Pagan Teaching Resources

By Leca
@lecanis (16739)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
April 21, 2007 2:10pm CST
I've been asked a few times lately to talk to kids about my religion (paganism in general more so than my specific branch of it). I don't have a hard time explaining to adults, generally, but it's a bit harder to explain to kids. I also have my own child now, and eventually I want to teach him about my religion. However, it's kind of hard to do so with no real resources. I've seen people of other religions with TV shows about their religion made for kids, or books, coloring books, activity books, all that type of thing. And I keep thinking, I wish I could find something like that! Does anyone know any resources for teaching children about Paganism? Or have any stories to share about experiences they had as a child being taught Paganism, or have had with their children? When I was a child, I learned from my great-grandmother. But at the time, I was reading on an adult level, and conversed on that level, so she spoke to me as if I was an adult. I don't want to assume kids aren't as intelligent as I was as a kid, but at the same time, I don't want things to go over their heads either, or just confuse them.
5 people like this
14 responses
@scammerwear (1433)
• Singapore
21 Apr 07
Perhaps you could try children books based mythology. If your pantheon is Greek or Roman, there are a vast collection of children material based on them. The books by Scott Cunningham are great if your children are close or already in their teens. After they have some background on the subject (as well as some understanding in spellcraft ethnics), The idiot's guide to Wicca and Witchcraft will be great :)
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
21 Apr 07
My personal pantheon is Celtic, but since I'm thinking more in general terms, Greek and Roman things would be useful. The kids I've been asked to speak to are 5th and 6th graders... And my own son is just a baby, hence my interest in coloring books and such, for the next few years. It's a little early to think about teaching him about religion, but I want to be prepared too, and have time to think about these things. =p Thanks for your suggestions!
1 person likes this
• Singapore
21 Apr 07
Ok, then we have a similar problem, Celtic mythology isn't exactly children book material LOL! At the risk of appearing to promote my goddess, the stories of Goddess Brigid might be a good place to start. Another gentler God is Tailesin. But I guess you already know that :)
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
21 Apr 07
Those are two I'm rather fond of, actually. Especially Taliesin. Have you encountered people arguing over whether or not he is actually a god? I was always taught he was, and I've encountered several rants about how he's not. Silly stuff really, but it kind of annoyed me. My personal "Matron" being Morrigan, of course I'm not going to really start off talking about her. =p
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Apr 07
Ok you can see that I'm pretty into this topic by now! LOL I felt like I gave a pretty cruddy answer to you but my brain is just mush today! I'm getting over the flu and 7 hours of diving in cold water yesterday still!! Let's see if I can kickstart the senile ole noggin though and help out. Is there a particular focus you'd like to cover? History? Beliefs? Directed at children and of what ages round about? I find that usually children understand a lot more than most grownups would give them credit for. Depending on whether or not your talk would necessarily be directed at children, ages, backgrounds, etc. or a more general audience that simply includes children might make a difference in the exact wording you should maybe use though. You could maybe just come up with something as if you were talking to an adult audience but explain certain words or terms that anyone, much less children, might not be familiar with. C'mon and I'll try to help ya hash it out!
2 people like this
• Singapore
21 Apr 07
Perhaps is better to hand them lores instead of personal truths? :)
2 people like this
• United States
21 Apr 07
Lore...you mean mythologies like you suggested? Do you think relating stories of different mythologies will adequately explain the concept of Paganism though?
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
21 Apr 07
Wow, I would be pretty mushy-brained too after all that! I hope you're feeling better soon! Let's see... I think the kids are all in 5th and 6th grade, so probably 9-11 or so? I'd really like to focus more on modern practice, holidays, stuff like that. History is good to give an overview, but I don't want to get horribly bogged down in it, especially because the variety of pagan religions would make that hard. I suppose you have a point about kids understanding more than adults give them credit for. I'll have to try to keep that in mind, and not talk down to them and be insulting. The kids in question all go to the Unitarian Universalist fellowship I'm a member of, but that means they come from a lot of different religious and social backgrounds. Their parents are Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, humanist, agnostic... you name it, there are probably some there. I can't be sure which kids will be there at any given time, so it's hard to guess what they'll know.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Apr 07
I know nothing about your religion is it something like witch craft? All that I have been taught is paganism is worshipping false gods and is wrong you could enlighten me.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
21 Apr 07
"Where are the false gods if I only believe in one?" This really gets my attention! I'm so used to viewing Pagans as polytheistic, since that was what I was taught. But lately I've been hearing more and more pagans say they believe in only one "Supreme Being" or that all the Gods are really just faces of the same being. Am I all alone now? =p (See, teapotmomommerced, it's practically impossible to say all pagans believe in any one thing!)
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Apr 07
LOL I'm sorry, lecanis! You're definitely not all alone though! There's quite a few even in the Pagan community that will disagree with me very hardily and would accuse me of doing an injustice to my religion for thinking about it the way I do.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
21 Apr 07
Well, I would never accuse you of that! I think it's perfectly fine that you have your opinion, and your personal path that is different from that of others. =) I just noticed this seemed to be becoming more popular, and I wonder about it. I do see my Gods are very disctinct individuals, each eith their own personalities, so sometimes it is hard for me to relate with the idea of only one God.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Apr 07
I am confused, how can you teach about something you fully dont understand yourself?
2 people like this
• Singapore
21 Apr 07
Paganism can't really be taught, its a way of life. Every day we experience it, life it, breathe it. Every day we learn something we didn't know before. Point out the paths, and let the feet show them the way :)
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
21 Apr 07
I fully understand my personal Pagan path... or at least, understand it as well as anyone as a human being can contemplate things that are "divine". However, "Paganism" is a broad category, so there are certain areas in which I know less that others. And what I'm really looking for here is "tools" with which to do the job, not knowledge of how to do it. I know how to be Pagan, I've been Pagan my whole life, but that doesn't mean that I know how to teach someone else to do it. I mean, think about other kinds of teachers! They have textbooks, reference books, all kinds of tools available to them. That doesn't mean they don't know what they're talking about, but having those references helps.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Apr 07
I know for me there'd be several difficulties, a big one being as the others here have said, I fully understand what *I* believe, live, and practice but my way is not the only or true way and I'd never want to portray it as such. I could talk for hours and hours about my own personal beliefs and practices but what I believe and practice doesn't necessarily hold true for ALL Wiccans or Pagans.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Apr 07
My Grand Spoke in tongues..... Imagine my surprise when I could not muster the ...the the... what is it? Emotion? Mind washing? Holy spirit? If my grand and my mother could why not me???? OH I spent many hours at the alter praying. Why Pentecost skipped me. Why? I started reading. I was not the outcast.!! In fact, I was not the one that had a faith problem at all. My children then will find religion, more easily acceptable. The fact is they will find any faith they have on their own. I show them what I have learned. They have to carry then that into a higher study. I do believe in the Great "Great". what is that?
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Apr 07
I can see how that would be very frustrating for you as a child. I felt frustrated about religion as a child too, because at a very young age I chose my religion, that of one family member of mine, and people in my family who had other beliefs spent my whole life trying to force theirs on me though I had already made my choice. I don't want to be pushy about religion with my son, but I want him to explore all kinds of ideas, and then find his own faith. Thanks so much for posting! Whatever "that" is, it's your faith, and therefore must be beautiful. =)
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Apr 07
Lecanis, My faith is "Christian" based. But it is not my mothers or my Grands. I have faith both based on science, and unknown. Every rock we turn over makes me believe there is a greater (BEING). I believe in both evolution and creation. I believe that God breathed, and made something. The David and Goliath story tells me that something was not quite right, in biblical days. I also believe we do not have the whole story. There are many books written that were not Canonized by the catholic church. Kept from us. Think of the only story we have of "satan" He was a beloved Angel. Just thought to have the power of our God? Sent to earth to what? torment us? We give equal power then don't we?
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Apr 07
"I also believe we do not have the whole story." Even though my religion is very different from yours, I can definitely agree with you on this. I can't count the number of people, of any religion, who have claimed to know everything, or that their religion contains every important truth there is. I would never claim that, and I don't have much respect for people that do. Though I have read the Bible, and gone to Christian churches with other people who were Christian at times, I can't claim to know too much about it. But the story of Satan is an interesting one, and your questions are very interesting.
1 person likes this
@xParanoiax (7005)
• United States
22 Apr 07
Sometimes it makes me wish we had our own channel..I mean several other religions have their own channels. Kid specials on saturday mornings or something! It'd be good..and it'd solve the dilimma for many pagan parents. You might be able to find stuff online? Shops which might carry videos..coloring books.. I dunno. I suppose there's something else I should add to my list of things I wanna accomplish with my 'newest' project. Find someone who's capable of filming an amateur tv show for kids -- about paganism, and someone who wants to, lol.
2 people like this
@academic2 (7011)
• Uganda
22 Apr 07
Hey xParanoiax, do people become pagans as a result of complete failure to see sense in some of the main order religions we have today or is it just te joy of making choices as human beings, choices driven by beliefs and personal conscience! I like your choice of religion, but i want to appeal to my pagan brothers to attempt to understand a little more, the Christian Faith, they make big sense! This is not a conversion drive, its more of an enrichment of your religious ideas! Lastly, I like the intellectual power of lecanis, the orignator of this discussion, does he mind becoming the Bishop or some Leader of this Pagan faith?
2 people like this
@academic2 (7011)
• Uganda
22 Apr 07
Hey xParanoiax, do people become pagans as a result of complete failure to see sense in some of the main order religions we have today or is it just the joy of making choices as human beings, choices driven by beliefs and personal conscience! I like your choice of religion, but i want to appeal to my pagan brothers to attempt to understand a little more, the Christian Faith, they make big sense! This is not a conversion drive, its more of an enrichment of your religious ideas! Lastly, I like the intellectual power of lecanis, the originator of this discussion, does he mind becoming the Bishop or some Leader of this Pagan faith?
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Apr 07
"Lastly, I like the intellectual power of lecanis, the orignator of this discussion, does he mind becoming the Bishop or some Leader of this Pagan faith?" I'm flattered! Oh, I'm a "she" actually, not a "he" though I know my name doesn't give you any hint about that, so I don't mind your using the wrong pronoun. I'm glad that you like my intellectual power. As for me being some kind of leader, creating a central "Pagan" authority would be a very difficult thing to do, becuase there are so many different belief systems that fall under that heading. However, I have led small groups before, as that tends to be more how we do things.
1 person likes this
@lillake (1635)
• United States
21 Apr 07
Two books that I have and enjoy are Pagan Parenting by Madden and raising Witches by O'Gaea. There is also http://paganparenting.com and http://www.paganparenting.net. Also if you go to http://www.witchvox.com there is an area for parenting will lots of great articles.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
21 Apr 07
Thank you so much for the suggestions! I really appreciate it! I'll make sure to add those books to my shopping list, and check out the sites too!
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Apr 07
Oh those are good ones too! I'd also recommend Circle Round by Starhawk, Diane Baker, and Anne Hill! Absolutely WONDERFUL ideas on celebrations, recipes, stories, and such especially for children and families! I really enjoyed The Pagan Family by Ceisiwr Serith!
2 people like this
@lillake (1635)
• United States
22 Apr 07
I can't believe I left off Circle Round! There's a CD too to go with the book.
2 people like this
@Jennifer21 (2476)
• United States
22 Apr 07
Well, I don't really know. Me and my husband have thought this over quite thouroughly as to what to teach are children. We have both decided to not teach them anything until they ask. They have the choice to believe in what ever faith they want. I believe throwing a religion on a young child is cruel. It is not giving them the opportunity to make their own decisions. I will teach my children only when they inquire as to what I believe. I will leave it up to them what they choose to beleive.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Apr 07
See, I have the opposite approach. I plan to teach my child about many religions, my own as well as others, so he can make an informed choice. The children I was going to be teaching a "class" too have already learned about many different religious, because they go to a "church" made up of people from all religions. So that's the background behind my question.
1 person likes this
• United States
21 Apr 07
Wow, lecanis, that really is a big order! I'm Wiccan and I know it can be very hard to balance it all out. You want to be thorough because so many seem to have such misconceptions or just know nothing about it but at the same time you're talking about hours and hours worth of lecture that you have to cram into a much shorter amount of time... It's pretty darn hard just for Wicca but Paganism is an even bigger subject! Maybe this site will help: http://www.religioustolerance.org/ Someone on another subject shared it with me and I'm still reading it. It seems to be a great, fair handed site for all kinds of relgions.
2 people like this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
21 Apr 07
Yes, I know, it is a huge order! Thanks so much for your suggestion! I really appreciate the help. I feel bad that I've been putting off accepting any of the invitations to teach (at a Unitarian Universalist fellowhip) about paganism considering how much experience I have with it myself, but it's just so hard to know what to say! Plus I have to learn how to teach my own son when he's older! I really do appreciate any help I can get.
1 person likes this
@Woodpigeon (3710)
• Ireland
22 Apr 07
Lecanis, we are veering a bit off topic with my post, but I wonder have you ever had the opportunity to visit any of the sacred sites with your children? I think actually being inside a megalithic tomb is an experience you would really enjoy! While you have to be led around Newgrange, and you can't touch Stonehenge, there are several megalithic tombs and dolmens all over Ireland that can be visited unguided. I think that would be a wonderful way to teach the depth of committment people had to their religion, and the mystery of it. I live quite near Newgrange, Loughcrew and Four Knocks in Ireland. I have also been to Stonehenge and the sites in Brittany, like Carnac. Since all of these places predate any written record, your interpretation is as vald as mine, but what cannot be denied is that these peoples felt very strongly about what they were doing and wanted to make a statement that was going to last through the ages.
1 person likes this
• Ireland
22 Apr 07
This is just an after thought, but if you were ever considering a trip, Halloween would be the time. We still light bonfires, and in my little village, not only do we do the fires as has been done for millenia, we light them on our offshore island. It is incredble to see the fire apparently spring out of the water. On all our henges, tombs, the Hill of Tara, the fires used to be lit during the solstices and other special dates so it would have looked like a map of fire that could be seen traced all across the country. It is one tradition that hasn't been allowed to die out.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
22 Apr 07
I have been dying to get to Ireland since I was a little kid, and hearing stories about it from my great-grandmother. Unfortunately health and finances haven't allowed as of yet. My child by the way, is less than one year old, so he hasn't gone much of anywhere yet. The other kids I'm talking about teaching are other people's kids, I hope that wasn't confusing. =p Anyway, I do plan to take him to a lot of places like that later. There are some amazing Native American sites here in the United States that I have been to, and I want to take him to places like that. And I very much do want to go to Ireland and Britian with him, and then we can experience all that for the first time together! Thanks for sharing so much lovely information with me!
1 person likes this
• Ireland
22 Apr 07
You are of course very welcome. If you do make it to Ireland, do go to Newgrange, and by all means don't skip Loughcrew!
• Canada
20 Jul 07
I think it might be helpful to look for old folktales about it perhaps? Chances are there are legends involved with whichever dieties you worship, and children love stories. I would think it would be similar to how the native people had a storyteller in their village who taught children about the faith.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
20 Jul 07
*nods* That's a very good point. I know very many Celtic tales that my great-grandmother told me, and I hadn't thought about using the stories themselves as a resource. I guess I was thinking in too modern a way. Thanks!
@beaniegdi (1966)
22 Apr 07
If you go to: http://www.about.com Then use the search bar there to find paganism etc you will find loads of info etc and you will also be able to sign up to a series of newsletters on the subject which will also come with links to other sites and images. I hope this helps.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Apr 07
Thanks for the suggestion!
@robert19ph (4586)
• Philippines
22 Apr 07
This is a very good topic. I was confused a little bit because I'm thinking Paganism is you don't believe in God. And now I remember it's Atheist that don't believe in God. I don't know so much about paganism, I just heard that most Christian celebration were from pagan practices. I think I need to study more on these subject. It's good somebody mention it out.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
23 Apr 07
Don't worry, you're not alone. I've been pagan since I was a little kid, and my whole life whenever anyone asked my religion I had to give a really long explanation. While Paganism is gaining more popularity in some places now, there are still a lot of people who either don't know what it is, or have a really skewed view of it, usually because they got their information not from Pagans themselves but from anti-Pagan sources.
• India
22 Apr 07
i didn't understand your point.