It is a sad commentary on our society that there are advertisements that are designed to tell men they need be fathers. Donating sperm does not a father make. We do not teach boys to be men; men to be fathers. There are no more rituals for when a boy becomes a man. The coming to age rituals that take place in my neighborhood have been taken over by the gangs. We are going these children such a great disservice when they are so desperate for the acceptance that rape, stealing and even killings have become their coming of age rituals disguised as gang entrance.
|Native American coming to Age ritual|
My father became a single father when we were young, but even he had never changed a diaper. He did not know how to communicate with me because that was my Mother's job. It was his job to discipline me. My father did not want my love just my respect and sadly he has neither.
The pagan community, with its focus on rituals, tends to be the exception to this rule. While this is true, there is still a great lack.
I have a dear friend whose partner talked about starting a men's group. (Its funny I remember thinking that I wanted to marry a man like him... and I did!) He talked about the lack of male influences and groups. Also how the recent Wiccan community was very female biased. I realized at that moment also that I must keep my practice balanced.
I have a 16 year old son who has a wonderful father and a good role model. His father does not however share my religious views. My son's father was raised my a man who taught him "men don't cry" and other such nonsense. I was very Blessed that he let me take the lead in raising our son and learned very quickly that such dogma was nonsense.
I tried doing a coming of age ritual with my then very rebellious 13 year old and he refused. Lucky for me he did not see the other "rituals" that he has learned and he has grown to be a wonderful young man. Now I have a 4 month old daughter who has a wonderful, loving, pagan father. She has participated in many rituals. Some she sleeps/nurses through. When we light the candles on our family altar she gets explanations of all the colors. One day she will confuse some Muggle when they point to Blue and ask her what it is and she
|Wolf Moon 2012|
says "East". My wonderful husband is already sharing lore with her as he tells her stories when they cuddle. This project has increased our awareness and increased his story collection! We gave our daughter a name filled with Magick. We started traditions to make sure she grows learning the craft and honoring ways. For example we have a live Yule tree waiting to be planted at Oestara. As she gets older she will be able to pick the planting space. I am very lucky to have found such a wonderful Pagan man but agree with my friend. There needs to be more men groups and more resources. I have found a wonderful resource in Patrick McCleary Have you found any more? What are your thoughts?