I have a little night-owl on my hands. He is so ultra bouncy, and really wears me out in the wee hours. But one of the things that he enjoys, and will calm down for, is sitting at Apollon’s shrine to make small offerings, usually of tealight candles and bay leaves. It’s dark, and he enjoys watching the candles flicker, and the leaves burn. I often see him looking up at me as I whisper prayers upon each leaf before setting them alight. I hope he has some memory of this when he’s older, but more importantly, I hope this carries over into his own relationship with Apollon and the other Theoi.
There is something so intensely satisfying about being able to share worship with my children, as I believe that without making room for them in our spaces, our religious movements are all but lost. Our children really are our future, and in this world where they will be bombarded by the Monotheist over-culture, it’s so crucial to pass on our traditions, and to show them what Polytheist devotion looks like. The earlier, the better, I say.
In addition to this late night devotion, he and I say our morning prayers to Apollon together, where hopefully he’s picking up on the words and gestures. We’re keeping it simple right now. My daughter, on the other hand, is really expressing an interest in deeper devotional activities.
We haven’t completely worked out how to tackle this interest in a way that suits her, but we’re trying different things. She has thus far been called to honor Prometheus and Helios, so we are looking for a small table or shelf to serve as her personal shrine for Them. She also loves the lore, and is always asking me to recite the stories to her at bedtime. I do as she asks, and then we talk about the various lessons that the stories impart.
It’s very interesting to hear what she thinks about things that I have long ago formulated opinions on. Her perspective is very fresh, as are her insights. She’s shown me things that weren’t readily visible to me, which just further proves to me the nessecity of including the young. The Gods are speaking to them, as well. All of us, but especially those of us who remember our own encounters with the Gods when we ourselves were children, should be particularly careful of excluding them, lest we all miss out on the next generation of insights.
And now my little man is finally asleep, so I am going to lay him down and follow him into dreamland. Goodnight, everyone. And may the Gods bless the children.