Perhaps this is incredibly obvious, but it seems to me that a community that begins to look for how to books on parenting instead of expanding the consciousness is one that has shifted its attention from the self to the next generation. Many of us lack the model for raising a child within paganism because we came from households where the ‘book religions’ were the socio-spiritual model. When Ashleen O’Gaea’s Family Wicca first came out (more than 10 years ago) it was one of the first books created to fill the need for raising children as pagans as well; it also did a pretty good job of helping us just plain raise children.

The style is breezy and familiar: no footnotes here! Ms. O’Gaea has done a lot of updating – her (well described and oft used example) eight year old is now in his mid 20s. He is also no longer a Wiccan. Perhaps more than anything else, this is a clear example of how our community needs to walk our talk by allowing our children to experience religion and spirituality within our frameworks -- and then let them make their own decision. Family Wicca is worth owning just because it documents the way reality changes intention and produces a different – although wonderful – result.

The chapter “Answering the Hard Questions” is a thought-provoking collection of potential conversations. Never mind saving them for your children, these dialogues are a good example of how you might have conversations with newcomers to paganism or to your Path.

I was a little disappointed that the chapter “Passages” was so very short. It is a rich, but I wanted more examples, more description, more ideas to consider and recreate in my own images and perspectives. In one sense that is the mark of a good writer, in another: I wanted more. Other readers may feel a little put off by the fact that Ms O’Gaea’s spiritual orientation is Wiccan (although more eclectic than traditional) and here ceremonies, rituals, and arts reflect that perspective.

The first edition was a useful tool for the Wiccan family, and the updated version carries that through beautifully. It is a good choice for anyone looking for a guidebook for bringing Wicca into a family practice.  


~review by Lisa Mc Sherry

Author: by Ashleen O’Gaea

New Page Books, 2006

pp. 256, $16.99