pagans and witches and wicca, oh my!
November 2, 2007 8:03 PM   Subscribe

So, my eleven year old daughter has decided she no longer believes in God. Which is fine, because I'm a cool mom like that.

While she has said she doesn't believe in God, from the conversations we've had I feel she may be interested in learning more about the Wiccan religion.

In my research for her, most of the stuff I've come across is too adult for her to grasp or deal with how I would raise a Wiccan child.

Except, I'm not a Wiccan.

Does anyone know of any websites that are kid-friendly where maybe both of us could learn more about this religion? If this is something she's truly interested in learning more about and/or possibly practicing once she's an adult, I want her to have a concrete foundation to build on.

Any help and or advice would be greatly appreciated!
posted by obeetaybee to Religion & Philosophy (43 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Many Unitarian Universalist churches have small Wiccan communities. If there's one in your area she might like to check it out. If there aren't already Wiccans, there might at least be people with beliefs similar to hers.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 8:07 PM on November 2, 2007

Seconding checking out your local Unitarian Universalist fellowship. Many of them have pagans and Wiccans in their membership and hold informational meetings about all sorts of religious and spiritual topics, including Wicca.

Starhawk has written a book called "Circle 'Round" about raising children as pagans which you might want to check out. There is also a children's book, "Rachida Finds Magic" by Diane Stein, but it's out of print so might be hard to find.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 8:11 PM on November 2, 2007


Tell her if God isn't real then that wiccan crap isn't either. I did read a couple of pages in a book on Wicca that I found in my mom's room as a kid, and from what I remember Wiccans believe that "god" can actually exist.

If I were in your position I would try to get your daughter books on lots of different religions, particularly Buddism maybe. And since she doesn't believe in god you could get her books by Dawkins and that new book from Hitchens (God is not Great).

And for the sake of the rest of the world, don't let her get sucked into Ayn Rand's Objectivism. Worst Atheist Philosophy Ever.

That's a very impressionable age. I think reading books on religion might be helpful, but probably she'll just do whatever she wants. I do remember that for me personally my mom gave me a book that I really think affected my thinking at that age, it was this one
posted by delmoi at 8:19 PM on November 2, 2007 [2 favorites]

FWIW, the Wicca Wikipedia page seems pretty thorough. My own take on it is that while Wicca should be accepted and for some people embraced, there is a lot of half-truths and outright falsehoods about its origins and delving directly into Wiccan resources may not give an entirely truthful story about it.

All that being said, good-on-ya for being decent about this. All mothers should be that way.
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:20 PM on November 2, 2007

I can't help you with regards to the Wiccan religion (other than check out the simple English wikipedia entry), but I strongly suggest exposing her to other religions as well. This is something I really wish was done with me when I was a kid. If you have Muslim, Jewish, Hindu or other religious adherents in your neighborhood, see if they are willing to discuss their religion with your daughter. She may not see the value in it now (especially if she is set on being Wiccan), but in the long run it should give her vastly more insight into the concept of religion.
posted by Ctrl_Alt_ep at 8:31 PM on November 2, 2007

thirding UUA, several near me have wiccan sub-groups.

I explored all sorts of weird and new age philosophies when I was a kid. However, I never explored wicca, in fact, I don't think I ever heard of it before I was in my late 20's and a new friend talked about wicca and being a witch. She belonged to a local coven, I don't know if they are listed like other congregations, but perhaps you can google coven and [your area]. I suppose they are easier to find in some areas than others. Lastly, the info here might be more age-appropriate for your daughter.

I think you're a really cool mom, your daughter is pretty lucky!
posted by necessitas at 8:32 PM on November 2, 2007

An ex-girlfriend of mine went through the same decision when we were dating. We quickly realized that most of the "Wiccan" material was written in the last 100 years and claims to be based on older traditions or the author's experiences with the religion.

It was very difficult to verify what was complete bullshit and what wasn't. Perhaps this is very unfair of me, but I think that Wiccanism/Neopaganism is a build your own religion, which is very different than the Western idea of a religious canon.
posted by Pants! at 8:37 PM on November 2, 2007

Is it that your daughter doesn't believe in God, or that she doesn't believe in the Judeo-Christian God? And can she tell the difference at this point? I don't know if I would have.

I knew kids in middle school and high school who were in similar situations as your daughter, and it seemed as though they weren't separating the concept of a God, from the concept of the biblical God. Often, they'd say things that amounted to, "I don't like the behavior of the Christian God nor the local conservative Christians. And I don't want to follow life-dominating rules that seem to arbitrarily limit my choices. So I choose not to believe in this God, and to pick deities that I percieve as esoteric, more cuddly and less frightening." As if they were looking for an imaginary-friend-style God, that wouldn't intrude too much on what they wanted to do, but would provide possible feelings of meaningful ritual, and control over their fates.

And these kids were almost universally into the Wiccan stuff. So, it's lovely that you're being so good to your kid about this, There are plenty of sources of information on Wicca out there, but I'd definitely give her books on world religions and mythology in general. And also books that help develop her critical thinking. So she's better equipped to sort through the messiness, to make her own conclusions.
posted by Coatlicue at 8:48 PM on November 2, 2007 seems to have a large collection of resources on Wicca:

In particular, see the book list linked therein, which includes Teen Witch: Wicca for a new generation,. She's 11, but Teens and Wicca could be interesting reading as well.
posted by zachlipton at 8:55 PM on November 2, 2007

It was very difficult to verify what was complete bullshit and what wasn't.
Here's a hint: The religious parts are bullshit.

To the question: Just let your daughter believe what she believes. Don't try to pick a religion for her. If she needs one, she'll find one.
posted by Flunkie at 9:03 PM on November 2, 2007 [5 favorites]

First off let me say this, please.. please.. do NOT buy her any Silver Ravenwolf books. Most of her books are misinformed. That is a horrible resource to help your child enter Wicca.

With that being said.. ecauldron has a lot of articles written by members, as well as witchvox (a nice Witchcraft 101 Primer too). Books are very good. As a leaping off point.. I would show her Paganism before I show her Wicca. Wicca is a branch under the Paganism tree. I also have a link for a large Pagan Parenting page, and I know although you aren't Pagan, perhaps you can find some use out of the forums or sites listed.

Email me if you'd like more information.
posted by czechmate at 9:08 PM on November 2, 2007 [2 favorites]

The really cool thing to do is just leave her be.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:08 PM on November 2, 2007 [5 favorites]

Fourthing (Fifthing?) UUA.
posted by unknowncommand at 9:15 PM on November 2, 2007

you know, i 'm going to suggest a little something different. it's cool that you are willing to respect your daughter's interest in wicca and support her nonbelief in god. i was that kid.

now, at 31, i'm really glad i still had to go to sunday and hebrew school until i was 17. not because i came to believe in god, but because i find being grounded in a religious tradition, even if i only practice it in emergencies, enormously helpful. it helps me understand and respect all people of faith, and not to become one of those bitchy athiests who think anyone who believes in god is stupid and/or brainwashed.

religion is like language--you have to make a space for it in her brain and heart even if it's not something she chooses to use as an adult (or if she chooses another).

so if you want her to be part of a religious community, find one that will encourage and respect her questions rather than making her feel like she has to choose between your faith and wicca. let her meet other wiccans, and if she really wants to make the transition, insist on supervising it. educate yourself and get involved with her religious outings. you are still her parent. it sounds like you are cool with wicca, so i don't mean this like she needs a chaperone--but she needs a parent. you are still A#1 in her life at this point, and what you think matters. if she's receiving moral instruction from someone else, you need to sanction it and be a part of it and reinforce it.

i love that you're so open. i think kids know themselves a lot more than we give them credit for, but sometimes parents need to impose a little worldly judgment and maturity on a situation that the child simply doesn't have.

most of all, love her and don't stop. sounds like that won't be a problem. good luck! i think this will be an interesting journey for you both.
posted by thinkingwoman at 9:27 PM on November 2, 2007 [4 favorites]

Speaking as someone who basically figured out she was an atheist around 12 or 13, kudos for being a cool mom about it.

I'd also recommend the Unitarian Universalists if you're interested in pursuing Wiccan thought and philosophy. It's sort of a popular realm for a lot of kids and teens. Or you could possibly just leave her be and she'll figure something out for herself eventually.

In my case, it was the Tao Te Ching.
posted by cmgonzalez at 9:27 PM on November 2, 2007

i'm really glad i still had to go to sunday and hebrew school until i was 17. not because i came to believe in god, but because i find being grounded in a religious tradition, even if i only practice it in emergencies, enormously helpful.

so, SO true. I've thanked my parents for this so many times. They were both cool with my rationalism, but forced me to see catholicism through confirmation. Though I hated the nuns, it had a number of very important side effects.

Atheist kids feel like they've stumbled upon an awesome secret - so important that they're suddenly more intelligent than 75% of the adult population. Your daughter now has a GREAT source of self esteem, but it's important that she not feel (or act) like Jane Goodall among the apes. Exposure helped me better understand the passionately religious and see that their convictions don't make them lesser people.

It may seem trite, but the moral/ethical training is also important. You can't textbook-teach compassion, but nothing teaches humility and appreciation of what you have more than charity work. Habitat for Humanity, Soup Kitchens, Toys for tots, Food & Blood drives - all REALLY important in retrospect. If you or she is completely opposed to doing such things through church, try to get her involved in scouting or some other service-oriented youth group.

Congrats on being a cool Mom and good luck!
posted by datacenter refugee at 10:23 PM on November 2, 2007 [3 favorites]

Infidels Internet Discussion Board,, is a good place to start.
posted by JimN2TAW at 10:33 PM on November 2, 2007

Heaping on to the idea (specifically, delmoi and coatlicue's) that you should expose her to a variety of religions before driving her to the local coven like it's a swim team.

Regardless of what religion she wants to affiliate with (even if that were to be some sect of Christianity), you should both be careful about her level of practice during these spiritually (let alone emotionally, intellectually, physically, etc) formative years.

While you should probably be familiar with all the nuances of what she is getting into at this point in her life, she should absolutely be able to defend anything she does within a faith on her own. If you think she's too young to fully grasp Wicca (or, again, whatever faith she settles on - one of my issues with contemporary Chrsitianity is the age at which kids get heavily involved), I really believe the best thing to do is tell her to wait on the aspects of practicing that rely on that grasp in a cool and loving way.
posted by pokermonk at 10:39 PM on November 2, 2007

I wouldn't stop her from learning about Wicca, I just wouldn't support it. (no books, helpful internet pages, etc.). Realize that practicing Wicca will put her on the far fringes of society, hamper future job prospects, etc.
posted by matkline at 11:05 PM on November 2, 2007

Maybe she'd enjoy Sophie's World.
posted by alexei at 11:37 PM on November 2, 2007 [1 favorite]

from the conversations we've had I feel she may be interested in learning more about the Wiccan religion.

So, she hasn't *told* you she's interested in this? So why the rush to push her towards it?

Honestly, separating one's self from religion is a pretty bid deal and it seems somewhat unhealthy for her to just jump from one religion into another (is it her assumption or yours that she ought to be doing some religion type thing?).

Just as one needs some time after break-up, I think most people are well served by taking some time after leaving a religious tradition. Let her do some reading, some camping, play an instrument, play sports, act, etc. There are other ways for her to establish an identity.

Also of course, lots of people who don't really believe in God continue going to church, etc. There's something to be said for being a somewhat agnostic Christian rather than a believer in something made up more recently, with a thinner artistic and conceptual tradition.
posted by washburn at 12:48 AM on November 3, 2007

So I know I'm late on the game here, but I have to second alexei on this. I'm re-reading the book right now and it is a wonderfully introspective, philosophic exploration into how we view ourselves and the world/universe we're in. A great book for reminding people who think about these things that they're not alone in their curiosity and wonder.
posted by eralclare at 1:08 AM on November 3, 2007

Seconding, don't buy anything by Silver Ravenmoon (in fact stay away from anyone with a hokey name like that - esp Titania)
My top recommendation for a book would be The complete book of Spells, Ceremonies and Magic
The title is a little misleading (I think the author mentions in the book that she didn't choose it, her publisher did) but its a great resource for a brief overview of 'magical' practices across many cultures and religions past and present. That combined with a book on a more general overview of world religions might help her find her path. Amazon has this book but I can't recommend it as I haven't read it.

Scott Cunningham is a popular author of Wiccan books, a lot less hokey than most but very strongly biased towards the ritual aspects (and all the accessories that go with it) rather than the purely spiritual side, he might be a bit wordy for an 11 year old.

True Magick is a good book, written by a Wiccan but it covers a more diverse range of magical practices.

Ofcourse, no teen wiccan library would be complete without a book of spells. To steer her away from 'how to turn your ex-boyfriend into a toad' and other such books, I'd recommend Everyday Magic Most of the 'spells' are small chants/prayers and don't require fire hazards or smelly oils/ingredients so its practical and safe.
posted by missmagenta at 1:55 AM on November 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

None of it is real folks. If she gives up the Christian fairy tales why on earth encourage the mystic waters and tree worship?

You're entitled to your opinion but your comment is neither helpful nor answering the question. Just because she doesn't believe in 'the one true god' doesn't mean she should be discouraged from exploring other avenues of belief. One day she may become an atheist but hopeful this exploration of her spirituality will make her more tolerant and respectful of other people's beliefs.
posted by missmagenta at 2:03 AM on November 3, 2007

Perhaps this is very unfair of me, but I think that Wiccanism/Neopaganism is a build your own religion, which is very different than the Western idea of a religious canon.

Not unfair at all, that is totally true. There are several 'organised' branches of the wiccan faith but most are based on 'traditions' that are less than 100 years old. There's no set law on what you should believe or how you should practise.

A coven or other wiccan group will instruct members in its traditions and beliefs but they will not necessarily be the same as other covens/groups (though there will probably be a lot of similarities - dependant of which branch of wicca their practises are based on)
posted by missmagenta at 2:29 AM on November 3, 2007

I'll third datacenter refugee and the person he was seconding. I fell out with my folks' religion; they insisted I spend the day doing something religious so I would go with my buddy to his UU church. That encouraged me to keep thinking about the issue of God and religion and morality, in an open and supportive environment. Got to hand it to the UUs, they've got the open and supportive thing down pretty well. Of course, I wound up a muslim, so you can take that advice with a grain of salt.

Also, a great book for a questing child is Siddhartha by Herman Hesse. I was a bit older when I read it, maybe 13, but she ought to be able to get through it.
posted by BinGregory at 4:15 AM on November 3, 2007

Goodness. So much animosity towards religion.

If she doesn't believe in God at her age, she's likely to change or at least re-examine that belief throughout her teens and perhaps throughout her life. As a parent, your obligation is to (a) keep her away from people who will do her harm, (b) help her grow into someone who will at least somewhat fit into society, and (c) instill a sense of morality and ethical judgment.

To that end, I would say that the religion itself is her decision; help her by being involved in her life, by watching the sorts of people who associate with her (regardless of whether it's at a UU group or a Catholic church), and by being present when she faces crises or makes mistakes and needs your help.

There seem to be a lot of people here who need to work out their own issues with faith. Don't let their problems and arrogance damage your relationship with your daughter.
posted by ellF at 4:40 AM on November 3, 2007

doesn't mean she should be discouraged from exploring other avenues of belief.

Agreed. However, nothing in this question says that the child herself has asked for or is interested in exploring these avenues. I think the mom, albeit being fairly open-minded, is still proceeding from the perspective that her daughter needs some form of religion. And that's really not true.

Of course, if the mom framed the question differently-- for ex, "my daughter has told me she no longer believes in God, but I want her to have some religious upbringing. I think she might like Wicca (or Buddhism, or whatever). Can you tell me more about it?"-- I don't think she'd be getting the hostility-to-religion. It's the subtext that the child must have some sort of religious upbringing, or else(!) that raises my hackles, personally.

I was forced into Hebrew school until my Bat Mitzvah. I don't agree with those above who appreciate that they had to go through near-adulthood. I don't feel like I got a whole lot out of it. FWIW.
posted by miss tea at 5:03 AM on November 3, 2007

I was raised Catholic despite never really having had any faith in it. The only things I learned from weekly church were the ability to daydream, the hypocrisy of the Catholic church in general, and guilt-guilt-guilt.

When I finally left for college and didn't have to go to church anymore, it didn't feel so much a breath of fresh air as it felt like how I should have been able to spend my weekends for years before then. I haven't missed going to church any more than you might miss a skin rash or a broken sink. It was a joyless exercise, performed unquestioningly simply because I was in no position to argue.

Let your daughter do her own research. One thing that helped convince me of the nonexistence of a god was learning about religions, because it's easy to ask yourself "how do they believe this so earnestly?" when it comes to other religions, which in turn causes you to ask it about what you grew up with.

If she wants a religious influence in her life eventually, she'll find one. Until then, don't try to force anything on her.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:45 AM on November 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

If she wants to wear a lot of black, burn joss sticks or essential oils and decorate her room with crystals, dreamcatchers and pictures of unicons, waterfalls and dolphins in space, she doesn't need to be a member of a religion to do that.

My understanding of the various neopagan ramblings that get defined as (or define themselves as) Wicca is that they can be summed up with some variant of 'An thou harm none, so do what thou wilt', which seems to be a pretty good philosophy although the language might need reworking slightly for someone who's only eleven, if they aren't already reading lots of mythology/fantasy. Then there's usually some stuff about sex, which is probably what you want to stay away from. 'Harming none' includes both not setting fire to yourself and respecting the world around you - treading lightly upon the earth, and so on, so encourage fire safety and environmentalism without mentioning any religions at all.
posted by Lebannen at 6:49 AM on November 3, 2007

I think that Dawkins and Hitchens are a bit beyond the ken of an eleven-year-old child, unless she reads at an adult level.

And nthing "stay away from Silver RavenWolf." Her books are not very good, philosophically or practically. Seconding Scott Cunningham; technically his stuff is for adults, but they're an easy read, and yes they're hokey, but on a practical, nuts-and-bolts level, very informative.

If your child is reading at an adult or near-adult level, try Marion Weinstein's Earth Magic, too.

Finally, a non-Wiccan pagan book I love: Jump Up by Luisah Teish. Teish practices Voudoun, and no, it does not involve sacrificing black cats and sticking pins in dolls - it's a syncretic blend of traditional African and Catholic beliefs. Jump Up is a book of traditional festivals and holidays, not so much more Voudoun rituals, but it's a great read, suitable for all ages, and might give your family an idea of things (like meals) you can do together. Plus the autobiographical details that Teish offers, about growing up in New Orleans, in themselves make the book worthwhile.
posted by Rosie M. Banks at 6:52 AM on November 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

None of this should be read as a criticism of what you've done so far, which seems reasonable to me.

You should read this Atlantic article about Wicca. It talks about the ways in which it is a modern creation and not an ancient religion.

And, here's an article called "Why I am Not a Unitarian Universalist" I pinned this to my bulletin board the year I left the UU Church in which I grew up. There are few adult "cradle UU's".

None of this, however, is to put me in the athiest camp represented above, but is more about my personal faith story.

I agree with what Allen writes in the Atlantic: gives its practitioners a sense of connection to the natural world and of access to the sacred and beautiful within their own bodies. I am hardly the first to notice that Wicca bears a striking resemblance to another religion -- one that also tells of a dying and rising god, that venerates a figure who is both virgin and mother, that keeps, in its own way, the seasonal "feasts of the Wheel," that uses chalices and candles and sacred poetry in its rituals. Practicing Wicca is a way to have Christianity without, well, the burdens of Christianity. "It has the advantages of both Catholicism and Unitarianism," observes Allen Stairs, a philosophy professor at the University of Maryland who specializes in religion and magic. "Wicca allows one to wear one's beliefs lightly but also to have a rich and imaginative religious life."
And here you may be able to guess the end (and the middle) of my story, which is that, having started as a Unitarian and passed through an interest in Wicca and other Nature based religions, including Native American spirituality, and became a serious Catholic as an adult.

Whether you can support that choice , if it comes to pass; one which is less inherently "cool" in liberal American society (or conservative Protestant society, or perhaps suprisingly in much of American cultural Catholicism) will be a tougher test.
posted by Jahaza at 7:47 AM on November 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

now, at 31, i'm really glad i still had to go to sunday and hebrew school until i was 17. not because i came to believe in god, but because i find being grounded in a religious tradition, even if i only practice it in emergencies, enormously helpful. it helps me understand and respect all people of faith, and not to become one of those bitchy athiests who think anyone who believes in god is stupid and/or brainwashed.

I went to religious school until I was 16 or 17, and while I think it was mostly worthwhile due to the education in culture and language I never would've gotten otherwise, I still feel like anyone who believes in the supernatural is delusional. I'm willing to live in a world of delusional people, and I can relate to their cultural traditions... but I still don't think it's the best way to live.

And I agree with what everyone said about the Wicca thing. If you don't believe in god, then it doesn't make sense to try to join a religion. If I were the parent of a kid who just declared she didn't believe in god, I would congratulate her on being a rational person, but also make sure she didn't avoid learning about all religions. I would still want her to be culturally aware as much as possible.
posted by rxrfrx at 8:12 AM on November 3, 2007

That's cool that you're cool and all. But why do you want her to become a Wiccan? Did she tell you that she was interested in Wicca?

The Web is not a great place to find religion. It's a great place to find hypertext. If all you get is hypertext -- rather than dynamic personalities and profound testimonies -- you get an impression of religion being just a sandbox of ideas. There are a lot of people for whom religion is more relevant than a sandbox.

Surely, you must know of some practicing Wiccans, whom you might introduce to her?
posted by Laugh_track at 9:48 AM on November 3, 2007

I went to religious school until 17 or so as well, but it was by choice. Forcing me to go instead that would have been the quickest path to rejection. Keep in mind the reverse psychology necessary for many teenagers and pre-teens.
posted by grouse at 10:08 AM on November 3, 2007

I love how everyone on here has to answer with their own, "I hate religion too" story. Askmetafilter works much better if you stick to the topic and actually attempt to answer the question.

Amazon says there are some good books
posted by allthewhile at 10:20 AM on November 3, 2007

Probably best to let her find (and/or dismiss) it herself, with your help only when she asks.
posted by cmiller at 10:36 AM on November 3, 2007

I was thinking about this question, and it occurred to me that your daughter's interest in wicca might just be part of her exploration of her individuality. That's not to say that her interest in wicca isn't genuine, but at this point, she may be mostly interested in the process of finding her own religion and belief system.

You mentioned doing research for her, but you didn't indicate whether she asked you to help her research or if you took it upon yourself to do the research for her. If it is the latter, you may end up crowding her.

I still think it is really cool that you are so supportive. However, rather than seeking out resources where you can both learn about the religion together, perhaps it would be better if you simply provided the logistical support, and then asked your daughter to teach you about what she learned. For instance, take her to the bookstore to find books about wicca, subscribe to relevant magazines for her, find the web links without actually studying the content with her. Ask her to sit down with you once a week or month, and teach you about what she's learned. That way, you'll stay in the loop and she'll be able to explore on her own. If you want to follow up and learn more, borrow the books/magazines, but only once she's done with them.
posted by necessitas at 1:46 PM on November 3, 2007

It's great that you're handling this in a nonjudgemental, respectful way and treating her like an adult. My mom is deeply religious, and we just couldn't talk about it without fighting. I wish we had.

I would encourage you to challenge your daughter's nonbelief. Why did she stop believing? Was it because she questioned God's existence and, after some thought, came to the conclusion that there is no higher power out there? Or is she reacting to the aggressive, ugly nature of some Christians? Is she angry at a God she believes in? Is she searching for a spiritual tradition that makes more sense to her than the religion with which she was raised?

If she's not quite sure about God, then yes, learning about other religions will be helpful. If she comes to the firm conclusion that there isn't a higher power out there, I would remind her that there are great, big, unresolved questions about the nature of life and the universe out there, and they don't go away once God leaves the picture. Learning about philosophy, both Eastern and Western, will help her to build a strong moral framework.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 5:19 PM on November 3, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm not a Wiccan, but seconding RMB's suggestion of the book Circle Round. Even if you don't believe any of the stuff, it's a great resource for stuff-to-do-with-kids.
posted by dmd at 5:29 PM on November 3, 2007

It might be fun & enlightening to run through the questionnaire at Beliefnet with her.
posted by goshling at 3:07 AM on November 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

I posted this somewhere that your question got filtered off to, then realized you weren't likely to ever see it there. Heh.

I have a book that I love for kids: Seasons of Magic by Laurel Ann Reinhardt. This isn't about the pomp and circumstance of the "RELIGION" it's about the way we LIVE. It's the story of a 12 year old girl growing up in a Pagan family and learning how her ways are different (and often the same!) as those of the people around her.

Silver's books are ok, and definitely kid-safe, but tend to spin a bit towards the window dressing more than the fundamentals. (I've heard all the arguments for and against: full disclosure, I'm one of her initiates.) The truth of the matter is that the religion of Wicca deals very matter-of-factly with life and death cycles and all involved in those cycles. General pagan studies related to nature and the human connection to it, Animal spirits (totem animals, etc.) and mythology are probably more suitable for your daughter. I have lists of topics for study on my website. (The site is old and broke down, but still has some good stuff on it. :D) Your daughter has plenty of time to learn about the various paths available to those who are at odds with the common American understanding of God, as most covens will not initiate a seeker under the age of 18. I hope this is somehow helpful! Good Luck!
posted by foxydot at 7:00 AM on November 6, 2007

Has she explicitly said Wicca, or are you just assuming it's Wicca? Those two can be two separate things (like the stereotypes of Satanism vs actual Satanism). Wicca centers itself around a God and Goddess, so no belief in God = stuck. Much of the Neopagan religions are rather DIY though, so there probably is a trad that is more her style.

Does she not believe in God altogether, or does she just perceive God to be something other than a distant being? a Panentheist or Pantheist perhaps? Humanist?

Personally, I grew up Muslim, but am now still searching spiritually. I've gone from Wicca to Eclectic NeoPaganism to something very close to Universism (though I'm probably the only person in the world that would profess that belief).

matkline: eh? If people are going to discriminate against your beliefs, they would do so no matter what you believe. Wicca is rather fast-growing and hardly "fringes of society". There has been many advances for Wiccans and Pagans that have been discriminated against. I'd think being Muslim would be a bigger problem nowadays just because of current issues, but still.
posted by divabat at 1:05 AM on November 9, 2007

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