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Episode 17 Raising Magical Children

As I began my journey in stepping away from organized religion and embarking on the quest to find spirituality, my motivating factor was to find a way to empower my children. I knew that one specific doctrine and rigid testimony of that doctrine did not feel authentic and true to me. The core beliefs of religion I couldn't align with:

  • Love is Conditional

  • You can't trust your own personal revelation without a church authority confirming it (an old white dude has to say it for it to be "true").

  • LGBQT + community has no place in this world

  • Women have no place in leadership or in spiritual authority whatsoever

  • Differentiate true believers from the rest. They are "other".

  • The church and it's doctrine have all the answers. It is perfect.

  • Your worthiness for sacred blessings depends on your answers to questions in an interview with an old white dude that may not even know you.

    • and many many more. I didn't want to pass these ideals on to my own children, but I couldn't step away from church without having some kind of structure or plan as how I would model a connection to spirituality for my own kids.

One thing the mormon church is quite adept, it is organization. They have prepared manuals for teaching children doctrine at home and following a lesson plan is very appealing to a former teacher like me. I want to instill certain values and principles of life to my children as was modeled to me, but to have them memorize scripture or expect them to be blindly obedient to anyone outside of themselves feels extremely inauthentic. In my transition phase, I had experimented with following along the church lesson in the Come Follow Me manual as a baseline to incorporate ideas from Buddhism, Hinduism, and any other mythologies and traditions I happened along to support the lesson principle. When it didn't work with the Come Follow Me manual, I attempted to create a binder of tabs for each month. I didn't know what to use for the themes of each month, so I started with the Young Women values from my time in the church: Faith, Divine Nature, Individual Worth, Knowledge, Choice and Accountability, Good Works, and Integrity. It seemed like a reasonable thing to do at the time!

Although I may not have developed that testimony in any "one true church", I feel that I have an acute awareness of a Higher Power. In my personal, I resonate strongly with The Goddess. I have always felt a strong connection to the stories of the scriptures of the Bible, the same impact from any other philosophy or religious tradition. Stories are powerful emotional and spiritual resources. That is when I understood that it didn't matter what my children grew up to believe in, only that it was my job to expose them to new ideas and stories.

The new objective for that path, to empower children to believe in themselves. The world is truly magical, and no one understands that more than children that haven't been tainted by negativity and pessimism. Our experiences often teach us to think in a logical sense, that only the 3 Dimensional world exists and we have to be "realistic". Children go outside with a bowl from the kitchen and make mud and leaf potions and spells. They already believe in magic!

Once we started our "Sunday Story Time" to replace church, it was been a long road. At times, my kids don't want to have anything to do with my stories or lessons. I battle with myself over whether I am doing the same harm that forcing church on our previous generations would be doing. I wonder if I'm doing the right thing by forcing them to sit with me and listen to stories. I ask myself, 'how did early people and cultures instill tradiitons and values on their kids through stories?' Then, I remember they weren't competing with television and video games for entertainment. Stories WERE the best way to spend an hour!

Celebrating festivals that mark the seasons and cycles over the mainstream Christian culture is another way I've imparted some ancient wisdom on my children. This wouldn't be doctrine, but simply marking the natural cycles of our lives the same way our ancestors would have done. We began understanding the purpose and sacredness of the seasons changing. It helped me immensely with my SAD in the Winter months when I began to honor the season of hibernation and rest. I collected stories, mythology, and folklore from all over the world specific to honoring the wheel of the year. My kids look forward to these tradiitons and celebrations and feasting. Being a pagan isn't a religious experience, it is a way of living life on this planet.

Creating Spiritual practice and ritual around honoring the Earth was a huge shift for me. I taught my children to never take from a plant or space without asking permission first. Even the harvest of our own backyard garden, I teach them to respect the plants as our kin and not take without an offering of gratitude. We have more fun as a family tending the plants when my kids get to pour the coffee grounds in the blueberry bushes. The lessons they learn from this practice carries into a life of consent, respect, gratitude, and magic.

I teach art lessons for kids ages 5-18. It is a natural and easy connection to teach magic with art. What is art, but making an image or idea from our imagination into reality? If we have the confidence to believe we can make a visual idea on canvas formed from nothing but THOUGHT, I can easily show that same idea into the world. I start with this idea first: "Spells are just stories. We need to be mindful of the stories we tell ourselves, about ourselves. Those stories can be a spell for the reality we want to create, or they can be a curse."

It is an idea that children are much more apt to getting than adults. Adults need a lot more work convincing. Young children are especially receptive to Affirmations: spells and rituals that build confidence, empowerment, intuition, and build emotional intelligence. This is why I love to teach the Emotional Intelligence workshop to children and their parents every month!

To sign up for the next one of these Heart Smart Art events, go here:




To listen to this episode:


Resources of stories and Magical practice with children:

  1. Circle Round by Starhawk

  2. A Year Full of Stories by Angela McAllister (Many other excellent collections)

  3. Luna Moon Hare: A Magical Journey with the Goddess by Wendy Andrews

  4. Mindfulness for Kids: 50 activities for kids to practice meditation and calm



  1. Buddhism for Kids by Emily Griffith Burke

  2. The Laughing Witch by Andrew Newman

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