Explaining Paganism in a Christian Society
Has your little lovely ever come home from school and proudly professed to being a christian?
How do you have a conversation about your pagan spirituality without crossing the lines that could lead to social backlash in your child’s future… especially if you live in the Bible Belt?
First of all, be very open with your child. Have your child explain why he/she feels this way and what has lead to this belief in christianity. Most of the time a conversation with peers discussing the christian god has lead him/her to believe that this is how everyone feels. You are suppose to believe in god or face the wraths of hell.
Knowing how your child arrived to this conclusion will help steer your conversation in the direction of your choosing.
If you are not openly calling your family pagans, you might want to think things through before broaching the subject any further. After you and your significant other have discussed what you would like to share, you can call a family meeting or have a more informal conversation over dinner.
Possible Beliefs to Discuss (if you are hanging out in the broom closet):
- The goddess you believe in is different than that of some other people.
- The goddess does not need to be feared. She is here for guidance and acceptance.
- The goddess is in all things both living and non-living. This would be the perfect time to go on a nature walk and discuss the signs of the goddess first hand.
- All things are precious and should be taken care of. This is a great time to share how you take care of nature and the natural world… recycling, gardening, simplifying your lifestyle.
- The seasons guide us on our spiritual journey. Give examples: In the fall, we celebrate the harvesting of crops. In the spring, we celebrate rebirth and new beginnings. Have your child come up with new ideas for seasonal celebrations.
- Our beliefs are shared at special times of year: through our nature table and every day as we honor the earth and all it has given us.
- You might even want to discuss the concept of the Wiccan Rede: And it harm none do as you will. Discuss the Rule of Three: Whatever your give unto this earth comes back to you 3 times in return… be it positive or negative.
*If you feel referring to the goddess directly will have negative implications for your child, consider calling her something more vague such as Mother Earth or Luna. You could also simple refer to the goddess as god until a time in which your child will understand. I think the goddess will forgive your lack of formality in order to protect your child from ridicule.
There are many other concepts you can share during this discussion. Just remember to be open and honest. Let your child do most of the talking. By listening, you may learn a bit of something about your kiddo along the way.