There are many opinions today about Wicca, and many of them are based on untruths. While this article is written with the presupposition that the reader already knows that Wicca is not Satanic nor evil (it’s really not, folks), that doesn’t mean that it’s safe at all times for all people.
There are several “Wicca 101” books and websites “out there” that target a teen audience. Some of them are written responsibly and some are not. It is the opinion of this author that it is somewhat spiritually irresponsible to invite minors to begin to practice magickal rituals on their own, with little or no training, and often against the wishes of their parents. It can be surmised that most parents who would not have a problem with their teens practicing Wicca are probably already teaching Wiccan beliefs to their children, rendering the need for “teen witch” books unnecessary altogether. Parents have the right to guide their children’s religious educations, period.
Here are some reasons why minors should not practice Wiccan Magick on their own:
1) Wicca is a religio-magickal system that intertwines spiritual beliefs and working with/manipulating the Unseen. When one begins to work with spiritual forces such as Deities, guides, ancestors, and fae (fairies), one can also unwittingly attract darker entities. It is absolutely necessary for a magickal practitioner to be educated about how to avoid dark spiritual attachments, clear them, and battle them if necessary.
2) Teens’ decision-making abilities are not yet fully formed. Regardless of how mature a teenager might be in comparison to his/her peers, the pre-frontal cortex of the brain is not fully mature until a person is in the early twenties. This is why adolescents need parental help to make important decisions, such as those that pertain to education, spirituality, relationships, and so forth.
3) Working with the Unseen in a responsible way takes years to learn and requires practice. Supervision during the learning process, in this author’s opinion, is key to keeping a student of the Magickal Arts safe. Just because someone is self-taught or book taught and has practiced Wiccan Magick without incident doesn’t mean that it’s generally a good idea. People survive airplane crashes, too. Adults have the right to do whatever they wish, of course. Even if it’s risky.
4) Practicing an alternative religion can have marginalizing effects on a person’s life. Particularly in the case of Wicca, where there is so much misinformation, not to mention abjectly false information, practicing such a religion will have polarizing effects on a teen’s daily existence if he/she doesn’t have the support of family. It’s difficult enough to be a teen without having to lose the support of parents, teachers, and friends who might not understand that Wicca is not a negative religion, but a positive one.
So when is it safe for a teen to practice Wicca? Here’s a list:
- When the teen has the support of parents/guardians and an adult Craft teacher
- When the teen observes the Sabbats and Moons in safe ways. These might include connecting with the Earth or Moon, celebrating by singing songs, lighting candles, cooking seasonally appropriate foods, and reading about the holidays. Attending Sabbat circles with family is always great!
- When the teen talks with supportive, trustworthy adults about her/his interest in Wicca and explores that interest together with those mentors