Articles/Essays From Pagans
December 1st. 2013 ...
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
The Celtic Tree Calendar
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
September 8th. 2013 ...
Introduction to the Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage
The Druidic Concept of Nwyfre
The Holocaust Survivor (Part 1)
Giving and Helping
September 1st. 2013 ...
Use a Flyswatter for a Fly: More on the Dark Arts
How Spells Work
Is It Really 'Energy'?
August 25th. 2013 ...
Mother Nature’s Way: Forging a Distinctly American Path
Healing Moon Ritual
Unconditional Love: The Paradox of Perfect Love
Earth to Soul/Sole
August 18th. 2013 ...
How Not to Fall in the Bunny Trap
Why Are You Like That? Thoughts on Hoodoo and Appropriation
Finding the Right Coven
The Knowledge Found in Silence
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances, Hazelnuts and Magick Wands
August 11th. 2013 ...
“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
The Charges of the Goddess and God with Commentary
August 4th. 2013 ...
Fair Weather Witches
Pagan Studies II: Modern Paganism in the Americas
Pagan Abbeys - A Practical Heritage for Spiritual Lay and Professional Cloistered Communities
July 28th. 2013 ...
Crystals 101: A Helpful Guide For Beginners
The More the Merrier? It’s not Only an Inaccuracy; it’s an All Out Farce!
My Pagan Manifesto
July 21st. 2013 ...
I'm a Witch, Not a Wiccan: A Brief Summary of Broad Pagan Designations
Rethinking Community for Solitaries
13 Keys: The Beauty of Tiphareth
July 14th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés We Use (Part II)
Pagan Humanism: A Tradition of Rational Religion
Moon/Planetary Musings: The Holly King and John Barleycorn
July 7th. 2013 ...
Coping With Depression: Learning to Dance with the Sacred Twins
Shamanic Healing of Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Humility and Community Service
H is for Hubris
June 30th. 2013 ...
How To Feel The Energy Around You
Planning A Ritual
Why Pagans Might Benefit from Counseling Techniques
The Weight of Contemplation: When the Silent Self Grows Louder
June 23rd. 2013 ...
Magick and Play
Tarot Spell for Protection
Moon Musings and Planetary Preponderances: RE-fuse, RE-duce, RE-use, RE-pair and RE-cycle
June 16th. 2013 ...
How To Stay Spiritual Amidst This Chaos?
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
How to Start Your Own PNO
Article ID: 13386
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 1,575
Times Read: 2,997
RSS Views: 14,940
Author: Bronwen Forbes [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: August 16th. 2009
Times Viewed: 2,997
A Pagan Night Out (or PNO) , also called meetup or moot, is a local weekly or monthly get-together of Pagans and Pagan-friendly folk. PNOs are a good way for newcomers to or those interested in Paganism to learn a little bit more in a friendly environment that requires no commitment whatsoever. These get-togethers are also a great way for those of us who have been around the community for a while to actually start researching and presenting informal lectures on topics near and dear to our hearts.
Frankly, we could use a lot more PNOs. A LOT. Just a quick glance at any state’s Witchvox page proves that there are so many (too many) small to medium-size towns that are home to a couple dozen Pagans, but unless someone in the area feels qualified to lead a coven, there is no venue for these folks to get together. So they don’t. And the opportunity to share information and ideas and feel like part of a community of like-minded souls is lost.
Fortunately, starting your own PNO or meetup is not that difficult. You don’t have to be any sort of elder or expert, or think you will have to come up with a topic for every meeting.
The first thing you need to do is decide how often you want to meet. Once a month is normal, but I recommend once a week, especially if there is nothing else Pagan-y going on in your town. Why? Because people who have heard about the meeting or seen it posted (more on this below) are more likely to check it out if it’s every week. They may miss this week, and even next week, but the week after that they remember in time to show up. If your PNO is once a month, your potential attendees are more likely to forget which Tuesday of the month it is, and less likely to show up.
The next thing you’ll need, obviously, is a place to meet. If you have Unitarians or Quakers in your town who have their own meeting space, you are in luck. You may have to attend their (Unitarian) services or (Quaker) meetings for a while so they get to know you. In my experience, a typical Sunday morning Unitarian service ranges from practically Pagan to spiritually neutral; you’re not likely to feel uncomfortable. A Sunday morning Quaker meeting mostly consists of people sitting together in silence, much as they would at a Buddhist temple, although occasionally someone will feel “moved by the Spirit” to get up and say something.
Once you are comfortable with the Unitarians and/or Quakers, casually ask if you could use their space for a weekly discussion group. Be honest and tell them what the discussion is to be about, i.e. things Pagan. Offer to accept small monetary donations from the discussion attendees to cover the cost of utilities your PNO will use (lights, water) during the meeting. Promise you will not do Pagan ritual in their sacred space. If the Quakers or Unitarians say no, respect their answer and move on.
If you don’t have Quakers or Unitarians in your town or you’re not comfortable working with them, you will need to find a year-round place to meet. Unless you live in a part of the country that has perfect outdoor weather 365 days of the year, that place needs to be inside – moving the meeting back and forth between a park in the summer and an indoor location in the winter is going to confuse potential members, and likely cause them not to come.
Your best bet is probably a restaurant, either one that is very busy (so no one can eavesdrop) or one that has little to no business. I recommend *against* buffets where attendees MUST pay for a meal to get in the door whether they eat anything or not. My favorite PNO site was a pizza place where, even though there were tables in the restaurant, about 90% of its business was delivery. Hardly anyone ever ate there, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
The manager was tickled to bits to have ten to twenty people show up at his restaurant every second Wednesday of the month and, at minimum, order a soft drink. If he’d had his way, we’d be there every night, and just so we kept ordering food and drink, he could have cared less about our obvious jewelry and topics of discussion.
Some chain restaurants like Perkins and Denny’s have private or semi-private back rooms available for group use, but you need to reserve them in advance, and make it clear in your publicity what “name” the reservation is under.
Speaking of publicity, this is your next hurdle. Unless you are ready to assume a minimum of $12 a month fee or demand a financial commitment from your attendees, I recommend against using the services of Meetup.com. Yes, Meetup will send out the lovely reminder emails for you, but it’s expensive.
Fortunately, there are cheap (i.e. free) ways to get the word out about your group. Witchvox, of course, is a must-post place for your PNO information. If people in your town have a listing on Witchvox that says they are open to invites, send out an email.
Check and see if there are any Yahoo email groups that cover your town. Even if you are an hour or more away from a big city that does have a Yahoo group, join it – you never know who else in your town is a member. Post polite, *occasional* reminders and updates about your PNO.
Informal bulletin boards or information kiosks at your local college are also good places to put a flyer. College students are often curious about religions other than the one they grew up in. Since these boards and kiosks are usually outdoors, you may want to place your flyer in a plastic sheet protector first. Also, make plans to repost your flyer every month or so – while some college students are curious, others are also pretty strong in the faith of their childhood and may feel the need to tear down your flyer.
See if you can have a notice listed in the religion section or community calendar page of your local newspaper. Some editors won’t allow it, but others may surprise you – you won’t know until you ask.
If you have a Unitarian church or fellowship in town, even if you’re not meeting in their space, ask if you can post a flyer on their bulletin board or have a notice listed in their newsletter or on the website.
Do you have a natural food store or food co-op in town? Ask if you can post a flyer there – many Pagans are “into” the teas, herbs and cruelty-free hygiene products that natural food stores sell.
So the flyers are posted, your Witchvox notice is getting hits, what do you do now? You put on as much Pagan-identifying jewelry as you’re comfortable with, go to the meeting place at the regularly scheduled time, take a book or magazine to keep you entertained, and you sit. And sit. And sit. Our local PNO coordinator sat alone every Tuesday for at least couple months before anyone else showed up.
But show up we did, and now we’ve not only got a lively weekly discussion going, we collectively decided to start a small, local Pagan festival that will have about 25 people attending this first year. Not bad for a town where, just a few months ago, the Pagans didn’t even know each other.
If you build it, they will come.
Location: Bloomington, Indiana
Author's Profile: To learn more about Bronwen Forbes - Click HERE
Other Articles: Bronwen Forbes has posted 36 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Bronwen Forbes... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2013 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).