Category Archives: News

Poetry Competition.

Hannah has written a beautiful Pagan A to Z, which you can read here, and it got us thinking that there had to be tons of talented children out there.  Sam’s daughter has just finished reading a fantastic series of books based on Druid principles and full of magic and adventure.  Golden AcornYou can read a review of the books by Raven here.  However, we would love to share the first book of the series with a lucky child and think a poetry competition would be the perfect way to find that child.  If Awen finds you before Summer solstice, please email Sam with your poem, your name address and age and the best poem will win a paperback copy of “The Golden Acorn” by Catherine Cooper.

Terms and Conditions

Entrants must be under 16 on 21st June 2015.

Entries should be emailed to children.families@paganfederation.co.uk by June 21st 2015, with the child’s name, age, postal address and the name and contact phone number of a parent or carer.

Entries will be judged by Sam & Hannah and the winner will be notified by the July 15th 2015. The prize is one paperback copy of The Golden Acorn by Catherine Cooper, no alternative prize is available.

By entering the competition you are giving permission for the Pagan Federation to publish the poem and the first name of the poet (and their age) both online and in print.  Copyright for the poem remains with the poet.

The Golden Acorn

Golden AcornThe Golden Acorn by Catherine Copper was a lucky find on Amazon for us.  I think it was a free kindle download, it really was a gift from the Gods.  There are 5 books in the series which follows the adventures of Jack Brennin as he discovers that he has been chosen for a very important task.  Helped by the druids Nora and Elan and the talking Raven Camelin; Jack enters a world of magic, Myth and British Folklore.  It is well written and completely engaging for adults and children alike.

Here is what my daughter Raven (9) thought about the books.

The Golden Acorn:  Very AWESOME book.

I think this is a great book because you never want to stop reading it and the plot is amazing I would recommend it for all ages above 8 and its the book you want if you like magic.

The Oak Lord (book 5): Unexpected ending

Soooooooo cool. Jack is King!  Read about him finding the lost treasure of Awern.  Camlin grumbles some more and Jack makes new friends.

How to Navigate the Nativity Play

Nativity-PlayIt’s that time of year again.  I am currently washing a “2nd Page” costume for my 5 year old and trying to think what my 9 yr old has that could have been worn by the Dowager Dutchess, Lady Grantham from Downton Abbey, I kid you not.

Although our village school isn’t a faith school it always has to slip in that nativity scene into any Christmas show.  The battle of the “Ickle Baby Jesus” has begun again.

In our house we take the stories of Jesus to be historical accounts of a very kind and wise teacher  (see book link below, “Jesus Lived in India)  and  we talk about how stories like those in the Bible and stories from other cultures can teach us important lessons about life and how we should behave.  We temper the almost constant stream of Christian teaching that comes from the school, along with smatterings of Islam and Judaism, with stories from our own faith path (mostly Norse and Greek) and other ancient cultures.  We have been open from the very beginning with the school and our children that we are “different” and that although the religion they are taught about is rather popular, it isn’t ours.  This has given us breathing room to explore both our own faith and the teachings they get at school.

All parents have a legal right to remove their child from RE lesson and religious assemblies (see this site for links to the legislation) and the PF can help and support you discussing and requesting this with your child’s school.  However, this isn’t a decision to be taken in haste.  Do you want to remove your child from his or her classmates and to mark them out as different?  Do you want to give your child a broad knowledge of the major religions in the world as well as your own path?

How much to isolate our children from Christian teaching is one of the biggest decisions we, as Pagan Parents, have to make.  However, it isn’t a forever decision.  You may decide that at ages 4 or 5 you don’t want to confuse your child with too many different stories and viewpoints, but by 7 or 8 your child may be ready to filter the information for themselves and come home and discuss things with you.  By 14 they may have decided that the faith of their parents is “lame” or some such nonsensical word, and be fascinated with the religion of their best friend.  However their faith journey evolves the most important thing to think about, I believe, is whether your child is curious, compassionate and respectful.

I’d love to read your thoughts on this post, please leave me a comment below and let’s start a conversation on this.

 

Jesus Lived in India by Holger Kersten

Setting up a Family Zone at your event

I have just come back from a lovely day at the Harvest Moon Festival where I (and the fabulous Claire and Alex) ran the Family Zone.

2014-09-27 12.20.04It was a simple affair, a marquee in the courtyard with a rug on the floor and a picnic table to put our bits on.  However, it transformed into many places over the day;  a fairytale castle and a flour mill when Alex told us stories, a banqueting hall, an artist’s studio, a chill out zone and a base of operations for a grand conker hunt.

Although I am part of the organising committee for the festival the organising for this little bit was easy.

  • Find a space in your venue to put it (making sure it is child safe)
  • Arrange some crafting activities (see the rest of the web site for ideas)
  • Gather some suitably Pagan kid’s books (Meg and Mog, Winnie the Witch again see the web site for ideas)
  • Prepare for a couple of more adult Q&A sessions to talk to people about working with children and young people within the Pagan faith.

2014-09-27 12.21.05On the day we welcomed lots of lovely young people and their parents and carers to our tent, we coloured in pictures, made conker shields / webs, ate lots of cake and read a lot of stories.

We were lucky enough to have a fab storyteller (Alex) who gave us 2 brilliant stories including one with a potion made of smelly socks, eyeballs, eggs and even dragon wee wee!

At the end of the day we had a child friendly ritual to close the day.  It was a piece of ritual theatre, including props, that included all the children during the singing, dancing and general jumping around. (script also on the web site)

Comments about the day were very positive about the inclusivity of the event,  the warm atmosphere and the children all enjoyed having a space they could let off steam.  My daughter and goddess-son also enjoyed one of the talks.  Without the family zone boredom and mischief would have got to them well before the talk and they wouldn’t have been in the mood to sit still for an hour.  While we weren’t a crèche (an adult needed to be with the children too) we allowed children the space to be children while the adults were adults.

2014-09-27 12.20.51If you have been inspired by our family zone and would like to run your own, please do.  If you would like any more information or support, please get in touch.

Pagan Parenting book published

hannahChildren of the Green: Raising Our Kids in Pagan Traditions 

By local pagan witch and author, Hannah E. Johnston PhD.

Recently returned from the US to her native Britain, Hannah has spent the last 15 years working with young people in earth-centered faiths, and has written a book about how we can raise like-minded, spiritually attuned young people! Taking a unique approach, Children of the Green focuses not solely on sharing the festivals and celebratory cycles of paganism, but also discusses the moral, ethical and practical issues of raising kids as pagans; Continue reading