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5 Helpful Tips for Practicing Witchcraft with Young Children

Witchcraft and Young Children. Can the two really mingle?
A woman holding a baby
If you're wondering, yes, we are dressed as Morticia and Pugsley!

I was skeptical that my practice could include my boys while they were incredibly young, let alone how to approach the appropriate way to incorporate pagan worship into our household.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how easily elements of my practice have woven their way into our routine, and I wanted to share them in the hopes of helping any other mama witches out there.

Here is my approach.

1. Keep it basic and straightforward.

A woman holding a baby
I have become the ultimate obstacle course

When including my kids, I stick to straightforward concepts. Food and Cleansing are the foundations. 

Every sabbat, we celebrate a meal. 

Every new moon, we cleanse the house together.

When it comes to exposure (because there’s no hiding the magickal tools, art, books, and props in my office and decor style), I explain briefly what something is, whether or not they can touch it, allow them to interact, and move on. 

A tarot card held in front of a young boy
My son always pulls the best cards to give to Dada!

My eldest has a tarot deck I’ve deemed appropriate for him to play with. He can throw, bend, or play with the cards however he chooses. We don’t do “readings,” but we discuss the images on the cards and the feelings the cards evoke. Once he’s bored, we move on.

2. Don’t over-explain.

I have to work on this myself; I’m naturally an over-explainer. My boys are currently 2 years and 10 months old. Explaining anything to a baby is pretty pointless, and trying to share the meaning of each sabbat and magickal correspondence with a 2-year-old is a guaranteed way to bore him to death. I focus on the feeling when I can.

“Doesn’t it feel great to share a big dinner as a family?”

“I feel so grateful for the sun coming out more! How does that make you feel?”

“Isn’t it refreshing when the house is clean? I can feel it in the air!”

A woman holding a baby
My eldest at just 10 months, Halloween '22!

Remain transparent, concise, calm, and clinical.

Whenever I introduce a holiday to the kids, I calmly say, “This weekend, we will celebrate Bealtaine with a big dinner. I wonder what we should eat together?” Then I open up for discussion. I treat the sabbats as a fact of our life cycle because they are!

My two-year-old has only begun asking, “What’s this?” and “Why?” 

A boy watching a film
Watching the classics in the playroom

When he does, I say; 

“That is Mama’s wand.” 

“That is Mama’s book.” 

“Those are Mama’s cards.” I don’t go into any further detail unless he asks. Undoubtedly, this will change and shift as he gets older and more curious (which I intend to update here about!). This information is enough for him to grasp, and he can go merrily on his way. There is no pressure or overburdening with information or trying to coerce him into caring about it. 

3. Keep it relevant. 

A woman sitting outside
I'm loving being outdoors right now!

Nature. Everything always comes back to nature. 

My kids don’t understand the constructs of a calendar, the importance of shadow work, or why the history of Irish Paganism is critical to my practice. They DO understand that the weather is getting warmer and we spend more time outside now. 

We talk about nature all the time. We point out the changes in the leaves, admire the shining sun, smell the fresh flowers, and express gratitude for the time spent outdoors. In time, we will bring awareness to seasonal foods as well. We talk about the animals we see in the light and the darkness. These are especially helpful with a baby who thrives on hearing Mama and Dada talk about surroundings that can be pointed to and interacted with.

Our kids are learning the languages of the seasons. Bringing awareness to how their body feels in changing time and space is a core part of what I hope to impress upon them. Even if, as they get older, they show no interest in building a similar spiritual practice, I see no downside to teaching them awareness of the world around them at a very young age. Everything about my practice is built upon this cornerstone, so we start here.

4. Remain private.

This is two-fold. Firstly, I do most of my personal magickal practice in private when time allows. This is partially to retain my self-care rituals (because I see performing magick as an act of self-care) and also to shield them from participating in an activity without their informed consent. I do not feel it is appropriate to include children in magick. They need to be made aware of the actions they are engaging in and the energy they are connecting to. While I can explain some of these backgrounds and processes as they age, I will not include them in ritual work until they are adults. It takes a mature mind to grasp the severity of manipulating energies to one’s will, and I respect the space they need to grow and learn free from that responsibility.

two young boys playing piano
My two little loves

Secondly, we do not advertise that we are pagans in our day-to-day lives, and I choose to share limited personal details amongst members of the witchcraft community about them. We participate in activities amongst predominately Christians in our community, and broadcasting that we are pagan would only result in prejudice from others towards my innocent kids. I don’t need everyone knowing that “so-and-so’s mom is a literal witch, so don’t invite them over.” How unfair would that be? 

I also refuse to share their faces in photographs or personal details about them online amongst those who know my practice. Inviting in stranger’s energies directed towards my family is dangerous and is only magnified the more that is publicly known. 

5. Encourage participation, but brace for disinterest.

Yes, I know I just stated that I don’t include them in magickal rituals. 

Here is the exception (let’s revisit the beginning): We cleanse and celebrate together. 

a woman smiling holding a drum and a baby
Both were whining as I drummed for Yule

When we cleanse, I’ve taught my toddler to bang on a pot with a big wooden spoon and shout, “Be gone! Be gone! Be gone!” He loves this. It’s fun, easy to remember, and gives him an excuse to burn bottled energy to shoo negativity away. He sees Mama engaging in the same behavior, and he is included. I much prefer this alternative to him trying to access my burning sage or knocking my besom around. 

He has learned that Mama often says, “So mote it be.” What does he naturally do? He repeats it back. I don’t encourage it, but I don’t discourage it. He is free to engage in whatever way he likes. 

But most often? He couldn’t care less. My baby is an adorable infant who is just along for the ride. I’ve learned to embrace the moments of wanting spiritual connection while balancing their need for stimulation elsewhere. 

A great example of this was at our most recent Bealtaine dinner. I prepared a gorgeous duck, spent hours on dinner, set the table nicely with our deity candles and a statue of Gaia, set out our ceremonial goblets, and had the music and lights going; the ambiance was perfect.

We would all sit and enjoy a nice meal together, right?
a plate of food and a goblet
The Bealtaine Feast this year

My infant was teething, so there was a lot of crying out and chirping coming from his direction, as well as food being thrown on the dining room carpet. When my toddler saw his dinner plate, he became upset because it wasn’t what he expected (even though he watched every step of me making dinner). He threw himself off his chair and pouted/stomped/whined around the house. We turned off the music to wind down the stimulation. We dove right into eating without saying the proper blessings first. The toddler returned to dinner and spilled water (for the second time) all over the dining room table and my husband’s plate. He would only eat small pieces of my husband’s duck. 

I looked at my husband and sighed, “Happy Bealtaine, baby.”

He took a moment to remember that we were, in fact, celebrating a holiday in our formal dining room. 

I reminded myself that this is a season, one that should be cherished. One day, my boys may show gratitude toward a home-cooked meal from Mom and maybe some appreciation for a special meal together, but for now, let them be young and need our full attention. In the end, I was pleased my son tried something new, and my infant enjoyed every bite that didn’t make it onto the floor. They went to bed peacefully, feeling loved and fed.

a woman smiling through tired eyes
A tired, happy mama

For that, I am incredibly grateful. Many in this world are not so fortunate.

Motherhood has taught me a lot about grace: grace toward young babies and children, grace towards my husband, grace towards myself, and grace toward surrendering what I can’t control. I offer you the same grace if you are in a place where you are trying to incorporate your practice and your traditions into your family life. It will never look perfect; it will rarely go smoothly, and that is all okay. Focus on the feelings and keep it simple. That is truly enough. 

a statue of Gaia with candles
Our Bealtaine Table Setting

I am wishing you a blessed Taurus New Moon. I hope you can make the space and time to invite pleasure, satisfaction, and joy into your life. You are worthy of it!

Blessed be. 


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