by Tahuti:

i.e. in many Neopagan religions everyone is a Preist(ess), a Mystic or a Lay Pagan… and practitioners get to experience all these molds.
What are the benefits/drawbacks to this type of system?

Answer by Tim
hmm benefits none, drawbacks, one way ticket to a hot seat


  • In traditional paths, anyone with the desire to become one, may become a priest/priestess. There is no obligation to continue to the final degree of training that sets one as a

    However since the traditional paths are all “mysteries schools” anyone who makes it to first, second and third (more in some traditions) degree is oathbound to not reveal their knowledge to anyone unless that person is learning that path.

    Because of this, a student, of whatever tradition they are learning, has the option to become anything within that path.

    We know of quite a few elders who are trained in two or more traditions and have attained the position of priest/priestess within all of the traditions that they have had the chance to learn.

    Now, of course, becoming a self taught priest/priestess has it’s advantages as well. A self-taught priest/priestess has no rules to follow, save the ones they make up.

    The disadvantage to that route is that no one from any of the traditional paths seriously recognize you as a priest/priestess.
    Part of that stygma is because, as a self-taught Hp/Hps, it is generally accepted that there was no one to guide you along the way. After all, you can’t ask a book for clarification if it is unclear on some point or another.

    However, because Paganism allows anyone with the desire to become a Hp/Hps, no one is left out in the cold, expecting to “take it on faith” that what they are being told is correct. They are encouraged to seek the same knowledge that got others to the levels of Hp/Hps.

  • “PLAY???” No, FILL, yes. Witches do not “play” at being Witches, it’s serious business. Yeah we CAN have fun as we worship and conduct our other business, but it’s always done with reverence and we generallykeep in mind just who and what we are dealing with.

    The benefits include a direct, personal, and intimate relationship with Deity without some other jerk telling us what to do, say, and think. We don’t need intercessors to speak FOR us, for we can do it on our own directly with Goddess/God in a personal and intimate dialogue with them. The only drawback is if we need help or guidance we may not be able to find an elder or gifted person to help us out. but as we gain experience we learn that we are able to alwys get the BEST help directly from Goddess/God through our own deep meditations.

    Brightest Blessings,
    Raji the Green Witch

  • Pagans don’t hold to a strict heirarchy, leaders are more about teaching and leading by example. Anybody can do rituals at home in whatever manner they wish, but in a group setting the leaders will take those that wish to perform ritual for the group and prepare them, coach them, and assist them. It Gives everyone a chance to feel like a part of the group. Drawbacks ? Only when someone with a little power decides to misuse that power for personal gain.

  • what plain tim doesn’t realize is that pagans in general tend to have no problem with hot seats. tho i doubt he understands the term.

    i participate in two groups that work this way, one has an official leader because it operates on a more organized level by necessity of its size and public presence, the other is completely anarchistic in structure. the larger group is moving toward a more organized structure so it can handle an influx of strangers and the drifting off of members and remain stable, and that’s where the difference lies between structured and non-structured religious groups. a fairly closed group of people who are all known to each other doesn’t need defined roles, and until recently, that’s how paganism operated. now that it’s becoming more common, strangers are beginning to interact in religious capacities, and there’s a need for organization. neither system is good or bad, or has particular advantages or draw backs, and both can exist in the same community.

  • Benefits of this type of system are the generating of discussion and promoting enlightenment by the convergence of ideas.

    The drawbacks are that if practiceners don’t come to an agree then the group disbands and often friendships are destroyed. But that only happens in extreme cases.

Leave a Comment