It’s been said that organizing Pagans is like herding cats. I’m a lifelong cat lover, and I wonder if it’s not better to let the cats wander where they may. That being said, as Pagans who consider ourselves clergy, don’t we need some cats, um, some Pagans to wander around with? How do you serve your Pagan community?
There is, of course, the traditional path of serving as High Priestess or High Priest of a coven, circle, or grove. But there are many other ways to serve. You might be devoted caretaker for a patch of wild land, offer writings or healing sessions, be the go-to person for your local Pagans when they need a sympathetic ear, deliver interfaith services at a UU church, volunteer at prisons, hospitals, or hospices, or many other options.
The MPCA is now in the midst of its second decade. The EarthTides Pagan Network is even older, having been around since 1989. The needs of the Pagan community in Maine have changed over the years. I’ve noticed over the past few cycles that our Pagan organizations have fewer participants and volunteers, and wondered what, if anything, should be done about it.
Where do those cats go when they wander, anyway? Well, to the internet, if the popularity of Facebook (and in particular, the Maine Pagans group page) tells us anything. To Popham Beach Beltane, which is still a heavily-attended gathering that has become a spring tradition for many of us. Back to the land – the number of Pagans getting involved in permaculture and other green avocations is increasing, which is a wonderful thing. To help our aging population live their final years with grace. To teach and encourage the next generation of Pagan kids.
As members of Pagan organizations, it’s rather challenging to know what we should offer in order to support the Pagans who are out there doing the work in their communities. We can offer, as MPCA does, space for clergy to gather and share their concerns, as well as a means to official licensure for those who seek it. We can provide, as EarthTides has for years at the Common Ground Fair, outreach to Pagans who might not be aware there is support available. We can offer educational workshops on topics of communal interest.
What other ideas do you have? What would you like to see MPCA offer in the coming months? What would you like to learn about that would help you as a member of the Pagan clergy? Where have you seen your cats wandering off to lately?