Moody Moons would like to welcome Bunny Orion, a new contributing writer to our publication. In her debut article, she shares with us her experience growing up in a pagan household.
Fairies living in a hollowed backyard tree. Cats passing through mirrors into alternate realms. A group of birds determining our fate. These may sound like plot lines from an old book of fairy tales, but for me, they were the normal beliefs of my childhood. This is because I was raised in a Pagan household.
Now, this might immediately conjure images of kneeling in front of an outdoor altar or casting nightly spells, but my experience was altogether more…simple. Join me as I share insights into my magical upbringing, offering a unique glimpse into a path less traveled.
Reverence for Nature
Paganism encompasses diverse beliefs and practices, though for most, an emphasis on respecting nature and all living beings is imperative. As such, we strove to live our own lives in sync with the cycle of the planet.
As far back as I can remember, my mother would wake me up in the wee hours of the morning to watch meteor showers. We would sit at our back door, still clad in our pajamas, and look up to the heavens, counting each dazzling silver streak as it winked at us from up above. We would hold each other close and make wishes—of happiness, of love, of good fortune. Looking back, it’s wonderful to see that all of those wishes came true.
Similarly, we took special care to honor the seasons of the planet. Though I grew up celebrating Christmas culturally, we always made sure to celebrate Yule in tandem. We placed a gorgeous ceramic figure of the Holly King alongside Santa Claus on our shelves, and we would spend the day of the solstice baking and stringing fruits and popcorn to hang on our tree as an offering for the critters of our neighborhood.
However, my favorite part by far was the ghost stories. I was too much of a scaredy-cat to read anything truly spooky, but it filled me with an inexpressible comfort to know that the loved ones I had lost were not actually that far from me. Thus, when my uncle felt someone kneeling on his bed and gently stroking his hair, or when my mother saw an apparition of my great-grandfather standing in the hallway, it never occurred to me to doubt them for even a second—they were just loving visitations from across the veil.
Though we never referred to it by this name, I grew up believing strongly in the transformative potential of manifestation. It was instilled in me that I am the creator of my own destiny, and what I put out into the universe will come back to me.
We, therefore, tried our hardest to live every day with mindfulness, intention, and gratitude. We put faith into the fact that the universe is always conspiring for our greatest good. Everything we wanted was available to us, and if something didn’t open, then it simply was not our door.
It’s a beautiful belief system, and one that I am so thankful to my mother for instilling in me. I believed that I was inherently blessed with abundance and good luck, and so I have been.
(Need more ideas? Check out these 6 ways to manifest happiness with magic. )
Lucky and Unlucky
Despite what I have said thus far, living with a foot in the mystical is not all fun and games. We were constantly aware of how everyday occurrences could easily tip into omens, both good and bad.
Whenever someone said something that could tempt fate, we would knock on the nearest piece of wood. If we accidentally spilled some salt while cooking, we would scoop it up and throw it over our left shoulder before it could manifest into bad luck. For good measure, we would even sprinkle salt over thresholds as wards. If we found a penny face-up, we would keep it in our pockets for luck.
Our lives teemed with these tiny rituals for luck and fortune, which wove together like an intricate spider’s web, creating a backdrop of magic within our everyday lives.
Speaking of spiders—though bugs are not particularly welcome in any household, we always made sure to make a special exception for spiders. It is very unlucky to kill spiders, so we would just leave them alone whenever we came across them in the house. I suppose over time we developed a reputation as allies among the spider community, for they flocked to us in droves.
Especially in our gardens, we would attract orb weavers–a brightly-colored and massive spider known for its signature zipper-patterned webs. These yellow and black beauties would build huge webs in our rose bushes, acting as guardians of our abode. My mother taught me to revere them rather than fear them, and as such, we enjoyed a wonderful relationship in keeping each other’s habitat safe from harm, both physically and spiritually.
If there is one area of the supernatural that I am most familiar with, it is the Fae. Possibly my mother’s favorite area of magic, I was educated early on about these enigmatic beings. Most memorable (and the most direct threat, given that we lived in a swampy area) was the fairy rings. Fairy rings form when a group of mushrooms grow in a circle.
These are believed to be the dwelling place of the Fae and a portal to their world. Though we very much enjoyed seeing them whenever they would pop up, we made sure to stay well away. Though I must admit, the cautionary tales did not stop me from sitting next to them in the yard, straining my ears for signs of song or laughter, wondering if it could really be that bad to put just one foot inside…
However, the Fae are not only outside entities. If we had a piece of jewelry go missing, it very might well be an impish sprite. As long as we were patient and kind, the items would always turn up in one way or another. It happened more than once that a necklace would go missing for months before turning up atop our bed or in a drawer that it had no place being, and we couldn’t do anything but laugh.
Out of all my magical knowledge, I am most grateful for being raised with fairy lore. It made my childhood so whimsical, and the Fae have since earned a special place in my own practice. I even have a mushroom tattoo to commemorate my love and respect for them!
Living with an open mind
My mother’s main tenant was to nurture me with an openness to believe whatever I wanted and a curiosity to explore the unknown. I grew up with fierce independence and a sense of pride in who I was, even if it meant being different. This has empowered me to nurture my own beliefs and grow into my own path as an adult. I have expanded on my mother’s teachings and cultivated a practice that is wholly unique–spiritual, practical, and utterly me.
Sure, my childhood might not have been as traditional as other kids’, but it was certainly the most extraordinary.
For that, I am forever grateful.
Bunny Orion is an experienced magical practitioner with a background in English and
Writing. She specializes in glamour magic, hearth rituals, and manifestation. When she is not
writing, you can find her planning elaborate picnics, building Lego sets, and reading with her two
cats, Persephone and Apollo.