The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum (Archive Board)
October 18, 2017, 10:38:39 am *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: This is our Read Only Archive Board (closed to posting July 2011). Join our new vBulletin board!
 
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 18, 2017, 10:38:39 am

Login with username, password and session length
Donate!
The Cauldron's server is expensive and requires monthly payments. Please become a Bronze, Silver or Gold Donor if you can. Donations are needed every month. Without member support, we can't afford the server.
TC Staff
Important Information about this Archive Board
This message board is The Cauldron: A Pagan Forum's SMF Archive Board. It is closed to new memberships and to posting, but there are over 250,000 messages here that you can still search and read -- many full of interesting and useful information. (This board was open from February 2007 through June 2011).

Our new vBulletin discussion board is located at http://www.ecauldron.com/forum/ -- if you would like to participate in discussions like those you see here, please visit our new vBulletin message board, register an account and join in our discussions. We hope you will find the information in this message archive useful and will consider joining us on our new board.
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
Author Topic: Finding community the right way  (Read 5189 times)
lil brown bat
Newbie
*
Last Login:September 26, 2010, 04:35:11 pm
United States United States

Religion: Solitary pagan
Posts: 4

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Topic Start: October 01, 2007, 11:15:27 am »

Hey all,

I'm a Cauldron newbie, been lurking for a bit.  I'm a solitary and have been so for a while (c. 12 years or so).  As I have been solitary, I have found myself attracted to the idea of connecting with community in some form (a coven, a regular group of some kind), but I also have some reservations.  In terms of one's pagan spirituality -- study, expression, development, whatever -- what are the ways that being involved in community can help, and what are the right ways to go about seeking it?

By way of background, I was raised Episcopalian, and thus have mixed feelings about ceremony as is probably typical for ex-Episcopalians (on the one hand, it can be very beautiful; on the other hand, it can have absolutely nothing to do with spirituality).  I think I have a pretty good internal compass for directions that do and don't make sense for me, and a very good BS meter.  I didn't "get into" paganism as a reaction to Christianity, nor for the cool clothes or lack thereof; instead, it was out of a feeling that I couldn't fit myself into any other religion I know and honestly say I was a believer, plus feeling the Creator's presence in times and places and ways so that logic compels me to say, "Yup, I'm a pagan."  But there's a lot of detail I haven't filled in -- I'm not sure that I need to, but at times I really crave like-minded people to talk things through with, or to share observances with. 

At the same time, from the perspective of someone who's not involved with an organized group of pagans, I can't help but notice how...well...frankly broken some of these groups and people can be.  I recognize that dramatics play out larger than life, but stuff like this makes me want to run the other way.

So...I'd appreciate any thoughts, really.  What are good ways for a mostly contented solitary to find community?  How do you find a community that you can participate with in a fair exchange, where what you give to it balances what you get out of it?

TIA,
Logged

Welcome, Guest!
You will need to register and/or login to participate in our discussions.

Read our Rules and Policies and the Quoting Guidelines.

Help Fund Our Server? Donate to Lyricfox's Cancer Fund?

Star
Message Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:January 12, 2013, 08:36:08 am
United States United States

Religion: Hellenic Reconstructionist
TCN ID: star
Posts: 9033


Etcetera, Whatever

Blog entries (0)

ilaynay starcr
WWW
« Reply #1: October 01, 2007, 11:35:42 am »

Hey all,

Welcome to the Cauldron!
Logged

"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced."
-- Aart Van Der Leeuw

Main Blog:  Star's Journal of Random Thoughts
Religious Blog:  The Song and the Flame
I can also now be found on Goodreads.
HeartShadow - Cutethulhu
Assistant Board Coordinator
Senior Staff
Grand Adept Member
****
Last Login:April 15, 2013, 06:53:07 pm
United States United States

Religion: FlameKeeper
TCN ID: GenevieveWood
Posts: 8627


I am the Pirate Teddybear!

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #2: October 01, 2007, 11:38:58 am »


Welcome to the Cauldron!
Logged




FlameKeeping website: http://www.flamekeeping.org
Darkhawk
Chief Mux Wizard
Staff
Adept Member
***
*
Last Login:July 24, 2017, 11:40:39 pm
United States United States

Religion: Kemetic Feri Discordian
Posts: 2485

Blog entries (0)

WWW
« Reply #3: October 01, 2007, 12:40:46 pm »

In terms of one's pagan spirituality -- study, expression, development, whatever -- what are the ways that being involved in community can help, and what are the right ways to go about seeking it?

I think a great deal depends on what religion or religions you are pursuing and what you're looking for.  More on that in a bit.

Quote
But there's a lot of detail I haven't filled in -- I'm not sure that I need to, but at times I really crave like-minded people to talk things through with, or to share observances with. 

I would suggest that for the purpose of talking through what you believe, what you want to do, what you mean, being here is an excellent start.

Quote
So...I'd appreciate any thoughts, really.  What are good ways for a mostly contented solitary to find community?  How do you find a community that you can participate with in a fair exchange, where what you give to it balances what you get out of it?

There are a number of things you can be looking for in a community.  Off the top of my head, and not completely:
- people to talk to who can a) help illuminate what you're doing, b) provide useful ideas, or c) simply not stall conversations out at things like "What do you mean, you're a polytheist" or "Only children believe in fairies in the garden"
- information about various possible religious paths or how to go about the work in constructing your own
- actual coreligionists; people doing more or less the same thing to share path-specific discussion with
- people to do ritual or other religious event work with
- possibly developing in-person friendships with other pagans

As I noted, for the first of these, the Cauldron and similar quality forums are good.  For the second, you will likely also have more luck in someplace like here finding that information than you would in more localised groups, which may be dominated by a few religions or traditions, infested with drama queens, or not have much going on.

Actual coreligionists are harder.  I have been a member of several Kemetic groups; I no longer consider myself one, for a broad selection of reasons.  At this point, thus, my rather limited Kemetic community is conducted in the Kemetic SIG here and through discussions on livejournal with people I met when I was a member of various temples.  I happened to luck into working with my first Feri teacher; I joined several Feri discussion groups just as someone organised a weekend training session in my area, met her, and decided to study with her for two years.  The person I would, at this point, really like to study with happens to be local to me, for loose values of 'local'; I need to write to her and make an introduction when my life settles down, and ask her if she's accepting new students.  This is, again, someone I know of by reading the trad-specific discussions.

People to do religious stuff with: I have actually never really done this within a pagan community.  My in-person group of friends has a high density of pagans in it; my ritual group was formed from there.  Not that any of us are co-religionists, but hey.  (The ritual group has dwindled from its original five to the three I consider in my household, too.)

Possible pagan friendships:  many, perhaps most large cities have some sort of pagan social group that does things like Pagan Night Out or similar -- 'we're having coffee at such-and-such-a-place on Friday night, come join if you want' level things.  Some of these groups are organised at or at least known to pagan or esoteric bookstores; some have websites.  If your area does some sort of Pagan Pride Day or similar festival, volunteering to help out will probably make you a lot of friends, from what I can tell from watching those people who are daft enough to work large festivals. Wink
Logged

Reona
Master Member
****
Last Login:November 06, 2008, 01:36:15 pm
United States United States

Religion: eclectic Witch
Posts: 308


My cat, Boots.

Blog entries (1)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #4: October 01, 2007, 01:00:19 pm »

As I have been solitary, I have found myself attracted to the idea of connecting with community in some form (a coven, a regular group of some kind), but I also have some reservations.  In terms of one's pagan spirituality -- study, expression, development, whatever -- what are the ways that being involved in community can help, and what are the right ways to go about seeking it?

So...I'd appreciate any thoughts, really.  What are good ways for a mostly contented solitary to find community?  How do you find a community that you can participate with in a fair exchange, where what you give to it balances what you get out of it?

Welcome to The Cauldron. I hope this forum is just the place that you find ďlike-mindedĒ people. I know Iím quite comfortable here.

Iím a solitary myself and can understand where you are coming from. Since we are solitary it is most likely that our beliefs wonít mesh with another established groupís beliefs. And that can be off putting. At the same time we want the human contact without the conflict. I can tell you joining a good online forum or community (like The Cauldron) can bring you a nice level of satisfaction and is much easier than having to go somewhere to meet with other people. Since Iím naturally a computer child, the connections I make through the Ďnet and this forum make me happy.

I also know how intimidating it can be to join a group of people you actually have to personally meet. And for a solitary there is a bit of hesitation wondering if you fit, if youíll make a fool of yourself by not knowing something, and the fear that they will want you to change. Here is my solution to getting the personal contact without getting overwhelmed. Go to nearest pagan/metaphysical store. Locate either store owner or worker of experience. Begin conversation and you have instant human contact without being overwhelmed. Repeat as often as possible. Iím great friends with most of the workers and the owner of my local store.

Also, I would suggest going to a public meeting. These are often hosted by a certain coven or group but anyone can join the event. In my neck of the woods, several public meetings are held for Samhain and a few other major Pagan holidays. Posting can usually be found at the store you choose to go to or the workers would defiantly know some good events.

For a solitary not seeking a teacher, human contact with like-minded people is really the greatest reason for approaching a group.

Quote
At the same time, from the perspective of someone who's not involved with an organized group of pagans, I can't help but notice how...well...frankly broken some of these groups and people can be.  I recognize that dramatics play out larger than life, but stuff like this makes me want to run the other way.

Umm, broken how?
Logged


Zerynthia
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:November 19, 2010, 12:51:15 pm
United States United States

Religion: Pagan
Posts: 46


Sapere Aude, Anima Pura Sit

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #5: October 01, 2007, 01:05:18 pm »

As I have been solitary, I have found myself attracted to the idea of connecting with community in some form (a coven, a regular group of some kind), but I also have some reservations.

I too have been mostly solitary and have battled with the lonliness of a solitary path. I have worked with groups, and continue to do so on occasion, but in my case, they seem to have an expiration date. I am at a point in my life where not only do I know who I am, but I feel that my values, beliefs and thoughts are pretty well integrated. I have found that many people have great difficulty in disagreeing with others while maintaining respect and civility. This of course is bound to create problems in a group setting where others may find disagreements on elements of philosophy or belief to be a dealbreaker.

In order to meet my own needs for community while maintaining my needs for autonomy and to honor my Truth, I find the occasional weekend workshop or class to be the perfect solution. Also, you might try Pagan Meetupshttp://pagan.meetup.com/ for social activities with other Pagans in your area. I've gone on a couple social events with the local groups with great success.

You are wise to have reservations because as you say, there are a lot of broken people in the Pagan community. I think that every community has their broken people, but perhaps they are more noticeable in the Pagan community? In a spiritual path that stresses personal responsibility, I think we leave it to the individual to take action on their own behalf to secure the type of life they want for themselves. I share your frustration with it, but am also careful to discern between the toxic crazies and the harmless crazies.
Logged
Allstar
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:June 19, 2009, 03:05:02 pm
United States United States

Religion: Wicca
Posts: 89


Blog entries (0)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #6: October 01, 2007, 03:59:56 pm »

what are the ways that being involved in community can help

Having been a solitary for many years, I was very hesitant to join a group.  And even after I did, it still took me about 4 or 5 months to really warm up to it.  But I find that I look forward to the weekly circles we have; I need the fellowship of being with like minded people, even if only for 2 hours a week. 

I've found that practicing with other people has really opened my eyes up to what else is out there that I didn't even know about!  I like to learn how other people do things, and sometimes I end up incorporating that stuff into my practice.  Some things I just can't learn from books on my own, but need other people to teach me.

Not sure that this really all that helpful!
Logged

Lost-in-Translation
Senior Apprentice
**
Last Login:October 14, 2009, 04:59:40 pm
United States United States

Religion: Eclectic Pagan
Posts: 60


Look Within - Trust Within.

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #7: October 02, 2007, 03:39:21 pm »

LBB,
I wish I had some great words of wisdom for you, but I don't except Welcome to the cauldron! Blessed Be
Logged

Goddess grant me:
  The power of Water,
  to accept with ease & grace what I cannot change.

  The power of Fire,
  for the energy & courage to change the things I can.

  The power of Air,
  for the ability and wisdom to know the difference.

  And the power of Earth,
  for the strength to continue my path.
Jenett
High Adept Member
******
Last Login:February 19, 2015, 10:34:23 pm
United States United States

Religion: Priestess in initiatory religious witchcraft tradition
Posts: 2506


Blog entries (1)

WWW

Ignore
« Reply #8: October 02, 2007, 10:07:47 pm »

If your area does some sort of Pagan Pride Day or similar festival, volunteering to help out will probably make you a lot of friends, from what I can tell from watching those people who are daft enough to work large festivals.

Volunteering is a great way to meet people - for one thing, it breaks the ice and gives you something to talk about. And secondly, Darkhawk is right that it will endear you greatly to the people actually doing the work. (And the people actually doing the work tend to be less broken than the people standing around talking about how they have great plans for doing the work someday. Not that this is perfect, but I do think it helps the odds)

On the rest of it: you've already gotten some good advice, but I'd add two links - they're about dysfunctional groups and the Pagan community, and then how to find healthy ones.

http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usor&c=basics&id=10091
and
http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usor&c=basics&id=10141

Logged

Blog: Thoughts from a threshold: http://gleewood.org/threshold
Info for seekers: http://gleewood.org/seeking
Pagan books and resources: http://gleewood.org/books
lil brown bat
Newbie
*
Last Login:September 26, 2010, 04:35:11 pm
United States United States

Religion: Solitary pagan
Posts: 4

Blog entries (0)



Ignore
« Reply #9: October 05, 2007, 09:46:07 am »

Hey,

I wanted to say thanks to all for the thoughts and ideas, and special thanks to Jenett for the article links.  I'm not exactly a newb when it comes to dealing with dysfunctional people and organizations, but those articles made some connections that I hadn't made before (like, why do dysfunctional behaviors persist?  because being functional takes work, duh).  It's great food for thought.  I'm not sure how I'll be moving forward, but I'll continue to read here and see what offers itself.

Thanks again,

lbb
Logged

Donor Ad: Become a Silver or Gold Donor to get your ad here.

Tags:
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Add bookmark  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  
  Portal   Forum   Help Rules Search Chat (Mux) Articles Login Register   *

* Share this topic...
In a forum
(BBCode)
In a site/blog
(HTML)


Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
Cauldron Community Rules and Policies
Rules and Regulations
RandallS 0 37712 Last post February 12, 2007, 04:10:00 pm
by RandallS
Things I Don't Get about the Pagan Community « 1 2 ... 22 23 »
Paganism For Beginners
sneekywren 333 46354 Last post September 27, 2009, 08:00:49 pm
by MidSummer RagDolly
Groovy little community ya got here
Introductions
hippiewitchie 7 3609 Last post July 25, 2007, 11:49:41 am
by Gemyndig
Deaf Community and Pres. Obama
Non-Religious News
Satirna 3 1372 Last post January 27, 2009, 10:09:54 pm
by Zahirah
Obligation to Community
Faith in Everyday Life
dragonfaerie 7 6214 Last post May 17, 2011, 03:29:42 pm
by Juniperberry
EU Cookie Notice: This site uses cookies. By using this site you consent to their use.


Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.14 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.066 seconds with 44 queries.