Isn’t Wicca all about teenagers trying to be all edgy and that?

Some people come to Wicca, or paganism in general, because of the way it’s portrayed in popular culture. Movies, TV shows, books and magazines tend to show us an image of witchcraft that’s heavy on magic, power, and getting one up on the school bullies. Consider The Craft, Charmed, certain characters in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the like.

These stories quite often portray characters who are perceived to be – or who perceive themselves to be – apart from the mainstream. In real life, those who don’t conform tend to find themselves socially excluded. In schools, which can be startlingly brutal environments, those who do not connect to the socially acceptable premise of whatever the heck it happens to be at the time find themselves on the edges. This may be somewhere they’re happy to be, or it may not.

And this doesn’t just happen to kids and teenagers. It happens to adults. And then they discover Wicca on the telly, where there are people who are just like them – outside the mainstream and socially excluded – who are being respected for the knowledge and power that they hold. And so they come to their local pagan group, and buy all the tools and buy all the books and learn everything… and still don’t get what they want, because they’re not really after the knowledge and the spiritual connection. They’re after the power and the respect that social acceptability will gain them.

Paganism is a lifelong spiritual path, and so we find that of those people that come to it, some will drift away again. Which is perfectly acceptable because paganism is all about following your own path, finding out where it is. Nobody can teach you where your path lies. You can choose to accept knowledge from others about where their path lies, but ultimately your journey is your own.

– Amalasuntha

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4 thoughts on “Isn’t Wicca all about teenagers trying to be all edgy and that?

  1. Hi Amalasuntha,
    your final paragraph just about describes me. From childhood I have felt different from people around me. I went to a church school and knew before I became a teenager that it was not the answer to the world’s problems and worries. From my early teens I deliberately started to search for knowlege and read widely, helped in no small part by an elderly couple who were Theosophists and Freemasons. The maxim “do not lightly accept or reject anything you may experience” has served me well. Follow your instincts, if it feels wrong/right then it probably is. Take things slowly, discuss, reason and explore before you accept anything new and if anybody asks for “loads a money” in advance of “giving” you information then get out of it quickly. True faith cannot be bought and anyone worth their salt will openly share their knowledge with you for free. OK there may be some “hidden” knowledge that should not be shared with inexperienced seekers. All things come to those who wait and patience can sometimes expand into years of learning before the “light” dawns.
    Don’t confuse groups needing to ask for contributions to hire rooms and buy equipment with the charletans taking you for a ride and only interested in your money. Never be afraid to ask questions, books are only the thoughts of the author and not ideas set in stone as I realised when made to read the Bible in my youth.
    When the student is ready, the master appears, is another of the pieces of wisdom I was given many years ago, and it has always worked for me.
    Happy seeking to anybody who reads this, I am willing to share my thoughts privately with any all who ask.
    Blessed Be.

  2. A great article, thank you. I agree that there is a need to work out what you want on the inside before you can rush into making Wicca or witchcraft a part of your identity. It won’t plug the gap, you need to do that for yourself. But from thereon, you will find that you can give so much more to your beliefs and any groups you join.

    And I also agree that it’s not just a journey for the young. The day you think you know everthing is the day you need to start afresh! Wicca is constant questioning and a constant joy in the unknown.

  3. I really like Charmed and Buffy and all that, so don’t take this the wrong way, but things like that really annoy me.
    Half the stuff they commercialise isn’t possible or true.
    It’s really annoying.

    • Mmmm. It’s all good fun if it’s taken just as entertainment, but there’s a lot of artistic licence in there, to say the least! I remember seeing The Craft, and actually quite liked it (that might be heresy round here, I’m not entirely sure) because it did have a clear – if basic – ‘power corrupts’ moral. (Oddly, I never got into the Buffy/Angel thing, even though I loved Firefly, and am told that Jos Whedon just universally kicks… ahem… just rules.) But it’s true that a lot of people new to the witchy branch of paganism do find their first conscious contact with it in entertainment of that sort. Hopefully, most of them ultimately find the real thing more rewarding, if not quite as flashy and explosive. 😛

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