The Trees I Have Started to Grow
Author: Mentis Amor
To Bridgitte and Brieanne, my two beautiful girls,
I have thought about how to raise you as a pagan parent. I have so far tried to raise you as strong secure women so that when you are grown will you look back and see your mother as a blessing and you will you remember my teachings and grow from there.
I see you both as trees, just saplings now. If I cultivate your spiritual and mental needs, you will grow up strong and secure. You will be straight, always looking towards the sky. But if I do not succeed, you grow up without enough strength and you will bend to others opinions. You will reach up crooked, not knowing your path because you did not know which way to grow. This is my fear. So how do I teach you; how do I help you grow?
I thought a long time about what this means to raise two girls and to teach them and still be respectful of their individuality because they may not choose my path. But I would hope for them that they choose something that will fulfill them as I have found something that filled my spiritual needs.
So I researched and read all sorts of different articles, books and opinions, sifting through the many theories regarding pagan parenting. I came to this one night while talking with my grandmother about all of the different things that being a mother required. All the while, she sat there with a knowing look on her face and a silent regard to what I had to say.
Then she said, “ Try this. This is how I did it and how your mother did it and how my mother did it.” She had said something so simple I had not even thought of it before. I had to take a good look at myself and how I do things and how my mother did them and how her mother did it. I was looking at a long line of healers and teachers and parents who have grown trees of their own, each one hoping that their child would reach to the sky.
That does not mean I come from a long line of witches. My grandmother happens to be very dedicated to Christianity and one of the few people I know who lives kindly and loving every day of her life. My mother is very into the Native American traditions. She prays to the spirits and trusts the wisdom of the earth.
They taught me about healing naturally without drugs. Using tea to heal an infection and using baking soda to cure a bee sting… or that ginger will (9 times out of 10) cure an aching belly. It is what they taught me about the many different methods that were passed down generation to generation, each one teaching the next of the natural healing, love, respect for the earth, cycles of life, and to set their children’s feet on a spiritual path filled with compassion.
My mother taught me to respect the spirits. Sometimes they will speak to me, so I must listen carefully. Thus, I learned to trust my intuition.
My grandfather taught me that all life is sacred and should be respected. When I kill an animal for food, I must be thankful for it and not waste the blessing.
And my great grandmother taught me that herbs can cure, but they must be treated with care and grown with love. When it comes time to take what I have sown, I am to be thankful for the blessing.
So, I carry on with what I was taught and what I have learned, teaching my children about the wonders of nature. And through the natural healing that comes from my teachings, they are cured — like I was cured — without being medicating into an dulled state of mind.
And yes, I still get the scoff “You don’t take them to the doctor for every little sniffle and cough?” No, I do not. Chicken broth worked for me; it will work for them.
I teach them about the tarot and the wheel of the year and how every living thing on this planet is connected. Everything I have learned as a pagan. I tell them we must not hide from our shadow selves, but learn to be at peace with it. And most importantly, to be grateful of the blessings that we are given and to never take for granted our daily miracles.
To love themselves for who they are and also to love others for who they are because you never know someone until you have seen life through their eyes. To stand up for themselves and to be strong. Just because they are understanding does not mean that others will be understanding.
When my girls have grown and read articles, opinions, and books on their own, I hope that they will look back on the many different teachings of their family and find the wisdom here at home.
I pray to the creator that they will learn from the people that came before them and trust that the spirits of their grandfathers and grandmothers are guiding them.
Girls, your mother loves you and wishes you the best in this world. Fill it with your own light and love and you will be at peace. Do not care what others say. If they are mean, it is only because they don’t understand.
Grow tall and strong. Hold your head up and keep your back straight. Do not easily bend to another’s opinion. Learn as much as you can before making up your mind.
Remember, my little ones, I will always be here for you and I will tell you the same thing I was told:
This is how I did it and how your grandmother did it and how her mother did it.
Be happy and fruitful, my blessings!
Your Mama Bear