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Teen Advice

Most folks will not formally teach anyone under 18, there is too much possibility of “contributing to the delinquency of a minor” or other problems if parents or community members get cranky. It’s probably a different story if you are living independently from your parents. In any case, it’s not fair to leave folks completely adrift, so I’ve gathered some general info and advice which might help you.

  1. Take to heart all of the cautions about dealing with strangers that your parents have probably already told you.
  2. If you find yourself with a person or situation that makes you feel uncomfortable, leave!
  3. Anyone who tells you they have the one true and only way to be Pagan or Wiccan or anything else is full of crap. They are on a power trip. Run like hell.
  4. Anyone who tells you they are the only one who can teach you something or that you’ll never become a whatever (3rd level high muckety muck for instance) unless you do exactly what they say is full of crap. They are on a power trip. Run like hell.
  5. Number 4 covers things like someone telling you you have to get naked, take drugs, give them money or any other stupid thing.
  6. Wicca is not the movies. It is not The Craft or Charmed or Blair Witch or Bewitched (you might be too young to know about that one) or even Buffy, the Vampire Slayer (much as I love it). Real witchcraft is a lot more boring.
  7. We have nothing to do with Satanism. The devil is not even a part of our religion, let alone someone we would worship.
  8. We believe in a goddess and a god – a balance between male and female.
  9. We believe that everything and everyone is connected. Our holidays are tuned to the cycles of the earth.
  10. We believe in karma and the threefold law. What you do, good or bad, comes back to you three times over. No Wiccan in their right mind is going to go around cursing anybody for fun, because they know they’ll get it back again and worse.
  11. We do not try to convert people. We believe everyone has the right to choose their own religion and no religion is better than another, we all have to find what is right for ourselves.
  12. Read. I don’t want to make this sound like school, but you can’t learn in a vacuum. Yes, there is a lot of emphasis on making up your own mind and trusting your instincts, but you need information to help you do that and to help you grow. Some of what you read will just sound right to you and some of it will feel bogus. Determining the difference is part of the process you need to go through. Wicca is a religion for people who think. I give some reading suggestions at the bottom of this list.
  13. If you have the opportunity to search for information on-line, you can find chat groups and lists that are designed just for Pagan teens. Try them out but remember to be cautious about contacts on line. Not everyone who says they are a 16 year old girl really is. There’s such a thing as healthy paranoia. Try places like Witchvox for resources.
  14. There are many kinds of Pagans, Wiccans are just one subset. You may find it useful to read up on more than one group or tradition. It often takes a lot of searching to figure out where you fit and that’s fine. You may find yourself deciding that you are an Asatru, a Druid, Strega, a Wiccan of a specific tradition, an eclectic Wiccan, a general Pagan, or any number of other possibilities. The search can (and should be) part of the fun.
  15. I know it makes me sound cranky, but work on your spelling, grammar, and communication skills. You will be taken more seriously if you can communicate clearly. Honestly, with cranky folks like me, good spelling and grammar will make you seem more adult and more intelligent. I will take your questions more seriously if I think you’ve taken the time to actually think about what you’ve written.
  16. Pagan etiquette tip #1. You will meet people with all sorts of interesting jewelry and carrying neat objects. Do not touch anything without permission. Much of what you will see will have either strong personal meaning or will have been consecrated or magickally charged. It is considered disruptive and generally bad form to touch these things without permission. Don’t be offended if you ask permission and you are told “No.” You can ask about the item in question, just do so politely.
  17. Pagan etiquette tip #2. Do not go where you are not invited. Just because someone you know has been invited to an event, don’t assume it’s a general invitation. Have your friend contact the person who invited him or her and ask whether or not you may attend. Again, don’t be offended if the answer is “No.” Generally, people will want to meet you and probably get to know you a bit before you are invited to a celebration, ritual, etc. If you’ve heard of an Open Circle, you should still verify with the organizers that it will be okay for you to attend.
  18. Pagan etiquette tip #3. When you are invited to an event, for example an Open Circle celebrating one of the Sabbats, it is a good idea to ask ahead of time what the dress will be like, what the ritual will be like, and if you should bring anything. Dress may be “street dress” which means regular clothes but please no ripped t-shirts, etc. “Robes” means folks will be wearing ritual garb. If you don’t have a robe, ask the organizer if it is okay for you to wear street clothes. Some groups worship “skyclad” which means naked (clad only in the sky) and if you are under 18, this isn’t for you.
    For many events, everyone attending brings a food dish to share. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but you’ll usually want to bring something. Again, ask the organizers what would be good. You don’t want to bring hamburgers to a Circle full of vegetarians.
    Especially if you don’t really know anyone in the group, ask what the ritual will be like. For one thing, while many groups don’t use alcohol in ritual (or for the celebration afterwards), it’s a good idea to check. Just because you’re in ritual, doesn’t mean you get to drink if you are under 18. Again, this isn’t an issue for most groups I know, but it’s the kind of thing to be aware of ahead of time.

I suggest you read at least two of the following books. These are good introductions to Wicca and reading more than one will give you more than one perspective on what it’s all about.

  • Wicca – A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner by Scott Cunningham
  • True Magick by Amber K
  • To Ride a Silver Broomstick by Silver Ravenwolf
  • Power of the Witch by Laurie Cabot
  • Teen Witch: Wicca for a New Generation by Silver Ravenwolf
  • The Inner Temple of Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak