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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]