Raising Children Wiccan-- is it possible? Misconception? Or what?

It's rare but occasionally I hear of children raised Wiccan.

We have always considered our kids Pagan (he's Pagan; I'm Wiccan) until they were old enough to themselves choose and embrace Wicca as a specific path (which my daughter did back in her teens, but my other kids haven't yet though they still consider themselves Pagan).

Then I got to thinking about Catholicism; how you're baptized and raised Catholic but are expected to make a confirmation to it later. And it got me thinking is it possible to really raise a kid Wiccan until (if) they come to an age where they choose to be dedicated/initiated on their own.

It seems to me there is a lot about the core tenets of Wicca that require someone of an age of accountability to embrace them. I read a book once "Family Wicca" and this couple raised their kid what they consider Wiccan. But then it seems to me that there is nothing specifically Wiccan that the child is doing. It's more like eclectic Paganism influenced by some Wiccan beliefs and practices.

Is Wicca a religion you can raise children in it from the get-go? Like is it possible to claim there are 6 month old and 3 year old and 6 year old Wiccans?

Or is it unique in that it's a religion of converts-- that it's something someone has to make a choice to embrace at an age of accountability?

And as usual: I know Christians believe we need Jesus and atheists believe we're all delusional; feel free to rant off topic and don't mind me if I ignore you.

Update:

Thank you Dream; but I'm not asking if I should raise my kids Wiccan.

I'm asking if it's possible, because Wicca is not a religion about dogma or beliefs; it's an experiential religion. People who understand Wicca better will understand why I ask. No offense.

Update 2:

That Guy: it's not an issue of shame. I raise my kids Pagan, they celebrate Wiccan holidays, they know what Wicca is and what it is about. To be Wiccan one must choose for oneself to commit to it and practice it, though, which a young kid can't do. Some even argue that the only way to be considered Wiccan is through formal training. It's not a 'sign up now and you'll learn as you go' type religion; more like 'learn first-- then decide'.

Nightwind: very astute. I have not thought of that distinction, but that does make sense.

Update 3:

Hi Christians ;-)

I've been Wiccan 20 years. My husband is Pagan. My oldest (21) is Wiccan. Our younger children are being raised Pagan. I'm not asking because I am curious or dabbling. My faith is beautiful, inspiring, positive, and empowering. I only pray you are finding as much fulfillment in your own as I find in my own. You're missing the point of the question.

Matt:

That's funny; most kids I have ever known to do drugs grew up in Christian homes. I suppose Wiccan parents wouldn't be exempt from the same problems though; so far none of our kids have done drugs but our youngest is 10 so of course it's a landmine we still avidly work to side-step; we ourselves have never done drugs and barely even drink.

But you have probably met many kids and adults that seemed perfectly normal to you too, that you probably never guessed were Pagan or Wiccan... because they weren't screwed up and didn't fit your stereotype image it probably never crossed your mind.

I would bet you ANYTHIN

Update 4:

G you couldn't pick my family out of your typical crowd at the ballpark or Disneworld.

20 Answers

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  • Apples
    Lv 4
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    This is such a great question!

    If a Wiccan parent subscribes to the point of view that Wicca is an initiatory, mystery tradition then obviously the immediate answer is no, it is not possible for children to be Wiccan. However, if they lean more towards those who believe that Wicca is synonymous with Paganism and that these to labels are the same thing, then they will probably say the answer is yes (even for a newborn baby).

    I fit in to the first group, so I can only answer from that perspective. I think that not only is it not possible for a child to be Wiccan, but I believe it is irresponsible and highly inappropriate to involve children in it. I know this sounds extreme, but bear with me :)

    I have great respect for the people who taught me, and for the work I needed to do in order to become involved with a British Trad coven. Due to this, I have come to understand that for the path I have chosen there definitely needs to be a certain level of maturity needed to fully comprehend the oaths one takes when being initiated, and there are even some adults who just don't cut it for that. So how could a child?

    Many of the people I've trained with have children, so you might wonder how they go about raising their children. I think we all approach it in our own way with regards to how much we expose our kiddies to, but I'm happy to let my little ones learn about mythology, egypt, cycles of nature etc as a very open-ended way of teaching them something to do with my beliefs. I really want them to find a spirituality that is most meaningful to them, and I believe labeling them as Wiccan or even Pagan is not a helpful way of encouraging them to find their own way. I also don't shield them from other religions as we live in a multi-religious society and it makes sense to understand people from different religions and cultures (including Christianity!).

    So essentially I agree completely about what you say about being old enough to be accountable, among other things. I also think part of the beauty of Wicca is the mystery aspect of it, and how through experience those mysteries get revealed either through teachers or direct experience of divinity. The idea of handing it all on a plate to a child somehow seems disrespectful.

  • 9 years ago

    I would assume if two Wiccan parents were to raise their child fully cognizant and involved in their religious practices. Yes, that child will have been brought up Wiccan - that though does not make that child Wiccan. I'd think that for that child to truly be a Wiccan they'd need to go through their year and a day and consciously choose to be Wiccan just like any other person who comes to Wicca.

    I was born into a Lutheran home. I was I guess you could say considered "Lutheran Lite" until I went through confirmation classes and affirmed my choice to a Lutheran in front of the congregation at I think age 13? (that was a good 30 years ago now) ;)

    13 I think is too young to make that sort of choice and, many years later I came to know it was the wrong choice for me and I evolved into an eclectic pagan.

    Source(s): Eclectic Pagan
  • anon
    Lv 4
    9 years ago

    I think you raise any child with the beliefs of whatever religion is practiced in the family. I don't think a small child is Wiccan, Pegan, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or any religion. That's because small children don't have any beliefs other than what they are raised with. It's normal for teens, regardless of what religion they're raised with to dabble with the beliefs of others. The Catholic confirmation, Jewish Bar/Bat Mitzvah seem to be a recognition of the need to be of a certain age to acknowledge their religion. I don't know that a chronological age fits. While a 13 year old might be old enough to read from The Torah, and is recognized as an adult in that sense, I don't think that a 13 year old (or even most 18 year olds in our culture) truly has all their beliefs formed as an adult. Wicca may be more experiential, but if there is any training or beliefs to learn and experience, then a child would need to be of a certain age to accept those. I believe the same thing of all those other religions. Personally, I think a young adult needs to have lived on his/her own to really solidify their beliefs. My example of this is a friend who was raised in the Greek Orthodox tradition, who when she left for college became an evangelical Christian, then left that again as an adult to return to her tradition. She needed the experience to find her true beliefs. She couldn't do that within the confines of her family structure.

    I just have to add about the issue that Matt brought up. I doubt seriously there would be any difference between them and Christians in their drug/alcohol use. Of course, most kids I know who abuse drugs are from Christian families, but then most Americans, and most people I know identify as Christians. This is how statistics are often misquoted. Just because "I know some messed up kids...." like Matt quotes doesn't mean most are. Or just because others don't, doesn't mean that some don't or that the group has no issues. After all, 20 kids would hardly make for a statistical sample.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.

    RE:

    Raising Children Wiccan-- is it possible? Misconception? Or what?

    It's rare but occasionally I hear of children raised Wiccan.

    We have always considered our kids Pagan (he's Pagan; I'm Wiccan) until they were old enough to themselves choose and embrace Wicca as a specific path (which my daughter did back in her teens, but my other kids haven't...

    Source(s): raising children wiccan misconception what: https://shortly.im/LcvyN
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  • 9 years ago

    Very good question! I am kinda in the same boat with you. I don't know if I should say my boy is a wiccan, I have been practicing for awhile but I am not labeling him. He can join and practice with me when he gets a little older but I won't say that he HAS TO BE Wiccan. We (my hubby and I) have decided that we are going to be open with him and when he know what he wants to be he can choose his path.

    It is a decision that he has to make on his own. All we can do is be supportive and teach him how to be a good person. (what is right and what is wrong). I don't think that it is right to forced to believe something that you don't agree upon, something that does not make you feel like it is your calling. I was raised as catholic and since young it didn't feel like it was for me so I looked around and found Wicca, I don't want my kid to feel like I felt; that is why I want him to make that choice when he is old enough to decide for him self. What ever that would be...

    Source(s): opinion.
  • 9 years ago

    Is Wicca a religion you can raise children in it from the get-go? Like is it possible to claim there are 6 month old and 3 year old and 6 year old Wiccans?

    No. I think you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that a six-year-old was Catholic either. Kids don't know any better. They just pretty much believe what they're told to believe or pretend to believe what Mommy and Daddy believe in their own cute way. I think most people need to reach the teen years before they can embrace any religion because it's not until then that they really understand the choices and start to really ask themselves what they believe. You can certainly claim they are being "raised Catholic" or "Raised with Wicca" but I find it difficult to accept that a child can be a Wiccan or pagan at 8 years old. The rest of the story... about whether a Child can be Wiccan before initiation, is a different story. How do you define a Wiccan? Are you a traditionalist that insists that no one can be really Wiccan unless initiated by a BTW coven or do you think that Wicca is available outside of BTW tradition? That's something I can't answer since I am neither.

    Or is it unique in that it's a religion of converts-- that it's something someone has to make a choice to embrace at an age of accountability?

    I don't think it's unique as converts only... I think to truly claim you are of any religion, you have to embrace it at the age of accountability... to be Catholic or mormon or muslim, you have to embrace it or accept it when you come of age. Whether that takes the form of an official rite of passage or profession of faith or whether it takes the form of you just continuing to go to church after you move out of your parents house doesn't matter... you still have to choose to be Christian or Wiccan or Buddhist etc. A child raised in a Wiccan household might ge away with saying they were "raised Wiccan" same as someone raised by Catholics to be Catholic might say they were "raised Catholic"... as in they were raised within a context that taught about that religion and encouraged the practice thereof... but children are too pure to need religion. They're already close enough to God that religion is redundant to them.

    -Scarlet

    Source(s): eclectic neo-pagan
  • 9 years ago

    An interesting question. I think that Wicca is a religion which people must choose for themselves.

    That being said, my kids were all raised in a Wiccan household, celebrating Wiccan holidays, and performing open circle rituals with our children (if and when they chose to attend) from a very young age. Samhain was and is a favorite!

    Based on the rituals and the holidays in question, I would say they were certainly raised Wiccan, although there certainly did come a time when they each chose for themselves what religion (or lack thereof) they wished to espouse. We gave them pentacles on their 13th birthdays as part of a coming of age ritual, for example. My sons still wear pentacles and have dedicated themselves as Wiccan.

    I think their is enough specific differences between what you term "eclectic Paganism" and Wicca to make the case for a distinction between the two.

    Great, thoughtful question! Thank you!

  • It does sometimes happen but i have heard a rule they wont indoctrinate you into wicca untill youre 18 and have studied it one year and one day (im assuming this was to avoid lawsuits from christian parents who had kids in wiccan covens and groves). Yet of course these rules are bent plenty of times. I think wiccans arent as into forcing beliefs on others (which is part of the religion even to avoid that)

  • 4 years ago

    raising children wiccan misconception

  • 9 years ago

    I believe that it is best to wait for a child to begin asking questions before you give them answers. Although I'm not specifically raising my children as Pagans, when my 4 year old daughter asks me questions concerning spirituality, religion, etc. I answer her in terms of my own beliefs. I believe that it is best to be honest with children, let them learn of the many different paths they may choose to follow, and support them in whatever path they choose. At a young age, it is more important to instill morals and values (whether religious or not). I once spoke with a young Wiccan mother who was already teaching her 2 year old to cast a circle, and I couldn't help but wonder why. I don't think there is anything wrong with teaching children about the paths that the parents follow, but I believe in respecting them enough to not force any form of religion on them. Although we all like to think that our children will follow in our footsteps, we must all accept the fact that they will each find their own path in time.

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