Learning From Children

January 17, 2013 in Advice of a Pagan Father by Jim (Drake)

This column Pagan father column is a new idea. It will cover many different areas, from pagan parenting ideas and suggestions, to being a Pagan male over all. I encourage feedback and suggestions on topics. New ideas and topics are all ways interesting and welcome. I am a 30 year old male with two little Witchlets ages three and six. If I have learned anything over the last six years it is that we can learn as much from our children as they learn from us.

As we get older the bills, our jobs and the daily hustle and bustle of our mundane life often tend to overwhelm, and sometimes override our creativity and imagination. Kids have a natural magical essence of their own, they are free spirited and they believe they can accomplish anything. These are often things as adults we let go. We can learn from our children to embrace the inner child. Most of magic and rituals is envisioning, who better to look at than the masters.

When we play with our children or tell the stories of the old ones and old ways they become part of that world, it comes natural to them. Next time you are in that situation allow yourself to do the same. It may not be easy, I thought it would be. At that point I realized that I may have grown up a little too much. I have had to learn to look at things different. I have learned that you can accomplish what you set out for. I also have come to realize that we take a lot of things to serious. We get so built up in our everyday lives mole hills become mountains.

Sometime we have to let the inner child in us shine. Sure we have obligations, bills, and other tasks and responsibilities, but we have to find time to be free. I was getting so bogged down in my own personal life. I had no energy and I was lost to a certain extent. It was a “eureka” moment playing cars with my sons that changed it. I had to retrain myself in the way I lived. I started to reevaluate things around me and realized that things where actually a lot different than they appeared on the surface. I realized that there was a lot more that meets the eye in a lot of life’s little things. I started to take time to let the inner child out.

We have to find ways as adults to relieve stressors from our everyday life. This is one method to do so. I do not all ways have time to take me time and meditate, life gets busy. This is a way to find some relaxing time even outside of “me” time. We play with our kids every day any way. Why not find as many constructive ways to use it. When I play with my sons I use it as time to teach, show attention to them and as of late a time to learn myself.

Wondering about Yule

December 13, 2012 in A Pagan WAnderer by rowan336

With Yule quickly approaching, I have been looking for some new traditions to introduce my younger children to the concept of Yule. I have been perusing the web, Pinterest, looking through my pagan library in my home office but haven’t really found anything that strikes my fancy. I have found I am not in the holiday spirit so to speak this year. I am not sure why but it might be sheer exhaustion. We are in the middle of remodeling/ painting nearly every room our house and quite frankly I am ready to be done. But change is a slow process, especially for a house while your living in it. I have found that even the smallest baby step forward or tiny project completed is satisfying in that it is not a step backwards. To quote the great Walt Disney ” keep moving forward” is one of my favorite quotes in that it is applicable in most situations and whether it be something so basic as to keep moving(walking) forward , especially if your the head of a five child line headed out to the van to go get ice cream or your life seems over and you don’t know how to start rebuilding. Keep moving forward is a great reminder of humans ability to move forward and figure out the details along the way.

Sending the Happiest Yule Blessings to everyone at the Pagan Village.

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by velody

Pom Pom Yule Trees

December 4, 2012 in Crafty Bees by velody

 What is Needed

  • Green Yarn
  • Pom Pom Makers, Carboard or Fingers
  • Red or varigated yarn
  • mini pom poms
  • yellow felt
  • hot glue
  • craft glue

How to Make it

Make 3 pom poms of varied sizes. I used my set of Clover Pom Pom makers but if you don’t have them there is way to do it only using your hand.
Use the hot glue  (be sure to keep the kids away) and glue the pom poms together with the largest on the bottom.
Cut some of the yarn to be the trees garland. I had the kids wrap the garland around and then I hot glued it in place by picking spots to add glue.
Adding the ornaments I placed dots of craft glue and let the kids add put the mini pom poms into the glue.
Finish it off by cutting a star out of the yellow felt and gluing it to the top of the tree.

Make it Educational

For small children

 

  • Sort the pom poms from smallest to biggest.
  • Count the ornaments.
  • Sort the ornaments by color.
  • Create patterns with the ornaments and determine what is next.
For older children

 

  • Research together or them alone the history of the Evergreen Tree in winter festivities.
  • Look up the different holidays celebrated around the world at this time of year and make a digital photo collage about a specific one.
Sites to Start

 

Winter Solstice Evergreens and The History of the Christmas Tree

Christmas’ Pagan Origins


Crafty Bees from here on out is getting a bit more of a focus. On my home site Treegold and Beegold I am starting to do of a focus on education now that I’m beginning a new career as a Teacher. Visit my announcement post for todays’ Crafty Bees for more information on what can be expected in the future and how it will work in conjunction with post on Treegold and Beegold.


As always I’d love if you’d not only follow myself and the other great authors here at The Pagan Village but please drop by my main site, Treegold and Beegold for more content through the week.

Introduction to a Pagan Wanderer

November 29, 2012 in A Pagan WAnderer by rowan336

Merry Meet everyone,
I am very happy to be here on the Pagan Village.

My magickal name is Rowan and I hope we all can navigate the ever changing waters of this life together. This first post is just a small introduction to who I am and what I believe in. I unfortunately am not out of the broom closet so for now I am not as open about some things as I wish I could be. That might change or it might not, I guess it depends on where my waters take me.

If there’s one thing i have learned in life, this time around, its to not worry about the future because what will be, will be. My hope for this column is to meet some new people, teach and pass on some of my eclectic knowledge to others and learn many new tidbits of information from my new friends on the Pagan Village.

Please be certain that no matter what your religious views are I believe in the freedom this country affords everyone.

Blessed Be untill next time!
Rowan

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by Kara

Living with Trees

November 16, 2012 in Getting Crafty by Kara

If you live in the Northern hemisphere, chances are most of your neighborhood trees are beginning to look like this one. It’s another reminder that we are in for the dark, cold days of winter. As pagans, we  look forward to the Winter Solstice and the turning of the wheel. I think trees provide a wonderful example of the turning. Encourage your children (and yourselves) to really observe the trees around you.

 Here’s a craft that you can start now and continue with as the seasons change.

Making books is a craft that elementary (and pre-school) aged kids love. This book requires minimal supplies and is a handy trick to have in your back pocket when cabin fever sets in.

Supplies

  • Printer paper (3 sheets for every type of tree)
  • Construction paper or card stock for the cover
  • A ruler
  • A pencil
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick (not shown)
  • rubbings of tree bark (details on that after we put our book together)

Step one: Stack up all your sheets of paper. Fold them in half so you have a long skinny rectangle. Fold them in half again, so you have short fat rectangle. Open up the pages and cut down the longest fold.

Step two: Lay your stack of pages on your colored paper. Use your ruler to draw a line across the top of the pages. Cut along that line.

 

Step three: Place the pages inside the colored paper, and fold in half. Staple twice ON THE FOLD.

Step four: Write your title on the cover.

Step five: Open up your book and label the bottoms of the pages. In my book it goes like this: Maple Bark. Maple Leaf. Maple Seed. Maple Tree. (You could make a book about the creatures that depend upon your trees for habitat and food. You could make a book that maps all of the trees in your neighborhood. You could make a book just about broad leaf trees, or conifers, or fruit trees)

This will allow your little ones to observe the tree as the seasons change, or take a trip to the library and get the information from a book. (Yay! Field trip!)

For the bark section, I recommend doing bark rubbings with paper and crayon. If your trees still have leaves, go ahead and take rubbings of those as well. Once your rubbings are complete, you can cut them out and glue them into your book

Bark rubbing how-to:

You’ll need a tree, some paper, and a crayon with no wrapper

Step one: Find a tree

Step two: Hold paper up to tree (or use painters tape or push pins to hold your paper), turn your crayon on it’s side, and rub the crayon against the paper. The texture of the tree bark will come through as you rub.

You’ll find that you’ll have more or less success with different trees.  Below is an Elderberry, which has a nice diamond-shaped pattern to it’s bark.

Elderberry rubbing

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by Kara

Wheel of the Year: A Learning Craft

November 2, 2012 in Getting Crafty by Kara

If you follow the Wiccan path, you are just starting a new year.  The way I learned about the eight Sabbats was through the concept of the Wheel of the Year. I’ve seen some beautiful illustrations of this concept available to purchase, but I like to have the kids sit down and make a wheel of their own around this time. Kids learn by DOING, and the best part about this craft is that it adapts to many different media. Above on the left is fabric and puff paint, the middle is those plastic melty-bead things, and on the right is paper and crayon. Please remember that the smaller your children are the more important the process is; a two-year-old will most certainly give you a Wheel of the Year in shades of mud. I know because I own a few mud-hued wheels. That’s OK. Enjoy the process!

For today, we’ll make a wheel with paper and crayons. The additional supplies you’ll need are a pencil and something fairly large and round to trace–I used a wooden trivet. You could use a plate, a cookie tin, or a pot from the kitchen.

Step one: Trace your round thing on your paper.

Step two: Fold the paper in half lengthwise. Get out a brown or black crayon. Color the folded edge with your crayon. If you’re confused, there’s an arrow in the photo below.

Step three: Fold your paper in half, bottom to top. Again you’re going to color the folded edge. (There’s another arrow, just in case)

Step four: Unfold your paper. You should have a circle with a line all the way through (the diameter) and a line from the midpoint to the edge (the radius). It’s art AND math!

Step five: Turn those inside lines into a lower-case t. Then draw an upper case X through the t. Yes, there’s a photo for that too! It looks like a pie.

Step six: outline your circle in crayon.

Step seven: Write the name of the Sabbats. One Sabbat for each wedge.

Step eight: Color them in! Each season has a corresponding element and thus a corresponding color. Winter is Earth and green. Spring is Air and yellow. Summer is Fire and red. Fall is Water and blue.

I love this project. You can make it with paint, with fabric, with glass. You can collage it, mosaic it, put it on a t-shirt. You can add the dates of the holidays along with the names. You can leave off the names and display just the wheel with the colors. It’s a symbol of our relationship with the Earth that is non-threatening and more low-key than the pentacle. It’s perfect for those of you who are still in the broom closet but would like to have a reminder of their faith that you can display.

Have a crafty weekend!

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by Nicole

Letting go

October 24, 2012 in Moonlit Journey by Nicole

I’m a self-proclaimed baby Pagan. I’ve been in a tepid relationship with my spirituality for nearly 20 years but have recently felt comfortable enough to dive right in. I attest this to my age, maturity level, and desire to focus on a path instead of being fluffy about it. I’m in perpetual Pagan study mode right now. I do research daily on whatever is drawing my interest at the time, currently anything to do with Samhain due to the time of year. But, I get overwhelmed and anxious easily with all the information at hand. This is not what the God and Goddess want for me. I need to let go and just follow what feels right. I find that part hardest, letting go. Due to my past spiritual experiences, I have always been told what to do, what prayers to say, what song to sing. I have to say that my current path is much more liberating.

My next step in baby Paganism is actually putting to practice what I’ve learned. I thought the easiest place to start would be a full moon ritual. However, for years now, I have sat in a patio chair staring at the moon as it rises over the tree line, enjoying the sight and some contemplation time.  And I asked myself, what’s wrong with that? It took me some time to realize that this ritual of mine was ok and counted as a ritual, simple as it is. I think as newbies, people get caught up in the right and wrong, how everyone else is doing it, or that they need super cool tools to make their ritual perfect. Being solitary has its drawbacks but studying on my own has also taught me that my spirituality is mine. I can’t randomly make stuff up but how I worship is mine to create.  It’s so important to have that connection with deity and to find it in and for ourselves. This is part of my ‘letting go’ process. I find it easier everyday with wonderful internet support and the Lord and Lady by my side.

(This is my first Pagan Household article, be gentle with me! )

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by Kara

Ancestor Banners for Samhain

October 19, 2012 in Getting Crafty by Kara

As Samhain draws near, it’s a good time to talk with your little ones about their ancestors. You can dig out old family albums and talk about the people in them, you can interview older relatives about their grandparents. In my family we have a wealth of information about my father’s side, but very little about my mother’s. I don’t even have photos of my mom’s aunts and uncles! (If you have family photos, I encourage you to make photocopies to use on your banners). That didn’t deter me from making an ancestor banner for that side of my family, though.

Assemble your supplies:

One piece of card stock (measuring 6″x8″)

Scissors

Exacto or hole punch

Markers or colored pencils

Ruler

ModPodge and sponge brush (or a glue stick)

String for hanging

Photos and photocopies

 

Take your 6″x 8″ piece of paper, lay down your ruler and mark it at the one inch, three inch, and five inch spots.

Punch holes or use your exacto to cut slots at these marks. We’ll use this to string up the banner when we’re done.

Next, get out your images. Since I don’t have any pictures of these ancestors, I used images I found through Google image search. There’s a map of Finland, the Finnish flag, a reindeer (the indigenous people of Finland are nomadic reindeer herders), and a bear (the official animal of Finland).

Cut your images out and lay them down on your 6×8 banner paper. Play with the arrangement of the images until you’re happy with the placement. Then put a thin layer of glue on the back of your images and stick them to the banner paper.

Next write out the family name (in black) and any traits that come from that side of the family (in another color). I start with the easy, physical traits–like eye color; and then move on to character traits–like love of the outdoors.

You could stop here, but lets do a few more steps to make it pop. Take your colored pencils (or markers) and color around your cut-outs. Then take another color and color around the edges of the banner. I like to use two similar colors, but you could use whatever you please. At this point if you want to you can add add glitter or stickers or pom-poms or ribbons.

Let’s string it up! Get a piece of ribbon or string that measures 15 inches. Fold it in half and string the two loose ends through the front; one in the far left hole and one in the far right hole.

Knot the two ends at the back–like you’re tying your shoes. Flip your banner back so that the front is facing up and pinch the string in the middle. Then slip that through the middle hole.

And you’re done! You can hang this above your Samhain altar or in front of it.

 

 

 

 

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by Luna

Community Across Faiths

September 6, 2012 in Guests by Luna

I have been thinking quite a bit lately about how we got Pagans in the front and center in our community. When I mean front and center, I mean involved with many, many of the community aspects. We are your EMTs, your Fire Fighters, local political seats, school volunteers, etc., etc…

When I think to how we started. It really wasn’t all of a sudden boom explosion of us into the community. It started off with one becoming an EMT. Next thing you knew, our community was getting low on volunteer help in both the Fire Department and the Ambulance service. So, being that helping people is something we all liked to do, it was a no brainer for us to join the forces. It was a “see a need, fill a need” situation. The subject of our religion never came up to honest, at least not right away. We had no need to proclaim that we were Pagans. Why? At that point, what did a Pagan have to do with helping to save someone’s life or property?

Eventually, once a person spends enough time in a rig with another, topics of religion and politics come up. That is when I told my very Christian partner in the rig I was Pagan, there were a lot of questions, but never was I ever treated as if I was an outcast, like I was “evil”. In fact, the response from him was a question/statement…went kind of like this: “Well, you believe there IS a higher power, right? Well, then that is good.” And that was all that was said. Nothing more, nothing less, and I have not been treated any different, in fact, it seemed to me, sharing something personal like that made us closer. I feel as if we can trust each other that much more. Not that we didn’t trust each other, but sharing personal things for some reason makes people understand and “get you”.

I myself didn’t stop there. I grew up with parents that taught volunteer DNR Safety classes to kids and adults who needed it. Another group came up to me to help them teach Snowmobile Safety and just this year I added ATV Safety to my list of classes I teach. I was asked to help teach since I have no problem getting up in front of a bunch of people and talking. I started to bartend when I was a senior in high school, so I am not shy, and don’t get “stage fright” as one instructor put it when all eyes are on me. Again, never once did anyone question what my religious stance was, even though my pentagram is visible at all times, it didn’t matter. Parents don’t care, I am not preaching to their kids about honoring the God and Goddess or trying to convert them…I am telling them what they need to know when out riding by themselves or with friends, I am teaching 12 year olds how to administer basic first aid if needed, how to do pre-ride checks on their machine.

Political office positions we are just starting to get into. The local school board is where my sights are set. I am one of those crazy parents that believe that you should have a child actually in the district that you are on the board for (who’d a thunk it, right?) Another one of the local Pagans is running for village board next spring challenging our village president. We are not running in these spots because we want “Pagans to be there”, we are running because there is a need. Like my fellow Pagan running for the village board, he is upset at the way the current president is spending unnecessary funds on silly “projects” not because he is Pagan. He wants to cut the budget, not increase our already high taxes. Let me state this… I have gotten into deeper and more heated conversations about politics and more so… local politics than anything to do with my religion.

When I think of how we got to where we are, I think it can be summed up in the “see a need, fill a need” philosophy. We, as Pagans in our community saw the need to someone to step up and take on positions that nobody else wanted to or saw that someone in a public position lost sight of the “big picture” as in political boards. So we did it, we made ourselves public. I don’t see why telling someone what your religious stance has to do with being a part of that community. I think of the “separation of church and state”. What does my religion have to do with say teaching a class, voting on whether or not we add/subtract money from a budget, save a life or property? I feel that if it is your sole purpose to go out into a public to make sure people “know” there is a Pagan there, you are missing the whole point. It shouldn’t matter what your views are. That is self serving if you only want recognition.

If you want to truly help people and be a model member of society, go forth and do good. My advice, from just personal experience, do it. If the topic of “religion” comes up later, if you want to go there, go there, but I don’t really see the need to proclaim it. Another “from experience” view. If you are in the community view long enough, and have proven yourself as an asset, your religious views are not going to matter. In fact, you will probably get the same response I got from my co-worker…”You believe in something, good!” That will be the end of it, and the person’s stereotype of “Pagans” will be gone. If they heard anything “evil” about Pagans they will defend you…knowing that you are an asset to the community, a great person and debunk all of the stereotypes without you having to defend yourself.

In short, lose of fear of getting out there, and just do it! Let your actions speak for you; the rest will fall into place. If you want to start small, volunteer at your local library. If you have children, get involved in the PTA, reading programs. Do you have kids? Do they like the scouts? 4H? Help with those. Aging family member in a nursing home, hey, they take volunteers in their activities programs. Does your community throw a festival? Try to get on the volunteer board if they have one; depending on where you are, there are more than enough volunteer programs and organizations, find one that interests you, and go. Get out of the “comfort zone” of Pagan only groups and mingle… I think you will find that getting active in the community and getting the view of Pagans out there is easier than you think and what some make it. Good Luck, and have fun, isn’t that what life is supposed to be about anyhow?

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by velody

Fall is Almost here time to make some new friends

August 28, 2012 in Crafty Bees by velody

We sit here at the end of Summer with Fall within sight. In some places of the country the weather is already beginning to turn while in others it still seems like Summer.

Fall is a time of gathering things and preparing for the Winter ahead. The fields are harvested and our homes are prepared for the harsh weather of Winter.

I thought it would be fun as an introduction to help teach children about fall and what it entails if they made some new friends.

Meet the Fall Pals

This is Leaf and Acorn as Lil ‘R has named them. They’re a very simple craft to put together with the munchkins to get in the mood for Fall coming.

You can download the printable from here.

Just cut out each one and little pal and use brads to put them together so their limbs move. The cap of the acorn does need to be glued to his body.

Extra Activities

  • Come up with a story or play about what fall means using the fall pals.
  • Write on the back of each pal information about the Gods and Goddesses associated with fall.
  • Name each pal after an attribute of fall.
  • Start a dialogue about what happens in nature during fall, why the leaves change colors.
  • Just have a bit of fun with them.

 

As always I’d love if you’d not only follow myself and the other great authors here at The Pagan Village but please drop by my main site, Treegold and Beegold for more content through the week.