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Author Topic: Teens and Paganism (TC Project)  (Read 73558 times)
Dania
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« Reply #15: October 27, 2007, 08:16:22 pm »


Very much agreed, on BOTH counts.
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« Reply #16: October 27, 2007, 08:23:50 pm »

I've thought about something else. You need to include a section on what you do when you're past the 101 stage. How to research from there, and really *what* to research. You couldn't be specific of course, but it's insanely difficult to teach yourself a subject when you don't even have an overview of what you need to know.

And to elaborate about what I said earlier. I really think you should have a little paragraph at least on reassurance. Teens abandoning what they've believed for their entire lives, and probably against their parent's wishes, are very insecure. That could be dangerous because insecure teens tend to compensate in ways that are red flags for their parents and may cause them to come out of the broomcloset before they're ready. While it's true that you can't and shouldn't baby them (no 'everything's gonna be fine no matter what'), but at the same time, teens aren't adults, and do need reassurance that they're not freaks of nature. It could mean a lot to them, even if it's just an impersonal paragraph.

Agreed. I could have really used both of these growing up. Heck... I still need help with the research question--maybe that's why I hang around TC.  Wink
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« Reply #17: October 28, 2007, 12:34:28 am »


What is divination and how does it work?


I would be willing to tackle an essay on this topic.  Not a how-to, and not based on any one form, but divination in general.  What it is, how it works, what its limitations are, and a bit about appropriateness and ethics.

I wouldn't dumb it down, but I know my writing style can be a bit dry.  If any of the teen members read my tarot blog I would appreciate a 'style review' and maybe some pointers on what would make it more accessible to you, if it isn't now.

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« Reply #18: October 28, 2007, 01:29:17 am »


I'd love to help out (I'm beyond teen years, but not by much... 23 isn't far beyond!). I'm not sure exactly how much I could contribute to the technical stuff, since I'm only just starting to get out of theory and into practice, but I'm more than willing to give feedback, edit, write up answers to some of the more basic FAQ.

I did find paganism in my teens, although I left it for a few years before coming back to it. Perhaps it might be worthwhile noting something in there about 'leaving and returning' so to speak, and what happens when your beliefs change.

I'll be back with more later, when I don't have to bolt off to netball!
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« Reply #19: October 28, 2007, 03:14:19 am »


Your format for questions gives me an idea...perhaps we could have everyone who is interested write up an answer for each question, or as many questions as they wanted, and we could present it like those "panel of experts" you see on some websites and books (I can't think of a specific example right now). So you have a bunch of different opinions clearly presented.


Here's an idea: for things the 101 books often list as "all Pagans believe ..." you could have kind of a "point/counterpoint"; a list of of the beliefs as commonly stated, and then below it two boxes side by side, one from someone explaining why they believe that, and the other from someone explaining why they don't believe it. You could even add a box with various "well, sort of" opinions.

This might be useful to do for various JCI beliefs, too, in case they'd like to know how to respond to these arguments in real life. (eg. "you have to be saved from sin," or things like that).

This sounds like a great project.   
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« Reply #20: October 28, 2007, 04:37:33 am »


Another former Pagan teen checking in - I was 17 or 18 when I first found TC. I'd be happy to contribute, though I have to admit fitting it in time-wise might be hard at the moment.

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« Reply #21: October 28, 2007, 09:16:20 am »

Here's an idea: for things the 101 books often list as "all Pagans believe ..." you could have kind of a "point/counterpoint"; a list of of the beliefs as commonly stated, and then below it two boxes side by side, one from someone explaining why they believe that, and the other from someone explaining why they don't believe it. You could even add a box with various "well, sort of" opinions.

That sounds like a seriously cool way to present the information, actually. Would really get the point across while being "short and to the point".
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« Reply #22: October 28, 2007, 01:01:25 pm »

I don't know if this is to general to even be possible, but another topic teens would be interested in is what it's like to be an adult pagan, part of the pagan community. They know what it's like when you're Christian. You go to church sundays, bible study and prayer groups other days, sometimes retreats and missionary work. What do you *do* if you're pagan?

Oh, this is excellent - and a great way to use the "different people's comments" thing. (Since they can see there's a number of options - everything from people actively involved in a local group, or in a larger local community, to solitaries, or people who do other kinds of interaction.

Also, wanted to add one that I mentioned to Moon Ivy in email: not just 'how to find resources in school' but the fact that there *may* be sympathetic teachers who can't be overtly helpful. (I've got intimate exprience with this one: if I out myself as Pagan in general to students, there are other students who will be uncomfortable with me. As a librarian, that's a lot more problematic than if I were a teacher, and students who really didn't like my approach could theoretically switch out of my class.)
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« Reply #23: October 28, 2007, 01:27:31 pm »

To everyone:

So many great responses and so many great ideas!  I think we have a project to work on.  Cheesy

I have two questions that I think will help me to organize this.

1.  Are YOU seriously willing to commit to helping with this project?  If so, in what capacity?  Please email me at moonivy53@gmail.com if you're willing to help and what you want/can do.  That way, we can form a workgroup, and I can try to delegate in some way that makes sense.  And we can figure out an efficient way of communicating, which might or might not be on a forum thread.

2.  A number of people have talked about the "bad" 101 books.  Specifically, which books do you think presented bad information or presented information poorly?  IOW, what NOT to do.  If you can list an actual title it would be helpful.  (I might have the book, but I tended to avoid the 101s -- I was past that point by the time the pagan publishing boom hit.).  Similarly, if you know of a book or website that does something WELL, send that to me too!  If you're not comfortable posting something negative about a specific book, feel free to email me (moonivy53@gmail.com).

I also want to remind everyone that, while this is a truly exciting project, it is NOT going to be easy or fast.  If we're going to do it right, we need to take the time to do it right.

It seems especially fitting to be starting this at Samhain, which in the Celtic culture marks the beginning of the new year.   Wink
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« Reply #24: October 28, 2007, 01:50:10 pm »


Sent you an email Moon. I just answered all of this in the email because it was easier that way. Smiley
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« Reply #25: October 28, 2007, 01:57:59 pm »

2. Specifically, which books do you think presented bad information or presented information poorly?  IOW, what NOT to do.  If you can list an actual title it would be helpful.  (I might have the book, but I tended to avoid the 101s -- I was past that point by the time the pagan publishing boom hit.).  Similarly, if you know of a book or website that does something WELL, send that to me too!

For the bad books, I would through my vote in with $RW, maybe also give general guidelines for determining whether it is a good book or bad (I don't read much pagan books). Some good books I can think of are Bucky's Big Blue Book (just have a caveat to ignore the history) and maybe (depending on how advanced they want to go) Evolutionary Witchcraft (though admittedly I have not finished this).
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« Reply #26: October 28, 2007, 02:02:14 pm »

Following up on this thread (http://www.ecauldron.net/forum/index.php?topic=3211.msg53957#msg53957), I'm following Randall's advice and opening a Speciall Topics folder for this project.


Do I have to do rituals, or can I just believe in things?

Thanks.

Maybe how to write rituals? What items need to be included, and in what order?  I imagine it would have to be done for each branch of paganism of course. It might let them know what to expect at public events.

Oh, also how to behave at public pagan events. Maybe a discussion about why they aren't getting invited to events without parents being present.

As for 101 books, maybe a disecction of what most books contain. Goal being to prevent them from feeling the need to spend lots of money on books that are often the same. Different prayers for each section of the "standard" wiccan ritual, but basically the same material in all to many books. Maybe also pointing out that most of the material in 101 books is available for free on the web already.
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« Reply #27: October 28, 2007, 02:12:23 pm »

Maybe also pointing out that most of the material in 101 books is available for free on the web already.


And pointing out that anyone offering to sell you Great Cosmic Knowledge is probably scamming you, one way or another.

A way to look out for scams and people that prey on teens would be VERY important, I'd think.
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« Reply #28: October 28, 2007, 02:27:33 pm »

Oh, also how to behave at public pagan events. Maybe a discussion about why they aren't getting invited to events without parents being present.

Oh, this is totally a wonderful idea. I think we need this for EVERYONE, not just teens. Also, how to behave in group settings (if working with a group) and what to expect.

Maybe how to write rituals? What items need to be included, and in what order?  I imagine it would have to be done for each branch of paganism of course.

A basic general guideline would be helpful but the thing is, most every path does things a little differently. Some paths do things a LOT differently.

I think a good thing to stick in there somewhere would be a note or two on ritual safety...everything from candles/fire safety to blood magic/etc. Anything you can think of really.
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« Reply #29: October 28, 2007, 06:29:47 pm »


I emailed you with regard to the first question. With regard to the second, I only read one 101 style book, The Real Witch's Handbook by Kate West, and I would not recommend it, if only because the information that you find in it is not worth the money you spend on it, and because it feels very dumbed down and as such leads to some misconceptions.
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