Monday, July 29, 2013

Teaching Children the Craft: The Red Meal

So many paganish-Witchy types do "cakes and wine". In our tradition, we drink red wine and eat a dark bread as a reminder and tribute to a male and female dyad, and offer it to the Pale People (the dead) when we are through.

As you know, my son is being brought up in the Craft, so last night (Saturday, which is auspicious for such a rite) we had him participate in his first one. He is three, and was excited when we asked him to be a part of it. He got to sprinkle/clear the area around the tree in our backyard, walk hand in hand with mama as she carried the lamp widdershins, recite some Very Important Words, take sips of wine (!!!), a bite of bread, and pour out the wine onto our tree at the end.

Something felt very right about sharing this simple rite that we do from week to week with my young child. He got to belong to our family in a new way, participate in something bigger than himself, and learn about our Ways. It was a step beyond putting shared PB & J on the plate for the dead in our dining room.

What rituals and rites do you do with your children? How do they respond?


  1. I haven't involved my boys much. They know Mom is a witch and that witches are not bad, they also know about the goddess, we say a blessing before meals, but in ritual i feel they would be too much as I am a solitary and they can be rambunctious. I have been introducing them to more lately.

    1. Boy, do I know what you mean about rambunctious! My three year old is quite the bundle of energy! We know that our rituals will be VERY different when we include him. We adults do our separate ones when needed, and the family ones are substantially different with the specific goal of education and inclusion.

  2. When my daughter was about 7 years old, her father was a born-again Christian and on weekends with him she attended church and Sunday school. I practiced my solitary natural Goddess-centered witchcraft privately but was very open about my beliefs and about the symbols of my beliefs that had special spots in our home. My daughter would ask questions and I would answer honestly. When she asked if she could participate in my next full moon rite I said "sure!"

    We spent some time before hand preparing and planning and I made some child-friendly substitutions. For instance, we held the rite before it got really dark and late (it was a school night after all). We decided to use birdseed to draw the circle because it would be easier to see and the Lady's birds would like it afterward. We decorated hurricane lamps with symbols of the directions, talking about what the symbols mean. She composed an Invocation to the Full Moon which had meaning for her. Instead of an athame I drew power down and passed it through our clasped hands as she walked the circle with pointed finger directing the power.

    This was one of my most meaningful rites. As I explained things to my daughter, I found my own thoughts and symbols clarified and simplified.

    Although my daughter, now 24, respected her father's beliefs, she chose to walk my path, in her own way. She was never "in the broom closet" and often less than tolerant of the "wannabe Charmed Ones" in her high school. She’s told me it was the natural way in which we always practiced and incorporated our beliefs into our daily life that made it so very real and true for her.

    1. That sounds absolutely lovely. The adaptations were thoughtful, too.

      I know what you mean when you talk about your own beliefs and thoughts being clarified. Teaching children (or an apprentice! LOL) really does that for me, too.


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