Herbal Charm Bags + Kid-Friendly Spellcraft
Sometimes, it seems ironic that motherhood was the thing that pushed me into fully claiming my witchiness. After spending my entire life trying to fit into this or that spiritual box, shyly labeling myself a “seeker” or “spiritual, but not religious,” it was having a child of my own, and all the crazy personal development that comes with parenthood, that empowered me to stand firm and confident on my own path. It’s like I could finally say, I‘m the adult now. Nobody gets to make these choices for me anymore. And it feels so good to get to be open in my practice, to hopefully be an example for other folks: I am an earth-worshipping, animistic, Pagan woman. And in lots of other ways, I’m still a pretty average person!
What makes it ironic, though, is that I am learning and growing in my spiritual practice at a period of my life when I have the LEAST amount of personal resources imaginable (well, I guess we‘ll see how things go after Baby #2 arrives this spring). I feel an urgency to develop and do this work - for the earth, for myself, for others - and openly share my experiences. But how? With what free time?
Bringing Hawthorne, who’s 5, into my spiritual life and practice has been a game-changer. Teaching her helps cement the lessons that I myself have been learning in a way that brings them to life for me. Answering her questions holds me accountable and often, I feel like we are learning side-by-side.
Before Hawthorne, I never really created anything tangible to do with my practice. Other than regular tarot readings, making herbal medicines, and keeping a low-key, seasonal altar, I felt weirdly self-conscious about the thought of actively doing witchy things or having anything to do with “spellcraft.” But now, as an out-and-proud green witch, I am finding so much value in making and doing things that draw upon the alchemy that happens when intention and action intersect, little rituals that draw us out of rigid, linear reality, and allow us to sink into the liminal, mythical world that we modern folks are craving more than most of us even realize.
As parents, we are often seeking enrichment activities that will allow our children to develop fine motor skills, or learn STEM concepts, etc. As she develops these skills, my daughter is also making beautiful, functional things at my side, things that have meaning to us... more than just crafts-for-the-sake-of-crafting, but activities that draw us into that certain ritual space, where intention meets action. Making candles for our altar for Brigid. Bath bombs that contain a spell for self-love or good health. Even a batch of chocolate chip cookies can become spellcraft if you add your ingredients with intention and bless them in the way that feels proper for you.
And yet, as is often the case, Hawthorne totally rose to the occasion. I am learning various tricks for executing these collaborative projects successfully - building up anticipation, breaking up the process into steps that are spread over several days, letting her pick things like colors, decorations, etc., keeping explanations simple, quitting while we’re ahead - but I was impressed by her desire to be involved in every aspect of the process. She even put a few real stitches into each bag (under Mama’s watchful eye!). And her favorite part by far was learning about and handling the different herbs. The smell of dried bee balm made us dreamy-eyed for summer.
Children Hawthorne’s age learn through action: through doing, touching, experiencing, and imitating. Our kids are craving the opportunity to enter into our grown-up world in developmentally-appropriate ways. With every stitch, every pinch of a dried herb, she is learning that there is a world of wonder you can choose never to outgrow, and she is finding her own unique place in it.
Interested in creating your own herbal charm bags and doing other witchy crafts with your family? I will be offering a full “Loving Hearts”-themed activity bundle soon! With loads of fun ideas for exploring Sacred Art, Magical Crafts, and inspiring stories featuring lots of diverse voices, it’s a great starting point for integrating more meaningful, wonder-filled content into your child’s homeschool or after-school rhythm. Keep an eye on my Instagram for more info - @green.witch.mama