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Author Topic: Groups Without A lot of Requirements  (Read 3362 times)

Auress

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Groups Without A lot of Requirements
« on: July 14, 2011, 09:05:45 pm »
This might sound sort of....odd.....but, here goes.

Part of the reason that I've never before joined a group of people religiously, or in paganism, is because they all seem to want to put forth a lot of requirements. For instance, while I was Wiccan, some covens not only wanted you to do their coursework but they also required that your beliefs be directly in line with their own. Some were hard polytheists, etc. I could never find a group of pantheistic, soft polytheist Wiccans. Usually, those were all solitary.

Now that I've found that druidry does speak to me - because I've always thought that nature was divine and was a pantheist - I'm finding the same problems that I had with Wicca. I want to belong to a group, but it seems that what they want from me, I can't give them because of where I am located. I live remotely, and to get to a place where their requirements would matter, I'd have to drive a long distance.

Just for instance, some of them want you to be involved in your community on an environmental basis, through recycling or sustainability projects, etc. The problem here is that my community does not have a recycling program, it's that rural. Sustainability projects just don't happen where I am. Community involvement on an environmental level would need me to be located in a metro area.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not in any way opposed to doing the work. In fact, I'm craving that part of it. It's just that, in order to be called a Druid it seems that I have to do a lot of things that I wouldn't be able to complete.

So, tell it to me straight, am I just barking up the wrong tree? Is there truly no organization that doesn't require things I can't provide to them?

Micheál

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Re: Groups Without A lot of Requirements
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 03:15:29 am »
Quote from: Vermillion;4983
This might sound sort of....odd.....but, here goes.

Part of the reason that I've never before joined a group of people religiously, or in paganism, is because they all seem to want to put forth a lot of requirements. For instance, while I was Wiccan, some covens not only wanted you to do their coursework but they also required that your beliefs be directly in line with their own. Some were hard polytheists, etc. I could never find a group of pantheistic, soft polytheist Wiccans. Usually, those were all solitary.

Was this a certain tradition, or eclectic group of Wicca? In traditional Wicca, you may work with the "archetypical" Wiccan gods, but personal interpretation of the divine is left to the individual. It's an orthopraxic mystery tradition, that places more emphasis on practice, than belief. Therefore you have hard polytheists, soft polytheists, pantheists, e.t.c. I know of quite a few Wiccan pantheists. The only problem there is, there are quite a few requirements in Traditional circles. Some covens may not list themselves publicly, and others are more seeker friendly, and do. Sometimes you have to wait until they're accepting new members as well, in which you'll still be interviewed, and considered. You sound as though you've already made a few enquiries, and know what a few groups require, but it could just possibly have been the wrong group for you.

As far as Druidry, I'm not as experienced in that area. Again though, was it a certain group? I do know a few OBOD's in Ireland, that did their training years ago when your presence was required, but I heard that they do distance coursework. I have to drive 2 hours every fortnight for my circles, so I feel your pain there. Committing to the right group sometimes comes with a good deal of sacrifice. Honestly though, trying to get me to recycle and get involved with my community would seem a bit much, and out of place. (Not that I don't anyway, but that's an individual voluntarily choice IMO)

Asch

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Re: Groups Without A lot of Requirements
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2011, 04:12:24 am »
Quote from: Micheál;5097
Was this a certain tradition, or eclectic group of Wicca? In traditional Wicca, you may work with the "archetypical" Wiccan gods, but personal interpretation of the divine is left to the individual. It's an orthopraxic mystery tradition, that places more emphasis on practice, than belief. Therefore you have hard polytheists, soft polytheists, pantheists, e.t.c. I know of quite a few Wiccan pantheists. The only problem there is, there are quite a few requirements in Traditional circles. Some covens may not list themselves publicly, and others are more seeker friendly, and do. Sometimes you have to wait until they're accepting new members as well, in which you'll still be interviewed, and considered. You sound as though you've already made a few enquiries, and know what a few groups require, but it could just possibly have been the wrong group for you.

As far as Druidry, I'm not as experienced in that area. Again though, was it a certain group? I do know a few OBOD's in Ireland, that did their training years ago when your presence was required, but I heard that they do distance coursework. I have to drive 2 hours every fortnight for my circles, so I feel your pain there. Committing to the right group sometimes comes with a good deal of sacrifice. Honestly though, trying to get me to recycle and get involved with my community would seem a bit much, and out of place. (Not that I don't anyway, but that's an individual voluntarily choice IMO)

 
OBOD does have a distance course. They send out packets once a month and you can work through them as you have time. It's fairly costly though.

ADF has the DP which is wholly optional.

I haven't come across any large groups like OBOD/ADF that *require* green activism etc but they do encourage it, OBOD in particular. Even then due to your limitations geographically it certainly sounds like you're doing your best within your circumstances.

Jenett

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Re: Groups Without A lot of Requirements
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2011, 10:10:36 am »
Quote from: Vermillion;4983

Part of the reason that I've never before joined a group of people religiously, or in paganism, is because they all seem to want to put forth a lot of requirements. For instance, while I was Wiccan, some covens not only wanted you to do their coursework but they also required that your beliefs be directly in line with their own. Some were hard polytheists, etc. I could never find a group of pantheistic, soft polytheist Wiccans. Usually, those were all solitary.


As noted, this varies quite a bit by group. (In my trad: I'm a hard polytheist, but we've had lots of group members who weren't, and as long as they were fine with the actual practices - including Draw Downs - that wasn't a big deal. Just made for interesting conversations.)

Quote
Just for instance, some of them want you to be involved in your community on an environmental basis, through recycling or sustainability projects, etc. The problem here is that my community does not have a recycling program, it's that rural. Sustainability projects just don't happen where I am. Community involvement on an environmental level would need me to be located in a metro area.


Have you tried asking them specifically about your situation?

I can think of alternatives you might propose that would fit the basic desire, without requiring a level of community action that isn't going to be true somewhere more rural.

For example, you could start a composting pile. Or if you already have one, offer a community workshop (near you, or somewhere else) on how to start one. You could learn organic gardening skills and share them. You could volunteer with a youth group (4-H, Scouts, whatever) to teach some relevant skills, or to start or support a recycling program at a nearby high school, large business, or whatever. You could work with the local town or area waste disposal to provide education about recycling or safe disposal of some things (batteries, oil, medication). None of those need a lot of town-driven support.

Depending on the group requirements, any of those might be a feasible option - but you'd need to get an idea of what their time/exertion expectations are.

Personally, I don't think the requirement to improve the place where you live is unreasonable in and of itself for a group where part of the practice about how you live in the world. It's just a question of negotiating something that's feasible for you that fits the basic goal. It may be that they haven't had someone in quite that situation before.

Or if you ask and explain what is and isn't an option in your area, you might just get an exemption from that particularly requirement.
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Auress

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Re: Groups Without A lot of Requirements
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2011, 12:20:16 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;5149


Have you tried asking them specifically about your situation?

I can think of alternatives you might propose that would fit the basic desire, without requiring a level of community action that isn't going to be true somewhere more rural.

For example, you could start a composting pile. Or if you already have one, offer a community workshop (near you, or somewhere else) on how to start one. You could learn organic gardening skills and share them. You could volunteer with a youth group (4-H, Scouts, whatever) to teach some relevant skills, or to start or support a recycling program at a nearby high school, large business, or whatever. You could work with the local town or area waste disposal to provide education about recycling or safe disposal of some things (batteries, oil, medication). None of those need a lot of town-driven support.

Depending on the group requirements, any of those might be a feasible option - but you'd need to get an idea of what their time/exertion expectations are.

Personally, I don't think the requirement to improve the place where you live is unreasonable in and of itself for a group where part of the practice about how you live in the world. It's just a question of negotiating something that's feasible for you that fits the basic goal. It may be that they haven't had someone in quite that situation before.

Or if you ask and explain what is and isn't an option in your area, you might just get an exemption from that particularly requirement.


I actually have not tried to join a druid group because of the "green activism" part of them. I've read quite a few group sites, but it seems that the ones who do long distance training are also the ones who would like to see that. It is something I would have to discuss with them. I do belong to the AODA public yahoo group and I will probably bring this up there because it's the group that first caught my eye because of the pantheist aspect and the lack of dogma.

Maybe I'm just having some jitters because of my past problems with finding groups and reading more into it than I really need to be.

Asch

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Re: Groups Without A lot of Requirements
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2011, 01:10:38 pm »
Quote from: Vermillion;5172
I actually have not tried to join a druid group because of the "green activism" part of them. I've read quite a few group sites, but it seems that the ones who do long distance training are also the ones who would like to see that. It is something I would have to discuss with them. I do belong to the AODA public yahoo group and I will probably bring this up there because it's the group that first caught my eye because of the pantheist aspect and the lack of dogma.


OBOD isn't dogmatic, oddly they're a strange combination of Romantic Druidry with a dash of ceremonial / western magic and some other stuff. They accept everyone from atheists to hard core pagans. But they do have a tree planting program and they're one of, if not the, priciest groups. I don't plan to be a paying member for more than a year, at least not at this point.

ADF is orthopraxic and not necessarily dogmatic though it does have strict ritual guidelines - members aren't required to adhere to them constantly but are expected to understand that a rite that deviates would not be considered an 'ADF' rite but is otherwise not a negative thing. As far as environmentalism goes its largely up to the individual though nature spirits are one of the three Kindreds that are honored and a portion of the DP requires spending some time in nature - not necessarily doing public service activities - but it does require a nature awareness essay that focuses on natural interactions and human impact, but again the DP isn't required and there's no set script as to what your awareness activities may encompass. Also, if you do decide to join there are loads of people you can talk to and a Dedicant's mailing list you can join for guidance and advice.

This http://www.adf.org/forums/lists/subscribe.html is a list of public ADF lists. OBOD also has a largely public forum here http://www.druidry.org/board/dhp/index.php

Quote
Maybe I'm just having some jitters because of my past problems with finding groups and reading more into it than I really need to be.


Very understandable.

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Re: Groups Without A lot of Requirements
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2011, 02:23:28 pm »
Quote from: Vermillion;4983
This might sound sort of....odd.....but, here goes.

Part of the reason that I've never before joined a group of people religiously, or in paganism, is because they all seem to want to put forth a lot of requirements. For instance, while I was Wiccan, some covens not only wanted you to do their coursework but they also required that your beliefs be directly in line with their own. Some were hard polytheists, etc. I could never find a group of pantheistic, soft polytheist Wiccans. Usually, those were all solitary.

 
FlameKeeping!

You can believe and do pretty much what you want - the only question is that of mindset.  Everything else follows from that.

Auress

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Re: Groups Without A lot of Requirements
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 03:55:44 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;5194
FlameKeeping!

You can believe and do pretty much what you want - the only question is that of mindset.  Everything else follows from that.


Admittedly, I know pretty much nothing about Flamekeeping. I will look into that, too! Thanks, HeartShadow! Are there a lot of pantheist Flamekeepers? <---- Nevermind that question, first thing I clicked on in the Flamekeeping SIG answered that. LOL
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 03:57:37 pm by Auress »

HeartShadow

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Re: Groups Without A lot of Requirements
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2011, 06:57:14 pm »
Quote from: Vermillion;5210
Admittedly, I know pretty much nothing about Flamekeeping. I will look into that, too! Thanks, HeartShadow! Are there a lot of pantheist Flamekeepers? <---- Nevermind that question, first thing I clicked on in the Flamekeeping SIG answered that. LOL

 
*grins* yeah, it's pretty much how it works.

....ooh, emotes! :monkey:

Auress

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Re: Groups Without A lot of Requirements
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2011, 08:49:29 pm »
Quote from: HeartShadow;5252
*grins* yeah, it's pretty much how it works.

....ooh, emotes! :monkey:

I'm reading your blog, now. The Flamekeeping one. We have quite a bit in common it looks like. Flamekeeping does seem to resonate with me. I will be meditating on this for awhile, thanks for the head's up!
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 08:49:50 pm by Auress »

stephyjh

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Re: Groups Without A lot of Requirements
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2011, 02:23:25 am »
Quote from: HeartShadow;5252
*grins* yeah, it's pretty much how it works.

....ooh, emotes! :monkey:

 
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That what is no sense must be nonsense.

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