Tag Archives: learning

What should you learn when you begin?

Its a question that pops up from time to time where members wanting to join my meetup group ask me if I can teach them about Wicca. This leaves me perplexed. Its not that Wicca or pagan religions are complicated or even confusing. If anything, they’re pretty basic and simple to learn.

Most books on the subject cover the basics pretty well, and from there, you need to step outside to learn from other faiths and practices to see where you feel guided.

What should you learn?

Meditation– This is very basic and offers so much in the way of physical, emotional, and spiritual benefit. You learn how to visualize, control your will and mind, and focus thought in certain directions.

Journaling– Whether you call it a Book of Shadows, a dream journal, or whatever, its important to keep some record of your spiritual journey. This doesn’t need to be words but also pictures/photos, etc. Many use this as a resource as well, keeping important rituals, prayers, craft ideas, and spells on hand.

Sacred Space– (how to cast a circle and altar) You can create sacred space with nothing but visualization, but learning the basics of building a ‘temple, as well as the tools and setting help with creating a place for meditations, spell work, communing with the god/dess(es), and so on.

The Moon– learn about the moon phases, the elements of each phase, how it ties to our bodies and mind, and how religion honors those aspects. It ties into the balancing of the world around us with the rhythms of Nature.

The Sun, or Wheel of the Year- The eight holidays/sabbats honor the solar year where the sun moves through the phases of Light to Darkness and back again. Its tied to the planting and setting of goals. Again, this teaches us balance, but also celebration through the seasons.

Spellcraft– as prayer and empowerment. You need to learn not only the elements and symbols of spellwork, but the reasons why we use spellwork. Its about empowerment, self-guidance, healing, growth, etc.

Healing– aside with spellcraft, many pagans also explore natural methods of healing. You might find drawn to herbs, or stones, or Reiki, or other specific healing, but the art of healing often becomes crucial in our own lives as well as those around us. It also involves healing of Spirit, not just the body. You don’t have to specialize, but learning some basic techniques can prove helpful.

Divination, (gain insight) learning a method to divine for yourself the inner workings of the Self. This involves learning to understand symbolism and meaning beneath the obvious. It can include dream interpretation, crystal ball gazing, vision quests, Tarot, pendulum, etc.

Nature– The natural world around us offers so much in teaching lessons in so many ways. Even the natives often learned ways of hunting, how to form tribes, how to foresee the weather, and so forth by watching the animals and nature around them.

Some book suggestions:

What do you think? What books are best for the newbie pagan, and which ones did you start out with? What lessons do you think are most valuable to study in the first year?

Post below.

BOS Assignment: Add a page to your BOS/Journal on what you feel is most important in any religion/faith. What things do you hope to learn this year? This will be compared at the end of the first year.

Pagan kids

When I started homeschooling my son four years ago, I encountered a number of other homeschoolers who taught quite a lot about the Bible and their religion into their children’s education. You can imagine my surprise, when I discovered there are pagan homeschoolers who do the same!

My twelve year old son joined me a few rituals, but he doesn’t classify himself as pagan. He says he believes in Jesus (teachings) and Nature, and that’s fine.

WETLAND 028_0003I teach the homeschool basics of reading, math, history, science, and so forth. Its when we explore Social Studies where he gets a taste of various religions. For instance, if I’m teaching about Japan, we explore Shinto. If we’re learning about the Vikings, we also learn about the ancient god/desses of the time and the practices.

You learn a lot about a people based on their practices and belief systems. We cover the basic principles, their view on the afterlife, and how it affects the culture.

Children learn their ethics and beliefs from their parents whether the parents teach them or not. I see nothing wrong with this for it gives children a basic network of belief systems to work with. Its when they start questioning those beliefs and wanting to do things on their own that its important to guide them along that path.

We are a mixed family. My husband is Lutheran. I’m pagan. Our son will just as likely visit a Unitarian church with me as he will go through the God and Family course through the Boy Scouts. He will pick up what he needs along the way.

What are your thoughts? Should kids be taught the faith of their parents? Should they be on their own? What experience have you had in your own spiritual background to what you believe today?

Pagan Parenting

Beara’s Children for Pagan Homeschoolers

The Pagan Household’s page of homeschooling

Seasonal and spiritual changes

aaa

If anything the changing seasons teach us is that life is all about cycles and change. Things don’t stay the same.

You may find, from time to time, experiences will change your belief system. I’m very different from when I started my spiritual path as a child.

Things that impact beliefs;

Experiences offer insight into ourselves and the workings of the world. Some people lose faith, while others find faith. I went through a long time, years even, where I felt abandoned by the Goddess due to some bad experiences. I eventually found my way back, through meditation, questioning, and learning about other religions.

Learning provides lots of fresh ideas and practices. I found so much help from Buddhism and Taoism that helped shape and form my beliefs. Some of the teachings helped define the more obscure concepts, while providing new ideas to ponder and ‘realize’ in time.

Teachers take many forms, and not just formal teachers. Covens offer orthodox training, but you can find a teacher in any age, gender, or even religion along your spiritual path. Sometimes a pet can teach you something about yourself, or Life Experience. Take the lessons as they come. Even people you hate can teach you something about yourself.

Book of Shadows Assignment– Keep a page dedicated to the teachers you encounter along your spiritual path. Jot down notes on the lessons learned. This might end up as a section in your book, depending on the number of teachers you encounter, and the amount of learning you accept.