It has been a while since I have posted on my blog, much of my time lately has been focused on classes, promotion, and private facilitated ceremonies. After being asked to join the staff of The Witches Daily Cauldron as writer for parenting articles, I thought I should get back to writing. So, I thought it would be a perfect time to post another “Little Witch” article.
During my own “Little Witch” years, I was not given the choice in my spiritual beliefs or information of the other traditions that were out there. Consequentially, this type of uninformative spiritual education had left me with unanswered questions and a lack of commitment to my spirituality.
I was first introduced to Wicca by a family member around the age of eleven, a year later I started training in the Gardnerian tradition. Although, I am grateful for what I did learn, this experience also hindered my path and spiritual growth. Most of my teachings were mainly coven based, and I had only learned what the tradition of the coven held in its practice. There was no room for alternatives or personal study of my own heritage and spirituality. This left me with a feeling of disappointment and indifference to the Wiccan traditions. It was not until many years later that I was shown that there was other ways and other beliefs then what I had been taught.
Who Wants Ice Cream?
One of things I regularly come across in the Witch and Pagan community is the constant bickering of which and what is the best way to belief in something. Just as it is with ice cream, beliefs and traditions come in many flavors, but in the end, it is all just ice cream. Whereas, some people prefer chocolate while others enjoy strawberry, and yet others savor the taste of exotic flavors, such as turmeric. What it comes down to is personal choice and exploration in both ice cream flavors and in our spirituality. This is what creates our own unique path in Witchcraft as adults and also for our children. When we allow children to explore the various traditions of Witchcraft and magick, we open the doors to the true essence of spirituality.
Many of the traditions found in modern Witchcraft that are based on historical evidence and from archaeological and anthropological discoveries throughout the world. Some have also been passed down through cultural practices, ceremonies and word of mouth. One of the more commonly known traditions of today is Wicca. There are as many Wiccan traditions as there are Alexandrian, Dianic, Gardnerian, and Seax Wicca are the most commonly practiced today.
Witches like Raymond Buckland opened the doors for not only someone who did not have the means to work with a coven, but also for others to create and expand on their own traditions. Over the years, more and more Witches started to combine their own personal family heritage and folk medicine/lore with Wicca, thus creating new traditions focusing on specific ancestral cultures and practices. Eventually these Witches began teaching and sharing their traditions with the world. Vanilla is not just vanilla anymore. Some of the Wiccan and Wiccan-based traditions found in modern Witchcraft are Cabot, Celtic Wicca, Christian Wicca (Still a very controversial tradition, though the practice of combing Wiccan and Christian beliefs is growing amongst the Pagan community. Such combined practices have been done for generations in many other Witchcraft traditions, so why not Wicca.) Eclectic (I highly recommend starting with eclectic Witchcraft practices for children because of its freedom and non-traditional system. As long as they are given their own choice of pantheons.) Green/Kitchen, and Stregheria.
Not all Pagan and Witchcraft traditions are Wiccan based, in fact many are either older or are reconstructed through ancient texts and anthropological studies. Although, others can be and are sometimes associated with the practice of Wicca and Witchcraft. When it comes to children I do not recommend introducing children to these practices until they ready and have an understanding of true spirituality and magick. These traditions and practices include: Asatru, Brujeria, Druidism, Kemetic, Santeria, Shamanism, and Voodoo/Hoodoo.
Adding Sprinkles, Whipped Cream and a Cherry
When you are at an ice cream parlor, choosing a flavor can sometimes be less overwhelming than the choosing of toppings. It’s this essential choice that creates a perfect sundae. The mixing of flavors of ice cream with the flavors of toppings is of a personal taste. What seems unconventional to some may work well for others. The same can be said with the choice of Deity we choose or in some cases has chosen us.
In many Wiccan and modern Witchcraft traditions the use of a specific pantheons is sometimes chosen based on either coven, heritage or regional influences. Many Witches who are eclectic or solitary may use a combination of pantheons chosen by personal interest, ethnicity or a calling.
This choice may be taken because of the attributes of a specific Deity within a pantheon or a personal connection to one Deity. Most modern Witches also have what’s known as a matron or patron, which is the Deities they work with on a regular basis. There is also, myself included, Witches whom do not hold to the idea of pantheons and the conventional concept of Deity. Whereas they see things having a polarity of male and female energies and others may use the titles of Goddess and God as distinction between them. For many this may also include aspects of the natural world such the sun, moon, sky and earth with their male/female connections. The most common pantheons are Celtic, Christian, Egyptian, Greek/Roman, Hindu, and Norse. By no means are these the only pantheons there are to choose from, however they are the most common and easiest to research.
When it comes to children and spirituality there is no need to teach them about the all the different traditions and pantheons, just allow them to explore them. This will ensure that it will be less frustrating to both you and most importantly your child. Also remember that a child’s interest can change from week to week and from day-to-day. It takes time for them to find their path. Even as adults our paths are not set in stone, we grow, and sometimes even change directions.
And of course, if your tradition is based on an ancestral or hereditary or cultural tradition you may want to start with that and then move on the others. However, keep the information very basic as not to persuade your child’s true path. This can be very discouraging for some parents because they want to continue their teachings of a particular tradition. Keep in mind that just because they are choosing a different path that the knowledge is not absent from their minds.