Here’s the taboo I’m breaking in 2019: talking about Pagans and how they (don’t) organize

It’s taken awhile for some clarity to coalesce with this blog. Sometimes the problem comes from my private life, other times from my fears of my own inadequacies. Finally a small vision has formed, one where I have something helpful to say: I am damn good at organizing events and groups. I gained solid training by a nonprofit volunteer clearinghouse back in 2002, and what I learned has proven continuously helpful, even as social media has drastically changed how word and outreach spreads. While other bloggers dig into the specifics of their traditions, I remain determinedly non-specific, and when it comes to writing on identity, I can offer nothing but mental exhaustion. I always, however, have the energy to organize people in loose but fun confederations.

There are other writers on this topic – Shauna Aura Knight is probably the best known. She is also the first person I met who, like me, wanted to buck the dogma of “organizing Pagans is like herding cats.” In recent years, her calling has shifted to deeper issues. Many years before I met her, before blogs and blogging, I approached a few Pagan outlets with my ideas about writing on the nuts and bolts of organizing. At the time my ideas were dismissed. It isn’t the first time something like that has happened, when I’ve had something legitimate and important to offer, and been ignored. Those dismissals are a recurring condition I no longer accept. I suspect the key to change is to have some confidence in my own wisdom. As one old flame put it, “You’re 100 years ahead of your time and 200 years ahead of mine.”

Thanks to the work of Knight people are ready to hear what I have to offer. Starting in 2019, I am posting a series here on organizing for Pagans. For those that organize outside of these contexts, much may sound familiar. I will say little about covens. Most initiatory traditions have their organization methods worked into their laws and bylaws. Groups larger than covens require different tools. I know those tools.

I may divert, as situations inevitably arise, in ways to recognize abusers and break their tools, but for the most part I intend to focus on the day-to-day pragmatics. The tools I suggest are the ones that have worked for me; people that follow this blog closely may have different ideas or methods and as long as they are proven (you got the results you wanted or better) then of course I want to hear them.

I realize I sound like I am positioning myself as a Pagan Stephen Covey. My 2019 contribution to Llewellyn Witches Date book  involved using Eisenhower grids and converting your date book to a bullet journal. I could do worse. As long as I’m not the source of inspirational memes and posters, I think we’ll all be ok.

About the Author

Diana Rajchel lives at the western edge of San Francisco, where sea creatures and hippies meet, breed, and glower at gentrification. From this liminal place she runs the Emperor Norton Pagan Social, writes about magic, herbs, and human quirks, and looks to both sidewalk and sky for wisdom. She is the author of Divorcing a Real Witch, the Mabon and Samhain installments of the Llewellyn Sabbat essentials series, and a title on Urban Magic to be released by Llewellyn in 2018.

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