Our lives are centered around our two active, inquisitive daughters. They are always wanting to know what “this” is or what “that” does, or why I wear a pentacle. They love to touch my everyday altar items, eager to see what they feel like or what they do. Our youngest especially likes to touch these things, they are fun for her. I try to use things that are kid friendly just for this reason.
Recently I decided to start introducing and teaching our children about some of the basics. Our youngest will not be learning much since she is only two. The oldest, who is eight, already knows her directions, and what the elements are, but she doesn’t quite understand the significance of them. Even though I put a lot of thought into teaching them, I have some trepidations about what the logical reasons could be for teaching her and the possible shockwaves are weighing heavily on my mind.
Our town is fairly small, and with this small town size comes a small town mentality to match. Adults, as well as children, are often bigoted and fearful of things that they don’t understand. And with her being only eight, will she be able to understand the importance and necessity of keeping private matters private?
I have always believed in giving my children the freedom to choose whatever path they want to follow. I had a parent who believed it was his duty to “instruct me in the ways of the Lord”, and who believes that because I was not raised in going to church, my children will forever be damned. He invites them down for the summer and I dread saying “no”, but I know that he will insist on taking them to church every Sunday and enrolling them in Sunday School while they are there. Then I would have to explain what they experienced, and then potentially deprogram them.
How can we, as parents of impressionable and sensitive children, open their eyes and minds to our beliefs and ways without putting them at risk for ridicule and wrongful assumptions from others? Our school system would be all a-twitter if they knew that at least two families who have children there are Pagan. How can I explain other religions such as Christianity, Judaism, and others without being totally knowledgeable about them? I wish our school system did events that promoted the cultural diversity instead of being “politically correct” and making everything so bland and boring. No one can learn and be mindful of others’ beliefs if the school system hides it from view.
Assumption…..such a dangerous word in the minds of the uninformed and narrow-minded. People often “assume” that they know everything about you just because you wear a “pentacle” or say “blessed be” or have a bumper sticker that says “magic happens”. Not once do they ask you anything, they just assume they understand.
I have found myself holding in my usual rhetoric and quips for fear of being misunderstood; I hide my pentacle for people always associate it with Satanism, even though theirs is an inverted pentacle. I do all of this because I fear what others will think of me and my family. I have even received some opposition from knowing family members because they fear what others will think of THEM.
Watching “Secret Lives of Women” on WE T.V. the one night (Sept. 16, ‘08), the episode was about women of “new age” religions like vampirism, Satanism, Wicca, and general witchcraft. It was good to see people of like mind and experiences as myself. It was nice to see them be able to interact with others and be open about their beliefs, even with the usual misunderstandings from others. I found myself how do they deal with everyday problems, and then I realized that they have people with them and around them who believed as they do. In our town, if you believe different than the mainstream society, you keep quiet. Oh sure, some have bumper stickers and stuff, and generally people pass it off as something funny, like a joke. But deep down I know that these people are closeting their beliefs because of how those people will behave.
Being a solitary witch, I also find it rather daunting to teach my kids my beliefs. Being rather new to my path myself, I don’t feel experienced enough to properly impart any knowledge to them, with what little I have learned and all that remains. I don’t have anyone close by to learn from, and but I do have some highly recommended books that I am trying to read and learn from in this little venture.
Lord and Lady, be my guides!!