A year or so ago a good friend, who lives in Michigan, wrote to tell me about Spiral Scouts. They are an earth-centered-spirituality-oriented, co-ed alternative to Boy or Girl Scouts. I was immediately interested. I had been worried about finding something other than Boy Scouts for the wee boy. The whole God thing, and the lack of a healthy and mature attitude toward homosexuality, pretty much makes Boy Scouts not an option for us. (Do you remember in Auntie Mame? I have nightmares of my sweet boy being turned into the male version of Gloria Upson.) San Diego has no chapter (or circle) as yet, but a group of interested individuals are beginning the process of creating one. In fact, we met up last night to complete the paperwork. And there was a LOT of paperwork. Because we’re pagan, it was a little like herding cats (okay, black cats).
Do you have this form?
Who wants to be a Leader? Did you say you wanted to be a Leader?
My form looks different from that one.
Can I get a copy of that?
Did you fill this out? I think you need to fill this out.
And then we left the meeting, and we didn’t take any photos of the Leaders like we were supposed to. So we’re just going to sent them in ourselves. Trust is… well, implicit. But it was fun. Geeklet enjoyed it, and has been asking if the next meeting is the one “where we all get to do lots of fun things together.” I haven’t even approached the issue of badges yet. And it got me to thinking about personal beliefs and expression.
I consider myself … generally pagan. I don’t consider myself a witch, though perhaps witches I know would disagree. I don’t believe in anthropomorphic omnipotent beings. I believe in the interconnection of all living things, animate and non-animate, carbon-based and other. I believe there is something else involving the spirit in addition to this body we inhabit currently. My personal philosophy involves some pantheism, some Buddhism, and a bit of tree-hugging, an understanding that atheists and humanists have a point, and an appreciation for relating to emotional imagery (like deities). Candle-lighting, singing songs, tarot readings and ritual bring out the Gemini*/wiccan in me, so it’s good when I can get it–but I don’t often have the opportunity, which for me has to involve a lot of trust. (There’s that word again.)
For the Geeklet and small persons in general I think a healthy dose of pure-strength paganism on a regular basis is healthy. We teach our boy about the God(s) and Goddess(es), about Mother Earth and the dance of the seasons, about the wheel of the year, the pagan names for pagan holidays, and emphasize these over other secular (read: mainstreamed Christian) holidays, alongside our general geeky scientific-answer approach to everything. Why? Because the natural world, song and dance, drama and story, and a bit of anthropomorphizing (in my opinion) are healthy for children. They are dreamers and story-seekers. They don’t care about Buddhism (except for maybe the reincarnation bit). They like singing “Let Me Find My Way to the Well” and “Mother Holle be here now” and hearing about Lugh, the laughing god of light and harvest, and Brigit and the well. I really do believe this. Pagan deities in general seem to relish life, really live it, in giant technicolor, while generally valuing or at least not disturbing the natural world. This is something I don’t mind sharing with our small guy. I admit, I also dislike feeding him the status quo when it is all-too-often merely a secularized version of one religion’s view of things. Seeing things from a less-dominant perspective will be good for him. See, parenting. Ahh.
Meditation? That will come. For now, I’d like to color his imagination with good guys, good imagery, and lots of stories. Lots and lots of stories. Anyone have any references for pagan stories?
Not expensive sources, mind. I have to save up for badges, I think.
*Which for me is a kind of psychic high-school Drama kid thing.