Ritual Etiquette with Children

Below are the 13 Points for Family Covens Involved in Community Ritual. WDSC asks all pagan parents to utilize these 13 Points when participating in group events with their families.

 

  1. Get your priorities straight. Family Community is the thing you should be devoted to first and foremost. Your children are your magical legacy. Treat them that way and above all else be prepared to defend that. Be prepared to monitor your children, if the energy is too much if the exposure is too much, be prepared to leave the ritual or event to restore calm and order to your Family Community, if necessary.
  2. Investigate the group you are going to participate with. In the specific case of WDSC, they ask specifically that children who can talk and walk are found a babysitter. This is so that the work of spirituality for the adults can be achieved with as little interference as possible. If you don’t like this policy, then WDSC may not be the group for you.
  3. WDSC also encourages family participation in Sabbat celebrations. It is not that WDSC is anti-children, it is anti-poorly behaved children. Ask your sponsors what is expected from families with children.
  4. Prepare your Family Community. Do ritual at home, explain the Pagan ways and tell them what they can expect at a Sabbat Ritual. Teach them basic shielding techniques.
  5. Set expectations of behavior. Set up a reward system for good behavior with your children. Don’t just discuss good behavior for your children, tell your children how others should treat them. Prepare them to identify when adults are acting inappropriately and prepare them to take the proper steps to protect themselves. Even WDSC cannot guarantee that a visiting dedicate is perfectly safe. Arming your children and notifying your sponsor of inappropriate behavior is expected not just for the safety of your children. It is for the safety of WDSC and all future children who may participate within WDSC
  6. You’re a Witch, use magic. Visualize your Family Community connected by a color that is associated with your Family Community. On the ride to the event, spend some time feeling your Family Community’s connection. Visualize the bond of Family Community violently vibrating when one of the members is in danger. Take some time to ‘feel’ how that is. Then visualize each child with a giant psychic sign that is constantly broadcasting, “Touch my child with harmful intent and you will pay, ” over and over and over. Put all that Mother Bear, Father Lion energy into this psychic sign. If your child already has a familiar or spiritual guardian, call them to you and instruct them on protection of that child. Finally, visualize a conduit that runs from your child’s aura whose purpose is to siphon off excess energy they may pick up. This permanent grounding technique is useful not just for gatherings, but any event where there will be large crowds with lots of mixed energy.
  7. Identify your Family Community and tag your child. Wear the same colored shirts to an event. Put wristbands on your children with their name, your name, a cell phone number and any medical information (allergic to bees, peanut butter) . If they are toddlers, pen a piece of paper with this information on their backs. Even in a small group setting like WDSC this information is important. Introduce your children when you attend Sabbat events and be sure your sponsor knows about allergies so that the Kitchen Witch is aware and can avoid these things when preparing cakes and ale and other feast foods.
  8. Make a game plan. Decide what behavior you are and aren’t going to tolerate from your children, make that plain and then be prepared to leave early to accommodate your children if necessary.
  9. Check in with the Children Grove point of service. Find out what, if any, special children’s events are being held and when.
  10. Make visual contact with your children. When you bring your child, the Community is not suddenly responsible for your child’s safety and well being. You are. Be sure you know where your child is, what they are doing and supervise them.
  11. Have your children participate. Don’t just let them run wild. No one appreciates that and it doesn’t add spirituality to the ritual. Have your children attend events or workshops that are permitted for children. If you are going to a public circle and you know there will be no children’s activities; bring something for the child to do so they can be occupied and busy.
  12. Keep the Family Community Schedule. Adjust sleep times some; however, recognize that even you get cranky if you don’t get enough sleep, so by ensuring your children eat properly, get enough rest and are hydrated, you are also cutting down on the potential behavior problems. Think about this in the day leading up at an event. If your child doesn’t tolerate sugar well then avoid feeding them sugar on days that you will participate in Community events.
  13. Do a system check with your Family Community about once per hour. How is the child(ren) taking the energy? Is anyone sick or feeling uncomfortable? Is this experience positive? Is it time to go home? Monitor your children and the community you are participating in. If you see something that upsets you, leave. If you have a problem with someone acting inappropriately to you or your children, leave. If you go to ritual and get a feeling that something isn’t right, leave. If your child tells you they are not comfortable, leave. If the community seems unreceptive to your Family Community, leave. Your karmic responsibility is to your Family Community. Your children are your spiritual legacy. Treat them that way.

By Lydia M N Crabtree

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