Your browser does not support script
The Witches' Voice made the decision from day one to evolve this web site based on your input. What does our community think about... Spam, ethics, commercialism of the Craft, politics etc. So many questions are hotly debated. In this chapter of WitchVox we simply ask hard questions directly to the community itself. New surveys will pop up from time to time and be announced on the WitchVox home page.
 Author: Pagan Community    Posted: Sep. 27, 1999   This Page Viewed: 13,264  

WitchVox Survey #1 - Working with Groups

  • Participate IN this Survey - Click HERE for TAKE this Survey
  • 1st Duration: 9/12/99 to 9/27/99
  • 1st Results: Posted on 9/27/99 - Click HERE for the actual results of this survey.
  • 2nd Duration: Through Samhain 2000
  • Community thoughts on working with Groups... ONE - TWO - THREE - FOUR - FIVE - SIX

Community Comments on Working With Groups
Page #6

While I have only practiced by myself, it is only because I feel that I am still not entirely sure of my beliefs, and want to have a solid base on which to stand. I think that working with others, either as part of a formal coven, or just as a group of friends is a great way to expand one's beliefs, but that each person has to find thier one path to the Divine first. -

Having only been actively involved with others for a short period of time, I could be misleading. I will say that the few experiences I have had being in group settings have all be wonderful in their own unique way. I mean unique in the fact that in one group it was musical, and in another it was all out ritualistic as though it was from a book by Mr. Kraig! Even the little things such as group commraderie and atmospheres are different. Each has its own thing to offer, and I advise anyone within range of an active group to at least seek contact. Now...on the other hand...despite being unique and interst-piquing I have had a few experiences with groups I would rather stay away from. The types of groups that teeny-bopper movies are made of (no offense to my younger brothers and sisters here). These things need no be re-hashed, just know they will happen to you as you search your way in the world. When it's all over with though, I enjoy the quietude of the solitary journey. I feel that a long voyage gives me a personal guide that only the God, Goddess, and myself know. I must wade my way through and perseve on my own. In this world we could all use that little bit of self-dedication and working to learn a few things (my opinion of course). ...No matter what though, we still all hear our own call and follow our own way, group or no. So follow that yelling from the wind, the rustling of the leaves...for they are calling you...... - Shawn aka Airma

I believe that for me Solitary practice is the most personal and spiritualy satisfing but every now and then even the most lone Pagan needs the comfort and community of a group. - Lady Nyx Willow

I have worked with groups before and although it starts out fine personal differences tend to get in the way between members. Some people are able/willing to overlook this and work together while others are not. This situation eventually splits the groups and causes more problems than it is worth (IMO). I now work as a solitary and attend the Sabbats with friends at an Open Circle. - Dave Lyman

I enjoy working with groups because I am an extrovert. I also enjoy and benefit from the energy exchange of different people. I have to work a lot harder as a solitary, and the experience is quite different. - Leanne Pemburn

we are only matter the path chosen....conflicts are to be expectd...enlightenment must be placed over ego - Lliam Douglas

Although I work with others I am also encouraged to find myself and work on my own which helps me to be confident and independent. - Kass Serban

I have primarily considered myself a solitary practitioner until recently. Working with a group is challenging and educational, and I believe it can benifit the solitary practitioner. - Kelly Kathleen

Although I've only been really studying Paganism for the last year, I can safely say it will be a while before I practice Witchcraft, ritually speaking. I'm not really comfortable with the idea of ritual yet. Maybe in the future I will be. At the moment, however, I'm content to thank the Goddess and God for their gifts, eg when taking herbs out of my garden, say 'Hi' whenever I glimpse them, eg when I see the moon I greet Her, and I dedicate any offerings to them both, eg when watering my plants and whatever. I realise that these are rituals in themselves, but they are simple and, hopefully, effective. Just as Christains don't really need a church for worship, I believe I don't need an altar, and all the other props for my worship. - Seble

I enjoy working on my own b/c I feel that we are each a slightly different shade, our vibrations are unique, what works for one might work for another but won't always do for them. I also feel that what one receive from around themselves can only be interpreted by that person. If I am Greek, I understand Greek. I do not understand German. A German would understand a Greek message differently than a Greek. - FattPatt

I have had occasions to work with people of other traditions and on occasion worked with a couple of covens. I did a handfasting with a priestess that I had never before met and with the ceremony writen by others. Though these have been rare experiences, I have never found it to be difficult to work with people of quite different traditions. It is just a matter of knowing what will be happening at that particular ceremony as far as I am concerned. Successful ceremony is only partly because of the people involved, just as long as they try, it will often be extra help from the Goddess and the God that will make it work. At least I found this the case in the handfasting because my personal ritual were usuually quite clumsy, yet this one was so smooth that one might have thought that public ceremonies was a normal experince for me and the priestess, yet neither of us had ever led a public ceremony. So it was not simply the skill, neither of us had it, it was because the Goddess and the God wanted it to be so. - Christopher Blackwell

After more than 20 years of practicing only with my family, or alone, I decided to seek out others. I am now the HPS of my own coven and loving it! My Witch family is the most loving and wonderful bunch of folks on Mother`s green Earth! - Lady Garnet Redstone

Even though I am a solitary I have worked with well, not a group exactly but some friends of mine who are beginners in the craft. We all found eachother and through dancing around with questions found out we had similar interests. We have done seasonal celebrations together before but I don't get to see them much any more and am more comfortable as a solitary anyways. Though I do want to get more involved in the craft community Im not sure how my mother would respond to that. I love your guys page it is very helpful and interesting. I love it, I feel as though it is another family. Thank you and keep up the exceptional work Blessings, Amber/Kim - Kim

I believe that everyone needs to make this choice themselves, and not let anyone push them to join a Group, or to be a Solitaire. It should be up to the person only! - Travis

As long as all remember that we are individuals and that, in order to succeed, a group must rely on the participation of all of the members. Sensitivities, concerns, and limits must be discussed and respected before any ritual is performed. I have been solitary for most of my pagan life, some 20 years. Being solitary is very powerful, but it is also limiting. I believe that all solitaries should stand with a group or groups to see what they haven't experienced before. Whether they remain or not. We only stand to improve ourselves by tasting the bliss of others. - David Aquarius (Shamanaqua)

I have been a solitary for over 30 years, then found myself at the head (by default ) of our small family/friends coven the past few years. I find that that working with a group changes the energy and the flow of how I was used to working both ritual and magick as a solitary... and it is taking some getting used to! - sarah the swampwich

Regarding the question about what word describes my practice or whatnot, I'm both witch and wiccan. They both slightly mean the same to me, and as far as I can tell, they are the same or at least not very different *smiles* least that's what I make of it from all the definitions and people I meet :) - Djali

I think that the solitairy way is the best way because you do not have to listen to others in a group or a coven. - Blackleopard (Ryan Ziegler)

I am ecclectic taking from many and so use Witch, Wiccan, Pagan etc. as a 'title'. - Tremmis

I personally am fully closeted, therefore I have only worked as a solitary. My family is unaware that I am a pagan, so opportunities for ritual or meetings are almost unheard of. - Locke

We're not Family Traditional, but we work as a family. My husband, children, mother, sister and brother-in-law work together from time to time, and celebrate holidays together. Everyone also performs solitary rituals on a regular basis. We've just tried to learn as we go. I don't find one more satisfing than the other. Then again, I've never worked with someone I'm not related to. Brightest Blessings. - Amberlyte

I started out as a Wiccan in early 1996, as a solitary--both by choice and necessity. There were a few other Pagans in the area, but none of us ever contacted each other. A few friends of mine were interested in magic. Looking back, I know that it's because they were power-hungry (most kids at that age are), but then, I thought it was perfectly valid. That was the first and only time in my life that I practiced negative magic. I paid for it, big time. In early 1998, the local Pagans started to network, helped along by word-of-mouth ("I know this girl and she says she wants to be a Pagan, and I know you are, so would you help her?") and, incidentally, the WVOX networking pages--on which I am posted. By this time, my earlier group had dissolved through my being ostracized, and I went to a ritual on Beltaine '98. It was my first group ritual, and it was wonderful. Since then, I've participated in some of the major Sabbats and quite a few smaller rituals (usually Full Moon rituals) with the local group, although I still classify myself as solitary because I do most of my magic and rituals alone. Everyone is consulted in the planning process. It's a very good system, effective. I guess it's mostly an open circle. Newbies come and go; there's a core group that remains, and every now and then, someone new joins it. It's a heartwarming experience. - Kris

I enjoy working with groups if they are stable, sane, and working towards the same goals. During my training towards my Third Degree (Wiccan) I was required to start and run a small study group so I could experience leadership and the dynamics of a working group. All was well until one fellow decided that he didn't like my style (he preferred the Ceremonial style) and I wasn't teaching fast enough to suit him. So, he told all sorts of awful things to the other members of my group to turn them against me, and took off with them. I let them go, figuring that his ignorance would catch up with him. It did- a year later, when he conjured something up that didn't want to go away when he commanded it to. It frightened the group and it broke up, and I found out about it from a member who actually came to apologize to me for leaving. That experience taught me that there's always someone who will use the time and energy you've spent to usurp your hard work, and you have to nip them quickly in the bud. Should I ever decide again to lead a study group, you can bet that I'll be on the lookout for these sorts, and give them the boot. They can go set up their own groups! I have not been with a group since returning to the States in 1993, and I am getting the itch to find like company once again. We'll see... Blessings Be! Sunfell - Lorie Johnson (Sunfell)

I choose to be solitary because I don't like the group dynamics and power struggles that are inevitable in any organization. In my discussions with others who are members of covens, these pressures still exist. I do not feel the need to share my beliefs and rituals with others and feel closer to my Lord and Lady because of being solitary. I do enjoy attending workshops, festivals and other group meetings to discuss current events, techniques, etc. in order to keep contact with others in the community. However, I enjoy the peace and solitude of my solitary spiritual life and plan to continue on this path. -

When I first came into community after four years as a solitary Wiccan, I was terribly naive. Finally, I had found my people, and now everything was going to be shiny and perfect. But of course, my fellow coveners were human, and we had all brought our own issues into the community from our various faiths of origin, and from just plain living. I did them a disservice by wanting them, expecting them to be angels of some kind. The breakup of my first coven taught me a lot. I wish a lot of things had gone differently, but I don't blame anyone now. It was painful, but I pulled out of that experience a fairer, more compassionate, and much smaller, set of assumptions about my fellow Pagans--first among them that any group of people who stick together for any length of time and attempt to do anything challenging will sooner or later make mistakes. And most mistakes are manageable. I'm a better covener now, in my current group, for having begun to learn that. - Sarah Avery

In the past I have had occasion to interact with two groups. The first held a study night in which I participated, as well as Sabbat and Esbat gatherings. I enjoyed the shared rituals, and was handfasted during a Samhain gathering. Unfortunately, as time went on, several members of the group began to disagree over method; This degenerated into "I'm a better/smarter/etc. witch/wiccan/hp/hps than you" situation. I backed away from the conflict, as I had friends on both sides of it, and refused to take sides. Eventually the group broke apart. After that I occasionally attended gatherings with both, but over time I have eased back into my strictly solitary ways. - Kevin

I feel that working Solitary is important to gain confidence that you can do things on your own when neccessary, but I feel groups fulfill the need for interaction and learning that books can not provide. Basically I feel that both are important in a Witch's growth process and have their own unique benefits and problems. Many people I meet fear groups and choose not to attend ever, and I think that's sad as they never give it a chance. I personally would like to see each person join a group at least once to see how it feels. If they don't like it they can always move on. - Caliana Moonstone

I enjoy them both. They are both enlightening and somewhat trying. Working alone can sometimes be fulfilling and you can learn a lot about yourself and about things that interest you. However working with a group also can be fulfilling for the fact that you can get different opinions and approaches to things. I have no preference. About the only thing that I insist on is that everyone in the group know each other or try to get to know each other before forming a coven. Also that you have the same ideas of what a coven means. As for solitairy paths most of the most fulfilling work you will do will be alone. Even if you are with a group you tend to learn more about yourself when you are alone. *grin* - Lisa Anderson

I occasionally have attended festivals. I enjoy the experiences I have at them, but they have never provided me with as much satisfaction as my own personal rituals.

I am very content with my solitary practice. My rituals have provided me with very personal, profound spiritual experiences. Because of this, I am somewhat hesitiant to ever join a group... why fix something that's not broken?

However, I never rule out the possibility of joining a group. If I ever do join or form a group, it would have to be with some very special individuals who have spirituality as their main concern. I think a group that is truly spiritually focused is likely to be rather immune from the more unsavory aspects of group practice (politics, etc). - Branwen

In re: the "other" in my Path... Because I'm a solitaire, I've sort of developed my own way of doing things, which I've found doesn't fit into any real catagory. It's essentially a fusion of Wicca and Asatru, but doesn't fall into the general concept of "Norse Wicca" because of some of the Asatru elements and beliefs. To make things simpler, I've named my path Hexenheide Wicca, and am currently building a web site to explain it to others who might be interested. :) As for working with Groups, the main reason I don't is because I'm disabled, and typically don't leave the house except to go to the doctor or something of grave urgency (as of right now, I haven't left the house in about 6 to 8 months). Since I cannot be depended on to go anywhere, nor can I be counted on to be able to participate in group activities (as I never know how I'll be feeling at any given time), I have found being solitary and connecting with other Wiccans, Asatruers and Pagans online to be the best way for me to practice my faith - that way, I'm unlikely to disappoint anyone, yet am not TOTALLY cut off from the Pagan community. - Griselda Jarnsaxa

This may sound obvious but I really think it needs to be said based on what I have seen amoung several different pagans of different paths and groups. If something about the way things are run in your group is pissing you off, annoying you, contrary to your beliefs values ethics and or practicing with a certain person is making you physically ill.. SAY SOMETHING!! Problems arent sorted out by the whole silence and waiting routine. Don't cower before the ego of Mr/Mrs/Ms Knowitall, look to yourself and your own needs and ideas. They are valid even if you don't read 800 page special order academic texts on ancient cults... Yeah, my group had issues, can ya tell? And the 'you' I used in the previous statements was meants to be a general statement to all pagans, not at whoever is running this. I think that starting on your own so you can explore your own unique connection to the divine is a good thing. Be strong in yourself before joining a group. Be respectfull of other people's comfort levels aware of your group. Be compassionate, if someone in your group is afraid people being burnt don't go jumping over one in front of them, if it is so incredibly important that you jump a fire, do it on your own time so you arent harming others. This is a mild example of the serious lack of care and attention I have seen paid to others within a group. Forcing others to lead the group or leave it before they even identify or are feel competent to in a group is not a loving act. Letting others in on what will happen during a ritual and what they should do is a good thing. Yes, I realize that I was on a soapbox there and I hope that these kind of problems are unusual. So far my group work has ranged from this-is-kinda-nice to disaster even though I care for those I work with (or did at the time). I have had alot of very posative solitary work. I think that i have had some posative expereinces with others in talking about religion (ideas, experiences, philosophy) but i doubt that I will have a good group exp until some people go a ahead and say to some other people "No, I do not want to practice with you." I want to work in a group, I really do but, it aint working right now. -

I am a Shaiva-shamanic-hermetic-Witch I have been initiated in several orders.But the ones I honor most are direct revalasions- confirmations. dissonance between and within groups shows us interior strife. As we become harmonised so our circles so the world. As the world-our Circles-our selves. - David Ganesh

I currently work Solitary only because I have no other option at this time - meaning that I have not found any covens/groups in my area. I am actively seeking a teaching coven but have not yet found one close to my home. I do believe that working and learning with others of a like-mind would bring so much more to my experience and life with the Wiccan path. - Fantine

I am, as I have stated a Shamanistic solitaire. My beliefs have been influenced heavily by Wiccan, Pagan, Taoist, and Eastern Mysticism. I have found solitary practice to be very satisfying, as I am somewhat shy and tend to think of the religious experience as more of a personal one. I also have a very busy schedule (I'm a ful time student) and it would be very difficult for me to get together with others on a regular basis, though I do plan to attend some local public rituls in the area. - Light Hawk

I find working with my own grove more satisfying than the large public rituals I attend at festivals for two reasons. First - I know what is going on and usually have a good idea of what is going to happen next. Second - at festivals the circles get so big that the participant is often reduced to the role of observer. Groups of about 10-20 people seem to work best for me. There are enough people to share responsibilities around without being so many that people drift into passivity. - Thena

My path leads me in many directions. I live in an area with a small pagan community, and I don't agree with all of thier ways. My eclectic and spontanous rituals don't fit in with group activities right now. I am interested in meeting more people with open minds, but in a casual setting and not for ritual. I love being solitary, it fits in with my independant and somtimes corky ways. - Teresa, Ca

If the group has a clear idea of where the interests lie it can be wonderful. But I've seen a lot of game playing and power struggles, both conscious and unconscious. I prefer a small working circle to many of the covens I've seen. I'll wait untill I find the right people to either join or very slowly build another coven. The love & trust that a coven takes to really run well is not the easiest thing to find. But it's worth it. I like public circles because it lets you meet LOTS of pagan from a WIDE range of viewpoints. I really believe that when we stop learning we start dying. As long as we don't get into tradition-based judgementalism we do just fine. - kaelyn

The way we work at the moment works best for me. We do our own personal rituals and afterwards (usually on the sabbat itself or otherwise a day or two later) we come together and discuss this sabbat, the next sabbat, our rituals and the rest of the world :-) This way we can work solitary, but with group support. - Anneloes

I am a solitary by circumstance, my campus is too conservative for anything else, though I often practice with a good friend of mine when she is available for such. From what I have seen: Solitary is an occasionally necessary road, in many ways Superior and in many ways Inferior to working in a Coven or Circle. - Raven Silvernight

I am working solitaire because there is no one around here. I plan to move in with my beloved soon, in Wales, and in that case we will practice together, and I think we will try working with groups too -

After working several years as a solitary Witch, I eventually found and formed the coven I am currently a part of. From experience, I know that it can be extremely difficult to forge a proper working bond with other people (especially with Witches--we are a headstrong and daydreamy lot). However it can also be very rewarding. Surrounding yourself with others who share similar ideals, questions, and beliefs helps you grow in your own spirituality. - Chris McMahon

My interest in Pagan religions started with my interest in Egyptian Mythology the Kemetic orthodox faith later I became Wiccan but now simply consider myself Pagan or sometimes even a Witch. I am mainly interested in studying ancient culturesphilosophiesreligions and ways of thought which were far more structured and complex dogma-oriented than many of todays Neo-Pagan religious systems. I am eclectic drawing from many sources in this case from different Pagan religions and fallow no specific religion so I simply call myself Pagan. -

I think that working with Groups are for some people and working as a Solitaire is for other people. I believe that it matters strickly on the persons opinion -

i love wicca but has not did any rituals or spells yet. i pray to the lord and lady and everything and i work soitary. have no asoiation with groups put do attend teachings and events when ever they come. the thing is magick is secondary and should be only used if nesesary. -

I am a solitaire witch. I have friends over the internet that are pagans but none in my area that I know of. I find it hard to come out of the broom closet because this entire area is seriously Christian. Solitaire witches have the ability to cast what they want and it pleases me. I wouldnt like to work with a large coven or pagan group. -

I have been solitary since I started this about a year ago. I have also particpated in group rituals which were very wonderful and somethat were not. I am very interested in exploring coven involvement atsome point but I am not hurrying to look for one. I find it veryfunny when coven-centric people carry on about what solitaries lackin their work and what they cannot accomplish. What do they knowabout what we experience and accomplish It is unfortunate that some of them take such a superior attitude. It just makes one morebarrier to those who are interested in these paths. -Ivelyir -

I have always practisedas a solitary but over the last year I have felt a need to work with or contact others though as yet this has not led to me working with others. As a historian I find I am put off by a lot of the history of pagan traditions propergated by many groups to the point I feel that some people are ignorant of the cultures whose spiriually that they draw their inspiration from. This has been a major deterent to my working in a group. -

There are so many of us who are seeking *shelter* from our non-Pagan surroundings and need to know that others have the same outlook on life. As for myself I first entered Paganism on my own beliefs and feelings but did not completely know how to put it all in perspective. Working and learning with other PagansWiccans has helped me to learn grow and accept my own insight. Im not saying that working with a group is the best thing for everyone but it was a great deal of help for a lost soul.

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 1997-2019 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.

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.

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.