Updated: Jun 5
Ashley is a deep well of wisdom, especially regarding how we, as adults, can show up with children in a good way. "In a good way" is meant that it is mutually supportive of healthy growth and development, feels in alignment with the kind of world we want to help create and holds in it the deep connection of and love between all beings.
We speak about entry points into transformation that show up so frequently when we are in relationship with children. We touch on the concept of relational commitment to this very moment. We also touch on:
the power structures that often get played out through adult-child relationships
opportunities for growth that don't always feel good
generational transmission and transformation
how to transform the rising pressure of a power struggle with your child
what it means to have a prayer to be more loving
Guidance from Ashley about setting up altars with our kids:
There are an infinite number of ways to make and tend to altars. I hope to learn many of them in this lifetime!
Since I work with kids from different cultures, familial belief systems, and lineages, I created a simple way to make an altar with kids that help orient us to spirit/magic/nature in ways that are not tied to a specific lineage or religion. Kids LOVE making altars. Even the ones who I think may not enjoy it, and are super wild, get excited to add their pieces and check out what other people have added.
When I introduce altars to young kids, I tell them that we are going to make a special and beautiful place, that will help us feel more connected. I talk about how magic can come alive when we focus ourselves on beauty.
Here's a map of how I do it.
Choose a theme! This could be anything you want. I tend to orient my altars around seasonal changes and themes. For example since we are currently in spring, I might choose themes of birth, blossoming, and creativity. You could choose anything that feels important or relevant.
Each person creating the altar finds objects to put on the altar, that relate to the theme. Using the spring example, each person could have: one object that connect them to birth, one object that connects them to something that helps them feel creative, and one seed that you want to plant (physical or metaphorical). These can be pieces of nature like leaves and sticks, toys, drawings, picture, anything really!
Find a location for the altar. You could do it outside or inside. Try to do it somewhere that won’t get easily knocked over. I tend to lay down a beautiful scarf as the base for altars with things from home on them. It’s also great to create altars with all natural materials that you can leave as an offering to the land.
To start building: take a pause, make a song, or special moment when you begin. Create the altar by placing objects on the cloth. Put them in the most beautiful arrangement as possible.
Circle up and share what you have put on the altar. I find hearing from the kids helps gives insight into the ways they think and feel.
After the altar is made, sit around it and enjoy! You can sing, have snacks, have conversations about the theme. If you are out at land, you can let the kids have free play and come back to the altar spot to rest and draw. The altar can serve as an anchor point on the land for your time together that day.
I like to “close out” the altar. Whenever you are ready to take it down, sit in a circle. We usually do a gratitude round and share one piece on the altar that we are grateful for.
Ashley's website: www.wellspringnatureschool.com/
Ashley's Instagram: www.instagram.com/_ashnewton_
Mallika's website: https://www.thewildandwise.com/
Find me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/thewildandwise/
I am on Facebook at The Wild and Wise
If you have enjoyed the show, please rate, review and subscribe in iTunes.
You can also check out some of our other episodes:
Episode 2 - Baba Yaga and Our Wild Woman Intuition
Episode 3 - Exploring Our Inner Knowing with Kadhi Bo
Episode 4 - Earth Magick and Regenerative Ways of Living with Marysia Miernowska
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