terririce@... asked this question on 5/5/2000:
what do you have to say about the positive and negative affects that wicca has on young people?
what are your views on new inexperienced people wanting to get involved in wicca?
hagatha gave this response on 5/16/2000:
Solitary Wicca (not to be confused with Traditional/Coven Wicca) has many positive effects on young women and men. It teaches them that they are responsible for each of their actions and that they have a responsibility to the world they live in, to make it a better place. It teaches them that they are directly linked to the Divine and need no Priest/ess to act as go between. Wicca is a religion that has both a God and Goddess who each have masculine and feminine characteristics. Male and female are honored and one is not more or less than the other. There are gods who are tender, loving, nurturers and goddesses who are warriors and avengers.
This is especially empowering for young men and women who are coming from an oppressive background where males are expected to be "tough and macho" and women are expected to be "meek and demure". Independence, intelligence and creativity are traits prized higher than conformity, memorization and "just following the rules".
The downside is there is very little formal structure in Solitary Wicca. There are a few basic premises (what you do comes back to you 3 times as strong and harm none except in defense of self or others) that make up the moral backbone of religion. However, practitioners are given quite a bit of latitude on how they put those tenets into their daily lives.
I think this spiritual freedom gets abused by those who may be to immature to understand that these basic principles are meant to guide you toward living a life in harmony with nature and mankind, not "do whatever you like now and pay for it later".
To those who are getting into Wicca now, I think it is doubly important that they do so for the right reasons. Wicca is a religion not a fad. There are far to many kids buying books on "spells" and "wicca" not as a means of learning a new skill or commiting to a new faith, but as a way to shock their parents and impress their pals. Some of them feel out of place in their communities, and turn to magick as a quick fix. They don't realize that spells are only a small part of Wicca, and spellcasting takes quite a bit of time and effort to learn. You can't learn it in a weekend and attempting these spells without proper guidance can be dangerous.
I tell anyone who is just starting out, to read as many books as they can, and compare them with what they see online. If you look for a teacher, make certain that teacher is someone that can be trusted, and that your parents approve of you spending time with them. Never do anything you feel uncomfortable doing and never do anything that could cause pain to another living creature or person.
Like any religion, there are good Wiccans, and bad ones. Use your head, and if you have any concerns, you can always ask me or others if this "sounds legit".
Wicca is a wonderful religion and a positive one, if you are willing to make the commitment in your heart and mind to learn it and live it, not just play at it.