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Los Angeles Area Pagans & Witches Network Message Board › Our Monthly Study Group

Our Monthly Study Group

A former member
Post #: 74
I have to say I was disappointed at the low turnout for today's study group compared to the RSVP's. Thanks to those of you who did come by! It was great having you. And I understand if people, say, can't find the museum (I did post a link for directions, but I can understand if you don't know the area) or forgot, as I see a couple of you posted.

But I want to know, is there a problem with the study group? How high is the interest? Each month the amount of people who show appears to dwindle more and more, and I found myself asking Mariner whether I should continue organizing/posting these monthly study groups. He did say yes due to high demand, but I'm just curious as to where the people are. Especially last month, there was a huge amount of RSVP's (yes's and maybe's), but a lot of people who RSVP don't show up. I'm not trying to be rude here, as I want to organize events that people are interested in, but why are more and more people RSVPing 'yes,' and not showing? Yes, I know, there was Pride Day last week, so I changed the date, but still. The people who are taking the time to give these wonderful classes deserve more support than they are recently getting. I don't understand why we currently have 314 members and a very small portion of people actually take part in the events. Am I missing something here?

I want to ask members of the group whether the issue is the day of the week/time of the study group, the location, or just the subject matter that causes you to either not have any interest in attending, or whether you can't due to work, etc. Is it because everybody is simply too busy during the summer? Or some other issue(s)? If I can get some feedback on this I can make some positive changes. Thanks.

~Heather Ravencroft
Los Angeles, CA
Post #: 75
Hi Heather, as for Rob and I, Summer has gone off to a very busy start. I was bummed to see that the class had been changed to the 16th because we already had something planned. Still, we both enjoy the study groups very much and would hate to see them go.
A former member
Post #: 131
Sorry, Tim had to do stuff with his son for Father's Day... and I was tired from a late night Friday and I needed to work on my mom's gift.

To be honest I have only a little interest in the classes. Originally I had been interested in a Study Group, not classes/lectures. I was still going to go, but the location doesn't work as well for me as it used to, plus I lost five days this week re-installing servers... so I ended up really tight on time. I might go next time, but since Con season is about to start I kinda doubt it.

But don't feel too bad, I also haven't made Wednesday meetup for a bit. I'm gonna try to this week.
A former member
Post #: 65
Heather, I had a thought after we split yesterday - maybe a good idea is to make the study groups more interactive. Instead of asking one person each month to give a presentation, pick a topic of discussion that everyone can participate in. Make it more like a pagan rap group. I've enjoyed all the presentations so far - we are very blessed to have such a wealth of talent and wisdom in our midst - but I'm sure it's also a challenge for the presenters to come up with something to fill two hours. Another suggestion - encourage people to bring things to share with them like books, divination tools, etc. Kind of a pagan show and tell that gives everyone a chance to share a bit about things they find interesting and useful.

Divination tools are especially encouraged because of their broad appeal. Some are very adept at using them, others somewhat so, and others not so much but would really like to learn. The study groups would be a wonderful opportunity for interactive practice and teaching. When I was teaching years ago, we had a semi-regular class exercise for tarot that was always really fun and useful. We chose one person at random to come up with a question, layed out the spread, and gave everyone ten minutes to interpret it and take notes. Then we went around the room and everyone read their interpretations. This was really useful since not everyone reads tarot the same way. It works for runes, witch stones, and other types of divination as well.

Also, let's not overlook spells. I have a traveling altar and spell kit and would be happy to bring it with me to use for simple spells, nothing too elaborate obviously.

This is just my personal feeling, but I'd like to see the study group be more of an enticement to members who perhaps are new to the Craft and want the opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for what it's all about. Having a single topic and a single speaker on the agenda might be too confining. I'd like to see us get into a regular routine that includes a mix of discussion and hands-on practice.

As far as the weekend daytime schedule and location - I love being out in the shade of the trees on a warm summer day, but I know that having it in the middle of the day makes it tough for a lot of people. What about Sunday evenings? Scheduling it at the end of the weekend might make it easier for people to fit it into their schedules. Just a thought. smile

A former member
Post #: 133
*LOL* Hey Mariner - that's more or less what I thought of when I wanted to start a study group (which ended up kind of being this). Not classes/presentations, but a group that learns and studies together.
A former member
Post #: 59
I was going to make the same points that Mariner and Jessica did. I was interested in these Sunday meetups when I thought it was going to be an actual study group in which, as Mariner said, everyone participates and it's interactive. It turned into a pagan lecture series or class series and while that's still kind of interesting, it's much less so when it's a weekend and I don't want to do something that feels like school. I used to have to push myself to go to classes sometimes, too, and I often skipped those as well, haha!

Still, I have wanted to try to go, but have yet to make it out there, because the location is a bit intimidating. I've never been to that park, and everyone seems to have trouble finding it. So this weekend, when I was really tired, and we were having two meetups super close together, I decided to choose the one that is more personally convenient for me - the Wed night one.

I'm definitely much more interested in the weekend meetups if they take on an actual study group format, for sure. That would be great! But anyway, I think this weekend was just a bust because there was so much going on with everyone's plans, and people had other commitments.

I definitely want to try to make the Wed night meetup, though. The laid back, socializing format of those meetups has always been appealing to me, and I enjoy them very much. Any event like that is the type that I'm most interested in attending, personally.

As for time of day, I would be far less likely to attend if it's a Sunday night. Sunday morning works best for me, followed by Sunday afternoon.
A former member
Post #: 76
Guys, that's great advice, thanks--all of you are right--I guess I did kind of get sidetracked as far as the focus of what the study group is--and I apologize for that. So, I'll alter the format into something more interactive, and change the time to more Sunday evening-ish. Question is, how late is that park (Tar Pits) open? Should I change the location to another park, maybe? I remember a long time ago (seems that way) when we used to meet @ Elixir, a lot of people voted on the 2 pm time since it was a relatively quiet time there, supposedly, and they closed early. But, I can see how with a new location, that earlier time doesn't really apply anymore. So, what time would be good, maybe 6 pm? Questions, questions. I really appreciate the feedback, though. Mariner, the divination thing is a fantastic idea--I've been wanting to delve into that topic for a while now, and was planning to do Tarot/Readings in August. And discussing and/or practicing spells would be fantastic. Any other ideas? What topics would everyone like to discuss? Thanks again guys for your feedback.
A former member
Post #: 66
No need to apologize, Heather. A structured group is always going to be evolving. There's a polling feature on this site (look on the left side of the screen, it's under the link for messages). I would suggest getting as much feedback as you can from as many people as possible about the time and location. The park is beautiful and spacious but might not be the most convenient spot for many, and if that's a major impediment for a lot of people then you might ask for alternative suggestions. I think timing is the most critical issue though. I suggested later on Sundays but that might not be what works best for the group.

Also - not everyone has to be doing the same activity simultaneously for the whole two hours. Let's say, for instance, that some people want to start a book circle and use the time to discuss what they're reading. Others might want to do tarot, or billet reading, or runes, or crafts of some kind, or spellwork. And some might just want to socialize. It's all good. If you offer one thing, people will take it or leave it. If there's several choices, people will gravitate to what suits them. But don't take it on yourself to try to coordinate everything - let people show up knowing what they'd like to do and prepared to make it happen. Believe me, they will if the opportunity is there.

Jessica, Meg - anyone else - what would you like to get out of the study group?

Zoysia M.
user 4299925
London, GB
Post #: 3
I know that I am new to this group?but I for one very much enjoyed my experience at my first study group. Roger was a wonderful teacher and I got a few new tricks to add to my meditations. Even an entirely new style of movement meditation I have never heard of before so my thanks to both Roger and Heather for the opportunity.
I know it is frustrating to work so hard on something in hopes that others will find the joy in it that you believe they will. Its true as well that there seems to be a lot of members that are inactive?but these seem to also be members that have calmed themselves as new or with limited experience. I was a touch on the nervous side attending the study group myself. Even though I have been practicing for a time. I would like to share that I felt these study groups are good for all levels of interest. From beginner to advanced you should still be able to take something away from this.
As for the people that RSVPed and didn?t come ?to each his own? in that I am sure each one of you had some different excuses as to why.
I hope these study meeting will continue in the future and just cause there is a little slow down does not mean it will last?I hope ? Cause I look forward to meeting everyone in the future.
Burbank, CA
Post #: 33
Hi Everyone!

So, in terms of what I want in the study group is something more participatory and involved. I like getting together and working on some type of subject as a group. It did seem that the study classes turned much more structured than I wanted. The last one I went to it felt like we had to sit in silence until the class was over. It was a but stifling.
I like the idea of discussing as a group....For example, I was going to an astrology class. The woman teaching it did speak a bit about astrology, but we went over each others charts in a very participatory way...we made comments and asked questions. I am not saying that the next class needs to be an astrology class like that or anything, but it was a really great way to learn.
I have been a lot busier in the past few months, but the space for the study group sounds really hard to find and intimidating for people. To have someone post her own message on the board that she drove around and couldn't find it is a total bummer.
Also, just to chime in....Sunday nights are out for me. I get stretched enough with activities, Sunday night is all about me in my home chilling out for the week to come.

Heather, I am really sorry that people RSVP'd yes, but didn't come. But everyone involved has different time constraints. The moving of the meeting may have confused people. Also, traffic was a fricking NIGHTMARE on Saturday. At the ritual I was at, people gave up and turned around. I feel that giving a lot of leeway for people coming to our meetups and events can only be a good thing for everyone involved.

Thanks for the topic....this feels like a productive board.

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