- It's never easy raising children. You have a greater responsibility
to the health, well being, and physical condition of your child
than anyone else. Today, it's easier for parents to rely on others
to help them monitor interests, than it is to sit down and talk
with your children. But you also have a responsibility to their
mental conditioning as well. There's nothing new about this concept.
There are a huge number of books, magazines and even web sites
offering advice for the best way to talk to your child.
- That isn't the purpose of this posting however. My purpose
here is to merely give non-pagan parents an understanding or
insight into how to handle, deal with and work with a child with
interests in magik and/or witchcraft.
- Mutual Respect
- The first comment I feel a need to pass on to all parents
is: if you want your children to respect you and your wishes;
then you must start with respecting their thoughts and interests.
You can't control what a person thinks. No matter how hard you
- That doesn't mean agreeing with their interests or condoning
their actions, but it does mean having the ability to talk with
them and LISTENING to what they say, how they say it and being
open to their thoughts.
- The worst thing anyone can do to a child is not listen. All
you will accomplish is creating a situation where the child will
begin hiding their interests, and deceiving you. This is dangerous
to both the child and to you! Without listening, you could easily
miss an underlying message of pain or sadness which unchecked,
could lead to some seriously dangerous behavior.
- With that said, and once again, this article focuses on spiritual
beliefs and mystical interests. Nothing else. It's meant to give
parents information about the path of Witchcraft, what it is
and what it isn't. It's better to work with your child to help
them research, so that they can find the most accurate and best
information; instead of trying to control their thoughts and
creating a situation where your child could become involved in
a group that has no clue what they're talking about. Or worse,
who only wish to control and abuse your child.
- These kinds of groups exist in ALL religions. The best way
to provide safety for your child, is to help them research and
steer clear of wannabe false priests/priestess. To do that, you
need to know a little too.
- How Did It Happen
- As a spiritual leader and teacher, I'm often asked to talk
with parents and teachers about the path of the craft. After
many years of counseling, I can predict the questions I'm about
to be asked. So here's a quick frequently asked questions - and
some answers that will clear up much mis-information.
- Why did my child get interested in this?
There are as many answers for this as there are children on the
- Rebellion of parents and authority.
- Friends at school
- Dissatisfaction with fundamental religions and ideals
- A general curiosity that became a real interest
- How about asking the child?
- How did my child find out about this?
Again, friends and the media are often the sources of much information
that influence our children. With movies like "The Craft",
"Practical Magik" and TV shows like "Charmed"
and "Sabrina Teenage Witch", there are bound to be
children who see the "fantasy" and want to be special.
The real side of Witchcraft is nothing like this Hollywood version
- We're not evil, why do they want to do this?
First of all Witchcraft and magik ARE NOT evil. We don't worship
the devil or negative Gods. In fact, the religion of Witchcraft
is very unfavorable about those who practice negative actions
toward other living things. Mystical beliefs have existed throughout
history. Have a curiosity isn't evil as long as it follows a
real path of honest research and study.
- What can we do to get them out of this cult stuff?
By definition, even Christianity and Judaism are cults. Check
the dictionary for cult and you'll see what I mean. There are
just as many Christian or Hebrew 'brain washing' cults as there
are, excuse the phrase, flaky cults. Witchcraft is not about
'brain washing', controlling or manipulating people. In fact,
it is a religion based whole heartily in respect. Violating that
concept is equivalent to a major sin. So it's something we really
don't approve of.
After you have talked with your child and learned a little about
the craft path; perhaps your sincerity of respect in their interests
will also encourage your children to respect your wishes as well.
You're not going to be able to control your child's thoughts
and beliefs. But who said you can't use their beliefs to help
you through discipline and reciprocal respect.
- What do we do now?
Once again learn a little bit about what the religion of Witchcraft
is, so you can speak with your child with some level of understanding.
Your efforts might even impress them enough to listen to you.
Imagine that. ;-)
If you still feel the need to control their actions and interests,
then this article has failed. But I'd ask for you to at least
respect your child and calmly tell them you are uncomfortable
with their interest in this religion. Out of respect or your
wishes, would they please stop. Demanding to control their beliefs
isn't going to work. Remember when you were a kid? Demands will
only send your children underground into hiding their beliefs
and actions. Where you can not protect them.
If your child is still interested in the path of the craft, the
best thing you can do is help them research for valid information.
This will put your mind at ease by knowing what their doing,
and with whom. But it will also help you both learn about the
misconceptions, misinformation and even the propaganda that can
Please remember that pagan paths are not where the dangers lie.
Within ALL religions, there are fanatics and people who wish
to control and manipulate others. By respecting the interests
of your child, you will gain their trust and maybe even learn
a little along the way yourself. Learning about other religions
and cultures doesn't take anything away from your beliefs or
way of life. It merely gives you an understanding and maybe even
a little tolerance.
- What Are The Dangers
- As within any religion, there are people and organizations
whose only interest is control, manipulation and greed. The religion
of witchcraft is no different. But they're a little easier to
- The biggest problem today are the many people who are newly
interested in the craft path who think they've learned enough
to be teachers. These people are often misinformed, or know just
enough to be dangerous. Mostly because their concepts or understandings
are only partially developed.
- They base their concepts on two or three books, movies or
turn of the 19th century writings that are filled with misconceptions
in themselves. The only real way to spot the dangers, is to learn
the basics of what Witchcraft really is.
- So what is Witchcraft?
- Witchcraft is a religion of respect, and a way of life that
focuses on the balance between nature and man, as well as, the
physical and spiritual world. In order to achieve balance, one
must first learn respect for all things; seen and unseen.
We have many basic beliefs, but the long and short of them are:
- We believe in the concept of a God. However, to us, God is
not something outside of ourselves, but rather something we are
part of. We see "God" as a divine entity that has masculine
and feminine aspects. Many traditions will assign pantheons (a
mythological God or Goddess) to these aspects in order to give
form to their practices by which they can honor the Divine. This
is similar to Christians who use the crucifix or images of Jesus
to give their God form by which they can worship.
- We do not worship, we honor. We honor the divine around us
and within us. I alone am not a Goddess, you are not a god. But
you and I and all things throughout the universe, seen and unseen
make up the Divine.
- We believe in reincarnation, karma and an after life. We
believe in a soul and spirit.
- These are the basics. If you'd like to learn more about these,
visit our Metaphysics 101 section.
- Witchcraft as religion has existed for thousands of years,
under many labels and in many countries. The religion today is
primarily based on Indo-European concepts and cultures. Witchcraft
defines the basics of the belief, while the traditions (or denominations)
put those beliefs into practice and sometimes further defines
or adds details to those beliefs.
- There are literally thousands of traditions within the religion.
The most known today is Wicca. But as a tradition, Wicca is relatively
new. It was founded in the 1950s by Gerald Gardner who was an
initiated witch into other traditions. Gardnerarian Wicca is
widely practiced here in the United States. But there is also,
Faery Wicca, Dianic Wicca, Seax Wicca, Celtic Wicca and many
In addition to formal traditions, there are family traditions,
which are based in knowledge passed through each family generation
to the next. There are more of these than you may realize. Finally
there are also solitary paths, where a person will study many
traditions, take those parts that feel right to him/her and create
- Within our religion a leader is called a priest, priestess,
mage, wizard or shaman. Member groups are called coven's and
clans. A leader/teacher has gone through many years of formal
study and has been initiated into a particular tradition of the
Or they have studied for many many years, decades even,
through formal classes, personal research and community interactions
to reach a point of significant wisdom and spiritual understanding.
They are looked upon as a wise mage or shaman by their community,
based on their actions, knowledge and daily exercise of that
I'll be honest here; there are few of these self taught shamans.
In some traditions, a leader who takes on the title of Priest
or Shaman without a formal test of knowledge and initiation is
often frowned upon or somehow seen as not fully acknowledged
in the role.
- Formal traditions often require a dedication of faith, which
is usually a self dedication before a person can be considered
for a formal initiation. Initiations are invitations to join
a coven or clan and are only given when a person has demonstrated
a certain level of knowledge of that tradition.
Many traditions contain varying levels of initiation as well.
Such as student, apprentice, teacher and leader or priest/priestess.
Each level requires a test or demonstration of knowledge before
the title is granted.
It's important to note here that just claiming the title of witch,
priest or shaman, doesn't make it so. And rarely are self proclaiming
initiations to claim a title acknowledge. Education, study, research
and demonstration of knowledge is all hard work. But if your
child is serious about this path, they must be serious about
the effort involved to practice it.
- What Witchcraft Isn't
- First and foremost, Witchcraft is not devil worship. Witchcraft
is a pre-Christian religion and we do not believe in the existence
of the devil. So it's kind of hard to worship something you don't
- Secondly, Witchcraft is not about spells and potions and
magik. There is a big difference between spellcraft and Witchcraft.
- Now that we've got those out of the way.
- A spell is merely a focused prayer with a specific intent
behind it. Not all people on the path of Witchcraft practice
spellcraft. Those that do, never cast upon any person without
that person's permission.
- A spell is not an easy way out of situations and in our beliefs
there are always consequences for casting.
- We do not cast to make someone else do something against
their will. That means, we don't approve of love spells, hate
spells, or spells that manipulate someone else in anyway. To
us, that is interfering with their free will and choice, and
thereby affecting the lessons or karma that person is here to
learn. In short, it's affecting the advancement of their soul
and that is a big no no.
- Things To Lookout For
- Now that we have some of the basic understanding and misconceptions
out of the way. How as a parent can you protect your child. Here
are a few tips.
- A formal teacher will not take on a minor child as a student
without written and often times, verified permission from a parent.
If your child is talking about a teacher who is teaching them,
without your knowledge, this is a sign of trouble.
- If a teacher can offer you nothing that proves their status
of leader or initiation as a teacher, this is a sign of trouble.
- If your child is getting their information from websites
that do not provide information about their research material;
or the research material is based solely on modern craft books,
this could be a sign of trouble.
- If your child is new to the path (less than a year) then
there is no way they have a complete understanding of the religion
to be casting spells. That's a sign of trouble; period!
- If your child is talking about casting spells to harm someone,
or threatening to cast a spell on someone, (good, bad, or indifferent)
this is a major sign of trouble and a complete lack of understanding
about this religion.
- If your child is talking about casting spells to bind or
protect someone, this is also a sign of trouble. We do not "bind"
people. We can only protect our selves, or those who ask for
the help on themselves. Never upon someone who doesn't know the
spell is being cast upon them.
- If your child is only talking about spells, this is a sign
of trouble and lack of research. -- do you see a pattern here?
- Modern media focuses on spellcraft without fully knowing
what they're talking about. Consequently, children want to be
like what they see on TV. We're nothing like that.
- If your child is claiming to be a natural witch or born witch;
there's no such thing. There is no witch DNA. Being a witch is
a spiritual choice, not a birth right. No one is born a witch
and no one is born a religion. Even being raised in a home with
a particular religion, does not make one a member of that religion;
unless they chose to be so.
- If your child is claiming to have psychic gifts and is therefore
a witch. Nope wrong again. Being psychic is not specific to one
religion over an other. And it certainly doesn't make someone
an automatic witch.
- If your child is claiming they have "power"; Nope,
wrong again. Power is an illusion. No one can have more a less
power than anyone else. There is emotional "power"
in having a spiritual path but that is considerably different
than being self powerful.
- If your child is claiming to be part of a coven, sign of
trouble. Either it is really a group of their friends who are
working as a study group; in which case they should call it that.
It's a group of kids who have banded together to practice rituals;
in which case it's doubtful any of them have the experience or
knowledge to do this. Or it's a group of people who are more
interested in the size of their group than the ethics of a real
coven. All these can be a sign of trouble.
- So What Do You Do?
- There are many well written books on the subject of witchcraft.
The problem most of us in the community have is, many will only
read the modern publications and not even do the basic research
concerning the concepts of the religion itself.
- If your child is truly interested in this path, then they
should first and foremost, study the basic concepts of metaphysics.
They should read and research the history of religions and how
they each have evolved over the many thousands of years. They
should be open to all paths of knowledge and not condemn anyone's
beliefs. All positive paths are valid and right for that person
who believes in them.
- They should study archeology, anthropology; especially if
they believe in a tradition that is based on an ancient culture,
such as Dianic Wicca or Celtic traditions.
- After all this basic research, then they can begin basic
study into magik.
- Now there are several well researched and documented websites
about the craft. Many we have listed on our Frequently
Asked Questions page. There are several books, which we have
listed on our Books and Resources
page. You can also do research at Amazon.com for additional books
- I hope this article has given you some understanding into
our religion. I also hope it has alleviated some of your fears.
I'm often asked to speak to parent groups, so if you have any
questions, please don't hesitate to ask.
Most of us who are teachers of our faith, really do understand
the concerns non-pagan parents have. Like you, we too want your
children to be safe and follow a path that is right for them.
- Many Blessings -
- For a PDF Version of this article click here: parent.pdf