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Musical Album "Chosen"

Musical Album "Chosen"

Monday, October 25, 2010

Pagan Parenting

I continue to be disappointed by the lack of interest in spiritual education for the children of the Pagan community. In response to my queries to Pagan parenting, I am most often given the same responses:

I do not wish to force religion upon my child as I feel that it was forced on me.


Children do not have the capacity to understand religion.

I feel compelled to counter those statements with my own experience. While it is true, children are not adults and their life experience is much more limited than an adults, I know that children are capable of understanding a multitude of concepts. Just yesterday my own son made an interesting observation that helped me in my own spiritual journey. He said, "If there is more than one planet, then there must be more than one god." I am reminded of the expression, "out of the mouths of babes..." My son has added to the richness of my life in many ways but he has taught me about spiritually. He has introduced me to fairies and has discussed with me reincarnation. He is not John Micheal Greer or Ghandi to be sure, but his simplitic communication does not make his contributions any less pleasureable or profound. Many people assume that paganism and witchcraft are synomous, as one that rarely practices magic or divination I would disagree. My son, however has taught me much of magic, he sees it everywhere. He reminds me that indeed life itself is innately magical...or miraculous should you prefer the term.

Now the possiblity for children to misunderstand their religion, or rather to see it in black and white terms is rather probable. I absolutely refused to send my child to a Catholic school despite the declining educational standards of the public venues. It is not because I am against the Christian religion. I feel that it has beauty and truth within it. I would not under any circumstances submit my child to the bullying of a unexperienced child who would at some point say to my child "you're mommy worships the devil and she's going to hell!" Actually, I will most likely end up in the relm called Hades and despite the Christian mingling of the mythos of that place, it isn't even remotely like the hell associated with Christianity. Incidentally, the word hell comes from the name of a Norse Goddess, Hel. Her kingdom is similar to Hades and once again nothing like the Christian hell relm. But, I digress. What is interesting though that it is only a fear of mine that another child will bully my child in this manner; the truth is that this has already been said to me by adults.

Ironically, my son came home one day rather shocked that one of his friends thought all witches were ugly and evil. He then explained that he and his mommy were witches. His friends were impressed to learn that not all witches were in fact ugly (they think I'm pretty, how sweet) and that witches could be boys! Then they rationalize that since my son, who is their friend, and decidedly not evil, and is a witch then all witches were in fact not evil. Cool lesson, on to legos. Incidentally, I do not refer to myself as a witch and Harry Potter is a wizard, so I have no idea where my son got that terminology. I have simply accepted that it is a label that currently has meaning to my son.

My son has spiritual questions and he does need guidance concerning his interaction with people and concepts of ethics and morality. My religion gives me a way to put into words thes rather undefinable concepts. Additionally religion as a whole brings its followers a sense of peace, hope and inspiration. Why on earth would deprive my child of something that brings me so much joy? It just seems cruel. I am baffled by Pagan parents who deny their children the benefits of their religion. Even more bizzare, after someone has finished telling me that they came to Paganism after a damaging childhood experience in another, they then in the next breath proceed to tell me that their own children go to religious services with their parents...because they as parents do not want to "force religion upon their children as it was forced upon them." your answer is to subject your child to the same religion that hurt you so, with the very same people who forced you to submit to it?

I don't buy it.

In my opinion, these people fear their own Pagan religion and do not accept it as a viable religious path.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Vow of Chastity

I went to the wedding of my friend April last night and I must say that it was the best wedding I have ever attended! The service was entertaining and downright funny; very true to the personality of my spritely and quick-witted friend. I hope that they will enjoy a lifetime of that humor and affection. I was so happy I was invited to witness their union.

My invitation was addressed to me, plus one. There was an empty seat at table four because I attended minus a plus one. Yes, I sat alone at table four as the DJ played the slow romantic tunes for the couples and I happily watched them dance. I so enjoyed watching the joy that the couples shared with each other. When a handsome young man asked me to dance you might be surprised to learn that my answer was, “No thank you. Thank you for asking.” I am not a couple, I am simply me. I have committed myself to a solitary life. I have taken a vow of chastity.

I have observed that my vow has disturbed many people. The most common response is, “But you’re so pretty!” Does that imply that if I were ugly, my vow would be more acceptable? Ironically, I receive the same response when people learn that I am a police officer. That to me seems to imply that a pretty woman is somehow incapable and inferior.

I have struggled with being inferior my entire life. I craved acceptance in a world that judged me on my appearance and demanded certain things from me. At twenty-one I was still a virgin and after too much teasing from my friends, I chose a man in a bar to “de-flower” me. In college I was focused on my studies, I had no interest in dating. But unwritten society rules dictated that there was something wrong with me if I didn’t have a boyfriend. I chose an abusive partner that alienated me from my friends. Then, like all women, I got married. I had a baby. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? My husband told me I wasn’t friendly enough, that I dressed terribly, and that I was lousy in bed. Thankfully, he divorced me. Unfortunately, I spent the first four years after my divorce trying to convince myself that what my ex-husband said wasn’t true…particularly that last part. Ironically, my desperate attempts to prove my self-worth made my self-esteem plummet further than before. I chose men that did not take care of their finances or their bodies. I chose them because they “loved me” and I thought I was supposed to be grateful. I did not love them. I wanted to; because I thought it was what pretty women were supposed to do. It was unacceptable for me to be alone. At least that was the message society was conveying. I wonder now if I even loved my husband. He often told me that I “didn’t seem to need him.” I do know that I never felt for him what I feel for the son he gave me.

Mother and Child

Motherhood has been the most profound experience of my life. The love I feel for my child has inspired me to be a complete person. I chose to give up writing and singing in an attempt to please my husband. My child, my lovely son has coaxed me to tell him “stories from my head” and he must have me sing to him every night. Now I perform regularly in public with an album on the way. Dragon’s Eye Artistry snapped a picture of me during a performance and I was amazed by the photograph; because just like the pictures of my son and me, I could see love on my face.


Apparently, I needed my husband to teach me that I really didn’t need him. I now know what love really is and I am no longer afraid of being alone because despite what these unwritten society rules may say, I am not alone. My voice instantly connects me, when I sing I have confirmation that I am a part of the universe. I am so grateful to my son for helping me to learn this. I am not a couple, I am simply me. I have committed myself to a solitary life. I have taken a vow of chastity.

I have learned that I cannot choose to give up part of myself in attempt to please a partner. That is not love. I have learned that I must choose my own path. I am not inferior just because I make a different choice from the common society standard.

If I could go back in time, I would go back twenty-nine years to that bar with my so-called friends and I would tell that younger version of myself, “You don’t need that man Amy and you don’t need these people who say they are your friends. You are worth more. If you keep singing, I can promise you a lifetime of profound love.”

The only problem with that is that my son would have never been born. This is why everyone learns different truths at different times. I do not believe that our fates are predestined. I do not believe that everything happens for a reason…but I do believe that everything does have purpose. I cannot change my past and I know that I wouldn’t want to. But I would like to teach young people that they don’t have to get married just because it is common in society. I would like to teach young people that real love is not about sacrifice. Real love should inspire. I would like to teach that no one is inferior, no matter what they look like. I would like everyone to know, you are not alone.