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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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.

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Rule #1

When I had my first child, asking for help was the hardest lesson I had to learn.  With my second, I struggle with picking myself up and keep going.

 

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The Waiting is Hard

When you've put forth energy and intention toward something miraculous coming into your life, the waiting can be the hardest part.

In the past two weeks, though, something outside my control that I wanted for years has come to pass. Something for which I had given up wishing and let go as impossible. A friend I hadn't heard from in a decade came back into my life.

After a great deal of worry after hearing of his rapid decline in health and then years of nothing, I'd thought him either dead or at the least, that he didn't wish to continue our friendship any longer.

He had been a dear friend and an important part of my life for many years.  To lose him to depression and medical issues was a heartbreaking experience, but he's back, and it's all thanks to my precocious toddler.

My son had grabbed my phone while I changed his diaper, and since it distracted him from his usual game of Kick Mama in the Head, I let him play for the duration of the cleaning.

A day later I had a few messages from friends explaining why they did not accept my LinkedIn invitation--one I had no knowledge of sending.  After a round of apologies and explanations to everyone, I saw a new email.  My lost friend didn't know what LinkedIn was, but he wanted to reconnect. We've been talking by phone and online for more than a week now, and I've been elated to have that connection once more.  Whatever one might say about chance, I choose to see this return as a reminder that sometimes the requests we put forth are answered with a "Yes."


At a time when my every endeavor seems up in the air, out of my control, and awaiting word for the feedback of others, having my friend return gives me a little calm amid the storm.  It reminds me to trust that once I've done the best work I can, I need to surrender the illusion of control and allow my goals to be realized.

Though I await word from a publisher about a novel, and a grants committee about funds needed for my volunteer work as deadlines loom, I am calmer now.  I am trusting in the work I've put forth, and surrendering to flow.

The waiting is hard, but the rewards are worth it.

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The Search for Community

Recently I spoke with a dear friend of mine who has known struggles and walked through darkness more times than most.  She had sought out a group for people like her, empathic and aware, but was denied  her right to participate the moment she presented a part of herself that did not fit in with their narrow concept of enlightenment.

She brought up the subject of death and was summarily told that death wasn't something they talked about, so she left, yet continues to seek a place where she can find community and support.  A safe space, which can seem sometimes out of reach for the solo spiritualist.

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Changes Surrounding the Vernal Equinox

As we entered into March, a strange energy overtook me.  Perhaps it was that, while the rest of the country remained captive of the snow and ice, the West coast has had a warm, early spring.  Perhaps it was, as some astrologers suggest, the Pegasus energy surrounding the eclipse on Ostara. 

Whatever the muse we attribute with providing motivation, I have felt an invigorating sense of determined purpose.  After years of plodding through a collaborative project, my co-author and I are nearly finished with the revised manuscript.  After years of a loss of mobility from a degenerative knee issue, I finally started taking my health seriously and used my new insurance to get physical therapy. 

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Synchronicity

I don't believe in coincidences.
I do believe in synchronicity.

Though I'm not one to see meaning in everything, and I'm skeptical about fate, the little events of life don't seem trivial to me the way most others view them.

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In Shadows

Though we've moved beyond the longest night, the winter prevails upon us a time for darkness and reflection.

Since mid-November, when the air filled with the scent of wood smoke and the days were growing ever shorter, the darkness has been heavy on me.  I worked hard to celebrate the light's return at Solstice and made many children smile from homemade gifts and books, which was delightful for me

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