Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Articles/Essays From Pagans

[Show all]

Views: 19,790,845

March 4th. 2017 ...

Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion

February 10th. 2017 ...

Understanding the Unseen

Kitchen Magic and Memories

January 10th. 2017 ...

The Gray of 'Tween

Becoming a Sacred Dancer

Little Dog, Big Love

December 9th. 2016 ...

A Child's First Yule

November 10th. 2016 ...

What Exactly Is Witchcraft?

A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities

On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans

What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)

October 10th. 2016 ...

Witchcraft from the Outside

September 11th. 2016 ...

Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess

How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)

September 3rd. 2016 ...

Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?

What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?

Nature’s Reward

August 12th. 2016 ...

When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch

Past Midnight

Hungarian Belief in Fairies

Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament

July 13th. 2016 ...

What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses

Magic With A Flick of my Finger

An Open Mind and Heart

Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum

June 13th. 2016 ...

Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality

Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia

My Father, My First God

Life is Awesome... and the Flu

May 15th. 2016 ...

Wiccan Spirituality

Faery Guided Journey

How to Bond with the Elements through Magick

Magical Household Cleaning

Working with the Elements

April 2nd. 2016 ...

Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected

An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity

The Evolution of Thought Forms

The Fear of Witchcraft

Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele

Magic in Sentences

Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess

March 28th. 2016 ...

Revisiting The Spiral

Still Practicing

Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion

Spring Has Sprung!

January 22nd. 2016 ...

Coming Out of the Broom Closet

Energy and Karma

Community and Perception

December 20th. 2015 ...

Introduction to Tarot For the Novice

Magia y Wicca

October 24th. 2015 ...

Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self

Native American Spirituality Myopia

The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans

A Dream Message

Feeling the Pulse of Autumn

October 16th. 2015 ...

Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts

September 30th. 2015 ...

The Other-Side

September 16th. 2015 ...

Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate

Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents

August 6th. 2015 ...

Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale

July 9th. 2015 ...

Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

The Magic of Weather

June 7th. 2015 ...

A Pagan Altar

A Minority of a Minority of a Minority

The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?

Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism

May 6th. 2015 ...

Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism

I Claim Cronehood

13 Keys: The Crown of Kether

March 29th. 2015 ...

A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft

March 28th. 2015 ...

On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations

March 1st. 2015 ...

Choosing to Write a Shadow Book

Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story

February 1st. 2015 ...

Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader

The Three Centers of Paganism

Magick is No Illusion

The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames

January 1st. 2015 ...

The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch

Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft

Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Article Specs

Article ID: 8453

VoxAcct: 130514

Section: words

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 4,708

Times Read: 6,954

Children Attending Pagan Rituals

Author: Rev. Morninghawk Apollo
Posted: May 7th. 2004
Times Viewed: 6,954

They say that children are our future, but how do we ensure the long-term future of the Pagan community by involving them? I have seen different ways groups deal with the issue of children. There are many possible ways of addressing this and this article is more intended to help raise the issue and bring about community discussion, rather than present a concrete solution.

Most groups I've seen or communicated with have a rule that children are not allowed in most rituals, unless they are of a certain age or it's a special child-friendly ritual. The age specified differs between groups. Some members of those groups later complain that their children have no interest in attending the rituals more than a couple times when they are older. As a result, the only way for the groups to grow is through finding new members from outside the group. This commonly results in stagnation and eventual death of the group.

The issue with including young children in ritual is commonly a matter of discipline. Children can be noisy. They can be antsy and want to run around. They can be disturbing to the group. Frequently they are all of the above. But they are children and that is how children are at a young age.

Some believe that children should be able to attend all rituals of a group and do whatever they wish, simply because that is their nature. This ignores the effect that it has on the energy of the circle, if it is not conducive to the energy the child is bringing. Others feel that children should not be allowed at all. "Get a babysitter," they say. This ignores the needs of the community to grow and teach the young ones. It also can ignore the needs of the family, as babysitters are sometimes harder to come by than other times. There can be financial considerations as well. So where is the balance?

Other religions feel it is important to foster religious belief and raise their children in their religion. Again, different groups handle the issue differently, but they all do have a way of incorporating children into their religion. The most common method in the US is to have childcare for the youngest ones, special services or classes for older children, and inviting teens to the adult services at some point. Teens generally also will participate in a youth group.

This is an arrangement that works for many larger churches, but may not work well for smaller congregations, such as is common in the Pagan community. For example, if a group were to offer childcare for the youngest, they could either hire an outside (hopefully Pagan-friendly) babysitter or members of the group could volunteer to watch. It would cost money to hire a babysitter, which can be a problem for some people, and finding a Pagan-friendly babysitter can be a challenge. They would need to be someone that is trusted enough to watch children and there is no real way to hide the fact that it is for a Pagan ritual.

So, the group can choose to volunteer to watch the children themselves. Who will sit out the ritual to watch? Will it be the same person each time, or will they rotate? Should the people who have no children of their own attending need to sit out and watch the children occasionally? What if it is a ritual in which everyone wants to participate? What if the group is small enough that nobody can be excused from the ritual to watch the young ones? Questions like these tend to lead to groups that simply don't allow children, as they are difficult to answer.

Another option would be for multiple Pagan groups to get together on childcare during rituals. If they coordinated their schedules, they could have a central place to drop off their young children nearby and either a volunteer or a hired babysitter could watch them all. That would make it more economical and easier to rotate, but the groups would have to coordinate their schedules as well. That level of inter-group cooperation is something that I haven't seen yet in our community, but there is no reason why it couldn't be done if enough people thought it a good idea and did the work to make it happen.

There are some people who think that children of all ages should be exposed to our religion through our primary rituals (i.e. "adult" rituals). They believe that, as long as the energy used will not harm the child, direct observation and participation at whatever level they can observe and participate will teach them best. There is some merit to this idea because it can help the child become used to how rituals are and can include them very directly in our spellwork and other workings. The disadvantage of this approach is that a very young child might be at such a stage in their development that they will not be able to understand what is going on enough to get anything of value from it.

What about the "dark" rituals, such as Samhain? Is being exposed to energy of that nature harming a child? Some say that children should only be allowed to experience the "light" energy, such as at Beltane. Others feel that since both Samhain and Beltane are parts of the wheel of Life that everything experiences, children should be shown both sides. They see plants and pets die, so they are exposed to Death already. Why not teach them about it so they can understand it better?

There is another concern of many parents that needs to be brought up. What if one of the parents of the child is not friendly or tolerant to Paganism and has an issue with the child attending rituals? There have been cases where divorced parents have fought custody battles over the issue of the child attending religious services. This is not an issue that is unique to Paganism, but it is very common. Sometimes even married parents can be of different faiths and one might be intolerant of the other. There is no easy answer to this, but it should be discussed in the community. We, as a community, should develop resources to help people in this type of situation. We need to look at the needs of both parents, the child or children, and that of the community.

There is no single solution to how to incorporate children into the Pagan community. We can look at how other religious communities have included children. Most of us, though, couldn't use their methods directly simply because of the small size of the groups that are most common in our community and the difference in our beliefs about children and religion. We will need to be creative and work to invent a way that will work for us.

If we choose to continue to either exclude children or only marginally include them in our community and rituals, then they will look upon us from the outside when they grow older. They will not feel a sense of belonging that is necessary for a community to survive multiple generations. If we only want to have a Pagan community for one or two generations, then we can continue to ignore the issue. But I think we want to grow and last so that future generations can know and live the joy of the Pagan Path.

Dawn Blacksun


Rev. Morninghawk Apollo

Location: Brentwood, California

Author's Profile: To learn more about Rev. Morninghawk Apollo - Click HERE

Bio: Lord Dawn Blacksun is a 3rd degree high priest in Ecclesia Ordinis Caelestis Templum Olympicus (Church of the Celestial Order and Temple of Olympus), based in Minnesota, with lodges also in Wisconsin and Florida. He is the father of a fourteen-month-old daughter and with more on the way.

Other Articles: Rev. Morninghawk Apollo has posted 4 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Rev. Morninghawk Apollo... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)

To send a private message to Rev. Morninghawk Apollo ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2017 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World

Search Articles

 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide

NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).