Antares, who is a witch trying to raise a family in a way that is consistent with her spirituality and beliefs, wrote about some of the problems she had faced.
She said: "I wonder if I could trouble you to help me start a debate about if we want to recognised as a religion, we must remember that not all witches are able to base their faith around drinking sessions at the pub, that motherhood is hard enough without feeling isolated from people of your own religion because you have children, that there are not enough resources out there to advise people on pagan parenthood, and a lack of events that are inclusive of family."
I sympathise. Although I don't have children to look after, I do care for my elderly, frail mother. This often means I can't get to pagan events without arranging for careworkers to look after her while I am away - which is expensive and requires plenty of forward planning.
Antares also said in her email that she had experienced trouble finding pagan-themed books suitable for children - but this was one problem she had managed to solve.
She said: "One of the issues I had was trying to find books for my children regarding regarding alternative lifestyles and so I found - and then joined - a children's book publishing company called Barefoot Books. I will be honest I run it as a business and try to earn a living from it, but much more than that I believe in the philosophy of Barefoot, they are ethical, multicultural, promote global community, have children's books on vegetarianism, the Goddess etc , but they do embrace all faiths as well as pagan."
Antares asked me if I would review one of the books on A Bad Witch's Blog. However, as I am not a mother - and also have a growing pile of other books to review on my blog already - I wasn't really sure I was the right person to do this. Nevertheless, having had a look at the Barefoot Books website and feeling the ethical company was definitely worth giving a plug to on my blog, I thought the best thing to do was to ask Antares to send me some more details.
Very promptly, I was sent the Barefoot Books mission statement. Here it is:
"Explore. Imagine. Create. Connect. Give Back. That’s what Barefoot Books is all about. It’s exploring other cultures, our planet, ourselves. It’s making time for make-believe and letting imaginations run wild and free. Most of all, it’s about using the power of stories to nourish the creative spark in everyone and strengthen connections with family, the global community, and the earth.Antares also sent me a short review, written by pagan mum Heather, of a Barefoot book called Winter King Summer Queen.
"Barefoot Books began with two mothers who wanted their children to have books that would feed the imagination, while instilling a respect for diversity and a love of the planet. Today, we are a world-wide community of writers, artists, storytellers, musicians, and others who are committed to providing timeless stories and captivating art that can help children become happy, engaged members of a global society."
Heather said: "Winter King Summer Queen was a beautiful book from start to finish; my son - who is four - loved the way it explained why we have the seasons and why it can't be summer all the time. The illustrations are gorgeous and as a pagan I love that finally there are books out there that convey these ideas so well. The God and Goddess flow throughout the book and it is a delightful story that I will be reading many times with my son."
The author of Winter King Summer Queen is Mary Lister and it is illustrated by Dianna Mayo. The book is suitable for children aged four to nine and the paperback costs £5.99. You can find out more or order copies through the Barefoot Books website at http://www.barefootbooks.com/marketplace/15953
I do feel Antares has raised some important questions about how the pagan community can help those others who share the same spiritual path but feel isolated because of the constraints of being a mother or a carer. It would be good to hear from others in similar situations, so please do leave a comment below.
The pictures show Barefoot Book cover images