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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Are You Really a Witch?

I know that being a Wiccan or Pagan makes me a part of the minority. I also know that most kids learn religion from their parents AND TV, which means that a lot of kids have no idea or the wrong idea about other religions. My kids are honestly not different since I haven't taken the time to fully teach them MY religion let alone other people's religions.

Consider this for a moment, of the top ten religions (The top ten list varies a bit according to which site you are on, be even so, they do agree for the most part) - GodWeb Top 10 or Religion by Adherents Wiccan or some form of Paganism (Pagan means believing in anything older/other than the Christian God FYI) shows up. This means that my alternative or minority religion actually IS a major religion, just not AS major of a religion.

Most Americans have heard of Wiccan/Pagan... but we also have a LOT of immigrants from other places in the world who may or may not have heard much about our alternative religions. For example, our apartment complex has a lot of Somalians living here. I did a bit of checking up on Somalia because of this, and found out that while Africa is officially divided up among the religions that feature the Christian God, according to Wikipedia, a big portion of Africans ALSO believe in older native African religions. Such as Yoruba or Voodou according to Afrikaworld.net or wikipedia again .

Here's my point, while Many Africans, including Somalians do believe in some form of Christian Faith, they also believe in other faiths that have mystical people if not actual witches in them. Ok, moving on.

The other day, Gryffin and Phoenix went out to play. This is the same day that Gryffin offered all his friends Chocolate Bunnies that I told him I wasn't going to make. The boys is too generous for his own good sometimes, lol! Anyway, while he was out playing, he told all his friends that I was a witch. I really have no idea how the subject came up, but here's how I know it did.

Knock on door - I check that yes I am actually dressed, and answer it.
Gryffin: "Mama, I brought all my friends to come play in our house!"
I look at the 5 or 6 girls behind Gryffin. Most of them were Somalian. "Sorry Gryffin, but I am making dinner, so they can't come in now." I repeat this directly to the girls as Gryffin babbled on about something.
"Ok, are you really a witch?"
"Yes I am," I state, and turn my attention back to Gryffin who is still babbling. I tell him to come in to eat dinner. I see the girls whisper, and come to the conclusion that I had not heard them correctly.
"Are you REALLY a witch?"
"Yes, I AM." I replied. I knew that I could either tell them the truth, and risk them telling EVERYONE to potential disaster, or I could deny it, and brand my child a liar. Guess what I chose?

The looks on their face were... shock, astonishment...? Not really sure, but they began to whisper again, and I knew that they considered witches to be bad guys. Some of these girls had been around the last time that I'd had to get mean in public because Gryffin wasn't listening to me when I told him to come inside, and was in fact running away from me and wailing. I could see them thinking, "Oh... no wonder she's so mean, she's a witch!"

I pulled Gryffin inside, smiled at them, and shut the door. Here's why I mentioned TV. When I finally remembered to actually tell my boys that I am a witch, it was after we had watched a few episodes of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete First and Second Seasons, and they were running around pretending that witches were after them. I had to explain that just like not all people are bad, and not all guys are bad; not all witches are bad. In fact more witches are good than bad. To Ride A Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft Green Witchcraft: Folk Magic, Fairy Lore & Herb Craft (Green Witchcraft Series)

This revelation - that I have neglected to actively teach them MY religion - had me running to my computer to visit my favorite pagan chat group to ask if I had missed my chance to teach my boys about good witches. Had I allowed them to watch one too many TV shows that depict all witches as bad? They weren't just AS shocked as their friends, they seemed MORE shocked in fact, like they couldn't believe that their mama could ever be something as evil as a witch! (Which kinda makes me happy in a way, lol!)

Thinking back on that incident, I realized that these girls probably didn't know anything about witches other than what they had seen on TV. Possibly their parents had told them witches were bad, but even more possibly their parents just let them believe what was on TV. I mean it is HARD to contradict so much popular culture.

When I received responses from my Pagan chat group, quite a few of them said that they too had had to ban shows such as Scooby Doo after their kids had busted up crying, "Mama, if witches are bad, and we are witches, are WE bad???"

I wonder what Christian parents would do if every show they watched referenced all Christians as evil...

4 comments:

  1. Just tell them that there are good witches as well as the bad ones on the TV.

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  2. If they ever watched the Wizard of Oz, it even says there is good witches and bad witches.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yep, actually I meant to say this in my post, but forgot, that after my boys found out I was a witch, I made them watch the Wizard of Oz with me, and then told them I was more like Glenda than the Wicked Witch of the West... but they were WAY more interested in the flying monkeys, go figure, lol!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Kids are sometimes smarter than we give them credit for. Soon enough, they will be bragging that you are a good witch, and not a bad one. I imagine it would be easy enough to point out that dogs can really talk like Scooby Doo does, so therefore, all witches are not bad. After all, TV is a fantastic world for little ones. Lots of things happen on TV that don't happen in the real world.

    ReplyDelete

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