Category Archives: News

PD Lammas 16

pd-200-coverThe historic 200th issue of Pagan Dawn is out and we are proud to be a small part of that.  I have to say I had a little moment to see my name in the list of contributors alongside Ron Hutton.

As we come into the season of the harvests we have been looking at being thankful.

How do we instil an attitude of gratitude in our children?  As well as the main article I have linked here to some of my favourite Mummy Blogs on the theme.

I have also found some great Autumn Activities for you all to enjoy.

Summer Blessings and a prosperous harvest to you all, Sam x

 

Being Thankful

thankfulAs we move towards the year’s harvest, my thoughts turn towards how we give thanks for the blessings we are surrounded by in our lives. Our family is very lucky to have an allotment where we can grow lots of lovely fruits and vegetables, and where we all learn about the skills and hard work needed to keep our plot going.  For us it is very immediate, we pick the potatoes, clean them up and cook them.  I am eternally thankful for this, I speak to too many young people who do not have this connection to their environment and the food they eat.

One way we can be thankful on a daily basis is to spend some time each day together. For us it is when we gather around the table to eat.  Whether this is weekend breakfast, our evening meal .  We talk about our day, the fun we have had, the plans we have and what we have to be thankful for.  Many families mark this time together around the table to be specifically thankful; by saying grace before they share a meal together.  This can be a specific poem or prayer or you can take it in turns to speak from the heart.  This can be an honest and often amusing moment if you allow the children to give thanks for their meal and the blessings in their lives.

Being able to focus on the positives in our lives; to be thankful for the acts of kindness they have witnessed, is of massive benefit to all concerned. It builds better relationships, promotes positivity, reduces aggression, and diminishes the effects of toxic emotions.  The enhancement to empathy and self-esteem improve the lives of our children and us, we will simply be happier.

On my newsfeed on FaceBook I see a lot of lovely blog articles from Mums and writers about being kind and thankful in our lives and relationships with our children.  On our online version of this page I have added links to some of my favourites as well as some Autumn crafts and seasonal fun.

I hope that you all have a happy, positive and thankful Harvest season.

With muddy blessings and toad filled love     Sam x

Coming out again.

My eldest is about to change school, she’s nearly 11 and will be starting High School in September. Over the last 6 years we have become comfortable with our relationship with the Primary School and our Paganism.  I have been in to school to do assemblies and talk to classes over the years and have a clear understanding with the Head about our expectations and our children’s choices.

Starting new relationships with her new school means coming out again. Forms have been filled in addressing our faith and dietary needs, emails have been sent and responded to about the requirement for all the girls to have a bible (as well as a dictionary and atlas), as an academic text only it turns out.  However, all of this adds to the stresses of starting a new school.  My daughter is already marked out as ‘other’.  The Senior Staff I have spoken to have all been lovely, in fact I have already been arm twisted to come and talk to the 6th formers about Pagan ethics at a ‘working lunch’, but it still remains that these conversations have to be had.  As fabulous as the school is, as brilliant and social as my daughter is she still starts her school career on an uneven footing, as a member of a minority.

So for all of us in the same position; negotiating our way through educating our children in main stream schools from within a minority faith group, lets stick together.

Talking about our bodies

The overt sexual energy of Beltane makes this an unlikely family festival.  However, we need to be able to talk about sex in an open, positive and appropriate way with our children, whatever their age.

lover-father-1310288“Sex positive” is a term that I am seeing more and more in my research and social media interactions.  It is a campaign by Brook, the topic of blogs and the underpinning philosophy of an empowering way of talking about sex and bodies with children of all ages.  Sex Positive is a response to the judgemental, body shaming and limited information often available to young people.  It is founded in respect, consent and happiness. Continue reading

PD Samhain 15

The latest issue of Pagan Dawn is out and here is all the extra content to go along with our Children and Families page.  As well as our page the magazine has some really great recipes and an article on Ritual work in University spaces for when our saplings fly the nest (apologies for the hideously mixed metaphor there).

Pl10989122_526027844223402_999421816508977414_oease click here for the full content and please do get in touch to let us know how your celebrate together as a family.

 

 

Poetry Competition – Wining Poems

poetryWe had some great poems submitted for our Summer poetry competition and after much thinking we have 2 winners.  Our runner up is Dylan from North Yorkshire

The Summer Solstice
It was 3 0 clock in the morning in the circle
and everyone was yawning waiting for the sun
for when it rose they would have some fun and worship the Gods all the day long.

Our Book winning first prize winner is Berry from Dorset and here is their wonderful poem.

BELTAiNE.

Beltaine is the turning
Beltaine is the first of May,
Beltaine is the changing
From the dark to the lighter way.

Beltaine has a Maypole
We dance and weave around the staff,
Beltaine is a happy time
For people to sing and laugh.

Flames are roaring
From the hills
With magic and intentions,
From their ancestral wills.

The flowers are spreading round in a circle
Forming the shape of a delicate crown,
They’re all different colours, some of delicate purple,
Casting the earth with a scented gown.

The shimmering blossoms are on the trees,
Fragrant like the honey of bees.
The circle of life!
This is Beltaine.
The circle of life!
Turns round again.

 

How to keep track of your kids at events

The one thing I am most paranoid about when we are out and about as a family is loosing the kids.  They are curious and adventurous and while I am fairly confident they wouldn’t wander off with someone else, they would stop in their tracks to talk to an interesting dog while I carried on walking.

happy-tiger-1815843I can’t remember where I first heard about this trick, but it isn’t mine.  It is so simple but could help police or marshalls find your wayward offspring much quicker.  You take a picture of your kids as you enter the event.  Then if they go astray you can show a marshall the photo and they will know EXACTLY what they are wearing and their eye colour etc.  My Father in law once lost my husband and couldn’t tell the policeman what he was wearing or his eye colour, he has never lived it down.

Another lovely idea, from the steampunk community, is to make a label to pin to your child with photos of the parents and their contact details.  The suggestion I saw was to make little medals for the children to wear with information on the back.

However you keep yourself sane this summer, whether you are tying your toddler to your left leg or texting your teens every 5 minutes, I hope that you all enjoy your days out.