So, in the Island of Misfit Pagans, there was a question brought up about whether or not teaching your children magic was a good idea. As a pagan and a parent, I could comment but not on the magical aspect to it. I don’t do magic and I probably won’t ever get into the hardcore spells and whatnot part of magix™. (I may end up doing more warding and inner work, but I can’t see myself sitting around with a BOS that’s all about spells I’ve crafted even though I’m working on creating one…) However, I do quasi-teach my son about the things that I’m doing as I do them. As I said in that particular topic, my son will help me “wake up” the gods and lwa in the morning sometimes. This is usually accomplished by a very high-pitched and loud, “MORNING!!!!!!” He’ll also sit down and watch me when I’m using my Tarot cards, which can be both fun and irritating, depending on what I’m using them for. And he will sit down with me when I’m sitting in front of Hekate’s altar space and pray to her. He doesn’t quite understand what praying is but he’ll mimic my posture for a few minutes and then announce that he is “done” before going off to do whatever it is that he feels the need to do. So, on the one hand, I suppose I am teaching my son about my spiritual and religious path.
However, I would really prefer to have an open mind about other paths. I would also like to teach my son about other paths. I tend to explain things to him in a Kemetic frame of mind. I’ve said to him that Re is the sun and that Sutekh are thunder storms. I’ve also explained to him that when he has bad dreams the funny man in the picture above his bed, Bes, will keep his dreams from being too scary. If he wakes up, then he just has to say, “Bes,” and the bad images will go away. (We’re still working on this, but it does seem to help him infinitely better than a night light, which I am loathe to put in there.) When I explain things to him in this way, I feel like I am creating and crafting for a four-year-old but that I am also doing a disservice to my childhood. Storms, when I was a kid, were the angels bowling up in Heaven. He should know this story, too. When I was a kid, I had a very aged bunny rabbit that was my mother’s when she was a kid who destroyed all bad dreams. (His name is Professor.) And I want him to have these aspects as well.
So, when you’re a pagan and a parent, how do you meld things so that you can give them a broad array of possibilities instead of just hyper-focusing on what you work with now?
I suppose this makes me strange that I want to teach my kid the broad spectrum of things that could help him into adulthood. I want him to know about churches. If and when we go for walks, depending on where we are going, we will pass different churches. There is a large one on the corner that is a Catholic church and I explain to him that this is a place where people go to talk to a god, but that we talk to our gods at home. And so far, this explanation works. I also try to explain to him that there are different places for these people to go and speak with their god. And that they all have different beliefs, just like I have a differing belief from Daddy or from Auntie or from Gramma. And thus far, at four, he’s understanding of this. But what happens when he is older and he wants to go to a church? I have large misgivings here. I may try very hard and diligently to be accepting of other peoples’ belief systems, but I really don’t know if I can sit through an entire church service. Okay, so maybe he’ll have a sleep over with someone who is of a religious nature? On that, I waffle, too. Do I want him to go to this church in the morning if the mother asks or would I prefer to take him there myself?
I want my son to be able to explore any religion he desires and make an informed decision when he is older. As his mother, I would prefer for him to follow in my footsteps and be as in love with Kemetism as I am today. Or, maybe he decides that voodoo is more than just a flavor for him and he wants to be a practicing Vodouisant. I would love if he could at least practice something that I understood as I very much do not understand most Abrahamic faiths. But if he does decide to choose something else, something completely alien or unknown to me, I can only say that I will be as accepting of his faith as I hope he is of mine.