If you want to be Wiccan and you fear that your parents may not be accepting of your religious choices, you may be afraid to tell your parents about your affinity for the Wiccan faith. We have been approached by many teenagers who either practice Wicca and hide it from their parents or question us on how they should go about telling their parents they want to be Wiccan. Sometimes, we even have teenagers who want us to teach them about Wicca, but they don’t want us to contact their parents because they fear their parent’s reaction.
The answer to questions like “Should I tell my parents I want to be Wiccan” or “Should I tell my parents I am Wiccan,” is always “Yes.” This answer may fly in the face of some arguments like “Wicca is about free will,” “You shouldn’t have to answer to anyone except yourself and the Divine,” and “Wicca is a harmless religion so why should you have to tell anyone, especially your parents, about your practices?” Nevertheless, the bottom line is that if you are a minor, you should definitely tell your parents about your interests in Wicca. Our coven is happy to teach teens, but only with parental consent. It seems unethical for us to teach a teen without the consent of a parent, and we do not recommend that you hide from your parents who you are or your beliefs.
Why do we insist on parental consent when a teen asks us to teach them about Wicca? First, we do not want to infringe on the rights of parents who have the right to raise their children as they see fit to do so. We also insist on consent from a parent because if you are going to be a practitioner, you need to be able to walk this path proudly and with honor; to keep secrets from your parents is not only dishonorable behavior, but also, it can create disharmony in your familial relationships. We also feel that teenagers do not reach the age of consent until the age of 18, and until that time, your “free will” is limited to that which your parents allow for you. Finally, as a teen, if you cannot honor the guidance and direction of your parents, how can you honor the guidance and direction of Wiccan teachers, elders, or even a God and Goddess?
If you feel that you have to keep Wicca and your practices or interests a secret from your parents, it can seem like you are really doing something wrong when you are not. For example, imagine that you partake of Wiccan practices for six or seven months and then your parents find out about it. One of the first questions your parents might have is “If you are not doing something wrong, then why do you have to hide it from us?” The latter-mentioned reaction is a perfectly logical reaction, especially if your parents have no idea what Wicca is or what it involves. Until you are a parent yourself, you will never truly realize how much your parents care for you and worry about your well-being; if you are keeping secrets from them, you will only cause your parents to have grave concerns about your welfare, even when there is no real cause for worry.
When you are ready to tell your parents that you are Wiccan or that you are interested in Wicca, you will need to be able to explain the principles of the faith system and your practices. If your parents know nothing at all about Wicca, they are going to have many questions, and you are going to need to be ready to answer them correctly, accurately, concisely, and without hesitation. Consider some of the questions that you had when you started this path or you found yourself interested in it and realize that your parents are probably going to have the same questions. If you do not feel comfortable answering all of your parent’s questions then you can speak to elders in the pagan community or experienced practitioners who may be willing to help you explain Wicca to your parents. You can also provide your parents with books that address the subject of Wicca and its basic principles and practices.
If your parents are adamantly against you partaking of Wiccan practices or if after explaining the Wiccan faith to them, they clearly convey that they do not want you to practice Wicca, then it is best for you to wait until you reach the age of consent when you can make your own decisions. If you are truly meant to follow the Wiccan faith, waiting to practice Wiccan until you are an adult will not change your spiritual course.
Authors: Dayna Winters and Patricia Gardner.
Dayna Winters, Patricia Gardner, and Angela Kaufman are co-authors of Wicca: What’s the Real Deal? Breaking Through the Misconceptions. The book can serve as an ideal guide for parents looking to learn more about what Wicca is, and some of the many misunderstandings about this nature-based religion.