Monday, August 23, 2010

Teaching Children the Craft: Growing Up With A Magic(k)al Worldview (Part Two)

In the last installment of this blog, I talked in detail about how psychologists and atheists both think that "magical thinking" is a problem and how I do not.

I am raising my son with a magic(k)al worldview and to think magic(k)ally. I see nothing wrong with this- in fact, I believe it gives him an advantage, much like growing up multi-lingual. Just as learning more than one language helps a child navigate in more than one culture, holding a magic(k)al worldview helps a child navigate this world better (and communicate with all its inhabitants) and navigate in the other worlds as well. Not content to teach him only our religion (with its magic(k)al worldview), he will learn about what other people think and believe and when the time comes, he will choose what he thinks and believes*.

I may add to this definition later (and I will be expanding on these concepts in future blog posts), but as I think about what encompasses a magic(k)al worldview, I can think of several major lessons to transmit:

1. Magical cause and effect.
2. All living things have a consciousness and specific energetic properties.
3. There are many ways to communicate- human language is but one.
4. "The Invisibles" are real.
5. The borders between this world and the next are not very solid.
6. There is plenty of Mystery- and not everything can be explained or needs to be.
7. We are responsible for what happens as a result of our words and deeds, even if/when we cannot predict what the outcome will be.
8. History, myth, and story are Truth. There is no objective reality or truth.

Let's start in this post about item #1: Magical Cause and Effect:

I see magical thinking as a natural extension of thinking logically (what some people call "scientifically"). If we can demonstrate physical cause and effect to a child (When I knock over the glass, the milk spills.), we can also demonstrate magical cause and effect. The child should probably be at least 5 to do so, since attention span and memory need to be at levels where the child can recollect spellwork (with help, of course) done a week or two prior. Personally, I would start with spells/ experiments that only have a two week or so lapse in cause and effect, as spells with outcomes that are further out may confuse the child.

For example, here is a simple spell/experiment in magick for a child to do:
Grow two identical plants in identical pots, but treat them differently. Treat one as an inanimate object, giving it what it needs to survive, but no more. The other, treat the plant like a valued living thing with a consciousness and go beyond physical needs to emotional/spiritual ones. On one pot, you can help the child draw the Uruz rune (shown at left) which you can explain means strength, speed, potential, energy, health and tenacity. You can explain how these concepts will help a plant in this pot grow stronger and faster than the plant in the pot that does not have it. Then you can tell the child to blow the wish into the pot of a strong plant that grows fast.

Leave the other pot blank, but use the same soil and seeds in both pots. Put them in the same area so that they get the same amount of sun. Water them both every day at the same time, but with the Uruz rune plant, have your child chant or sing, "Uruz, Uruz, Uruz" (you may need to explain what the rune means each time to remind them) at the plant while the plant is being watered. Wanna bet which one grows faster? Scientists are finally coming to a shamanistic worldview about the plant kingdoms. Took them long enough!

I'm sure others can think of other exercises along these lines. Feel free to share in the comments.

I believe it is the ultimate of human hubris to think that we have to be able to "see everything" in order for it to exist, and physics has shown us that that narrow old school scientific worldview isn't really true, anyway! 

Stay tuned for posts on the other aspects of a magical worldview!

*Raising a child in our religion, Faery Witchcraft, does not automatically make him/her a Faery witch. One has to openly choose this path, study, and be initiated into this tradition. It remains to be seen whether Rowan chooses initiation (and it chooses him).

1 comment:

  1. What a great post! I don't have children, but I know I one day will, and for me, the idea of raising a child to not notice how beautiful, abundant and magical the world around us is is preposterous! My SO claims to be atheist, however, he is interested in what I do, we discuss it and the ideas behind things. I think he's a closet heathen, personally, lol, but he does enjoy his science and logic, which I'm glad for as it will give our children lots of different perspectives. I think it's better that way as having anything shoved down your throat isn't very pleasant :P


Comments are welcome but moderated. Please be respectful when leaving a comment.