Monday, December 6, 2010

Tangible Witchcraft/Craft for Kids: Seasonal Altar (for Winter)

Helping kids understand the meanings of the sabbats can be assisted by building a seasonal altar (that you can keep and decorate year round!). At the core of all pagan traditions is a reverence for the earth and its cycles. Having a seasonal altar that reflects those cycles and the turning of the wheel can help kids understand in a tangible way how they are connected to this planet and to everything on it.

Rowan will be having an altar like this of his own very soon (when he is old enough to handle things without gleefully smashing them). I imagine that when he is out and about and finds an object that he is drawn to, it will be placed there. Flowers in the spring, shells and rocks from the beach in summer, fallen leaves in the fall, and dead twigs in the winter- all can take their place on his special altar.

Using this tool to teach kids the Craft can be gloriously easy, yet profound: when it is time for the wheel to turn to a new sabbat and season, we can talk about things that would be good for placement on the altar. As we talk about different concepts, we place a tangible anchor to that idea or symbol on the altar. We can have things on this altar that explain both the season and the sabbat that falls in it.

Seasonally, we can have things on the altar the symbolize darkness and its sacredness, life going on in spite of cold and dark, hibernation, the coming back of the light (starting at Yule) and plants and other things that symbolize this time of year (pinecones and other evergreen things). Sabbat-wise, at Yule we celebrate the return of the son/sun and the coming of the light after the longest night of the year (fairy lights or candles (if your child isn't old enough- there are great LED candles to use at most craft shops). The Holly King (this would be on your altar from earlier in the year) makes way for the Oak King (day after Yule). Perhaps a gorgeous gold sphere could be covered in a black cloth, and the day after Yule it is unveiled. The ideas are only limited by your imagination.

How do you teach your kids about the Wheel and its sabbats?

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