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Apr
10

Pagan Godparenting

A conversation in a pub moot last night seems worth discussing here. The topic being what do we, as pagans, do about godparents?
The traditions of this country reflect the christian perspective which appoints people to take an interest in the spiritual development of the child. That, obviously, would not be appropriate for most pagan paths which tend to be non-evangelical.
However, having said that, this statement was met with some derision from the Heathen contingent who wanted their children to be actively involved and brought up within their faith – which some of the more vocal Wiccans suggested was tantamount to evangelism.

Now admittedly at this point in the pub one of the more traditional disputes between Heathenry and Wicca happened until a number of those disputing went out for a healthy cigarette or two. I’m not suggesting anything about their lungs but the conversation certainly benefited from the break.

In the lull a serious-minded Druid pointed out that the other main function of godparents, that of being surrogate parents should anything happen to the original set, was very useful and that surely the spiritual leanings of the parents should therefore be reflected in the godparents.
That was the point that I looked around the moot and mentally reflected on what a very wise Heathen once told me; “Ask a dozen Pagans about Paganism and get two dozen answers”

I think as with anything, whether you’re approaching your paganism from within a set tradition with particular practices (a la Heathenry or traditional Wicca), or whether you’re forging your own path in the eclectic manner you need to address openly what you want to do about the spirituality of your children. Leaving it open would not seem to be doing right by them and addressing it does not mean that you will be codifying there beliefs but perhaps deliberately engaging them to consider for themselves what their spiritual path is. Perhaps it is more difficult for the average pagan to find godparents following the same path as they are for their children but perhaps we value those two dozen answers from a dozen pagans and it’s less about finding people to navigate our exact path with us and more about finding people to show our children how to make similar lanterns to see the paths we follow?

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