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Witchcraft for Kids? Pros & Cons

In the dim, flickering glow of campfires and bedtime lanterns, tales of enchantment, witches, and spells have been passed down through generations. The allure of the mystical, with its blend of the familiar and the arcane, naturally piques the curiosity of young minds. Is it then a wonder that they’d want to explore the world of the occult? But when it comes to the reality of the occult, is it a realm too profound for youthful exploration? Is witchcraft for kids? Or should it be off-limits?

Remember when you were told not to play with Grandma’s tarot cards or found an old, dusty tombstone with esoteric symbols in the graveyard? Were you not curious?

Unveiling the Mysteries

To start, let’s dispel the clouds surrounding ‘occult.’ Rooted in Latin, ‘occultus’ simply signifies “hidden.” Over time, it has evolved to include practices like witchcraft, astrology, and alchemy. Far from mere shadows, these are imbued with cultural and historical relevance. But, is this a realm for children?

A Harmless Game … or Witchcraft for Kids?

I remember playing “Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board” at sleepover parties when I was a child (in the 70s, long before it was featured on any TV show). Anyway, one time, it actually worked, which of course both delighted us and freaked us out at the same time.

Such games, though seemingly innocuous, often straddle the line between innocent fun and deeper, misunderstood practices.

So, the next day, I came home and decided to play it with my little brother and our cousins. Unfortunately, our fanatically religious Christian parents caught us and turned the whole thing into something akin to a witchcraft trial rather than just chalking it up to a little harmless fun.

Isn’t it odd how people are always afraid of the ones accused of witchcraft rather than the ones who are burning them at the stake?

In the 80s, my mother, and, to be fair, most of America, was consumed by Satanic Panic. Books, music, movies, Dungeons & Dragons, Halloween, teenagers … it seemed as if anything even remotely rebellious or associated with the occult were labeled as “evil.”

To this day, I have never even touched a Ouija board as my mother instilled such a fear of it in me that I just cannot to this day.

While the Ouija remained an object of trepidation, the tarot revealed itself as a mere tool of insight. So, a few years ago, I bought myself a deck.

And, do you know what happened when I did?

Well … nothing.

Or, rather, nothing bad or evil.

In fact, I believe that the last few years of shadow work have taught me to believe in magick again, helping me undo some of the damage and depression caused by years of abuse inflicted on me by others … and then several decades of abuse that I inflicted upon myself.

While I still have a long way to go, I feel much more confident now that I see the path … a path that is illuminated with magick.

Pros of Introducing Children to Witchcraft:

There’s a wealth of potential benefits when children are gently introduced to these arts:

  1. Cultural Awareness: In a world striving for unity in diversity, introducing children to witchcraft and similar practices can be an immersive lesson in global cultures. From the Wiccan rituals of the West to the shamanic practices of indigenous tribes, and the astrological charts in Eastern traditions, each tells a story of humanity’s quest for understanding. By studying them, we get to appreciate and respect the myriad ways humans have, across ages, tried to make sense of the universe. It instills an early understanding that there’s no ‘one’ way to perceive the world, paving the path for open-mindedness.
  2. Critical Thinking: The mystical world, full of wonders and anomalies, is a space rife for inquiry. When children question the logic of a spell or the predictions of astrology, they’re sharpening their critical thinking. They learn to navigate the fine line between belief and skepticism, and this skill is not just limited to the occult but is applicable in all walks of life.
  3. Historical Context: Witchcraft, alchemy, and their counterparts aren’t mere rituals; they’re a testament to human history. Engaging with these subjects can open up dialogues about ancient civilizations, their beliefs, and their daily lives. It’s history taught with a touch of magic!
  4. Imagination Boost: Mystical stories and rituals have an innate charm. They can fuel children’s imagination, letting them create worlds, stories, and characters of their own. Such creative exercises can enhance cognitive abilities and foster a love for literature and storytelling.

Cons of Delving into the Occult with Kids:

However, as with any profound knowledge, there are also considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Maturity Concerns: While the world of magic is fascinating, it may sometimes be complex for a child’s developing mind. There’s the potential that they might not differentiate myth from reality, leading to misconceptions or an altered perception of the real world.
  2. Potential for Fear: The occult, with its tales of spirits, hexes, and the unknown, can be daunting. Depending on the content and presentation, some children might find it scary, leading to unwarranted fears, anxiety, or even nightmares, especially if not introduced with the right context.
  3. Social Repercussions: Depending on the cultural or community setting, an overt interest in the occult might lead to misunderstandings. Children could face prejudice, misconceptions, or even isolation from peers who might not understand or share these beliefs. It’s crucial to gauge the social environment before delving deep.
  4. Misinterpretation Risks: The symbols, rituals, and traditions of the occult are rich in meaning. Without proper guidance, children might misinterpret or even oversimplify them. This can lead to unintentional disrespect or a skewed understanding of profound practices.

Tips for Teaching Children About Magick

While there are both charms and challenges associated with introducing the occult to children, the key lies in our approach.

Say the Magic Words

Honestly, we really don’t need to teach children about magic; they already believe. What we need to do is foster those beliefs and channel them into something good and healthy, not turn them into something bad or evil.

Psychologists have noted that magical thinking benefits children’s cognitive development and should be encouraged; in fact, a research study showed that fantastical thinking “positively impacted children’s cognitive development in creativity and art” (Subbotsky, Hysted, & Jones, 2010). The study also found that watching the Harry Potter movie before completing a creative task “resulted in higher scores for those children” when compared to children who did not see the movie before completing the same task.

Magical thinking is a normal stage of development and a healthy part of childhood; there is nothing wrong with teaching a small child a magic spell to help get rid of the monsters living under their bed! In fact, the evolution of magical thinking to adult imagination is responsible for the many fantastic films, books, music, and works of art that we enjoy, both as children and adults.

For my grandchildren, I have been intentionally adding a little “magick” to our springtime rituals, and this year, my granddaughter Valerie and I celebrated Ostara together by resurrecting the Rose of Jericho.

I have also been teaching them to “say the magic words,” and they are not just “please” and “thank you.”

I bought Valerie two books to help her get started on her magick path: “The Magic of Me: My Magical Words” and, more recently, “My First Book of Spells: Spells and Activities for Little Witches.”

I highly recommend them both!

Add a Pinch of Skepticism

The world of the mystical is as captivating as a moonlit night or the sparkling constellations above. It invites us into tales of ancient rituals, prophetic dreams, and charms that promise to change fate. However, as we guide our children through these enigmatic terrains, it’s essential to also equip them with a compass of skepticism.

For instance, while they might read about a spell that claims to summon rain, encourage them to explore the science of precipitation, comparing myth with meteorology. If they’re enthralled by tales of fortune-telling, introduce them to the psychology of predictions and how general statements can seem eerily accurate. Promote their independent research: if they stumble upon a legend of a protective talisman, urge them to delve into its historical origins and the cultures that believed in its power.

By doing so, we’re not diluting their wonder, but enriching it. We’re teaching them to weave between the lines of folklore and fact, to savor the beauty of a story while also seeking its foundation in reality. After all, isn’t the true essence of life found in the intricate dance between awe-inspired wonder and informed wisdom?

Infuse with Ample Tolerance and Insight

Witchcraft and the occult serve as more than mere tales of the arcane; they are a reflection of humanity’s ceaseless quest for understanding and meaning. When viewed with an open heart and a curious mind, they unfurl a rich tapestry of beliefs, showcasing the multifaceted ways humans across different epochs and cultures have grappled with life’s profound questions.

Consider, for instance, the intricate rituals of ancient pagans, the celestial maps of astrologers, or the sacred chants of shamanic traditions. Each of these practices, rooted in its unique history and context, tells a story of a community’s relationship with the cosmos, nature, and the divine.

By introducing our young ones to this diverse panorama, we’re not just recounting tales of magic and mystique. We’re fostering an environment of acceptance and understanding. We’re teaching them to respect and appreciate the myriad paths humanity has taken in its shared journey of discovery. And isn’t that a vital lesson in today’s interconnected world? For, in the grand scheme of human experience, every path, every story, and every ritual holds a mirror to the same universal truths we all seek.

Witchcraft for kids? I vote yes!

The world of witchcraft and the occult, rich in mystery and meaning, waits to be explored. Yet, it’s our guidance, grounded in understanding and respect, that will determine the true magic these tales can weave into a child’s life.

While introducing children to the occult requires careful navigation, it is undeniably a journey worth undertaking. With the right intentions and guidance, the esoteric can become a powerful tool for fostering understanding, imagination, and respect.

We, as the guiding lights in their lives, have the privilege and responsibility to channel their curiosity into meaningful experiences. In the vast tapestry of learning, the mystical arts shimmer with potential.

When embraced with thoughtfulness and care, they can become an invaluable chapter in a child’s journey of wonder and discovery.

After all, isn’t the allure of life’s seen and unseen mysteries what truly adds magic to our existence?