Reflection on Introducing Children to Ritual
I'm often asked by parents for ideas on introducing children to the sabbats, to ceremony or ritual.
I will send links, ideas, book titles, and use to run a family pagan sabbat group through the year.
But I've been in deep reflection since a ceremony with my family last night for Autumn Equinox.
I heard my daughter call the quarters with me. As I cast the circle, she cast it too. My youngest is 8, she's accompanied us to ceremony since she was a baby, as have all my children. I was suprised because she told me last year during an open ritual we were at with friends she wasn't into this, as her friends didn't and therefore it was my thing and wasn't her thing. I said that's cool, you don't need to.
I began reflecting because at 8 years old there she was calling the elements, quarters, and seemingly knowing what she's doing. I thought gosh, it took me ten years to grasp that and another ten of working with it, haha. Many people pay for courses to learn. Here she is at 8 comfortable in ceremony and doing her own incantation for Autumn too.
Despite my husband and i loosely calling ourselves Pagan, and ticking pagan on the forms, I've never called us a pagan family to my children, or made them join in, or done anything other than live my beliefs myself. I don't want to label, their path is theirs.
My older children have never participated in ceremony like my youngest does. They would come, join in at times but most play with other children or climb trees.
The difference being, i believe, is that their dad wasn't into it, and they didn't always join me, choosing to be with their dad.
My youngest has two parents on similar paths.
However my eldest children, are all pretty conscious, of earth, of life, and not so materialistic, I'm so proud of that. The gifts of honouring earth, noticing and working with nature, does pay off!
Back to my question: how can you introduce children to sabbats, and ceremony?
My answer today is ... live the path yourself.
Live with the seasons and honour in ceremony yourself.
Conclusion: Children see and absorb what they need and live the life they choose with a beautiful grounding from you living it.