The Five Rings
A Guide for Pagan Ministers
Copyright 2010 Shanddaramon
Print version available through Astor Press (http://astorpress.com)
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In 2001, my wife and I moved to North Carolina where I became a Director of Music and Arts at a large Unitarian-Universalist Church. While there, I was the only one on staff with experience in Paganism so I became the director of Pagan Studies as well. I began teaching Wednesday night classes and soon a regular group of students began to develop. Over the next four years and with my help, the students decided that they wanted more than just weekly lessons and formed themselves into a state recognized non-profit religious and educational corporation. We began doing regular rituals, workshops and retreats and those students worked themselves through the five degree system that I created and was already working through myself. Priests and Priestesses of the Sacred Order of Living Paganism (as we called ourselves) did more than lead rituals, however. We began to focus on spiritual advising and direction for others in our group and beyond. While working at the church I studied pastoral techniques and learned about the duties of a minister. I put those lessons into practice as I was called upon to help people who desired to work with someone with a Pagan background. We did public service work and we reached out to other groups as well. In my last year of working with them, they legally ordained me through the Order and, since then, I have gone on to run rituals, do advising, and lead weddings and memorials as a Pagan Minister.