Voice in ritual

The voice is the best ritual tool you will ever have. It is also your core tool in moots and workshops, so much of what applies to rituals is also transferable to any other space in which you adopt a leadership role. The voice is our primary method of communication in groups. It is an expression of self, of mood and of authority. Use your voice well and a great many other things become easier, while a weak and poorly used voice will make it almost impossible to get the job done. … [Read more...]

Participation in ritual

For those attending, a ritual should not be a spectator sport. The same is true of moots. You may want a quiet and passive audience for talks, but most of the time people need to engage with what’s happening for it to work properly. Paganism is not about some authority figure standing at the front handing out wisdom. We’ve talked about how to set yourself up as just that kind of wise authority figure, which is why it’s so important to carefully dismantle your authority by getting everyone … [Read more...]

Making the space

Rituals, workshops and even moots, require slightly magical spaces that take people out of their everyday life and into Paganism.  You don’t want people talking and thinking about last night’s soap opera and what the dog threw up on the carpet. The noise and trivia of everyday life can be a real barrier to doing any good, Pagan work. Getting people to shift gear makes the difference between a potent gathering, and a social event where the people happen to be Pagans. … [Read more...]

Planning a ritual

The technical aspects of a ritual are pretty much the same across the board, regardless of path. I’m not going to talk in detail about the spiritual aspects of ritual, because if you’re at a point of being able to lead ritual, you’ll have some idea of what your content is going to be. However, the spiritual bit, while being the most important, only works when the technical bits are right. Here are a few things it really pays to figure out in advance. There are no universal right answer to … [Read more...]

The limits of responsibility

Holding responsibility is a precise business. Often where we are most likely to get into trouble is as aspiring Pagan leaders, is where we misjudge our responsibilities, or are caught out by what others think our responsibilities are. If we understand this issue properly, the chances of getting into difficulty are much reduced. … [Read more...]

You are labelled as the problem

Of the unpleasant things you might have to field, this is probably the most depressing and frustrating of the lot: Bitchcraft. Some other person or group takes against you, rumours spread and next thing you know, you’re getting questions about whether you really do sacrifice animals and if you have a former conviction for child abuse. In this session I’ll be talking about how to survive when things get nasty. While there’s every chance this one won’t happen to you, the chances are good … [Read more...]

Problem people management

All groups have problems now and then. The vast majority result from misunderstandings, poor communications, people accidently poking places other people were unexpectedly sensitive… When we gather to share our Paganism, we often end up exposing fragments of heart and soul. This can go awry. … [Read more...]

Positive people management

Structure is only part of the job of managing people. Most organising comes down to good people skills. Can you take people with you? Can you persuade and inspire? Can you encourage and empower? These are all good tools. Part of what makes a group work well is developing a culture that supports the effect you’re after. If everyone is pulling the same way, it’s a lot easier to get things moving. … [Read more...]

When groups go well

I’ve done a fair bit of ‘doom and gloom’ content about the various problems that often beset Pagan groups. However, sometimes it works. A Pagan group that runs smoothly and co-operates effectively is a thing of joy, a fantastic community to belong to, and likely to get a lot of good stuff done. … [Read more...]

Tales from the trenches

I knew I was in trouble when the guy turned up at my moot with a list of demands and a stated intention to spend the evening telling me what my duties and obligations ought to be. This was for a house moot for which I had never charged money. … [Read more...]