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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| America Was Founded On Freedom Of Relilgion And As Such There Are... ||Sep 28th. at 12:10:11 pm EDT|
|mmatraus (Tullahoma, Tennessee US) ||Age: 63 - Email |
America was founded on freedom of relilgion and as such there are many different religions represented in the United States. Most of these religions are organized for better or worse, and many of the larger organizations are powerful enough to have governmental influence. Only because they are organized with knowledgable leadership again for better or worse. The country has taken notice of the Pagan movement but not in to favorable a way. There deeds go unnoticed for the most part and when noticed a stigma is attached because it is Pagan. An organization for the most part can overcome much of this if it is organized correctly and with the best interest of Paganism as the driving force. As in any organization somewhere down the road problems arise and must be handled and the way they are handled is usually the key to favorable/unfavorable notice. Good leadership should be chosen so all is favorable in conclusion. The larger job would be to locate and inform/seek the opinions/ideas of the many individual/covens thoughout the country and have them register yeh/ney to the idea and from there search for leadership and organize offices to handle the various deeds involved in a Pagan religion. The organization I see in Witchvox would be a great beginning.
| I Vote Yes: It Is Time For Pagans To Seriously Consider Establishing... ||Sep 28th. at 12:53:58 pm EDT|
|Belle (Austin, Texas US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I vote yes: It is time for Pagans to seriously consider establishing National Leaders. I feel this way mainly because having national leaders could help create more understanding of Pagan beliefs and values, as well as, provide comfort to all Pagans, both covenists and solitaries, during times of need. Finally, it is important to me that my "voice" be represented up on the hill too. Having a national leader in place could help to make sure our desires and needs as a community are addressed and considered when the folks on the hill start talking about Faith Based issues.
How would thes leaders be supported financially? Donations and contributions to the cause come to mind. Sure, at first their may be some out of pocket expense for the elected leader. Anyone who would want to *run* for leadership should be willing to make some personal monitary donations. Additionally, Pagan Art & Craft shows and charity events could be established to help develop some of the necessary funds. Finally, we must believe in the power that our spell work and rituals will fruitfull.
Elections/Appointment, is definitely a hard issue to solve. Polls in local and national news papers / Pagan magazines (Green Egg - etc...) could be a start. Bookstores/stores that sell Pagan literature and tools could be a good spot for polling. As in: Pick a storefront in as many large cities (i.e. NYC, Los Angeles, Ausin), espcially those with large known Pagan communites for polling might be a plan to investigate. A secured web-site is another idea. The link to vote could be provided to as many pagan web-rings one could find on the Internet.
Thanks for taking the time to read my opinion.
| Due To The Circumstances That This Country Has Gotten It's Self Into... ||Sep 28th. at 1:41:17 pm EDT|
|Heavens (Springfield, Ohio US) ||Age: 26 - Email |
Due to the circumstances that this country has gotten it's self into lately it would be a wise idea to share our prespective with other nations as well as this one...If everyone believed in harming none then this whole war thing wouldn't be happening...I understand the need for repentience on our part but not understanding the full conseqeunces of there actions in this matter is only going to make there retaliation even worse and start a major political and religious war...which this country has had already....If more ppl would listen to reason instead of emotions then maybe we could recover what has been lost by all the hate and anger in this country.
| You Don't "pick" Pagan Leaders. They Are Simply Pagans Who Have The... ||Sep 28th. at 1:44:31 pm EDT|
|Michael Karkainan (Canton, Ohio US) ||Age: 32 |
You don't "Pick" Pagan Leaders. They are simply Pagans who have the skills and dedication to lead. They know who they are, so do we.
| I Think It Would Be A Great Idea To Have Pagan "leaders... ||Sep 28th. at 2:05:07 pm EDT|
|Saoirse (New Milton, West Virginia US) ||Age: 45 - Email |
I think it would be a great idea to have Pagan "leaders" on a national level. I would certainly be willing to donate a little $ for the cause. We need representation in the public eye. Even though we are a varied group with many different "takes" on our spirituality, I think we all agree on some basic things. We all want peace and freedom. We all care about the environment. I'm sure there are many other issues that Pagans collectively agree on. As far as how to "elect" such leaders, that would be a feat for the organizationally talented indeed. I'm sure it could be done though and I would do anything I could do to help the cause. I'm tired of hiding! Blessed Be!
| O.k One More Thing. I Know I Have Said Alot But I... ||Sep 28th. at 2:26:20 pm EDT|
|Brittany Meyer (Suffolk, England UK) ||Age: 16 |
O.k One more thing.
I know I have said alot but I thought maybe if I say enough someone will listen.
Do you think in this time of need that we should be concentrating on ourselves?
We should be thinking about the people who this has affected granted it HAS affected all of us but people lost their lives, all the religions should be pulling together and putting aside our differences to get America back on it's feet.
Perhapes we should put the whole matter aside until things have calmed down and we have a chance to think about things properly. I know it is just pushing things out of the way but everyone is very emotional right now and not hinking of the full picture.
Paganism does not only have now to think of but what about the past?
Should we change?
And can we? Would we really know that we have picked the right person? We wouldn't not until they had their first triumoh of downfall and then it is too late.
At least with no leader we are responsible for our own actions.
| Just Wanted To Comment On The Subject. Pagan Leaders Are Important. Witchvox... ||Sep 28th. at 2:38:18 pm EDT|
|Rob (Eglin AFB, Florida US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
Just wanted to comment on the subject. Pagan leaders are important. Witchvox does a wonderful job of bringing a community together, whether they ask for the honor or not, they are leaders of the community.
Just want to inteject though for reflection. Not all readers of Witchvox are Wiccan. Not all pagans are Wiccan. Any leader that was willing to step up and take those reins for the entire pagan community would have to respect that.
Additionally, peace loving as we may be. We must understand that sometimes people have to defend the ones they love and the land that they love. Soldiers kill because they are told to, warriors do so because they have no other choice. Someone wrote a while ago:
"Anti-war protesters enjoy that freedom to protest, savor that freedom. But that Freedom wasn't won by protest. It was won through fighting."
My point being. I am pagan. I am a warrior. I am proud of being both.
| I Think That It Would Be Very Important If Someone Was Chosen... ||Sep 28th. at 5:45:47 pm EDT|
|Morgana (Vancouver, British Columbia CA) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I think that it would be very important if someone was chosen or appointed as a
leader -- that it be remembered that they would only be a representative. Paganism as a whole represents peoples needs to worship as they will, creating their own dogma, rites etc as they go. I think what most of us crave - particularly at this time is someone to speak out, on an international level, to voice the feelings of pagans all over the world. Perhaps a council would be the best idea, with an elected leader to do the public speaking.
Money would have to come by donation - no money no council. If you wanted to vote for a council - you would have to pay for the privilege? There are obviously no easy answers.
I, for one, would like to see Fritz and Wren on this sort of council. Whether they realize it or want it, they have become the voice for many of us. Witchvox has become the meeting place of pagans. A place to share stories and enjoy the company of our peers, be it on a computer screen.
Let's not forget, however, just because someone has written a book or is famous, does not mean that they are the best choice as a representative of the pagan community.
| Merry Meet All, I Did Post, But Then I Did Get To... ||Sep 28th. at 6:04:01 pm EDT|
|Silver Oak (Hays, Kansas US) ||Age: 23 - Email |
Merry Meet All,
I did post, but then I did get to thinking, a "leader" would possibly not be something of value, what we do need is Organization, in a way, but even that would not be an easy task. We all have our own unique paths and ways and beliefs, maybe like a council, with representatives from the different traditions, from Wicca to Celtic even to Solitaries. Instead of one, that way it can be discussed for all, that way it wouldn't just turn into something that wouldnt well, benenficial to everyone. Since everyone is unique and as is their path. It would be better, there would be more environmental issues brought up and like I said before there would be a tougher fight against discrimination of any kind. But one person to represent everyone and all paths I dont see would work very well, a council would be more beneficial.
God and Goddess Bless
| For Pagans As Well As Any Other Group In This Country It... ||Sep 28th. at 7:28:43 pm EDT|
|Gonzo (Pacific Grove, California US) ||Age: 53 |
For Pagans as well as any other group in this country it almost doesn't matter who is selected, the ones that count are the ones who step forth to speak. They will have to not only stand up against the views of the nation but other Pagans as well who will claim the speaker do not represent them or their own views. Not that this is unusual; everybody else has had to go through this. The Great Leaders of the past were vilified by their friends as well as their enemies why not our group as well?
| Merry Met. This Question Is A Tough One, With Tough Answers. To... ||Sep 28th. at 8:24:17 pm EDT|
|Aezrael Auraelus (Bartlesville/Tulsa, Oklahoma US) ||Age: 32 - Email |
Merry met. This question is a tough one, with tough answers. To 'elect' a single National leader would be next to impossible. I suggest that Pagans consider the idea of a National Council. This would be a group of diverse Pagan leaders, preferably made up of local Pagan leaders. However this is a tough job too. Some states have no such leaders, and most don't have an established set of leaders. This is my suggestion. Let each state establish a State Council, from these councils, members of the National Council would be elected. Membership dues to these Councils would be used to pay for any expenses incurred by these leaders. Membership cards could be issued, just like a voter's registration, and these cards would allow each member a chance to vote. I like the idea of a secure server, which would allow members in smaller towns to vote. Keep in mind, this solution is just off the top of my head. If given some serious thought, this could work.
| I Was Really Shocked By The Tone Of The Email That Sparked... ||Sep 28th. at 10:22:42 pm EDT|
|Dianne Maythorne (Anchorage, Alaska US) ||Age: 30 - Email |
I was really shocked by the tone of the email that sparked this question. I don't think someone should be held up as a "National Pagan Leader" simply because he or she has written a handful of successful books or because he or she hosts a popular Pagan site (thanks to Fritz and Wren for the wonderful job!)--National Pagan Leadership is not what these folks signed up for when they chose to share themselves as authors or webcrafters.
Pagan Leadership is really a "damned-if-you-do/damned-if-you-don't" kind of situation--Paganism is so broadly defined and so decentralized that anyone who chooses to put him/herself forward as a leader is often immediately chastized by someone who feels poorly represented. On the other hand, you have folks like the author of the originating email who criticize because "no one is out there leading." It has been my experience that the folks who grump about the lack of leadership are often the first ones to throw stones when a leader does something with which they don't agree.
My opinion is this: be greatful that these wonderful, creative Pagans have chosen to share themselves and their knowledge in their chosen form of media, but do not push them into roles that they did not choose. Many Pagans have come to this path because they do not want leaders dictating to them.
Bright blessings--Lunaphoenix (Anchorage, Alaska)
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