As a Witch (yes, a Witch), religious studies sort of turn me off. I am all for religious diversity and learning about every belief system, but we do not read the Christian bible, nor any real religious text. My children know all about Jesus and God (from family members), and they often pose questions regarding other religions – if I don’t know an answer off the top of my head, I research it and come back with information for them.
However, as they grow older, my Sun and Moon have shown an interest in ‘what mummy does’, so I have looked into quite a few different resources to help them understand. They know I am a Witch, and defiantly they tell everyone they meet that they are Witches too, and that mummy teaches them Witchcraft. The looks of fear and horror I get!
As far as the overall curriculum choice, Waldorf Inspired education is already Earth-centred in many ways. This makes it that much easier to weave Paganism into the teachings (and to accept the use of certain Abrahamic tales, such as the Saints, as just part of the lessons). The thing is, I have been searching for something to bring Witchcraft and Paganism to my children as a belief system. At first, I looked at how I was raised in the Craft – there was much talk, but little action. I received nothing in the way of formal training from my mother, so at the age of ten, I started teaching myself. My mother was always there to answer my questions, but even she didn’t have many of the answers I was seeking. She was very flippant in her practice, and never seemed fully entrenched in the why, but more in the look at me.
I have been a practising and studying Witch for seventeen years, and I still do not know half the things that are written in books or practised by various peoples. So, because of my lack of direction as a child, I have chosen to guide my children in a more structured environment.
Our three primary resources for our spiritual studies are Circle Round, A Witch’s Primer, and Pagan Degrees for Children. The first two offer similar information in different ways – CR is more about celebrations and stories, whereas AWP is generic information presented in simple language for children. This past week we read about three chapters of AWP, but I sort of forgot to read the Mabon/Autumn Equinox chapter of CR.
Pagan Degrees for Children is a revamped guide to the traditional coven degree system that many Wiccans work through in their groups. It has nine degrees, total – the first four are basic levels, nestled under the Neophyte Degree, where the child does activities both magical and mundane to earn badges. It is a lot like Scouts, whether boy or girl, and offers so many options for activities, even providing the opportunity to create your own activities. From my understanding, anything can act as one of the 10 activities per level in the Neophyte Degree, if the parent or mentor so chooses. There is also a nifty Dedication and Initiation ritual in the back. We will be performing the Dedication ritual for Sun on the Full Moon coming up.
Right now, a lot of the actual spiritual teachings I am working on with my children are ones that any child should learn – being kind to others, taking care of our surroundings, life skills like cooking and cleaning. You know, the typical things that we teach our children. I am trying to weave spiritual teachings into everything we do, anything can afford the chance for a lesson, and I am definitely finding ways to bring Spirit into our daily lives.
I will update about our studies as we progress. I am hoping to have Sun writing in his own Magical Book by the end of Autumn (hey, it will be a great time for copywork!).