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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]