FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about Living Earth
I am new to Earth-based spirituality and neo-Paganism. Do I need to have a certain level of experience to attend?
Absolutely not. We greatly welcome and encourage participation of people of all paths and experience levels. People who are new to their spiritual path are just as welcome and have just as much to share as more experienced members.
Do you follow a specific Neo-Pagan path?
We practice the Living Earth tradition of modern congregational neo-Paganism. We are committed to connecting spiritually with the Earth, with the Divine, and with each other. Our rituals are somewhat similar to other neo-Pagan and Wiccan structure. We are known for rituals that are creative, warm-hearted, and family-friendly, yet powerful. We are inspired by the ecstatic, collaborative aspects of the Reclaiming tradition.
Who are your members? Is this for families only?
We are family-friendly and welcoming congregation of community-minded spiritual seekers. Living Earth is proud to be considered the most inclusive and diverse. There is also a strong tendency towards embracing feminism and all forms of equality amongst many, perhaps more so than in other religions. Most of us are socially and politically progressive. We have many members from all walks of life and different lifestyles, who join as individuals, families, and couples. We honor and welcome all sexual identities. We're also a pretty relaxed group that honors all stages of our lives. Ostara and Yule tend to be especially inclusive of the children. Samhain is our only ritual that is for adults 18+ due to the serious nature of the Sabbat.
How often does the group meet?
For the past twelve years Living Earth has provided a wide array of Earth-centered open rituals, classes, workshops, activities and social events. We offer many open events and to meet the needs of our evolving community, we also offer smaller, private rituals and other events throughout the year with a core group of like-minded individuals and families who wish to support each other and our path in a deeper, more personal way. These rituals will not be posted on the meetup group. You may request to be part of the private ritual group after attending four open events.
Once I join, is attendance mandatory at a certain number of the events to keep up my membership?
As an open group, we understand that people have lives to lead and are busy, so just attend as often or as little as you wish. Some people's participation waxes and wanes, and others become regular attendees, and others hardly attend at all. We expect somewhat regular attendance for those who are initiates or a part of our private ritual group.
Are there Dues or are donations expected?
Living Earth relies heavily on donations to continue to function. We ask gratefully that attendees contribute a donation in the amount of their choosing at the events they attend, via the meetup website, cash or check at the event, or through the Offerings/Membership button at livingearthcolorado.org. You will not be turned away from an open ritual for not contributing. There are many other ways to contribute, with volunteering, in-kind contributions, and more. Some events/classes/workshops may have a specific fee or tuition required.
What kinds of events are planned?
Living Earth has many events including rituals, classes, camping events, drum and chant circles community service benefitting nature or our community, and much more depending on what our community wants to do. Some events are private and some are open.
social events, artsy/crafty workshops, family potluck parties, short classes, kid oriented circles and activities, drumming circles, field trips to cool pagan-friendly places, camping events, and much more!
Where do you have events?
Most of our events are at Living Earth House, 605 Newton St., Denver CO 80204. We offer affordable housing to young people in our community at this community house and a large studio/sanctuary building in the back of the property. Come around the back of the house when you arrive. We also have events at several other places, especially public parks and national forest locations including public parks and camping areas.
Are you a teaching group?
At our open rituals, we do make sure we explain what we're doing so that new people and younger attendees can understand and participate as desired. We do offer a limited number of classes with formal instruction in the Living Earth Tradition.
Are you a coven?
No, we are a church and an "open circle." Usually it’s just Wiccans and Witches who tend to use the term “coven.” Several of our members are also members of covens.
Are you a Church?
Yes. Just not a Christian church, or probably not like any other church you’ve been to. We are an organization created for religious worship and as with all churches we are 501c3 tax exempt.
Who is in charge?
Our group is led by a Board of Directors, which includes co-organizers Joy Burton and Jo Butler. We are guided by an active and involved Clergy Council, which includes the Board of Directors as well as several adjunct clergy members.
Who is Clergy and how does one become ordained?
See our Constitution and Bylaws on the About Us page at www.livingearthcolorado.org, or speak with any ritualist at a Living Earth event.
How do you decide what events are happening, who is leading them, and when?
We plan the upcoming annual calendar in Nov/Dec of each year. The clergy collaborate together on planning events and the Board determines the final schedule. We are inspired by the lunar and solar calendars. Sabbats usually take place on the weekend before or after the official day. New and Full moons usually take place on the day they happen. ADD REACH OUT FOR SUGGSTIONS??????
How do I get involved?
Join the meetup, RSVP to events, and show up! All are welcome.
What dress do you wear at rituals?
It is not necessary to wear anything specific. Whatever you are comfortable wearing is fine. Some people wear lots of pagan jewelry, others none. Quite a few of us can be easily mistaken for the average Highlands Ranch soccer mom (gasp!). Others, not quite so. We're a pretty casual group! Sometimes people like to dress up in nicer clothing for events.
What expectations do you have of ritual attendees?
Please read our Ritual Etiquette page and Group Agreements page. Be prepared to sit, stand, move, sing, dance, and speak as you are able and as is comfortable for you. If you are differently abled, please let us know so that we can accommodate (for example, if you cannot stand and need a chair or if you are bringing a trained service dog).
I’m a student and need to observe a religious service for a class or I need to interview a clergy member. May I attend?
Yes, absolutely! We welcome students and have had many of them visit our church. If you choose not to join our meetup, send an email to let us know you’ll be coming and what school you are with. We will help you select the event that will best suit your needs and have time to answer your questions. We ask that you participate in the circle as much as you are comfortable; we do not allow observers sitting in a corner taking notes as it might make others uncomfortable. We do not allow any audio or video recording of ceremonies.
How can I learn more?
Please read through the many documents we have available on the About Us pages at www.livingearthcolorado.org. We recommend the Cornerstones of Community, Guiding Principles, and Group Agreements, and Ritual Etiquette pages. Feel free to ask questions at any event or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, we can recommend a reading list and have books available in our free lending library. We recommend reading at least one book on neo-Paganism before attending a ritual, if possible. After you have attended regularly for some time, you are eligible to take classes in the Living Earth Tradition.