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Raven (yes, really), a pagan, homeschooling mother of two -- one teen, one tot -- shares her adventures in parenting from a pagan perspective. Watch her juggle work, education, parenting, cooking, gardening, and . . . how many balls are in the air now? Sometimes they fall, and sometimes she learns from her mistakes. You can, too.

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The Search for Community

Recently I spoke with a dear friend of mine who has known struggles and walked through darkness more times than most.  She had sought out a group for people like her, empathic and aware, but was denied  her right to participate the moment she presented a part of herself that did not fit in with their narrow concept of enlightenment.

She brought up the subject of death and was summarily told that death wasn't something they talked about, so she left, yet continues to seek a place where she can find community and support.  A safe space, which can seem sometimes out of reach for the solo spiritualist.

As a solitary practitioner of my path, I often wish to seek out community as well, and have found some online groups to alleviate the isolation left when I chose to have a second child and could not regularly visit with a shamanic study group that had also moved further away.For certain rites and celebrations, our family has embraced groups of strangers as temporary community, or worked hard to make a space and time available for hosting a gathering.  Sometimes it works out: a Mabon celebration a friend hosted allowed for spontaneous ritual, a local pagan group's Beltane festival allowed my daughter to make a friend, jump a cauldron, and dance around a Maypole.  But many times, it can be difficult to make it work. 

Scheduling conflicts or weather issues often lead to a dissolution of plans.  Our own Beltane plans this weekend have already been altered to a low-key home ritual because the event to which we were invited has had to change their ritual times to honor their May Queen and King, which just so happen to be during the toddler's nap time. 

This lack of consistent community can lead solitary practitioners feel isolated and lonely, and for those with children, it can lead to confusion and a lack of continuity that young ones often need to feel safe among groups. As the matriarch in a family of misfits (not a single one of us shares the same philosophy in detail), I find it difficult at times like these to feel connected and supported.  Though my daily path requires only occasional connection to online friends, the times of high celebration call to me to participate in community.

These challenges are compounded by insular groups, a diversity of ideas of what pagan or ritual mean, and multiple paths that don't always coincide.  This is not to say that I or other solitary practitioners are defeated, but mundane conflicts can present obstacles to creating the cohesion and support more dogmatic ideologies often provide (e.g. Church picnics, chanting in temple, etc.).

Creating community takes time, and a friend of mine is already discussing the creation of a dogma-free, ideologically diverse group in a space where it's the sharing that matters, not the individual path.  It has inspired me to consider creating a similar space somewhere nearer to my area that embraces the need for consistent community without the bindings of a single faith.  

To take on this endeavor will require dedication, creativity, and the shared desire of many people for such a community.  The idea is nascent, but I believe there may be others in my area longing for a stronger sense of community, a group that can become a safe space for sharing and ritual, as well as an extension of family.

Where do you find support for your spiritual pursuits?  What does community mean to your practice?


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Raven lives in a forest with her two homeschooled children, partner, and several demanding cats. She enjoys performing, cooks a mean burger, and is obsessed with farming, but has yet to adopt a goat. Her publications are listed at


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