Articles/Essays From Pagans
February 1st. 2019 ...
Paganism and Witchcraft in the Media
September 25th. 2018 ...
Understanding the Unseen
August 25th. 2018 ...
A Little Magickal History
Men and the Goddess
Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces
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Magic in Daily Life
An Open Fire: Healing from Within
Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light
On Preconceived Pagan/Wiccan Political Affiliations
Gudrun of the Victory Gods
Ares and Athena
La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength
The Wheel of the Year in Our Daily Lives
The Lady on the Stairs
July 26th. 2018 ...
The Importance of Unification: Bringing Together Community Members to Invoke Cohesivity
May 29th. 2018 ...
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
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Nazis Made Us Change Our Name
January 25th. 2018 ...
Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
November 15th. 2017 ...
September 30th. 2017 ...
July 31st. 2017 ...
Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers
July 2nd. 2017 ...
On Cursing: Politics and Ethos
June 1st. 2017 ...
The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions
April 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles
March 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Ace of Swords
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
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
September 11th. 2016 ...
The Shadow of Disgust
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 ...
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
The Fear of Witchcraft
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
December 20th. 2015 ...
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
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
May 6th. 2015 ...
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
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
January 1st. 2015 ...
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
August 24th. 2014 ...
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
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Article ID: 15592
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,949
Times Read: 2,590
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Author: Nicky Woodsprite LeBlanc
Posted: January 19th. 2014
Times Viewed: 2,590
In my experience walking the Pagan path, I have benefited from years spent as a solitary as well as years spent as a member of a group. As a solitary, I explored various paths and learned much that helped me evolve spiritually from the teachings of Buddhism, Hinduism, the Native American religions, and others. Now, as a member of a Wiccan tradition that comprises eleven covens, I have been afforded many opportunities to expand and improve my energy work, magickal techniques, ritual design, performance and skill in working with others.
While we are cautioned, before we are accepted into the covens of our tradition, to not anticipate our covens providing us with “the family we never had” or anything of that sort, we do begin to think of our group as our spiritual family after a while. Our covenstead comes to feel like our second home, and our coven members begin to feel like not only good friends but also sisters and brothers. We are not walking in the same shoes as anyone else, but we are with like-minded, like-hearted people, going through similar stages of growing. We can share thoughts and feelings with them that we wouldn’t necessarily share with our next-door neighbors or the people we work with.
Walking the Pagan path, when one seriously applies oneself to the work, is very empowering. We gain confidence. We gain a feeling of strength! Sometimes the “muggle” people in our lives are astounded to see this greater strength and self-confidence coming out in us. We stand up for ourselves, where perhaps we didn’t before. We speak out on behalf of others, and we don’t just settle for things that don’t seem right. Instead of wishing for better circumstances, we go out and make them happen. This being said, we cease being chronic complainers about life, because we have learned to be proactive.
We become better, stronger individuals while belonging to a circle, a coven, a spiritual community. There is an odd thing that happens to some, perhaps many of us, though. In spite of all the inner strength and personal growth, we can become dependent on our group, very much the way a person becomes dependent on his or her marriage partner. At first we are so thoroughly delighted with it! It seems to fulfill all our needs! But in time, we begin to realize that it has flaws and shortcomings. The more we look at those, the bigger they seem. And then, sure enough, we begin to feel resentful that it’s not fulfilling all our needs anymore. Maybe it’s taken in newer members and is focusing more on their needs, and we become jealous. We spend time stewing miserably, and even contemplate divorcing our group, because we feel sure there is another one out there that would make us feel special, and excite us, again.
Running away from a situation or place where we’ve begun to feel uncomfortable, however, is not a very good way to deal with things. As Pagans who are actively working on personal growth, we need to realize that the challenges in our lives are actually there to help us learn new and improved ways of doing and being. We just have to figure out why we’re not feeling comfortable anymore, keeping in mind that “because my group ____” is never going to be 100% of the answer. As my mother used to say about marital conflicts, “It takes two to tango.” Like two individuals who are in a relationship, both we and our groups grow, and there are going to be times when our growth-rates and growth-directions are in sync with each other, as well as times when they are not. It’s rarely anything as simple as someone being right or wrong, and as Pagans we should understand that. There are many ways of doing lots of things…many ways that are right! All that being said, we do not have to like everything that’s put before us simply because it’s one of the right ways, but we owe it to ourselves as much as to our groups to try to make the relationship work out.
We must remember that we are independent beings and do not need to rely upon our group for every bit of our spiritual sustenance. A group is made up of individuals, each of whom has certain knowledge, skills, and talents. There will be times when a group cannot provide certain types of events, classes, or rituals because there are certain skills that no one in the group has. It really is better to put off teaching or performing some esoteric practices until somebody in the group has the experience to do them well. We could look for the kind of event that we want to experience elsewhere. If we find it, then perhaps we can get serious, expand our study, and bring new knowledge or skill back to our coven!
If we try bringing something back to our coven that we have learned elsewhere, and find that nobody seems interested, then we have a conundrum. We could think, “Well that’s too bad, ” and resolve to keep on getting our fill of that thing elsewhere, or we could consider, “Well maybe I didn’t explain it very well. Let me come up with a way to present it that they might like.” That’s how we expand our own communication skills. That’s going to be beneficial to us in all areas of our lives!
Another point to keep in mind is that an active group might have several, or even most, of its members working toward initiatory degrees at any given time. Not everyone can be the leader all at once. Too many people trying to lead can have the same effect as too many cooks spoiling the broth. We have to be realistic with ourselves. There are times when we are inclined to believe we are a whole lot more skillful or accomplished than we actually are. And when others don’t see us that way, we get resentful. There will be times when we really do know all that we think we know, and other times when we really don’t! It is not much fun to be given a position of leadership that we were sure we wanted, and suddenly find that we are not ready for it. We have to assess ourselves often, and realize that if we have to wait for some things, we can spend the time while we’re waiting on learning and practicing instead of on sulking and complaining. Sulking and complaining are human tendencies, but not constructive ones!
There are many Pagans who are solitary, but not by choice. Some places simply do not have enough of a Pagan community to have groups available or out-in-the-open where seekers can readily find them. We know that there are also many groups that form but then don’t last very long. When groups don’t last, it’s usually because the members lose interest quickly or give up too easily on making them work. Groups, like all our interpersonal relationships, are well worth staying with and working on! As we learn to adapt and to work together to form our groups and help them be strong and cohesive, we secure for ourselves something of great value now, and build lasting Pagan communities for future generations of Pagans to enjoy!
Nicky Woodsprite LeBlanc
Location: Greenwood, Delaware
Author's Profile: To learn more about Nicky Woodsprite LeBlanc - Click HERE
Bio: Nicky LeBlanc is an initiate and scribe within The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, a student of astrology, tarot, and qabala, and a member of Builders of the Adytum. Recently she has self-published her first book, The Living Goddess: Ancient Goddesses and the Women who Work with Them in Today's World.
She lives with her husband Joseph in rural Delaware.
Other Articles: Nicky Woodsprite LeBlanc has posted 6 additional articles- View them?
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