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Patti Wigington

Patti's Paganism / Wicca Blog

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Keeping Kids Involved in Pagan Practice

Friday May 30, 2014
As the modern Pagan movement progresses and evolves, the Pagan community has grown to encompass people of all age levels. Those who discovered Paganism as teens or college students two or three decades ago are now raising their own children, and so the demographic within the Pagan community is constantly changing. It's not uncommon at all to meet families in which one or both parents are Pagans or Wiccans, and they may have kids who follow a variety of religious paths.

One of the questions that arises, though, is that of how to include children in Pagan practice. After all, it's not as though there's a Pagan version of Sunday school for us to send our kids off to - yes, I know there is Spiral Scouts, a worthy organization, but branches are few and far between. Don't worry, though -- there are a number of different ways you can include your kids in your Pagan beliefs, and get them involved. Although the type of activity you do with them may vary based upon age levels, you can always find some way to incorporate Pagan values and beliefs into your kids' lives: Including Kids in Pagan Practice

Also, be sure to read Ten Activities for Pagan Kids.

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Reader Email: Welcoming the Non-Pagans

Tuesday May 27, 2014
A reader contacted me with an interesting question. He says, "I'm hosting an open circle, and several members of my group are inviting their non-Pagan friends to attend. This is fine, but I'm wondering if you had any suggestions on how to make people feel welcome that are not part of our tradition."

Absolutely: you treat them with respect and courtesy, just like you would any other guest. I'm not being facetious here -- sometimes we think we have to tippy toe around our non-Pagan friends, but if they're your guests, it doesn't matter what their religious beliefs are. They deserve to be treated like everyone else, in a way that makes them feel welcome. If you know who your non-Pagan guests are ahead of time, you might want to send them some information in advance so they know what to expect. Otherwise, make sure that the members of your group who invited non-Pagan friends will be able to explain what's going on to their guests.

Seriously, don't worry. The mere fact that you thought to ask about what to do tells me you're someone who will make your guests feel at home. As long as you welcome them and treat them with courtesy, everything should be fine. Just in case, though, here are some tips on Making Non-Pagans Feel Welcome.

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Teen Pagans and Bullying

Sunday May 25, 2014
It's no secret that teenagers are often the victims of bullying, and those who are outside the mainstream -- those who look different, act different, etc. -- can often be targets for malicious behavior. Unfortunately, that puts teen Pagans in a direct path for many bullies, and because school administrators are not typically educated about Wicca and other modern Pagan religions, they may not have a clue about what to do. If you're a teen Pagan or Wiccan, or the parent of one, and you've been the victim of bullying behavior, here are some tips on what to do: Teen Pagans and Bullying

Readers, do you have any advice for a teen or parent who might be dealing with bullying because of their religious beliefs?

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Some Exciting News Here at About!

Wednesday May 21, 2014
Guys, guys, guys! This is some good stuff, and I'm thrilled to share it with you!

ABOUT.COM IS GETTING A MAKEOVER!

For years, folks have written to me and said, "I love the information you share but your site looks like it's stuck in 2004." Yeah, I know, believe me. I get it, really, I do -- and fortunately, the new owners of About.com do too. Starting in about a month, you'll see an amazing and beautiful redesign rolling out across the network. I've seen the preliminary mockups, and the sites look gorgeous!

You'll notice a lot more images - and I'm talking about big, pretty ones that you can use to share content with your friends. You'll also see prominently displayed Social buttons on each piece of content , which is something I've been begging for for a loooooong time - that's going to make it a lot easier and smoother to share stuff you like on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or wherever else you go.

One thing you may (or may not) notice is that the blog feature on the main page - where you are right now - is going away after May. That's okay, though - you'll see plenty of timely and seasonal content right here on my landing page, just like you do now, but you'll be seeing the actual content right off the bat, instead of a blog post that says, "Hey, I wrote a thing, here's a link to it!"

Seriously, I am so excited about the redesign, which we should see in late June, if all goes as scheduled. About.com has consistently had a thousand great people creating quality work, but the network's dated appearance has been a struggle for many of us. We're moving into 2014, at long last, and I am so thrilled with the results. And best of all, I think you will be too!

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Summer Reading: Our Favorite Witchy Fiction

Sunday May 18, 2014

Get ready for summer with some great fiction
Get ready for summer with some witchy fiction!
Image Getty Images
Summer is looming on the horizon, which means a lot of us need some good vacation reads - and so it's a good time to revisit our About Pagan/Wiccan list of favorite witchy fiction. Be sure to check out our list of ten great books (some series, some single titles) which are my favorite reads about witches, wizards, Pagans, and magic at Summer Reading: Witchy Fiction.

What's really awesome is that thanks to our Readers Respond feature, over seventy readers have added their favorite titles as well, so there's no shortage of good reads! You can share your own book ideas with other readers at Reader Favorites. I've turned off Comments on this post so you can share your suggestions on the Readers Respond page instead - that way other readers can find them easily, any time.

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Are You a Crafty Pagan?

Friday May 16, 2014
OK, so one of the most popular aspects of this particular About.com site is, I have found, that people really love Pagan-themed craft projects. I've posted a number of them for Sabbats and other occasions, and they're always a big hit. I know tons of readers do them, as well as doing their own craft projects.

We also have a really cool feature called Show and Tell, which allows readers to submit a photo and a story. If you've put together a project that celebrates your gods, your beliefs, a Pagan holiday or some other aspect of your spirituality, stop on in and share it with other readers here: Share Your Crafts

Once it's submitted, it goes into a queue for moderation. I'll review it and approve it, and then it goes live on the site. This is a neat way for everyone to share some of their projects, so send 'em on in!

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Reader Mail: Do I Have Special Powers?

Thursday May 15, 2014
A reader asks, "I always have dreams about what's going to happen. My grandmother was sick and I dreamed she was going to die, and then she did. Sometimes I know someone is going to call me and then they do. I'm pretty sure I have special powers. Does this make me more powerful as a witch??"

As much as I hate to burst your bubble on this, I think most people have some amount of latent psychic ability. In the Pagan community, having a psychic gift doesn't really make you a special snowflake, because there are so many other people who have the same abilities in varying degrees. The problem we run into is that we're typically told that it's hogwash while we're growing up -- stuff we think we "see" is chalked up to a vivid imagination or too much television -- and by the time we reach adulthood, we've sort of suppressed all that natural intuition that we have. In short, many people are raised to "disbelieve" in psychic ability, so by the time they're grownups, they doubt that it's even possible.

Also, keep in mind that the events you describe aren't unusual. If your grandmother was elderly and ill, it's not unreasonable to assume that she would eventually pass away. Likewise, with the phone calls -- while it *could* be a psychic connection, it could just be that the person who called you is someone who calls regularly enough that it's not weird for them to have called at that particular time.

It's not uncommon to have intuitive flashes like you've described, and there's nothing supernatural or ooky-spooky about it. Being psychic has nothing to do with "special powers." It's more about being in tune with your own intuition and subconscious. While some people are certainly more psychically gifted than others, there's no reason you can't work on developing your own talents and abilities: Developing Your Psychic Gifts

As to your other question, about whether this somehow makes you "more powerful" as a witch, the very notion of "more powerful" is pretty subjective. I wouldn't worry about being "powerful" so much as I would suggest you focus on developing your skills so they'll be of some benefit to you.

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Making an Athame

Tuesday May 13, 2014

The athame is used to direct energy.
Thinking about making your
own athame? Me too!
Image Patti Wigington 2011
Many Pagan traditions use an athame, or ritual knife, during workings. It's typically involved in the directing and guiding of energy, and rarely used for any cutting other than the symbolic. While you can buy an athame at just about any witchy shop, a lot of people like to make their own. My twenty-year-old athame has informed me it's ready to retire, so I'm seriously considering making my own athame as a replacement. However, I have little to no knowledge of metalworking, so it's an experiment in progress. Until I get it right and can post a tutorial, I thought I'd share a few tips I've picked up along the way: Making Your Own Athame.

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Celebrate May's Flower Moon

Monday May 12, 2014

Celebrate the Flower Moon
Celebrate the Flower Moon in May
Image Getty Images
It's May, and that means that the Flower Moon will appear this week. This is a time of fertility and new growth, and May is a fiery month indeed -- full of lust and passion! In addition to the obvious sexual connections, this is a good time to focus on new beginnings in your career and finances. For magical workings, try a fire divination under the full moon, or do rituals related to jobs and prosperity. Take the seeds you planted in April, and watch them bloom this month, under the Flower Moon!

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Life Rituals: Create a Birthday Altar

Saturday May 10, 2014
For some people birthdays are just another day, but for others, it's often seen as a special time. After all, it's a milestone -- it marks the anniversary of your arrival on earth! Whether you're having a small group of friends over for cake, or going out to a big party at your favorite club, sometimes it's important to take a few moments just for ourselves to mark our birthdays. You can do this by setting up a birthday altar to celebrate the journey your life has led you on thus far. How to Create a Birthday Altar

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