I just (sort of) finished a book on Pagan parenting called Raising Witches. In case you can't tell it's about how to handle your child's religious education if you want to bring your kid up in the Craft. I didn't read all of it (which is why I said "sort of") because let's face it, this stuff doesn't apply to me (being that I'm childless and most likely always will be), but I just wanted to see how people who DO have children would approach it, and maybe get some ideas from the section on adolescents for what to tell some of those curious teenagers who ask me stuff now and then.
Reading the book kinda made me wish I had my own little brat to teach this stuff to. I'd have so much fun running "Sun Day School" and "Moon Day School" with a kid or two, planting gardens and doing the blessings, celebrating the Sabbats with the kids' help baking bread and candying flowers, having nighttime Esbat rituals with candles and incense and milk in special glasses, making my daughter a sparkly ritual robe to match mine. Ya know? Kids make everything more magickal, and it would probably reinforce my own practice.
I don't *really* want to be a parent, not with the lack of free time I already have, not to mention that I don't think I could stomach having a relationship with anyone long enough to provide a solid two-parent home for any spawn of mine. But I *do* love to teach, and I *do* love to help people learn. I would relish being the conduit for a young child, piping in the assurance that the world is full of mystery and magick and wonderful things to explore, introducing them to a religion--a Craft--that makes them part of the glory rather than just a worshipper of it. I'd like to teach a child the ethics of "harm none," and see their eyes light up at the words, "All acts of love and pleasure are My rituals." I'd love to accompany a child through experimental Elemental weeks, spending seven days each in association with Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. I'd even welcome the chance to educate my child's friends (and the friends' inevitable concerned elders) that what we practice is just something a little different, not something evil or wrong. I'd like to attend rituals with my child at birth, dedication, initiations and seasonal rituals, coming of age rituals, handfastings. I'd like to present my son with his first athame, and see him accept it as a tool of power and love. I want to sashay around the maypole with a gaggle of children, teaching them the dance, watching their ribbons intertwine with mine.
Nah, I don't want to have kids. But I do have a passion for my special way of appreciating the world, and now and then I wish I had some way to pass it on besides being bludgeoned with e-mail questions about how to cast a spell to win the lottery or make someone's teacher like them. That's not what it's about, dammit. Not at all.
It's not all about kids. I adore teaching adults too, and now and then I get the e-mail or in-person request from some curious soul, a person with the refreshing attitude and wide-open mind of a child, their hands stretched out to receive what knowledge I might drop in. I have considered trying to get into teaching introductory classes on the Craft, because I love it and I think I could do it, but a few things stop me, and the main one is that my students most likely would not be like children. I'd get adults who were interested in learning not for the experience and for the beauty, but for the knowledge to cast spells of imagined power, or for the reputation that comes from telling people you're learning Witchcraft and the "reward" of seeing them get all spooked. Besides that, I'm not a very traditional practitioner; I'm not even close to being properly Wiccan and I don't have a name for my "trad" (beyond somewhat-jokingly calling myself a "kitchen witch"), and I tend to celebrate the full moon by putting on my triple goddess tee shirt and baking crescent cakes and playing The Blessing Tree on the CD player rather than doing any complex drawing-down ritual (though I've done that too; it's just not really my thing). But kids--and adults who think like kids--realize that baking cookies and listening to music ARE acts of reverence. The smells of the vanilla incense and the almond extract, the harmony in the goddess music, and the wearing of special clothes are enough to set the night apart as special, to turn the mind in the right circles . . . to look up at the full moon over a glass of milk and just offer a smile--that right there is enough.
So, if there are any childlike adults out there who wanna bring over their rugrats and bake some cakes with me. . . .
May today be better than yesterday but not as good as tommarow.:) [TheGoodGirl@NG]
I bought some okra and mint seed a couple of weeks ago. Haven't planted them yet. Maybe you can teach me a spell to help them grow. [Freder]
I think we are very similar in our views of the Craft. I've pretty much taken to calling myself a "Patchwork Pagan" because I follow where my heart is and use what feels "right" to me, even if that means making a couple things up along the way. [For Your Life]
Okay, um DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stupid whore [Meggie]
That makes one think :) Maybe I'll buy that book, just to ... learn. It sounds so beautiful.
But, if I do buy it, and MOTHER found out, oh boy. Might as well shoot myself.
I liked this entry a lot. It was sweet. :) [katqueen]