By: Karen Storminger
Raising Little Witchlings: Parenting the Witch’s Way
By: Amanda Wilson
When I was first asked to write a review for the book Raising Little Witchlings: Parenting the Witch’s Way by Amanda Wilson, I was slightly reticent. I have been a practicing witch and pagan most of my life. I have raised two children to adulthood while practicing my spiritual beliefs without the guidance of a book such as this and during a time when “what happened in the circle, stayed in the circle.” Now, I am emerging into my Crone stage of life and watching my grandchild blossom and grow. What I have found in my last thirty-four years as a parent, professional special educator, and parent educator, is that parenting is a very personal practice. We all have our own beliefs on the subject. Parenting as a Pagan is no exception.
Once I got over myself and my own personal dislike for the term “Witch Parenting” the author describes in the book, I found Raising Little Witchlings to be a common-sense introductory book of parenting with a nonconventional spirituality base. The concepts and advice Amanda Wilson discusses in this book are coupled with references and citations to contemporary psychological and sociological writings, as well as neo-pagan and wiccan resources. Amanda Wilson uses her years of writing her parenting column in Witch Way Magazine, and research into child development and parenting practices in conjunction with her own experiences as a practicing witch, pagan, and parent to assist others in navigating the concerns and questions that come up for any parent in these modern times.
Amanda Wilson discusses the good and the bad: the real-life concerns of raising children in a practice of pagan spirituality and witchcraft within the framework of a society that does not always accept those that are different from the mainstream. She emphasizes something that, in my opinion, is the most important result of parenting any child: raising healthy, happy, fully integrated humans who can express themselves, have empathy for others, understand how to give and receive respect, are self-aware and can think critically. Raising Little Witchlings is a no-nonsense, practical guide with a bit of “follow your intuition” advice thrown into it. Amanda Wilson covers the basics of magic and witchcraft. She breaks them down into simple strategies and manageable tasks for children to learn and understand the concepts. My favorite of these was her use of storytelling to teach young children the concept of manifestation magic. I was also pleased to see mention of fostering an early appreciation of gratitude in small children, especially in today’s age of commercialism and instant gratification.
Raising Little Witchlings is a good introduction for those who are new to the craft, new to parenting or both. More advanced practitioners and seasoned parents may find it to be too basic. However, it may affirm some of the techniques they may already be using and they may even find a tidbit of an idea they had not thought about before. From grounding and centering, to scrying and psychism, Raising Little Witchlings covers all the aspects of introducing a magical practice and witchcraft teachings into parenting. Amanda Wilson accomplishes this in an upbeat and optimistic manner, while being cognizant of the complex issues and safety concerns facing any parent who chooses to raise their child in a nonconventional practice in our current times.