Contnuing with my pissy posts of late, concerning controversial areas, let's talk about Wicca and why I'm NOT one, and why I am SO OVER teenage kids believing everything a book says.
Your honor, exhibit number 1: The Sweep series by Cate Tiernan. It's not an awful series, in my opinion. I read the first 6 books and I don't hate it. It's an interesting series aimed for teenagers, mostly girls. It does address Wicca in positive lights, indicating the author does know what she's talking about. So far so good right? We're off to a good start? Well...kinda. Cate brings in the whole idea of Blood Witches, which means you are part of an old family of witches and your powers are derived from your family, making you royalty.
Lets deal with that 1 problem at a time, ok?
I understand without the 7 Families concept, Mrs Tiernan wouldn't really have a story. I get it. It does make for interesting subtext.
But if you are a 13 year old girl very much into Wicca, or your notion of it, the 7 families concept is not a good one. Like it or not, other teens, but we are subtly influenced by what we read. And these 13 year olds do actually think Mrs Teirnan is showing what Wicca is actually like. They think there ARE 7 families of witchcraft,oddly always Celtic (Irish and Scottish), based mainly Wicca. And they start claiming they're a part of one of those families.
How do I know this? Totally happened to me. I WAS that 13 year old.
Also, powers? Come on. I'm going to leave it at that.
Like I said, I understand why Cate Tiernan wrote these books, so it's not her I want to freak out at. She's just writing a book series with a few glaring inaccuracies, albeit a VERY interesting series.
Exhibit 2: Silver Ravenwolf and TeenWitch.
Let me just say, Raven Digitalis and Silver Ravenwolf, even if you both didn't have really bad books, you would still be snickered at for your names. Silver. Raven. Wolf. You sound like a goth 20 year old girl at the clubs.
Alright, that was a bit snarky of me, but come on, when you hear Silver Ravenwolf, do you think seasoned witch of 20 years, or angsty teen girl?
Silver Ravenwolf is not popular among the Wiccan crowd, mainly because of her bestselling book Teen Witch.
I read Teen Witch, and since I was 12, I don't remember much, but reading snippets and clippings now...
She's really controlling in the whole concept of Wicca. DO NOT HARM! and NO BLOOOOOOOD! seem to be her main arguments, though any Vodou Mambo could tell you sacrifice (Not of the human kind, calm down.) is a good thing, nay, needed in most of their rituals.
She also cals herself Mama Silver, which just makes you think of that sweet 30 year old woman at the occult bookstore, guiding you on the right path. This lulls the parents into a false sense of security, until she busts out with:
Teen Witch! Is at the bookstores NOW. Call 1-800-THE-MOON to place your order, or bug, bother and pester your neighborhood book store till they can't stand it any more. Oh, and for the adults that don't like this statement? Maybe you don't care about their future, but I do.
If I weren't going to let my kids read her books before, I'm most assuredly not now. Really? Bug your parents? For a dang book?
My parents would smack me, not buy it.
She also encourages lying to parents, by telling them you're 'praying to angels' or some such nonsense.
Surely there are easier ways to tell your parents you're exploring a new religion. It wasn't easy for me, but I pulled the bratty 13 year old approach, not the mature adult approach in which you calmly explain why you are interested in this particular religion, and offer to let them read the books you have so they can see for themselves what exactly you're looking at.
Side note: this would probably work for my parents, but every parent is different, and in some cases, NO they aren't always going to understand you. My mom is still twitchy about the goth thing, and my dad has gotten a lot better at accepting my fascination with the darker side, but still won't let me wear all black.
Oh well. In 2 years I can do whatever I want, though I've started accepting that you do not have to wear all black only black 24/7. Now, if only other people could understand that because I'm not wearing black lipstick and dramatic eyeshadow doesn't mean I'm not goth.
But I digress.
Silver Ravenwolf does not portray Wicca in an accurate light. She makes it fluffy and rainbows and sometimes its not. Not all witchcraft follows the Harm None ideal. (I'm not Wiccan but I still try to hold to that ideal.) For more info on 'Mama Silver' check out the links below.
Silver Ravenwolf also makes anyone not Wiccan out to be stupid simpletons. The main targets of her wrath are usually Christians. I may argue some parts of Christianity, often angrily, but I will never say they are stupid sheep who blindly believe everything, and can only be saved by turning to us, where we must deprogram them. And as ridiculous as I find the deeply fervent followers to be sometimes, some of the greatest, nicest people I have ever met are christians. A good friend of mine is Mormon, and he is great. My mom's family on her maternal side are Christians and they are great people. I babysit for a christian family every tuesday while the mom goes and works at church. Again, great people. I may not agree with their way of thinking, and though I may have said it in the past, they are not naive stupid sheep. they are AWESOME people.
I mean come ON.
So, why exactly am I not Wiccan? Well, besides the actual initiation into a Gardernarian circle and all the ho-do, I just have moved on from the fluffy bunnies part of my life. It was cool and unique when I was 13, but I don't really connect with nature like many do. Don't get me wrong, I love being in unique nature spaces. They're just usually overgrown graveyards, not forests or fields. When I went to New Orleans last March, I really connected with voodoo and the energy there. I don't practice it officially, I sort of blend what I've been doing with what I understand now, but I'm still learning and progressing.
However, I will say, it's because of the inaccurate information that I do distance myself from Wicca, ever so subtly.
And that's the skinny.