school lesson plans.
What a beautiful ride this is!
Remember we are striving to spark the imagination and develop an awareness and appreciation of the natural world and its rhythms, the foundation of Magical life. Any ages given are only a suggestion, as each child enters a new stage independently of actual age, they are not on timetables it seems!
Ages - -1 to 3+
Each evening as the sun is setting (this is recommended only when the sun is setting because the sun can burn the retinas of the eyes when it is still in the sky) take your little one out to say goodnight to the Sun. At first a glance may be all you get, but then as your little one evolves, they are quite taken with the colors of the early evening sky and with the idea that the sun goes to bed. As it helps promote natural awareness, it also can signal that the day is coming to a close and bedtime is near.
Go out each night and say - "Where's the moon?" Then point to the moon and say, "There She is, hello moon." Simple, yes, but powerful. It brings Her physical awareness to the little guy's (or gal's) mind. This over time can involve into its nightly ritual.
Pick a tree in yard or close by. Make sure to greet it every day. This will allow your child to have a personal relationship with the tree, and will also provoke them to watch it change season in and season out. These changes best illustrate the Wheel of the Year than any discussion or book would.
Start in your own yard, you will be amazed at the amount of wonders there, then work your way through the neighborhood and other open spaces. Follow the seasons with observation and exploration. As they get older and older this will take on different levels and become more and more intense. Guide them through observing the seasons and their changes. This gives children an ability to experience the seasonal changes through all senses.
Winter into Spring
Find the first signs of winter's loosening grip. You will find just after Imbolc the first beginnings of Spring's return. Crocuses, tulips, Irises are among the first few who begin to emerge. How magical it is to see on the winter's snow beautiful purple crocuses. This is an activity that can speed up to a daily activity as spring's return speeds up. Pick the early flowers - take in their beautiful colors, smells and textures. Candy flowers for cakes and desserts. Play in the dirt, plant a small garden - with quick blooming flowers (i.e. Cosmos) or herbs. Check out a local Maple house if you live in a Maple area, as February/March is maple season.
Spring into Summer
Examine how the two seasons are different. What makes spring, spring and summer, summer? Get involved in the summer harvests, check your local area's pick-your-own. Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, freshly picked are so very sweet! Do not forget the sweet summer corn! Get to the beach, into the tide pools - into the mountains to explore. When they are young keep time manageable for them, an over-exhausted child does nothing for one's peaceful enjoyment of the outdoors.
Summer into Fall
The big transition season's (Fall and Spring) offer much to observe. Watch local harvest, the big machines going across the fields and people out picking. Go apple, pear and peach picking - and bake goodies for the little guys. Observe and collect leaves - send a box of leaves to a friend or loved one.
Fall into Winter
Watch the leaves fall - collect them - notice the difference from the ones picked in early fall and now. Perhaps read "the Fall of Freddy the Leaf" by Leo Buscaglia. Watch how the earth falls into Her winter's rest. Go sledding, walking, build snowmen and snow ladies. Make snow lanterns and put a candle in them. Bring snow indoors and watch what happens - then bring it back out again and see what happens overnight?
Of course, how dull the world would be without glorious books to take us on adventures. Books help keep the imagination vivid and lively. A book, is a keeper for all ages.
At this age I tend to go with books with Magical themes (faery, elves, magical adventures), Mother and Father themes (unconditional love - not only does it reinforce our roles & love but also the never-ending Love of the Goddess and God), natural themes (stars, moon, trees, nature and animals), and those that embody that we are born wonderful, special and perfect as is. At this age books should gently remind and guide a child with messages we find important for them. Continue providing books throughout their lives, they are wonderful gifts forever!
3 - 5/6 (beginning of first grade)
Goodnight Sun, Hello Moon, hello tree
Continue this practice after sometime they will continue it without your prompting. It will continue to promote awareness of the natural cycles.
A continuation of the Little Explorer theme, except now you can allow them to become the captain of your expedition. This is the age where they will want to delve deeper into various adventures. If you allow them to lead the way, it becomes a grand expedition.
This is the age when my husband and daughter had an "adventure place" and on their "dates" (when she was little, Sunday afternoons were "their" time - now it is a week night) and they would hike all over a forest close by, she in the lead. They would cross troll bridges - fallen trees over gullies and streams. Find the dragon rocks - dragons, when people come by, stop moving and freeze in place and look like rocks - if you look closely you can see their eyes, noses and mouths. The woods are full of them! They found gnome houses - they look remarkably like dirt mounds but there are secret entrances, if you can spot them. There are giants to be found (or at least the evidence they were there), faery rings, faery mounds, and entrances into the earth. It is amazing what they can find. Each season offers a new variation of the same theme. My daughter knows full well which otherworld folk are out during which season and she knows where to find them.
Exploring as the seasons change brings about all sorts of discoveries. You will find animal homes, watch them build or depending on the season, finding them abandoned. You can watch the baby animals grow throughout the year through quiet observation. See how animal coats change texture and color as season change. You can even illustrate this with your household pets and the changes they go through season to season (i.e. coat changes).
The garden offer a glorious sanctuary of life, it is the Wheel of Life in action. Gardens are not limited to actual yard space, one can use containers outdoors or in, create a greenhouse window, indoor forced bulbs, terrariums, bottle gardens and like. Each offers a hands-on experience with nature and understanding of the Wheel of Life. Gardens ease the mind and relax the Spirit, they also give the faery folk wonderful places to play.
If you are not an adept gardener, not to worry, it is a fun experience to learn along with your kids. I have enjoyed learning along side my kids in how the garden works. It is an amazing ecosystem to experience.
This is the perfect time to begin baking and cooking with your little ones, it is a lot of fun and a great gift to give them. I still to this day become enraptured in the kitchen, baking is my love it has been since I was little. As seasons change, so does the availability of different foodstuffs. We go to our local farms and pick our own "insert fruit or vegetable being harvested here" during the harvests and then create something fantastic for dinner or dessert. An interesting side note, my nephew, when he accompanies us on these excursions, cannot get enough of whatever we pick. I have seen this boy eat 2 pounds of green beans in a sitting, because they were the best ever.
Even the youngest little ones can partake in some aspect of the preparation. However, I have found that you need to understand where your kids are at in the attention area and extract portions of the preparation that they are able to do and be attentive to. Even adding the eggs in the mixing bowl gives a sense of "I did it" when the product is complete.
Cooking is not only an enjoyable way to experience the changing seasonal cycle, but also gives them a life tool and a creative outlet. They quickly learn how to prepare food for themselves. My daughter is a very adept cook and has been for sometime. It is nice to have her say - "don't worry I'll make dinner".
"Star light, star bright. First star I see tonight. I wish I may I wish I might, have the wish I wish tonight"
As simple as that, not only are they scouting the sky at twilight awaiting the appearance of the first star, they are casting their first spells. Attention toward the nightly heavens holds a wondrous world to explore. There is finding the planets, the names of ones are visible. Finding the stars, the ones that twinkle. Beginning to point out constellations and telling of the stories the stars hold. For eons the stars told the stories of peoples worldwide, they hold the lessons, victories and defeats, the mythology that is the basis of human experience and learning. As seasons change so does the sky. The winter sky is different than the summer sky. It is an amazing thing to watch as constellations move and change position.
This is a great age to introduce crafts. Allow their creativity to run wild, creativity is so vital to a Magical life. All types of crafts can be had at this age. Remember your artisans and what they are capable of and the attention spans they have. Depending on the project, you may have to lay most of the foundation and allow them a few small steps to claim the production as their own.
Use things you gather outdoors: shells, sand (you can dye it), leaves, flowers, acorns, branches, etc... Create picture frames, grass paintings, leaf presses, mosaics, and oodles of other things. Craft ideas will vary and change as the seasons change and your kids' interests are peaked. Keep activities age appropriate or else you and they will become frustrated!
Empathy is an important life skill we can foster in children. We have a natural affinity to be empathic, however the world is all too eager to stomp it right out of us, given the chance. Emotional Identification is important equipment in determining correct action or non-action. It is fundamental in striving for the balance we need to live life wholly and fully. It does not mean we are unable to act because we are too wrapped up in other's emotional viewpoints, but rather we can consciously determine right course of action.
Foster empathy in children, allow them to imagine, to feel what a situation must feel like to one of the parties if we are not participatory, and one of the others if we are. I have used this to empathize with other kids, adults, animals, plants, and a whole host of things. This widens the factors kids will take in account as they determine correct action for themselves as they get older. Which leads to responsible Magical lives (and hopefully less of those painful lessons).
Goodnight Sun, Hello Moon, hello tree
Variation on a theme. As kids get older, begin having them keep journals of the sun, moon and trees. When young, have them draw these things as the year progresses, and keep the pictures in order to illustrate the changes. You can then send them to grandparents or other loved ones as presents.
Some examples: sunsets, moonrise, and a tree when there are nests. Then later in the year that same tree with colored leaves and then no leaves.
As they get further along in grade school (perhaps 4th grade) have them keep a moon journal for at least one lunar month. Moon rise, moon set times, where in the sky She rises, and what does She look like (draw out the phases). Be sure they draw the full view, with houses She rises over, or a tree. As the moon changes her position of rising, the kids will be able to see that illustrated in their journal. Kids will internalize the moon phase and shape, so they can tell by looking up where she is in her cycle. D shape is waxing, O is full, C is waning.
Discuss what phase is used for what type intention. As the moon gets bigger, She is pulling light toward Her to make her grow, we use this time to bring thing toward us. As the moon is full we illuminate the results we desire, and as She wanes she pushes the light away from her and we push things away from ourselves. Sunrise journal: when they are in the 5th grade or so, focus on sunrises. In order to get the best impact of this you need to have them follow it for close to a year. Not necessarily daily, but perhaps once a week or month - depending on your life and time constraints. The sunrise moves across the sky as we journey season to season. Winter the sun will have its lowest arch and summer its highest - as it travels northward and southward on its yearly journey. Just as location will change so will times of rising (and setting). So keep track of where exactly it Is rising (i.e. over Ms. Jones' house in winter and Mr. Smith's in summer) and the time it rises and perhaps a notation of setting time. This will illustrate the Sun's journey through the Wheel - which helps in understanding of the cycle of the year.
Now the real adventure can begin. Hiking up mountains, skiing down mountains, tromping (softly) through salt marshes (another activity of my husband and daughter - to see how far, how wet, and how muddy they can get and all the neat wildlife there is). Their physical stamina is much higher now and they are able to more things and their fear is still pretty non-existent so adventure is great fun!
The possibilities are endless. Canoeing, kayaking, sailing, swimming, white water rafting, camping (gets easier and easier as age increases). Sanctuaries, forests, parks and festival sites can offer limitless opportunities to experience nature throughout the year.
Identifying wild flowers and birds are another fun activity to do. You can go on a wild flower hunt or a bird hunt, keep a log and bring a book. The amount of weeds that are actually flowers, many used in herbal medicines, it is amazing.
Another avenue of great adventure is visiting animal rescue facilities. You would be amazed at how many wonderful folks are out there doing rescue work. They can get up close to wolves, mountain cats, hawks, eagles, and bears and like. They can also realize what a responsibility we have as people for our four legged kin. Size and ability bring along with it responsibility to care for and protect. This is a great age for them to become young activists at least in thought. Zoos offer exposure but not the lesson in what we, as humans do, directly impacts our animal brothers and sisters. They can not see the hawk who lost a wing because of an entanglement with a high power line, or a mountain lion who was de-clawed because someone thought it was a cute kitten and now can not live in the wild - ever.
Continue to plant garden with them. As they get older give them a container or garden patch of their own to work. Ever bearing strawberries are a good choice for kid planting. My daughter loves her strawberry plants and loves to harvest the fruit, that is if she can beat the bunnies to it! Fruit and vegetable bearing plants are great for kids to tend as they produce a sweet result from their work. However some kids maybe plant and flower kids, cosmos are a great flower that blooms profusely for most of the summer, and they are colorful!
Now the real quest for the cooking challenge begins. Their desire and zeal to create and serve are at their highest. Cooking allows them to take charge of an arena that is typically "adult" and a necessary component of life and also allows them to feel they are contributing to the functioning of the family in creative ways rather than just taking out the trash.
A child's cookbook is a wonderful asset at this age. As they progress through grade school, they can undertake more and more tasks on their own. They can create dishes with the berries, green beans, squash, pumpkin, and apples you pick. During apple harvest, we go often (we love it), so we end up with oodles of apples. My daughter and I make Apple Crisps and Apple Cakes and she brings them next door to the neighbor's houses as a "happy fall" gift.
She assists me in Sabbat dinner menus. We try to create dishes that are seasonal and if we can, a traditional dish from ancient tribes. We discuss and reflect on the holiday, its meaning, how it must have been in days long gone, and why we are making what we are (what would be left in the food stores), etc.
This is an exciting age as they are awakening physical capability and are skilled enough to take on more complex activities. You will find that they begin to define the type of crafts they enjoy and want to pursue. In fact, middle grade school is a great time to allow them to take the lead in planning seasonal crafts.
Interests may lean toward jewelry, hair clips, and fashionable things. Or building such things as forts, ships, sandboxes for younger siblings, actual furniture and other woodworking areas. They can be inclined to jewelry making, stain glass, sculpture, gifts for others. Interests will vary as wildly as they kids themselves vary. Let them guide you as you set along this path.
Astronomy is typically introduced in the school system in the 4th or 5th grades. This is a wonderful opportunity to seize. We went out and splurged on a telescope - and actually saw Saturn and its rings! We also checked out Jupiter, Venus and the moon. Although this is still a new toy and we are discovering more and more, I can tell it has already made its impression on my daughter. It has sparked her curiosity and created a new level of wonder of the universe.
Creating our own star maps is another wonderful way to internalize the heavens and the archetypes it holds within. If they draw the neighborhood view (i.e. houses trees etc..) as landmarks and then the evening sky, throughout the season they can see how thing move in the heavens. Rather phenomenal to witness.
This is the age frame where I began discussing astrology with my daughter, who prompted the entrance into this area. I am sure she overheard conversations over the years regarding astrology and began asking questions. When chatting with an adult who was into astrology, she mentioned her sun sign, her rising sign, her moon placement, and Pluto placement among other things. She reported that this person said she had never known a child to know their ascendant, never mind all the other planetary placements. I think she was rather taken with herself, she could actually hold up her end of a conversation on astrology.
Astrology is fun as well as extremely useful. It ties in wonderfully with exploring the universe and the star constellations. It is full of story and mythology, of trials and tribulations, triumphs and victories. It teaches our little ones that they are full of wonderful stuff and that implementation of trait is the key to something being for boon or for ill. There is nothing "bad" in their makeup, rather it is using the stuff we are made of for its most beneficial outcome and our success.
Begin with stories and mythology relates to their sun sign and other family members. Discuss the traits each sign holds, and they can easily see how Gramps really is a cancer, as he tends to approach life from a side angle not dead on.
Jr. and Sr. High School
Now this is a more unpredictable age, as our level of influence in their lives is greatly waning and other influences are gaining. Young adults will vary how they enter puberty and the teenage years. Some it will be a little bumpy, others will make earth re-entry from space seem like a cakewalk.
Some will delve deeper into the Craft and Paganism and others will run off to the local minister. Whatever turns and however they decide to approach life will be a part of their karma, their sorting out of whom they are independent of family. Independence from the nest is their primary goal. It is at this point we place them in the Goddess' care, believe that they have the foundation to pilot their ship, and hope the groundwork we have laid will serve them well. Wherever they may wander down whatever road they choose, we have assisted in protecting and fostering that birth bond between them and the Goddess and God, nature and all things.
If they desire to move forward in the Craft/Paganism, each parent (or parenting team) needs to work through how this is best accomplished. Perhaps a mix of home training with trusted friend(s), perhaps working through a program such as UU CUUPS, maybe it is best to do it completely within the family group or on the flip side perhaps completely through another.
Do you begin with formalized training? Do you make them ask three (or 30) times? Do you have them read various authors? Which ones to read? Do you want them trained in traditional craft? Or do you want them to being with a more natural craft?
Another aspect to ponder is age, when is this an appropriate move for your child, how much and when. As is the way it seems with kids, it will be dependent on the individual child. What age for what stage?
These are all questions to prompt your thought in this area. These decisions can only be made by you and your child, I would not even begin to present a "one size fits all" approach, we are just a too diverse lot to even try to go there!
I think the answers on how to approach this will reveal themselves as our children unfold.
Blessed Be our Young as they are the spark of Our future!
Sunday, March 5, 2000
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Article ID: 2717
Age Group: Adult
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Location: North Shore, Massachusetts
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