In our fast paced world, we tend to neglect the most beautiful expression of our Ancestors: our children. Many families are at a loss on how to involve children in our Ways because many of us were not raised Odinist. In the following, some ideas will be put forth, so Odinist families can begin building the future of our Folk.
What better way to wake up in the morning, then to great Sunna? Have the child (ren) go out in the morning and greet the breaking of a new day. This can be done with the greeting in the Book of Blotar:
Hail to the Sun!
Hail the dawn.
May your vitality feed me and cheer me and nourish my mind, body, and Soul.
Hail to you life giver.
Hail the Gods, Hail Light, Hail the people of the Light.
May your energy be with me as I go about my Life.
Hail! Hail! Hail!
Rune Galdor and Rune Postures
Children are wonderful with this practice. Children do not have the barriers Adults have that make us feel awkward or uncomfortable with Runic Galdors and Postures. When I first tried this, the children were absolutely enthralled! They did not hesitate to participate. Our Hearth members balked at the idea. It is vital we not let our children build the barriers we have to practicing our Ancient Religion. One Hearth member actually was embarrassed when the children were so willing and the Hearth member was not. Foster this good practice with your children. It will give them a strong foundation in the Runes. I used a book an old OR member published, but it was adapted from Edred Thorsons books on the Runes and doing postures. This can be done after the greeting of Sunna! A powerful way to start the day!
Whether your children go to a public school or are home-schooled, being an active part of your children’s education is a must. Involve yourself in your child’s schooling. For the outbound-schooled child, on heritage related days, such as Leif Erikkson Day or Tartan Day or even Jul and Ostara; go and present a little on the day the way we celebrate such holidays or a bit of history. This will not only make your children feel secure in their schooling, it will also, put forth a positive ‘face’ for our Way. Maybe bring a traditional European Craft, dish or story or do a short presentation on some facet of the holiday. The teacher will be very happy to get some help from the parent and the children (and teacher) will be exposed to something they probably knew very little about. If you are unable to get to their school for a this type of activity, when the holidays come around help your child make something traditional to share with his or her class. We must remember that more then likely our children will be the only heathen children in the class. Our children want to feel like they belong with out having to give up who they are. What better way to achieve this then to bring a little of our Way to their classroom.
For Home Schooled children, a great idea is to set aside a day for Folk Ways. Things like Folk Art, Heathen Poetry, Edda Studies, etc… Home schooling can get daunting, especially when you are home schooling more then one child. Take a day every week and do something Folkish with your child. Remember that many things are ancestrally remembered that we can awaken. Things like looming, cross-stitching, candle making, quilting, weaving, braiding, leather working, wood working, ancient games (Tafl), etc… We have this in our blood; we need only relearn these ancient arts. How powerful it would be to give our children the head start we did not get?
Children remember stories. During Winter Fire week, my daughter recited a heathenized Grimms Fairy Tale that I read over a year prior. It was amazing how much she remembered. My other daughter recited the story of the theft of Thor’s Hammer. Ancestral stories touch our children on a very deep level, and very often these stories carry with them our Nine Noble Virtues. Set aside time everyday to read a story to your children from our Heritage. The many translations of the Eddas are great for story time. You can find many free translations on the Internet, or use the Larrington translation of the Poetic Edda, it is a wonderful layman translation. Whatever you use, make sure you talk about the characters, message, character challenges and decisions in the stories. This will ensure your child (ren) will get the most out of the story!
The dinner table is the perfect time to have insightful, inspiring conversations. It also can be a time of great enjoyment and entertainment. In Ancient times, Our Folk made quite an affair of meal times; they often hosted friends and extended families around the Hearth. Take this time enjoy your family. Some ideas could be drawing a God or Goddesses name out of a hat and then talk about them. This can be done with the Nine Noble Virtues as well. Also, one can use ‘topic starters’ with the hat idea. Of course talking about your day, challenges, solutions, funny stories, etc…are always great, especially if one relates how he or she pulled the solution from the NNV or using intuition.
Bedtime is an important time. Many times the Gods and Goddesses talk to us through our dreams. Take this time to let the children go to sleep thinking of Our Way. This could also be Story Time as mentioned above. Parts of the story make speak deeply to the child and may manifest in a dream. Another idea is to have each child choose a rune, talk about the meaning, and go to sleep thinking about it. In the morning, have the children keep a dream journal and write or draw their dreams. The Gods and Goddesses are strong in our children, and often, children have a better connection with them, foster that! Finally, greet the moon with:
Hail to you whose works are deep.
Hail to you Gods and Goddesses of the Moon
Your light makes us look inward, your light reveals that unseen by day.
Deep and secret things you show.
Hail silver orb.
May I look inward and outward.
The future lies in the Souls of our children. They carry the line of our Folk and need to remember it through the above activities. As Odinist parents, we need to foster, inspire, teach, and nurture the Odinist child. They carry a fire that burns bright; we must tend it, so it burns into their children and their children’s children.
Hail Frigga Nurturer of the Odinist Family! Hail the Children of Our Folk!
Donar’s Hearth OR