People management

It pays to sort out your human structures before you get too carried away. Once you get a few meetings organised and start to see the same faces, you’ll need to give some serious thought to how things are structured on the people side. I strongly recommend being very clear and open about your people structures as this avoids a lot of pain and confusion. There is no one right way of doing this – your inclinations, the nature of the people around you and what you intend to do will lead you … [Read more...]

Environmental action

If you want to run a Pagan activity, then one worthwhile consideration is some ‘walking the talk’. Action easily crosses the divides and differences between traditions and there are plenty of things we won’t struggle to agree on when it comes to practical action. The simplest solution by far is to find local environmental charities and action groups, and organise pagan people to go along to support them. That’s assuming of course that you have active environmental people in your area. … [Read more...]

Venues part 2

Picking up from the last post, it’s worth giving more thought to the practicalities of a venue. Anything you run is going to happen somewhere, and your relationship with that space is really important. There are a number of ways of thinking about said relationship. … [Read more...]

Venue practicalities part 1

In choosing a venue, your first consideration is always going to be location, closely followed by size. The right sized space in a place people can get to is vital. That’s surprisingly easy to get wrong, if you are focusing on the wrong things to begin with. Drivers often forget that accessible by car might not mean accessible without one. Making your venue viable for people on public transport, or who walk or organising car shares and pick-ups can make the whole venture a lot more viable. … [Read more...]

Workshops and speakers

Getting in speakers and having people with expertise run workshops can be a way of broadening what your gathering does, and it may have been on your list of more ambitious things to aim for. Workshops can be run in the way of distributed learning circles – more hands on sessions with people sharing what they’ve got. It depends a lot on who you’ve got and what they know and re willing to share. Learning from each other can be slow where no one has any expertise, compared to learning from … [Read more...]

Open rituals

Once you get regular Pagan meet ups, it is highly likely that you’ll get people wanting rituals. In this section I’m not going to get into the technicals of running a ritual – that’s later, but first want to look at the issues of eclectic Pagan groups. If you have enough witches to make a coven, enough Druids for a grove or Heathens for a hearth, that’s fine, enough Kemecicists for… whatever a group of Kemeticists is called… you are all at least working within the same basic … [Read more...]

Conflict management

Pagans are a diverse lot. There are a great many differences of opinion out there and however much we might want to think it’s all going to be peace and love and light, it won’t be. As soon as you get beyond superficial content and ideas, the scope for disagreement and conflict increases. This is part of Paganism’s great strengths, awkward as it can be, what underpins our scope for conflict is also what’s best about us. This is important to remember, because the absence of conflict is … [Read more...]

Learning circles

Learning circles at first glance suggest we’re back to the wise, experienced leader model. Rest assured, we aren’t. Learning does not have to suggest the hierarchy of the teacher and student, it just requires a bit of organising to create a space in which people can learn through experimenting, sharing what they have or by sharing course material, books, discussions and so forth. There are a number of models that work very well here, and moving between them is fine. … [Read more...]

Pagan Time

One of the most pernicious problems with Pagan gatherings, is time keeping. The idea of ‘Pagan time’ has become a license for some to float in when they feel like it and expect that to be fine. Where groups pander to this, it causes problems. … [Read more...]

Moot Fail

Now is a good time to pause and think about the various things that can go wrong at this stage. It helps to be prepared, enables back up plans, and means you are less likely to be upset if it happens. Quite a lot of the things that can and do regularly go wrong for organisers are beyond your control. … [Read more...]