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Author Topic: Obligation to Community  (Read 8527 times)
Last Login:October 15, 2012, 12:47:57 pm
United States United States

Religion: Eclectic Pagan with Native American beliefs
Posts: 188

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« Reply #6: May 17, 2011, 01:50:44 pm »

What are our obligations to community?

I'm not talking the larger pagan community; I'm talking about our smaller, personal worship communities. Members of established physical churches often have a financial obligation to contribute to the upkeep of the church building and pay staff. They also often have responsibilities that include teaching Sunday school, helping with child care, etc.

So what about us?

My obligations to my worship community are sometimes financial. I chip in for after-ritual feasts. When we have special workshops and gatherings, I chip in my share of the bill. When I run ritual, I help purchase supplies.

My obligations are also responsibilities. I'm required to help run at least one moon ritual and one holiday ritual a year. I've taken on teaching responsibilities (though I don't have any students yet) and organizational responsibilities in my group. I'm also there to help support covenmates through difficult times in their life.

Not everyone in our group takes their responsibilities seriously. There's been a lot of tension in the past year about keeping our Covenstead clean after holiday gatherings, since we're on someone's private property. People haven't been good about cleaning up their own messes, and by ignoring their responsibilities they end up hurting everyone... the folks who own the property get mad, the same folks who live nearby always get stuck cleaning up, and those of us who have taken on "Elder" responsibilities in the group have to hear about it and have to take on the responsibility of cleaning up ourselves.

What do y'all think? What are your obligations to community? If you're a solitary, how can you apply the ideas of community to your personal practices?


I pratice most of my magic and ceremonies seperatly, exept when my family ands to have one and there is this group we do meditations and energy work with on the soltices and the equinoxes. Then there are the Native ceremonies I attend.

Whenmy family practices together we have certian roles that we just naturaly fit into. We all contribute a little bit, each doing our part, and it all comes together just as it should. My responsibilities include, informing the family, writing and or cotributing writing and or contributing writing the ceremony, helping some of the less experenced family members understand their part, and energy work.

There are responsibilities I share with others such as leading the prayer, meditation or directing the ceremony. My mom/aunt and my uncle and I direct, shape and otherwise work the energy. Sometimes I hold the circle.

Our roles realy depend on who is able to do what at that time. We just intuitively seem to know what everyone should be doing for that ceremony.

With the group meditations we always have the same roles. The one who smudges does that, the one who leads the meditation does that, so on and so forth. For lunch dinner and sometimes breakfast we all bring food like a potluck. Each person is responsible for getting themselves there, but sometimes we do carpool. We all pitch in to clean up, and if anyone is neglecting their responsibility we let them know and they get to it. If someone is unable to pitch in on something because of health or other reasons, we find something they can do so they still do their part. The host of the meditation and the Elders do not have to do any clean up, but they do anyway, even if though they know they don't have to.

For the Native gatherings, there is a donation, or the one organizing the gathering will ask me to bring some of the supplies needed for it. The Elders lead the wholle event and they let us know what we need to do.

For myself in my solitary practice, I make sure that wherever I do ceremony I leave it better than I found it. I help those who need my help. I am responsible for the matenience of all my sacreds. I fund everything, do  all the work. So practicing solitary can be more work, but it is more personal and rearding in a different way than practicing in a group.

Sorry I can't talk to much about it with the group stuff, because alot of the workings we do are private, but I hope this helps.

With the people slacking, I would tell them to approach cleaning up with the same seriousness they would approach a ceremony. To me it is part of the ceremony just like raising energy and telling the spirits thankyou and farewell. To me it is a vital part of closing the ceremony. If I did a spell I wouldn't just leave all my sacreds out afterwards or leave wrappers from inscense on my alter. The Earth is our biggest and most communaly shared alter, and it also clothes us, feeds us, and provides everything for us.

I woud make sure they have clearly defined responsibilities as far as clean up goes, and if they were neglegent of those duities then they might not be ready for the responsiblity of being in a coven.

In the gathering I am with we had to crawl before we could walk, we had to pick up and show that we are responsible before we ere trusted with anything else. That included knowledge and direct participation.

I'm not saying that you should do that, just giving you my perspective and what I would do based off the perspective you have presented here.

Balance that is unbalanced to maintain balance.
Life is what you make yourself (into).

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