Sunday, November 20, 2011

Raising Wiccan Children

      The decision to raise your children as Wiccans (or Pagans) is personal and controversial.  I have become personally aware of the difficulty of this decision.  I am a Wiccan mother who has battled with this decision.  Just recently I have decided to teach Wicca to my children.  Now the trouble is trying to figure out how to begin to teach Wicca to my children.

     First of all, if you were a Christian, wouldn't you teach your children about Jesus?  I have found that the answer to that is almost always yes.  Wiccan and/or Paganism is no different.  If this is the religion that you have chosen, your children deserve the benefit of learning, knowing and partaking in your religion.

     Many Wiccans today were actually raised as Christians or Catholics or some other non-denominational Christian path.  They came to a point in there life where they chose to leave the Christian faith for something that felt "more right" to them.  I truly believe that if you raise your children as Wiccans or Pagans and it is not the right path for them, they will eventually choose the one that is the right fit for them. 

Teaching Children About Wicca/Paganism    

     Most children learn about ethics and morals from religion, and Wicca and Paganism are no different.  We have the beliefs of what is right and wrong, harm no one (not even yourself), the Law of Karma (what you do to others comes back to you), etc.  These beliefs are no different than those of the Christian religion.  Often children of the Christian faith are taught ethics and morals from hearing Biblical stories.  Again, Wicca and Paganism are no different.  I have found a website that has many children's stories that express moral and ethical behavior-they also explain some of the beliefs of Wiccans in a way that children can understand.  This is a wonderful way to introduce your children to the Wiccan religion.  Of course, young children will have many questions-be ready for them.  When they ask you questions about the religion, just be honest, clear and concise.  Answer the questions without raising more questions if you can avoid it.  However, with older children you may feel free to answer in such a way that raises more questions.  Just be ready for a deep conversation about your religion.

     Another way that children learn about the faith is by watching you.  You are your child's first and foremost role model.  If you are truly behaving as a Wiccan should-walking the walk, talking the talk, etc. then your children will attempt to do the same.  Always remember to be the best Wiccan that you can be…lead by deed and example, rather than the old adage, "Do as I say, not as I do." 

Involving Your Children In Rituals

     Involving your children in your rituals will vary depending upon their age and the type of rituals that you are doing.  For example, I was once doing a ritual to get rid  of evil and tried to include my daughter, who was then 8 years old.  She freaked out…crying and screaming…hysterical with fear.  I decided right then and there that this is not the type of ritual you use to teach your children.  My suggestion now would be to include them in a basic Esbat (Full Moon Ritual) to start with.  Explain why you are doing it and the meaning behind it.  Explain about the Goddess(es) and/or God(s) that you worship.  After they have joined a few of these rituals with you, they may be ready to move on to something different, possible more advanced.

     Another important thing in teaching your children to be Wiccan is to make sure that they have their own magickal tools.  An altar of their own is highly advised.  Also, their own wand, chalice, symbols of the deities, etc.  Just don't give them incense, incense burners, candles, or anything that makes fire.  Maybe even take turns using altars.  For example, this time use your altar or the family altar, then next time use the children's altar…if you have more than one child with altars, rotate whose you use. 

     To sum it all up, follow your heart and do what feels right.  Nobody knows your children like you do.  If you think they're ready-go for it.  If not, wait until you think that they are ready.  Remember to teach them to be good, responsible, respectful Wiccans.  You are raising the future of this world-don't take this task lightly.  Most of all, have fun with it and encourage them to do the same!

Blessed Be!

Lady Ariel

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