Pagan Parenting – Things That Go Bump In The Night

Children are sensitive little souls. In some ways they are more in tune with the wyrd around them and are far more likely to be drawn to, or aware of, spiritual activity around them. There are many reasons for this to be the case but there are two leaning causes in my opinion. Firstly, with children being so young, and so full of life and potential, spirit are drawn to notice them. Secondly, children are more likely to both notice, and therefore reinforce, the spirit world simply through their child like state of belief and innocence.

Many children, maybe too many, loose these qualities through the process of growing up, others are able to cultivate their senses in later life. There are some who disconnect with these abilities through fear, be it their own fear or the fear projected by a loved one in those formative times.


Bump in the Night – it had to be done

Fight The Fear

I place myself in this latter category. Although as I grew older my mother was highly supportive of my interests and practices when I was young she was, in her own words, fearful of what I said and knew. On a number of occasions in very early childhood I gave my mum messages from deceased relatives, in some cases revealing things that I couldn’t have known, and she would shut down the conversation down. It was a bad thing and although I don’t remember the words I do remember her fear, and taking on some of that fear myself.

Now, one of the biggest hurdles I face when developing and using such abilities, beyond my rational mind, is a little fission of apprehension. I think this is one reason that I don’t see spirit. I sense them on any number of levels but visible manifestation is highly rare and always linked to sleep states. My mum acknowledged, before her passing, that her fear in those early years was likely to be the barrier I was then experiencing. Rationalising that has helped… somewhat.

This was very much at the forefront of my mind as the girls were growing up. Fear, mine or theirs, was likely to be the biggest barrier they would face in developing in any area of their lives living so I’ve tried not to let it get in their way. As someone who has reoccurring bouts of anxiety this isn’t always easy but I can usually confine my jitters to when they are out of sight and doing the thing I am worried about. It drives my OH spare but it seems to work.

Whenever we’ve had incidents of spirit activity I’ve avoided flapping where the kids can see me and I’ve spent my time talking them through their experiences, either getting them to open up to me about it or giving them the skills to deal with it themselves as they have gotten older.

Half the trick is working our whether or not what they are experiencing is true spiritual activity, imaginative play or simply the figment of imagination of a child on the edge of sleep. For this reason I take a two pronged approach and in addition to the things I openly discuss with them there are my standard Warding practices which they don’t know about.

Standard Practices


It is good practice to regularly cleanse your home environment in order to keep the energy flowing and moving. In most cases it doesn’t need to consist of heavy and elaborate rituals or full environmental resets but from time to time it is necessary to clear out and start again simply because something unwelcome has taken up residence in the home.

The most effective method for doing this is the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram, and of all the Golden Dawn rituals it is one of the most accessible to all. The downside of this kind of hard reset is that it creates and energetic void, and this can open you up to all sorts of trouble. Nature arbours a vacuum and will always seek to fill it and it doesn’t discriminate as to what it draws in, which may leave you in more of a pickle than when you began. For this reason it is important to draw in exactly the kind of energy you are looking for. This may be through placement of appropriate crystals around key areas of the house, bell ringing or other similar methods intended to encourage positive energy flow.

It is also important to make sure that you immediately ward the property after completing the cleansing, to better protection against future incursion.


Whether or not you have children Warding your home is a must for all Witches. In terms of good energetic housekeeping it is better to stop things at the door rather than be fighting a rearguard action action plan the time.

When you have kids it is even more important to have sufficient and effective boundary wards in place because children are spiritually ‘sticky’. Until I started layering regular protection with permanent wards we would regularly have bouts of shadow people, voices, bed shaking, unexplained bangs and crashes. Most would dissipate of their own accord but after performing the LBRP for the third time in as many months I decided to up the anti.

Now my biggest problem comes when something is carried in over the threshold. No amount of warding can protect against some high that is invited in by being brought physically into the house and given that we are big on second hand items and collecting stones from places we visit it still does happen.

For this reason I find it necessary to have a second layered of wards around the bed. A lot of bed wards are based on visualisation and whilst that’s all well and good for me and older children youngsters may struggle with the process. For this reason I would physically ward the beds, critically making sure they were unaware of what I was doing in order to help identify which experiences ere being driven by nightmares and those that were spirit activity.

Warding Charm for Bedside Protection

  • Birthday stone / Sigil / Sample
  • Jet or similar grounding stone
  • Lavender
  • Chamomile
  • Rosemary
  • Pouch

In terms of process I suggest that you personalise it to your child and situation as much as possible. I usually proceed with a dowsing session to try and identify what we are dealing with and this will inform my structure of the spell and identify if I wanted to complete a full house cleansing first but I always include an element of protection and space for ancestor spirits to visit and protect where it is appropriate to do so. The most important thing with this charm is to a) make sure it is well sealed b) ensure it is hidden around the bed (I recommend under the mattress) and c) the child in question is unaware of its presence.

I find this charm has a six month life span though this my vary. I don’t renew unless we have a sustained period of nightmares (5 days plus) and by not discussing it with them I am able to better gauge what is psychological / attention seeking and what is spiritual activity.

Where things are a little more psychological there is always the good old Monster Away Spray, also known as Flick the Fairy’s Good Dreams Spray after the fairy story my sister made up to get ED through an overnight stay. This kind of spray can be made up using any number of relaxing scents but I particularly suggest these three as the are Lavender, Chamomile and Rosemary as they are generally safe for all ages and very relaxing.

Stay Away Spray

  • 100 ml Spray Bottle
  • 3 drops each
  • Lavender, Chamomile, Rosemary EO

Fill spray bottle with water and add EO. Shake well before each use. You may want to involve your child with the blending process but they should be the one to ‘shake the magic awake’ and spray their pillow area saying something akin to;

“Monster, Monster stay away; stay away and don’t come back another day.”

Night Terrors / Shadow People – self rescue

As a family we have a lot of trouble with talking in our sleep and night terrors. I can sometimes take control of a night terror and turn it into a lucid dreaming experience, but only if I catch my signposts early on and I have only reached that point through hard won experience. Getting to that point wasn’t fun, mainly because I didn’t learn it from a book but by experience, but it was worth it in the long run.

Given that shadow people are a common feature of night terrors, at least for us, it can be a little hard to tell what experience is a nightmare or a spirit not quite manifesting itself. It is doable through confrontation and signpost recognition, for example I always know when my Mother is appearing as a spirit of a dream figment depending on some key signals, or their lack. I’d prefer it if the Girls could achieve this ability earlier than I did so I’ve been trying to get them to employ some methods of control that I use myself.

Both Girls can be incredibly strident at times; they are the epitome of the statement “dear strong willed child,  I know you are practising to be a world leader but right now you are an arsehole”, so they can absolutely order anything around regardless of which side of the veil it originated from. The trick is getting them to realise that they are in fact dreaming and can take control. It is a little hard to explain he process of lucid dreaming and the possible signposts they may experience to a 5 year old so I boiled it down to always confronting anything in their room with the demand for identification or departure.

In sounds a little more wordy than it is but essentially they are to unleash the pointy finger wand and say “tell me who you are or get lost”.

A week long period of night terrors,  which involved waking in the early hours with the screaming meamies,  dried up overnight and haven’t troubled us since. Every now and again they report a return of the shadow people but we don’t have full blown terrors anymore.

More Notes

This may not work for all children, and is entirely dependant on their waking world situatuon. Try a combination of methods to support your kids through difficult times and if you have persistent concerns contact your Doctor.


About knotmagick

Weaving Magick and Crochet in the madhouse I call home. I am a devotee of Hekate and a follower of Pan.
This entry was posted in Magick, Pagan Parenting, Rituals & Rites, Spells, Witchcraft and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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