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Lyon

 

 

Strolling the Path Hand-in-Hand
With Your Children

by Lyon

©September 2002


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.handcraftedpagan.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.