How to Deal with Tough Situations

How do you explain to a family member that you are not acting out “Charmed,” and playing as Pheobe or Piper? It can be difficult to get someone to understand what Wicca is and that you are practicing it. Ask any Pagan or Wiccan about their first experience with ‘coming out of the broom closet', or just telling a loved one they are interested in practicing Wicca. With everyone it is different, but I am sure, especially for teenagers, that we have all dealt with the situation I am talking about. It goes a little like this:
You: “Mom/Dad/Best Friend/etc. There’s something I would like to tell you.

Whoever: Yes?

You: "I am practicing (Wicca/Witchcraft/Paganism)" or "What would you think if I chose to practice (Wicca/Witchcraft/Paganism)"?

Whoever: Are you serious? (Laugh) What is that? Are you gonna fly on a broom?

You: No, you see, (Your explanation of what Wicca/Witchcraft/Paganism is)

Whoever: "This is just a phase, you’ll grow out of it." (Or "OMG! Can I do circles with you", and they think it a game).

These are the two common reactions to this kind of conversation, you have the people (usually non-pagan adults) who tell you that what you are doing is just a phase and they expect you to get sick of it soon, or you have the people (usually your friends, if you’re a teenager, usually) who want to jump into learning about your religion/way of life, and practice it immediately and think it is just fun and games. These aren’t the only types of reactions that you may run into, but they are the two most common, and the ones that probably everyone has encountered.

So how do you deal with this and be taken seriously? Well it all depends on how you react to them. If you scream and get into a heated argument about what is right and wrong, they may never take you seriously. But if you calmly explain to them what you mean and why, then all should hopefully work out.

As newbies, young or middle-aged, it doesn’t really matter what age you are, being taken seriously can be a hard thing. We will all face these difficult times. The day you begin practicing you shouldn’t expect everyone to automatically accept it or not question you. To them it is new, they’ve always known you (if they are a family member or a best friend) and it can be hard for them to accept the fact that you are Pagan/Wiccan/or a Witch, although, if they are truly your best friend or an open minded person, then they will probably have no problem with it. But we cannot expect this of everyone, and every situation is different. This does not make your brother, mom, or friend any less of an open-minded person or great friend/loving family member than they were.

Continue to learn even after you begin practicing, as we all know and have heard. You don’t stop learning about your craft as soon as you begin. That would have no point and would make no sense, right? Read every book and online website with information, try to understand each author’s point of view. You know how that goes.

Just ten minutes ago I overheard my mom speaking to her cousin about how I read every piece of information about Wicca I can get my hands on, that I study it, and it is not fun and games, how I take it very seriously. That made me smile, hearing what she thought. As my mom’s opinion is very important to me, I was very glad to hear her saying that.

Just like she said, I don’t advise you to only go looking for spells and rituals to perform, and I wouldn’t advise pretending it is a game with your friends. If you want to be taken seriously, then it probably wouldn’t be best if you (especially being new to all of this) went out only looking for spells (not that spells aren’t great or helpful, but only wanting to practice spells won’t get you very far).

Dedicate time to study your craft, along with practicing it, and it isn’t really necessary to try to lecture your parents at the breakfast or dinner table about Wicca (them asking a question doesn’t mean for you to drone on about Wicca for an hour) otherwise you may find yourself laughed at or being yelled at, no matter how accurate your information was (people who aren’t very interested don’t want a lecture).

We represent Wiccans/Pagans/and all Witches out there, we should try not to come off as arrogant and know-it-alls. We know it is hard to be accepted, but that doesn’t mean to tell everyone everything that you know.

A lot of us have probably run into a time where our classmates, and friends began asking questions and come at you rather fast. I do not know how everyone else may deal with it, or an adult’s perspective on it, but I can tell you how I, as a teenager, react to these situations. I have a few classmates, who question frequently if I am Jewish, because I wear a pentacle necklace daily.

I never understood their connection with the Star of David to the Pentacle, maybe they see similarities, but no matter how many times I answer “No”, and explain the differences, they forget.

Yes, it can get frustrating, especially when one of them purposely does this to instill laughter among her friends, but I deal. I’ve tried many approaches to this when it comes to the rude classmate I just told you about, and the best one yet is ignoring the question. Ever heard that from your mother or father?

“Just ignore them”, they’ll say, and you insist that it will only get worse? Well maybe if they are bullying you and you refuse to acknowledge the situation, but if they are just doing it to irritate you, trust me, wave them off and ignore it.

Now what do you do when you have the friends who want to practice because they think it’s a game? For a newbie, I wouldn’t advise trying to teach anyone who believes it is a game; I don’t believe anyone would advise to that. Teach what you know, but only to those willing to take it seriously.

When I got a question from a friend like this recently, I was trying not to be irritated. If you’ve told your friend that you will not teach or practice with them because of those reasons, and they continue to ask questions about Wicca/Paganism/Witchcraft, you can always point them to a good source such as a recommended book.

Don’t waste your time or theirs by trying to tell them something they aren’t truly going to care about. Tell them it isn’t always about the fun stuff if they constantly ask about spells, astral projection, and the alike.

I hope this has been helpful information and advice to any newbie teenagers who are lost or don’t know how to handle some situations. Never let somebody else’s negativity get in your way of practicing your craft, don’t give up, and keep your head up. You’re not alone out there.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License