A Wiccan of 25 years, Sage likes to put her background as a writer and teacher to use by helping people learn about this NeoPagan path.
Greetings, young ones! Pull up a chair and pour yourself a cup of tea! Let's talk!
So, you're looking for someone to help you learn about Wicca, huh? Not surprising. It's probably very different from the religions you've come to know growing up, which can leave you feeling a bit like you're stumbling around in the dark. You may feel overwhelmed by all the information—especially since a lot of it seems to contradict itself! And you probably think that what you really need right now is guidance.
Here are a few things you need to know before you go off to seek out groups or teachers.
Adults Training Minors
You will probably find that, other than directing you to a book or website, most adults won't give you much help. There's actually a reason for this: adult Wiccans—reputable adults, that is—don't offer to mentor minors (except in rare cases when it's with your parents' blessing). You may also find yourself shut out of most open gatherings, as well as covens in your area. This can be frustrating, and may seem unfair to you.
You should know, it's not that we don't respect your choices—it's that we also have to respect your parents' rights and beliefs. If your parents are against Wicca, it's not right to disregard that and encourage you to lie and sneak—two very un-Wiccan like behaviors.
We also have to protect ourselves and our community's reputation—we don't need bad press if angry parents come after us accusing us of "corrupting the youth" simply because we share our faith.
That's not to say adults will never train minors—it's just not something we're willing to do on the sneak. If your family has a Wiccan family member or friend, and they're willing to teach you about Wicca, have them talk to your parents about it to get permission and put any of your parents concerns to rest.
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Automatic Red Flags
|Run Away from Any 'Teacher' or 'Mentor' Who Claims:|
They come from an ancient line of family Wiccans/Witches
They have Wiccan 'powers'
Talks about 'Satan' or 'devils' or 'demons'
Tells you you have to sell your soul or something like that
Tells you that you have to do something crazy for initiation, like swallow live snakes or drink blood
Tells you that you need to be naked or have sex with them to be initiated
Tries to tell you to use 'black magic' or 'cursing' or whatever
Tells you they can control nature like some kind of superhero
Demands money (beyond minor expenses for supplies and such), tells you to do something illegal/unethical to get it
Whenever someone seems over the top...
Beware Wolves in Wiccan Robes
It is a huge red flag anytime an adult would be willing to do any of the following:
- Mentor you or let you into his/her group without your parent's permission.
- Mentor you or let you into his/her group without first wanting to meet your parents.
- Condone sneaking behind your parents' backs.
Reasons to Be Careful When Selecting an Adult Mentor
Wicca—like any other religion—can be used as a front for predators. Dishonorable people lie-- pure and simple. People looking to con you, take advantage of you or lure you into something dangerous will tell you how your parents don't really understand you, and how they do understand you. They'll tell you they do understand you and have your best interest at heart. Any respectable adult who really had your best interest at heart would never, ever encourage you to do things against your parent's wishes.
Not all adults seek to hurt you, but that doesn't mean they're suitable teachers. If they're going to be so irresponsible that they'd encourage you to disregard your parents, then they themselves have not absorbed what Wicca teaches us. People who don't get the lessons of Wicca themselves are not going to be very good at teaching you anything.
Some adults have issues. Many people want to feel powerful and important. They want others to look up to them. They want to be a "high Priest/ess" But they want all this to feed their own ego, without putting in the study and work without proving their worth. These adults are not really as worried about what you learn—they just want to be admired by you. Insecurities and over-inflated egos often makes for poor mentors. They look for people who are untrained and unstudied because they can tell you whatever they want—right or wrong—and it's easier to make you believe any load of poop. Years later, you'll find yourself very frustrated that you've been misled and misinformed.
Teens Mentoring Teens and Teen Covens
You might think your problem is solved if you find other teens who offer to teach you, or invite you into their covens. Hold up there—that's not always a good option, either. As noted above, respectable adult Wiccans aren't going to teach teens. Therefore, the teens you want to learn from are probably untrained themselves.
The problem with teen covens is that it's often the blind leading the blind. You have no way to know if your friends are getting Wicca right, or if they're far off the mark.
The word "teen coven" should be a warning sign, because covens are established groups in which training is passed down—people who have never been trained in a coven themselves certainly have no business starting a coven, or appointing themselves a spiritual leader for others. Untrained teens starting a coven from scratch is evidence that they don't seem to understand what a coven is. Again, it's not an ideal situation for learning anything.
What You CAN Do
Just because you are a teen doesn't automatically mean your hands are tied. There are places where teen Wiccans can seek the community and guidance they need.
First, though, it's important to get your parents' permission and cooperation. These are not things you should (or can, in most cases) go off and do all by yourself. If you are lucky enough to have an open-minded parent who is willing to allow you to explore Wicca, talk to them about bringing you someplace where you can start learning, observing and networking.
Here's a list of places to look into:
- Covenant of the Unitarian Universalist Pagans: Unitarian Universalism is a religion that embraces all faiths as valid, and many UU churches have sub-groups called Covenant of the Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPs). These groups often have open esbat and sabbat rituals, sometimes classes and discussion groups. Teens are often welcome to at least some of their events, provided parents accompany them or are willing to come and meet with the leaders and sign permission slips.
- Witchvox is the oldest and largest Pagan community on the internet. If you look at the bar on the left, you'll find drop-down menus under "Your Town". Select your state (or country if out of the US). Then look at the bar on the left again and click 'events'. It will take you to a listing of all upcoming and repeating events in your state. Look for nearby events and ask your parents to take you to them. Note: you should not attend alone; most groups will not admit minors anyway. networking you may stumble across teaching circles or covens that do accept teens with parental permission.
- Learn with friends: While teen covens and teens appointing themselves "High Priest/ess" should be avoided, it doesn't mean you can't study and practice Wicca with your friends. Read books together; discuss, compare notes, celebrate sabbats, hold rituals-- practice informally and learn together until you are both ready to join an older, more experienced Wiccan community.
What to Do When Parents Are Not Accommodating
There are times when parents are just not going to be open to Wicca. When this happens, it's best to put formal practice aside for the time being. If you still want to know what you can do, read my article Teen Wiccans: What to Do When Your Parents Won’t Let You Be Wiccan ideas.
In the mean time, respect your parents while following your own spiritual instincts. Remember, it's not a race, it's a lifestyle—there is no rush.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Lakshmi on March 16, 2019:
Hi, your article was really good but i searched the sites mentioned, I'm frm India and it says our country doesnt have a supporting community yet my mother is fine with me supporting this religion though she follows hinduism. Till now, I have been a storng atheist however teenage has brought problems and depression and my mother says I should be more spiritual however I find it hard to accept her ideas. I really want to follow this religion and searched its official site but however the site is only for majors. I know this might sound stupid but cant you mentor me?
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on October 31, 2017:
Hi there, Rori; glad you enjoyed the article. It can be an exciting time when you're having a spiritual awakening. Blessings on your journey.
Please be careful; as I've said, any good mentor is going to expect you to tell your parents and they will work with your parents full blessing, or not at all. Anyone who would encourage you to defy or deceive your parents is not a good mentor, they are the type of adults who prey on children.
You have a lifetime though; there's an old saying, 'when the student is ready, the teacher will come'.
Rori on October 17, 2017:
This article was really helpful, and I also read the one about parents not being supportive. I actually haven't told my parents yet because i'm still trying to figure out my beliefs. I only found out about Wicca about 3 weeks ago, but ever since then I've found myself drawn to the practice. I recently started yoga as well as meditation at my school, and it has already made such a drastic impact in my life. I've found myself leaving early for school so that I can be alone to my own thoughts, and just appreciate the cool air as well as the slow rising of the sun and how it slowly begins to warm the world around me. The past few days I've been doing lots of research on Wicca and in trying to find a mentor to help me along. I am quite young though, only 14 years old. I've been wanting to try to start to actually practice it, and I'm hoping to find a mentor soon, whether it be online or in person, after I talk to my parents of course.
Samantha on August 23, 2017:
I'm 17 and my parents are somewhat okay with Wicca, but they don't like the magic part of it. I love every part of Wicca and I want to practice it. I've been looking for a mentor for a while now with no luck. But I can't really tell my parents about the magic part of it.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on October 26, 2015:
Hi Raina; I do sympathize with your struggle, it must be tough. At 17, you're almost there-- hang in.
I actually wrote an article for teens for when your parents won't let you be Wiccan-- there are many things you can do and study that are not specifically Wiccan, but will certainly help you on that path should you choose it one day.
You can find it here: https://exemplore.com/wicca-witchcraft/Teen-Wiccan...
Raina on October 26, 2015:
I am a 17 year old girl, stuck in the Bible Belt. My parents are deeply religious in their faith but I have always been drawn to Wicca & things of that nature. I know the rules and respectabilities as an Adult Wiccan where deception & lies are against our beliefs, so I do not come to you looking for a mentor or a coven that would accept and teach me against my parents wishes. I only ask that you provide me with resources so that I might practice my patience for the next year but also increase my confused knowledge and have everything straight and learned before I seek my coven in the future. I want to learn what I can on my own and be prepared for the future. Please let me know readings and meditating advice if you can to just increase my general knowledge. Thank you & be blessed, Wiccan Sage.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on July 23, 2014:
Hi Destini, so sorry to her about your trip. Thanks for coming by; definitely covens need to be a good fit for the individual. Good luck in your search.
Destini on July 17, 2014:
What I have read on the site, seems like it is not for me. I will try to find another online coven, or I'll continue my study on my own. Thank you for the advise of less meditation. As for that safe journey and enjoying my trip, it didn't really go well, as I was deported, but all I can do is continue on my path and work with what I have. Hope your life is well. Goodbye. :)
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on May 02, 2014:
I love CUEW; I'm not a member, but I love structured groups that adhere to tradition. Think of it like college. For some people, college is restricting, they don't like homework, or having their work graded, or a core curriculum. They couldn't imagine For others, this is an immense opportunity to push yourself, challenge yourself and grow-- for many people this is truly a springboard for development. When you only do what you feel like, and what you feel is right, there tend to be gaps in what you learn and you're less likely to venture out of your comfort zone. You spend a lot of time trying to re-invent the wheel, and it can be difficult to measure one's own progress. When you work with trained elders, who have been themselves trained and deemed competent by other trained elders, and so-on down the line, well-- that kind of guidance is invaluable in my opinion.
I don't see CUEW as closed- minded; in fact, I see them as less closed-minded than the people who tout "Wicca is anything you want it to be and any other idea is just wrong." CUEW isn't telling you what you should believe or what to do; it's telling you what they believe-- their values, beliefs, expectations, etc. up front so you can decide whether the group is a good fit for you.
As for your meditation regime- 2 or 3 times per day, each time 1 to 3 hours is an awful lot. That'd like 3 to 9 hours on a daily basis-- that could be part of your problem.
There is such a thing as over-meditating. When you're trying to go 'down the rabbit hole', you have to come up for air sometimes. Over-meditation can result in withdrawal, sleeping problems, blood sugar irregularities, depression. In the same way a healthy meditation regime brings you into balance, over-meditaton can bring you into imbalance, just like over-sleeping, over-eating, or over-exerting yourself.
if you're meditating more than 2 to 3 hours on a daily basis the first thing you want to do is pull back and give your mind a little rest.
This is actually a problem that not a lot of people have (most don't meditate nearly enough) but the occasional eager seeker can fall into this trap. Now that we're talking about it I'm realizing it should be a hub, and I'm putting it on my work list this weekend. It's an important topic even though it only affects a few.
Enjoy your trip! Safe journey!
Destini on May 02, 2014:
http://www.cuew.org/cffn/. This is the link i was the one i found a bit closed minded, or at least for me. As for the meditation, i try to meditate about two or three times a day, for between an hour to three hours. I am a bit stressed, I have a trip to England in three days, and that is a bit of distraction I guess... I'm not afraid really, I am excited though.... so we will see if this works.... I won't be on here in a while , I have to settle in there, but I will check back with you as soon as I can. Thank you for your help so far.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on April 27, 2014:
Hello Destini, I welcome comments and questions. Which link in particular do you find to be closed minded? I included several of them and I’m not sure which one you mean.
As for what Wicca is—it’s a religion. I know a lot of books and websites have put forth the “Wicca is anything you want it to be” idea, and I can say I am in the camp that disagrees with that (I’ve actually explained why in a couple of different articles here).
As far as everyone doing his own thing—I highly recommend it. People should follow what they believe. The only objection I have is that not everything anyone cares to believe can accurately be labeled Wicca.
Anyone can worship Pagan deities, that doesn't necessarily make the person Wiccan—indeed I think it would be offensive to a lot of Pagans and Witches who don’t identify as Wiccan to tell them that they’re Wiccan because they do their own thing worshiping Gods and Goddesses.
Wicca is an orthopraxic religion; and because it’s so experiential it certainly paves the way for practitioners to explore personal gnosis. It’s not dogmatic. That said, it’s still a religion, and a religion is a specific set of beliefs and practices. Wicca provides a framework in certain tenets and principles that define it.
If it didn’t have that, why consider Wicca a religion at all? Wouldn’t that just make it exactly the same thing as eclectic NeoPaganism? Doesn't it only seem logical that there is a line drawn somewhere between the two, or else Wicca becomes absolutely meaningless and redundant.
As far as your path working problems, there could be a number of reasons. First and simplest reason to always consider are the distractions preventing you from going deep enough – external noises, cold, hunger, etc.; once you get into a deep trance you should be pretty oblivious to these things, but these kinds of things can really prevent you from getting into a trance. Other consideration is that your meditation skills still require development. How long have you been meditating? Are you able to spend a good hour or so in mindful meditation without distraction? Trances can take up to a couple of hours for some people to fall in deep enough—some people like to set the alarm super early, or for after you’ve been sleeping for 4 or 5 hours. Get up for a couple of minutes (no harsh light), get a drink of water or something, and then go right into your meditation. Your mind is still not fully back to the Beta state, so you’re already half-way there. Some people find better results with music/sound waves.
Other issues can be expectations—an important part of meditation is not having expectations of what will happen. Sometimes expectations can keep you on edge and prevent you from truly going within and letting things unfold naturally. Fear is a consideration, for some people the fear of facing the shadows within can put up subconscious blocks. Eliminating the fears can be tricky, but sometimes just discovering that they exist can help. If you think this might be the case you might ask yourself what the root of such fears might be, where do they stem from. When you’re getting stuck in meditation you just have to think about or try different things, it becomes a process of elimination and takes a little experimenting. Keep at it and I'm sure you'll find the solution to your problem.
destini on April 27, 2014:
Not to be rude, but the link you have suggested seems a bit close minded. I thought that Wicca was about being free and practicing with your own beliefs on how the god and goddess work. Correct me if I am wrong please, but is this true or not? Also with path working, I have been trying to do a simple guide, and I can't seem to even get past my meditation, much less be able to find something else with in myself ... So am I doing something wrong? I clear my place of negative energy, meditate, cast my circle, then meditate again to set my trance. After I am in my trance, I try to go into my mind and let it just guide me, but it doesn't. I do not know why this happens, but I am trying .Do you have any advise?
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on April 02, 2014:
Hi Destiny! As I said, we don't mess with minors because it's not right to encourage children to go against parents.
At 18, you have some leeway. You're a legal adult. You're not going to have that problem anymore. You might check Witchvox.com to see if there are any local events in your area. Networking at Pagan gatherings is a great way to meet some hands-on people. There's also the Coven of the Far Flung Net, a reputable trad taught through the internet. You would have to see for yourself if their trad is for you, you can check out their website at http://www.cuew.org/cffn/.
I'd also be happy to answer questions for you-- sometimes I disappear for a week or two because I am dealing with balancing work, kids & an auto immune disease, so please don't take offense if I don't get right back. But once I check if I find a question from you I'd be happy to answer or guide you to resources.
destini on March 23, 2014:
I am eighteen , and I have been studying wicca for about three or four years now. My parents do not agree with what I choose but they are not against it. That being said they do not hate me because of what I choose but they are not willing to help me in the slightest. I live on my own, and practice my beliefs alone. I would love if someone would just talk to me and help me out with path working and energy work. I understand what you are saying about not putting personal information on here.... and I also understand that some "adult" wiccans would not want to mentor the younger generation, but wicca is frowned upon where I live and at the moment I am not in a position where I can move to find a coven. So what else can I do? All I am asking is for someone to talk to me and answer some questions I may have... I am not looking into hands on training from someone, just some answers. If you can help me then I will do what I must to find a way to contact someone outside of this form in a private message... Thank you for taking the time to read this, and blessed be.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on January 28, 2014:
This is a message to Jaide Kist who left a comment:
I am not approving your comment because you included your phone number. I'd be happy to approve responses or questions without personal information.
Honey, I don't think you read the article at all; or maybe you need to read it again. It is NOT RECOMMENDED put your personal contact info on the internet and say "Hey Wiccan mentors, come and get me!" Just because someone claims to be a Wiccan DOES NOT MEAN they will be a good mentor for you; and you can't even be sure if a stranger on the internet is a good person.
Please be patient until you grow up; or if your mom is open to it as you say she is, have her bring you to local gatherings and events so you can learn things from the local Pagan community.
Mackenzie Sage Wright (author) on December 01, 2013:
Thank you Benjamin; I'm glad you could find it useful for where you live. It can be especially tough on teens, who want so badly to learn (especially when parents are not open to letting them learn and explore other religions) but just don't know where to turn. It's best to just be patient-- you're right, it's never too late; but to all things there is a season. Your comments are appreciated.
Benjamin Chege on November 21, 2013:
Hi Wiccan Sage. I love your hubs, they are extremely educative and informative. This particular one is even more useful in my home country where mentorship is only for the well-off. If I had the right mentors, I probably would be far in life. However, I have picked up the pieces and moved on, as it is never too late to find out and go for what you are most talented in.