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Celebrating the Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children

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Adults have a wide array of books to help explore earth-based spirituality. But what if they want to include their children? Here is a handbook to help parents, caregivers, teachers, and counselors create meaningful spiritual experiences that will inspire children of all ages. The ideas, suggestions, and activities collected here show how to bring children into rituals tha Adults have a wide array of books to help explore earth-based spirituality. But what if they want to include their children? Here is a handbook to help parents, caregivers, teachers, and counselors create meaningful spiritual experiences that will inspire children of all ages. The ideas, suggestions, and activities collected here show how to bring children into rituals that celebrate seasonal cycles and help reclaim the spiritual roots of today's modern holidays. With surprisingly little effort, earth-centered activities and rituals can be incorporated into simple daily routines. Part 1, “Handbook for Earth-Connected Parenting,” gives techniques for developing a child's inner wisdom and sense of the sacred: dream journals, visualization, Tarot play, talismans, and interactions with the natural world Part 2 is a guide to the specific seasonal festivals, and offers a comprehensive collection of practical and enjoyable ways to celebrate the sacred days of our ancestors. Make a bean rune divination system, gather smudge sticks, grow grass pots, assemble a “dream pillow,” create altars the authors offer easy-to-follow suggestions. Includes suggested reading and resource sections for locating additional information and materials for creative projects.


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Adults have a wide array of books to help explore earth-based spirituality. But what if they want to include their children? Here is a handbook to help parents, caregivers, teachers, and counselors create meaningful spiritual experiences that will inspire children of all ages. The ideas, suggestions, and activities collected here show how to bring children into rituals tha Adults have a wide array of books to help explore earth-based spirituality. But what if they want to include their children? Here is a handbook to help parents, caregivers, teachers, and counselors create meaningful spiritual experiences that will inspire children of all ages. The ideas, suggestions, and activities collected here show how to bring children into rituals that celebrate seasonal cycles and help reclaim the spiritual roots of today's modern holidays. With surprisingly little effort, earth-centered activities and rituals can be incorporated into simple daily routines. Part 1, “Handbook for Earth-Connected Parenting,” gives techniques for developing a child's inner wisdom and sense of the sacred: dream journals, visualization, Tarot play, talismans, and interactions with the natural world Part 2 is a guide to the specific seasonal festivals, and offers a comprehensive collection of practical and enjoyable ways to celebrate the sacred days of our ancestors. Make a bean rune divination system, gather smudge sticks, grow grass pots, assemble a “dream pillow,” create altars the authors offer easy-to-follow suggestions. Includes suggested reading and resource sections for locating additional information and materials for creative projects.

30 review for Celebrating the Great Mother: A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children

  1. 5 out of 5

    Meg

    3.5 stars. I loved the activities for the seasonal holidays - there were a lot of new ideas that I haven't seen/ encountered before, which was exciting. The "flavor" of their activities fits really well with my spiritual practice. I'll definitely want to keep this around as a reference book and look forward to trying out the activities. I especially loved the "door blessing" for Mabon, and also creating a sacred cave for the Winter Solstice. Down sides: a lot of vague historical references to "ou 3.5 stars. I loved the activities for the seasonal holidays - there were a lot of new ideas that I haven't seen/ encountered before, which was exciting. The "flavor" of their activities fits really well with my spiritual practice. I'll definitely want to keep this around as a reference book and look forward to trying out the activities. I especially loved the "door blessing" for Mabon, and also creating a sacred cave for the Winter Solstice. Down sides: a lot of vague historical references to "our ancestors", "people in earth-honoring cultures," and even "a rhyme used for centuries by the Wise Ones." Whoa there. Also "Native-American inspired chants," I Ching meanings changed to be more "nourishing" and "feminist," and so on. Problematic for me. The descriptions of activities made them sound lovely and mystical, but I would have liked some acknowledgment of kids being uncooperative, uninterested, overly energetic, or other issues of that sort. I loved that "Circle Round" included stories about improvised rituals when the kids were cranky or the original ritual plan just wasn't working for the kids; that was missing from this book. A few other things that were missing: - Rites of passage/ life transition rituals for kids and teens. - Anything about pregnancy, birth, or babyhood. - Exploration of kids' developmental levels and what they are ready for at different ages. - Also, I have a toddler and didn't feel the book included enough toddler-friendly activities. But maybe there just aren't any. Pretty much everything is impossible with toddlers. I can't blame the authors for that.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    This book is really great--even better than Starhawk's Circle Round. What I like so much about this book is that the focus is really on the cycles of nature. There's a lot less pagan deities and magic here, and a more narrow focus on connecting with the cycles of the Earth. I appreciate that a lot, as someone who is really into earth-based spirituality but kind of put off by all the god/goddess/magic(k) talk. Johnson offers some great activities to do with kids that can help them to be attuned t This book is really great--even better than Starhawk's Circle Round. What I like so much about this book is that the focus is really on the cycles of nature. There's a lot less pagan deities and magic here, and a more narrow focus on connecting with the cycles of the Earth. I appreciate that a lot, as someone who is really into earth-based spirituality but kind of put off by all the god/goddess/magic(k) talk. Johnson offers some great activities to do with kids that can help them to be attuned to the rhythms of the Earth and the cycles of life and death. This is a very useful book for parents who want to raise children who honor the planet and feel connected in a deep and meaningful way to the universe.

  3. 5 out of 5

    MotherMagic

    I like Circle Round better, but this is also a very good resource for Earth Spiritualist parents... lots of ritual and celebration ideas for the turning of the Wheel of the Year.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Maijabeep

    So many great and beautiful ideas but definitely didn’t age super well in some political respects.

  5. 4 out of 5

    AnandaTashie

    "In a sense, renewing our connection to these timeless holy days is a coming home, a way to recover something that we are, deeply - but that our society has lost or forgotten." I should start by saying that I read this book in bits and pieces, not its entirety. I read enough to justify rating though. :) It explores how we can nurture our children's sense of self and spirituality through daily activities, seasonal rituals, meditations, etc. The tone is mostly approachable, a touch poetic, a lot pr "In a sense, renewing our connection to these timeless holy days is a coming home, a way to recover something that we are, deeply - but that our society has lost or forgotten." I should start by saying that I read this book in bits and pieces, not its entirety. I read enough to justify rating though. :) It explores how we can nurture our children's sense of self and spirituality through daily activities, seasonal rituals, meditations, etc. The tone is mostly approachable, a touch poetic, a lot practical. Things I want to remember: - Books mentioned that I want to look into: The Geography og Childhood: Why Children Need Wild Places by Gary Paul Nabhan and Stephen Trimble. Common Weeds Coloring Book by Stefan Bernath. Plantworks by Karen Shanberg and Stan Tekiela. Tarot Games: 45 Playful Ways to Explore Tarot Cards Together. Spinning Inward: Using Guided Imagery with Children for Learning, Creativity, and Relaxation by Maureen Murdock. Shakti Woman: Feeling Our Fire, Healing Our World by Vicki Noble. Tarot for Every Day by Cait Johnson (tarot for body / healing). The Uses of Enchantment: The Meaning and Importance of Fairy Tales by Bruno Bettelheim. - Pendulum string length "same as the distance between the outstretched thumb and little finger, added to the measure of the widest part of the hand". - Visualizations: Circles changing color (p 59). Healing stream & body defenders (p 75), using water to wash away hurt / pain / illness, light to restore. Power animal (p 110): "But suddenly you know that there is an animal - a good and loving animal - waiting around the corner to meet you and show itself to you. It could be an animal with fur, or feathers, or scales, or hide..." - Create a garden goddess (Beltane, p 165). - "Ask yourself what will you be when you emerge from this time-out of illness."

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alexandra Chauran

    This book was really heavy with the feminism and anti-patriarchy agenda, replete with odd references to homeopathy and animal rights. There was a lot of white chick coopting of Native American stuff. The Sabbats were written with confusion. The authors advised Beltane was a time for dairy products, without mentioning that at Imbolc the "ewe's milk" holiday. They mentioned no fires at the Beltane fire festival, and seemed to be downright against a Maypole, with a heavy-handed message about sexual This book was really heavy with the feminism and anti-patriarchy agenda, replete with odd references to homeopathy and animal rights. There was a lot of white chick coopting of Native American stuff. The Sabbats were written with confusion. The authors advised Beltane was a time for dairy products, without mentioning that at Imbolc the "ewe's milk" holiday. They mentioned no fires at the Beltane fire festival, and seemed to be downright against a Maypole, with a heavy-handed message about sexual abuse at the beginning of the chapter (we're in a children's celebration book here what what?). For some reason they chose midsummer Litha for spring cleaning? I might try some of the recipes out of this book because savory Sabbat recipes are hard to come by, but if you're looking for this book's content try Circle Round: Raising Children in Goddess Traditions instead.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Laurie

    The cover says “A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children” and that’s exactly what the book is. It introduces the wheel of the year and what the various festivals mean without tying the practices to any one religion, borrowing from Native American, Celtic, Wiccan, shamanism, ancient Greek, and other practices. There is some cultural appropriation going on in this book that may be disturbing. The book works as an introduction to earth centered spirituality for all ages, and The cover says “A Handbook of Earth-Honoring Activities for Parents and Children” and that’s exactly what the book is. It introduces the wheel of the year and what the various festivals mean without tying the practices to any one religion, borrowing from Native American, Celtic, Wiccan, shamanism, ancient Greek, and other practices. There is some cultural appropriation going on in this book that may be disturbing. The book works as an introduction to earth centered spirituality for all ages, and will probably serve to stir interest in the traditions it borrows from. Parts of it can even be used by Christians who wise to become more observant of the earth's cycles.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jen Six

    When it comes to Sabbats, there's a ton of information out there and though I enjoyed the different ideas the book offered, the first part of the book is the most important for me. I found it interesting they way they described how the Earth was alive around us and how if we just were knowledged, we could literally, almost, grab dinner out of our own backyard and live happily. I have a young son that I bought this book for in helping me teach him about the pagan path, and by far it's the best I' When it comes to Sabbats, there's a ton of information out there and though I enjoyed the different ideas the book offered, the first part of the book is the most important for me. I found it interesting they way they described how the Earth was alive around us and how if we just were knowledged, we could literally, almost, grab dinner out of our own backyard and live happily. I have a young son that I bought this book for in helping me teach him about the pagan path, and by far it's the best I'd found of all Wiccan/Pagan books yet. I love it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Clair Simpson

    I really enjoyed reading about the 8 different earth-honouring festivals, as this was something I didn't know much about before, but I probably wouldn't do many of the activities with my kids. I love the idea of honouring the earth with my children and helping them learn about different seasons and what each season brings and ultimately the circle of life. However I don't feel the need to create altars and dress in a paricular way etc. so this book went a bit beyond what I was looking for. I really enjoyed reading about the 8 different earth-honouring festivals, as this was something I didn't know much about before, but I probably wouldn't do many of the activities with my kids. I love the idea of honouring the earth with my children and helping them learn about different seasons and what each season brings and ultimately the circle of life. However I don't feel the need to create altars and dress in a paricular way etc. so this book went a bit beyond what I was looking for.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    This was a neat book, but I guess I was hoping for a more eclectic collection of lore and activities from around the world instead of a pagan primer. I had moments of inspiration, though, in terms of potential activities for my daughters, so I consider it a worthwhile skim.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Perkins

    Not one I would buy; it wasn't as informative as I'd hoped, but I did take plenty of notes, and intend to incorporate Cait Johnson's ideas and activities into our seasonal celebrations. (The Sacred Cave activity is astounding. I can't wait to build our own this Yule!) Not one I would buy; it wasn't as informative as I'd hoped, but I did take plenty of notes, and intend to incorporate Cait Johnson's ideas and activities into our seasonal celebrations. (The Sacred Cave activity is astounding. I can't wait to build our own this Yule!)

  12. 5 out of 5

    Liaken

    This is a wonderful book filled with beautiful ideas of ways to connect with and honor the earth with our families. I have used many ideas from this book at different times of the year.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Bart Everson

    Haven't read the entire book, just dipped in occasionally for inspiration, particularly for activities associated with the Wheel of the Year. Everything we've tried has been rewarding and meaningful. Haven't read the entire book, just dipped in occasionally for inspiration, particularly for activities associated with the Wheel of the Year. Everything we've tried has been rewarding and meaningful.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kit

    Okay, it has issues with cultural appropriation and woo-woo New Agey stuff. But I knew it was a Pagan-influenced book, and many of them have that problem. It still had some really neat ideas anyway.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dionne

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Brady

  18. 4 out of 5

    Misty Mccloud

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jody Gray-linden

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lora

  21. 4 out of 5

    Steph

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

  23. 5 out of 5

    Amber Smith

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

  26. 4 out of 5

    Michael

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Kelley

  28. 4 out of 5

    Amanda

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kate

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marisa Miller-McDowell

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