Other Religions Paganism and Wicca 9 Tips For New Pagan Leaders Share Flipboard Email Print Paganism and Wicca Basics Rituals and Ceremonies Sabbats and Holidays Wicca Gods Herbalism Wicca Traditions Wicca Resources for Parents By Patti Wigington Paganism Expert B.A., History, Ohio University Patti Wigington is a pagan author, educator, and licensed clergy. She is the author of Daily Spellbook for the Good Witch, Wicca Practical Magic and The Daily Spell Journal. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Patti Wigington Updated July 30, 2017 Are you someone who wants to become more active in your Pagan community? You may consider yourself a leader already, and if you do, that's great! Perhaps you'd like to become one some day - or you may be one now and not even realize it! Regardless, to be an effective leader, here are a few things you may want to keep in mind about our Pagan community. 01 of 09 Running a Group Isn't All Fun & Games Running a group isn't all fun and games. Image by Jupiter Images/Photolibrary/Getty Images Running a Pagan group or coven can be a lot of work - while it's often challenging, it can also be very rewarding. If you're thinking about starting a coven or some other sort of group, keep in mind that a leader does more than just stand in front of the altar during a ritual. You'll be expected to create ceremonies, guide new folks in their magical studies, craft rituals for a variety of purposes, and often mediate disputes. Plan on spending a considerable amount of time developing your leadership skills - and remember that the other members will get out of it as much as you put into it: Starting Your Own Pagan Group or Coven 02 of 09 You Won't Become Clergy Overnight How many people should be in a Pagan group?. Image © Imagebank/Getty Images; Licensed to About.com Here at About Pagan/Wiccan, we get many emails from people who want to know what they have to do to become Pagan clergy. In most Pagan religions, the priesthood is accessible to anyone who’s willing to put the time and energy into it - but the requirements tend to vary, depending on both your tradition, and the legal requirements of the place where you live. Plan on studying for a long time - it's not going to happen instantly. Becoming Pagan Clergy 03 of 09 Starting a Pagan Temple Temple of Ceres in Campania, Italy. Image by De Agostini / S. Vannini / Getty Images For many people, Why can’t we? actually means Why Doesn’t Someone Else? Want a Pagan temple in your community? Get out there and start one. No one is stopping you. Just like with Pagan businesses, Pagan events, and other needs that haven’t been met, every venture starts with one person finding a hole and filling it. Want to be a leader? Then lead, and make something happen. Starting a Pagan Temple 04 of 09 Do You Have What it Takes to Teach? Does your potential teacher live magically every day?. Image by Giulia Fiori Photography/Moment Open/Getty Images Part of being an effective leader is being able to help other people learn new things. Perhaps someone has approached you and asked you to teach a class or lead a group. It's indeed possible that your life experience and studying has put you in a position where you can take on this responsibility. Before you commit to such a big undertaking, consider whether or not you can handle mediating disputes, organizing and leading events and rituals, and dealing with conflict. 05 of 09 Structure and Organization Helps Image by Reza Estakhrian/Stone/Getty Images If you're the type of leader who wants to start a coven of your own, one thing that many groups find helpful is structure. A good way to keep things organized in a coven setting is to have a written set of mandates, or coven bylaws. Bylaws or some other sort of guideline will help you be a more consistent and effective leader. Writing Coven Bylaws 06 of 09 Group Dynamics and New Members With a study group, you and a few friends can learn together. Image © Brand X/Getty; Licensed to About.com Remember that part about leaders sometimes having to mediate disputes? It happens, and when it does, you'll have to consider all sides, and focus on making sure the best interests of the community are served. Are you up for the challenge? 07 of 09 Recognizing Pagan Role Models Image by FrareDavis Photography/Photodisc/Getty Images There are a lot of Pagans out there doing some pretty awesome things - and often they do it with little to no recognition. When you see someone in the Pagan community - of any age, from teens to elders - who is setting a powerful and positive example, learn from them - and recognize that they are well on their way to being a leader too. 08 of 09 The Value of Pagan Elders The title of Elder is earned, not claimed. Marc Romanelli/Blend Images/Getty Images Spend any time at all in the Pagan community, and you’re bound to hear someone referred to as an Elder. Typically used as a term of respect and honor, Elder is a status that is generally given to someone, rather than claimed for oneself. One of the jobs of community leaders is to identify who these people are, and learn valuable lessons from them that you can share with others. 09 of 09 Speak Up Against the Predators Image by Mecky/ImageBank/Getty Images As much as we'd like to believe that everyone in the Pagan community is good and kind and well-intentioned, the fact is that a few bad apples occasionally slip through the cracks. There are predators in the Pagan community, just like any other group, and it's important that those in a position of leadership know who those predators are and speak out against them. If you really want to lead, part of that will include having tough conversations with people, in order to keep the rest of the community safe. Can you handle it?