The first holiday I celebrated was Lughnasa. For this holiday my family (even the rather bewildered spouse) went into the backyard and held a picnic in the garden. I remember talking to the kids about what the harvest meant. I had made a loaf of bread and we chatted about where the wheat had come from to make it. Well, by we, I mean husbandman and myself. The kids were so young, I doubt much of it went in. Aria wasn’t even really talking much then. Those first years I left much of the religious stuff out of the family holiday celebrations, but I slowly added more every year.
After starting the Grove, the kids began to experience the High Days with rituals as well as our family discussions. They have come to understand that the holidays are religious times as well as times of growth, cold, harvest, or just really big dinner nights. Aria has come to adore giving sacrifices to the Nature Spirits, and often asks about which Deities we will be celebrating. She is still bummed that we don’t do group rituals with Isis or Horus, but she understands that we can still do that as a family; just not with the Grove.
My children are growing up with holidays that are very much different from what I had. I hope that they feel the deeper sense of connection to the world and its rhythms that I have come to experience as we celebrate. The holidays have indeed been a way into a deeper understanding of my faith and the world. Just as ritual often speaks to that deeper, unconscious self, the holidays speak to my soul in a language so profound that words would be meaningless.
My extended family (MIL, Parents, ect.) still do not know that we celebrate these times of year, and this makes what we do a tad downplayed. The kids understand that the grandmas and grandpa don’t have the same special times of year. I feel very sad about this, but also don’t want to deal with the headache that would ensue should we be more open. It just feels as if we are somehow ashamed of what we celebrate, and I don’t want the kids to think that what we do is somehow wrong. So, the question this Beltane is whether to come out or not? Again, not so sure it is worth the headache, since we don’t have much interaction with my ‘rents, and Hubby’s mom kinda has a sense of what we do, even if she doesn’t completely know what it is about (mainly because I think she just doesn’t want to know. I think she still is hoping this is just a passing phase and that we’ll come back to Jesus eventually). Everyone else in my life knows. Hell, I’ve given sermons (that is with a ‘s’) on Paganism at our Church. Maybe it is disrespectful not to tell them, or maybe it is just better this way. It is definitely easier.