Monday, October 3, 2011

Organization... or lack thereof...

I've struggled for 40 years (well... for part of that) to find my own place in the world. I have been to more types of churches than most people could come up with names for (but apparently I didn't spend enough time in English class... yikes!). Anyway, all of this searching (and probably a good dose of introvert) eventually led me to being a solitary pagan.

My 7-year-old daughter has started asking me about church. Hmm. Clearly I can't dump on her all of my church baggage... so I opted to try to find something that I could swallow. Now, no offense to church-goers... everyone has a different sense of feeling comfortable... but I, personally, just am not sure what to do here. Obviously, 7yo is asking for some structured spirituality, but I've got none to offer. I can't even structure my own expressions of spirituality... which often seem to come and go with how much time I think I have. I have no dedication... at least not to ritual... and certainly not anything I'm prepared to share with anyone else.

We tried the local Unity church... which just feels like a couple of people gathering until they think the other 10 people are going to quit showing up... and they had no real children's group to speak of. I thought of trying the Calling-All-People-Spiritual-Center type facility... but I hear they're a small group too. I can't go back to Catholicism... I left for some damned good reasons that I'm not ever going to swallow to make a come-back. And I just don't know what to do. Honestly, I think I just have a problem with the "organized" part of organized religion. Which, if you look at my own practice, I seem to also have a problem with the "organized" part of un-organized solitary paganism. Sigh.

How do ya'll organize yourselves and keep yourselves on track? How do you let your family know that the Equinox (or whatever) is a special day in between carpools, homework, piano lessons and whatever else? How do you decide to follow through when your spirituality is roaming around a hundred different stories and deities and facets? How do you stick to something that becomes a ritual?

I teach my kids my values, and hope that it means something later... but right now... I just don't know how to teach my kids the nature of spirituality... especially since I'm still trying to put the pieces together myself.


  1. I am not a mommy yet so i have no idea how i will be handling all this when the time comes, but i can tell you how my mom did it. She would explain things all the time. Every question i had, she gave me a spiritual answer, but she did not have a structured mind of sorts.It was like a fairy tale and a game and i always wanted to know more. I could n't wait to learn how to read the cards, learn hypnosis and practice magick. And when i was a teenager she had to lock away all her herbs and oils(because they were costly) so i would not empty the cabinet. It was a lot of fun learning about magick. And the result is i still believe in fairieslol!

  2. My Spirituality is in my everyday life. It is a part of the food I prepare for my family, the home I cleanse and clean, the time I spend with my loved ones. Ritual is not "fancy" for me. My son has asked a few questions about church and stuff, and I answer them the same way I answer questions about my own Spiritual path..."Some people believe..." As I've recently said to someone else, try not to get caught up in the trappings of "formality" and Ritual, and just let it happen and flow. There is no right or wrong and I too am not for "organized religion". There is no set way to celebrate any turn of the Wheel. Tuning into the energies of the Season is honoring Her. If that means noticing the changing leaves while driving to soccer practice, than that is what it is.

    Sorry for rambling, I could talk about this all day long. I've even blogged about it.

  3. Thanks. I'll have to think over some of that.

    @Dark Mother - From the perspective of the 7yo 'church' is something that other people have... and she's curious. I could take her to other churches so that she gets a feel for what it's like... but I have nothing in that vein to offer her through my belief system. I guess that's my conundrum. And, you're right... maybe I need to just explain to her what *I* do... talk to her about what it's like to have spirituality in your every moment. I love your blog post about it... I can see that you honor the day and what it brings. That's my kind of spirituality too... but I think I'm not as good about putting up shrines and explaining... so much of my spirituality goes on in my inner spaces.

    @Greekwitch - Thanks for sharing what your mom taught you... I think it follows nicely on Dark Mother's suggestion about having it be part of every day... of letting it flow. I'm glad you still believe in fairies... so far my 7yo does too... and I hope to keep it that way!

  4. When he was around 4ish my kidlet went through a phase where he was fascinated by Jesus. As a former Catholic girl (forced to attend Sunday school and something called Kids for Christ) I was a tad worried. My boy is now 8 and he's still slightly curious about the whole churchy thing. I'm not a ritual girl either, and we prefer to practice solitarily, but we do mark special occasions with feasts (which he really loves), we go on walks and talk about folklore, he helps to smudge the house, lends a hand in some spell work, we leave treats for the faerie folk and offerings for the spirits. Because those things are familiar to him, when he asks why people go to church I can say "It's just like when we feast, they are celebrating what they believe... they just do it with other people in a slightly different way." Include her in small ways and it'll make a big difference. I also totally agree with Dark Mother, starting off with "Some people believe..." and maybe end with "What do you think?" Small steps!