In further investigation, I have found a ritual in the Pagan Birthing process that is even closer to the connection with the Christian christening. After birth, the parents invite their friends and family to a gathering, not to name the baby, but this time to bless the baby. It is made specifically clear throughout the sources of my research that the blessings are not intended to bind a child within the Pagan religion. Many of the followers of Paganism were affected greatly by their parent’s decisions to force their own religion upon them. The parent’s of the new Pagan child do not intend to force their child into their own religion. This aspect surprised me. I was very impressed with the understanding that the parents’ had for their own child’s future beliefs.
The process of the blessing rituals begins with the baby being presented with the four elements of nature. Then, the godparents of the child pledge that they will protect the child for as long as they live, making sure to guide them in the right direction of life. The child is brought to a natural place of worship, such as a grove or the base of a tree. The baby’s name is spoken to the four sides of the Earth and people present the child with gifts and affection.
A change could definitely result from learning about this process. In seeing the understanding of the parents towards their child’s beliefs, a person may be inspired to remain open. It is a common practice in many religions that whatever religion a parent holds, is passed down to their child. If more people accepted the Pagan way of respected their child’s life and goals, people would not grow up feeling suffocated by the pressures around them. I can personally say that this practice managed to alter my beliefs. I had never thought about my future children growing up to practice a different religion than myself. However, through this discovery, I understood that each individual should be treated with freedom in his or her opinions. What I hadn’t thought of, which the Pagan beliefs changed, was that my future child will be their own person, and will not need to adhere to my personal beliefs.
ARTHEN, SUE CUREWITZ. "Rites of Passage." Celebration of Birth. Fire Heart, n.d. Web. 6 May 2010.
Konick, Lisa. "Welcome Your Baby: Pagan Traditions." Belief Net. Digitaria, 2000. Web. 1 Apr 2010.
"Beth's Pagan Stuff." About Paganism and Witchcraft. Beth's World of Wonders, 1997. Web. 6 May 2010.