A (Former) Teen Witch Perspective
The Wicca-Pagan Times interviews Wiccan author Gwinevere Rain who published her first book when she was sixteen. The interview gives an interesting insight into how teens find Wicca, and challenges the assertion that children’s literature is the culprit.
“I first found out about Wicca when I was fourteen. The more I learned about the religion, the more it felt right for me. I am not sure if my experience is typical or not but I do know that the majority of practitioners I speak with are in their teens and twenties. What really surprised me was when my first book Spellcraft for Teens came out, I had received a few correspondences from young people around ages nine and ten. It goes to show that people find Wicca during different life stages and that??s okay! I am happy young adults are investigating spirituality and questioning religion – it illustrates a positive level of individuality and maturity…I learned about Wicca because I went searching on the Internet. I had wanted to know if Witchcraft and spells were real. At fourteen I was curious about spirituality. I think at that time movies, TV shows and books about young Witches were flourishing, but I truly think that I would have been drawn to the path even if that type of media wasn’t out there. Eventually, after sometime on the Internet I began to decipher what was fact and what was fiction. It was amazing to me that people were Wiccan and the more I learned about it, the more I felt it was the religion meant for me.”
I think the ongoing debate/controversy over what draws young people to modern Paganism often neglects to talk to the teens about why they are making the choice to pursue Wicca and other non-traditional faiths. Instead of portraying teens interested in Wicca as ignorant dupes of a sinister Satanic plot (or a sinister money-making plot), maybe the media outlets covering these skirmishes in the culture war should address them as thoughtful and complex people looking to discover their own faith.