Finding your calling

Hopefully by now you’ll have some sense of what, exactly, you are called to do. Some ideas will have had you nodding along, others will have elicited puzzled frowns or feelings of discomfort. That’s fine. We are not all called to do the same thing, nor do we all end up doing them in the same ways. That Delphic demand to ‘know thyself’ is a large and important part of the process. Until we know who we are, it’s not always easy to work out what that urge to ‘do something’ means … [Read more...]

Interfaith work and speaking for Paganism

Put your head above the parapet, and you may be invited to speak for Paganism, both in an interfaith context or to a wider public. This is work you may actively seek, or that may simply come to you. … [Read more...]

Big Name Pagan

What could be more exciting? Fame and fortune await! The Big Name Pagans are taken seriously, they get respect and paying gigs, they are loved and valued... who wouldn’t want that? And yet, the lure of BNP status is laden with problems. It is worth deconstructing the whole idea a bit to see if it is something you actually want to spend time chasing. We live in a culture that prizes celebrity status, but that doesn’t make it a good thing for anyone, much less someone interested in a spiritual … [Read more...]

Permission to fail

I’ve hear of Pagan groups where participants could expect a very hard time for fluffing a line in ritual, or otherwise messing up. We can see failure and standards as two things at odds with each other, but this is a mistake. Without permission to fail, no one can risk pushing beyond what is safe. Without that, no one learns. How do we give ourselves and other people the permission to fail that is also permission to get in there and have a go? … [Read more...]

Breaking the old

All groups have natural cycles of thriving and decay. Sometimes we as organisers get bored with things we are running, or change our minds about them, and the urge to deliberately break what we’ve made can enter the mix. This has huge implications and is worth thinking through carefully, rather than doing it in a sudden fit of irritation, as is more usually how it happens. … [Read more...]

Losing your direction

“I’m giving up. I started a moot but no one really came. There doesn’t seem to be any point.” I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen comments like this posted online, and I suspect there are far more people who falter and feel too ashamed to mention it. The things we start do not always thrive. Sometimes they falter, sometimes they fail and when you are new to all of this, it can seem that you, too have failed and that the honourable thing to do is quit. This is not necessarily … [Read more...]

End times – handing over

It is never too early to figure out how you might hand over a group, or what might happen if you have to leave the area, become ill or similar. Most Pagans do not develop an exit strategy, and the result is that when something goes wrong for them personally, all too often what they set up is unable to survive their leaving it, even in the short term. The important thing to work out is which matters most – making sure you stay unassailably in charge, or giving your work a fighting chance of … [Read more...]

End times – natural group death

All things come to an end, and it is natural that they do so. If you undertake to be a Pagan Leader in an ongoing way, then the odds are good that you will see the birth and death of a number of groups. It can be tempting to hang onto groups – having poured love and energy into them for some time, letting go can feel like a waste, or admitting defeat. However, a group that needs to dissipate and is not allowed to, becomes emotionally exhausting for those involved. Know when to let go and when … [Read more...]

Learning to say ‘no’

We start out full of ideas and enthusiasm. Wanting to make something happening, needing to build a public profile, needing to promote what we’re doing, we draw attention. Maybe we get involved with a larger group. This is a period of life in which saying ‘yes’ tends to feature heavily. That initial enthusiasm can carry a person a long way, but it also makes you attractive to people who need to get stuff done. I went through this phase and I’ve seen others do it. At one point I was … [Read more...]

Affiliation

Do you want to be an independent Pagan leader, or do you want to be affiliated to some larger group? Either way, there are advantages and disadvantages. If you are a member of a potential umbrella organisation already, like the Pagan Federation or the Druid Network, it can be an easy default to just run your group or activity under that banner. However, just because you love an organisation and feel at home there does not mean it is always wise to default to signing up in this way. … [Read more...]