How does a Witch explain the true meaning of the God and Goddess to their children? There is no one way of going about it but this concept is still difficult for Pagan parents to describe to their witchlings. So how exactly do you start? Factors to consider are the children's ages and whether or not they have had any exposure to other religious/spiritual systems. They may already have some idea from other family and friends as to a creator but regardless the Pagan concept of 'god' can be very different from what they have been exposed to.
Start by sitting down and really working through what the concept means to you. How do you see the God and Goddess? What are the aspects that attracted you to the path you are now on? Paganism comes in many different styles and flavors but one of the universal concepts is that there is never just one way of seeing God/Goddess. One of the reasons many of us have turned away from the Judeo-Christian faiths was due to their beliefs that their way is the only one true way of seeing God and all others will suffer in some form of hell in their afterlife for not seeing God the way they do. As Pagans or Wiccan's or Witches we know this to be untrue, no more than a very human trapping that was implemented long ago to scare others into obedience. God/Goddess does not care what name(s) we use or what image(s) we see, our Source, our Creator simply isn't that petty. We have so many different faiths and belief systems for good reason; how else would each individual soul find their path? There will never be only one way, it simply isn't a possibility and we are well aware of that. We accept it and we teach it to those who want to learn from us as well as our children.
So take the time to answer these questions for yourself:
- What does God/Goddess mean to me?
- Do you follow a specific pantheon that include a few or many deities?
- What is your interpretation of creation?
- Are you Pagan, Wiccan, Witch - all of the above? And how does that choice help you in your perception of God/Goddess?
- How to you see Them in your mind's eye - with specific faces, as energy or light, or are They more a feeling than something you see?
Start simple and let your kids ask the questions to guide you in the direction they need to go. Let them feel around with it. You'll be astonished by the insightful questions your children will ask. There is no better way of teaching our children anything in life than by allowing them the freedom and respect to guide themselves (and us) in the best direction of learning for them. Show them your alter, meditation space, ritual areas and tools. Let them touch things and investigate. Let them watch you set up your alter, meditate, prepare and perform a short ritual. This will bring forth new questions that will allow you the opportunity to teach them about the God/Goddess.
Exploration and visualization are key to learning anything, especially for children. As you explain more ideas and concepts to your children they will inevitably begin questioning beliefs and religions that are different from their own. Maybe it comes about because another family member or friend tells them they are wrong or that they believe 'this and this'. To demonstrate all the different religious and spiritual paths we have in the world I use a map or globe.
Giving your kids something tangible to see can help with the more abstract concepts that are involved in religion and spiritual paths. Since we've just come out of the holiday season I'm going to use Santa's North Pole for this, but feel free to use any mysterious or holy place for the residence of God/Goddess. You can show them on a map that we're pretending that the God/Goddess live with Santa at the North Pole. Then show them where other family members live, where friends live. You can even use small stickers to pinpoint specific spots. Then talk about all the people that live everywhere in the world. Each and every one of us living on this planet have the goal of ending up in the North Pole with the God/Goddess but we all can't take the same path. We all live in different places, so we each get to choose our own road. We may walk with others for awhile or go off on our own to join with others later on. We can each see the God/Goddess in the way that is right for us, we each have our own journey to live. We need to have so many different paths and beliefs because we all can't get to the North Pole on the same road, we are too far apart to do that. But in the end, when it is our time to leave our physical life, to pass on, to cross over; we have all found ourselves at the exact same location. We are all together, we are all one in the end but we can each take our own path and have our own beliefs that will get us there.
Teaching our children to appreciate and respect the diversity that we have on this planet is one of the greatest gifts of the God/Goddess. We will cross many paths in our lives, we will experience and learn about many different things. Some we will feel really good about, so we know we're on the right path. Some we won't feel good about, so we know we need to adjust our course and keep looking for the path that is right.
This is our meaning for being here, this is what we wanted before we ever became the physical being we are right now. Before we ever left the direct connection of the God/Goddess bringing a piece of them into ourselves to be born within our physical bodies, we wanted to see and experience the diversity of life on earth. The times when we are closest to feeling that connection are the 'awe' moments that leave you feeling tingly all over. Feeling a cool breeze wash over your face, the rush of cool water in a stream, singing birds in the early morning, the sun making the fresh snow glisten like a million little diamonds, watching a butterfly drift over wildflowers. This is the God/Goddess. Our children feel this connection more often than we do as adults. The lesson, is to really keep our children feeling these moments now and throughout their lives. So they never forget their connection to everything that is. The rest will come with time, exploration and many more questions that our children will eagerly ask us. The best thing we can do as parents, is let it come to them naturally and in a place of joy and love.
Brightest Blessings to all my fellow Pagan Parents.