The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
Posted: Sep. 8, 2002
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What About Those Pagan Leaders Again?
As we mentioned in our homepage introduction, the question of who our 'Pagan Leaders' might be has again been raised. And perhaps that is a good thing as the world situation has changed and perhaps the views of Pagans on the topic have changed as well. We would request that those who continue to support the decades old view that Pagans do not need national leaders also then address the question of what should we do to comfort/represent our own at a national level in times of crisis seeing as most folks in the Pagan community are still solitaries.
We request that those who take the position that national leaders are (or may) be needed to represent the Pagan communities in times such as this also address the question of how these 'leaders' would be supported financially in order that they might afford to work full-time for the communities and/or take emergency/diplomatic trips to seats of political power to represent you.
And finally, just where would the national election for 'Pagan Leaders' be held? Without such an election, any national 'Pagan Leader' would by necessity have to be an 'appointed' one, wouldn't he/she? (Just who does the appointing has always been interesting.) This question is one of a 'national' Pagan leadership and the benefits and/or drawbacks of such. Local and community Pagan leaders/advocates/facilitators are already in place and generally do a wonderful job where they are.
| Reponses: There are 289 responses posted to this question.
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| I Read That Scathing Email And Thought, "either This Was Written In... ||Sep 25th. at 11:54:36 pm EDT|
|Magpie (Boulder, Colorado US) ||Age: 38 - Email |
I read that scathing email and thought, "Either this was written in the heat of anger and they'll be sorry later, or this person is not a Pagan."
The special forum that WitchVox set up was so comforting to me. I felt part of a community, and proud of that community as well. And if the forum didn't get up until the day after the disaster, well, Wren and Fritz were going through the same panic and sorrow as the rest of us, and they run this site out of the goodness of their large hearts. We don't pay them jack unless we want to. I don't begrudge them that day.
I was particularly fascinated by the writer's premise that the lack of a public Pagan presence meant that our leaders were "hucksters." Usually hucksterism is associated with public positions, not with quiet, dedicated efforts to help people close to home. My mother doesn't belong to any organization, doesn't give to any organized charity. But she knows everyone in her neighborhood, and helps so many people with time and money, including buying snow tires for a friend who wanted to visit her father for his birthday. Is she less of a person because she's not on TV? My pagan sisters and I were in constant contact with each other during the crisis, and dedicated time to it both at our private altars, and during our Mabon ritual. Is our spirituality meaningless if we don't have tax exempt status?
And as for predicting it with Tarot cards...oh get real. Find me the religious group that says they predicted it and I'll show you a bunch of spittle-emitting loonies with a lot of guns and 15-year-old wives.
| Godess Forbid That We Have A Pagan Leader! I Love That I... ||Sep 26th. at 12:04:15 am EDT|
|Teresa Sparks (Flagstaff, Arizona US) ||Age: 29 |
Godess forbid that we have a Pagan leader! I love that I have no person purporting to embody all MY beliefs and represent MY methods of expressing those beliefs! Organized religion was one reason that most other religions do not fit my spiritual needs. The money, politics and dogma that would be required to support such a leader is a most unappealing thought. I prefer the freedom to experience my religion as I see fit. We do NOT need a leader to speak as one voice for the Pagan community. The Pagan community does not have ONE voice, it has MANY that are all accepted and valid.
| I Don't Believe There Is A Need For A "national Leader", As... ||Sep 26th. at 1:09:21 am EDT|
|Watcher (Anaheim, California US) ||Age: 51 - Email |
I don't believe there is a need for a "National Leader", as many of the world's religions have. A leader in one of the other churches, etc., seems to be the one directly resposible for creating guidelines and then also has to be the scapegoat for mistakes made by any other member of the religious community associated with them.
One possible suggestion: A national gathering once a year for pagans, witches, and others interested in this type of path in life to share ideas, wares, literature, and come together for a celebration of life.
| I Think That A Majority Of The Pagan Faith Uses Witchvox To... ||Sep 26th. at 1:21:09 am EDT|
|DeWayne Christy (Pineville, Louisiana US) ||Age: 42 - Email |
I think that a majority of the Pagan faith uses WitchVox to keep abreast of what is going on within our varied communities. Why couldn't the ones named in the 'Open Letter' be contacted and asked if they would care to represent the communities at large, and if they concur, to hold an election through WitchVox?
I personally feel that there should be two people elected. One male, one female. This would stress the duality of our nature, and would give a broader base to what was being done. Owing to the fact that there are so many trads, and different ways of working, any public display, whether printed or spoken, would have to be of a generic nature. We all have the same concept of our faith, just different ways to the same means.
As to support, again, why couldn't a special account be set up on the 'net to accept donations? This account could be set up to accept electronic fund transfers, paypal accounts, credit cards, etc.
The logistics would have to be worked out and through, but I feel that the Pagan community definitely needs some type of representation. Pagan Pride does a fine job, and so do a lot of the PUC chapters. But we need to have some visible, viable spokespeople. Not everyone may agree with everything they say or do, but we have a whole country that runs pretty well no matter who the majority elect. I don't see why this should be any different.
I propose that Pagan Pride, or another group draft a charter governing how such an election could be held, what term limits there may be, what duties a spokesperson could perform, etc., and put the charter up for approval via the means stated above. From there we could go to 'national' election.
If the WitchVox site is not capable of handling electoral forms, couldn't another be set up somewhere? The site could be posted on WitchVox and interested parties could link to it from there.
| Yes, We Need Pagan Leaders. At The Very Least, We Need Spokespersons... ||Sep 26th. at 1:48:17 am EDT|
|Kecia Lloyd (Seaside, California US) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Yes, we need Pagan leaders. At the very least, we need spokespersons that will come across to the rest of the country as "normal" and be able to vouch for us and give our collective opinions, if needed.
| I Think There Is A Need For A General "spokes Person" Of... ||Sep 26th. at 1:55:00 am EDT|
|Patrick (ft. wayne, Indiana US) ||Age: 25 - Email |
I think there is a need for a general "spokes person" of sorts but trying to choose a leader for a diversified religon, a few voices for so many, would be almost impossible.
| On Sep. 26 In Ottumwa Iowa A Local Circle Of Practitioners Of... ||Sep 26th. at 2:24:10 am EDT|
|Douglas S Heisel (Ottumwa , Iowa US) ||Age: 36 - Email |
On sep. 26 In Ottumwa Iowa a local circle of practitioners of various faiths. sent a call out to all their brothers and sisters in the comunity to gather at the Ottuma park for a memorial service and a circle of light and warmth. The event was advrtised in the local newspaper the event was a succes. The Circle of Sacred Ways is a small organization of like minded individuals from differing spiritual paths that have come together seeking a sense of community in which to flurish as Pagans Chiristians New age and wiccan individualists.
| I Don't Consider A Lot Of The Folks Mentioned To Be "leaders... ||Sep 26th. at 2:39:51 am EDT|
|Morgan DragonWolf (Hartford, Connecticut US) ||Age: 50 |
I don't consider a lot of the folks mentioned to be "leaders." Laurie Cabot? Silver RavenWolf? They are AUTHORS - not politicians, not public officals, not our cosmic coven leaders. As for Fritz and Wren - lay off! I know how hard it is to find the time to post news - I run a small list for MY community. Each of us does what we can, and we gather in small-med groups because that is the way pagans have done it for centuries.
My personal support groups is C.U.U.PS. If anyone needs a national leadership base, try joining the Unitarians. Please don't sit back and gripe. Instead, try channeling that energy to those who need it most - the grieving, the dazed and confused children, and the innocents who will surely be killed in the coming days, months, years.
In Darkness and in Light,
| Well I Dont Know How The Majority Of Pagans Feel On This... ||Sep 26th. at 3:49:45 am EDT|
|Bill Oram (Mount Holly, New Jersey US) ||Age: 42 - Email |
Well I dont know how the majority of Pagans feel on this, but I will stick my neck out and say we don't need representatiom at the national level. To my way of thinking Pagans are free thinkers and in that sense it doesn't matter what any Would Be Pagan Pope or grand Poopaa might be able to say to give comfort. What matters is how Each individual Pagan deals with these tragedy's if we truely believe in living in a way that harms none, if we believe all in the universe is interconnected and if we believe in reincarnation and the law of threefold return we KNOW that this awful occurance is not the end. I personally
feel that even something this bad has it's possitive aspects. Does this country feel more like a family now? Are we more on the alert for future attacks? Are we asking ourselves "What have we done to make people hate us so"? Perhaps we as a nation need to change some of the ways we deal with others? Some good will inevitably come of this, Painfull though it seems.
When the law of threefold return takes effect and these terrorists bad Karma returns to them they too will learn from this.
I don't see how a national leader will help us. WE ARE OUR LEADER. And our collective voice will be heard when the need arises, especially in the age of the internet. Look at all the fuss over what Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson had to say! Their followers listen to their words and adopt the views of these "Leaders" as their own. It gets them off the intellectual hook, it lets them leave their minds in neutral and KNOW what they believe. They can have ALL of these leaders. That for me is one of the reasons I love being Wiccan, I will choose what I believe for myself.
Love and Light Bill
| There Are Those Who Are Natural Leaders Within Their Own Communities Who... ||Sep 26th. at 7:07:16 am EDT|
|Debra Hoyle (Belfast. Northern Ireland, England UK) ||Age: 34 - Email |
There are those who are natural leaders within their own communities who do a fantastic job, but put them on the international scene and its a different story. It takes a lot of strength, courage, and a sense of humour to stand up in front of complete strangers and speak freely and openly without worrying about the response. There are also some who cannot help but colour their responses with their own ideas which may not be the same as the majority of their community or for the good of their community. You need to be able to see the veiws put forward from all sides and not take offence if someone disagrees with you, and it may not necessarily mean your own veiw gets heard, you need to speak with the community voice not your own. Very few people I know, even though they are great at organising events etc and are wonderful people, can do this. Obviously there would also ensue a long drawn up battle of who's the best speaker and who knows more etc, so who would decide!!!! Could we organise local elections within our own communities and is it fair that only one person should represent a community?, thats an awful lot of responsibility for just one person, and can they represent people they may not even like, without prejudice.???
If it can be done and the right people found then I am for it and would give it my blessing but I believe it will take many years to get right. But then anything worth doing is worth doing right no matter how long it takes.
| I Would Have To Agree With Bill's Comments. I Don't Believe That... ||Sep 26th. at 8:10:37 am EDT|
|Colleen (Fort Lauderdale, Florida US) ||Age: 35 |
I would have to agree with Bill's comments. I don't believe that we need national representation. If that were to occur, my belief is that we would then be like other religions. One of the beauties of our Path is that we are allowed to experience our lives the way we should-in freedom. Without a figure head telling us what we should think and feel. We have the right to question and look for answers within our religion(s)without a figure head telling us "No, you must think this way or that way." Because of this experience I have, now more than ever, reached out to people known and unknown. Each of us is our own leader. When we go out into the world everyday, how we act is a representation in some part of our beliefs. To reach out a hand to a stranger in need and ask "How can I help you?" This senseless tragedy has performed one task. It has brought us all closer by showing us that no matter what religion, race, etc. we are one race- the Human Race. Hopefully, this unity in people will continue far into the future and we will never need another reminder.
| National Spokespersons Yes! National Leaders No Way, Or Not Until They Grow... ||Sep 26th. at 9:41:07 am EDT|
|Thundertara (Portland, Oregon US) ||Age: 19 |
National spokespersons yes! National leaders no way, or not until they grow up. Look at the national leaders we have, or that think they have us. All BNPs have websites, check them out, they are shrines to themselves, no forums, no asking for our points of view, just me me me. Give me a break. A few are good, most of them are greedy and selfserving.
Pointed Hats off to Wren, Fritz, Starhawk, for not abusing their power. Too bad the other bnp can't follow their fine example of community service. I believe these people care about me. I will follow them thank you!
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