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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
1. "I can't burn incense my mom will kill me!"
No problem at all! I devised this solution for the Incense Problem! First empty out that old hairspray bottle in the bathroom, clean it out real well and cleanse it.

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 incense!
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 (willow@pagans.org)


Our Growing Numbers

by Styra

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.
Monotheistic Religions In North America, many of us are descendants of Europeans. Europe has been a Christian populated continent since Saint Patrick went out of his way to convert the Celts. Therefore, many of us with European backgrounds, come from Christian families. The pressure in this religion is intense, the mythology incredible and many feel the concepts just don't fit the times. Many feel unsatisfied and incomplete. Pagan religions offer the freedom to worship how you feel fit, a chance to get close to your deity, balance, and perhaps most importantly acceptance. A religion of nature feels that the concept of the "unnatural" is ridiculous and many "sinners" gain self-love here.
Media Though no witch likes to admit it, it is true that media is drawing people back to the old ways. Surprisingly, though the way we are portrayed is false, many read up on the "super-natural" and find that though it is not what they thought, it is where they belong.

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.