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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Her Own Path

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.

Once I acknowledged and released these disappointments, I realized I had not asked her in a meaningful way what had changed for her, though I knew my mother's passing likely held some role in it. First, I apologized for pressing her in any capacity about something as important as one's chosen spirituality. Then, I shared with her a brief summary of where I was at in my development and how I came to be here. Then I asked her if she could help me understand what was happening within her, because no matter what she chose, my job as her mother meant supporting her and being a guide as needed. With a diverse group of friends and a host of resources, I wanted to make sure she was aware that she wasn't alone in her process.

While the details are her own, what I learned from listening to her is that she, like many her age -- and many who've recently lost a loved one -- felt adrift and unsure. She told me what currently appealed to her, and I suggested she research belief systems in line with those aspects to which she felt most drawn. When she expressed concern that what she most felt drawn toward wasn't a spiritual path, I told her that it might become the vehicle through which she discovered her own truth.

After our discussion, she seemed to feel at ease about it, and I no longer felt desperate. I've offered to let her witness or participate in what I'm doing, or not, as she chooses -- that door is always open. For now, she is on a road to discovery, one I'd set out on at her age, and eventually found the way that fit who I am and what I value.

Wherever it leads, my daughter's path will be one of her own choosing, guided by those who came before her, and supported by love and wisdom.

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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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