· Learn about the natural world where they live (the animals, plants, trees, and geology of their part of the world).
· Attend spiritual worship services of diverse faiths.
· Write and journal their thoughts and feelings.
· Pray and meditate.
· Give back to the world through community service.
· Embrace physical, mental, and emotional health.
While none of these suggestions is specifically part of Pagan studies, they are all things that will stand the person in good stead when they are of age to legally study with a teacher.
There is also the cry that goes up from those minors who are turned away because teachers cannot take the risk of possible legal action that might take their home or put them in jail. The immediate thought is that this is 'unfair'. Actually these legal decisions are very fair in that they apply equally no matter the religion involved.
The same law seen as unfair by young Pagans also prevents actions by non-Pagans to hijack the teaching of Pagan children against the wishes of the Pagan parents.
I think it is important to young Seekers to understand why reputable groups and individuals will not take them on as students. And I think it is essential that anyone contemplating teaching those under the age of majority become educated as to what the risks are so they can make an informed decision on their course of action.
Carol Kirk is a retired nurse and Vietnam vet. She has been a practicing Wiccan since 1990, and since 2001 has been High Priestess of the Oak, Ash, and Thorn Tradition of Wicca. She has also received her Gardnerian 1st degree initiation in July 2009 and serves on the faculty at Cherry Hill Seminary.