Articles/Essays From Pagans
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
October 10th. 2016 ...
Witchcraft from the Outside
September 11th. 2016 ...
How Did I Get Here? (My Pagan Journey)
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
September 3rd. 2016 ...
Rethinking Heaven: What Happens When We Die?
What is Happening in My Psychic Reading?
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
An Open Mind and Heart
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
June 13th. 2016 ...
Pollyanna Propaganda: The Distressing Trend of Victim-Blaming in Spirituality
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
How to Bond with the Elements through Magick
Magical Household Cleaning
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
Becoming Wiccan: What I Never Expected
The Fear of Witchcraft
Rebirth By Fire: A Love Letter to Mama Maui and Lady Pele
Magic in Sentences
Blowing Bubbles with the Goddess
The Evolution of Thought Forms
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion
Spring Has Sprung!
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
Energy and Karma
Community and Perception
December 20th. 2015 ...
Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
Native American Spirituality Myopia
A Dream Message
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
The Consort: Silent Partner or Hidden in Plain Sight?
Why I Bother With Ritual: Poetry and Eikonic Atheism
May 6th. 2015 ...
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
I Claim Cronehood
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
Historiolae: The Spell Within the Story
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
The Three Centers of Paganism
Magick is No Illusion
The Ancient Use of God/Goddess Surnames
The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
Broomstick to the Emerald City
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Finding The Right Group
Article Specs |
Article ID: 12064
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 3,329
Times Read: 2,753
RSS Views: 38,906
Author: Shadow [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: December 9th. 2007
Times Viewed: 2,753
Finding a group is like playing the lottery sometimes. In order to find a group that is right for you or to gain more knowledge it is important that you are persistent.
Beginning the search:
First things first, remember that often the contact person is often the group leader and is a busy person. They too have a personal life, professional life and a life separate from the Craft. When attempting to contact them, send them an email at regular intervals. Do not be insulted if a response does not arrive, as soon you would like. In fact, do not be surprised if they do not respond to you right away or within the week. In this age of technology and instant gratification, we expect everyone to respond to our inquiries right away. This is not the case.
Some leaders often use a method to sort out the seekers that are searching on a whim. They realize that with the click of a search engine you have access to several groups. The sincere seeker though, will not give up. This is not a passing fad for them.
A good group leader will try their best to take the time (A very precious resource it is) to respond to every email. Often times many emails are from individuals that have little or no interest in sincerely learning the Craft. These seekers do not have the patience necessary to learn Wicca and often do not realize the time and energy investment that is involved with teaching a student.
When one can move pass the impact on only themselves but the impact that their wants and needs have on others, they can begin to knock on the door of the Mysteries.
Some teachers will not respond immediately and give it at least a week or two to receive a response. If you do not hear back from them, send out another friendly email expressing your interest. Remember to be polite as you are the one seeking to be a part of their group.
No group or teacher HAS to teach every one that inquires. This is a choice that they consciously make and can withdraw at any time.
Repeat this process to see if you have success. At no point should you to be rude to the group. This will close you out to the option of working with that particular group (and if they are from a larger umbrella, many of the associated groups).
When a teacher utilizes a method to scrutinize potential students, they are obviously looking for quality students and those that are willing to work with them for an extended period of time. This will benefit both the student and the teacher. It is only the sincere seeker that will find the rewards of working with a group and enjoying the benefits of bonding and knowledge gained from that.
What to do when you have found a Group:
When you do find a group and have established communication, it is time to meet one another. This can be accomplished over the phone, email, in person, etc. It is important to see if you are a correct fit for the group and they are a good fit with you. Groves, covens and groups tend to be a small tightly knit cohesive unit.
They do not want to welcome a new person to the group that may cause its unraveling. They most likely have worked for a long time in order to develop a strong group mind. One bad apple can cause unrest and discomfort with the other members. This is can be enough to dissolve the group especially if it is a relatively new one.
Meeting over coffee in a public place is a recommended event that you should participate in with your potential group. This gives you a chance to speak with your new potential teacher (quite possibly priesthood) face-to-face. This subtle interaction will give you key insight into many things about them, the group and who they are. You can see if your personalities “mesh” and if there is potential to build a strong lasting relationship with the group.
Even if you are not looking to become a permanent part of the group, you can see if they are a worthwhile group of individuals to spend time with. Of course, you cannot expect to learn everything about the group in one sitting (or it will be a long one). But from this meeting, you should be able to have enough information about them to make an informed decision to take the next step of working with the group or not.
During your meetings with the group, there are many warning signs that they may exhibit to give you clues as to whether or not you should continue to work with them. There are several things that you want to keep in mind when you are finding a group to work with. The process itself can be lengthy and you might not wish to work with every group you run into. Here are some red flags that should pay attention to:
Be on the lookout for groups that charge excessive amounts of money for teachings. Is this group/teacher truly promoting spiritual development or simply utilizing this as another source of income? Some groups take a modest fee in order to cover the costs of teaching. Some do not. If fees are charged, fees should be reasonable in comparison with what you would pay to take a community course, such as yoga, exercise, etc.
In addition, be alert for those groups that have unrealistic demands of their new members. Understand that this does not include an expectation of you to attend every ritual and class. This is normal so that the group will have time to meet and learn about the new member.
Unrealistic demands can include something such as; requiring new members to wait on a Priestess or Priest hand over foot. Requiring you to be at their every beck and call is excessive. In addition, there should be no humiliation of members and a healthy relationship between group members.
Stay away from groups that promulgate the use of drugs. If there are members of the group that use drugs privately that is an issue they need to resolve. There are those in this world that are addicts and need help. Each person will find help in his or her own time.
However, if the group is offering you drugs or requiring you to use drugs to be a part of them, this is a sign of a serious issue. The group may not be anything other than a social gathering of drug users looking for more to join.
Illegal or Unethical Acts:
Be weary of groups that participate in illegal or unethical acts. Anyone asking you to participate in these types of actions should be avoided altogether and reported to the proper authorities. This includes acts such as theft, fraud, etc. These types of actions have no place in the Craft and are not a part of it. After all, one of the major principles of Wicca is “An’ it harm none, do what thou wilt.”
If the group does not conform to the Rede, it may be wise to look elsewhere. In addition, sex should not be a requirement for participating within a group. If a teacher demands sex from the student, move on, this is not a group promoting spiritual development.
Isaac Bonewits put together a great resource tool for seekers looking for a new group. It is known as “The Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame, ” and a copy of the worksheet can be found on Witchvox. This is an excellent scale assessing the varying degrees of control a group will exercise over their members.
There is quite a difference between the commitment level required by a group in order to maintain a strong, cohesive relationship and to conduct training with a new member and that of a “cultish” group. It would be wise to stray clear of fundamentalist behavior as this can be a dangerous preview of what is ahead with your experience with the group.
Success at Last!
Once you have located a group that is a match for you, it is time to participate. Take as much time as you need to learn from the group. Take the time to build a relationship with the other members. From these, life long friendships can develop.
If you are unable to find a group at the current time, evaluate what is going on with your life and see if it is really the time to try to take on such an endeavor. Maybe it just is not the right time for you.
Patience and persistence though are the keys to finding a group that will surround you with those of like mind and spiritual practice.
Bonewits, Isaac (2001) . The Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (ver 2.6):
Copyright: 2007 Sophon Shadraconis
Location: Long Beach, California
Author's Profile: To learn more about Shadow - Click HERE
Other Articles: Shadow has posted 2 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Shadow... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2017 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, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ 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.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).