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
Discussion
Visit The


WitchVox List
of 242
Communication
'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: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 6,048,109  

Vox Q Stats

Times Viewed: 32,767

Reponses: 61

Lurker/Post Ratio: 537 to 1

Question of the Week: 23 - 1/8/2001

Who or What is a "Pagan Leader"?

We hear this term bounced back and forth around the Pagan communities and some either claim to hold such a position themselves or others have labeled them as such. What qualities/qualifications do YOU think a 'Pagan leader' should possess? Do we even need Pagan leaders in the national/international sense? Does the very term 'leader' set your Pagan teeth on edge? What do Pagan leaders really DO anyway?

 Reponses:   There are 61 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 


I Feel That The Word Leader Is A Bit Misleading. Perhaps The... Jan 12th. at 1:07:34 pm UTC

Shari (Calgary, Alberta CA) Age: 35 - Email


I feel that the word leader is a bit misleading. Perhaps the word we should be using is guide or teacher. As a solitary wiccan I have had a terrible struggle to get where i am today. There are a shortage of guides or teachers to help people like myself follow the path of the ancient ones. When asked, other so-called leaders will look down their noses and sniff at you for not wanting to be part of their coven - perhaps the word lacky or slave could be inserted there.

Now that I have found my path, when other solitary wiccans approach me I use a softer approach to fill them in on information I have learned so they can use their own discretion about where they would like to go on the path. Usually with gentle guidance these new wiccans can see the beauty of the goddess around them and they find themselves more enlightened than those so-called leaders that use a more direct (blunt) approach.

I feel that the wiccan community 'leaders' have lost sight of the first rule the goddess taught us, 'An it harm none do as thou wilt'.


I'm Of Two Minds On The Question Of "leadership." As A Group... Jan 12th. at 3:47:07 am UTC

Daphne Inari (Des Moines, Iowa US) Age: 34 - Email


I'm of two minds on the question of "leadership." As a group or community grows in number, organization becomes critical in order that the needs of the members be met. To facilitate the organization, leaders come forward, either by desire or (more often) default. If, for example, a group is holding a celebration of a sabbat, someone (or some-many!) has to find a place, make sure there are decorations, make sure the site is accessible to those attending, be ready in an emergency, organize the ritual, make the food, etc. Even in a small group, that can be quite an undertaking! And that's just for a ritual!

In our community of women, we try to run by consensus and let those who feel a desire to organize an event give it a try. I can't say it's always worked efficiently--in, say, matters of money, you really need one person as a gatekeeper who can say yes or no. On the other hand, we've been blessed with some unique rituals and classes because some women who don't consider themselves "leaders" and in most circumstances would shy away from organizing anything, rose to the challange and organized some wonderful events.

But the consensus leadership model is best suited to small groups. The larger a group is, the more organization is needed. With that organization comes the need for more leaders. And then we fall into the bureaucracy that plagues many of the "mainstream" religions (and that many of us are trying to escape!)

Although large groups can accomplish great things (I personally would love to be able to have a public pagan "temple" or "shrine" in every city, that any pagan could feel free to worship in), the spiritual power of paganism seems to rest in small groups and with the solitaires. There are many "leadership" qualities that differ according to the size of a group--a small group leader may have to wear many hats, while a large group leader could specialize.

What I don't like about leadership is the cultural belief that a leader is better than everyone else. A good "follower" is as important as a good "leader"--sometimes it seems we have too many chefs and not enough cooks. If we could somehow grow beyond that belief, we'd be the stronger for it.


Anyone Interested In Becoming Or Locating A Leader Of Any Sort, Pagan... Jan 11th. at 11:45:31 pm UTC

Nelli (Carmel Valley, California US) Age: 24 - Email


Anyone interested in becoming or locating a leader of any sort, pagan or otherwise, should get a copy of the Tao te Ching. I'd copy out the whole thing right here, but that would take up a wee bit too much space, so I'll just share a sample...

Therefore the Master
acts without doing anything
and teaches without saying anything.
Things arise and she lets them come;
things disappear and she lets them go.
She has but doesn't posess,
acts but doesn't expect.
When her work is done, she forgets it.
That is why it lasts forever.

The Master leads
by emptying peoples minds
and filling their cores,
by weakening their ambition
and toughening their resolve.
He helps people lose everything
they know, everything they desire,
and creates confusion
in those who think that they know.

When the Master governs, the people
are hardly aware that he exists.
Next best is a leader who is loved.
Next, one who is feared.
The worst is one who is despised.

The Master doesn't talk, she acts.
When her work is done,
the people say, "amazing:
we did it, all by ourselves!"

Thus the Master is available to all people
and doesn't reject anyone.
He is ready to use all situations
and doesn't waste anything.
This is called embodying the light.

These are all from the Stephen Mitchell translation, by the way...
The leaders of our community are those who quietly make themselves available without becoming either self-sacrificing or vainglorious; those who share the knowledge that they have, and are always wide open to new information and ideas; those who give wisdom and support, without propagating dogma, or saying "this is how it should be done, the one true way". Wren and Fritz, and the other folks of Witchvox, are, in my opinion, fabulous pagan leaders - thank you!


Yes The Term Leader Sets My 'pagan Teeth On Edge'. We Are... Jan 11th. at 9:17:57 pm UTC

Emma (Huddersfield, England UK) Age: 22


Yes the term leader sets my 'pagan teeth on edge'. We are not like other world religions, we are a unique spiritual path, and the whole pagan leader thing appears like another symptom of peoples yearning to be accepted and taken seriously. But at what cost? We should not d it by trying to make ourselves more like religious instituions, paganism does not belong in instituions. It would however be nice if there were a few more people the odinary pagan could go to for service and guidence. Not every pagan needs to be a witch or a druid or what ever. It would be nice if non 'magickal' pagans could go to these people. But guiding and helping is very different then leading, and what ever we do we must not become institutionalised.


I Think That This Is A Difficult Question To Answer Because Of... Jan 11th. at 7:54:28 pm UTC

David J. Eagan (Janesville , Wisconsin US) Age: 19 - Email


I think that this is a difficult question to answer because of the diverse nature of our religion. Also the majority of us are resistant and opposed to anything remotely christian or heirarchial.


I Think Of Leaders As Those Who Live Their Truths Without The... Jan 11th. at 5:06:03 pm UTC

Dragon Hawk (Mesa, Arizona US) Age: 23 - Email


I think of leaders as those who live their truths without the expectation that other people need to live those same truths. If you want to learn from me, I will provide you with what I know of my own life. Take this information, try it on, and if it's a comfortable fit, wear it out. Know that this clothing will strecth here and sag there and eventually become something that you can call yur own. I hope that a leader would be one who wants others to find their own path and walk with their hearts ablaze and their minds crackling. Who are the people considered to be great leaders? Gandhi, H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, and of course, Martin Luther King Jr. These are people who truly le(a)d others to find the love and courage in themselves to stand up for truth and light in the face of ignorance and darkness. Our own Pagan/Wiccan/Whatever leaders? They are there in the suburban covens, the big city discussion groups, the solitary practitioner, the kitchen witch, the author, and the web-site creator. If we are Pagans of some sort, then we are bound to seek for the mystery within ourselves, thereby informing our outer experience, and this journey alone sets us on the path toward earning the title of "leader".

Wow, where did all that come from? :-)

Love, Light, and Laughter to all!


I Believe That The Concept Of 'leader' As We Usually Accept It... Jan 11th. at 1:43:04 pm UTC

Matthew Testa (Westminster, Maryland US) Age: 47 - Email


I believe that the concept of 'leader' as we usually accept it in our society, is a position contrary to our pagan beliefs and the philosophies that make us feel at home in our beliefs. However, it is natural that thoughtful individuals look to others with more and different experiences in order to learn from that person. In that way someone may be called a leader (pagan, and otherwise) in that community. Someone may also have been dubbed a leader simply becasue they are more vocal regarding their personal beliefs, although they may not speak for others.
This reminds me a little of when agents of the U.S. were trying to negotiate treaties with Native Americans and could not bridge the cultural divide. European derived culture coudl not understand that there was not one man who could speak for all and make a treaty. Simply becasue a chief said he believed a course of action was good, did not bind others to follow.


Yes The Term "leader" Can Set Me On Edge. But When We... Jan 11th. at 10:01:38 am UTC

Feral (Boulder Creek, California US) Age: 39 - Email


Yes the term "leader" can set me on edge.

But when we consider how the political scene both national and international can affect our right to practice our beliefs in safety and freedom, leaders become necessary.

To me a Pagan Leader should be a servant of the Pagan Community, be it local or on national scale.

Pagan Leader also means facilitator, coordinator. Someone who helps get groups of Pagans together for various reasons that relate to our beliefs, be they ritual, environmental, social or civic action.

Pagan as well as other leaders should be driven by their beliefs and not by the temptation of power such a position can offer.

I liken the power offered by a leadership role to salt water. Yes it is water and we all need water to live but one cannot drink salt water or they become sick and eventually die. We all need power, our personal power to live but when we start sampling the power that leadership can offer we will sicken in our actions and eventually suffer a death of the spirit. True leaders do not sample the power that can be offered by the position they serve.

Not all of us have the ability, time or understanding it takes to arrange activities or the big one to follow political/civic issues, this is where I believe we need Pagan Leaders.

How do you become a Pagan Leader? We become leaders when we follow our hearts and serve many or the few.

What rewards are there for being a Pagan Leader?

The rewards I see are the love from your community, the satisfaction of putting your energy into something you believe in, seeing the Pagan community grow and thrive and the increase of "personal" power and a strengthened connection to the Lord and Lady.

May the perfume of the woods and the gold of the sun be always yours! -Feral


A Leader, In General, Is Someone Who Feels The Need To Come... Jan 11th. at 7:55:50 am UTC

MalenRuadhRhen (Bristol, , Connecticut US) Age: 29 - Email


A leader, in general, is someone who feels the need to come forward and assume a role of responsiblity. Within the pagan religions that could be a coven leader, a teacher, a shop keeper, a herb grower, an author, etc, etc.

I seen no need for a formalized system of *leadership* We pagans, for the most part, are fiercely proud of our independence and lack of *structure* with the *clergy.* I see no need for that to change. Most of us have chosen this path, in part, because there is not some far-removed *elder* telling us what we should and shloud not think, how we should act, and in what way we should worship/practice.

Leaders naturally rise to the top, it's part of the nature of being a leader. But for anyone who is setting out to become one, they should keep in mind a few things:
-Degrees don't mean diddly, using you knowledge does!
-The best leaders lead by example, don't tell, show!
-You earn respect, it is not handed to you like a prize, and you must always work to keep it.
-Listen to those who don't agree with you, they may have some good points, simply because you are a *leader* does not mean you are always right.
-If you do become a leader, remember you will represent all of us to those you meet, let your public actions be governed accordingly.

All in all, I think our current *leaders* are, for the most part, recognized correctly. They are ones who have made long-term commitments and contributions to our faiths. These people should be leaders, they have earned our respect. Our leaders should not ever been chosen simple becuase they have completed a course, or look good on camera!


As A Small-time Wiccan "leader" (hp Of A Suburban Coven), I've Come... Jan 11th. at 3:37:29 am UTC

joppa (Seaford, New York US) Age: 49 - Email


As a small-time Wiccan "leader" (HP of a suburban coven), I've come to believe that our leadership comes from people who see a slot that needs to be filled, and fill it. I think that everyone who views this site will agree that, in some sense, Fritz & Wren are "Pagan Leaders." If we were to see them interviewed on David Letterman, the majority of us would believe that we are being well represented to the country. I think this acceptance by a large percentage of the community is the major, if not the only qualification for the job. There's no real selection process, we just know who they are. Mention Laurie Cabot's name at Pagan gatherings, and you're sure to get a response, positive or negative... we know that she's a leader. Margot Adler, Janet Farrar, Silver Ravenwolf... we just KNOW!

Do we need them on a national/international level? I've just experienced a big "Hooray" reaction from Starhawk's response to Charlotte Allen's article in the Atlantic magazine. Somebody needed to speak for the Goddess worshipping community. Thankfully, we had a "leader" to step up and handle the situation.

I don't think that there ever will be, nor should there be, a formal process to establish national leadership. We're all learning to trust our intuition, and this is obviously one place where that process is working just fine.


I Personally Would Define A 'pagan Leader' As One Who Pagans Can... Jan 11th. at 2:00:02 am UTC

Palafyndra (Far Hills, New Jersey US) Age: 14 - Email


I personally would define a 'Pagan Leader' as one who Pagans can look up to, not as the leader of a coven or anything. A Pagan role model of sorts. The great Eyovah (who is now either in Summerland or his next life) would get my vote for being a 'Pagan Leader'. He was a healer (and a damn good one), a teacher, and a friend. So great in all those fields that even those who never knew him in life can learn from and love him. He was not a High Priest, but was a great leader to many within the Pagan/Otherkin community simply by being a friend. Wind beneath thy wings, Eyovah.


The Problem With Pagan Leaders Is That There Are Not Enough Of... Jan 11th. at 12:26:42 am UTC

William Lawson aka Bradwell (Denniston, Kentucky US) Age: 40 - Email


The problem with Pagan leaders is that there are not enough of them. If you go to gatherings, you know them when you see them. They are usually the ones who remain sober the entire weekend to make sure someone has their wits about them if an emergency occurs. They are usually the first ones up in the morning and the last ones to go to bed at night. They keep wood for the fire so people can stay warm if it happens to be cold outside. They have a ethical and moral code that they follow, and usually end up being talked about badly by other people who call themselves Pagans just because they will take a stand on some issue that the others don't or won't have the backbone to face. They base the worth of their life on what they can give to others, not what is given to them.
They are usually looked over by the others, except when someone wants something from them. When more Pagan leaders stand up and say, enough is enough, then the entire Pagan community will become stronger. The ones who cause so much trouble will get mad and leave...and really...who cares. They can go have their field party somewhere else. The rest who decide to grow up and be Pagan men and women will take note of their actions, change them, and begin to walk the walk that they only used to pay lip service to.


 1    2    3    4    5    6  


Pagan Essays
1996-2014





Pagan Web
8,000 Links





Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.





Pagan/Witch
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 1997-2014 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.