The Teen Witch
Article ID: 10125
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,970
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Author: David Salisbury
Posted: October 23rd. 2005
Times Viewed: 5,672
Adolescence can be a very tough time. With puberty, dating, school work and a million other things going on. Add being a Witch to that and it sounds like it would just get all that more crazy, but not for me. See, my name is David. I live in the city of Concord North Carolina. I’m 18 years old, I just graduated from Concord High, I love music and hiking, and I’m Pagan. I started my path on my own in the fall of 1999. For me, Paganism was like “coming home.” I started to have this great peaceful feeling that no matter what seemingly horrible things happened to me in life, I knew that it was all meant to be. A divine lesson from the God and Goddess. It wasn’t exactly easy though. When people started hearing about my practices I got some trouble from peers, friend’s parents, and even teachers. It was kind of overwhelming at first but I decided to stick with it because it gave me this feeling of wholeness that I had never had before.
During the first year I started out, I hunted greedily for any information about Paganism, Wicca and Celtic shamanism that I could get my hands on. It seemed that there was so much endless information out there and that I couldn’t possibly learn it all unless I studied day and night. I now know that there IS endless information out there and that no one can learn it all. It’s just a matter of being open to receiving the information that is brought to you when you need it at that time in your life. The first Pagan-themed book I read was Teen Witch by Silver Ravenwolf; not a much acclaimed book by most Pagans but it was the catalyst for many more years of spiritual learning. All throughout those hectic middle school years I took refuge in the woods by my house and meditated beside my extremely DIY altar. When in the woods, just sitting there and listening was the most special thing I could do. It was like the trees and every living thing were calling for me to learn of its life force, to bask in the perfection of it all.
By the end of my last middle school year I realized that being Pagan wasn’t always going to be a bowl of cherries. In those first two years I had experienced more discrimination that I could ever have expected to receive. It made me wonder: What is it about this faith that has people so afraid and so judgmental? How could people be so cruel to something that was a part of their ancestral history? I was confused to say the least. On the news you hear about racial and sexual discrimination all the time, but never about Pagan discrimination. Was it true that in a country where our first amendment was freedom of religion, the religion of Paganism didn’t count? Through all the shock of being hated for my faith, I knew that the good I received from my path far outweighed other people’s opinion.
And then came high school. The four years that are known to define the rest of a person’s life. Surely there would be others of like mind who I would meet my first day of freshman year, who I could study and practice with and share in the love of the gods…
No such luck. Though most people were far more open minded than in middle school, there still seemed to be a huge disinterest in Paganism, the contrary to what I had expected. Now, there were those few high school goers who walked around the school proclaiming their Witchyness by threats of cursing and boasting about how they could control the minds of their teachers for a higher grade. This did more than annoy me, it outright enraged me. I couldn’t believe that people who claimed the name of Wicca could walk around and spout out nonsense curses and couldn’t even tell me anything about the Wiccan Rede. This is why I then could not blame the few adult Pagans I had met for not taking teen Wiccans seriously. How could they?
So the high school years went on. It seemed that the more I learned and experienced, the more like minded-people I attracted, the more foundation in the local Pagan community I established and the more secure with my faith I became. I could thank the Pagan way for a number of things in my life, but I doubt that I will ever be as thankful for anything as much as how it got me through those high school years. Thoughts of dropping out - which everyone has - didn’t seem to get far in my mind. The constant annoyance of homework and moody teachers was enough to make me want to just scream, but I did not. As I had learned from a previous teacher, anything stressful I would just put it in a bubble and send it away. My bubble was not always large enough to fit my problems in, but hey, it worked most of the time.
It seemed that the more confident I became in myself and my faith, the more people noticed that. And the more people noticed that, the more the discrimination stopped. I had finally learned that I had nothing to fear but fear it self. Sure everyone has some threats of being beaten up for some reason or another, but putting my shields up was enough for me to keep those people away. And the more I developed in my magickal skills, the more people came to me for help. Often times it was just me refusing to cast a love spell, but more often than not people came to me for healings, focus on school work, and advice about being different in a town that isn’t always that open-minded. The more I helped these people, the more I realized what practicing Witchcraft as a part of my Paganism was all about. It’s about helping people. About realizing that your own problems are usually not half as bad as the problems of others.
To me, healing the world and the people of the world is the biggest thing our people need right now. That understanding of things was what helped keep me grounded during those crazy high school years. Not fashion, not popularity, not grades, but understanding. I think the reason that teens have such dramatic lives is that we spend so much time opening our mouths to tell the world what we think, and we rarely take the time to sit and listen. To reconnect with where we came from. If I could give one teen advice on how to survive those years, it would be to stand strong in what you believe in. To know that in the face of adversity, there will always be something there to protect you, and in my case it was The Goddess. The amazing force that I know I can depend on as I enter the “real world.” And as I continue my education I know that life as a teen Witch will not always be a fun ride on the broomstick, but at least I know how to touch everything in my world with a little bit of magick.
Location: Washington, Washington DC
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