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.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
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.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Answering the Call

As the spring wakes us from our winter sleep, beneath the urge to wash away the lingering dregs of the previous year, I stronger call to give pulls me sideways.

I cannot shake the experience of the week past, when driving home from a friend's house at sunset, I encountered a detour two blocks from the turn I needed to make.  A firetruck blocked three lanes on a major road, and as I followed the other detoured vehicles I glimpsed the accident.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Cycles of Renewal

When does the year end? The answer to the question depends on who you're asking.  For a Celtic pagan, Samhain might mark the end of the year, or another might say Winter Solstice, for the light returns.  The Chinese calendar changes dates each year, but falls sometime around the end of January or beginning of February to mark the renewal of a lunar cycle. While the Gregorian calendar tells us January 1st marks the beginning of a new year, cultures across the world and through history have celebrated the start of a new calendar year at different times in the cycle of seasons.

Thus, it is no surprise, as the digital age expands our ability to learn about and communicate with other peoples globally, a trend grows across the internet to not make resolutions, for the impetus to make change at the start of a new year often fizzles out.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Music of the Longest Night

To many, winter is a time when the grief of loss strikes hardest.  The symbolic death of spring and summer combined with the cold have us turning inward, some seeking a spiritual hibernation.

For me, this grief has been compounded by my mother's December birthday.  This year she would be turning sixty.  One of my friends grieves both her parents today, while another sits in a hospital waiting for her mother's unconscious body to relinquish its hold after a stroke.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Lessons of Life and Death

We don't shy away from talk of death in my house.  With five cats, some of them sneaks who get out the front door before we can catch them, we see enough death on a regular basis in the form of rodent and bird carcasses laid out for us.

Some parents would tell their little ones the dead mouse is sleeping, but I believe in being honest and direct with my children.  Death is a part of life, and it happens all around us.  Living in a forest near a busy road we see the cycles of life as a tangible constant: sex, birth, growth, decline, decay, and renewal.  They're in the plants and animals who share our space as our neighbors and family.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Harvesting the Intangible

My best friend has a mantra she says when her children are being difficult, "I love my child, I love my child, I LOVE my child …" and it helps to some extent when dealing with the upsetting behaviors of those we love.  I've tried it out a few times myself, and it tends to lead me to laugh or at least to breathe and reconnect with my priorities.

Lately, the mantra hasn't been working for me.  As a birthday promise to myself to change some of my own poor habits, I disconnected myself from Facebook for a month (still going), because it had become such a big distraction, it was bleeding into my writing time, my cleaning time, and worst of all, time with my kids.  So, I set up a filter so all my notifications go to a special folder instead of my inbox, I deleted the related apps from my phone, and stop myself when I unconsciously start typing in the URL.

...
Last modified on

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Momentary Silence

By candlelight we sat together on the king-sized bed as a family engaged in something we rarely do in our home or our nation.  With the power out and our bellies full of grocery store deli food, my partner, children, and a few of our cats, sat or wriggled about as I read a short story about a clever feline who saved a town. My partner, daughter, and I each selected a book we thought appropriate and let the toddler decided which of the three to read from.

Town Cats by Lloyd Alexander, Dada's selection. My daughter groaned because she wanted Percy Jackson.

I read the first story, candles flickering, and little fingers playing with the corners of the pages. I held the hand light over the book, and smiled when my daughter laughed at the funny parts.  I waited patiently each time my son interrupted with his Rarity plushie or demands the cat move out of his way.

Once the story ended and the call to give the little one milk came from his little lips, we ran back to our bed and snuggled until he fell to sleep. When I stood up to head back to my partner's room to talk, I paused in the hall and felt how clean and pure the sensation to be in the house in near dark with no electric noises on. The hum of the refrigerator. The almost imperceptible buzz of the computers and monitors, my partner's clock radio droning on about news or playing jazz, the J-Pop coming through my daughter's earbuds another room away.

Their absence left me feeling calm, whole, at peace.

We live in the woods and outages happen often, but usually in winter, when we can't appreciate the stillness because we're working hard to stay warm and the additional layers are uncomfortable.

But the outages in warm months are rare and beautiful.  I seem to be the only one in the house who takes pleasure in them. I don't mind being temporarily deprived of the stove or the computer, because when we don't have these constant distractions and electronic noises that only I notice, we're a kinder family, and we do more to connect.

It's not a new sentiment: to feel joy when relieved of our technological burdens. To escape into nature. But it was Saturday night, as I lay in bed, and a cool breeze brought in the honeysuckle and muddled plum fragrance of summer's farewell.

...
Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Raven J. Demers
    Raven J. Demers says #
    Molly, I find myself torn between such disappointment of losing the Ilene and joy at reconnecting with the mundane world. After al
  • Molly
    Molly says #
    "Some would say this world has lost its magic, but it's here, all around us. Most cannot sense it because our senses are overwhel
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you - what a lovely picture you paint of that quiet and sweet time.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Finding Meaning

Sometimes we encounter challenging situations or obstacles and we want to give them meaning or significance. Take my current situation. My family has struggled on and off since February dealing with septic and pluming issues without an obvious cause.  While we think we're finally honing in on the source and remedying each obstacle as we come to it, it's created a great deal of stress for everyone in my household.

As a water-worshiping witch, I wanted to apply meaning to this event. I wanted there to be a supernatural or metaphysical reason behind this unpleasantness. Even more so because of my close ties with water and earth. But after a lot of avoidance of the matter, and a steep depressive chasm for a few days, I came to realize through calming meditation and talks with my guides that this is just one of those awful, mundane bits of life that have no more significance than the house is old and the septic system was poorly built or maintained by previous owners.

...
Last modified on

Additional information