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View Full Version : Pretend play, witches, wizards and Paganism



Faery-Wings
July 10th, 2002, 08:10 AM
After reading this article from Phoenix_Blue's post (Link (http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E171%257E711257,00.html?search=filter)) , I started to wonder if your children pretend play at Witchcraft and how you deal with it.

My kids are young and are very much into pretend play. And they are very much into playing witches and wizards. My 6 yo son loves Harry Potter and has a wizard costume, potions kit (plastic snakes, unicorn hair, potion bottles wand, etc). We also found a cute plastic cauldron for him too. It was a chip and dip container we found at Walmart! ;)

A lot of the time, he will play at making potions and spells, and pretend to talk to creatures and spirits around him. And I really encourage that. He was outside the other day playing "Cauldron" as he called it. And what he was doing was finding twigs, grass, dirt and water and mixing them up in a sand pail. I thought it was great! And the other day he had a cut on his finger and went to his Harry Potter potion book, and mixed up a healing potion and pretended to make his finger all better. I do try to tell him how is only allowed to make potions that help.

So on the one hand, I think I am doing a good thing- encouraging him to believe that using his mind and ingredients around him can bring about something positive. But on the other hand, I wonder how much of a stereotype I am building. Here he is playing at something that I take seriously. Is it good for me to encourage him to ride a broom and play with a plastic cauldron?

So my questions are:
Do your kids play at being witches and how far do you let them take it outside of the "truth"? Do you encourage this or discourage this and why?

And a fun one for us- Do you remember playing witches when you were a kid? I know I did all the time. I had a little witch handbook that told me if I rubbed a piece of paper with something (bat tears I think) and put it in a hollow of a tree, I would get magic potions or something like that. I know I improvised, but it didn't work LOL

Danustouch
July 10th, 2002, 12:44 PM
I used to "Play" at being a witch when I was a child, as well. Doing the same thing that your child does. Mixing up mud, grass, leaves and such in a bucket full of rain water. Calling it my "brew" etc. At the time, I didn't even "Know" there was a "Real" witchcraft. Or maybe I did...and it just didn't matter. I think basically, that as long as you are telling him that there is a "Real" witchcraft, and that it's not just about casting spells, and real witches/wizards and such don't wear pointy hats, then he'll just continue to "play" anyway, and understand that that is all it is. I mean..Kids dress up as cowboys, firemen, superman and such, but they know they aren't a "Real" cowboy, fireman, superhero or anything, too. I think you just have to try to gently remind him that it's great that he "Plays" like this, that it's so "Creative" and that he has quite an "Imagination" and maybe drop a little bug into his ear like..."Maybe when you get a little bigger, Mommy can tell you more about what 'real' witchcraft is like". or even say "If you have any questions abour 'real' witches that you'd like to ask mommy...let me know".

When you are watching a television program or movie with him, and it displays a "Stereotype" witch, you could just say..."Isn't that funny? It's so funny that they made that person seem like such a silly witch. Real witches don't do that. How funny!". This clearly points out the "unreality" of the show that your watching, while encouraging him that creativity and imagination, fun and games, are all healthy good things.

In my opinion, though admittedly i'm not a parent myself, the only time that "play" should be interrupted or governed in any severe "lesson" type of way, is when it is play depicting overly violent or abusive behavior. This can sometimes be an "acting out" and should be watched a little carefully. However, most forms of play that children engage in, helps them to utilize their imagination, creativity, learn, and grow. It's excercise for the brain :)

Melysande
July 10th, 2002, 12:47 PM
I used to play "Witch", too. And "sorceress." Hell, I still do, here online. **smiles**

Xander67
July 10th, 2002, 01:59 PM
:)

I used to pretend to have magic powers and would often pretend I was Merlin heheh

well this certainly gives a good perspective on how

things like limitation, and lack, doubt and "you cant do that" are not part of our nature, our true nature,

these are things we are taught as a child through conditioning

the following is my view on this subject..

Play, Pretend, Imagination, these are both right and left brain activities, and those are how we connect with our higher self...
and as a child we instincly know things, we do not know that we cannot fly , we do not know that we cannot talk with the animals.. pretending that we can... helps us develop our self and the worst thing a parent can do is hinder a child's immagination.... there are cases when we need to step in, for the sake of the child's mental health...

my 2 cents worth :)

Myst
July 10th, 2002, 03:41 PM
Well I don't have kids (heh we all know that) but I wouldn't discourage anything. I think a lot of the time what stifles being magically open is doubt and discouragement. I would talk about what's real with them and what is not when they're older but I wouldn't really stifle the play at all.

Arduinna
July 10th, 2002, 07:01 PM
My daughter doesn't play magic or witch whatever. Shes 12 and I don't really remember her playing any of that. She is very into Harry Potter ect now though. She read the series twice this year and a few other sci fi type books (A Wrinkle in Time ect).

I wouldn't discourage such play either, I don't even mind if she buys into the steroetypes at this point. There is a time for reality when that's what she looking for, play is play.

Brujaverde
July 11th, 2002, 10:46 AM
WHAT! we can't talk to animals? Well I still do, I know my neighbor thinks I've lost my mind but what the hell does he know. Anyway, on the play thing, it really depends how you feel about it, but MHO is My kids (I have 3) play witchcraft too & I only bother them once in a while to remind them that there is a real Craft & it isn't the same thing as TV & movie magic. I do teach them my beliefs & not my practices they are only 9,6,&5 so they wouldn't quite understand at this point anyway. But then I homeschool & one of our subjects is spirituality. I teach basic meditation, the tarot, runes, herbs as well as other religions & their beliefs. So they know more about it to begin with, & that helps. I try not to show them movies where the witch is depicted as bad because I feel that at that age no matter what you tell them about the movie they will still be affected subconciously.

Jen

Xander67
July 11th, 2002, 10:52 AM
:eek:

Throw in an art therapy class and I can pretend to be a kid, right?? me come paint and learn at Bruja's school :)

I wish they had a school like that here when I was a kid :(

buttercup
July 11th, 2002, 02:55 PM
I don't know if you'd call it playing "witch" but my girls love to play out in the yard and search for fairies in our "fairy garden". This summer they have painted a fairy house, painted rocks in glittery, bright colors to attract fairies (including using my $7.00 a bottle metallic pink nail polish!), and planted flowers to attract fairies. I've used it as a way to introduce them to gardening as well as a way to get hours of housecleaning done while they paint to their hearts content. They have also have an herb garden and they do make potions and medicines out of those. I burn some of the dried herbs that we grow in the house for cleansing and hey know that is what we are growing them for.
Although I have been teaching them about the power of "potions" when we make amulets or learn about what we are growing in the gardens, they attend a catholic school and since they are only 6 and 8 years old, I tend to water down alot of what they hear. Their teachers sometimes don't know what to make out of the fairy garden we built. I can imagine their reaction to "My mom's a witch!"

Flaire-FireStar
July 12th, 2002, 11:44 PM
Hmmm.... I don't recall ever playing games like that, although, my mom probably would have discouraged it if I did. *shrugs* I wasn't really one for playing games either, I would rather draw and such (one of my favorite drawings, that I can remember, was one of a giant. :))

Witchy Cowgirl
July 15th, 2002, 10:50 PM
I agree, let 'em play! Just watch and guide as you would in anything a child may be pretending!

I used to play Witch as well, mixing plants and rocks and such....rain, etc. I also used to play at controlling the weather. I'd ask the wind to stop blowing, or the sun to come from behind the clouds. I guess I had pretty good timing cause what ever I asked usually happened. That part is pretty ironic. My husband calls me the Weather Witch cause most of the time I can predict the weather. I've even got a friend who calls me to ask if it's gonna rain or not!:T

Sequoia
July 16th, 2002, 12:51 AM
I used to play at those things a little. . . I liked to pick plants out of my mom's backyard and pretend to make herbal concoctions.

I remember this stuff I once made. . . just a random plant, I forget what, Iceland-something. . . put a bunch of leaves in with some water in an airtight container and left it accidentally in the sun for a few days. . . WHEW when I opened it up, the smell!! ah!! I thought I'd made a toxic poisen, so I dumped it all out and resolved never to play with that plant again, lest I kill myself! hehehe

banondraig
November 17th, 2003, 11:19 AM
I used to play at those things a little. . . I liked to pick plants out of my mom's backyard and pretend to make herbal concoctions.



me too . . . also i would pretend to be a fairy and "fly" around. it looked like just running to
a casual observer. :lol:

Bainidhe Dub
November 17th, 2003, 01:24 PM
And a fun one for us- Do you remember playing witches when you were a kid? I know I did all the time. I had a little witch handbook that told me if I rubbed a piece of paper with something (bat tears I think) and put it in a hollow of a tree, I would get magic potions or something like that. I know I improvised, but it didn't work LOL

My entire 3rd grade year, my best friend and I were convinced we were witches lol. we wore matching plastic spider rings, and our cats were our familiars (they were litter mates) We checked out every book on Halloween/Witches/ghosts/etc out from the library (which of course wasn't much it being an elementary library LOL). We made up silly little poems/spells and tied them to the cats' collars - so when the cats came back without the poem we knew our spell worked LOL

Sans Holo
November 17th, 2003, 05:23 PM
My kids play wizard all the time. They love the harry potter films and I dont discourage it. Of course, being Christian, I didnt know that there was a right or wrong way to -play- wizards. I just see it as play time.

tinuviel42
November 18th, 2003, 05:14 PM
I would never discourage it in my children. I have two little girls, 2 and 4 and the 4 year old picked out a witch costume to wear at Samhain. I was tickled to death. I got her a broom to go with it. Play and imagination are great learning tools I think. Since then, my 2 year old has started riding around on the broom. The weird thing about that, is that she rides it the "right" way (sweeping end in front). I don't know where she learned that, as they never show it that way on TV or movies that I've seen. Somehow, she just knew...

FeatherGoblinglimmer
November 19th, 2003, 11:25 AM
I used to play witch when i was younger, i used to make up herbal mixtures in my sandcastle bucket.I used to pick up pieces of grass, stones pond water and all sorts. I had a favourite part of the garden, there were 2 rows of short conifer trees and inside the middle( b4 they got big) there used to be flowers that looked like eggs, it was my magic glade.fairys would come, especially if i left them my herbal mixtures.

I also had a cherry tree that once a year, would drip its resin( that looks just like amber) And i would carry that around as a charm, till it got to sticky to carry.

I see no harm in this sort of play, i shall encourage it in my daughter. I hope to teach her basic meditation, and about herbs and divination but b4 i do i want to talk to my partner and get his 2 cents on the matter.:)

Waterstorm
November 23rd, 2003, 12:33 PM
When I grow older and have children, I will definately not stop them if they do decide to play witches and wizards. Sometimes I still pretend being able to see faeries :D As long as the pretendig doesn't get out of hand....

veinglory
November 24th, 2003, 10:29 AM
I think 'play' withces are like 'play' cowboys and indians or 'play' doctors and nurses. You kind of leave that alone. It will fade away as thye learn more about the real world.

lightfairy
November 27th, 2003, 06:52 PM
i played being a witch when i was young.......come to think of it i never stopped! it just carried through thanks to my gran who was wiccan and encouraged what my mother calls freak behaviour, i still talk to her even tho she is dead. still learning tho

Cappy
November 28th, 2003, 09:24 PM
Played witch? Oh, yeah. With my bucket of mud (culdren and potion) and grass. Oh yeah, good times. My parents and grandparents never stopped us(even my grandparents who are christian to boot.). We were kids playing at kids stuff.

9-2-2
December 3rd, 2003, 11:09 PM
I studied superstitions when I was younger, and often wondered what magick was really like. I don't have kids, but if I did, they'll know the truth about the magickal world, and learn distinctions between fiction, and what happens in the real world.

Otherwise, I will fervently stand for the propagation of their creativity and imaginations. :)
I've made artwork for my friend's younger sisters, and won't hesitate to destroy my sewing machine in the process of sewing invisibility cloaks, Hogwarts robes, hats, and working with glassware to make potion bottles, leather for tomes, and such. Imagination is one of the finest things in the world. I remember taping rulers together when I was about 7, and running about slaying invisible dragons, and mounting my bike - I mean, trusty chariot! - to lead my friends - I mean, my almighty army! - on a dire, perilous quest to save the world! ;)

Vampy
December 16th, 2003, 03:41 PM
After reading this article from Phoenix_Blue's post (Link (http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36%257E171%257E711257,00.html?search=filter)) , I started to wonder if your children pretend play at Witchcraft and how you deal with it.

My kids are young and are very much into pretend play. And they are very much into playing witches and wizards. My 6 yo son loves Harry Potter and has a wizard costume, potions kit (plastic snakes, unicorn hair, potion bottles wand, etc). We also found a cute plastic cauldron for him too. It was a chip and dip container we found at Walmart! ;)

A lot of the time, he will play at making potions and spells, and pretend to talk to creatures and spirits around him. And I really encourage that. He was outside the other day playing "Cauldron" as he called it. And what he was doing was finding twigs, grass, dirt and water and mixing them up in a sand pail. I thought it was great! And the other day he had a cut on his finger and went to his Harry Potter potion book, and mixed up a healing potion and pretended to make his finger all better. I do try to tell him how is only allowed to make potions that help.

So on the one hand, I think I am doing a good thing- encouraging him to believe that using his mind and ingredients around him can bring about something positive. But on the other hand, I wonder how much of a stereotype I am building. Here he is playing at something that I take seriously. Is it good for me to encourage him to ride a broom and play with a plastic cauldron?

So my questions are:
Do your kids play at being witches and how far do you let them take it outside of the "truth"? Do you encourage this or discourage this and why?

And a fun one for us- Do you remember playing witches when you were a kid? I know I did all the time. I had a little witch handbook that told me if I rubbed a piece of paper with something (bat tears I think) and put it in a hollow of a tree, I would get magic potions or something like that. I know I improvised, but it didn't work LOL


As a father of four boys I have some input on this: Yes my kids pretend play witches and wizards. And they wear Pentacles and the sort. And yes I encourage it because Imagination is the Foundation of life, without imagination where would the world be today.

and I quote, " To take away a child's imagination is to take away the light at the end of the tunnel." - Me

SilverPheonix
December 16th, 2003, 09:44 PM
I think 'play' withces are like 'play' cowboys and indians or 'play' doctors and nurses. You kind of leave that alone. It will fade away as thye learn more about the real world.

How could you ever want your kids' since of imagination to fade away? And what us the real world anyway? As far as I know, it's something concoted by the corporate world to sell us day planners and expesive cars, and a "reality tv" show on MTV. I think we need to get rid of it and recognize what our kids have, an innocent sense of the world, and we need to be able to see and speak the way they do. Hell, I think as kids we really can talk to animals and see fairies because we haven't been tainted by "the real world"
(sorry for cussin')

LittleRhiannon
December 16th, 2003, 09:49 PM
I used to play witches...hell I still do :lol: I also used to make stuff and leave it for the fae. Maybe adults would think I was playing, but it wasn't make believe to me.

I saw faeries once when I was little....I think it helped me keep my mind open now that I'm older. It was only a few minutes, but I'll always remember it. In 2nd grade, my teacher told us to write about somthing that happend to us over the summer, and I wrote about seeing faeries. The teacher told me not to make stuff up :rolleyes: but my mom just came in and said "how do you know she didn't?" :lol:

hmm...sort of off topic aren't I? :shhhh:

BrenaSidhe
December 19th, 2003, 07:51 AM
Anythings ok-[almost]

-No attempts at actual flying/no jumping off high places and demanding to fly... Nooooo this brings broken bones and huge dr.s bills...

-No actual summonsing of ANYTHING, theres plenty out there already, no need to call unknowns into the household, that I will have to chase out latter...

-No keeping of any imaginery[?] being that takes on a negitive presence, any real talk of an imaginery that likes to hurt things, break things, so on must not be...
[my youngest came up with a charactor named 'bugerboy' , a big boy that tried to get her into truboule... Turned out this so thought imagineery kid, was a spirit who found way into our basement, a teen age boy who died of a drug overdose...
So pay attention to whom your kids are playing with...

-No cursing or otherwise bad wishing people who've ticked you off, based on the theory of [you never know]...

Faery-Wings
December 19th, 2003, 08:15 AM
I saw faeries once when I was little....I think it helped me keep my mind open now that I'm older. It was only a few minutes, but I'll always remember it. In 2nd grade, my teacher told us to write about somthing that happend to us over the summer, and I wrote about seeing faeries. The teacher told me not to make stuff up but my mom just came in and said "how do you know she didn't?"

I bet that at some point in one of my kids' school lives this will happen. My son has a dragon guide that he sees. My daughter has seen fairies and angels. And of course, I encourage that.
I'll rememeber that response, Little Rhiannon

Vampy
December 24th, 2003, 09:19 PM
hmm...sort of off topic aren't I? :shhhh:

:fofftopic Unfair :fofftopic Flag On The Play

:spam: Penalty :spam:

:fofftopic 10 Yard Loss :fofftopic

:spam: Pink Slip! :spam:

:fofftopic Uncalled for handling :fofftopic:

LOL only hackin' on ya Little

Forever Yours,

Antoninus
December 27th, 2003, 04:12 PM
Sounds harmless enough, just be sure to make clear the disdinction between real witches and pretend games like Harry Potter.