By Victor Ochieng
During a recent interview, a witch, whose parents are churchgoing, said his parents deem it okay for him to practice witchcraft, arguing that at least their son has a faith.
Ashley Mortimer, the director of The Centre For Pagan Studies and a Doreen Valiente Foundation trustee, said he was brought up by parents who’re members of the Church of England.
Mortimer, who frequently represent Pagan Federation, is a high profile member of the country’s pagan community and part of the Pagan Pride, Nottingham Pagan Network, and Nottingham Empyrean. Growing up, he knew his parents were against witchcraft, but things later changed.
“I knew it wouldn’t be popular; teenagers have a feel for such things with parents, I think,” he told The Independent. “And I can remember being told: ‘We don’t want pagan rites in this house!'”
So how did their opinion on witchcraft change?
It all began when Mortimer’s sister opened up about being an atheist, something that came to the chagrin of her parents. This made the parents rethink their stand on witchcraft, saying that at least their son has faith in something.
“I think my mother gained some perspective when my sister declared herself an atheist. She told me ‘At least you have a faith, even if it’s a bit misguided!’ She is very pragmatic about faith; she sees it very much as manifesting in one’s daily life and this notion of it as personal, individual and very much a daily matter is the same style of religiosity with which I approach mine—so we have commonality in approach at least,” Mortimer says.
ThoughtCo among other resources try to advise parents not to be overly worried when their children start experimenting with different faiths, including pagan rituals or Wicca.
In their teaching, ThoughtCo says, “First, understand that some teens come to paganism because it sounds like a really fun way to rebel against Mom and Dad,” adding, After all, what could possibly be more irritating to parents than to have little Susie show up at Grandma’s house wearing a giant pentacle and announcing, ‘I’m a witch, and I do spells, you know.’ For the kids who make their way to paganism as part of a rebellion, chances are good that they’ll grow out of it.”
That said, some Christian parents dismiss such claims.
Beth Eckert, a former witchcraft who later received Jesus, says that despite Wicca and paganism being spiritual, they give false hope.
“When you practice Wicca and paganism, you are focusing your energy on the power of self, giving yourself the sense that you control life circumstances and people around you,” Eckert says. “When that doesn’t work, you begin to look into tapping into a bigger power, which is actually the power of dark spiritual forces.”
William G. Wells of the Southern Baptist Convention says parents must be careful and act fast whenever they realize their children are making forays into witchcraft or Wiccan.
“So, if you believe your child is dabbling in witchcraft or hanging out with Wiccans, enlist the help of your church’s youth minister, pastor or counselor,” said Wells. “Christian parents have a threefold duty where witchcraft is concerned: to understand the nature of the threat, protect their families from its influence and, most important, reach out to Wiccan teens to prevent the loss of a whole generation.”