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Author Topic: What do you do at your circle/coven?  (Read 12264 times)
Senior Apprentice
Last Login:August 07, 2009, 04:35:01 pm
United States United States

Religion: Quasi-Experienced and Sort-Of-Seeking
Posts: 72

(The Artist Formerly Known As BlueFeather)

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« Reply #6: June 23, 2009, 02:14:11 am »

Circles have become more of a social gathering, than a spiritual one... I really want to be like " Let me handle the group agian because I think I did a better job". But I don't want to come off as rude or controlling...  Opinions? thoughts?

I'm not currently in any kind of group, and haven't been for quite a long time, but I'm going to chime in anyway, because MAN OH MAN, is this EVER an issue close to my heart!! Because this is, in fact, the biggest reason WHY I haven't been in any kind of group for quite a long time.

I share your frustration. One of my most compelling memories of pagan fellowship is of the "coven" I once belonged to. Its major activity was sitting around chatting and leafing through candle catalogs. It very occasionally attempted, hesitantly, some sort of eclectic improvised ritual (a grand total of twice, I believe), yet somehow decided that its mission would be to plan and run public ritual (which happened a grand total of once). I was a newcomer to the Pagan community, but I had other types of relevant experience, with drumming and ritual theater and initiatory work, and I got more and more frustrated as I realized what a horrific gap there was between my expectations and theirs. I started poking and prodding and pushing, trying to get across what I felt (and still do feel) to be a much deeper and stronger and more valuable vision of what such a group could be. But - valuable to whom? Mostly I think I just created discomfort. My pushiness did spawn a couple of attempts at what I considered real work, but overall the group and I were just not a good fit for each other, and I'd have caused less frustration to both myself and my comrades if I'd just admitted that. I may have done some good, but I also did harm, not least to myself. I destroyed my own joy in the work, and it's been taking me a long time to find it again.

So, one thing that I've had to learn the hard way is that - as a couple of previous posters mentioned, and my experience definitely bears out - there really are a whole spectrum of different types and levels of expectations for what any particular kind of group "should" be doing. What seems incredibly basic and obvious and necessary to one person is foreign and unappealing to another, and the more eclectic the membership, the more varied the expectations. You have to face the possibility - I'd even say, the strong probability - that if this is the way meetings have been going for some time, then most of the folks who keep coming may in fact be perfectly satisfied with the status quo - their needs and expectations are filled by this very loose, predominantly social circle. It's very, very tempting to think that if only they had the chance to experience a different sort of group, they'd like it better... but as the song says, that ain't necessarily so.

But if there are at least a few others who want something closer to what you want, maybe there's a way to create it, either within the larger group or as a spin-off. You could speak to the person running the group and say you'd like to make a proposal. Explain that while you have enjoyed the group as it is (yeah, I know, it's called diplomacy, I think *sigh*), you would really like to do more, and are wondering if anyone would be interested in giving it a try. Perhaps you could come up with a well-worked-out plan (discussions, study topics, book list, whatever) for the kind of thing you'd like to do, and suggest trying it out either (1.) for the whole group, for some finite period of time - say, a month's trial - or (2.) for a smaller group-within-the-group, taking up maybe half of the scheduled time, as an ongoing project?


... it was as if there were a scent in her own nostrils or a glittering trail
laid out before her, the path of the Moon. It was like
the directionless direction, the windless wind on her cheek...
Robin McKinley

And further still, at an unearthly height
One luminary clock against the sky
Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
Robert Frost

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