A Wiccaning. A presentation of a child to the Goddess and God for protection and blessing. This is something that has grown in popularity in recent years, as more and more of us suddenly find ourselves not as solitary we once were.
It used to be that all Wiccans wanting to join a coven had to be adult. Any underage person who came to a Witch and asked to learn was turned away. This is understandable from a legal standpoint, you don't want to be seen as being inappropriate with someone's child, regardless of how the word inappropriate will be interpreted. Things have come a long way, though we still have to be careful of the legalities. If an underage person wanted to join a Circle or Coven I was heading, I would absolutely have to meet with their parents first and get express written consent, as well as I would invite them to any meetings or rituals their child would be attending. As much as I hold education and learning of so much importance, parents always must have the final decision until their child reaches the age of majority, and I'm not going to ever suggest that I know better than someone else how to parent their child.
Lately, more and more of us have been having families, and what do we do with the little Witchlings that we've borne? Especially for those of us coming from Christian backgrounds, we wonder what we should do. Christening, of course, attempts to set a child on the path of God right at birth. Which, as so many of us can attest to, obviously has nothing to do with our actual path. So what about Wiccaning? A Wiccaning, or Naming ceremony, doesn't say that the child should follow the path of it's parents. It simply introduces them to the divine, and blesses them. There are many different variations of course, as many variations as there are Wiccans.
As Pagan parents, should we shy away from such ceremony, or embrace it? On the one hand, some of us who were baptized or Christened are children resent it. Those that do may see Wiccaning in the same light, a blessing of the child specific to one Religion. Personally, I think it is important for a child to be blessed by Deity and the elements. Such is the world they will grow up in with their parents, where the Goddess and God are ever present. Nowhere does it say in the ceremony that the child will belong to the Goddess and God for all their days, and so the option is always open for that child to follow whatever path they see fit to them.
Do you agree with Wiccanings? Have you had a similar ceremony for your children?