Ostara is a time to celebrate spirituality and the turning of the earth, but there's no reason we can't have a good time with it as well. If you've got kids -- or even if you don't -- this simple rite is a great way to welcome the season using some things that are readily available in the discount stores at this time of year! Bear in mind, this is meant to be fun and a little bit silly. If you think the Universe has no sense of humor, skip this completely.
Beltane is a celebration of fertility, and despite that it's a perfectly natural aspect of the human existence, let's face it -- some parents may not always be comfortable discussing the erect phallus of the god or the open womb of the goddess with their young children. However, in addition to sexual fertility, the Beltane sabbat is also about abundance, in many forms. Don't just focus on material gains -- it's about the growth of the earth and its bounty, and it's about increasing your own spiritual and emotional wealth.
If your family enjoys ritual, you can welcome back the sun at Yule with this simple winter ceremony. The first thing you'll need is a Yule Log. If you make it a week or two in advance, you can enjoy it as a centerpiece prior to burning it in the ceremony. You'll also need a fire, so if you can do this ritual outside, that's even better. As the Yule Log burns, all members of the family should surround it, forming a circle.
If you have a family altar, that's great! It's a nice thing to have, whether you keep it up all year round or just bring it out seasonally. However, if you're a Pagan or Wiccan parent, you may want to go ahead and let your kids have their very own altar. After all, an altar is a place where we keep things that are sacred to us -- but what is sacred to children and what is sacred to adults can be two very different things.
In many Pagan traditions, it’s customary to consecrate your magical tools before beginning your practice. This creates a magical link between you, the tools, and the divine, and even the universe itself. In some traditions, items which have been consecrated have far more power than those which have not.
In this simple, kid-friendly ritual, you can create a talisman charged with love and self-confidence to help a child get past their own fears. Whether it's first-day-of-school jitters, stage fright, or just a nonspecific fear that Something Really Bad might happen, you can empower your young one with the Lion King Kid's Talisman. Best of all, your child can do this rite with you, which makes it all the more effective.
There are a lot of children's books that support Pagan principles and values. Things like stewardship of the earth, respect for nature, reverence of the ancestors, tolerance for diversity, a hope towards peace -- all things that many Wiccan and Pagan parents would like to see instilled in their kids. Here's a list of books that are great reading for the under-eight set.