How We… Introduce Pagan Symbols

Welcome to How We…

Each month, members of the Children & Families team will be sharing How We have introduced aspects of our community to our children. We will cover everything from the Aether to Zeus and we invite you on our journey.  We continue with How We… Introduce Pagan Symbols

I have quite an interest in symbols from around the World/other faiths etc, and I have a few books on this topic. One thing I love to do with my little dilophosaurus is to sit and look through the books together, chatting about the symbols that catch their attention. This opens up conversations about different cultures, faiths and history as well as the spiritual meanings behind the symbols.

I made some nomenclature cards/flashcards with various symbols on. They made a great version of the memory game when I printed two lots of the flashcards. Their favourites were the astrological symbols for the planets, they love all things space, I made these as mini jigsaw strips, and they had good fun putting them together.

Other times we just discuss as symbols or symbolism comes up, this could be when watching Time Team, or looking at jewellery at a Pagan event, for example.

Manager, Children & Families Team

In my own personal practice symbols play a huge part. I have a somewhat eclectic practice day-to-day, but I identify as Heathen if I must label my experience of pagan practice. Even within the Heathen community the focus on various symbols will vary, though there are often some commonalities too.

Personally, I wear a Valknut and/or a Gungnir, both associated with Odin, whereas others (including my middle teenage son, might wear a Mjolnir that is more associated with Thor. I have always been fascinated by divination methods since a child and used to write my daily journal as a teen in runic script, so the runes hold a dear place in my heart. This has also been a fantastic way to spend time on pagan elements with my kids. Creating bind-runes and doing short readings or “daily pulls” with the runes.

My youngest son is very proud of his own rune set and woke me up at 6am on a recent Sunday morning to check his understanding of a reading he had done that day, which I sleepily yet happily enjoyed. I also have some Derbyshire gritstone chunks placed around the outside of my home and garden workshop with appropriate runes carved into them for creativity, contentment, and protection. Beyond the runes I’m also fascinated, and regularly practice, Geomancy, so there are plenty of Geomantic figures and shields to be seen around our family home and at the altar.

Northwest Liaison, Children & Families Team

I haven’t specifically introduced my children to Pagan symbols although they have been discussed at some point. Children being curious will see things and they’ll ask so over time we’ve talked about the pentagram, the tree of life, the goddess symbol, runes, the Awen and the spiral.

Our family is very much for discussion at the dinner table so this is usually when these conversations about symbols take place, and many symbols have been talked about, not just Pagan symbols. Religious symbology of other faiths and Masonic symbology have been talked about as-well as basic alchemical symbols such as the elements, male, female. Things like the golden ratio and the Fibonacci sequence have also been discussed, so although it’s not all been pagan themed, symbology has been covered a fair amount.

Mid-West & Wales Liaison, Children & Families Team