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Author Topic: What do you do at your circle/coven?  (Read 12255 times)
Sitara Haye
Senior Newbie
Last Login:June 30, 2009, 04:10:57 pm
United States United States

Religion: Wiccan - Pagan - Occultist
Posts: 13

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« Reply #13: June 29, 2009, 04:48:59 pm »

Opinions? thoughts? Hpw does your circle/coven run things?? Thanks!

Merry Meet!  I thought I'd share a little of what OldeForest does with you and give you some suggestions on organizing an open group.  I will echo what has already been said and note that you need to speak up and express your desires and also find out what the desires of others in the group might be.  It is vital that, if you want to accomplish anything, you set an aim for the group.  An arrow will not hit the mark if not aimed and the bow drawn to put the power behind it.  If you want to see real accomplishment, you will need to define your vision and map out a plan for how to get there.

If I understand you properly, this group is a fairly informal circle.  It doesn't sound like a coven, no dedicated HPS or HP.  That in and of itself changes how it will function.  I suggest you look up the "club model" -- one person, one voice, one vote -- and see if you can encourage the group to organize enough to set goals.  Not being a coven (which focuses on building intimate relationships for the purpose of deep spiritual growth and working magick, among other things), be sure you aren't biting off more than you can chew.  You want to start small (maybe with a schedule) and then once that's accomplished, add something else.

Here are some ideas of things you might incorporate for your group:

1.  Book Club Nights -- everyone pick the same book to read and come together to discuss.  Take turns leading the discussion/suggesting the book.  Try and keep it on central topics that would interest everyone.

2.  Sabbat Observances -- have rituals/feasts/celebrations of the Sabbat festivals.  Take turns planning and doing the rituals/feasts.  BE SURE TO ASSIGN A POTLUCK COORDINATOR!!  It's a lifesaver.

3.  Guest Speakers -- contact local pagans not in your group and ask them to guest speak and teach a class on a topic.  Be sure to advertise this so you get good turnout.

4.  Plan and organize a local Pagan Pride Day or other awareness event -- look online to get in touch with the central body of PPD or plan something of your own under a different name.  Work together to bring awareness of your path to your community.

5.  Decide on a quarterly Service Project -- find nature centers, rivers that need trash pick up, local food banks or soup kitchens, community gardens, homeless shelters, Habitat for Humanity groups, etc. in your area.  Agree to take on one service project per quarter to give back to your community.

6.  Publish a mini-newsletter where all members can contribute -- this can help others of like mind know you're there and give everyone a voice to express their beliefs/thoughts without taking up valuable meeting time.

7.  Organize enough to the point of taking volunteers for officers -- suggested officers would be:  President (makes sure things get started on time, general cat-herder); PotLuck Planner (obvious); Communications Officer (handles sensitive contact information, moderating an e-group if you have one, getting the word out about upcoming events, sending out reminders); Treasurer (collecting and keeping track of dues/donations/funds... I heartily suggest a dues-based model as it takes money to get things done and one of the biggest causes of leadership burnout in the Craft is the leadership paying for everything).  You might get to the point of adding an Archivist to do scrapbooking of your events or a Librarian to catalogue who owns what book and hook folks up with information.  Depends on how far you want to go with this.

8.  Field Trips -- find local sacred sites, interesting natural destinations, and other things interesting to pagans.  Plan field trips to these.  For example, OldeForest (my group) last year went to the replica of the Parthenon in Nashville, and this year, we are going to Cherokee, NC to learn about native culture in our area.  We also went to Elkmont in the Smoky Mountains this year to watch the firefly mating season and camped together.  Find things that get you out of the rut of going to a building and listening to each other talk.  :-)

9.  Practical Classes -- Find topics you enjoy and volunteer to learn and present a class on the topic.  Try and include a multi-layered approach with the class:  give folks a handout about candle magick, talk about it, break up into small groups and have each group pick a situation for using candle magick and write a spell together then present it to the rest of the group, actually teach people how to go through the annointing process, end class with a group candle ritual for religious tolerance.  When you do more than lecture, the classes are more memorable and more fun.

Since you aren't a coven, be very, VERY careful about letting personal drama spill into the group where the leadership has to deal with it.  If people have psychological issues, refer them to qualified therapists on base.  If people stir up drama, remind them that the group is not a stage for interpersonal problems but a meeting place to accomplish the goals you've set out.  If the whole "leadership" thing becomes a power issue, I suggest building a rotational leadership pattern into your structure, perhaps switching out every six months.  This will also save folks from burning out.  You might have a "President" and "Vice President" with the assumption that the Vice moves into the President position for the next term so you always have someone apprenticing to be a leader.

As the seminal founder of a couple of non-profit orgs as well as HPS of a coven, not having structure is going to impact your ability to do anything effectively, and that includes meeting your needs and growing the organization.  Be warned:  a lot of pagans really do not like structure, most of us having an anarchist streak at least a *little* wide within us.  Encourage the members in the group to see that Nature is SUPREMELY organized and thus efficient and balanced.  Encourage them to model Nature and set their own "natural laws and boundaries" in order to create what they wish the group to become.

I hope this helps a bit.  If you have any other questions, feel free to email me and I'll be glad to help where I can.  I think it's wonderful that you have this opportunity.  It shows how far our faith has come.  Take advantage of it and use it well, always remembering that you are setting an example to the world for who we are and what we are about.  It is both a great honor and great responsibility!

Blessings and best wishes,

Sitara Haye is a Craft author and High Priestess with over 20 years Craft experience and training.  To learn more, please visit and subscribe to her website:   *Link Removed*  .

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