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...]

Splitters

One of the most common ways in which new Pagan groups form, is by hiving off from existing ones. This can be quite an upsetting process if you find it threatening or view it as a rejection of your way of doing things. However, handled well, splitting can be a really great experience. All life depends on cells dividing; it is a perfectly natural process and a way of enabling growth. There is no need to fear it. … [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...]

Leadership myths

There are a lot of myths about leadership out there, which can look highly plausible when you’re just a regular Pagan, and can become a confusing source of discomfort and bemusement when you step up to run things. This is especially true if your first encounter with the myths comes when other people start applying them to you. … [Read more...]

A bit of philosophy

While we’re poking around in those practical issues let’s sidestep and think about the whole idea of leadership. What are we leading? What do we want to lead? I think people who simply want to lead people – i.e. telling others what to do, are no great asset to the Pagan community. That can be an ego trip that does the tripper more harm than good, as well. It’s just not a good way to live. It is better to think of this in terms of leading events and activities, rather than leading … [Read more...]

Getting Started

We’ll assume for the purposes of this one that you get some say in what you’re doing when you take on a leadership role.  I know it doesn’t always work like that, but sometimes it does. Even if something falls on you unexpectedly these pointers about how to get started will be somewhat relevant. Quite often the calling is simply to ‘do something’.  That may come from external demand, quite often is comes from within. The desire to be part of a Pagan community can often be what … [Read more...]

Welcome to the course

We’re still in the early stages getting this course moving, so, a few words to be going along with about what it does and how this all works. The course itself will be available through this blog. People who don’t sign up for it will be able to see the opening couple of paragraphs of any given post, and that’s it. If you do sign up you can access the content, and there will be ways to interact, and ask questions. … [Read more...]