Brigid's Hearth

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The Path of the Hearthfire



Catechism For A Witch's Child

by J.L. Stanley

When they ask to see your gods
your book of prayers
show them lines
drawn delicately with veins
on the underside of a bird's wing
tell them you believe
in giant sycamores mottled
and stark against a winter sky
and in nights so frozen
stars crack open spilling streams
of molten ice to earth
and tell them how you drank
the holy wine of honeysuckle
on a warm spring day
and of the softness
of your mother
who never taught you
death was life's reward
but who believed in the earth
and the sun
and a million, million light years
of being.*

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waterhouse-magic-circle.gif (15521 bytes)  When I first embraced paganism, I quickly realized that if we of the Pagan Renaissance did not share our spirituality with our children, this pagan renaissance would be a one-generational thing, and would wither into nothingness before my life was over. 

      While it is important to realize that, ultimately, our children will indeed make their own spiritual choices when they are grown, to raise children without any solid spiritual beliefs and practices is to leave them without a spiritual foundation upon which their own adult spirituality can be constructed.  It is to leave them without a experiential spiritual 'sense' by which they may evaluate all other spiritual structures, forms, and belief systems.

      My efforts to raise my children as pagans, to share my pagan philosophy, spirituality and world-view with them, led me to write my first book, "Wicca Craft for Families."  The book was born of many years of struggling with the question: "What shall we do with/for the kids for this Sabbat/Moon?"  As I stumbled along my path trying to come to answers to this question, I realized that I was navigating uncharted waters. So I did research into folklore, mythology, and earth science, trying to get at the basic themes of the Sabbats from both a mythological and a natural world perspective, and then trying to figure out ways to communicate these things to my children in a way that was fun, and that kept their attention.

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      In an effort to find things suitable for children's celebration and learning, I asked around my local pagan community, hoping I would find something that inspired some ideas for me. But there just weren't that many pagan parents and children around, at least in my area. Within our coven there was a couple with a new baby, but that was about it.  A few years later, they had another child, and six weeks after that, so did I, and we were up to four little ones. Eventually, I did meet other pagan folks with children, and after that, other members of our coven became parents, and our small group began meeting together on some of the Holy Days - for Sabbat meals, plays, and rituals we had created for the occasion.   deco-witchwaypentaspirit.gif (5331 bytes)




      After about twelve years of this, I awoke one morning (literally) to the realization that my big white "Family Tradition" binder of notes could and should be turned into a book to benefit others who found themselves in the same situation in which I had been.  It was such a simple idea, I wondered that it hadn't occurred to me before! (must have been due to the lack of sleep of having a baby around the house for thirteen years straight!)  As soon as I'd gotten the older kids off to school that morning, I grabbed the binder from the bookshelf, and sat down with it, arranging and reorganizing the material.  Then, with a very active two-year old buzzing around me, I sat down at the computer, and began the months-long task in inputting all the materials I'd gathered and/or written in those twelve years - interrupted, of course, by the need to make peanut butter sandwiches, do laundry, take care of the pets, cook dinner, whip up a batch or two of bread, kiss owies, make sure the two-year old hadn't escaped (again) out the front door, pick up the older kids from school, and all the other unsung and quietly heroic jobs of an average mother.

That's why it took me six years to write the book!

It is very gratifying to see today's interest in Pagan Parenting, and the growing awareness of the importance of raising children as pagans, and making nature-based and goddess-based spirituality a part of their everyday lives.  It warms my heart to realize that there are now so many fine resources available for pagan parents, both in print, and online.  I am pleased that I my efforts and struggles have resulted in a contribution to this field. 

So, without further ado, here's my small but growing list of Pagan Parenting Links. If you have any you wish to contribute, please email them to me. Check back frequently, as I will add them as I receive them. 

Blessings of Brigid,
     from my Hearth to yours,       


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Bright rain of spirits

Bright rain of spirits
Falling to Earth
In this Aeon

Young ones - the children,
Pioneers of the New Age.
Here to transform, to midwife,
To turn upside down.

It is to you we entrust
Our hopes of the future.
It is to you we look
For what the future will be.

And it is you we must tend
As a gardener tends his most valued plants -
Nourishing, weeding, allowing,
Watering, mulching, defending,
Loving, loving, loving,
Saving our seeds for a future growth,
Tending our plants to the harvest of souls....

        --Margie McArthur, (c) 1990

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Pagan Parenting

Willow Firesong's Circle of Firelight

Jaz Gordon's Pagan Parenting Page

Witches Voice Pagan Parenting page

HearthSong Toys & More

Nova Natural Toys and Crafts



Pages for young pagans:

Pagan Kids Corner  


Pagan Parenting Books

*WiccaCraft for Families: The Path of the Hearthfire

The Pagan Family: Handing Down the Old Ways

Circle Round

The Family Wicca Book

Celebrating the Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children

Pagan Parenting

Raising Witches


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Cauldron graphic courtesy of Robin Wood. Thanks, Robin!


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