The Five Rings: A Manual for Pagan Ministers by Shanddaramon“Smashwords Edition” Copyright 2010 Shanddaramon Revised August 2016 Print version available through Astor Press (http://astorpress.com) This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then you should return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
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.
I think the time is right to begin to think of ordaining others as Pagan ministers because they are needed in this world at this time. Pagan ministers believe in the sanctity of Earth and at a time when Earth is being overheated and disemboweled, we need people who can spread the message of her sacredness. Pagan ministers believe in respecting all sacred paths that do not spread hate or harm. In a time when the majority of the world's conflicts are due to religious differences, we need people who will spread the message of diversity and tolerance. The purpose of this book is to provide a means of study for people who wish to help others through a Pagan theological outlook. It is my hope that the many Pagan spiritual groups that are currently active will work toward training and ordaining some of their members so that there will be a core of qualified Pagan Ministers available to provide aid to others.