FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about Living Earth
I am new to Earth-based spirituality and neo-Paganism. Do I have to have a certain level of experience to attend?
We 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. 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. While much of the Wiccan, Neo-Pagan, New Age and Metaphysical Spirituality communities tend to include more adult women than any other demographic, 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, perhaps more so than in other religions. Most of us are socially and politically progressive.
This group is not just for families and you do not need to have children to attend. We have many members from all walks of life and different lifestyles, who join as individuals, families, and couples. However, children are welcome at almost our events and you'll be sharing ritual space with members that do have children. We're 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, social events, concerts, and our annual Festival, Beltania. We offer at least one open event each month. To meet the needs of our evolving community, we also offer smaller, private rituals and other events throughout the month 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. Personal invitations will be emailed.
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?
We ask that attendees contribute a donation in the amount of their choosing at the events you 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. For those who are a part of our private ritual group, an ongoing contribution of as little as $3 per month is a minimum. Concerts and classes/workshops may have a specific fee or tuition required.
What kinds of events are planned?
Rituals, community service benefitting nature or our community, 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! Some are private and some are open.
We host a large festival for Beltane that is called Beltania. It is a four day camping and music fest which is our largest fundraiser of the year www.beltania.org.
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 comunity at this community house, which also has a labyrinth 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 Rampart Range, Daniels Park, Babi Yar Park, and Judge Cook Park.
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, and 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 for all details, posted in our Files area at meetup.com/livingearth and 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.
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 Sabbats.
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.