I’d like to share with you some simple everyday rituals that you can do with your kids. These were originally written for the Llewellyn 2007 Magical Almanac, but I’ve gone through, revamping and rewriting them. As I’m fond of telling folks about my stuff – you can work them as is, or, please, take them as a template and make them your own. I personally think that kind of ritual and magic has the most meaning and power.
Protecting Your Pet. You’ll need plain white or colored paper, clear Contact paper, and pens, markers or crayons, plus a large jump ring or other means of attaching the charm to the pet’s collar, scissors, and a hole punch. After creating your sacred space, cut a triangle, heart, or circle out of the paper and decorate it with a protective design. Let your child use their imagination for this, creating an image they feel is protective for their pet. Carefully seal the image front and back with the Contact paper and cut out the finished charm. Punch a hole in the top and attach the jump ring. Show your child how to hold the charm in their hands and focus protective energy into it. Talk to them about visualizing their pet being surrounded by a protective sphere.
The charm then needs to be attached to your pet’s collar. This can either be done during or after the ritual. This ritual can easily be adapted for pets that don’t wear collars by placing the charm somewhere safe near the pet likes to hang out.
Mirror, Mirror. This ritual can be useful for a variety of needs: low self-esteem or self-confidence, negative self-image, trying to make friends at school. The finished mirror can also be used to give an ego boost before tests or public performances. To perform the ritual, you’ll need a either a small hand mirror or a small mirror to hang on the wall as well as items with which to decorate it. Use your imagination for the decorations, creating things to hang from the mirror, such as beads or feathers, or keep it simple with stickers or paint pens. If you feel your child is old enough and you’re feeling brave, you could even try glass etching the mirrors using glass etching cream.
Together, create your sacred space and then get down to the business of decorating the mirrors. Create designs that make you feel good and that confirm you’re a worthwhile individual.After the ritual, the mirror should be kept handy near the owner’s dressing area. Kids should make a habit out of looking in the mirror often and visualizing or reminding themselves that they are more confident, outgoing, worthy of love, etc. Let the mirror remind them that they are enough, just the way they are.
Chasing Bad Dreams. Traditionally used to trap bad dreams, a dream catcher hung over where your child sleeps can also help protect them for those monsters under the bed. The materials for this project can be gathered together so they’ll have more meaning to your child. Either use a small embroidery hoop or a branch tied into a circle for the base. Red thread is traditional among the Ojibwa for forming the web. Small beads and charms with meaning can be strung on at regular intervals and feathers or other dangles can be added after the web is made. While helping your child spin their web, the two of you can talk about what scares them at night and maybe brainstorm ways of dealing with those fears. After the dream catcher is ready, the two of you can take it out into the moonlight to charge it with the child’s nighttime protection.
If you’re not sure how to make a dream catcher and aren’t comfortable just plunging into it on your own, a simple web search or library trip should turn up directions. (I like this video simply because she does a really good job of showing you how to thread the web part of the dream catcher. Remember that your’s will not look like her’s, especially if your child helps. And that is totally okay.)
Just Because. This is a great ritual that can performed anywhere and at anytime just because. Celebrate life, childhood, playfulness.
Make creating your sacred space fun, letting your child skip or hop while casting the circle. Set a blanket in the middle of it all, eat cupcakes and juice or tea, and share what makes life special just then. Use this ritual to simply enjoy your children, just because. (This is also great just for practicing crafting sacred space and working with energy.)
Keep ‘em Safe. You and your kids can make a protection amulet to carry in their backpack. You’ll need a small bag or pouch in which to put things. Beforehand, help your child decide on what goes into the amulet. Suggested attributes to include might be something for protection, courage, luck, blessings, peace, and balance. Have your child hold each item in their hands and charge it with the chosen attribute. If working with young kids you may wish to demonstrate the process with each item, allowing you to charge it as well. After the ritual is over, the amulet can be tucked safely into their backpack.
In closing, remember to enjoy your children and let them enjoy the power of magic in their young lives. Some of these rituals concern serious issues, making us find that fine line between being serious and keeping our kids safe and showing the pleasure, power, and satisfaction of helping take matters into our own hands and helping shape our own lives.