Hearth, Heart & Home: Adventures in Pagan Parenting

Raven (yes, really), a pagan, homeschooling mother of two -- one teen, one tot -- shares her adventures in parenting from a pagan perspective. Watch her juggle work, education, parenting, cooking, gardening, and . . . how many balls are in the air now? Sometimes they fall, and sometimes she learns from her mistakes. You can, too.

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Raven J. Demers

Raven J. Demers

Raven lives in a forest with her two homeschooled children, partner, and several demanding cats. She enjoys performing, cooks a mean burger, and is obsessed with farming, but has yet to adopt a goat. Her publications are listed at SatyrsGarden.com.

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Welcoming Spring

In all my years, I've never wanted spring to come as much as this spring.  In a month, my son will turn a year old, but that's not the only thing driving my excitement.

It started in January; I purchased seeds, then more seeds, a raised bed, and different types of containers I intended to modify.  I hopped from one foot to the other awaiting news at the Molbak's information desk when they'd have certain plants in; two weeks ago, I chafed at not finding terra cotta pots at the local hardware store

Just as I engage in fall cleaning in anticipation of winter, my spring cleaning takes place mostly outside now.  And this year I've learned how to strap the baby to my back so I can get in five to ten minutes of gardening before one of us is tired.  Disability or no, I have major ambitions for our home, and it centers around the desire to work for the benefit of all around me, which includes the neighbors who live in our backyard

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Coloring Books: A Meditation

Over the last several months, many friends and family have received coloring books from me.  Everything from "The Mystical Mandala Coloring Book" published by Dover to "Fat Ladies in Spaaaaace" by Theo Nicole Lorenz, and several children's coloring books in between.

Why Coloring Books?  Because I believe they're underrated.

Coloring can be a form of meditation, a way to focus on something small and beautiful you control and from within the mind-space to encourage your creative mind to make connections in the subconscious.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Raven J. Demers
    Raven J. Demers says #
    Excellent! I'm so happy to have been helpful. Be well! ^_^
  • C.S. MacCath
    C.S. MacCath says #
    I love it, and it has prompted me to buy others; a mandala coloring book, a goddess coloring book, a steampunk coloring book. I ha
  • Raven J. Demers
    Raven J. Demers says #
    Im very happy to hear it! Now that you've had a chance to look at it, what do you think?

 

The shape and nature of a family changes over time; some changes are instantaneous, like a birth or death.  Others come on gradually: a child grows up and moves away, a couple drifts apart, or a hobby builds into a career, causing a shift in work schedules.

 

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While most people feel a pull to clean in spring -- "spring cleaning" -- others prepare for the winter by clearing out unnecessary items and energy in the autumn.  In our home, it's typical that we ready our unconscious hibernation by shifting our spaces from open traffic areas into cozy, festive nesting spots.  This year, many witches I know have felt an overwhelming urge to, as my friend put it, "CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!"

With a baby in the house, and exhausted from struggling with my family to provide greater effort, I was feeling the draw to clean, but has neither the strength nor help needed to dive in -- being disabled impedes my progress, being disabled with a newly mobile baby arrests it entirely. Then, an upsetting event occurred in our home (details excluded for privacy), and everyone around me suddenly had impetus to take care of tasks long overdue, keep promises from years before, and hire additional help where needed.

Now, our garage has less useless stuff, our family room's carpet, long saturated with pet odor, was ripped up and removed, our faulty stove will be replaced, and vents and carpets in other areas of the house will be cleaned.  My daughter is finally staying on top of her chores, and I can make sure daily tidying is kept up with much greater ease because of it all

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Honoring Our Ancestors

When we lived in Seattle, we hosted a Halloween/Samhain party each year for both pagans and non-pagans. We invited friends of all ages to join us for pumpkin soup, roasted turnips, hot cider, apple bobbing, and seed bread.  The children were gathered for trick-or-treating (real food before the candy), and after we returned and the kids compared (and sometimes traded) loot, we'd begin the real party, starting with the sliced apple to reveal the star, and tales about the history of Samhain.  At this point, non-pagan families who choose not to share in the divination, speaking with the dead, or honoring them, left.  The rest of us joined in quieter work.

Now that we live in a rural town, people are less inclined to make the long drive for a celebration, but there are some traditions we continue.  The kids still trick-or-treat in the neighborhood, and we still come home to do our good work for the holiday. 

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When my daughter recently told me she no longer felt drawn to witchcraft, I'll admit, my heart broke a little. This was the girl who at three proclaimed herself a witch, and at five, added "Buddhist" to her identity as well. Now, at thirteen, after a rite of passage ceremony and the opportunity to finally join in with the pagan and shaman groups as a woman, with wise women ready to give advice and guidance, she wants no part in it.

At first, crushed, I forgot my own basic tenets. Though I believe everyone finds their own path toward enlightenment, and proselytization is abhorrent, I found myself nudging and needling my own daughter. It took a few days and some quiet reflection with my spirit guides to address why I was disappointed.

For years I'd been holding on to the anticipation of having my wee witch be able to handle more than deep breathing and candle wishing. Also, a friend who has been a shamanic guide for my daughter most of her life had been looking forward to my daughter becoming more grounded so that she could join the monthly study group if she chose. I wanted to share in these experiences with her.

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