Hollywood, indeed any sort of media has an interesting view of the Craft and the people who practice the Craft. They are either the stereotype of the "wicked" witch, with her green skin and black clothes and cackle or they are Glinda the Good Witch, looking more like a fairy than a witch. In today's modern storytelling, witches are usually goth girls and guys with more piercings than they know what to do with and black fingernails. Or they are the girls in the movie The Craft with their modified catholic school girl clothes wearing rosaries and drinking wine from the bottle and using glamories to change their hair color.
It don't have to tell you that none of these things are the Craft. The Craft is about intensive study. I studied for a whole year before I even began working the Craft. I read a lot of books of different Craft disciplines, wrote my Book of Shadows and keep a journal of the things I read. Eventually, I plan to give you a list of books for your own research. I also reasearched the internet for sites that addressed my particular cultural, ancestoral, and religious backgrounds. I consider myself a second rite witch and am working and studying for my third rite initiation. The Craft is not just about reading a book in the school library and reading a couple of web sites and calling yourself a witch. It is about study and discipline. It is also about harmony. If you take on a percieved "witchy persona" then you are going to be faced with a lot of negative energy. If people saw me on the street or in church or anywhere else, you would never know I was a practicing witch. I am an ordinary person who has a very rich spiritual life and has a huge occult library.
Teens who become or want to become witches should spend a lot of time in study, contemplation and meditation. They should also consider the reactions of their families. You are being cared for by your parents (hopefully) and you have to honor and respect them, which is all part of being a practitioner of the Craft. This is not to say that you should not follow your heart and study what interests you. I am not advocating that you hide and study, but I do advise that you not flout your interests. You should be conscious that the Craft is esoteric, or secret, even if you are able to study with the blessings of your parents. Teens should be careful not to disclose to their friends right away and should be careful who they disclose to. Teens today can in one instant be your best friend and guard your secrets zealously and in the next instant be your sworn enemy and reveal all and set you up for ridicule. And never use the Craft for revenge or for useless reasons. I suggest any young person interested in the Craft to read The Wiccan Rede by Mark Ventimiglia. I myself am not Wiccan but I read this fabulous little book and fell in love with it. It talks about the rights and responsiblities of working the Craft and the true meaning of "An' ye harm none, do what ye will" Read this book first and then at the end of each chapter, spend some time in a journal or notebook and ask yourself questions about each part of the rede that Mark examines. It can measure the amount of dedication you have to the Craft and your willingness to practice the rede in your Craft.
Next time, I will discuss Grimiores, Books of Shadow, andinitiations either as a solitary or a coven member.