Wow, so much to say! I love my family and they have not only accepted my choice to follow the Goddess Cerridwen, they have EMBRACED the choice. I am astounded at the support that I was not sure I would get. I am humbled by their love.
I invited my family to join me in prayers. One morning, my daughter happened to see me as I was beginning my prayers and meditation. I invited her to join me. It was a bit awkward, I wasn't sure how to include her, but I just kept on in the way I normally do, and it seemed fine.
Next, my son watched me a different morning from his bed. Afterward, I told him he could have joined me. He seemed skeptical, but not unwilling. He just didn't want to interrupt me that time.
So, I broached the subject of family prayer with my husband. He said, yes, please, I want to pray with you. Now, I have always envisioned this path to be solitary, but with a family like mine, who all want to be included in everything, that is obviously impossible. I spent a good hour or hour and a half writing down what I normally do, devising short mantras or prayers for them to use, and finding a blessing for the day. I also, as is normal for me, wrote down prayers for individuals in my life that are or were in need of help or guidance.
Saturday morning, despite my urge to be up at 8, I slept in a bit. Upon waking, we all gathered in a circle, sitting on the floor around my treasure box. Each person put an item of the circle on the box (earth, air, fire, water) and we lit a bit of sage to help purify ourselves and focus our minds. I gave each person the prayer I had devised for them, and told them it was only a suggestion, something to get them started. For the kids, I had my daughter say (Goddess or Grandmother) help me concentrate and learn. I gave my son: Grandfather, help me listen and learn. Something simple to give them focus that was relevant to them. My daughter has not chosen a path, so either seemed appropriate for her. My son has been present at the Salmon Festival and other Native American festivals, so he understands the concept of praying to Grandfather.
As we were meditating, my son asked if we could do "ohms" as a sound focus. Of COURSE! was the answer. Do what feels right for you. It wasn't right for me, I simply internalized my mantra. But it was right for everyone else. I couldn't help but smile! This was going very well! I worked through what I usually do, trying to include each person as seemed appropriate. After the blessing of the day, my son asked if he could say "aho" as a way of closing. What an astute young man! Of course, I told him yes, whatever works for you and feels right, is right!
I am SO proud of my son. He has taken to this like a fish to water. I am so glad I am sharing, even if it only happens a few days a week due to my/our schedules. Last night, my son requested that I take out of my box my blue altar cloth, as he had a surprise for (dad and sister) the next day. Hmmm... wonder what that turned out to be?
On Saturday, I read an email from a Pagan mentor who answered all the questions I had posed to her. One was on how to set up an altar. I brought up the answers to my husband, and within MINUTES we had a usable altar space. My suggestion of a location was immediately embraced, cleared and made ready. We have had a large sewn-together piece of (I think) rabbit skin and fur, roughly rectangular, for about six years. I knew I wanted it, but hadn't mentioned it to my husband. He immediately suggested it! Whoo! Same wavelengths and everything!
Next, I told him that I wanted, for my Goddess statue, one of the wooden statues that he got of a profile of a kneeling woman whose arms extend into a circle above her head. Maybe not the most precise representation of Cerridwen, but until I find the right statue, it will be fine, especially since I have been drawn to them since we got them. Hubby went looking in our room for a representation for the God, and he found a small wooden Buddha with it's arms raised straight up. This was something I got after my grandmother passed away, and was from her brother. Again, not the best representation, but still something that resonates with us both.
We put my altar box up there, with my items (crystal, sage on a candle stand, green candle, small bottle of water) and added a few other items. The kids each put on a feather that was special for them. In fact, my son didn't have anything he wanted to add to the altar right away, but then he went outside and there was a beautiful black and white feather in our yard. No idea what bird left it for us, as most of our songbirds just aren't that pretty. But there it was, and it was perfect for him. My daughter also added a stone found when they buried our recently deceased pet cat. They both really like having that there.
I grabbed what I thought was a small cast iron pot to use as a representation of Cerridwen's cauldron and as a brazier, but it turned out to be plastic. I still put it on the altar, and asked my daughter to find a stone to put in it so we could still use it as a burner if needed. Later, I also added a handful of small quartz crystals that we dug up ourselves from a location in Montana. Not only spiritually powerful, but sentimentally powerful as well. I added two more candles, for the God and the Goddess, then decided it was as done as it was going to be, for now.
Yesterday, after lunch with my family, we hit a second-hand shop near my work. While there, I was looking for a chalice, a better representation for the Cauldron, and a libation plate. This store didn't have anything, but I told my husband what I was looking for. An hour later he came back with a cauldron (metal tea light holder, but the right shape and size and color) and two libation plates, wooded, just as we had agreed. And we remembered a wooden goblet that we have had for 15 or so years that would fit in very well with our altar. I had thought of it first, but was not sure about it. His agreement that it was right, cinched the decision.
Our altar is now complete, and I feel so good about it! It looks so right in our home, and the energy in the house is amazing. I can feel that we are becoming an even closer family, and I can feel that I am calmer and more patient. Most of the time, LOL.
Thank you Cerridwen, for taking me into your arms and giving me the knowledge I need to follow this path. Blessings on you all.