Children’s​ Rituals vs. Teen Rituals

I’m at that weird stage of parenting where I’ve got an older teen, a young teen and a ten-year-old. This poses a unique issue when my children want to participate in rituals: Full moon rituals, to be exact. We celebrate the Sabbats with friends and family, and our sabbats include traditions, food, and the people that are close to us regardless of their religious inclinations. I did that on purpose, by the way. I wanted sabbats to be community friendly, and really when I first started building our pagan family traditions there was a need for sabbats to be community friendly, as I didn’t know any pagan-minded individuals at the time!

Back to the full moon rituals. My older teen is almost 17, and she is more mature in a lot of areas than the 25-year-old witch I usually do rituals with. My older daughter easily fits into our adult circle and ritual. The full moon ritual I created for her and her sisters years ago is a little too simple for her now.

My middle baby is 13, and we are patiently waiting for her first moon time to usher her into her maiden phase of life. While we wait (and light-heartedly tease her that her time is coming), she finds she can attend both adult ritual and kids ritual with equal enthusiasm.

My youngest, who will be 11 in a couple weeks is a firecracker of energy and is easily bored and distracted. Not the energy you want in an adult full moon ritual (we have flaming candles on the floor in a very small circle space!) and not the joyful experience full moon should be for her or the deeply spiritual experience the adults in the circle are seeking. So my youngest is still firmly in need of the kids ritual.

Which leaves me trying to fit two rituals into my already full life.

And I just got hit with an “AH-HA!” moment. I’m going to make an easy to follow outline for the kid’s full moon ritual and ask my oldest daughter to lead her sisters the weekend before the full moon. She is my maiden in our little family coven after all! If I can find a coloured candle substitute, maybe those battery operated candles, I can let them do their ritual without me and I can be completely stress-free.

My older two daughters can then decide if they’d like to join me for the adult ritual, the night of the full moon!

Problem Solved!

Do you have separate rituals for your children or do you share the same ritual? Are you looking for a ritual that is kid friendly and fun? Let me know in the comments and I’ll share my kids ritual outline I design for my daughter to lead her sisters.

May the God and Goddess hold your hands and dance in the moonlight with you. And may they share in the joy that your children are, offering you support in the times when the joy is hard to remember!

Blessed Be!

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How is it 2018 Already?

Oh, my Goddess! I can’t believe I haven’t written a blog post on here since 2015. Where did the last 3 years go?

As you’d clearly guess, life had definitely been ebbing and flowing in the last three years as it tends to do. I’ve experienced a number of personal losses the previous two years; it’s been a difficult adjustment, not only for me but for my family. Greif can do weird things to you, can’t it?

In 2016 my partner left me. In 2017 my father tragically drowned and I had to walk away from my male best friend of 14 years (he was there when my middle daughter was born, we have so much history and platonic love developed over 14 years of crazy lives). My best female friend packed up her family and moved across the country (Canada is huge, people!). My only vehicle died coming home from an emergency trip down island to visit a friend who had tried to commit suicide (thankfully she wasn’t successful ad she got the help she needs). My middle daughter’s father appeared back in her life just long enough for us to witness his twin boys being born and then disappeared from her life right before the solstice.

Geez, writing that all down makes me wonder how I got through it all. It was an avalanche of heartbreaking, gut-wrenching changes. But I made it through, and there were amazing moments of love and light too.

I became much more connected to and involved with my craft in the last two years. I met a wonderful man who works hard to be the kind of partner I need and the kind of male role model my daughters need in their life. I took 2 weeks off from being a parent and went on a spontaneous road trip with my friend. (Man, was that amazing I’ve never been away from my kids for more than 48 hours) I started tutoring and photographing again- both provide me with financial stability and an outlet to create some light in other people’s lives. I’ve spent hours of my volunteer time set painting with a local theatre group and damn do I love set painting! And I’ve made it through 3 National Novel Writing Months and gotten closer with each one to actually finishing a novel (while being the local volunteer coordinator for events). I’ve met some wonderful people…some of whom even stayed in my life. I’ve watched my little girls grow into women. I learn the joys of cos-play (adult dress up anyone?!) and had the opportunity to develop a geek and gaming convention family. Now if I could only find warm cosplays that I want to create, my life would be close to perfect. I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the concerts of some of my favourite bands!

You can’t appreciate the light without some experience with the darkness. Right?!

So far, 2018 has been so much better. It hasn’t swung to the opposite extreme of 2017, but I’m ok with just floating through a mellow year. Though I doubt that is what the universe truly has in store fo me. It does love to challenge me.

With some luck, strong-arming my schedule, and a little magic I should be able to get posts out again regularly once more. It’s on my spiritual goal board for this year…Yeah, it’s March but at least I’m finally here writing again. YAY!

Till next time,

Blessed Be!

 

Entering Womanhood: A Pagan Momma’s Perspective on Menstruation

My daughter just walked in the door, coming home from school, and announced she got her period at school today. My first born daughter has transitioned through a special female right of passage and joined the maidens of this world. I feel like we should celebrate. She doesn’t really seem all that enthused. Plus she just keeps telling me she feels like she is ‘wearing a diaper’-kinda kills the celebratory mood.

I was raised by a single father, getting my first period was awkward and uncomfortable for everybody involved. And even after my sisters joined me, my dad never got over the awkward and was never very understanding or supportive. I want different for my daughters. I want them to feel honoured. Plus there is the whole society view of how its yucky, a pain in the butt (well abdomen!) and horribly shitty.

period sleep

This is the best solution I’ve heard of yet!

 

But traditionally this would be a time in a young girls life where the woman of her family, and possibly village would gather together to prepare her for, and celebrate her, moving onto the next phase of her journey: womanhood. My child is no longer a child (biologically speaking of course, I do know she is only 13).

I know we will do a re-naming ceremony together, as it is time for her to choose her maiden name and let go of her childhood one, as she did with her baby name when she turned 6. But I want to do more of a ritual that just a renaming, this is a huge event in her life and I want to bring it the honour it deserves.

And so the research begins. I’m pulling every book off the shelf that may contain any rites of passage literature. I’ll cut and paste the parts I like, fill in the blanks with my own inspiration and create something magickal and supportive for her to remember.

Also, I’m going to throw her a ‘first moon’ party. I’m going to gather up all the menstruating females we know. Old and young alike. We all could use more community in our lives. We’ll give her ‘period gifts’-chocolate, Midol, pain relief teas, heat packs, sanitary stuffs. Too bad wine isn’t an appropriate gift for a 13 year old-Kidding. Though I’d love a bottle of wine myself, as I’m sure mine is about to start too. Oh yay, this should be fun, hopefully we don’t both dissolve into tears at the same time.

 

trexperiod

Pretty Much!

 

So, in the comments below, tell me as a pagan how do your approach your moon time? Or those of your children? Can we create a better attitude around something we just can’t change as woman?

May the Goddess guide your perspective to one of positive understanding and may she light up your life with a supportive community. May the Maiden remind you of years gone by and the youthful joy of life!

Blessed Be.

 

Getting Ready for Imbloc?

Imbloc is a cross quarter sun sabbat: we are half way between winter and the start of spring. The days are getting longer, slowly; but the return of the light is starting to become noticeable in our daily lives. The sun is usually above the horizon, now, as we arrive at work in the morning. If we don’t work too late, the sky is still light when we make our journey home-ward once more.

We are diretly opposite Lughnahsadh, the first harvest of the year, and the lambs are being born in the warmth of the barns, bringing with them the first signs of the harvest to come in 6 months time and the restocking of our ancestors food storage; which was starting to look a little bare after the dark cold winter months.

The God is growing from an infant, born at Winter Solstice, to a young child. The Goddess is a maiden once again. Just as the God and Goddess are growing, so to the earth is getting ready to burst once more with life. Here, on Vancouver Island, the Trumpeter Swans will soon be leaving us to head back up north, and just 2 days ago I found this:

20150202-202942.jpg

while walking home from a business meeting. Where you live you might notice the bright green leaves of the spring flowers starting to push their way up through the snow.

Imbolc is a time for us to think about change. What in your life isn’t serving you or your family? What daily rituals or healthy habits would you like to add to your life? Think about the coming year and dream of what you want to create in it. Make goals and plans. Be brave and have patience, change is hard and it can take a long time. Prepare your self for growth, like the earth is doing, and then give yourself room to grow. It is a time of purification and renewal. Why not do a full or semi house cleaning. Pay special attention to those areas that get left till last, like the linen closet, your shoe rack, the toy chest, or the craft cupboard. Bathe the dog! This is also a good day to make sure everybody int he house has a bath or shower, and magickally charge the water or soap to wash away the old and unneeded from each persons life. Imbloc says ‘let’s wipe the slate clean and bring on the new you’!

Imbolc is also a time of hope.

Ok, down to the goods. The following are some suggestions for food, fun, and frolicking: all the things you need for a good celebration.

Food suggestion

Winter corn chowder: This one looks yummy.
Cream of cauliflower and potato soup: most of us enjoy this soup.
Scalloped potatoes with or without extra cheese: I wish I had made this one!
Cheese fondue-with breads, veggies and meats
Chocolate fondue! (fruit and cookies to dip, not little fingers!)

Craft suggestion

Brigid’s eyes (Imbloc colours are light blue, lavender, silver and white. But I let my children use the whole rainbow if they want)
Paper snowflakes-to be burned/disposed of later
Make Soap or other cleansing bath products
Make candles, mmm beeswax

Activity suggestions

Burning paper snow flakes
Invite Brigid blessing: Turning all lights off in house, light a single candle, then have Brigid knock on door, invite her in and walk through your house turning lights on as you go, till all the lights are on in house. Ask her blessing on your house, your family and the coming year.

I hope you’ve found some inspiration for your family/coven in this blog post to either create new traditions or add to your existing ones. Tell me in the comments what do you do/plan to do to celebrate Imbolc?

May the strengthening light be forever on your path and may the Goddess and God always provide you all the milk and honey you can drink and eat!

Blessed Be!

 

Welcome to 2015! The Blog is Back.

Sorry I have been absent for almost a year, it was a rough one on me, and my family, in so many ways. 2014 was an all-hands-on-deck fight-to-survive kind of year in my life. My children and I faced a lot of changes and challenges last year, nothing seemed to remain constant for very long. I found the Goddess Kali a very familiar companion as she danced her dance of destruction in my life, so that there was room for the new, the better, to grow. I held onto a hope of creation through destruction for the last half of 2014, just waiting for the year to be over.

Just after midnight on January 1st 2014 I read cards for everybody that was at my house, including myself. Everybody had a mix of good and possible things to watch out for in the coming year. Everybody except me! I had three cards turn up and they were all warnings. That left me with a pretty bad feeling, but I’m a naturally positive person so I shrugged it off and continued with my celebrations, and then threw myself fully into the new year. I really wish I hadn’t shrugged it off, and pretty much forgotten about it by the next day. I wonder if I could have prevented some of the turmoil of the year if I had paid attention and heeded those warnings.

To quickly sum up my year…. my partner of three years, and good friend of 20, betrayed me with my new close friend and confidant and then abandoned me and my girls in favour of the childless, “cheaper”, “responsible free’ (what ever that is!) life, plus he blamed me for everything that went wrong, including his own decisions and actions; the financial turmoil caused by my partner leaving; the demands of single parenting plus the emotional turmoil of my destroyed engagement caused my business to flounder and wither after two hard years of dedicated work to build it into something that was starting to thrive; I had to have roommates move in and the pain, joy and changes that come with them moving in, adjusting to new people in our household and then to have them move out again a few months later, and another set of roommates moving in; I started a new job outside of the house to support my family and even though it was flexible and I could some days working from home, it turned out to be a lot more than the original job description had described and it was stressful; working my ass off while getting paid much less than I should have been for the job I was doing, and then getting laid off with out notice right before the winter solstice season started: I’ll never work contract again with out a written contract (lesson learned!); and dating disasters, of course. On the positive, I did meet a wonderful man, who I have become really close to, though I have decided I’m off relationships for some time; and through the tragedies, I leaned on friends and I really learned who my true friends are, and we are even closer now. And I’m so grateful that the universe provided me with ways to prevent having to uproot my kids and move out of the house we had been living in for 3.5 years. 

You know it wasn’t just for me that had a bad 2014, either.  I’ve heard many people comment on how 2014 was difficult for them, and/or some one they knew. It was a huge year of change and upheaval and, hopefully, growth for many people.

So, what did I choose to take from that crap-tastic year? I chose to learn some important lessons from all the things that went wrong in 2014. Lessons learned…. and hope to not be repeated. But I also chose to spend as much of that year being grateful, truly grateful, for everything that I did have that was positive in my life. That was a very valuable lesson that I will cherish and remember for the rest of my life.

My card reading after midnight on New Years Eve/New Years Morning 2015 took me nearly 2 hours to complete and left me so excited for the year to come I ran into my roommates room and bounced on the bed to wake him up and tell him the good news. If my other roommate had been home, I’d have done the same thing to her too, I was so thrilled. I had a lot of cards turn up, many good and positive ones, with a few warnings thrown into the mix. It wasn’t all happy, prosperous, and positive; but that’s ok, because if everything was just fine, it would probably be a boring year. And in reality I still have quite a few situations that need to be dealt with from last year before my life can settle back down completely. But the whole feeling of this reading was positive and uplifting. A million times better than last year’s reading!

As the New Year kicked off, during the first few days I noticed how positive my home was too, and my life, and how all the spells in the Almanac were about joy, happiness, and abundance for the coming year. It was pretty amazing and encouraging. What a great way to start a new year!

I now look forward to seeing what this year has in store to replace the things that were swept from my life. Its exciting to look ahead; to wonder, and dream. And to visualize those things I would like to manifest in the future. It is wondrous to experience a life filled with possibilities.

I’m also taking charge and making changes in the areas of my life that I do have control of. I’m opening myself up to growth, both personally and spiritually,and I’m taking steps to add successful habits and healthy choices into my lifestyle. I’m setting reminders to eat while working, and making sure I drink lots of water. I’m trying to walk more; by myself, with my dogs, with my roommate and with my girls. I’m going to bed earlier and getting up earlier. Oh boy, does waking up at 6 am suck! But I feel so much better if I do, and I tend to accomplish more in my day. Yay, productivity!

For 2015 I am committing to my blogging on Moonbeam Momma. Being a Pagan Parent is something that is very valuable to me and greatly influences the way I live my life. I’ve struggled with how to be a pagan parent since I started walking my path when my oldest daughter was just a year old. It’s much easier when you’re children are younger, but the challenges increase exponentially as they get older. I don’t want to walk this journey alone, and I want to help support others like myself. Parents who are looking to raise children in a way that respects them as individuals, the magickal little creatures that they each are, and helps to foster not only strong imaginations, but an open-mindedness that is so desperately needed in the world we live in today. Parents raising children to be aware of connections: connections within themselves, connections with others both far and near, connections to the environment, to the animals and trees, to the planet, to the universe and to a power that is greater than us all.

So to you, I commit to adding one post a week. I hope you will read them, find inspiration, maybe learn something new, and leave me and the other readers comments; so that together we can raising a generation of amazingly connected open minded self aware human beings. Imagine that world.

Yeah, 2015 is going to be awesome!

How was your 2014 Year?  Does this year feel like it’ll be different than the last one? Do you do New Year readings too? If so, what deck or method do you use?

These are the cards I use on New Year's Eve, but not my layout!

These are the cards I use on New Year’s Eve, but not my layout!

Tell me in the comments, how was your New Year’s Eve? How are you feeling about this new year ahead of you and your family coven?

May the positive possibilities of the Maiden Year shine upon you as you travel your path! And may the Goddess hold you close and laugh with you thought the whole year.
Blessed Be!

First Full moon of 2014!

Yesterday was Full moon for me on the west coast of Canada. The first Full moon of 2014, gosh I can’t believe it is 2014 already. A whole new year full of possibilities. So, full moon. What an interesting day it turned out to be. I woke up in a go get ’em kind if mood. I drank my warm lemon water (I read that it helps to hydrate your body, fight off germs, and metabolize energy) and brewed my morning cup of herbal tea. I looked at the toaster contemplating breakfast for the day but decided since I had to go and run some errands I was going to pick myself up a booster juice. I headed down to the wood stove to play with the fire salamanders in the wood stove. I love winter! And this, I think, is where my day took a tumble. The fire started out like it normally does, but I guess the wood was a bit wetter and larger than I normally throw in once the kindling is done, and I spent the next 2 hours trying to get some heat outta the thing. Eventually I moved the smouldering pieces around, closed the door and walked away, figuring it would either go out, or the burn on its own. So I headed out to do my errands and go buy myself a breakfast treat-later than I had planned.
It was a bit of a disaster, the banks computers were down, so I couldn’t deposit money, or access my account, I couldn’t use my debit card, and to top it off every light I hit went yellow right before I got there. Being the positive person I am I took it in stride. Got my smoothie and did some grocery shopping. The stupid smoothly made me so cold, I had to stop drinking it before I was even halfway though it. The highlight was finding some tiramisu cheese cake, which I had been craving for almost a week.
By the time I got home I was totally out of sorts, and was feeling all of 5 again. My attitude was ‘I don’t wanna!’ Towards everything that I needed to get done. Mainly I needed to get my studio cleaned up and organized for the full moon ritual I was hosting that night. 2 of my new friends were coming over to do the ritual with me. My kids wanted to participate but it was a school night and I knew we’d be celebrating late, so the girls will do their ritual this weekend if we can properly organize ourselves.
Speaking of the kids, I blame the energy of the full moon last night! My kids went crazy! They were bouncing off the furniture and painting on the living room floor when they were supposed to be making their lunches and getting ready for bed on a school night. Up until that point the girls had been really well behaved and focused in getting things done. It was like somebody flipped a switch. I will admit by that time of day I was tired but super excited about my adult ritual. It has been a long time since I practiced with more than one adult, or completely solo.
But I hold the girls responsible for their own actions, like any good witch does. And they were sent to bed early last night for painting on the floors and not doing what was asked of them. Seriously though, all I can say is ‘wow’!
Full moon ritual for the adults was wonderful, but I’ll admit we were like a bunch of giggling little girls the whole way through. So the moon energy was pretty intense last night. Here’s to hoping it is an omen of a fun and exciting year, full of laughter and play.
Tell me in the comments, are you ready for Fall? How do you celebrate this season and her energies?

May the light of the Full moon bless you with laughter and fun as you travel your path this coming month!
Blessed Be!

Fall is here, and we are welcoming her with open arms!

Sorry for the delay in posting this, I was having issues with my iPad, which are now fixed, fingers crossed. So here is the blog post that was supposed to have rolled out on Saturday….
Tomorrow we will celebrate the second harvest festival: Mabon. We treat this harvest as a witch’s thanksgiving. Treating our friends and family to a double turkey dinner. More about that in a bit. Right now I want to tell you about what I have planned for today, the last day of summer, I guess. As some of you may know, I am a beauty photographer. Today I have a model coming to the studio to help me with a very special project. We are going to dress her up like a goddess of the fall and take some gorgeous pictures outside around my neighbourhood. I’ve been working pretty hard all morning putting together pieces for her costume and it is going to be spectacular. I have definitely felt the hand of the Goddess guiding me the last two days as I shopped and hunted for the things I would need to make this photo session one to remember. Not to mention it was raining so hard yesterday as I did my errands that even sort trips between our van and the stores left me soaking wet, and the forecast was much the same for today; but as I awoke this morning I saw blue sky and was greeted by a gloriously warm sun. It’s not a clear blue sky, but it’s mostly sunny and it’s warm, so this photo session is really being smiled upon by the Gods. I can’t wait to share the images we create today!

Now back to telling you about tomorrow’s plans. I will be trapped, willingly, in the kitchen all day tomorrow cooking up enough food to feed a pagan horde! I have both pagan friends and non-pagans attending, and my partner’s parents have invited themselves to dinner as well. It appears I have finally been accepted into his family. Yay! Our menu consists of 2 turkey’s (cooked differently), a mountain of mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce from scratch, roasted root veggies, and quite possibly an apple cake or two! Nummy deliciousness. People will bring food with them too: breads, salads, and deserts. It’ll be an entertaining gathering, a melting pot of very different people. I can’t wait! And we should have a large number of children running around the place, enlivening our space with laughter and giggles. I’ve invited many people, and we could end up with 40 or more people at our gathering. If this keeps up I may need to ask the Goddess for help in finding and affording a larger house!

With school been three weeks in, and my children and I settling into the routine, I am welcoming the fall and her energies with open arms. I am harvesting food from our amazing garden, and we canned the pears and apples from the trees in our yard this year. The pear tree gave us an obscene bounty this year. I guess her tree nymph was very happy with all the care I’ve been giving her these past two years. When we first moved into our home this tree was diseased and I was sure it was going to die and need to be cute down. That first year she blossomed, beautifully, and then all her leaves fell off and she looked dead. The second year was slightly better, as she retained some very rusted leaves and even produced a couple of pears that we fed to the dog. But this year, I canned over 70 pounds of fruit from her. I didn’t realize pears don’t ripen on the tree, so we missed out on some earlier fruit, and she is so tall that we couldn’t reach her top branches even with our orchard ladder. I’m guessing there must have been over 100 pounds of fruit on the pear tree this year. We were truly blessed.

I am also preparing for the rains to start coming down again. Which means lighting the wood stove and reading many novels and books with the kids. Simmering soups on the stove, and making bread by hand every few days. I plan to fully enjoy the fall energy of getting my nest warm and cozy and ready for a long and wet winter. I plan to enjoy the gift of every sunny day, and squirrel away as much of the earths bounty as I can collect, until the winter weather sets in.

Tell me in the comments, are you ready for Fall? How do you celebrate this season and her energies?

May the harvest Goddess bless you with a pantry full of her bounty so that you are never hungry as you travel your path!
Blessed Be!