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Bringing Up the Next Generation of Witches

November, 2018

October is quickly coming to an end, and I have never been more thankful. October brought sickness and trials. It was a difficult month to say the least.

But with October coming to a close, Samhain is fast approaching.

Samhain (or Halloween as Little Bear calls it) has always been one of my favorite holidays. Even when it was banned from my childhood home life.

The veil is thinning, the days grow darker, and the nights become almost black.

Living in the Midwest means the weather is unpredictable at the end of October. It could be sunny and hot, or rainy and wet. As a child, “Halloween” meant snow. I can remember more snowy Halloweens than not.

Little Bear and I will make the best of it regardless of the weather. He has his costume picked out. He is going as a zombie SWAT guy. He’s talked me into being a zombie also. He’s a bit obsessed with The Walking Dead right now.

This year, I let Little Bear go wild and decorate the whole house. We put up window clings, black garland, laid out fake spiders, decorated foam pumpkins, and hung up door covers.

Yesterday, we visited the local pumpkin field/corn maze. They have so many activities and it’s a must every year. They have goats, chickens, rabbits, long horn cattle, corn boxes, corn mazes, pumpkin guns, tug a war ropes, inflatables, wooden trains, etc. It is a full day.

Tonight, is pumpkin carving time. I’m sure that my excitement is at a way higher level than Little Bear’s because of the pumpkin seeds. I have dug out some recipes from Pinterest and plan on trying at least three. I have to do normal salt pumpkin seeds. But I’m going to try a sweet version with cinnamon and brown sugar. The other one I haven’t decided on because there is so many variations that can be done. However, I’m leaning towards a savory that uses sea salt and white vinegar. Not sure how it’ll turn out, but we shall see!

One of my favorite traditions for Samhain is the dinner. Eating dinner at the table is something that rarely happens in our home because of scheduling. But when Samhain rolls around, I take the day off. I plan a meal as if it were Thanksgiving and I set the table. I always set a spot for my sister who we lost back in 2015. It helps to bring her close. Little Bear gets excited and will start talking to her spot as if she never left.

Little Bear started asking questions again about “God” last week. This is a conversation that we have quite frequently as he has a hard time understanding something that he cannot see. So, I go into the explanation again. We have talked about the many different religions of the world. Although I am raising him in a Pagan home, I understand that the Pagan path may not be for him.

I found a wonderful series that touches on the spiritual side without focusing on one certain religion. It’s the The Giggles and Joy series. A three-part series that focuses on positive poems. It’s a neat series that I recommend. You can check out my review on them in this same issue!

Book Review: The Giggles and Joy Children’s Series

November, 2018

Book Review

The Giggles and Joy Children’s Series

 

The Giggles and Joy Children’s books are a series of three books that focus on spiritual life lessons for kids. Each book consists of 8 poems that cover a variety of different topics. The books are written by Ariane de Bonvoisin with Carlie Sutcliffe. They are beautifully and creatively illustrated by Ellie Cross.

These books are amazing and now a personal favorite in my home. They teach kids that positivity, joy and happiness are something to experience every day.

 

 

Giggles and Joy

Giggles and Joy: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids is the first book in the Giggles and Joy series. It features 8 poems on topics of “kindness, gratitude, having a bad day, home, prayer, planet Earth, self-belief and the physical body”.

One of my favorite features is that even though Giggles and Joy talks about prayer, it is in a universal way, that does not align prayer with a certain religion. For a home like mine, where I’m Pagan, my mother is Christian, and my son is undecided, this is a perfect fit.

Planet Earth is one of my son’s favorites. He loves saying “thank you” to our planet Earth. He also enjoys the illustrations that accompany not only planet Earth but all of the poems in Giggles and Joy.

 

You Are Loved

You are Loved: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids is the second book in the Giggles and Joy series. It also features 8 poems. These poems cover “love, navigating change, this beautiful life, courage, grown-ups, self-confidence, and adventure”.

Picking a favorite from this series is difficult. The poems are beautifully written in terms that are easy for children of all ages to understand. I will say that “The Moon Loves You” and “Change” are two of our most read poems. My son has always had a special attachment to the moon so this one gets read almost nightly.

Change quickly became one of our other most read poems when we had a situation shake up the home. It was nice to have a poem that could be read to my son to help him. It taught him that change can be scary, but change can also be fun and exciting.

 

Being You

Being You: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids is the final book in the Giggles and Joy series. The topics for these last 8 poems are “what many kids are facing in the world today, what is true self-worth and how to nurture it, the importance of telling the truth, how to feel safe inside oneself, the magical effect of deep breathing and the adventure of being free to really be yourself”.

Take a Deep Breath” is one of my son’s favorite poems from Being You. It incorporated the deep breathing technique that he learned in school. It also has illustrations of dragons, which is his favorite beast.

 

All in all, I give the Giggles and Joy series a double thumbs up. By far, one of my favorite poem series for children. If you are looking for a positive series full of lessons, look no further. These poems are fun to read and listen to no matter the age.

 

Amazon Links to Books:

The Giggles and Joy Gift Set on Amazon

Giggles and Joy: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids on Amazon

You are Loved: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids on Amazon

Being You: Spiritual Life Lessons for Kids on Amazon

 

 

 

Children and the Seven Generations

July, 2018

 

Colonial states separate children from parents because they know it works. It destroys and traumatizes for generations. It’s an attack on the future as well as the present.”

-Jesse Wente

In my writing, I make it a point to stay out of commenting on political stances for many reasons. However, when policy starts to cross over into human rights violations that threaten the health of future generations, as a shamanic practitioner, spiritual warrior, and fellow human being, I am compelled to speak. And this article is the result of one of those moments. When the story broke of asylum seekers from Central, North, and South America being separated from their children at the US border, I felt it important to share what I know about child development and early childhood trauma. I also want to add from the beginning that this isn’t a solely American phenomenon but a result of patriarchal beliefs and structures that our world currently operates under. This system is hurting men, women, and children all around the world and it’s time to start questioning its modus operandi.

As an educator, I’ve dedicated my adult life to the thriving of families by supporting children and parents. This looks many different ways that go beyond academics and guiding families in setting up appropriate education models for their children. The truth is, children who are living in poverty and with a substantial amount of trauma are in survival mode: no brain can take in new information when it is in constant fight of flight. Poverty is not a crime nor a result of laziness; it comes out of oppressive policies that benefit the few and marginalize many of the most vulnerable citizens. Parents who struggle financially love their children and most are good parents despite the challenges they face. Poverty is not a reason to separate children from their parents; many social services seek to provide financial aid so parents can raise their children to adulthood. Supporting families means keeping them together, providing resources to help families to thrive, and creating policies that help parents to raise their children without so much stress on the family structure. Currently, we have a worldwide economic system that places undue stress on young families and when family systems start to collapse, parents are often blamed for their “failure.” My job is to advocate for kids and families, look for that support, and put it in place to give families some breathing room while they are doing the most important job on earth: raising healthy, resilient, compassionate, and creative citizens.

Recently, an excellent documentary series came out showing how we humans develop from our earliest years and how vital the first years of life are in creating our self-concepts, attitude toward life, creativity and flexibility of mind. In “The Beginning of Life,” experts in the fields of human developmental stages, pediatric medicine, psychology, and neuroscience come together to paint a new picture for societies that show how important it is to support families and what the effects are to society at large when we don’t provide this support (i.e. increased crime rates, higher health care costs, and higher taxes). One social worker recently told me that it is much less expensive for the government to provide groceries for a family for a few months while they get back on their feet than to pull a child from a home and put them in foster care. If you don’t care for the moral or financial arguments, the science is clear: parents and kids belong together. Many people don’t like the idea of using tax payer dollars to support families, however, when we start to separate families without providing them with the support they need first (i.e. parenting classes, financial aid, job training, good daycare, time for maternal and paternal leaves), the cost to society at large tends to be much greater for all of us. I personally want my tax dollars to be spent on investing in the wellbeing of future generations instead of on policies that focus on short term financial “gains.”

I made a spiritual vow many years ago to protect children’s rights. My motto is “do no harm.” This seems impossible for us humans and yet I feel that it is a worthy vision to hold in front of me as I do this work. Many people in the world don’t realize that we have a three-decade’s old international document in place that sets out the rights of children via the United Nations called the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Article 3 states the focus of the document: “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” Most folks would agree that staying with his/her parents is in the best interest of the child unless the child is being neglected or abused, which is not the case here. And even though the children who are separated from their parents are being fed, clothed, and sheltered, we know from longitudinal studies of children who grew up in Romanian orphanages that providing the basic physical needs of life is not enough for children to thrive. For children to be truly healthy (mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually), they need to be surrounded by safe and strong attachments to caregivers and community members who love and know them. When a child is taken away from a parent or guardian, this is a significant trauma that cannot be underestimated and often takes a lifelong toll on the child. If readers don’t know about the decades long Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACES), I highly recommend watching the TED Talk at the foot of this article. Many children and adults in our “corrections” systems have high ACES scores, not surprisingly.

You might be wondering why I am so passionate about this as a Canadian citizen with no voting rights in the USA. First, I am a child of immigrants who came to Canada looking for a better life for future generations. My family and I have been able to heal from the intergenerational trauma of growing up in a dictatorial state because of the relative safety and support we’ve experienced in Canada. Second, as a shamanic practitioner, I know that what we do today affects the seven generations ahead and the seven generations behind us. We have the chance to shift what we believe about children and their value in a way that our ancestors perhaps were not able to. Respecting the work of parents and the rights of children to explore their new world in safety is actually good for all of us because those kids will be deciding policy and taking care of us when we are elders. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a traumatized, jaded, and perhaps violent person taking care of me when I am an elder. I want to be surrounded by adults who were nurtured when they were children. These adults are more likely to be compassionate, have a strong sense of human and environmental rights, carry love in their hearts, and be active in their citizenship.

I know from researching that this practice of separating children from parents has been happening in the USA and even in Canada for quite a few years now; this is a non-partisan issue. I am not an American citizen otherwise I would be writing my local political representative. I will nevertheless look for ways to make my voice heard as an international citizen. I hope you will join me as a citizen of the world in making sure we protect the most vulnerable members of our society because the truth is that we are all connected to one another. We are all relations.

NB: Further information on the research presented in this article appears in the resources section below.

 

Resources:

 

The Beginning of Life

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bejT24M4TQ

 

TED Talk: How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95ovIJ3dsNk

 

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/CRC.aspx

 

American Civil Liberties Union

https://www.aclu.org/

 

article: Family Separation: Trump’s Cruel Immigration Policy

https://www.indivisible.org/resource/trumps-new-cruel-immigration-policy/

 

article: Canada Aims to Avoid Detaining Migrant Children, but it Happens

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/canada-detention-children-united-states-1.4709632

 

***

About the Author:

Jennifer Engrácio has been a student of shamanism since 2005. Jennifer is a certified teacher who has worked with children in many different education settings since 2001. She is a certified shamanic coach, reiki master, and lomilomi practitioner; in addition, she runs Spiral Dance Shamanics. Originally from Vancouver, Canada, she now lives in Calgary, Canada with her life partner.

Engrácio participated in self-publishing three books that are now available:

The Magic Circle: Shamanic Ceremonies for the Child and the Child Within”

Women’s Power Stories: Honouring the Feminine Principle of Life”

Dreaming of Cupcakes: A Food Addict’s Shamanic Journey into Healing

For more information go to: www.spiraldanceshamanics.com

Bringing Up the Next Generation of Witches

July, 2018

As a child, I led such a weird childhood. I was known for seeing things that weren’t there and knowing things before they happened. I felt like a sin in my parent’s household as I was being raised in a Christian church. As I aged, I found solace in Wicca. Life and the things going on finally made sense.

When I was pregnant with my son (Little Bear), I made the decision to raise him in a Pagan household and support him, no matter what religion he decided on. Little Bear is now 4 years old and this has proven to be the best decision. He has shown signs of experiencing the same things that I went through as a child. Little Bear is a natural born healer, empath, and animal lover. He has to sleep with a light on because the dark brings weird things with it. While I cannot confirm it yet, it sounds like he is seeing people that have crossed over.

One of the major things that Little Bear and I have started doing is celebrating the Sabbats. Any reason to celebrate, right?

June 21st was Litha or the Summer Solstice. This is the longest day of the year and Little Bear and I took full advantage.

Every Sabbat, we discuss the Wheel of the Year. This helps remind us where we are on the Wheel and where we are headed. Because this follows the seasons, it is easy for Little Bear to understand. We discussed how Litha falls in the summer and some of our favorite summer activities. Little Bear loves grilling out, riding his bike and playing in the water.

The day started before sunrise. I poured out orange juice and we headed to the porch to watch the sun. It was a warm, quiet morning. I explained to Little Bear that we should be grateful for everything we have. I asked him what he was happy to have. “My bike, my mom, my bed, my dog” and the list went on and on. I smiled at his innocence and gave my own thanks internally. As the sun rose above the horizon, the world started coming alive. The birds started singing, the neighborhood stray cat came to visit, and we watched a herd of deer in the field across the street. We ended the morning with a barefoot walk around the property. We stopped at the outside altar and poured orange juice into the fairy dish as an offering. This is one of Little Bear’s favorite parts. We actually had to make a fairy altar closer to the house so he could easily access it without supervision.

After work, I had Little Bear help with dinner. We were preparing Grilled Chicken Salads. As we pulled the vegetables out, we talked about each one. Where they came from, how they grow, what the health benefits are, and what kind of super powers the vegetables might give us (This was Little Bears idea). I feel that knowing the health benefits of each vegetable will help Little Bear develop his Kitchen Witch side as he grows.

While making the salad, I noticed Little Bear had made a pile that contained a piece of each vegetable that went into the salad. It was his offering for the fairies.

We ended the night with a bonfire and watching the sunset. The longest day of the year had officially ended.

It may seem like I do a LOT of talking with Little Bear and I do. Little Bear is at the age where he is like a little sponge. He is asking tons of questions and curious about everything.

The next Sabbat is Lammas and I’m excited about it. This has always been a personal favorite because I love to bake bread. Lammas is the start of the harvest season. So breads, wheats, grains, grapes, apples, corn and wild berries are great foods. While I don’t have recipes pulled together yet, corn dollies and bonfires are part of the ritual for sure!

Some ideas to do with children are:

-Corn Dollies

-Magical Picnics (Make sure to leave an offering!)

-Collect berries for jams or jellies

-Time to harvest the garden

-Create a Witches Bottle (smaller children will need help with this since you will be working with sharp objects!)

-Time to redecorate the altar

-Visit an apple orchard (bring some home if the apples are ready!)

-Collect rain or storm water

-Bake bread, cakes, or muffins (cookies could be substituted so the little ones can decorate)

The biggest thing to remember, “It’s not about the action you are doing but the intent you are putting into it”.

What are some fun ways you are celebrating the Sabbats with your child/ren?

Blessed Be!

A Woman’s Place…

March, 2018

Not all women are mothers; but, all mothers are women.

In the wake of yet another mass shooting of children, by a young man who, for all intents and purposes, was also a child, what do we do?

As women, as mothers, who carried these children within us, and birthed them into life, each death is a pang in our hearts. They are not our children, and yet, they are our children, each and every one of them – the children who were and are murdered. The child who is the murderer, is also our child as he, too, has suffered. This includes the adults who have been killed, as they, too, are someone’s child.

Help for those who are mentally and emotionally ill is almost non-existent in this country. Ask any parent who has tried to get help for their child. They know, they can tell you. Mental health care is a joke, and help is hard to come by and they wash their hands of your problem as quickly as they can. If you do, by some chance, find someone to help, your insurance may or may not cover it, and then where do you turn?

Yet, are these all cases of mental or emotional illness? Each time this happens, that is what we are told and the government speaks about making it harder for those who are mentally ill to get guns (never happens). While some of them may actually be mentally ill, as I don’t believe someone without issues of some sort would deliberately go out and murder; yet, this is still not a full answer. Most of these shooters are young, white and male, again something the government downplays. Imagine the outcry if one of these senseless acts was perpetrated by a young man of color. We would never hear the end of it. So, we have young, white males committing these murders and it always is “he’s mentally ill”. Yet, there are women out there who have mental illness, white women and women of color and yet, they do not commit these violent murders of innocent people. So, blaming it completely on mental illness is missing a large part of this picture. We may never really know the missing piece, as they so often take their own lives.

Past tragedies such as this have taught us that the Republicans will do nothing to control the sale of weapons in this country. Too much money flows into their greedy, little pockets; money that they are loath to give up. The Republican base sees “liberals” and “progressives” and worst yet, “democratic socialists” coming to take their guns. They don’t listen to what is said. No on wants to take your damn guns, just tighten the controls on them so it is harder to purchase them and eliminate the purchase of assault weapons. Why does anyone *need* an assault weapon? I admit that I am anti-gun, but I still would not be in favor of taking guns away from those who have them. I am very anti-hunting for the killing of animals – vegetarian-vegan here – but I know those who do and enjoy it. That is their choice to make. I also know those who own guns but are in favor of stricter gun controls; one immediately comes to mind. Why does he understand and others do not?

A couple of years ago, as things began to go downhill in this country with the campaign of the current person in the White House, I wondered, where were the young people? I remember the 1960’s well. Teenagers, and young adults were out there in the forefront of the protests against the war, the marches for women’s equality, civil rights marches where human beings were beaten and hit with water from forceful hoses, just because they were people of color. If I close my eyes, I can still see the clip that was on the news. They were beaten and brutalized by the police and the National Guard, who were there for their “protection”. They were arrested. But they persisted.

Children died then, too, at Ohio State and during lynchings in the South.

Now, finally, out of this tragedy in FL, come the children, these teenagers who lived through and survived a shooting at their school, a place where they should feel safe, a place where their friends were brutally murdered.

These kids are fighting the good fight, and I hope they do not get discouraged because they have a hard journey ahead. But journey on they must, and in the process, encourage and support other kids all over the country, and the world to stand up for their principles, for what they think is right. If they get suspended for walking out of school during a protest day, as Texas has said they would do, don’t let that deter you. Continue your fight.

Those politicians who have accused these children of being actors, or shills for the Democrats, or doing it for attention are digging their own political graves. These children, these teenagers, these American citizens, will one day, in the very near future, be voting, and guess who will be voted out. We won’t say good bye, but good riddance and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

So, as women, as mothers, we must support these children in what they are doing, march and protest along side of them, encourage them to stand up for their beliefs, what they know in their hears to be the right thing. What they are doing may deter future tragedies, future cold-blooded murders and even more parents having to bury their child.

*(ADDENDUM: The opinions and feelings in this article are those of the author only and do not in any way represent the opinion of PaganPagesOrg.)

***

About the Author:

Susan Morgaine is a Daughter of the Goddess, Witch, Writer, Teacher, Healer, and Yogini. She is a monthly columnist with PaganPages.org Her writings can be found in The Girl God Anthologies, Whatever Works: Feminists of Faith Speak” and Jesus, Mohammed and the Goddess, as well as Mago Publications She Rises, Volume 2, and “Celebrating Seasons of the Goddess”. She has also been published in Jareeda and SageWoman magazines. She is a Certified Womens Empowerment Coach/Facilitator through She is the author of “My Name is Isis, the Egyptian Goddess”, one in the series of the “My Name Is………” children’s books published by The Girl God Publications. A Woman International, founded by Patricia Lynn Reilly. She has long been involved in Goddess Spirituality and Feminism, teaching classes and workshops, including Priestessing Red Tents within MA and RI. She is entering her 20th year teaching Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, being a Certified instructor through the Kundalini Research Institute, as well as being a Reiki Master. She is a member of the Sisterhood of Avalon. She can be found at https://mysticalshores.wordpress.com/ and her email is [email protected]

For Amazon information Click Image

The Divine Child

January, 2018

 

I am writing this article on Boxing Day or Annandag Jul in Swedish (our family is in Sweden).

I always pay close attention to dreams and my dreams last night were full of children.

I am wearing a warm furry silver cloak and walking around a forest. There is a spectacular night sky overhead. The stars are reflected by the ice crystals trapped in my cloak meaning that I myself am sparkling with star light (not unlike a Christmas tree!) I am Mother Winter! All around me child spirits are darting around and playing in trees: luminous, joyful but also “ghostly”, as-yet-unborn. I open my cloak and give them all a place to gestate safely, in the Womb of Mother Winter…

The central event at Christmas is, of course, the birth of a Divine Child. For Christians this is a very particular child: Jesus Christ. However, the concept of a Divine Child exists in other cultures and belief systems as well. Here is a blog that provides a good overview:

http://mythicspiral.blogspot.se/2013/02/gods-divine-birth-in-religion-and-myth.html

It explains how many of our world’s myths and religions start with the birth of a Divine Child who grows up and becomes a Saviour God as an adult. This Divine Child or god, incarnated on Earth, usually does not have an easy time of it. Often it comes close to being murdered and faces an evil ruler (sometimes its own human father). Miraculously, this child does survive and becomes a revolutionary who plants the seeds for a new paradigm and new ways of collective thinking and dreaming.

The Divine Child exists in alchemy as well. It is often seen as the offspring of the alchemical marriage of opposites or opposing forces: sun and moon, light and dark. You could say that the whole sacred art of alchemy is contained within the image of a magical or divine child because it holds the key to processes of transformation and transmutation.

What if some of the children leading tough lives today are here to become our future world leaders?!

Christmas is a good time to reflect on the fate of children in today’s world. My husband got our three children up before dawn this morning to perform a pagan family ceremony by the nearby lake. They considered themselves hard done by, being lifted from their warm beds before sunrise!

Many children all over the world face serious (real) hardship today as well as every day and night of the year. They grow up in war zones, politically unstable regimes or places of extreme poverty and deprivation. They are at risk of losing their lives, their parents, families, homes or livelihood.

Even in the more affluent Western world many children suffer abuse at the hands of the very people who are supposed to love and protect them: their own parents. The so called “festive season” tends to increase family tensions meaning that for many children Christmas is not a happy time. Instead it is a time of increased physical and emotional abuse. Alcohol use increases too and that is never good news for children.

So today I invite everyone reading this article to spare a thought for the children facing hardship almost beyond human comprehension. Also for the spirits of children who died young or where aborted, who live on as spirit children in other worlds. For more about this I invite you to watch my 2014 art video:

 

SPIRIT CHILDREN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpSLQLHN2B4

 

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpSLQLHN2B4[/embedyt]

 

I am a presenter Year of Ceremony with Sounds True and the title of my Full Moon Ceremony) on January 31st is Drawing Down the Divine Child. I invite everyone to check out this wonderful program!

 

http://affiliate.soundstrue.com/aff_c?offer_id=124&aff_id=2260&url_id=86

 

In a way all children are divine children because a divine spark glows in their heart (as it does in adults). Might it be the case that some children choose to come to Earth to hold up mirrors for all of us and expose injustice?

Might it be the case that soul groups of children incarnate collectively to bring specific issues to global attention? If so, could we find ways of honouring this sacrifice?!

Our word sacrifice is derived from Latin and literally means: making sacred by offering to the gods.

We are all on Earth for a relatively short time before we become ancestors for those who come after us. Do we give enough thought to those future generations, the children of our children’s children and beyond? Do we actively try to create the right conditions on Earth for their arrival?

Shamanism teaches that we can step Outside Time. Once we do so we can work with both Past and Future. Many spiritual schools of thought teach that Time is an illusion and that Past and Future co-exists in parallel dimensions. (Personally speaking I think of Time as an organising dimension on Earth, not as an ultimate reality). If this is so, it means that we can already connect with the children waiting to be born. We can communicate with those souls and find out what they need from us, what seeds they need us to plant for their future existence.

These are some of the issues we will engage with during my Full Moon Ceremony for 31 January 2018!

For today I invite you to do a meditation (or shamanic journey) and seek guidance from spirit on how you can reach out to one child (or several children, (or even a group of children) today and make a difference. Could you be a mentor, provide a listening ear or a sanctuary? Could you be an ambassador working in a different way: speaking, writing or campaigning? Is there some unique contribution only you can make? The lives of many children have been turned around by having access to that one crucial person who was there for them and provided unconditional support. That person is not always a parent, often this is a neighbour, teacher, aunt/uncle, youth leader or grandparent.

If you are a holistic or spiritual practitioner already working with children I invite you to join a closed Facebook group I recently created (and there is some lively thought-provoking sharing going on there!) The idea is to connect people and map where everyone is, so referrals can be made and experiences can be exchanged.

 

GLOBAL GRID OF SPIRITUAL PRACTITIONERS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1084444561692912/

 

All of us grown-ups are ex-children. Somewhere within all of us lives the Divine Child!

I will close with a beautiful poem that friend and fellow author Laura Perry brought to my attention:

 

For So The Children Come

By Sophia Lyon Fahs

For so the children come
And so they have been coming.
Always in the same way they come
Born of the seed of man and woman.

No angels herald their beginnings.
No prophets predict their future courses.
No wise men see a star to show where to find the babe that will save humankind.

Yet each night a child is born is a holy night,
Fathers and mothers–sitting beside their children’s cribs feel glory in the sight of a new life beginning
They ask “Where and how will this new life end?
Or will it ever end?”

Each night a child is born is a holy night–
A time for singing,
A time for wondering,
A time for worshipping.

 

***

About the Author:

Imelda Almqvist is an international teacher of shamanism and sacred art. Her book Natural Born Shamans: A Spiritual Toolkit For Life (Using shamanism creatively with young people of all ages) was published by Moon Books in 2016.  She is a presenter on the Shamanism Global Summit  2017 as well as on Year of Ceremony with Sounds True. She divides her time between the UK, Sweden and the US. She is currently working on her second book Sacred Art: A Hollow Bone for Spirit (Where Art Meets Shamanism)

 

For Amazon information Click Image

 

 

www.shaman-healer-painter.co.uk  (website)

https://imeldaalmqvist.wordpress.com/  (blog)

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=imelda+almqvist  (Youtube channel: interviews, presentations and art videos)

http://affiliate.soundstrue.com/aff_c?offer_id=124&aff_id=2260&url_id=86 (Year of Ceremony)

 

 

Children’s Book Review: My Name is Isis The Egyptian Goddess By Susan Morgaine

December, 2017

My Name is Isis

The Egyptian Goddess

Author Susan Morgaine

Illustrator Arna Baartz

Publisher a girl god

Copyright 2017

Length 47 pages

Ms. Morgaine has written a beautiful book for children. It is very basic book, one that would be good for a parent to read to child(ren) at bed time. Or to be read out loud at festivals in the children’s tent. The words just seem to flow of the page. It is a book that even a child that is just learning to read would have an easy time with. The words even allow the reader to picture the Protectress that is the Goddess Isis.

The art work is beautiful soothing colors. They are just beautifully done and just flow with the words on the page. Arna’s art work is so colorful and almost otherworldly. It will help to keep young eyes focused on the book and allow them to meet Isis on their terms in ways that they would understand.

Together both artist and writer seem to have found a flow that allowed them to sync what they both envisioned in a seamless manner. There seems to just be a symmetry in the way everything just works to complement both minds that worked on this book.

I think Pagan families will find this book is one that becomes a family heirloom. I can see parents being happy to use “My Name is Isis The Egyptian Goddess” to introduce their children to their maternal Goddess.

 

 

For Amazon information, click image below.


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About the Author:

Dawn Borries loves reading and was thrilled to become an E-Book reviewer for PaganPages.Org. Dawn, also, has been doing Tarot and Numerology readings for the past 25 years. Dawn does readings on her Facebook page.  If you are interested in a reading you can reach her at:  https://www.facebook.com/NumerologistDawnBorries/.

Affairs of the Pagan Heart

November, 2017

Adding a Spindle to the Wheel of the Year

As I wrote this, I was finishing up work for the day to head home to get ready to celebrate my 5th wedding anniversary with a quiet dinner at one of our favourite fancy restaurants. Though my husband is not pagan, we did a handfasting with cords of orange, brown, green, and silver in a beautiful loft space gallery that used to be a piano factory. It was an overcast day that rained on and off, and we didn’t care, as long as we had each other and were surrounded by our friends and family. We bound ourselves to one another, and by the grace of the Gods, the rain paused just after our ceremony so that we could run outside to get some outdoor photos amongst the glorious fall colours of late October.

I didn’t have my parents there to celebrate with me. They both passed away years before, and never even met my husband. It breaks my heart every time I think about how much my husband and my dad would have gotten along, or how easily my mum would have welcomed him into the family. I never dreamed of how my wedding would be, and was not that little girl who walked around in my mother’s shoes and a veil on my head and “played wedding” as easily as “playing doctor” or “playing school” or “playing tea time”. In fact, though I wholeheartedly believe in love and wasn’t opposed to marriage, enough time had passed by that I guess I thought it just wasn’t for me. So I never had those dreams of my dad walking me down the aisle, or getting ready in the morning with my mum.

However, when the time came, their absence was sorely missed. My parents were still married for 46 years when my father died, and were not at our wedding in person to witness their youngest getting married. But I know they were there in spirit, as were my ancestors before them, and I know they come forth when the veil between the spiritual plane and the living is most porous or at its thinnest. Each year, our anniversary has felt like the start of that thinning, the overlap between summer and fall, or Mabon and Samhain and forward to Yule.

And as I think on my ancestors and my immediate family that have passed on, I don’t think of them as lost. I think of them as pillars of love and endurance. They have faced so much in their lives, living through wars and social progress and political strife and so much more than what I have experienced, and if I can get a glimpse of them through the veil at this time of year, or gain a portion of their wisdom or obtain a sliver of their bravery, perhaps I would have even more inspiration to keep my heart strong for my marriage.

We mark and celebrate our anniversary as a reminder of how we fell in love, to look back fondly on the day we were married and celebrated our commitment to one another in front of our family and friends, and to take stock of our relationship. I also take the time to evaluate how my spirituality plays into the marriage, and how I can improve myself for myself mentally, physically, and spiritually.

If we think of the wheel of the year as a ship’s wheel, we see the evenly spaced spindles that indicate each season and sabbat. It’s important to can add to our own wheels with anniversaries and special occasions so that they are actually that – special occasions. They are things that we celebrate specifically for us, separate from what others are marking, so that we can spend energy on why that day is important to us.

This time of year has a lot going on for me. I honour my ancestors, I miss my parents, I celebrate my wedding anniversary, and I acknowledge the turning of the wheel as the year progresses, as sure as my heart beats.

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About the Author:

Rev. Rachel U Young is a pagan based in Toronto, Canada. She is a licensed Wedding Officiant and under the name NamasteFreund she makes handfasting cords and other ceremonial accessories. She is also the Chair of Toronto Pagan Pride Day.

Pagan Parenting

October, 2010

Parenting our Parents

At this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere we are reminded of the slow period of life.  The heat of summer gives way to crisp nights,  leaves fall from the trees and circle our feet and the days get shorter.  As parents we see infinite youth in our children’s eyes, autumn to them is a time for fun, school and heralds the approach of winter celebrations and snow play.

As Samhain approaches I am always reminded of our ancestors and elders.  They are the keepers of the family stories and the example of the autumn and winter phases of life’s circle.  How do we as pagans approach the care of our parents as they age?  What does our culture want to pass on to future generations regarding the respect and care of those who raised us?

Our children embody the spark of youth, ourselves; the determination of early to mid-adulthood when we work hard to provide and establish foundations. Our parents and grandparents are past the stage of building and now rest.  Along with that rest the breakdown of the body sometimes becomes evident, past transgressions begin to catch up and illness can appear.  We become caught in the middle, trying to balance the responsibility of raising little ones and caring for our parents.   Family dynamics that have been established for your entire relationship begin to change.  No longer are you the one needing protection or nurturing from your parent.  Instead you are the provider and the strength for them.

The stress of this can be overwhelming and tiresome.  Distance is also very stressful when you live miles away and the only family member/s that are in the area are forced to take the load of the care.  Many cultures have intergenerational homes in which three or more generations live under one roof.  This arrangement helps the caregiver travel less and hopefully alleviates some of the strain.  Senior care homes are the only option for some.  There is often a solitude for many elders that is difficult and at times they may not be able to care for themselves but have little option for help from the community.

Our culture as a whole is aging.  These types of scenarios will become more and more evident to us.  Families whether those of blood or heart’s choice will be faced with how to navigate the rough waters of illness, aging and the balance of youth and activity with crones and sages and a slower life pace.  For those of us in the middle of these stages the bulk of the work falls into our hands.  We need to search for solutions, delegate responsibility and keep ourselves in balance as much as possible.

This area of thought is very compelling to me.  Are you faced with any of these dilemmas yourself?  Do you have solutions to share with the community?  This territory is certainly not new, but does your pagan path inspire a certain outlook that helps you keep things in perspective?

I intend to investigate this topic further in future articles.  I welcome your feedback or insight.  Our personal stories will hopefully begin a dialogue about how our spiritual paths inform our relationships with our elders and their invaluable contribution to our families.  Please feel free to comment here or send correspondence to stonegirl1177 AT yahoo DOT ca.  Have a blessed Samhain.

Pagan Parenting

September, 2009

Experiencing the Elements at the Playground

I am pleased to be a new member of the PaganPages family.  Welcome to Pagan Parenting Every Day.  Each month we will be exploring topics that relate to every day parenting with a pagan spin.  As a new parent looking for articles that relay parenting topics through a pagan perspective I find a lack.  I hope to address this gap and bring ideas to the table for discussion, learning and pondering.

Before we get to this month’s topic I’d like to say that the views presented here are based on one pagan parent’s perspective.  I am not trying to advocate a “pagan way” to parent, as I believe that as each child is different, so is each parent and each pagan in tern.  Rather, I am hoping to create a dialogue for parents and offer up some parenting styles, tips, methods, activities and issues.  The wide world of parenting is often daunting and a sense of support in our community can be a blessing to us all.  I also welcome questions, comments and suggestions for future topics.  You can contact me at stonegirl1177 AT yahoo DOT ca.  And now onto our topic for this month: Experiencing the Elements at the Playground.

As North American society has moved away from predominately dwelling on farmsteads and into urban lifestyles city parks have become a nature refuge.  As pagans many of us think that getting into nature, meaning out of the city and into a National park, camping, etc. is the only way to experience the elements.  But other than our 2 or 3 weeks a year of vacations, or our weekend day trips how can we bring the lessons and just plain fun of the elements into our children’s lives?  Some urban dwellers have backyards where they can explore the elements with their kids but if you don’t, or even if you do and you are looking for a change try taking a walk to your local playground.  The power and wonder of the elements are right there waiting for you and your family to appreciate them.

AIR

Swings and slides are perfect tools for really experiencing air.  Pumping your legs, you move faster and faster.  The air is all around you, blowing your hair and for kids who have a hard time understanding what they can’t see or feel in the moment this movement helps air, the invisible element become tangible.  Not to mention swinging is fun.  For toddlers and babies this aspect of motion is as far as you’ll need to take the activity.  Although you can repeat “Wind!” with glee in your voice to let them associate the sensations they are having with air.  For older children you can talk about the sensations they feel and mention some air correspondences like communication and the intellect.

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FIRE

Fire is not an element you openly see at parks.  It is not something you really want to encourage either.  But the big ball of fire in the sky can be your children’s plaything in its own way.  Shadow play is very entertaining.  Running and playing shadow tag, seeing the interesting shapes that you can make and for older kids you can talk about the length of your shadow and how that corresponds to the different time of day as the sun moves from east to west.  If it is a particularly warm day you can also teach even toddlers about the wonder of shade cast by trees or a nearby building.  You can move from the sun to the shade and experience the sensations of fire through the intense heat of the sun.

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WATER

Water parks with their spraying are of course great to experience on hot summer days and a very fun way to play with water.  If you are out after a rain puddles can hold a wonderland of enjoyment for kids of all ages.  If your playground has a drinking fountain that is a great way to start a dialogue about the precious nature of water.  Even if your local playground has no water available for play or drinking you can bring some in a thermos or water bottle.  As children play they inevitably get thirsty, as they break for a drink they can think about how the body is mostly water and why they need to replenish their supply after they exert themselves.  Perhaps they can carry their own water bottle and this can be a great lesson in understanding the precious nature of water as a resource.

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EARTH

Sand boxes, pebbles, grass, wood chips, there can be many surfaces at the playground that are earthy.  Sand boxes are endless in possibilities for play: mud pies, drawing in the sand with sticks, shoveling, sand castles, and just getting dirty are all great ways to interact with mother earth.  Rolling down grassy hillsides, climbing trees, the reassuring thud of the earth beneath on a see-saw, share earth’s rhythms with your child and you can also chant if the mood strikes.  If your neighborhood playground is on concrete there is usually some crack somewhere with plants pushing up through it.  What a powerful lesson to learn about, how even a substance as strong as concrete can be severed by the earth and strong plants will reclaim the space if left to their own devices.

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Regardless of time constraints and nature access you can have family adventures with the elements in urban settings.  All it takes is some imagination and a desire to be in the moment.  A healthy dose of spirit can make our neighborhood sacred regardless of how much vegetation is around us.  We are nature; nature is with us in each moment, just waiting for us to notice.

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