Hello and happy March, my powerful witch friends. How are we enjoying this New moon energy? I am personally wiped out. I keep waiting for some physical alchemy to change within myself and I suddenly don’t feel completely overwhelmed by the moon cycles each and every time, but it’s been 43 years of this, so I guess this is just who I am. But that’s cool; I kind of love the connection I feel.
And speaking of being overwhelmed, I have been pretty bowled over by the sense of community I have felt with the witches in this little community, I mean, all the time, but especially during this last week. So I want to say thank you for reaching out to me, and for your lovely words and the really beautiful sentiments.
So March is here. This month, we get to look forward to Ostara, or the Spring Equinox, if you prefer on the 20th I think, and if my memory serves, there will be a full moon right before that, like a day or two ahead of the equinox. We will cruise into Aries season later this month. I’m an Aries moon, so that’s fun. And you know what, I’m going to go ahead and address a couple listener questions real quick like here, because they are related to the last episode we did on Deities in the craft. The first one says:
Hi Eli !!
My name is derrick, and I’m a practicing witch of almost ten years now! I had a question concerning your latest episode, the one about deities. I was just curious about your thoughts on Satanic witchcraft; many people who aren’t witches are concerned about all witches being satanists, of course, but I was wondering what you thought? I know many witches are satanists, some who are nontheistic (they don’t actually believe in satan as a deity, but instead a set of ideologies), but I also know there are many who do actually believe in a deity whom they call Satan, and who work with him as if he were any other deity. Anyways, I was just curious about your thoughts on it! I would also like to clarify that this is not a private question, and I have no issues with you addressing it on your podcast; in fact, I think many witches could benefit from hearing about it. Thank you so much for your time, I love your podcast so much, and can’t wait to hear what you’ll talk about next week!!
Well, derrick, what a question. And you’re so right, a lot of non-witches, especially non-witches who are Christian, assume that we all worship Satan. And I gotta say, shows like The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina are not helping to dispel that notion. I could do ten minutes on my thoughts about that show, but it’s a piece of entertainment and people should be free to create whatever kind of art they like and the rest of us are free to either watch it or not. That isn’t the point.
Most, if not all of the Satanists that I personally know, don’t worship Satan as a literal entity, but as you said, more of an archetype or philosophy. The Church of Satan promotes humanism, individualism, materialism, a lot of isms really, pride in the self, and enlightenment, but does not recognize Satan as an actual being. Neither does the Satanic Temple; their focus is on freedom, righting injustice and opposing tyrannical power structures, but not a literal Satan.Neither does the Temple of Set, which is a splinter group of the original Church of Satan.
So proper Satanists then, who truly recognize Satan as a deity or at least as a divine being, are kind of like the rest of us who might call upon Hekate or Baphomet, but we aren’t members of the church of Hekate or Baphomet. And that right there expresses my thoughts about it. I have never called upon Satan in my personal practice, so I can’t speak from the point of view of anything other than an outside observer, but when it comes to folks who worship Satan, I mean, I get it. Satan as a construct represents the antithesis of what so many of us have experienced in organized Abrahamic religions, and that can be very healing.
For so many of us, or at least for me as a very young child attending a real fire and brimstone church with my grandmother, I was made to fear with all my heart the idea of simply questioning the church, with a capital C. You didn’t question the messages in the bible, even when they contradicted each other or just plain didn’t make any sense. You didn’t question the preacher, you didn’t question the existence of god, or the devil or heaven or hell. Because that’s how you lose your soul and get damned to hell. That is so damaging to a child, it’s so abusive to forbid the very fact of simply having questions. And when you realize that, and you realize that these preachers are just men in suits pounding the pulpit, it is really empowering and healing to start challenging all the so-called truths that you’ve been told.
For a lot of people, that means instead of worshiping Christ and fearing the wrath of God, you start worshiping Satan, and creating your own set of ideals and tenets. And I am A-OK with that. Where it sort of goes off the rails is when people commit really horrible crimes and call themselves acting in the name of Satan. And that’s where Christians get it wrong too. Satan’s whole gig was free will, so if you’re committing crimes against other people in the name of Satan, you are robbing them of their free will and you’re frankly not being a very good Satanist.
So that’s my whole opinion on the matter of Satanism and Satanists, basically to paraphrase the Wiccan Rede, if you’re not hurting anyone, get on with your bad self. And then I had one more question I want to respond to because it’s also related to last week’s episode on Deity work. This question is from Lisa who writes:
I recently dodged a huge financial bullet of my own making due to procrastination. During the process, I wanted to ask for deity support and then offer appreciation for a good outcome (much like I have in the past with my rare little prayers to God), but was unsure how to go about that. To whom do I “speak”?
Thank you for your time.
And to that I say we’ve all been a victim of our own procrastination from time to time, but I’m glad everything worked out for you. For an issue like this, I suggested the goddess Fortuna. She’s the Roman goddess of fate, chance, luck, abundance, wealth, justice, and prosperity. So when things like this go your way, Fortuna has smiled on you.
She appreciates balance, so ways to honor her (and to remain in her good graces) would include mindfully giving donations or service in her name to those who are down on their luck. And to be clear, these don’t have to be huge donations that put a financial strain on you, it’s really just about sort of paying it forward. I mentioned to Lisa that the local witch shop in my area actually has a statuette of Fortuna and people regularly leave money at her feet, which the shop then matches dollar for dollar and donates those contributions to a different charity each quarter.
Obviously, this isn’t something everyone has access to, but the spirit of that action is exactly Fortuna’s style. So having a small plate or tray specifically for the purpose of setting aside a dollar or two when you can, to then donate in her honor once you have a set amount (and I don’t mean some extravagant sum, it could literally be $5. The point of the practice is the intention behind it) might be something you could work into your regular practice.
If you want to make a little space on your altar for her, Fortuna is represented in tarot by the Wheel of Fortune, so you might place that card in a prominent position, maybe light a candle for her (my books tell me that purple is her color correspondence, if you happen to have purple candles, otherwise, as always, white will work just fine), and she is also associated with the oak tree, so images or even acorns as a tribute to her will be nice. So that’s what I recommended for Lisa.
And if you ever have a question for me, please email me at email@example.com or DM me on Insta or Facebook at @middleagedwitch because I love it..
And now on to the topic of the day: incorporating your family, your kids, and your loved ones into your craft. Or to put it more succinctly, witchcraft for kids. There are a lot of really fun and meaningful ways to make the craft more accessible to our families, and why wouldn’t we want to do that? We are raising the next generation of witches, after all. And I think that it’s important to start exposing kids to the craft from the very beginning, in an age-appropriate way at every developmental level.
Just as we teach our kids how to read and write and paint and draw and tie their shoes, it’s just as important to give them a base of knowledge of witchcraft to help them understand our philosophies, but also the seasons, and nature, and holidays, and the cycles of life. And it can be really empowering for children, just as it is empowering for us as adults, to recognize the power that each of us wields in creating the lives that we want to live. I think probably every kid makes a potion out of leaves and flower petals and hose water at some point in their childhood; it’s kind of a universal expression of power that children naturally seem to understand. So that’s where we are coming from today.
And it doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to mean a lot of extra work or effort. Kids, when they’re little, love to imitate us, and they love to just be involved in whatever it is that we are doing. So we can start teaching our little ones about changing seasons when we go on walks together, by pointing out the changes in weather, and how the trees begin to lose their leaves, or when new flowers begin to grow. Making it a point to collect a new flower or leaf to bring home and look up to find out what it’s called and if there are any ways to use it in magic, which incidentally is a great way to start them creating their own grimoires.
Kids notice everything too, and they are the first to see, you know, a feather on the ground, and we can use those moments to talk about what sort of bird that feather came from and what that feather may mean as a message. Or that owl they always hear at night, or the repeating numbers they see during the day. It’s so easy for kids to recognize messages and if they start decoding those messages when they’re young, they’re going to be absolute pros by the time they’re older. When they’re old enough to start remembering their dreams, we can use that as a teachable moment as well, to talk about what dreams can mean, and using simple terms and explanations, we can start to give kids a base of knowledge about messages and symbolism in dreams, and it encourages kids to try and remember their dreams.
I can only speak for myself, but I used to recall so much detail in my dreams and as I got older, like by my early twenties, I sort of stopped even trying to remember them. If I had been encouraged to consider my dreams as important from the time I was very small, I would have prioritized trying to remember them, instead of now, you know if I have a really profound or weird dream, I may recall some of it or most of it, but not like I used to. And even though I keep a dream journal now and it definitely helps to remember as much as I can, it doesn’t come as easily as it used to. And that’s not because of age, it’s because it really is something that you use it or you lose it. And dream magic and dream interpretation are important, so I think that introducing kids to those concepts when they’re little is a good idea.
We can teach kids about the moon cycles by simply observing and pointing out the different phases of the moon, inviting them to choose a new moon intention, drawing a picture of their intention, and placing it on their altar. Taking kids out under the full moon to dance and recharge. Teaching kids how to make moon water, and how to use it in their hot cocoa, or to water their plants, or to put it in a spray bottle with a little piece of tourmaline to make monster spray if they’re scared of the dark. These are small gestures that add up, and it’s not just teaching kids witchcraft, but also creating memories for them that they’re going to carry with them into adulthood.
The big obvious one, especially for really little ones, is those quote-unquote imaginary friends. Those relationships are so important, and rather than blow it off or ignore it, or diminish it as fake or just the product of a vivid imagination, asking questions about those friends, asking our kids to draw pictures of them, having our kids ask their imaginary friends about their backgrounds, and their histories, and their families, is a great way to encourage them to remain open to other realms and realities. And many times, those imaginary friends could be spirit guides, so giving kids space to cultivate those relationships is a hell of a gift.
Obviously, the most fun you can have in a witchy family is planning for and celebrating the sabbats. And speaking as a former Christian, I remember that it was always important for my grandmother to make sure that we understood what the holidays were really meant to be about.
Now, I don’t fault my poor Christian grandmother for the fact that 95% of her holiday rituals and traditions were plagiarized from paganism and the other 5% were boring and lame. But she made sure that we understood what they meant to her. And it is similarly important, and it’s also very easy, to teach our little ones the meanings for our traditions, whether it’s why eggs and bunnies are significant to Ostara, and why we decorate with skulls during Samhain. And as they get older, it’s a lot of fun when they get the opportunity to educate others on the pagan roots of, say, Yule trees, and harvest festivals, and all the other traditions that have been co-opted by mainstream religions.
I won’t go super deep into individual sabbats because I do a whole episode each time a new sabbat approaches, and speaking of, we will have an Ostara episode in a couple weeks, but I will say that we need to include our kids and our families as much as we can in those preparations because those are the traditions that they will carry down in their own families.
Cooking is a really great activity to do with kids and research shows that kids will eat a wider variety of food when they’re involved in the preparation and cooking of it, and all that is great. But it’s also a great opportunity to teach our kids the magical correspondences of herbs and spices like rosemary, cinnamon, vanilla, and so forth. So they can add nutmeg to their oatmeal cookies for luck, or they can add garlic to their spaghetti sauce for protection, and by having a hands-on approach to magical herbalism, they’re going to retain that information really easily. Their little minds are really like sponges and they just soak it all up.
Oh, ok. The Learning Altar. I cannot take any credit for this concept, this brilliant bit of conscientious parenting comes from a lovely witch called Candice, who incidentally has just opened her own witch shop and has booked her first gig as a vendor at a metaphysical fair next month and I am so frickin excited for her. I just love seeing witches create their destinies.
Anyway, Candice keeps an altar for deities that she and her little witches change every month or so. They will learn about the deity of the month at an age appropriate level, and decorate the altar with offerings and drawings. she sent me a few pictures and it’s so adorable and such a great idea. I wish I had thought of doing that when my witches were little, but you can bet your ass that I’ll be doing it for my grandkids someday.
It’s such a cool way to teach little witches about, not only deities and different spiritual entities, but it’s also a great way to teach them to set up and maintain their own altars and to be really comfortable and confident with the entire concept of setting up their altars and placing different elem. And while we have a seasonal altar that we change for, not only the seasons, but also the different sabbats, but I had never considered it for deities, and I just loved that so I wanted to share it.
And I would like to hear from others, please tell me what you do in your homes to share your practice with your kids and your families. I know that we are witches of all different ages and I know that not all of us have kids, but if there’s something you would like to share with the rest of us, I would be thrilled to hear it. This is a collaborative effort and there is always something new to learn and all of us have something to teach. So please drop your wisdom on the collective.
And come back next week because we are going to spend time learning about our birth charts, and I’m really excited to get into that. Until then, my name is Eli, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch podcast.