If you are new to the Pagan community, you might be interested in interacting with other Pagans. Are you looking for a group or teacher, or would you prefer to work on your own while interacting with the community as a whole? While it was once said that 'ye may not be a Witch alone,' the path of the solitary is becoming more common nowadays. While some are only solitary until finding a tradition that suits their beliefs, others are solitary by choice, opting to work alone out of preference rather than necessity. In this case, a solitary might choose to participate in discussion groups online rather than meet regularly with a small local group.
Pagan webweaving -- tips, tricks, and ideas
New Pagans who choose to work magick alone may benefit from interacting online with others to gain a sense of community.
What is webweaving?
Webweaving is the modern Craft term for networking. It includes participating in discussion forums, contributing to mailing lists and newsletters, and being listed at webweaving listings in hopes of receiving correspondence (email and letters).
A mailing list is an email newsletter for the distribution of information on a particular topic. Some mailing lists are one-way only, where the maintainer sends out information at intervals (very popular with organizations), while others are arranged for a multi-person discussion to which you too can contribute. It is not a good idea to sign up for every mailing list you come across, as many will result in you receiving hundreds of emails each day. Choose carefully to avoid being overwhelmed. If there is an option to only receive a 'digest' version, select that so you will only receive one email per day from the list.
A discussion forum is a web site for the discussion of information on a particular topic. There are quite a few discussion sites which preserve the discussions in a threaded format so many people can contribute when they have time.
Listings are essentially pagan personal ads detailing the person's name, email address, and magickal interests.
Always practice good netiquette
- If you request information from someone by snail-mail, enclose a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE). There's no reason to expect someone else to pay for your postage and envelopes. Many receive several inquiries a day, and will be glad of this as the cost adds up quickly.
- When inquiring about Pagans in your area, introduce yourself and explain how you came to contact the group (person, organization, etc). Don't expect to be taken to heart or invited to a group at first glance. Even those out of the closet will not hand out their home addresses or the addresses of others to a complete stranger who may or may not be someone seeking to persecute or harm them.
- When you receive information you requested, be sure to send a thank you to the person. It's the least you can do for someone who took the time to respond to your request.
- If the person (group, circle, etc) has a web site, visit it and read carefully before asking questions. Often, the question you wish to ask has already been covered at the site.
Note: requests for 'lots of spells' or 'a copy of your grimoire'
or 'all the information on Witchcraft you have' will most likely
be ignored, particularly by those contacted via their web sites.
Safety tips for new Pagans
- Do not assume that people are what they claim to be. Being a Witch (if they are one) does not necessarily make them a nice and truthful person. Question each person carefully, and do not accept what they say at face value.
- Do not give out your legal name. Select a public magickal name and use that. Should it be easy to determine your name from your email address, get another address just for webweaving (free email addresses can be had from several sites). An added bonus to having another email address is that if someone starts harassing you, you can simply delete that address and create another one elsewhere. Similarly, if you plan on receiving letters and journals, get a post office box especially for that purpose. Do not give out your home address.
- Be wary of any people whom you have never met that offer to initiate you or have you join their circle sight-unseen. Most legitimate circles have a rigorous screening process.
- Do not meet strange people in either your home or their home. Opt for a public place to meet (a restaurant, public park, shopping center, etc.).