Reflections on being a pagan parent - the good, the bad, the nerdy, and the magical.
How does one become a pagan parent?
This is a question that I continue to try to answer myself. I am a parent of two children whom are simultaneously my little blessings, and the greatest challenge in my life. I am also the mother of two fur babies, our cats, Mystic and Snowball. I am pagan, and define myself as an eclectic Wiccan with Greek and Celtic leanings. I am largely solitary, even though my husband is also pagan. So, by the strictest definition, I would, indeed be a pagan parent, and can pinpoint the date to my daughter’s birthday.
However, I do not strictly define parenting as giving birth to a child, or by being a mother. There are too many other people in the world who would qualify to be a parent, even though by a strict definition they would not be.
As I have said, I do have two cats in our household, and I consider them part of the family. However, by strict definition, they are not my children, as I did not give birth to them. They are my children, though, as I do care for them, nurture them.
Teachers and daycare workers – especially those that take the time to learn about the children they are responsible for – also nurture, protect, and guide our children. They act as mediator for arguments and fights that children get into while in their care, and more than once, I have seen my children’s teachers go above and beyond just teaching their lessons to not only my children, but all of the children in their care. One of the teacher’s aides from my daughter’s third grade class still goes out of her way to wish my daughter a happy birthday. This woman is not related to us in any way that I am currently aware of, but that one year in the classroom made an impact on my daughter.
Several other examples exist in the world. However, what does this have to do with becoming a pagan parent? Simply put, these are all examples of the nurturing, caring aspects that we associate with being a mother – and the Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess. Therefore, they are all examples of a mothering instinct in all people.
As pagans, we celebrate the Mother aspect of the Triple Goddess, and secularly, we celebrate mothers on Mother’s Day and fathers on Father’s Day. How does one then, become a pagan parent?
While I am a pagan, and a parent, I have found that even these last thirteen years, they have not always happened at the same time. I have not deliberately raised my children to be pagan because my husband and I agreed to raise them to choose their own spiritual and religious path – what resonated true in their own hearts. We have our own religious background that we were raised in, after all. I was raised in a Protestant Christian household. My husband’s mother follows the Bahai path, and his father is Catholic, while I am eclectic Wiccan, and my husband is a druid. We did not wish to impose a set of religious beliefs on our children. Instead, we wanted them exposed to several different religions so that they could make their own informed choices.
This choice has forced me to face my own beliefs as well. I feel it has made my Pagan faith stronger. I feel that it has made me a better mother for my children. I have a lot to learn yet. However, I feel I am on the path to becoming a pagan parent.
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