Monday, September 19, 2005

Pagan Children

I'm reading other threads and the concept of children raised in some kind of Pagan religion comes up. I am always facinated by these claims since I too was raised pagan. Truthfully I was half Catholic and half pagan.

First off, I declared myself pagan and dedicated myself to pagan gods when I was nine. This is very early in childhood development. I doubt that I would have found the appropriate gods or the appropriate manner of speaking to them without a helpful adult around. That is why I believe parental involvment in spiritual matters is a very important thing.

Now how can children, smaller kids, be involved in pagan worship? As a child I was taught the idea of reflected honor. What you do reflects onyour gods, youe family as well as yourself. Sometimes honor can be reflected on place of origin or your entire ethnicity. "Her achievments are an honor to Celts everywhere" style of thing.

Now for a child this can be simple as performing well in competitve sports or some other exertion. I danced. Like many little girls I was in ballet, I spent loads of childish and teen passion into dance, it was in honor of my gods. My skill and effort was an act of worship. All children have something that they can offer as an act of worship.

At my own declaration of faith as a nine year old I made a special meal, offered the best to the gods and the honored dead. This was required, an effort and an offering before making my stand as a member of my religion. Making food items as offerings is another thing that children can really understand on a basic and visceral level. We all like food, we all have to eat.

Dancing and singing songs. Lot of kids like Christmas carols, hymms and other vocal offerings. Teach kids some songs to sing. You may never hear the end of it.

Teach them the myths in child appropriate language. Now-a-days I love the language of Lady Gregory and Lady Guest. Back when I was nine, the New American Standard Myth cycles worked just fine. Using ordinary language to tell the story had more impact on me then any high-brow fancy talk did.

Celebrate the holidays you really believe in. I was no less loved or happy for not having Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. I had a warm family that practiced their traditions and gave age relative explanations for why we did things this way. Sometimes the why was merely "tradition", but I knew what had a foundation in myth and what did not.

Anyways I feel I could go on for years on this subject. questions can only make it better. So please, fire away!

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