Being a grandma and a Witch isn't exactly a well-covered topic, not in today's world and not w/r/t young children. That's all I'm saying. Well, no, of course, with Gemini rising, that's NOT all that I'm saying. I do, in fact, have lots more to say. I've been thinking a lot, lately, about how a generation of Witches who came of age amongst odd- and often only-true-due-to-need tales of family trads, are, these days, raising Witches in, who knew?, family trads.
My brave and brilliant Son and my wise and generous DiL are, AFAICT, agnostics. Having grown up deeply embedded in Catholicism, one of my main goals as a mom was to raise Son w/o any religious influence, at all. He did spend a few months in high school investigating the Society of Friends, a religion in which the First-Ex.-Mr.-Hecate's family was deeply and literarily immersed, and that was ok with me.
There are three rooms on the Eastern side of my tiny cottage: my bedroom, the ritual room, and the guest room. As the middle room, my ritual room is the darkest of the three. That room is lined with bookcases, and those bookcases are topped with stuffed ravens. So it's not surprising that, for the first years of his life, G/Son has generally seemed a bit afraid of and avoided my ritual room whenever he's been over here.
Recently, however, my almost-five-year-old (how the Hel did this happen??!!?!?!?!) G/Son has taken to wandering into my ritual room and checking things out whenever he's visiting. One of the first things that he noticed, enthralled as he's always been with swords and Medieval weapons, was my green-stone-sheathed athame. Last weekend, he wandered into the ritual room, picked up my athame, and said, "Nonna, does this do spells?" My general policy is to answer his questions about my religion in a very matter-of-fact way, neither proselytizing nor being defensive. We'd been talking earlier in the day about how some of Nonna's friends are staying inside the most important space in Wisconsin to stand up for workers' rights. So I said, "Yes, Nonna uses that to do spells. It helps her to get into a space where she can send energy to people who need it, like her friends in Wisconsin." G/Son said, "Or, we could send medical supplies to those in need."
I have no fucking idea where that came from, but I said, "Yes, or we could send medical supplies to those in need."
And, so we did.
I can't imagine that I've ever done anything to deserve the gift of being this old soul's Nonna. Like playing the balalaika, it's a gift. I'll take it.
Tonight, G/Son was having his bath and explaining to me that he's read all of the books at his level and now he's working his way through the "reading folders" at his school. He said, "You know, Nonna, I'm going to be a very serious reader, even for my family." And I said, "Yes, I believe that you will be." Again, no fucking idea where that came from, but this child does come, on both sides, from some people pretty committed to reading. You do not want to get between his other grandma and a book. Seriously.
I do not know how to be this old soul's Nonna. I am just making this up as I go along. Maybe there was a scroll in the library at Alexandria that explained how to do this. I am sorry tonight that it burned. I wish that someone had copied it. But the only bit of advice that I'd have to add to that scroll is: just tell the truth.
Also, send medical supplies to wherever they're needed. Do it with the athame.
When I die, I want that athame to go to G/Son. I think he already understands how to use it. And, if he doesn't, I'm charging some other grandmother to teach him how.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."