About these notes

These notes are intended for use by Pagan Elders and by those who are in active training to become Elders. They present some of what I have learned up until now, but they are hardly the final word on the subject. They are not intended to become the basis for the next Pagan fad, nor do they replace what you learn from your own Tradition, your Elders, and your Circle.

As you might expect from a Wiccan High Priestesses, my primary religious vocabulary is Wiccan. But these notes are intended for Pagans of all Paths, and for anybody else who may find them useful. I hope that Druid, Heathen, and Reconstructionist (and anybody else we may have missed) readers will not feel left out, and will make any translation that is necessary to suit their own Paths.

As usual with this series, this is a work in progress. I hope to receive advice, corrections, inspirations, great ideas, criticisms and manifestos concerning this notebook from its readers. Please email me to let us know what you think should be different in the next version. We appreciate your feedback.

     This notebook, like all the other notebooks in this series, is a free gift to the Pagan community, and I hope you will pay this gift forward. Accordingly, you may use these notes only for not-for-profit purposes of teaching and study. You may freely distribute copies of these notes for such purposes, provided that the authors are clearly identified and that the text is not altered. No further permission is required for copies made for such purposes.

I dedicate these notes to all those who seek to learn how to better serve their Gods, their People, and their Earth.

Pagan Group Work: Preliminary Thoughts

Pagans tend to gather in small, close-knit, and deeply committed groups rather than mega-congregations. In our covens, groves, kindreds, and thiasoi,[1] every face is visible; every member matters. The better these groups function, the better they will nurture each member and contribute to the contemporary Pagan renaissance. My hope is to gather relevant and useful information from secular professionals regarding group dynamics and make that information available to Pagans.

Paganism is not a single religion; it is a cluster of closely related religions. Even within each major branch, there are major subdivisions: different Wiccan Traditions, Reconstructionisms of several different historical Pagan religions, etc. Some groups exist within a lineage. They have a heritage of lore and elders to whom they can bring all sorts of questions. Others are self generated, people gathered around common beliefs who are creating their Path by their own exploration.

If the way we work and worship together should reflect and express our perceptions of the Sacred, and I believe it should, then all this Pagan diversity is a congruent and healthy expression of our polytheistic understanding of Deity. But it does make it confusing to think about effective group work. I urge readers to consider this information in terms of their own groups – the groups they hope to improve and the groups they hope to form – because these ideas will not apply in the same way to all Pagan groups. Please, take what you can use, adapt it to your own situation, and leave the rest!

[1] “thiasoi” are Hellenic reconstructionist worship groups.

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by Judy Harrow, HPs, Proteus Coven
© 2006, by Judy Harrow

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