For those just now joining my blog, I run a Wiccan meetup group in Maryland. We are not a coven; we don’t follow a specific tradition. If anything, we accept anyone following a pagan spiritual path who want to hang out with other pagans for ritual, workshops, and social chat.
Its nice having the best of both worlds between being a solitary (exploring spirituality on my own) with the benefit of a group (to share and ask questions on how others do their thing), without the drama some orthodox groups might develop.
Want to form your own group? Here my advice;
– Leader, guide, or teacher. You can be all three, but every group looks to someone to take the lead and direct the group in some sort of goal. This doesn’t mean you need to always be in charge; I will let other members host an event, share their own ideas and suggestions, and even welcome traditions.
– Keep rules simple. Don’t complicate things with making more and more rules. I have only a few expectations of my members; Take responsibility for what you bring to the group, speak up if you have issues, be solution oriented, and lighten up.
– Remove the troublemakers. Thankfully, I don’t often get many troublemakers in the groups I organizer. I, nevertheless, must think of the group when I see a member causing issues/drama/gossip. I give them a chance to fix their behavior, and if they don’t step up, I remove them. They can rejoin if their offense isn’t too bad. I’ve banned only two people from my group.
– Have a gathering place. This doesn’t need to be a physical place, but you need someplace members can connect. I like sites like Yahoo Groups, meetup.com (there is a charge to be an organizer), or MSN groups (which links the MSN messenger). A site called GroupSpaces sounds promising as well.
– Invite participation. I found over the years some members wanted a leader to pretty much do everything. This meant planning, running, and dealing with all the ritual and workshop stuff. It can be exhausting. Invite members to help in the planning, even little stuff like volunteering to invoke the Quarters, or bring the cookies for cake and ale.
Post in comments you own ideas on this subject. What things do you like out of a group? What are your expectation of a good leader/teacher/guide?