Teaching Our Children

by Parker Torrence

“I feel a great disturbance in the Force…as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi (Star Wars : A New Hope)

As a Pagan with children I have always felt it was my duty to teach my children the beauty, and the magic of the path I have chosen for my religion. So it was with great confusion, and dismay when I began reading the opinions of others that felt children should not be raised with an understanding of the mysteries. If we do not teach our own children, on some level we are communicating to them that there is something wrong with our path, our religion, and ourselves.

To begin, yes I am in full agreement with those who hold that children should not take part in, or be exposed to the Great Rite. I am also of the frame of mind that skyclad is not the only way to practice. If sex and nudity are all that you feel your path has to offer, then maybe you should hide it. I am also in agreement with those who say that the children should not be encouraged to learn the nightside arts, or initiated until after they have reached what the government has decreed to be a legal age, and then only if it their choice to do so.

There is a world of magic for us to expose our children too. Not just within the circle, but in every aspect of everyday life. Granted first you have to get them off of the video game, turn off the television, and turn down the music. Once you have their attention, and they have yours, show them the mystery of a flower; the beauty of a sunset; the magic of a bird building a nest. My son (seven at the time) helped plant grass in the yard this past summer. When his began growing, there was a light of awe and wonder in his eyes. Everyone that visited for the next week was informed by him, that was his grass and they were not to walk on it. He became so protective of the young blades, he would even try to keep our cats from walking on them.

Instilling within our children a working set of ethical standards is just as important to their development, as them learning the academic arts of math or reading. A sound set of Pagan Family Values, where respect, and responsibility are as valued as pride and achievement.

The magick and mystery of the Pagan religions should not wait until a person is eighteen to begin, and it should not stop after you achieve Third Degree. Being a Pagan should be more then just spell casting and circle work, it should be a way of life. A way of life for you, and for your children.

Pagan Family Values

We hear a lot about “Family Values” in the media. Most often the phrase is coming out of the mouth of some politician running for election, or being spouted by religious fundamentalist. So, just what are “Family Values?” I asked that question on an email list not too long ago, and received a number of interesting, and well thought replies. What follows is not so much a summation of those replies, but more my own thoughts on this subject.

“Pagan Family Values” fall into three section, Responsibility, Respect, and Honor.


Responsibility for your actions

Responsibility to your family

Responsibility to your path (Craft teachings)


Respect for yourself

Respect for your Elders (parents and Craft)

Respect for your environment (the land and those around you)


Honor yourself (act with honor)

Honor your teachers (both school and Craft Elders)

Honor the gods