Sunday, August 1, 2010

Happy Lammas!

It is Lammastide once again and that means different things to different pagan families. Some- especially those who follow the Celtic traditions- call it Lughnasadh, a celebration of the Celtic craftsman god, Lugh. It is also called First Fruits, the first of the three harvest celebrations and my favorite time of year.

Lammas celebrates the first grain being harvested and is often honored by baking bread with this year's grains. My accidental little wheat crop that sprung up from the straw we used as chicken bedding was summarily harvested by squirrels. Next year, I hope to have a real wheat harvest of heritage Red Fife with which to bake my Lammas bread. This year, I will have to settle for store-bought whole wheat flour. The loaves are rising now in my warm kitchen, and Erika and I will make butter this afternoon to go with it.

My little harvest in pots on the deck is looking a little sad. The only thing that grows well this time of year in Savannah are peppers and tomatoes. Apparently, the squirrels like tomatoes to go with their wheat, so I'm left with mostly peppers: yellow sweet banana, jalapeno, poblano and San Marco. I will have to find a creative way to use them for dinner.

I checked my next door neighbor's fig tree this morning, certain that the figs would be ready but they are still very green. No figs for dinner either! I think a trip to the market to pick up fresh local apples is in order.

We will give thanks for our little homestead and the food that we grow. I look forward to next Lammas when we will be growing so much more of our own food. The best thanks that we can give is to continue learning how to be the best stewards of our blessings and how to live more lightly on the land. Happy Lammas all and brightest blessings!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What Does it Mean to Raise Your Children Pagan?

That question will be answered differently by every single pagan parent. For some, it means immersing their children in Wiccan traditions. For others, it means allowing their children to participate in their pagan beliefs, whether it is ritual, holiday-related or even just sharing traditional stories.

I'm still learning what it means for me. I want my children to learn about all world religions. They will not be forced to identify as "Christian" or "Pagan" or any other label. They will follow their own path, using knowledge and understanding they've found along the way. I feel no need for them to hurry up and figure out what they are. As long as spirituality is a part of their life, they can decide what that means to them at different points in their life. Labels don't matter. Being true to oneself does.

Our "traditions" are eclectic and evolving. We celebrate Christmas and the solstices, Easter and Ostara. Samhain (Halloween) includes a remembrance of those we have lost. Mabon (Fall Equinox) is a time for harvesting and preserving for the coming winter. Our kitchen smells of jams, chili sauces, and pickles.

Regardless of faith or spirituality, as long as children are secure in the love of their family and the comfort of their home, they will learn to follow their own path.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Great Books for the Pagan and Wiccan Parent

Teaching paganism to your children can be difficult. In the past, there have been few resources available aimed at pagan and Wiccan child-rearing. In the past few years, several great texts and workbooks have appeared that help pagan parents help their children along the path. Here are some of my favorites:


Great Books for Pagan and Wiccan Children

Finding books suitable for pagan or Wiccan children has been difficult until the past few years. Several new books on the market are aimed at children to help them learn about rituals, the Wheel of the Year and other pagan traditions, and they can make great gifts. Here are some of my favorites:


Web Sites with Free Coloring Pages for Pagan Children

Finding free, pagan-appropriate coloring pages on the Internet can be time-consuming. I have compiled several of my favorite free pagan coloring-pages Web sites below. Some of the coloring-pages sites are more appropriate for younger or older children. I have indicated age ranges where necessary. You can use these coloring pages to design and create special coloring books for your pagan children to celebrate Ostara or Yule.


Gardening with Kids: How to Grow Your Own Pizza Garden

One very entertaining and educational activity to share with your child is to plant a vegetable garden. What makes it more fun is to give the garden a theme, in this case, growing a pizza garden.