Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wiccan Teen Wants To Know How To Deal With Friends' Curiousity

Dear Tazi:

I am being raised a Wiccan by two Wiccan parents who were both raised Christian before they converted. You would never know that Mom and Dad were raised Christian by the way they talk - constantly attributing things to "the goddess" or "Gaia". I have no problem with this, as it is my belief, too, but I get upset when they say stuff like this in front of my grandparents (either set) because it obviously upsets them. Although this is part of my problem, it is not one I can't handle. My bigger problem is with my friends.

When my friends come over they are fascinated by my Mom and Dad and how we live. We have offerings to the spirits in our garden and live a very environmentally friendly life. We have shines to goddesses like some people have shrines to Mary and Joseph. My friends think it is pretty cool, and are always asking me how to become Wiccan or what Wiccans believe. I tell them it is a religion, and we have our beliefs just like they have theirs, and I am usually happy to explain some of the stuff that must seem out of the ordinary to them. It's when my parents overhear their questions that things get creepy.

My parents both believe that they must work to convert others to our religion; that only in converting others can we save the Earth and spread peace. While I argue that you do not have to be  Wiccan to be an environmentalist, Mom argues that all environmentalists are Wiccan deep down, and it is our job to help them realize it.

A few of my friends' parents have found out about my parents efforts to convert them to what they think is a "satanic" religion and have refused to allow them to come over my house anymore. I have tried to explain that Wicca is not Satanism, that Wicca predates the Bible itself, but they say that Satan has always existed and that he predates the Bible, too. I guess I don't have to tell you how badly that argument ended for me and my friends.

I am not ashamed of my religion, but sometimes I wish that my Christian friends were not so fascinated by it. They don't seem to be fascinated by Judaism, so why do they think Wicca is so cool? Someone told me it was because Wicca is "cool", but that was kind of insulting. I mean, my religion isn't some emo trend; it's a part of who I am. So I guess what I want to know is how can I find balance between my inner and outer lives? My life at home and my life out in the world?

Faerie Lover

Dear Faerie Lover:

While the Wiccan religion has gained both popularity and acceptance over the last several decades, it is still something relatively new when compared to other world religions. Although it has been around for thousands of years, it has never been as mainstream as Christianity, Judaism, and even Islam. You even say yourself that your parents were not raised Wiccan, but converted, and among your friends you are the only one who is being raised Wiccan.

If I saw this, I'd be curious, too!

Do your parents belong to a coven?: If so, are there other children your age who you can lean on for support and understanding? You may want to cultivate friendships with these people, for both social interaction and as fellow members of your faith. Other religions have youth fellowships, so why not yours? It will help you to feel less alone among your friends, knowing that there are peers out there who practice the same religion as you.

The matter of your parents attempting to convert your friends is a sticky one. Because it is upsetting your friends parents, I think it would be in everyone's best interest if they kept their efforts at conversion to those who are over the age of 18! However, they should still feel free to answer polite and respectful questions about their religious beliefs. People ask because they are curious, not because they seek to judge. You may want to remember this as you try to balance both your inner and outer self! Also remember that anything seen as new or different will be judged by others as either cool or not cool; do your best to remain patient with these people and the novelty they see will quickly wear off, and they will once again see you as one of the crowd.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with Bachelors degrees in Communications and in Gender and Women's Studies. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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