Oak and Willow
The Mission of the ASW Relative to Youth
The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel (ASW) is a Mystery Tradition, specifically oriented to adult members that are committed to participation, study and spiritual development. The ASW also has a strong commitment to the development of pagan community infrastructure that will ultimately contribute to the development of the wider pagan community. In order to adequately focus available resources on these primary goals, neither the ASW as a whole, nor any of its member covens, include the provision of separate youth services as part of its mission.
The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel (ASW) acknowledges and respects the important and vital parental task of raising spiritually aware and sensitive children, especially in modern times. We also believe that supporting the ongoing spiritual development of the adults that shape young lives on a day-to-day basis is one of the most often neglected ways of serving our youth. The most powerful influence on children’s spiritual development is the example set by the caregivers and adults in their lives, but often parents/caregivers must put their own spiritual practice on-hold when a child arrives. The ASW believes that it is vital for parents (and all adults that affect the lives of children) to have a dedicated place to rekindle their personal practice and feed their spirit, allowing them to bring that richness to their child’s life and to set an example of continual growth and development.
The ASW does not sponsor/offer events specifically intended for children and does not provide onsite childcare at any of its events. We believe that a space for adults to focus on their own spiritual development serves children more powerfully than anything else we can do. Although youth attendance is not generally encouraged, we recognize that each child/teen is an individual with different ability, interest and capacity to participate in ASW events. Therefore, it is the responsibility of parents to judge whether or not their child has the maturity to derive benefit from ASW events without disrupting the activities or the experience of others at the event (including the experience of the child's parent/care-giver).
The ASW encourages pagan parents to provide spiritual education to their children within their families and in cooperation with other pagan parents until such time that the children can participate successfully in ASW events.
Attendance of Youth at ASW EventsEvents, workshops and rituals are designed to maximize experience and growth for adults that are committed to participation, study and spiritual development and are not offered with a youth audience in mind.The following is expected of parents that bring children to ASW events:
1. Parents must check with ASW or coven leadership to determine if the event is appropriate for youth attendance.
2. Parents must actively supervise all children (under the age of 18) at any event. Supervision may not be delegated to other adults or older children.
3. Parents failing to maintain proper supervision of their children will be asked to remove their children from the event.
4. Parent must immediately remove their children from the area if the child’s behavior becomes disruptive to the activities or to other’s experience of the activities.
5. Parents are responsible for any damage their children do to property at the host venue.
6. It is not appropriate to bring infants or young children that require the setup of playpens, special play areas or other such equipment to events, as it is common sense that these children are not capable of participation and will likely be disruptive to activities.
These guidelines apply to rituals, educational and social events, planning meetings, conferences and all other ASW sponsored events. Parents must use their judgment to determine if these conditions can be met. If not, it is recommended that alternate arrangements be made for childcare off-site while parents attend ASW events.