Your browser does not support script

Pagan Perspectives

Weekly Question

Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

Views: [32,767]
Responses: [2,666]

The Rules
Note: The opinions posted on the Pagan Perspective pages are those of individuals and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

For Further
Visit The

WitchVox List
of 242
'Net Sites:

Chat Boards
Email Lists
IRC Channels

Past Questions
112. Elders: Who Are They and Do We Really Need Them? - [74]

111. So, You’re Dead. Now What? - [59]

110. What’s Your Favorite Element? - [119]

109. The Broom Closet Revisited: What’s Your Current Occupancy Rate? - [129]

108. Do You Speak Pagan Geek? - [38]

107. Would You Be A Good ‘Reality Show’ Contestant? - [49]

106. What Is Your Inner Animal? - [127]

105. Are Pagans TOO Individualistic? - [56]

104. Have You Changed Your Mind About the War in Iraq? - [258]

103. What Are You Reading? - [95]

102. Do Interfaith Conferences/ Discussions Work? - [29]

101. Have You Made Any Extra Security Preparations? - [85]

100. Why Are You A Pagan or Heathen? - [142]

99. What Moon Phase Are You In? - [70]

98. Would You Live In A Haunted House? - [166]

97. What Natural Objects Are On Your Altar? - [103]

96. If You Were Granted Three Wishes... - [179]

95. How Do You Feel About War? - [153]

94. Who Would Make Your Pagan/Heathen Who’s Who List? - [91]

93. Should Pagans Apply For Federal Funds? - [56]

92. What Do You See in 2003? - [47]

90. Which Christmas Ghost Would You Like To Be? - [82]

89. Bah-Humbug! Are You Offended by Christmas? - [173]

88. Are We Alone in The Universe? - [67]

87. The Pagan Web 2002... Your likes? Dislikes? - [50]

86. How’s Your Gratitude Attitude? - [64]

85. What’s Your Motivation? - [97]

84. Between the Veils: What Did You See? - [80]

83. Time to Talk Politics and Elections… - [109]

82. Your Samhain/Beltaine Musings - [50]

81. ExCUSE Me! Has Common Courtesy Become A Thing of the Past? - [97]

80. Polytheist, Monotheist, Dualist or Other? - [104]

79. Have You Switched Pagan Paths? - [110]

78. Would You Take Part in a Public Event or Protest AS a Pagan? - [268]

77. Pot-Kettle: Do We Have Our Own Fundamentalists? - [91]

76. America 911: One Year Later. What's Changed? Are we Safer? - [103]

75. So What Do YOU Think of the Pagan Web? - [43]

74. What is/was your 2002 New Year's resolution - [23]

73. Do You Believe in Faeries? - [44]

72. Is 'Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men' Possible? - [28]

71. How Do YOU View the Balance of Light and Dark? - [22]

70. What's News? - [22]

69. What Are Your Favorite Yule Traditions or Memories? - [17]

68. Are You Wild About Harry? - [80]

67. What Is Music? - [18]

66. What Did You Do this Samhain? - [8]

65. What ARE the most "Frequently Asked Questions' About Witches? - [31]

64. What Are YOUR book/video/dvd Recommendations? - [119]

63. Have You Done Any Protection Spells or Workings? - [38]

62. What Are Your Thoughts On The Current "War on Terrorism"? - [77]

61. Are You Willing To Give Up Some Civil Liberties To Be Safe? - [69]

60. What About Those Pagan Leaders Again? - [289]

59. 911 America: Talking Through The Terror... - [969]

58. What Are Your Plans For Fall? - [21]

57. If You Were Stranded Alone On A Deserted Island... - [56]

56. What Would You Like to See at The Voice? - [65]

55. What Lies Beyond? - [28]

54. What is the connection between Spirit, Nature and Humankind? - [18]

53. What is 'Will' or 'Willpower'? - [19]

52. Have you ever been to a Pagan Festival? - [26]

51. What Did You Think of 'The Mists of Avalon"? - [44]

50. What's Your Magickal Focus? - [33]

49. Ending Religious Discrimination-What's It Gonna Take? - [41]

48. How Fares The First Amendment? - [20]

47. Are you a Talker or a Listener? - [14]

46. Predator and Prey - What Beasts Live Within You? - [44]

45. Who Do You Trust? - [22]

44. Do You Spend Money with Pagan Merchants? - [24]

43. What's On Your Balloon? - [52]

42. Is There An Energy Crisis? - [30]

41. What Makes You So Special? - [33]

40. What is Your Guilty Little Secret? - [101]

39. Who Are Your Gods? - [55]

38. What Are The Greatest Challenges That Pagans Face Today? - [35]

37. What's On Your Altar? - [45]

36. Should the United States Apologize to China - [32]

35. Pagan Web Surfing Likes/Dislike - [60]

34. What Are Your Views on Abortion, Euthanasia and Suicide? - [95]

33. What Is The Appropriate Response to Bigotry and Religious Hatred? - [108]

32. Why Are Kids Killing Kids? - [60]

31. Whassa Matter With Kids Today? - [71]

30. What Do You Support and Why Do You Support It? - [21]

29. How About Some New Holidays? - [39]

28. Where Did You Get Your Magickal Name? - [93]

27. Where Are The Pagan Social Programs? Do We Care? - [22]

26. What Do You Think About Bush's 'Faith-Based' Initiative Plan? - [87]

25. What Are The Boundaries? - [26]

24. What is Pagan History and What is Pagan Belief? - [44]

23. Who or What is a "Pagan Leader"? - [61]

22. What More Do You Want To Know About Paganism? - [45]

21. What is/was your New Year's resolution? - [19]

19. What do YOU of our newest entry into the Presidential Political Pool? - [61]

20. What have YOU done to trace your family history? - [11]

18. Your Gift, Craft and Holiday Celebration Ideas! - [43]

17. Does Older Equal Better? - [199]

16. What is the best gift that you ever received? - [28]

15. What are YOU Thankful For? - [87]

14. The Unresolved US Election - [263]

13. Divination - [29]

12. Pagan Choice for the y2k US Election - [129]

11. Hollywood Hype - [74]

10. Money and the Craft - [82]

9. Pagan Jokes and Humorous Stories - [37]

8. Misconceptions About Witches, Wiccans and Pagans - [63]

7. The Ethics of Magick and Spellwork - [43]

6. What are YOU planning for Mabon-Autumn Equinox? - [14]

5. Pagan books/web sites-dynamic or drivel? - [46]

4. The Broomcloset-In or Out?... What's YOUR View? - [181]

3. Church and State, Religion in School... What is YOUR View? - [122]

2. How Do You Define Witch/WitchCraft? - [42]

1. Who are you going to vote for and why? - [233]

 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 19,983,994  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 289

Lurker/Post Ratio: 113 to 1

Question of the Week: 60 - 10/1/2001

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. Reverse Sort 

This Is A Subject I Have Pondered Ever Sense I Tryed To... Sep 29th. at 2:29:40 pm EDT

The Seperoth (Lake Charles, Louisiana US) Age: 29 - Email

This is a subject i have pondered ever sense I tryed to start a grove in my area. To unite the different pagan groups in our area, a tough job but someone has to do it. Understand, if this happens, our religen as we know it will change. Not so much as how we worship, but the freedom or percecution we will recieve for comming out. I think we should try to unite our local groups and form councils to repersent people from different areas. Then we can start looking at the bigger picture, moving into government for a voice. One final thing, we all have to stop fighting among ourselves. too much energy is used to put other covens, groups and orginazations down. The local pagan chat board, that is all they do. It saddens my heart to read it. We have to respect ourselves, other sects of paganism, and even the christians, catholics, jews, and muselms. Untill we can respect each other, we can't come together.

To Have A National Leader Per Se, I Feel Would Put The... Sep 29th. at 2:43:22 pm EDT

Thomas Fisher Sr. (Erlanger, Kentucky US) Age: 36 - Email

To have a national leader per se, I feel would put the Pagan/Wiccan religeon in the same class as those being led by those such as Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and others. I feel that a council of the most highly respected persons of the Craft would be best suited to represent our people. There are different groups within the Craft, such as Seax-Wiccan, the Gardnerians, Druidism, etc. Each sect could appoint a spokesperson to speak in behalf of our faith. It is time that the people of our country realize that we are not the evil, God-forsaking, bloodthirsty animals that so-called other religeons lead their people to believe that we are. We have already changed two of our friends to the Pagan belief after teaching them just that. One was so uptight and nervous when we first spoke about it, now he starts asking questions about it when we meet.

Back to the topic at hand, I think a national coven would be best to represent all of us.


... Sep 29th. at 3:28:46 pm EDT

Mary (New York, New York US) Age: 40

I Have Myself Wondered Where Any Pagan Speaking About What Happened Might... Sep 29th. at 3:43:36 pm EDT

Mary (New York, New York US) Age: 40

I have myself wondered where any Pagan speaking about what happened might be. I have read all the books by all the authors, study always, keep great practice of my religion and beliefs. I looked at Witchvox, on the web and through out NYC for answers. There was no one. There weren't even any emergency open rituals or people helping the 6000 dead cross over. Where are the mediums to do that job? I have worked on this myself but the task of 6000 or more souls...well I am frankly not that strong. The feeling of death permeiated the air in this city, still does as a huge funeral pyre still burns only blocks from my house. Were is the support? Not only for me but for my city and nevermid if the people died in there were Pagan or not. What was that nonsense I just read about 25 dead Pagans? Who cares what their faith was. Isn't it all Gods are one God and all Goddesses one Goddess? Where are the open minded of my faith wailing to Allah for help? I do it. Does anyone join me? Where are the posts or the e mails from Starhawk who wrote a book I keep close these das called "The Pagan Book of Living and Dying". Where is she? Where is Ravenwolf who has been one of my best teachers? Where are they? Let's not forget Z. Budapest who I am sure has loads to say about the male fource of the universe going astray. OK...where for that matter are the Dianic witches reaching us and teaching us how to balance male agression (which the abhore) with feminine power? I think I know about some words from them. I have always been told that in times of great strife one's faith gets you through. How is it that mine is invisable? I wonder. Were there Pagans at Yankee Stadium praying to the Goddess (Our mother/father who art in heaven works real nice) on Mabon last week? I did it. Anyone else or were we too busy living in La la fairy land. Where were you all? Speak up. Write, talk. Where are you? I need guidance, teaching and leadership. Or....just is my call to action...which honestly I will take up with open arms. Maybe many others feel the same as I do and worry about prejudice (ask any Mouslem about that especially in NYC)or maybe we are just afraid that our own community will attack us and call us fakes and liars and money hungry idiots. Time to band together my sisters and brothers. We can as (it is rumored) save our world, our cities, our children and our land as the witches in England did during WW II. Time to come out and dust off the Goddess and show her to the world. Time to show our Witches Rede in it harm none in action. Time to teach the karmic lesson the WTC represents to America. Time to stop it. Time to get involved in helping the women in those countries in the Middle East. Time to wake up and realize that any nation that kills women and disrespects and seperates them from their boy children will raise deadly killers raised only in the male principal. Time to elect more female leaders. Time to revere the goddess, revitalize her and show her to the rest of the world. Are we really goijng to have Yahweh against Allah? Oh please...two male gods duking it out for the rest of us....come on PAGANS>>>>>rise up. Invoke the goddess....invoke the Gods who respect life and peace. Invoke the Morrigan for protection and Hecate for the lost souls killed (do you know children and women died there too....are you aware of that....3 11 year olds and more on the other planes) and help them find the Summerlands. I am working it...are you? Are we?

Please wake up, rise up and put into practice your beliefs. Time, time is now. The Goddess has enjoyed a resurgance in the past 50- 60 years. There is a reason for that. We must we must we must....we must. MOVE>

Honestly I Believe That The Whole Idea Of Pagan Leaders Is Outright... Sep 29th. at 5:18:37 pm EDT

Ravyn WyntrWolfe (Los Alamos, New Mexico US) Age: 19 - Email

Honestly I believe that the whole idea of Pagan leaders is outright silly. Mind you, it's nice to have those who are authors or otherwise known to the public, speak up. All of us have such diverse beliefs that to represent them all fairly just doesn't seem a likely reality. But to be fair, we all need to speak up when we know we need to. We need to say something when people are attacking our community and not just stand by and allow it to continue (though we all know it goes in one ear and out the other). To just hang back and push a few people up to the front to speak for all of us doesn't seem right.

I Too Found Myself Looking Outwardly For Faith Inspired Words Of Comfort... Sep 29th. at 5:56:19 pm EDT

Valari (Cleveland, Ohio US) Age: 33 - Email

I too found myself looking outwardly for faith inspired words of comfort and connection on September 11th and subsequent days. I wasn't looking for a leader per se to tell me how to react, interpret the situation or show me what to do. I wasn't looking for someone to follow. I very simply needed (and still do) to hear the collective voices of the pagan community. I was not looking for a leader to step forth and speak for me- I needed someone in a more public position (Starhawk, Z., Silver, Selena, Phyllis, etc.) to step forth and speak for OUR faith. I needed to hear someone publically say "God might bless America- but Goddess bless the Earth". I'm sure this will happen in the days to come. I'm certain our more public repesentatives are not cowering somewhere- they're tough and bright. Yes, those of us who walk the path of the Goddess have a unique and intimate relationship with our spirituality - but in times of great crisis the operative word must be C-O-M-M-U-N-I-T-Y. I have been doing ritual, I have been doing my part to aid in the transitioning of the dead and healing our global wounds, I have been doing the important inner work of holding space in my own heart for peace and strength. I have consulted my faith for perspective and insight and I have found great tranquility in all this. But this is just me and although that counts for something I want to do more. I need to do more within the context of the Pagan community. I propose we all become leaders without followers. I propose we grasp our hands across the world to cast a circle the likes of which have never been seen. How does the next full moon look for everyone? Maybe we can get together and do the work we are here to do.

This Is A Tricky Situation Since Paganism Is Comprised Of Loosely Tied... Sep 29th. at 6:11:05 pm EDT

Rebecca Piche (West Palm Beach, Florida US) Age: 37 - Email

This is a tricky situation since Paganism is comprised of loosely tied small groups. I do think that the recent events do show that we do need some sort of national voice, however. We are in a perfect situation to dispell the myths surrounding Paganism and we should not let this opportunity slip by.

A list of criteria should be established and then those people meeting this criteria could put their name on a ballot or be nominated by someone else. This could be done through a forum such as TWV. The criteria could be something along the lines of being a published author, scholar, a HP or HPS for a certain length of time, etc. The most important thing, in my opinion, is that these "Leaders" or "Spokespeople" be articulate and well versed in the history of Paganism, as well as other religions so that they could answer questions and fend off any atagonistic remarks with intelligence and poise.

When a list of nominees has been established, then the general Pagan population could log on and vote, or mail in their votes.

As far as the financial end of this - maybe a non-profit group could be formed and when festivals or events are held around the country, the sponsoring groups could be encouraged to donate a portion of the funds to this organization. Plus, private donations could be made as well.

I think the time has come and we should now take the next steps to becoming an accepted religious path.

Whose Viewpoint Would The Pagan Leader Represent. We Are A Diverse Group... Sep 29th. at 6:15:22 pm EDT

Wes Shepherd (Toronto, Ontario CA) Age: 42 - Email

Whose viewpoint would the Pagan leader represent. We are a diverse group with many and varied beliefs. I myself enjoy the Pagan philosophy because it does not require us to believe in the words of a leader (I had enough of that with the Pope) but allows us to choose the path that best fits.

So, no, I would prefer not to have someone speak for me; I'll do it for myself, thanks. The opinions I express with my own voice may not be recognized on a national or international scale, but they will be my own.

In Answer To The Question(where Are Our Pagan Leaders?), I Question... Sep 29th. at 6:36:38 pm EDT

One pissed off Pagan! (Brockton, Massachusetts US) Age: 50

In answer to the question(where are our pagan leaders?), I question this myself, there seems to be no better time than now for them to step forward and bring neo-paganism to the forefront! I personally will be there if they ever step forward and give my support! Unfortunately it seems that too many of them are more interested in being adored by their fans as well as selling merchandise! This however does not shake my belief in the God/Goddess to heal anyone whether they be Pagan or not! Here's the challenge then, STEP FORWARD LIKE OUR ANCESTORS AND SHOW THE WORLD WHAT WE HAVE TO OFFER!

Who Needs A Group Leader When We All Stand Side By Side... Sep 29th. at 9:05:35 pm EDT

Thomas MacFie (Asheville, North Carolina US) Age: 22 - Email

who needs a group leader when we all stand side by side?

I Am Not In Favor Of Designating Pagan Leaders. I Think That... Sep 29th. at 9:06:49 pm EDT

Victoria Ziemer (Leominster, Massachusetts US) Age: 54

I am not in favor of designating Pagan Leaders. I think that there are plenty of leaders that just naturally evolve, as in the case of Starhawk, or Selena Fox, for example. One of the many beauties of Paganism is the lack of organization. Although there are beginning to be many "rules" depending on what kind of Paganism one practices, there is no real Dogma. If certain people want a more organized ritual, it is available, but no one thinks that they are right and everyone else is wrong.

I feel that designating leaders is a slippery slope that could lead to more and more rules, control, and an attitude of being a little above or superior to the rest of us. I prefer it to be just as it is.

I would like to have a little more visibility or presence during times like this, but I think that can be accomplished by the people that we have already. I think that we should think long and hard before we take this step that could have repercussions that none of us want. Vicki

Like Many, I Looked To The Media For A Figure To Stand... Sep 29th. at 9:09:05 pm EDT

Jonobie (Austin, Texas US) Age: 25

Like many, I looked to the media for a figure to stand up and speak to my beliefs. And then I realized that this was silly; I logged onto my computer and started reading my email lists and wandered over to Witchvox to look for words of comfort from Wren & Fritz. What I found shouldn't have surprised me - everywhere, people were grappling with the tragedy, writing their thoughts, writing poetry and prayers. It filled any void the lack of a "national voice" created.

Do I think we need national leaders who can be called up in times of national tragedy and can serve as spokespersons for our faiths? Yes, but not yet. Our religion is so new, so young -- we can't even define ourselves (witness the numerous times discussions about the meaning of the word "witch" or "pagan" appear on various email or chat lists), let alone find the proper people to represent our diversity.

Add to this the problem that Neopagans are *not* accustomed to the notion of tithing or financially supporting a church or elected leaders. If you doubt this, ask the WitchVox staff if they could live off of the donations to this site, and recall that Isaac Bonewits' site went offline earlier this year due to lack of funding. Would each Neopagan be willing to spend even 5% of their annual income to support either their national leaders, their local grove, or both? I doubt it. If you want a national voice, but you vehemently disagree with what your elected offical is saying, would you financially support the process and person anyhow? I bet many wouldn't. We, as a community, are not yet ready to pay for our leaders -- and a national voice that does it on a part-time unpaid basis is likely going to burn out quickly or do a poor job. They need to be free to do it as their sole means of livelihood.

On another note, I've read many comments here that seem to worry that a national spokesperson would be akin to the Pope. I think this is inaccurate. What I envision a national Neopagan leader doing includes the following:

o Educating those who give public prayers on language changes that would make the prayers and services more acceptable to Neopagans.
o In times of need, leading public (televised) interfaith Neopagan rituals. Also, any other public ministering that can be done in times of great need.
o Being available for public statements for the media, either as an educational resource or for issuing comforting statements to Neopagans.
o Activism in government - lobbying or educating officals about our religions.

This, as many others have pointed out, requires sensitivity to and knowledge of the numerous religions that fall under the Neopagan umbrella.

We're starting towards a national presence, though. For each member of clergy who attends interfaith meetings, for every newspaper article that's written about us that emphasizes the beliefs of our various religions instead of the trappings, for each Neopagan who presents a kind and intelligent face to an outsider, we move closer towards national recognition and a good climate for national spokespersons.

 1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    11    12    13    14    15    16    17    18    19    20    21    22    23    24  

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2018 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.