“Why is it continually inferred that the age of the “pagan” religions, the time of the worship of female deities (if mentioned at all), was dark and chaotic, mysterious and evil, without the light of order and reason that supposedly accompanied the later male religions, when it has been archaeologically confirmed that the earliest law, government, medicine, agriculture, architecture, metallurgy, wheeled vehicles, ceramics, textiles, and written language were initially developed in societies that worshiped the Goddess?”
– Merlin Stone, When God Was a Woman
Excitement, Wonder & Reward
Teenage years run the gambit from being frustrating and restless to excitement and awareness. It is during this time that many humans find themselves seeking answers to the questions that nag us all. Why are we here? What is my place and purpose? To get a reply, sometimes religion and philosophy come into play, including non-mainstream beliefs.
What does Magic Offer?
Stumbling on Witchcraft and Paganism feels exhilarating. The openness frees the spirit, and our ability to believe in things unseen and powers untouched blossoms. Magic is one means for connecting with not simply the Earth, but the Universe in all its glory. Once that initial “honeymoon” phase passes, you may find yourself asking, “What does Witchcraft or Paganism offer me personally?” That is a fantastic question. Here are some points for your consideration:
- Flexibility: Even in structured systems like those in some Wiccan Traditions, there is a lot of wiggle room. Your relationship with the Divine is personal and not subject to a scrutinizing red pen.
- Variety: Magic has many practices from which to choose. Do you want to learn about sacred crystals? Cool! Or what about herbalism, spellcasting, making charms or enacting ritual? Yep, those are all open doors. You get to decide what focus attracts your spirit most strongly.
- Earth Centered: One of the goals in both Witchcraft and Paganism is returning to a strong connection with, and respect for, our world. You are the next generation of people who can protect the Earth and work for its healing.
- Personal Growth: Both these paths recognize that people are always growing and changing. No one expects you to do things exactly the same way now as you might have five years ago. A lot can happen in that time. Witchcraft and Paganism methods and ideals grow with you.
- Being Yourself: Building on personal growth a key factor in magical efforts is self-acceptance and mindfulness about who you are, what you want out of life, your greatest assets and your limitations. The only way to grow spiritually is being honest, and the first person to which you offer that honesty must be yourself.
Will Witchcraft or Paganism Fit into My Life?
Another very valid question. Fitting magical outlooks into your life isn’t as difficult as you may think. Honestly, you are just learning to see the world and its possibilities in a different way. From there you move on to applying these spiritual principles in clever ways:
Meditate and Visualize: in the lavatory between classes (hey at least there’s a little privacy).
Decorate: the inside of your locker with meaningful images and sayings.
Grow Magical Herbs: on your windowsill.
Set Up a Personal Altar: Don’t over think this. Altar simply means a “high place” – an area set apart from the mundane world, reflecting your magical views. Most simple altars have a candle, an incense burner, a journal, stones and the like. Most people won’t even realize its more than decoration!
Find Jewelry: that represents your outlooks and beliefs (with magical crystals or gems that mirror your goals).
Delving into Witchcraft and Magic
This is the point at which you probably want to learn more. You can certainly turn to the Internet as one source of information. You could also ask people you know who are already practicing for their input. What are you trying to find out exactly? Well:
- Specific Path Choice:: There is no requirement that any practitioner tie themselves to a specific version of Witchcraft or paganism. Nonetheless there are some that might really resonate with you. You can look into formal versions of Wicca such as Gardnerian Wicca, earth-focused witches like the Hedge Witch or Green Wiccan or go it alone and become a Solitary Practitioner.
- Improving your Skills: Every part of magic takes time. You won’t perfect spellcasting, for example, overnight. There is a reason magic is called a craft. No matter your age, or how long you’ve been at it, there is always something new on the horizon, or a way for refining what you already know.
- Accept Mistakes: Right now, right here just accept the fact that you will screw up from time to time. Everyone does, even the most adept Witches. We trip over our words (or our robes), catch a curtain on fire during candle magic, forget a tool for a ritual, etc. It’s ok. The world of Witchcraft will not come to a screeching halt. Make it a learning moment and move on.
Revealing Your Interests in Witchcraft to Teachers, Friends and Family
Not everyone you know or meet understands anything about Witchcraft and Paganism (if they’ve even heard more than movie advertisements). There is no question that accepting the title of Witch or Pagan attracts some unwanted attention and prejudice. However, there is no reason you have to run around wearing a shirt declaring your new-found belief system.
At some point, you will want to tell those you love, but do so with a bit of Witch wisdom in your pocket:
1. Be Prepared for Questions: What are you doing? Why are you doing it? Is this a cult? Answer briefly with information, offering to provide more details from books or other sources. This is not the moment for a full-out thesis on the Wise Craft.
2. Focus on the Positives: Tell people how you see Witchcraft or Paganism making your life better, as well as the lives in the circles you travel. Let them know you’re really OK.
3. Don’t Get Flustered: The initial responses you get may feel like an attack. They’re not. People fear what they do not understand. Keep your words and reactions professional. Illustrate the way you plan to “walk your talk” in this exact moment. Over time, as people see you transform, they’ll relax a bit.
Certainly, this information only gives you a kick-start in your exploration of Witchcraft and Paganism, but we believe you will enjoy the ride!