Title: Raising Little Witchlings: Parenting the Witch Way
Publisher: Witch Way Publishing
Author: Amanda Wilson
Price: $17.99 / $8.99
Raising Little Witchlings: Parenting The Witch Way is a series of collected columns and essays from Witch Way Magazine that author Amanda Wilson has written over the years, plus a new introduction for the author. It is short, compact, and works as an excellent introductory primer for the world of pagan and witchy parenting, perfect for the beginner who does not yet have children (but is thinking about it). As Wilson writes in the introduction, Raising Little Witchlings is here to help “establish a foundation upon which our kids will develop their own path as they grow into adulthood [while we as parents] provide for them a stable environment that is encouraging, supportive, and that prepares them for the real world” (1).
Fantastic goals — which Wilson meets through her seven chapters. The first two chapters attempt to tackle more theoretical and spiritual questions related to the world of pagan parenting, such as embracing your child’s emerging identity (be it pagan or not) and the ethics surrounding raising little witchlings, but the bulk of the book is focused on the how-to and practical guides. These subsequent chapters focus on maintaining the magic (and magick) of being a child and being a pagan parent in the modern world. There is lots of advice on how to celebrate holidays, what sort of crafts to make to encourage gratitude, and how to develop intuition with children. But further discussions on spiritual issues (or on parenting issues) should be sought elsewhere, such as in Circle Round: Raising Children in the Goddess Tradition by Anne Hill, Diane Baker and Starhawk or The Magickal Family: Pagan Living in Harmony with Nature by Monica Crosson.
The one thing I truly appreciated about this work more than anything is its research. When dealing with anything occult related, it can be difficult to differentiate opinion from history, mythology and personal interpretation on mythology. Not so with Raising Little Witchlings. I know exactly where Wilson obtained this information, whether it’s from one of these previously mentioned pagan parenting books (she is a fan of Starhawk and Crosson most of all) or from Parenting.com. Everything is referenced in-text as well as at the end! (For a former professor, this is absolutely wonderful). Wilson also balances personal insight with facts and statistics — another huge plus for this work. After finishing her short series of essays, her final works cited acts as the perfect launch point for more research. Which, if you’re a nerd like me, you did right away (or had already completed).
I was also deeply compelled by Wilson’s personal stories. They are not used as a “how to” or are in any way prescriptive; rather, they act as a humanizing agent to say, “see? I don’t know what I’m doing either, but with faith/gumption/spirit/magic/something else, we can figure it out.” Since I also have two boys, it was a delight to read about her sons in a similar context. She was also a single parent for much of her elder son’s early life, and is now in a mixed family arrangement; for those seeking advice situated in alternative family arrangements, she shares her wisdom and experience there as well.
Raising Little Witchlings is a small and delightful look into the world of pagan parenting. I hope it’s not the last collection by Wilson, since there is still so much to explore and discuss.
[Reviewed by Eve Morton. Eve Morton lives in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada with her partner and two sons. Her latest novel is The Serenity Nearby released in 2022 by Sapphire Books. She also reads tarot, has many tattoos, and loves coffee. A lot. Find fiction updates at authormorton.wordpress.com.]