Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
Nothing Special... Part Two
The Third Path
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Teenagers and the Craft|
Posted: November 19th. 2000
Times Viewed: 4,168
In my opinion, teens should be able to access the same resources available to initiates; at the same time, those of us who have been involved in the Craft should be willing to guide them.
In an ideal world, this might be possible. However, we live in a less-than-ideal world. We live in a world in which not everyone is open-minded, and where the intolerance for others beliefs is tolerated. Logically, teenagers who are old enough to be adults in other aspects of life, such as having a job or creating life, should be able to make their own decisions as to which religious or spiritual path they choose to follow. In this country (USA) at least, parents have the right to make their children's religious decisions for them until the child turns of legal age (18). And we, as adults, must respect the parent's wishes, or we may have to face the consequences. These range from a verbal confrontation to legal action.
However logical it may be that adults should be willing to guide teens interested in the Craft, there are several reasons why teenagers may not be able to find someone to do so.
1. Many teenagers begin their interest in the Craft after receiving misleading, misconstrued, or completely false information. This may be in the form of rumors, television shows, movies, or books that inaccurately depict Wicca and Paganism.
I believe that this could be resolved by further educating the media and public, establishing more Pagan-oriented community centers, and the further involvement in the community by Pagans and Wiccans that are 'out of the broom closet'.
2. Many people who teenagers look to for guidance are unable to provide it.
This could be for many reasons. Many people take oaths as initiates that prevent them from sharing the mysteries of the Craft to anyone who is not an initiate. Some people do not feel that they possess enough information to be able to teach others. Yet others may feel that they would not make good teachers, and some just don't want to teach.
3. Teenagers are considered minors in the eyes of the law. Therefore, those who guide them in their search for spirituality may face the legal wrath of their guardians.
This is my main reason for being somewhat unwilling to teach teenagers about Paganism and Wicca. Although the would-be student may be willing to learn, we must take into account that we, as adults, may be held liable. Personally, I will not teach anyone under the age of 18 without their parent's express consent. I'm not talking about the teenager telling me that their parents said that it was OK, but rather the parents telling me that it is OK.
The way I see it, if a teenager really wants to learn about Paganism or Wicca when their parents have forbidden it, the teen will usually, and almost definitely, find a way to learn what they want to. And if the teen learns in their own solitary search, that we are not a twisted sect of Satanism, and we really don't kill our children for their blood, and they are still interested, the chances are that they will be much more prepared and better educated when they turn 18, and can be guided without the fear of lawsuits.
Teenagers nowadays have many resources available to them, even if they cannot find an elder to guide them on their quest. We now have the Internet, more accessible now than ever before, with sites like The Witches' Voice, and Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance. Even in small town libraries, good books on the Craft are almost always available. People who live in cities have even more resources, like public events held at city parks, and an abundance of occult shops.
Now, I will digress into some of my experiences as a child and teenager, which have greatly affected the way I now deal with teenagers who want to learn the Craft. I was a teenager not all that long ago. I was raised Wiccan, went to Elf-fest at Lothlorian every year, and have always been 'out of the broom closet'.
Until high school, my peers ostracized me because I was a Witch. Nobody talked to me, because they were afraid that I would turn them into a toad, or curse them, making their hair fall out. I was miserable.
Then, there was high school in Chicago. Everyone I met was undergoing a mental metamorphosis. They all wanted to rebel against their parents. Be non-authoritarian. And the best way to do that was, at least for them, become interested in a religion that is nothing like the one in which they were being raised. And their parents would completely freak when they went home and said that they were friends with a 'Real Witch'. But at least they would talk to me.
I moved to Texas in my junior year, leaving behind the friends that were actually interested in me for me, and not my religion. And when I got here, I found that high schools on opposite sides of the country are pretty much the same. Only down here, I was the only openly Wiccan student in my school. And then came the barrage of teens, rebelling against the Southern societal norm of being Christian.
Students I had never met before would walk up to me, and ask me to 'make that guy fall in love with me', or 'make the person I just had a fight with get really sick'. Because at least here in 'Small Town, Texas', they had never been truly exposed to what real Wicca and Paganism are about, only the mythos of the wicked witch on television and in the movies. They would never bother to go to Betwixt and Between in Dallas and learn for themselves. They wanted a religion that provided easy solutions to life's challenges.
I would occasionally meet students who, I thought at the time, had a semi-realistic grasp on what a Witch really was. At one point, three of such students asked me to attend one of their rituals, because I was a 'Real Witch'. I was desperate for others my own age that actually knew what they were doing. And so I did. When I got there, I found three people who based their entire ritual, and their concept of Wicca, on the movie 'The Craft'. When they found that I couldn't fly, and did not possess psychokinetic powers, they were astonished. And so, I never spoke to those girls again.
My point is this: there is a lot of information out there, and the things that most teenagers start their search with is often based loosely around reality, but filled with fallacies. Teenagers who have not educated themselves, or cannot take things with a grain of salt, believe it to be completely true.
I was not around when the Neo-Pagan movement started. My parents tell me that we have come a very long way since they were initiates. I wouldn't really know, since I wasn't there, and my initiation was probably my birth. But I truly believe that until the public is informed about Paganism and Wicca as much as they know about Judeo-Christian faiths, we will continue to have teenagers who search for the easy answers, or turn to us solely to rebel against their parents. We will continue to have teens that want supreme powers to control those around them. Until people understand our religion, or at least the basis for it, we will not be able to teach and guide teens that are truly interested in the Craft.
Location: , USA
Bio: I was born Wiccan, raised Wiccan, and am currently a practicing eclectic solitary. I am raising my son as a Wiccan, and maybe he'll decide that his mom is pretty cool. I'm 20 years young, and am currently working on forming a Texas Alliance for Religious Tolerance. :-)
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