Today we finished up a unit on Ancient Egyptian Gods (as part of history).  It was pretty cool, and Frodo can recognize a fair few of them on site now.  Not surprising, given his love of ancient Egyptian 'stuff'!   He drew a few symbols for some of the God/desses and then came to the part of the assignment where we have a vocabulary word to define.  Todays was simply 'gods'.   We put together a definition from a couple of sites and he copied it dutifully into his history notebook.  

We talked about how the Egyptians had many gods and that their Pharoh was seen as a living god. Then I told him even today some people believe in many gods, some people worship & believe in only one god... and that some people don't believe in any gods at all.    He seemed to take that pretty well in stride (wouldn't it be nice if  more adults could live with that concept???)  Then came 'what do you believe mum?'  I guess it never occurred to me that I've never told him exactly what we believe, he has heard mention of Goddess and see's pagan books around and helps put together our family altar...but there's never been a specific discussion about this.  

It's not the easiest thing to put your entire belief system into terms a 7yo can understand (or even to put them into a brief talk they can SIT through lol).  What I came to in the end was that Yes Frodo, mum believes in many god/desses...who are also one god/dess and that I don't really think they are all distinct individuals, I sometimes use different names for them as a way to relate to something so much larger than myself.   I explained that I think of God/dess as the tiny spark of the divine that is inside every living thing or that it might be easier to think of the Goddess as the spirit of all life, since we are all connected.  He rather liked thinking he has a little bit of god in him. 

It was a very interesting, and thought provoking, chat.  I think I'll have to bring out my copy of Circle Round and make sure to include more Goddess/nature centred stories.  I want my boys to feel comfortable with the faith we are raising them in, even if as they grow older they decide that another path looks more interesting to them.   

Pagan parents, let's hear how you involve your children in your spirituality!  I'm sure there are lots of great ideas knockin around in your heads :D

6 Responses
  1. Meganne Says:

    I'm not a pagan parent yet, but I wanted to say "bravo" to explaining what you believe in so well to your son. I remember clearly when my mother explained to me what she believed when I was around the age of seven, and while we now don't agree on everything it really did shape the way I define the divine.

    The one group of pagan parents I know tended to incorporate music into their subtle teachings for their kids at a young age. Moving Breath was a good place for them to start, and a lot of it seemed to help teach what they believed in early.

  2. Rambleman Says:

    The kids haven't ever asked, so I guess they are drawing their conclusions by hearing us talk. We're not very devout in our spirituality though.

  3. Thanks Meganne :) It was a complicated discussion to say the least! lol I'm so proud of the way he handled the 'some ppl believe in many gods, some people just one, and some people NONE' thing.. it was like, well duh mum lol.

    Todd.. we're not very outwardly devout either, formality is not our strong point ;) But I want them to know that a formal 'do' isn't required to be pagan while still having the general idea what we're all about.

  4. mrsb Says:

    My boys have no interest in any sort of religion or spirituality at this point, but my daughter does.

    She's very inquisitive, so she asks a lot of questions and I do a lot of explaining! That seems to work for us :O)

  5. Mrs. B.. I totally think it's a boy thing! My guys aren't overly interested, but when it comes to setting up our seasonal altar or making seasonal crafts they are right under my bum lol. They also have a huge love of growing things, so I try to use that as an 'in' with them :D

  6. Here's one way I've tried to explain how I feel:

    "There are many parts, or aspects, of Mommy. When Mommy's sad, Sad Mommy is who you see. When she's angry, you see Angry Mommy. (continue with happy, excited, and scared).

    So, there are also different parts of Mommy that deal with Mommy's likes and skills. There's Cooking Mommy, Gardening Mommy, Winter Mommy, Summer Mommy, Out-in-Nature Mommy, etc.

    For me, then, the gods and goddesses are different parts or aspects of something bigger. Just like there is always a mommy and daddy, or a mommy and daddy bird/cat/dog/etc.,

    I believe there is a mommy and daddy goddess and god. The mommy has girl energy and the daddy has boy energy. The girl energy, or the goddess, also has parts of her for nature, summer, gardening, etc. The daddy, or the god, also has parts of him for hunting, delivering messages, fighting, etc.

    So you see, I believe in 1 god and 1 goddess that have many parts to them. When I like to think about these parts and celebrate them, I give these parts special names. Many of those names are the same names that people who lived long ago used. I like using their names a lot, because it helps me learn about how people lived and thought about life, and so by honoring their god and goddess names, I also honor THEM, and all people who feel that these things we celebrate (earth, seasons, harvest, etc) are important and special."