Witchcraft/Paganism Today Part II"Teens In A Pagan Society"
As if it's not bad enough going through those teen years, throw a little bit of Magick, Herbs, & Goddess worship into that and teen life can be a..... well you get the point. When you're between the ages of 13 and 19 you are discovering life, who you are, what you believe, and experiencing everything for the first time. I know when I first found the Goddess, both of my eyes were blind. Through much trial and error, I began to see what my meaning was, how things were, and that Paganism was embedded in my heart.
Growing up as a Pagan/Wiccan can be very trying for the young, and for the young at heart! A lovely webmistress I know (Kali Weavyyre) once said, "Mom, Im a Witch! And the family cat is my familiar!" I laughed with such joy when I read that line as I feel that is truly how "Teen Witchery" is. One of the hardest parts of being a teen witch is coming out of the broom closet in a Christian/Catholic home. I feel for anyone who has to deal with the broom closet situation, it is the hardest thing to go through in the Craft. All through out life there are so many choices to be made and the teen years present some of the hardest choices young Pagans must make.
The Rede presents a problem in that we as "The New Generation" must carry on with good intentions, all teen Wiccans must know how important the rede is and use it in all magickal workings as well as everyday life. I myself have some strong convictions towards the rede, In that I feel the rede should only be applied when possible. As newbies to the Craft, teens must know that the rede is not a strict law and can't always be used in everyday life. Granted, no one should ever be harmed on purpose, but in our human nature sometimes hurt can't be avoided.
EXITING THE BROOM CLOSET Exiting the broom closet is the hardest thing for any teen to do. I have found that when explaining this to the "Parental Units", using Books, Websites, and a wealth of personal knowledge is the best way to go. I don't condone staying in the closet at all. Working magick in the closet is okay for a short time, but believe me it is no way of life. When you are in the closet, this gives a feeling of doing something wrong. Why? Because you are hiding who you are, what you believe, sneeking around, and going behind mommy and daddy's back. We as Witches, Pagans/Wiccans should be proud of who we are and what we believe. Young Pagans must know that being who you are and letting others know is not a sin.
DISCRIMINATION There are a few elders in the pagan community who don't exactly like teen Pagans. This is a fact and we all must deal with it. Young people are the future. Paganism's survival is dependent on the youth joining the Craft. Instead of loathing the fact that there are so many newcomers, we should all be joyous of this, knowing that our religion won't die.
WITCHERY IN THE CLOSET
Here are a few *Helpful Hints for all you Witches/Teens In the Closet
Next, add 10 drops of a base oil and 3-4 drops of an essential oil.
Spray across the room or altar, now you have something almost as good as
2. "I need a WAND!!"
You know what? It doesn't matter what your wand looks like. Find a nice branch out in the backyard, and there's your wand. You can glue or wrap a crystal on the end if you want to.
3. "I have carpet in my room, If I burn a candle, I burn the carpet!"
Hmmmmm..... Use a candle holder, plate, or bowl with some sand!
4. "Can I perform spells or rituals skyclad?"
Do you have a lock on your door?
5. "Help. I need an athame!"
Okay.....No problem, grab the family letter opener!
Well, I hope I have been as to some help to teen Pagans and elders in the community. If anything you had a good laugh from the broom closet help I hope!
Silver Willow (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Our Growing Numbers
For centuries Pagans were forced to hide in the dark but in the last decades our numbers have been increasing. Why? Here are the three most popular answers I received:
The Environmentalist Movement The latin translation of the
word Pagan is "People of the Earth." In the last century we have become
aware that we are destroying our planet. People are beginning to
realize that though Nature can exist without us, we cannot exist without
nature. Action is being taken and people are once again seeing
the cycle of life. Love, respect and reverence for our planet and the
life energies here is growing therefore so are our numbers.
Pagan religions are becoming more popular. These three answers seem to be most common. These reasons all scream one thing at me; that Pagan religions ARE for today's world because they deal with today's issues. In a century where we are looking for an identity we look to the past and return to the old ways. There is no doubt that our community will continue to grow.
Q & A
"I've been in the Craft for about 3 years. I want to join a coven. How can I find one or start one?" K.D. (16) in Ohio
To join a coven you first need to have your parents permission. (ooo the dreaded "p" word) This is important because not many covens will allow a minor to join, and those that do require parental permission for legal reasons. So if your parents give you the go ahead, then you can seriously begin the search for a coven. You shoud try the Circle Guide to Pagan Groups. You can get this for $18 (U.S. and Canada) $21 elsewhere. Send the check or money order in U.S. funds to Circle Guide, Circle Sanctuary, PO Box 219, Mt. Horeb, WI 53572 USA.
An alternative method is to search on-line (use your best judgement when doing this). Pagan groups available online include study circles, cyber covens, chats, and mailing lists. There are quite a few networking resources on-line. One of the best is "Witches of the World" at: http://www.witchvox.com/
As for starting your own coven, I suggest waiting a while longer before
you take on this responsibility.
Give yourself a little more time to expand your knowledge and get a clear
idea of what it is you want to do exactly.
However, I can suggest three excellent books that may help you along:
Pagan Youth Resources
Young Pagans today who have ventured beyond the exploring phase of Paganism need support. We are at risk for being harrassed and criticized for our religious beliefs. This is mainly because in our society we are seen as too immature to know what's best for our souls if it goes against commonly accepted practices. Since Witchcraft and Paganism are not so well understood and accepted (yet), Pagans in high school are accused of being teenyboppers and going with whatever is the lastest "fad". In some cases, witchcraft or symbols associated with witchcraft and Paganism are presented to kids as "bad" influences. This questions our faith and sometimes has a very negative effect in our lives.
We don't just face the negative attitudes outside of the religion, we also face it within the religion. Although there are a lot of young Pagans who are just now going deeper into the faith, we aren't all doing it just because it's "the thing to do". Both the subject of Witchcraft as a fad and Witches at war with each other have been covered in an earlier issue of Starlight Voices (Vol.1, No.2).
Crystal Seifferly, a 17 yr. old whom we have interviewed for this issue was involved with a case against her school. Her school listed the pentagram as an item banned from the campus.
Included in Goddess Meditations are tips on posture, breathing exercises,and advice on grounding for those new to meditation.
The meditations in this book cover "Light Work" (which includes love, compassion,healing,courage,etc.); "Dark Work" (cutting ties, setting limits, grief, divination, rebirth); "Chakra Goddesses". And even a chapter devoted to Goddesses for pure, free-form meditating.
I highly recommend this book for those of you interested in meditation. Whether you're just beginning or are looking for new and exciting guided meditations to follow, you're sure to find this book a valuable companion.
This presented the image that Paganism was a negative influence on teens and it also violated student's rights. We admire that fact that Crystal stood up for her faith. However, she didn't do it alone. Respectable Pagan organizations were at her side throughout.
We want you to know that there are organizations who take a positive and active interest in the youth of Paganism. Below are listed some sites and addresses of such organizations that do.
Youth Speaks and In the Starlight Special!
I have been involved in Wicca since I was 13. I started to practice at 15.
Are your parent(s) supportive of your religious choice?
What is your summarization of the young Pagan community? Who are the
young Pagans in your eyes?
Are there any improvements you'd like to see within the community as
well as with the public's view on teens in the Craft?
Some, not many. I have some psychos who are writing me letters. They are not Christians (as many assume). And one woman in particular keeps calling me. She's a born again Christian. She called to tell me I was going to Hell and she has claimed my name for Jesus. I told her a prayer is a spell and a spell without one's permission is black magick. She screamed Bible scripture over the phone and I hung up.
What were your parent(s) take on the situation? What were their
feelings on you getting involved?
They were apprehensive about the reaction I would get. They were
concentrating more on the 1st Amendment rights that were being violated.
Before this case did you have any problems at school due to your
What is at least one important lesson that you learned from this
Is there anything else you'd like to add? Any advice for young
practitioners? A message you'd like to get across to them?
Interviewed by Moon SpiritWolf
Goddess 2000 Project Launches Community Art Event
This year, all over the world, pagan groups, circles, and solitary folks will be making artwork that celebrates and honors the Goddess, the Green Man, and the CornMother. This will be the largest collection of Goddess Imagery seen in the past 3,000 years!
The official kick-off for this year long project was Dec. 21, 1998. Already many people have responded, and statues are being made in wood, plaster, concrete, clay, paper, textiles and metal. Paintings, collages and murals are also being made.
Winter Solstice 1999 will be celebrated with community Spiral Dances around the world and the dedication of the ~Goddess 2000 Project~ tributes to the Goddess.
Sponsors of this event are: Spiral Goddess Grove The Witches' Web & Circle Sanctuary. All three have websites that are popular Internet destinations. www.spiralgoddess.com www.witchesweb.com www.circlesanctuary.org
For Info contact: Abby Willowroot (WillowWebs@aol.com)
Do Unto Others...
...or, um, don't?
Self-sacrifice: Is this not the very foundation of the Christian religion? I find it sadly disturbing that those who would have me conform to their righteous ways would so flippantly overlook the essence of the institution that shelters them.
For quite some time now, I have watche a dear friend of mine struggle to develop his ideals beyond the cookie-cutter truths of his mother's faith. He will soon be eighteen, and (if only legally) "free at last". Unfortunately, there is no magic number which entitles him to respect.
An example: I recently traveled to the graduation ceremony of another close friend. My car has been permanently classified as a roadside sculpture, so I rode with an acquaintance who happened to be going to the same place. My friend was only an hour-and-a-half away from the town that weekend, so he offered to give me a ride home ... even though his car had recently been in the shop. The water pump had been replaced, but he was told that the car should run reliably.
It was a few minutes past ten in the morning when the police car pulled into the driveway. My friend's vehicle had broken down a little over halfway through the trip. A state trooper gave him $20 and a ride the rest of the way. Another kind soul gave us both a ride home. We were blessed with warm, sunny weather ... and our safety. The trouble? According to his mother, the car breaking down was clearly some sort of "punishment" for being disobedient unto the "Lord God's Will". How, you ask?
1.My friend should have known that his mother would not have approved of him driving the car anyplace "unnecessary" when it might still have problems.
Again I ask: Is not self-sacrifice the essence of the Christian religion? Do the scriptures not encourage their followers to help their brothers and sisters in need, regardless of personal cost? Why would my friend be "punished" for this? We need to look no further than Jesus of Nazareth, who gave his life and love unquestioningly, even as he hung dying amidst his persecutors. Or, look to the night of his birth: Do we glorify the innkeepers who turned away Mary and Joseph? Of course not.
It saddens my heart to see a culture so intent on intolerance and
judgement. These are not the qualities I want branded into the minds
of my children. As long as our society focuses on the narcissism,
exclusion, and degradation rather than simple acceptance and love, we
will continue to self-destruct. Therein lies your Satan, Mrs._________"
not our beliefs, but your hatred of them.
Back in the times when pagan religions dominated the globe, there was a lot of
stress, a lot of sickness, a lot of headaches, and sad to say, not a lot of
preprocessed geltabs to cure these problems. The people centuries ago had to
use leaves, roots and flowers as-is, and that was that. While some may say
"I'd DIE without aspirin!" there may be the occasional event where you've
left it at home, you've got a splitting headache, no one else has any, it's
right before a big test, you're starting to see your own blood in the backs of
your eyes......is this a problem?
*Stressed out over a test or over friendship problems or over a ritual that you're afraid wont go right? Chamomile tea will help a LOT (believe me on this one. I've tried it.)
*If you get a splinter from your broom or other wooden object, comfrey leaf and calendula flowers will be like Neosporin. They can heal the cut quickly and relieve pain. (This will not work if you rub them on your temples for a headache. Nice try.)
*If you're sick all the time due to a weak or slow immune system, or if you're just recovering from something, use astragalus. It can strengthen the immune system (which, for those of you who don't know, is the system that your body uses to fight disease).
*If you've got a cold that you want out and out NOW, echinacea root will shorten the virus's life span.
*And finally...if you have a headache (because of that big test) feverfew and
meadowsweet herbs will take care of that for you.
P O L L ~ R E S U L T S
25% A. Hey they're the reason I began with Paganism