Tag Archives: groups

Joining local pagan groups

I wanted to share a few resources that might help you find groups you can join or events you can attend in your local areas:

witchvox01

Witchvox.com– This site provides groups and individuals a platform to post groups and/or events. You can look up by state to see what is in your area.

To find someplace local, look to the Left Side of the web site Home page and look under ‘YOUR town…” Once you’re on the next page, continue to look a the Left Side of the page to look up group specific to type. You can find teen, adult, college, etc.

CUUPSCUUPS (Covenant Unitarian Universalist Pagans) is affiliated with the UU churches. You can search for groups in your area, or check with your local UU church to see if you can form your own group. You can also look up chapters by the area you live in. Some groups provide ‘open circles’, so you can join a workshop or ritual without being a member.

meetupMeetup.com– This is not specific to pagan, but you can find pagan/wiccan/witch groups. Membership is free, but being an organizer costs $20 per month. Some groups also ask for membership fees, while others are free. You can search your local area for meetup groups specific to your interest such as ghost hunting, pagan, healing, or start your own group.

When I started my own groups, it was because, at the time, there were no local groups established. The Internet certainly helps now. If you can’t find any local groups, start your own, or consider joining groups through Facebook or Twitter.

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Leaders and group tips

There are a number of different types of groups you encounter in pagan communities.

Covens are the most orthodox of them all, sharing secrecy and traditions. You generally must start your own, or hive off the coven that trained you, or you are invited to join

Study groups offer members a group to learn together the spiritual path. Someone, generally , leads the group while some study groups might swap members to share in the responsibilities. Its informal, and members can come and go as they like.

Open Rituals offer solitaries and other pagans to join in ritual for a purpose. This can be for a moon ritual, magick ritual, or sabbat. Sometimes you find these open circles in pagan shops, Unitarian Churches that host CUUPs groups, or you can find open ritual at places festivals are held. Check witchvox.com for open rituals in your area.

If you hope to form a group, here are some tips to consider;

As leader and organizer, you should compile a clear list of objectives and expectations for members. Stick to them. You will find some members might not like this or that, but they can form their own group if they don’t like it.

Groups, of any kind, also go through an evolution throughout its existence. At one point, generally before the first year is through, the group starts to fray at the edges by members re-evaluating their needs. At this point, take steps to bond members through activities and re-assessments of the objectives of the group.

Listen to member’s concerns. Members need to feel a certain level of safety, to be able to voice their concerns to you as the leader. Try to do something about their concerns, or ask for their suggestion. You don’t have to take that suggestion but it offers them some input.

Remove disruptive members. Should you encounter members who gossip, slander, or create issues among the group, they need to be removed. Its tough to do this if you happen to like that member, but trust me, if you hope to have your group survive, you need to show you will protect the group as a whole.

Leaders of groups should cultivate these qualities;

  • Listening skills, so members know you’re available to listen to their ideas and their needs.
  • Assertiveness (not aggression). To be able to confront others if need be, but also praise and applaud members for good deeds.
  • Decision making, and making those tough decisions when necessary.
  • Willingness to learn from the members, and allow members to share their knowledge and experience as well.
  • See oneself as a teacher, organizer, and guide, not an authoritarian.

Kids and Wicca/Witchcraft

The other day, I received an email from a 14 year old teen asking to be taught Wicca. She contacted me because I organize a local meetup group for Wiccans (and also pagans) We are not, however, a teaching group as much as a group for social networking.

I’m also nervous about teaching someone so young for two reasons;

1. If my son wanted to learn a religion at the age of 14, I’d want to know about it, and I’d want to know who the teacher was, and what they were teaching.

and

2. Many 14 year olds tend to be intrigued with the trappings and magical elements more than spiritual aspects. (This is coming from experience).

So I’m reluctant to take on any students under the age of 14 unless the parents contact me, and even then, I’m not keen on it.

Most covens also won’t accept kids under the age of 18 without written permission from their parents. Some covens won’t accept kids at all, while other are family friendly.

Real young kids can often disrupt ritual, so if you join a group that allows children, please respect the rules and common manners.

I’m curious as to your, the readers, thoughts on this subject, or your experiences. My own is that I lean toward not having kids in ritual. I’ve been in groups where kids disrupted and distracted if not acted plain rude. As I have a son, who attended ritual, he will mind his manners. I expect other parents do mind their own kids as well.

What are your thoughts?

Book of Shadows Assignment: Journal your thoughts on your past beliefs and how they differ now. Consider the principles of belief or other teachings of paganism and how they challenge you. Add to your Book of Shadows. A year from now, you will do the same, and compare your beliefs between now and then.