Teen Wiccans: What to Do When Your Parents Won’t Let You Be Wiccan
Greetings, Wiccan Teens!
Greetings, young seekers. I take it you’re here because you’re interested in Wicca, but you’re pretty sure your parents (or guardians) won’t have it under their roof. This can be very disheartening, when they’re unable to see what a beautiful, uplifting, and spiritually fulfilling religion Wicca is.
Maybe they don’t know much about Wicca and would be unwilling to learn. Maybe Wicca is against their own belief system. Whatever the case, let me just say—I feel for you. That sucks.
The teen years are a time for self-exploration and self-expression. Part of that is exploring and expressing one’s spiritual beliefs. You might not even end up Wiccan for more than a few months or years—that doesn’t mean you can’t learn something from it, or something about yourself in the process.
But, as the epic song says, ”You can’t always get what you want.” If your parents (or guardians—be they grandparents, older siblings, aunts and uncles, even foster parents) are against you learning about or practicing Wicca, here’s what you should do.
Be Respectful of Your Parents' Feelings
You might want to hide books, or go out for rituals in private places where you can’t be found, or hide tools in crawl spaces. You might want to sneak out to Pagan shops or local festivals without letting your parents know. I can’t over-stress how bad of an idea this is.
For one thing, when you sneak around you blow all trust. It doesn’t make you look good, and it sure doesn't make Wicca look any better. After all, if they think Wicca encourages sneaking and disobedience, they’re only going to hate it even more.
The fact is, Wicca does not encourage sneaking and disobedience—our religion encourages acting responsibly, respecting other people’s rights and beliefs, even when you don’t get what you want. You should take this opportunity to do the most Wiccan thing possible: respect your parents. Respect their home, their beliefs, their authority, and their rules. That’s the responsible thing.
What You Can (Ethically) Do:
Sure, it can be interesting in learning about magic, about energy, about full-blown rituals and ritual tools—but those things are just part of Wicca. Most of what being a Wiccan is involves living your day-to-day life spiritually.
Just because your parents won't let you have the flashy tools, or because you can't read 'spell books' at all, does not mean you're at a disadvantage! There are many, many things you can do that are highly beneficial to your spiritual growth. These are things that will serve you well on your path in life. These are things that any new Wiccan should do.
These things may not be as overtly 'Wiccan', but they are no less Wiccan, no less, important, and no less fulfilling if you give them a chance. When you do finally 'pick up the broomstick' (as we say), any of these activities will have you better prepared than any Wicca book or tool ever could.
What's more, your parents probably won't mind most of these. You can be on the path to personal spiritual development without parents even realizing it.
A book doesn't have to have 'Wicca' in the title to be relevant to Wicca. This book features an excellent interview with mythologist Joseph Campbell, who explains the meaning behind many myths, how they're related, and how they're relevant in our lives today. As a young Pagan, this information blew my mind when I first came across it! It helped me formulate my spiritual beliefs more than a lot of so-called 'Wicca 101' books with spells and potions. I now recommend this to all my students and any seekers on the Pagan path.
Any Learning is Good in Wicca
Read a lot. Wicca is a religion that values learning and knowledge. There are a lot of books you can read to help you that don’t mention the word “Wicca” at all. Read psychology books and sociology books to learn about human nature, the human mind, and human cultures. Read about mythology—learn about the Old Gods that Wiccans worship today. Read history books and learn about different Pagans and tribal cultures. Read about health and wellness. Read about gardening—learn about herbs, both how to grow them and how to use them. Read about other religions—including your parent’s religion. Get to know it better.
Journal. Nothing can help you learn more about yourself and how you are growing/evolving than keeping a journal; and it doesn't have to have a pentagram engraved on it to be religiously significant. Over time, journaling can help you see where your growth is stagnant, and where you keep making the same mistakes over and over. A journal can help you keep your thoughts organized when it comes to the world and your experiences in it.
You can also record important information as you study—for example, you might write down the name of a myth you found particularly striking, or you may have read a gardening book that teaches you how to grow your own sage in a flower pot. That information may come in handy for you when you move out on your own and begin to practice more formally.
Wicca Is a Religion
Pray. Stripped down to its bare essence, Wicca is a religion. You don’t need the spells, you don’t need the tools or even the circles—you could be Wiccan alone on a deserted island after a shipwreck with no supplies at all if you had to. Tools don’t make a Wiccan; they are just tools. A relationship with deity is more to the point.
Respect your parents' religious beliefs, respect their God if they have one, go to church or Bible studies if they request it. But no one can tell you who to pray to in your own heart.
Attune. A big part of Wicca is attuning yourself to the natural world. That’s not even something you need Wiccan 101 books to do. That’s something that’s largely driven by instinct. It can start as simply as sitting outside for a little while every day and noticing the natural things around you—the slant of the shadow at that time of day and year, the color of the leaves on the tree, the types of birds flying around. Notice the weather—the feel of the air on your skin, the sun on your face. Start noticing the cycles of the moon at night, and the lengthening or shortening days after the equinoxes and solstices pass.
You might find yourself getting the urge to get more into nature—plant a garden, even if it’s just a small one. Go camping. Take hikes. Swim in lakes and oceans.
This may lead you to think about what to put into your body—Doritos and Pepsi vs. an apple and a glass of filtered water. You may start feeling inclined to get off the computer and video games and out into the fresh air more often, to use your body. This inner longing to let go of the hold that many of our modern conveniences have on you in favor of more natural ways can really be beneficial to your health, and you may notice you start feeling a lot better. This is good—Wicca is about finding balance of mind, spirit, and body. Don’t neglect your body, it’s your temple.
More Great Hobbies for Teens Who Want to Be Wiccan
Studying history, cultures, religion
Working with animals
Anything in nature: camping, hiking, gardening, etc.
Studying sciences like botany, gemology, physics, astronomy, etc.
Volunteering and helping others
Physical activities: dance, yoga, martial arts, etc.
Great Guided Meditations for Wiccan Teens
When my daughter was a teen, being raised in a Wiccan household, she was always searching for great resources aimed at kids her age. She got her hands on this guided meditation CD and it became part of her daily meditation regime for a while. It was so good, I would even meditate with her sometimes. If you've never meditated before, this recording (CD or digital download) will walk you through it very simply.
Keep Working on You
Meditate. Meditation is great for so many things—relieving stress, finding inner peace, improved memory, and mental discipline. Wicca is a religion that actively encourages people to make meditation a part of their lives. Start taking five minutes per day just to sit quietly and let yourself be aware of your own breath. If you can do that for just 5 to 15 minutes each day, you will be more than ready to jump into more serious and advanced rituals in Wicca when you’re ready for more formal practice.
Wait. As hard as waiting can be, consider this time your own personal test from the Gods—testing your patience, testing your dedication, testing your ability to respect other people’s beliefs, testing your understanding that ethical behavior is important to your own development—development as a Wiccan, and as a human being. These are going to be lessons that will benefit you in the future, so even though it’s hard, take that opportunity and use it. Time passes, and things are always changing. Learn to live in the now, focus on making the best of that, and one day you’ll find yourself living the life you want, your own way.
Merry part for now, and I’m sure if Wicca is meant to be your path, we’ll merry meet again.
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© 2013 Mackenzie Sage Wright
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