Posts Tagged With: Family

Continuing the Tradition

Continuing the Tradition

Author:   Talma Stormphoenix  

There’s a great deal of anticipation in the air of my home right now. My daughter, my eldest child, is about to become a mother. Her pregnancy has taken me back to when I was pregnant with her. I was so excited to see my baby I just thought about how the little person was that I was carrying.

Was my child a boy or a girl? Would my child have ten finger and toes? Would my child be healthy? Did I eat right; walk enough? What would my child look like?

All of my questions were answered the night she was born. She was born healthy and strong and beautiful.

Now seeing as I was still Catholic at the time it was expected that I get her baptized and I did even though it wasn’t something that I really wanted to do. I had become more dissatisfied with my faith then but still didn’t have any alternatives in mind.

I had no idea that Wicca or any other Pagan faith existed. The Internet was still years away and I had no idea of where to go or to look for other information. No idea that I could even search for what my heart yearned for.

Before I found Wicca I had three more children but I did feel strongly enough to not get them baptized in a faith that I didn’t agree with.

Now about seven years ago I told my daughter about being Wiccan and she confided that she had also found Wicca. Talk about a pleasant surprise! Ever since then we’ve been studying together.

Now that I’m going to be a grandmother we’re going to teach her child, her daughter, our faith. And that is what brings me to the debate that has surrounded other Pagan parents and grandparents.

Do you teach this new child about your Pagan faith to the exclusion of others or be more open-minded and teach about all others?

My daughter wants me to perform my granddaughter’s Wiccaning and I will. I see no problem with teaching her Wicca first and then when questions arise teaching about other faiths that are more dominant in our society. In this way this little girl will be able to function without feeling that we’re hiding anything and she’ll understand that while not in the mainstream there’s nothing wrong with our faith.

My daughter was ten when she found Wicca and came to it on her own and the truth is why shouldn’t we teach her daughter the same things that we learned by trial and error? I can’t imagine teaching her what I was of other faiths. The only thing I was told about other faiths was that they were wrong and those folks were going to ‘hell’ but I did differently with my daughter to the consternation of my family and those lessons about other faiths have allowed her to be friends with people her age and teach about her faith and allay their fears.

One of her friends is a girl whose mother is a reverend. Her friend was nervous for a while but now, three years later, it’s nothing to her and even admitted that for a while it scared her until she got to know my daughter better.

I’ve been the maiden and the mother, now I begin my journey as the crone. Like any other grandparent I get to pass on stories to another generation about my daughter, my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and the rest of the family, including myself.

I get to teach lessons like I did with my children about why ants collect food and how you know it’s about to rain when you see them all over the sidewalk and how to smell it for yourself when it’s close. I get to teach her all the things that I know and about the lessons I’ve learned about my life.

I know she’ll still make mistakes but I get to pass all this knowledge on. I look forward to this beautiful challenge.

My daughter baby-sits a friend’s baby and has been watching me like a hawk. Her friend’s baby didn’t crawl because the previous baby sitter left her on her back the whole time she had her. We were trying to get her to work her legs so I put the baby on my bed and lay down too.

I let her watch me get up and crawl across the bed and then she began moving her legs trying to get her knees up under herself. My daughter had a look of shock and pleasure on her face. She couldn’t believe it. She and her friend had tried to get her to crawl but never thought about getting on the floor with her! It’s another one of those things that I still have to teach my own daughter. I look forward to that too.

Now this other child is making her way across the floor on all fours.

It’s not even all the magickal stuff that I look forward to passing on to my granddaughter. Yes we’ll have ritual and celebrate the seasons and each full moon but there’s also crossing the street and tying her shoes. Showing her how to use the DVD player right instead of like her mother with the VCR sticking pennies in it and frying it out. Singing sing-a-long songs with her and teaching her games like Red Rover, Red Rover and Fox in the morning.

Granted that’s all years away but I want to do it. Help her learn to write her name, learn her English and math and even some geography and history before she even starts school. My daughter speaks Spanish and I did also. My two youngest sons are learning to speak French so she’ll have two languages under her belt before she goes to school.

My oldest son is a car fanatic! This little girl will be able like Marissa Tomei’s character in My Cousin Vinny!

This child is the furthest thing away from being a chore for all of us and we are looking forward to being able to teach her, with her parents, all that we can. I love learning things, as do my daughter and my new son so this first grandchild of mine is probably going to suck up everything!

I thought about ways of passing on our beliefs and traditions, as we obvious will be doing. We have an open view of how things are and want to pass that on. There is what we believe in as right and wrong which is simply “Would you want it done to you?“ Which is another way of saying harm none. We’ve been blessed with the opportunity to pass on what we know and I look forward to this next generation as the blessing that it is.

Ashleen O’Gaea wrote Raising Witches and uses a term to describe what we should be doing as parents that I’ve tried to do. It’s called regency parenting. Working to raise your child to be a responsible adult and able to function in the world independent of the parents. Able to live their lives when they turn eighteen and leave your home if they choose and being able to let them go live.

Thankfully my daughter has learned well from me because she is my granddaughter’s first teacher. Right now while she is still in the womb my daughter eats pretty healthy so her daughter has learned to look forward to the taste of fruits and vegetables instead of candy and junk food. Although there is still that craving for gyros and hoagies. At least there’s a lot of lettuce!

Raising children is only so hard as you make it and that includes the discipline. My daughter was a fairly spoiled child but has become a very responsible adult so I can’t complain about how she came out so that’s another thing that is, hopefully, going to be passed on.

Yes, things can be totally different than what you plan on them to be but as it stands we’ve got our foundation firmly in place and are more than willing to work to do our best for this little girl coming in the world in the next couple weeks.

A new chapter has opened up in all of our lives and it’s up to us to make the best of it and give her the best that we can while teaching her the best that we can about everything that we can. That includes being Wiccan and practicing Witchcraft and being under the big, beautiful umbrella of Paganism.

Let the adventure begin!!

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Daily OM for December 18th – Conscious Decisions

Conscious Decisions
Going against What Is Popular

by Madisyn Taylor

Because an idea or way of doing things is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone.

Just because an idea or way of doing things is popular doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. However, part of the way that something becomes popular is that many of us don’t take the time to determine what’s right for us; we simply do what most of the people we know are doing. In this way, our decisions about life are made by default, which means they aren’t what we call conscious decisions. There may be many other options available, but we don’t always take the time to explore them. This may be the result of feeling overwhelmed or pressured by family, peers, and humanity at large, to do things their way, the way things have always been done. Regardless of the cause, it is important that, as often as we can, we decide for ourselves what to do with our lives rather than just drift along on the current of popular opinion.

It is not always easy to make decisions that go against the grain. Many people feel threatened when those close to them make choices divergent from the ones they are making. Parents and grandparents may be confused and defensive when we choose to raise our children differently from the way they raised us. Friends may feel abandoned if we decide to change our habits or behavior. Meanwhile, on our side of the fence, it’s easy to feel frustrated and defensive when we feel unsupported and misunderstood simply because we are thinking for ourselves. It can be exhausting to have to explain and re-explain our points of view and our reasons.

This is where gentleness, openness, and tolerance come into play. It helps if we are calmly persistent, consistent, and clear as we communicate to those around us why we are making the choices we are making. At the same time, we have the right to say that we are tired of talking about it and simply need our choices to be respected. Our lives belong to us and so do our decisions. Those who truly love us will stand by us and support our choices, never mind what’s popular.

The Daily OM

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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri… Yuletide!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Chri… Yuletide!

Author:   Lori Dake  

One of the things I truly enjoy doing is decorating for the Holidays, and the Sunday before Thanksgiving is when I start doing my yearly ritual. It was a lot later when I was growing up, sometimes as late as Christmas Eve, because we always had a real tree, and as you all know, real trees tend to dry out and look rather Charlie Brown-ish if it’s left up too long.

I do miss the wonderful pine smell, but I certainly don’t miss the pine needles all over the floor stabbing my toes, or the resin giving me a terrible rash as I string up the lights, nor do I miss the aftermath of what an urban Pagan apartment dweller is to do with a tree that was cut down for our amusement. So, since we use an artificial tree year after year, I get to decorate mine much earlier, as well as lavishly cover our humble abode in twinkly white lights and pretty red ribbons. So, early decorating is a bit of a tradition I have started, and hey – one of the perks of having your own family is to change things up a bit!

And why do I choose to decorate before Thanksgiving? I means seriously! Don’t we always complain about how the holidays are rolling around earlier and earlier, no thanks to the Big Box stores (and all their evilness!) trying to make a few more dollars? Well, quite frankly, I’m going to be busy preparing Thursday’s feast all this week starting on Monday, since I do prep work like a well-founded catering company! Also, since we run a home business predominantly through eBay, the Dakes will be in a retail full swing, trying to compete with those aforementioned Big Box stores and their incredibly low prices! And, Sunday is Clean Up The House! day around these parts, so this is really the only opportunity I have to decorate before Santa starts to pack up his sleigh. That, and well, decorating, for me at least, is a lot of work – an all-day thing actually! – so I want to enjoy the fruits of my labor for just a little bit longer. But I promise, after New Year’s Day, they really do come down! I swear! Really! No ornaments will be discovered with decorated eggs!

So, with this being the Saturday before, I’ve already started straightening up the living room / warehouse to make room for all the decorations, and I’ve even bought a couple new items for this year’s Yule Diorama, which is my version of the Nativity Scene; I have a wolf and a moose to add! I have such fond memories of playing with the cast of characters as a kid, so I restructured the scene to more accurately reflect my Pagan beliefs.

My husband said if I keep adding onto it, that by the time our son has his own kids, my little “manger scene” is going to take up a whole wall! And since almost all of the pieces in my Yule Diorama were originally intended to be children’s playthings, as opposed to being delicate, hand painted porcelain religious icons to be admired and not touched, I happily welcome the thought of having that wall of critters and magickal creatures readily available for my future grandchildren.

We also break another tradition of throwing ourselves into bankruptcy over buying the biggest and best gifts for extended family and ourselves. My husband’s family is huge, and their tradition is that everyone buys everyone a gift. When his sisters, their husbands, their children and now, their children’s husbands and children are factored in, even token five dollar gifts can easily jack up to over a thousand dollars!

So, in order to still manage to give something to everyone, I also invest a full day of cookie baking, with at least four varieties and a dozen cookies per gift bag. (Yes, that’s a LOT of flour and sugar, but soooo good!) Okay, so we end up looking like cheapskates to some of our wealthier family members, especially when the gifts we get in exchange are pretty darn sweet, but I am at least trying to convey the message we do care and hopefully one day, someone will do the math and realize just how much work and love was put into them all. If anything, I got to make my home smell delicious and was able to sprinkle a little magick into their tummies!

Now, one tradition I have retained intact from childhood is to add at least one new ornament for the tree. For at least the last decade, I’ve been desperately searching for a blue Santa, more like a Father Christmas than the Coca-Cola image people are mostly familiar with, because somehow, it just feel ‘right’, for lack of a better term. Our tree is very Pagan-ish, but without being blatant or tacky about it, and I feel it reflects our faith as a whole. So, to find that special Santa would be such a wonderful addition to all the birds, bells, stars, icicles, snowflakes and winter woodland creatures that currently adorn our happy little tree, and it would just plain make me happy.

Here’s the way I see it:

Yes, we’re Pagan, yes we celebrate Yule, but yes, we also open presents on Christmas and have no problem calling them Christmas presents. Sure, we also open a special gift at Yule, but just like any religiously blended family, that’s another perk: more presents for the holidays! But no, we do not send out cards that say “Merry Christmas!” on them, unless we specifically know the recipients celebrate the holiday as such.

Oh, and no – I wouldn’t be offended if you or anyone else were to wish me a “Merry Christmas”. I know a couple times, people have tap-danced around that term, and it always came off as rather awkward, even in email form. I was able to just sense that fumbling around with a half-hearted, generic “Happy Holidays”, and to me, it just took away from the gesture.

Now, while I honestly do appreciate that extra effort, the sentiment is all the same to me, so I kindly ask my friends and family to just say whatever comes to mind. It’s not necessary with us. We always appreciate the sincere wishes, in all its guises. I’m a vegetarian too; as just the same, I’m not out to inconvenience anyone when what he or she gives me is out of love (I’ll just stick with the sides!)

So in closing, I wish a Merry Christmas to you, a Blessed Solstice, a Happy Yuletide, a Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, a Happy Boxing Day and a thousand other ways to wish you a wonderful holiday, however you wish to call and celebrate it!

PS. Pssst! So hey – if anyone comes across a blue Santa ornament, would you kindly let me know where to find it? :) I’d really like to start a new quest!

____________________________________

Footnotes:
Yule Diorama: http://pagan-wiccan-practice.suite101.com/article.cfm/the_pagan_nativity_scene

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Daily Motivator for December 5th – The moment when you can

The moment when you can

Now is the most important time in your life, because now is the time you can  do something about. Now is your most powerful moment, because now is when you  can exercise the power of your intention.

Don’t waste this powerful moment complaining about the past or worrying about  the future. Invest your time, this time right now, in living with purpose,  passion, creativity, effectiveness and joy.

This is not a time to be timid or vengeful, angry or disappointed. This is  your time to find sweet fulfillment in using your wisdom and your efforts to  make a difference.

It doesn’t really matter what’s been happening lately, or whether you’ve been  falling behind or speeding ahead. Now is a valuable new moment, filled with new  possibilities, ready for you to live with all you have.

Now is jam-packed full of great opportunity. Grab some of that opportunity,  right here, right now, and do something beautiful and meaningful with it.

You are here, this moment is here, the possibilities are here, and you can  immediately start to transform those possibilities into fulfilling reality. This  is the moment when you can, so do.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

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Blessings & Warmth to You On This Thursday Morn!

Good Morning, dear family & friends! I hope everyone is having a very warm and safe day. They have changed our weather forecast. Our bad weather is suppose to hit this afternoon. We are suppose to have mostly ice here. I can tell you I would much rather have the snow than the ice any day. We can’t very well argue with Mother Nature though. Just accept what we are given and go on about it.

We did get all of our supplies yesterday and have battened down the hatches. So we are ready, I guess. I just don’t want to think about losing power. I remember last time. At first it was like an adventure but by day 8, the night was closing in and I was about ready to strangle someone. It is nice to spend time with people but when you are trapped with them for several day, get real! Enough is enough, lol! I am just kidding. I am not the only one that felt this way. Even the best of friends trapped for long periods of time will get on each other’s nerve. I know after so long the cat became a pain in the rump. I would catnap during the day because at night we would use kerosene heaters or a big LP camp stove to keep the place warm. Well the darn cat would catch which other was on and try to lay right on top of it. I stayed up making sure the cat didn’t catch on fire and burn us up and we didn’t run out of oxygen and kill ourselves. Oh, what fun is was!

So I beg you again, please keep us in your prayers that we don’t lose power and stay safe during the upcoming storm. And to remind you, in case you don’t hear from us within a day or two, send help! Lots of it, too! Out here, when the power goes out, we lose our telephones. Why? I don’t know. I guess that is one of the many problems you have to put up with when dealing with a Co-Op. But send in the Mounties, please!

Enough with the silliness, I know there are some already suffering from the winter storm. My heart goes out to you and yours. I pray that you stay in and stay safe. If you have power and the internet, spend the day with us. I am sure after reading all this, it will warm your hearts, lol!  I can’t help it, I am a big baby witch. I am use to all the modern conveniences, especially power and heat. Those happen to be two of my favorites in the Winter. I honestly don’t see how our ancestors and the cave people made it. But I guess they didn’t miss what they never had. Perhaps we are too spoiled these days. Truthfully, I don’t know too many people that ain’t spoiled these days. Even the hunters around here tickle me. They will brag and talk about how they are great outdoorsmen and they are rough and tough, yeah right! They want to come home to a nice warm house, a freshly brewed pot of coffee and the TV. Yeah, they are really tough and rough outdoorsmen, lol!

Well enough with the poop! I hope everyone has a great day. Please stay safe and warm. If you have to do any traveling, be extra careful because I expect to see all of you back here tomorrow. Have a very blessed day & may the Goddess watch over us all.

Luv & Hugs,

Lady A

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Good Black Friday Morning, my dear family & friends!

Good Black Friday Morning, dear family & friends!

How many of you have braved the crowds and the cold this morning? You are a braver soul than I am, lol! We had one of heaters that we use to keep the critters warm go out. So I have to venture out today and pick up a new one. Believe it or not, I am dreading that.

So did everyone have a nice Thanksgiving? Lots of good food & good company? I know I had an excellent meal yesterday. My daughter has turned out to be an wonderful cook. We got ready to leave, she packed me down with leftovers galore. I’m not complaining I will probably has turkey for the next week. I love turkey. I don’t know why I think you can eat it only a certain time of the year. The funny thing, no sooner had we got through with eating turkey and dressing, she started talking about Christmas. She knows I celebrate Yule and she also knows when she was growing up I celebrated Christmas with them. Since both of my children have become adults, I have come out and told them, “I don’t celebrate Christmas.” I do believe that is when I was told I was going to hell, huh? The funny part was, she would mention getting the fixings and me doing the cooking. Every time she would say, “So I buy everything you need and you can cook?” I believe she is getting a taste of what dear old mom did all these years. It is good though to be with family at this time of year. It would be even better that this feeling we have or perhaps tradition to be with family would last all year long. Don’t get me wrong about what I am trying to say. It just seems like at special season, we long for family and friends, to be with them is a must. We should have that feeling last all year long.

I am stopping now, I feel a soapbox moment coming on and I am hushing. I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and may the rest of the holiday be relaxing and joyful. Don’t get knocked about in the malls and please don’t get shot (yes, shot! We had a local shooting around here this morning over sales!). Perhaps if you do go out, wear some body armor. We also had several fights around here too. The world, what is it coming too!

I am going to get busy now. Enjoy your holiday and please stay safe!

Luv & Hugs,
Lady A

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Good Thanksgiving Morning, dear family & friends!

 

I have a request,  Please don’t run off because I showed up. Today is going to be a very short edition of our daily publications. I will be here probably a hour or two, then I have to run off to my daughter’s house.

I just wanted to take a moment and spend some time with my online family today.  I don’t know if you believe or celebrate Thanksgiving but I know I do. I have always said it, “Pagans have the best of everything!” That is probably why we had so much of our traditions and practices stolen from us, lol! A fight for another day, not today!  I don’t view Thanksgiving as a religious holiday. I believe it is part of my American heritage just as well as my Celtic heritage is. I do stop to thank the Goddess for all the wonderful gifts and blessings She has given me. I thank the Goddess for bringing each and everyone of you into my life.  You have touched my heart and soul so much. I can feel your love, support and caring every time I am here. I am very proud and honored to be able to call each of you my family. I have truly been blessed.

I hope each and everyone has a very blessed and joyous Thanksgiving Day. Don’t eat too much, stay safe, and stay warm.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear family and friends!

Love & Blessings,

Lady A & The WOTC

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Your Ancient Symbol Card for November 27th is The Ancestors

Your Ancient Symbol Card for Today

Ancestors

Ancestors represents the ongoing influence and remarkable contributions those who came before us have made to our state of being. Ancestors also reminds us that sometimes old wisdom is the best wisdom–especially when events are moving in ways we do not understand. Ancestors can bring comfort to a shaken spirit. It is a card of warmth in the sense that it reminds us that the spirit of past generations remains with us and can be called upon for guidance at any time.

As a daily card, Ancestors suggests that you may be well served to by exploring your family tree to find solutions to current dilemmas. When searching for solutions to conflicts in your life, you might do well by asking yourself what a grandparent or great grandparent would do in your current situation.

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