Finding Your Own Pagan Family Values

Finding Your Own Pagan Family Values

 

by Sienna

Before I got to know any pagans in my area, I was a stay-at-home mother of two. Because this was a very boring lifestyle, I volunteered to help out an organization called Parents Anonymous and became a group therapy counselor. What a relief it was to learn that much of the organization’s methodologies tied in with pagan values. I’m sure many pagan families can benefit from this experience, so I’ll share what I know here.

Pagan families are growing, both in number and in size, and now at the family season of Yule it’s a good time to take a look at the environment that pagan children grow up in. Many of our children (including mine) are getting to the age of puberty. This means that there are some heavy lessons ahead involving sex, drugs, peer pressure, societal pressure, setting morality and setting guidelines.

In a Christian community, the Bible provides the framework of morality that parents can teach their children. A Christian community has 10 commandments that allow parents to draw lines between right and wrong behavior. But what framework can we work from if we are pagans?

The answer is simple: An ye harm none, do as ye will. Even if you are not Wiccan, this guideline (or something similar to it) is in most codes of behavior for most non-Christian belief systems. But whichever code of conduct you choose for yourself in your dealings with other adults, you must use the same code of conduct when dealing with your children. Kids are the first to spot a hypocrite, and if they spot you being hypocritical, you will have a hard time regaining their respect.

So let’s take a look at what that phrase, as stated above, means. Doing your will, and by this I mean your True Will, which has been defined as “the true purpose of the totality of one’s being,” means finding out what suits you best. Your Will is made up of tiny decisions made every day that lead you in one particular direction. The voice of your conscience is a part of your Will, as well as your long-term goals, and what people and things are attractive to you. Everything you have done so far has put you where you are now. So remember: When you are interacting with your children, it was an act of your Will that put them there.

One of the things that we sometimes forget about Will is that I have no right to guess what my kid’s Will is, and she has no right to guess mine (or anyone else’s, for that matter!). Although parents can offer advice and information, in the end the decision to act or not act belongs to the child. Whether my daughter goes to college, is gay or straight or chooses Christianity, it’s none of my business, unless she tells me it is. Just because my daughter is my offspring doesn’t mean I get to set her Will. Any attempt to do so violates the first part of the sentence: An ye harm none.

Let’s take a look at the word harm. Harm occurs when one person attempts to stop another person from doing his or her Will. Kids can do harm to their parents by breaking the law while they are minors, not telling the truth or breaking well-established rules. Parents can do harm to kids by expecting too much, disciplining too much or neglecting their needs.

Watch yourself and your reactions to your child, and see if there is any Will subversion going on. Do you give in when he gets emotional? Do you get angry when she states her own opinion? Discuss the rules of your household with your children. Make sure that all of them are logical, and take the time to explain each one to the child. If you can’t explain it in words he or she can understand, do you really need that rule? This means no because-I-said-so’s.

But what about when someone’s Will is causing harm? What happens when a drug dealer sells drugs to curious children? What happens when someone’s sex drive causes him or her to react inappropriately toward a minor? How does one deal with the harm that this causes without hurting our children or impeding another person’s Will? This gets tricky, indeed, when there are no commandments that outline particular behavior.

Each lifetime has its lessons to learn, and perhaps your path has crossed the path of one of these types of people. Think about the lessons learned from a drug dealer, an oversexed acquaintance or a violent maniac. The lesson to “stay away from these types” had to be learned somewhere in life. Would you be who you are if no one had ever done you harm?

This is not to say that drug dealers should be allowed to sell crack to your kids on the playground. This is never good, for Christians or for pagans. But what is more effective, openly attacking the drug dealer, or telling the kids how it does harm to themselves and their parents if they choose drugs and why the dealer is a person to stay away from? Many people would choose both of these methods; however, an open attack on someone usually makes them sneakier or more determined in the behavior you want stopped. The most peaceful resolution is to educate those whose naïveté would allow them to be harmed. In this way, you are helping your children choose the correct path of their Will and allowing the lessons they need to learn to happen.

When I have warned my children of all dangers, when I know they understand what my words mean, I have done all I can do without causing harm to them myself. Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own behavior and with whom we choose to associate and avoid. Therefore, getting angry at children for getting themselves in trouble is pointless and sometimes heartless.

Punishment in a pagan family is yet another issue of Will. If my son’s Will is to stay out all night on a school night, he will pay the karma in lower attention span and perhaps lost grades in school. But teenagers have very little idea of what the long-term consequences are, because they have not lived a long term. Therefore, it is my job as his parent to drive the lesson home. When he says he’s going out, I ask him what time he is coming home and discuss whether or not this is an appropriate time to be in bed for a full night’s rest. Then I explain that if he does not stick to his word, he will be given extra chores, have privileges revoked or have other nonviolent unpleasantries occur. At that point, the decision of whether to stay out all night is back on him, and because he knows I’m consistent, he knows he’s going to do those chores if he is not!

In writing this article, I was asked, “So what about the kid who is impossible to deal with, who is entirely unreasonable?” There is no such child. Just because your teenage daughter is not listening to reason from you doesn’t mean she is entirely unreasonable. Someone, somewhere, has her attention, even if it’s her best friend who gives her lousy advice. What has happened here is that the child has lost respect for you somewhere down the line. All it takes is one time for her to see you not being honest, fair or reasonable yourself, and she may lose respect for you. Just once.

So begin by reinforcing the positive parts of your relationship with your child. Remember, you are both individuals, and you can be yourself with your kid, as much as you are with your best friend. When you understand that this is an adult in the making, and not an annoying, needy creature that you have to support, you will find the most reasonable path of communicating with her or him.

Which brings us to communicating with kids. Think about how young you were when you began having independent thoughts of your own. Your kids have been thinking for themselves since day one and will continue to come up with their own original ideas and attitudes for the rest of their lives. Allowing your kids to tell you these ideas without judgment will encourage them to think for themselves and preserve the level of respect that they have for you. Showing respect to my children while explaining my point of view makes sure that they have heard me, so that they don’t learn the lesson the hard way. Children listen when they have respect for the adult speaking. Winning respect that has already been lost is a long, hard job, so it’s easier not to disrespect them in the first place.

If you provide a basis for communication that cuts through all the fear and worry with your kid, there is nothing that any other person can do or say to undermine your authority with the child — including his or her other parent. Don’t fear what the other parent will say, and don’t pull any punches when talking with your kids.

Lying is something that all children attempt at some point in time. In most families, this is the point where communication breaks down and arguments start. Saying “You’re lying” will just get the kid defensive.  However, if you know your child is lying to you, do you really have to tell him or her that? Just act as if you did not hear the actual words that came out of his or her mouth, and behave as if you know the truth. In other words “I didn’t make that mess” is not answered by “yes, you did” but by “clean it up.” Once a kid figures out how pointless it is to lie, he or she will stop on her own.

The most effective way to communicate with children is positive reinforcement. Catch them acting in a way you like, and tell them you like it. When writing this article, I asked my well-behaved 11-year-old, “What keeps you from breaking rules?” She said, “I want you to be happy with me.” This is a natural reaction for all kids; they want to please. Use this tendency by telling kids when they are being pleasant.

Most attention-getting behavior (which is 90 percent of “misbehavior”) can be rectified by giving the attention energy that the kid is trying to get. If you’re used to doing energy work, just visualize a direct line of energy between yourself and your kid whenever he or she wants your attention. Yes, you might find yourself giving more energy than you were prepared to give at the moment, but isn’t that the job of a parent? Realize that eventually your child will have enough energy from you and learn to find some within his circle of peers. In the meantime, make sure the lines of communication stay open.

Open communication is especially important when you are trying to teach your children to follow their own Wills and oppose outside manipulators or people who would do them harm. Respect is important here. Even though the person committing the act against them is not necessarily respectful, it is important to teach kids a perspective of respect for their own minds. Two wrongs do not make a right, and two disrespects do not teach respect.

If possible, it’s best to begin response to any unwanted pressures with a simple “No.” However, if someone puts a hand somewhere that my daughter didn’t agree to, it is perfectly acceptable for her to say in a loud voice “Get your hand off my ____!”  This is a clue to everyone around to protect her. It also tells the perpetrator that this child is not a pushover and will help my child be able to withstand the real world and its manipulation tactics.

When it comes to drugs and alcohol, it is extremely important to explain to kids that after that first drink, you are no longer in a position to exercise your Will. Remind them that it is illegal for a minor to drink, which could harm you, the parent. Secondly, if they find themselves being pressured to alter their awareness against their Will, the safest bet is to walk away. This is one argument they need not get into at all.

The best approach I’ve found yet in dealing with Will manipulators is to know your own Will so that you recognize when it is violated. Explain to kids that it is probably not within their Will to get high, give sexual signals to an adult or commit acts of violence. It is a kid’s Will to create his or her future and learn how to live in this society. It is a kid’s Will to dance, sing and play and make good decisions about who to dance, sing and play with.

To help children stay safe, give children healthier options in the first place. Ask any “good” kids why they don’t shoot heroin, and they will tell you that they have better things to do. The kids who wind up doing drugs typically have unhappy home lives, no knowledge of addiction patterns or consequences and access to drugs. All three of these are direct lines into drugs and can be stopped by the parent, if the parent is paying attention and interacting positively with the kid on a daily basis.

One of the fastest way to lose a child’s respect is to overreact in situations where the child’s well-being is at stake. It’s easy to get angry when you see your children pressured or hurt. Many parents overdefend their children in such cases, often causing harm for others in their zeal. To keep yourself from this situation, keep your actions balanced: equal energy returned for the amount of energy received. If someone insults your kid, it is not equal energy to get violent with him or her. If someone pressures your kid once, it is not equal energy to spread rumors about that person for the next six months. It is, however, equal energy to ask that the person leave your child alone.

Balance cannot be kept if you are acting in anger, because anger adds to the energy you return, and therefore it becomes more than what was received. Calm down before taking any steps to correct the balance between your kid and whoever stepped on his or her Will. Always return the same amount of energy that was given; in my observation, the laws of karma become instantaneous in such situations.

We don’t live in a perfect world; however, we raise our children the way we do because we all value our freedoms. Respect, communication and love are all we have to combat the negativity in our environment. To keep our children safe, we must first not allow ourselves or them to be vulnerable. The best gift you could give a child is the capacity to walk his or her Will.

Daily Feng Shui Tip for November 17th – ‘National Adoption Day’

Today’s ‘National Adoption Day,’ is very close to my heart. Long ago I was dealing with fertility issues and suffered multiple miscarriages as well. We had decided to try one final time to get pregnant and carry the baby to term before seriously exploring the idea of adopting. My son was the result of this last intentional attempt to get pregnant, but my brother and his family took up the adoption mantle just a few years ago. That’s when his wife and daughter traveled to China to pick up our newest family member, my niece Jia Ning. And even though it took my brother and his family over ten years to welcome their new daughter, without adoption this would have never happened. To activate energies for a fabulously smooth adoption process, locate the ‘Children’ area of the main floor and play some music there. Also put in this space something metal and something that symbolizes children. Adopting these tips will bring success to all other child-related efforts.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

You


Witchy Comments & Graphics

You

by the Whyte Bard

You are a child of the goddess, a daughter or a son of the god, and you are here in joy. Live your life to its fullest, taking the good with the bad and learning from each.

Enjoy love, giving yourself to your lover as you will, but not so much that you lose your Self, and take that which is given by your lover, but not so much as to empty them of Selfhood.

You are both individuals who are walking together, side by side, in equal partnership, and if your paths should seperate, then so be it. Seperate in joy, not hate.

Love. Love life, love your fellow humans, and love our Brothers and Sisters in fur, feather and scale. Love your Mother Earth. We are caretakers of this planet; this is our Home.

Work. Do not live from the bounty of others, but live of your own, as an independent member of the whole. If you must take charity, take it in good grace, and return what you have been loaned therefrom when you can, be it in kind, or by whatever means you have.

Give. Give to those in need, and to those that hunger or thirst. Give not to inflate yourself, and to show others your magniminity, but give from a love for your fellow humans. Give of your substance, but more importantly, give a helping hand, that the person helped may support themselves, free from obligation.

Teach. Teach your children and teach others, not by words, for words can twist and lie, but by your own example. Teach kindness, and Understanding, and Joy, but most of all, teach Love. If you must discipline your children, discipline in love, not anger.

Think. Think before you speak. Think before you act. Consider your words and actions, and the effect they will have on others.

Learn. Learn from all, for even a fool may speak wisdom unknowingly. Most of all, learn thru the wide eyes of a child, seeing for the first time.

Ask. If you do not know, ask. If you are unsure, ask. If you are sure …ask again.

Speak the Truth. Live the Truth. Love the Truth. Seek after the Truth.

Harm none. Love all. For it is written, and it is undoubtly so, that what you have done to the least and smallest, you have done to the deity.

~Magickal Graphics~

The Maiden

The Maiden

The Maiden signifies youth, the excitement of the chase, and the newness of
life and magick. In human age she would be between puberty and her twenties. She does not have a mate. Her colors are soft & light, such white, soft pink, or light yellow.

Rituals using the Maiden:

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* Any new beginning, or even the hopes and plans for new beginnings.
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* When taking on a new job, or planning to apply for a new job.
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* During the first steps of new ideas, whatever they are.
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* Whenever you plan or begin a complete turn around in your life.
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* Whenever you begin a new phase in your life.
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* On moving, in to a new house or apartment.
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* On entering a new school or going back to school after a delay in education.
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* Any journey that is connected with anticipated changes. This can be anything.
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* The beginning of a new relationship, love or friendship.
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* Plans for getting pregnant.
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* The birth of a child.
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* The first menstruation for girls.
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* Puberty on reaching the teens for boys.
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Home Is Where The Health Is

Home Is Where The Health Is

Habitat for Humanity is well known for how successfully they use volunteers  to build homes for families in need. All you have to say is “Habitat” and most  people can conjure up an image of diverse groups working together with lumber,  insulation and bricks and mortar. Habitat is busily building all over the world,  because the need for housing is profound and ever growing. In America alone, 95  million people have housing problems that include insurmountable mortgages,  overcrowding, substandard shelter and homelessness. When families who have been  living in substandard housing are given a chance to buy, and have a hand at  building their own homes, aspects of their lives can take dramatic turns for the  better. The benefits go far beyond just having a solid roof over their heads.  One crucial improvement is the health of their children.

According to Houston Habitat  for Humanity, the number of low-income families that lack safe and  affordable housing is related to the number of children that suffer from viral  infections, anemia, stunted growth and asthma. All of these factors are  attributed to the lack of stable housing. In addition, 10,000  children aged 4 to 9 are hospitalized for asthma attacks each year because  their homes are infested with cockroaches,  a known asthma trigger. For children without stable housing, the effects of  chronic health problems are long-term and far-reaching. Housing  deprivation leads to an average of 25%  greater risk of disability or severe ill health across a person’s  lifespan.

On the other hand, according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Commission to  Build a Better America, ”…when adequate housing protects individuals  and families from harmful exposures and provides them with a sense of privacy,  security, stability, and control, it can make important contributions to  health.” Children in stable, healthy home environments are more likely to  stay in school and experience improved test scores in math and reading.

Poor Children Need Healthy Homes

We already know that poor  children are disproportionately affected by environmental pollutants like  those from power plants and refineries. But they are also exposed to indoor  health hazards like lead, mold, mites and other insects and pests, a myriad of  other allergens, radon, volatile organic compounds and asbestos. These  pollutants make them sicker and more susceptible to other illnesses. Of the 26  million Americans who suffer from asthma, 7 million are children. Asthma is the most common chronic diseases among children. And poor children and  children of color suffer asthma at higher rates. Approximately 40% of diagnosed  asthma in children is attributed to residential exposures. The annual economic  cost of asthma, including direct medical costs from hospital stays and indirect  costs such as lost school and work days, amounts  to approximately $56 billion. These are costs that families on the economic  edge cannot afford.

All Families Need Energy-Efficient Homes

Habitat homes are built with stability and energy efficiency in mind. Each  Houston Habitat home receives Energy Star certification, demonstrating a  commitment to energy efficiency and affordability. The families that will buy  the homes take part in their construction. They become homeowners and thus  stakeholders in their community. This is how Habitat not only improves the  health of families, but of entire communities.

Where We Live Matters

Where we live is at the core of our daily lives. Our homes have the most  significant impact on how we survive and how we view our place in the world.  Habitat for Humanity provides the opportunity for families to improve their  economic situations and live in safe homes as sanctuaries against the onslaught  of health and safety threats outdoors. For these families, in a very real sense,  their Habitat homes help them live better and longer.

Habitat for Humanity is doing their part to address pollution, the asthma  epidemic here in Houston, the environment, and preventable childhood illnesses  worldwide. Each of us must do our part too.

EVERY CHILD DESERVES A HEALTHY HOME PLEASE TAKE ACTION WITH  MOMS CLEAN AIR FORCE

Wishing You A Very Blessed Week To Come, My Dear Friends!

Days Of The Week Comments Good Monday Morning, my dear friends! I am sorry about the weekend. But as you know, my youngest child has moved back in with me. All I can say is, “Drama, Drama, Drama!” And I have talked till I am blue in the face. Still I cannot talk any sense at all into him. I know he is confused but he could listen to someone who has his best interest at heart. I keep hearing, “I am a grown man!” I am about ready to say, “Well, then damn it act like it.” But I am biting my tongue. You know I am seriously beginning to wonder if I got the right kid in the hospital, lol!

 

I ask of you, dear friends, to keep us in your prayers.

 

I picked out the following prayer for all of us parents. I am sure at sometime in our lives, we will find it useful.

 

Prayer Of A Parent

 My Lord and Lady, you are my eternal

parents, and I have a special need to ask

of you. Please make me a better parent. Help me

to understand my children. Help me to be

a parent when a parent is needed, and a

friend when a friend is needed. Help me

to set a good example so I may be a good

teacher for my children, and give me the

patience and wisdom I will need in raising

them.

So Mote It Be.

I hope you have a fantastic week. Don’t work to hard and remember to take time and smell the roses (watch out for the thorns, though). 

Luv & Hugs,

Lady A  

Magickal Graphics

What Does Your Birth Order Say About You?

What Does Your Birth Order Say About You?

  • Mel, selected from DivineCaroline

By Education.com, DivineCaroline

Does birth order shape our personalities? Scientists the world over have spent countless words and oceans of ink debating the issue of nature versus nurture. But how your child develops might have as much to do with the order in which they were born, as it does with their genes or environment.

Alfred Adler, a contemporary of Freud and Jung, first put forth the idea, claiming that when a child is born deeply impacts their personality. According to Adler:

Eldest children are socially dominant, highly intellectual, and extremely conscientious. Unfortunately, they’re also less open to new ideas, and prone to perfectionism and people pleasing—the result of losing both parents’ undivided attention at an early age, and working throughout their lives to get it back.

Middle children, sandwiched between older and younger siblings, often develop a competitive nature, making them natural entrepreneurs later in life. They tend to be the most diplomatic and flexible members of the family and often, eager for parental praise, develop musical or academic gifts.

Youngest children, according to birth order theory, tend to be dependent and selfish—as they’re used to others providing for them. But despite the negatives, they’re also quite often the life of the party—fun, confident, and comfortable entertaining others.

And only children? Like last borns, they are regularly spoiled, according to Adler, and have a hard time when they don’t get their own way. School can be a particularly difficult transition, as they’re used to being the center of the familial universe. But all that parental focus pays off. Only children are often mature for their age. They wow people with their vocabularies and their comfort in adult circles. Plus, all that self-entertaining fosters creativity.

Adler’s theories have been debated for generations. Whether they’re scientifically sound or not much more than hogwash, muse about them as you raise your children. And regardless of when they were born, help each of your kids recognize what makes them unique and resist the urge to compare them to their siblings. That’s sure to make every member of your family thrive.