The Spiritual Mother

Celebrating Motherhood as a Spiritual Guide and Path.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Choosing My Religion

Recently I read an article over on Patheos Pagan Portal in regards to raising your children pagan.  The article was titled "Hand-Me-Down Paganism", and said that pagan parents should expose their children to their practice.  I have always been of the mindset that my path was not my sons and he should find his own path.  If he asked I would teach him.  But this article got me thinking.

Mr. Scott suggested that this belief I too carried was due to most pagans not wanting a repeat of their childhood in which faith was pushed on them.  In my case this simple is not true.  I was raised with the ability to choose.  My mother was catholic and my father was protestant.  They could not decide which to baptize me and choose to let me choose when I was older.  Now they were expecting me to go with a christian faith, but minus going to a Lutheran preschool for a year and being one of Herod's wives in Jesus Christ Superstar,  I was not taught any faith.  I started seeking when I was a teen, and honestly paganism was my first faith.  I enjoyed seeking and finding my own faith, it has made me who I am.  But that doesn't leave me without regrets.

My biggest regret is that I wasn't able to grow up in a pagan household.  I really feel that it would have been an amazing experience to learn from my mother, who now happens to be a Reiki master and despite being Catholic, has a belief system similar to Alchemy.  Scott was able to have that opportunity and loved it, and speaks very highly of it.  He also feels that if you don't share your path with your children, they are missing out on part of who you are.  Now that really struck me.  Having to keep allot of my path to myself over the years has been rough.  The result of that is that not many of my family members and some of my friends do not know me to the fullest extent that they could know me.  Why would I want to do that to my son.  I want him to know me and have a close relationship with me for life.  Sharing my faith with him would only further that bond and connection that we share.

Having a close bond like that with my son and sharing my path with him would be a blessing, and would not leave a void of emptiness in his heart.  Yes I still want him to find his own path, and I still can teach him about many different paths.  Teaching him mine in no way voids him of the ability to choose and my ability to be open to him finding his path.  I know that his life will not have the same dogmas as my own.  But him not learning about my path in an open and family was doesn't allow him to see much of my dogma at all.  I want to be able to have family feasts around the Sabbats, I want to teach him a love of the earth, and I want him to be a well rounded individual.

There has also been the issue of us that my Mother in Law wants him to be exposed to faith.  She has been calling and trying to give nudges about taking him to church or vacation bible school.  And I realize she wants him to be exposed to a faith of some sort, but neither my husband (who is now agnostic) nor myself feel comfortable with the Christian Dogma.  I have no issues with Christians, however I have this deep seated fear that he will come home and say "Mommy you don't believe in Jesus, you are going to hell".  I would be heart broken by this and no matter if it happens or not, I don't feel comfortable with the environment at this time.

So I brought it up to my husband and we discussed it and he said he feels more comfortable with our son being raised in my path than in any other.  He wishes he could help and that he had a connection to it like we do.  However my path does not force ideas or dogma onto others like other paths.  So we have officially decided to start raising our son pagan.  Its not a far stretch either for us because he is already a nature lover and very in tune with the earth already and he isn't even 3 yet.  I am excited to be able to teach him and help him grow in what ever path he may choose later in life.


Kourtney said...

Great post! I've been working with this idea for the last few years as well. My in laws are Episcopalian, although my husband is now more agnostic at this point. He has no issue with my pagan beliefs, or in raising our children on this path. We've always had the open mind set that we would just steer them toward finding what works for them. My only concern, much like yours, is that my children spend summers with the grandparents across country. And they attend church. I have no problem with this at all... I just have the same fear, that someday my children may come to me and tell me that I'm going to hell, or that I'm a sinner or any other number of dogmatic things... So I completely sympathize with you... and applaud your approach!

Hailey Marie said...

You could always expose him to other faiths. Maybe pick a month and talk about other faiths and their traditions, all the while exposing him to yours. That way, when he's old enough, he'll have enough exposure to truly choose the right path for him.

My parents were raised Catholic and Protestant and both are somewhat agnostic now. I mainly got my Christian upbringing from my Grandmother. I went to a Baptist preschool (I was Noah's Wife in Kindergarten.) and floated around a number of different churches before finally finding paganism 8ish months ago. I've never been happier.

It would've been fabulous to have been raised in it. My fiancee is Christian and I'm Pagan, so I'm sure there'll be happy mix in our home.