Magical Girlhood, Mother's Guide-
So, again, what makes this book Pagan?
It is precisely at these times of change that we are not only impacted most by our beliefs, but vulnerable to the beliefs of others. I believe this is why so many children at around puberty start looking outside their own family's religion for answers-puberty is simply not handled very well these days. And I feel the single largest competitor for our children's spirits is actually commercialism, a set of precepts designed to destroy belief in the spirit. Commercialism is poised out there ready and waiting for your daughter to hit puberty-and pushing her toward it as fast as possible. Commercialism does not feel she has a soul that is priceless. It does not care if she loses grasp of her childhood too soon-they're sure they'll get more money out of her if she does. They want her to start thinking of herself primarily as a sexual being and a future worker.
Other than the endemic beliefs of commercialism, there are the major monotheistic religions. As Pagans, we obviously do not feel that these religions offer healthy and loving guidance to our girls.
Paganism says she has a beautiful spirit and soul. Paganism says that all parts of our lives are not only vitally necessary, but equally important. Paganism says that a woman's worth is not wrapped up in how well she fits the latest super-model fashion. Paganism says that there is nothing unclean, inferior, or dangerous about being a woman. Women are not designed to make men sin; women are not paying eternally for some ancestor's sin; women do not have an inherently sinful nature. Paganism says fertility is beautiful, and therefore looking like a healthy, fertile woman is beautiful. Paganism says that our bodies are not merely biological machines, nor merely vehicles for a potentially pure spirit, but integral parts of our being, sadly not as long lived as the rest of us, but worthy of respect and kind treatment. Paganism says we have duties to ourselves, our Gods, and our family (including descendants), to live honorably; yet we were also created for joy and pleasure, and should not scorn them.
These ideas have quite an impact upon our lives. These beliefs have quite an impact on our daughter's lives-or they should. Just from the above list we can see that she is far more than just a body, that her childhood is an important part of her life that shouldn't be shorted, that her girlhood is an important part of her life that shouldn't be rushed, that her value as a girl doesn't depend on how fashionable she is, that there is nothing sinful about being a girl and acting like a girl, that it is wonderful that her body is getting ready to be able to help create babies, that it is alright for her to look like a girl. It is important for her to care for her body and learn to care for others. That something called honor does exist.
As Pagan parents we feel our girl's need to be protected from the excesses of commercialism and the anti-female bias of monotheistic religion. Yes, it's ok to protect your daughter from these things; it's just not easy!
©2007 Colette Tanafon