One of Witchlette’s favorite books is called “F’s First Book of Shadows: A Pagan ABCs”. It is a picture book I made for her shortly after her blessing to use as a teaching tool for our path. It’s very generic, as most ABC books of this ilk are, except that it is tailored for her, including a picture of her family at K: Kin. As we read through it, she will point out things and where we do them and what they mean as she has authentic experience with much of it.
A: Air (and all the other Elements) “Like when we do Blessed Be”
C: Candles “I blow out candles at Magick Circle”
K: Kin “That’s F and Mommy and Daddy”
P: Pentacle “Magick star”
R: Ritual [points to objects in picture] “That’s a cauldron; that’s a candle like at Magick Circle”
On my Facebook feed today was an article from an old roommate. It outlines a lawsuit, the heart of which is a genuine second grade child, religion, and public school.
As the mother of 1.5 children who are being happily and healthily raised in a minority religion, it is downright frightening.
The child was asked by a classmate about church. He responded honestly that he doesn’t attend and doesn’t believe in God. This upset the classmate and the recess monitor told the teacher. The teacher interrogated the child about his beliefs and then punished the child for his beliefs by isolating the child for three days. During this time period, the two children sat before another school employee (counselor? The article doesn’t say) who comforted the classmate and assured the classmate that she is just fine because she has something to believe in. S/he never said the child in question was wrong, but the insinuation is super strong.
Witchlette is really happy going to Magick Circle. She looks forward to it every time. She has adults there who care for her and whom she cares about and talks about when she’s not there. I am hoping Witchling has a similar experience.
Yet, things like this frighten me to my core. I know I need to protect my children. I protect myself by not wearing my pentacle at work. I know it’s illegal to be fired for religious beliefs, but I also know that in a Right-to-Work Bible Belt state, I have the deck stacked against me. There was a time when I used to throw caution to the wind and say to hell with anyone who doesn’t like it. Then, I wised up. And I became a mother. And my actions no longer only reflect on me, they also reflect on my children. Yes, the word “Pentacle” is in her Book of Shadows. But she knows it as “Magick Star”. Yes, we do go to gatherings to share our spiritual paths with others, and yes it is technically a church. It is a public place of worship. While most folks see or hear the word church and automatically go to Christian denomination, the word itself does not lend itself to this meaning.
This whole scenario serves as a scary reminder to all of us parents of pagan children that we must be careful in our beautiful country that is growing more and more religious extremism every day. So when Witchlette and Witchling are asked if they attend church, they can honestly say “Yes”. And the details will be left to only those whom can truly be trusted.