Are Witch Children Different?
August 20, 2000
Leslie at the UU Church of Fort Lauderdale

First, A Glossary of Terms

  1. The Greenwood: forest
  2. Beltaine: a fertility festival in late spring
  3. Vervain: sacred herb of the goddess Cerridwen
  4. Wort: archaic term for herb
  5. Talisman: an item, usually blessed and dedicated to nature, that attracts. Used in sympathetic magick which subscribes to the theory that like attracts like.
  6. Tuatha de Danu: people of Danu, the great mother goddess. Legendary invaders who may have been from the Indus Valley
  7. Fey: psychic; also a woman of the Tuatha
  8. Farie Women: the indigenous folk of Ireland who, upon being conquered by the invading Celts, hid in the mounds; also, short dark women of the Tuatha de Danu; also any woman who is fey.
  9. Sacred Duty: one’s first obligation is to the children.


The Birthing:

Our children come to us and through us: they are born, not owned. They are the archer’s arrow through time. And if they in their forgetfulness see us as all-powerful, then we in our remeberance see them as god. That is the mutual respect we have together: divinity looking into the eyes of divinity.

And what might a lady do to conceive this divine child?

Besides a romp in the Greenwood on Beltaine?

She might eat carrot seeds, or feed them to her lover if he has a problem with impotence. Carrot seeds guarantee fertility.

She might carry any sort of a nut seed around as a talisman except of course, a walnut seed. Walnuts, you see, have the opposite effect. Brides used to wear them in their wedding gowns to keep from having too many babies too soon. One does wonder how that worked: perhaps in an abortive fashion.

Or she might pray to the goddess and ask for the divine child. If she is a farie woman, legend says that she steals it from the Christians.

But whatever she does to conceive this baby, whether charm, prayer, dance or ritual copulation, she does it knowing she is asking for a birth of the divine.

And what might a lady do to protect this divine child?

Make the cradle of birch to keep away the farie women.

Place Vervain inside her cradle so that her beautiful baby might grow up happy and with a desire to learn.

Sew a lovely pillow and stuff it with fresh lavender from the gardens to induce restful dreams, and of course, to insure the child’s obedience!

She might place a little bag of caraway seeds in her child’s bed later on to protect from illness, or pass him through the growing flax in the fields to cure rickets, and sing little songs to keep away bad dreams.

But what if she IS the farie woman?

Well, what do we mean by that? Well, we mean nowadays that she’s a witch. And we mean that she will probably do all of those little things that all the country women do to conceive and protect their children. But she might teach him a little differently, you see.

And how would that be?

She’ll probably gather up special herbs when she goes a-gathering: herbs to help her young child understand the language of the animals, or hear the whisperings of the waters and the winds.

She’ll assess his capabilities in art, music and psychic ability and assist him to make the most of these talents.

If she belongs to a coven, she will enlist the help of everyone as an extended family.

If she is really Fey, she’ll show him the way of the Fey, including telling of fortune.

Above all, she encourages mastery of the gifts he may have. Without a doubt, he will learn all practical things about nature:

The effects of the moon, of the sun, of the winds upon himself, the land, the animals and the people. She will teach him to live in harmony with the inhabitants of earth, for that is her sacred duty.

And now, how shall she set him free?

Possibly with a ceremony. Depending on her coven, her path, her persuasion, she will set him free to take his place in society as a person who :

Can demonstrate an ability to contribute to the betterment of society.

He must earn his own way.

He must give respect to have respect.

He must take all his knowledge and be responsible for it.

It is not so unlike how you raise your children.

Real power is knowledge of the self: to understand exactly why you do everything that you do.

If there is one secret to living a life in the Craft it is this: Pay Attention.

(then follows an excerpt from a farie woman’s lullaby (translated from the Scottish) from the Carmina Gadelica.

The fairy woman’s lullaby

Ho! Soft art thou,
    Smooth thou, soft thou!
Well I love thee,
    Smooth thou, soft thou!
Well I love thee,
    Smooth thou, soft thou!
Under the plaid,
    Smooth thou, soft thou!
Well I love thee,
    Smooth thou, soft thou!
In the morning
    Soft-white, red-bright.
Well I love thee,
    Smooth thou, soft thou!
I, to companion thee,
    I to lull thee.
I to fill thee
    With the fondnesses,
I, to fill thee
    From the breast of thy mother.
Soft thou! Soft thou!
    Soft my little love!
Soft as silk to thee
    The heart of thy mother!

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