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Imagecerridwenn
Sep 3, 2010 9:08 AM CST
Name: cerridwenn
Four Corners Area, NM
when i first moved here, i had finally decided i might benefit from interacting and learning with other pagans because it was too hard to motivate myself to do seasonal rituals when myself and my son were the only participants. but i was sure there would be no one in the town i was moving to with a liberal enough outlook to have an extra-christian group (i won't even say non-christian since much of my background is christian magic, but certainly not fundamentalist!). there was a uu church, which i had always wanted to try, but was being a chicken about walking in to a place where i didn't know anyone. so i joined meetup.com, which was brand new at the time and still free to use. found out there actually was a pagan circle (eclectic, mainly wiccan, not formally organized) that held sabbats. so i went and liked the people a lot and became a regular.

we were a very small group for a few years. then the person who had started the group decided she wanted to form a coven, that was the natural progression in her path. i was against that but still loved the people in the group so i argued for all sabbats to continue to be open to anyone as long as they were participating and not simply observing (that's just creepy and makes me paranoid), and for the coven teachings to be as eclectic and inclusive to non-wiccan pagan beliefs as possible. we still frequently butt heads but it is working well, and i feel the group benefits from having an elder who is willing to argue or at least remind people that there are other ways to look at things, where if i had simply left because the group wasn't "exactly" the way i wished it was, no one would be exposed to that. in other words, i try to be a balancing force, which isn't always easy.

the group now has close to 20 members who at least come to sabbats, although not all of them are involved in classes to attain degrees. we are basically the only group in the immediate area, and the priestess is clergy so she can perform legal weddings etc. we're on witchvox now, when i first moved here only about 5 people were within driving distance on witchvox and none wanted to meet anyone else... people around here seem unhappy that there is no group (or they didn't know about it), but don't want to even try it out once they find out there is one and they just didn't bother to look. i don't think everyone needs a group to practice with, but i do think that psychologically it helps to know that there are others nearby, and intellectually i think you learn more from discussion than just from reading and digesting in isolation. but if you're not prepared to stand up for yourself in a way that is still respectful, then being in a group would probably make you feel oppressed and i can understand that fear. we don't have a cuups group at our uu fellowship but i'm probably going to start one soon since there has been some interest expressed.

as for events, some people want to have a witches' ball but others of us are concerned about fundamentalist backlash. personally i would prefer to carpool to albuquerque and go to someone else's witches' ball, but that's one of the things we're at odds at right now. we do hold all eight sabbats and take turns writing them so that you always get a different person's perspective and take on things. we have done a few esbats/drum circles but it's hard to get people together, and we had to abandon the meetup group once they started charging to use their website. i guess i would say if you want something to happen, you have to start it yourself.

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