We posted a notice today over at The Witches Voice to say that the Spiral Steps on-line group is accepting new members.
The cyber group currently has over 140 members and is doing very well.
We have had one small, on-going problem in that group - usually caused by lazy or impatient newcomers - which we have just addressed. After a year and a half working in an on-line format, and after a great deal of thinking and soul searching and talking to the most experienced members, the folks at Spiral Steps have decided to now moderate (i.e. quickly check) the shares before they are posted to the board. The exception will be for experienced members of the group who post on a regular basis. Their shares are automatically approved and posted.
It amazes me that Pagans - especially the newly minted ones who want to learn everything possible right away and are so eager to do everything "right" in circle, practically to the point of demanding a diagram of the exact angle at which to hold their wands - cannot be bothered to learn and honor the culture of and - dare I say it? - the rules for, a new circle.
A few people were always trying to cross talk or give unwanted advice despite our guidelines against this. These few were annoying the many who come here to share without being judged or harassed by others. When gently reminded about this group's boundaries, these same people usually left in a huff.
How dare we put reasonable standards in place, make it clear what they are and then uphold them?
Lately, there had been one episode like this a month. I know that's considered rare by newsgroup standards, but this isn't a newsgroup, this is a vital and much needed support group. It has to be a safe place to share what is true for us. So we've put two Moderators in place now and this note was added to today's announcement:
(PLEASE NOTE: The on-line group is moderated and the two volunteers who act as Moderators have over 20+ years in recovery. Both are Pagan.
The Moderator's job is simply to keep the board free of abuse. We do not edit shares. Any on-line shares carrying flames, troll taunts, advice giving, bullying, intolerance, or hate speech will simply not be posted. Our member's share their experience, strength, and hope and we all use "I Messages" when we share. Our members are required to learn our (rather unique) guidelines, honor our group boundaries, and own their words.
This is not a newsgroup or a Pagan Only bulletin board. If that is all you want, this group is not for you. If, however, you wish to heal, become more empowered, find recovery, strengthen your connection to the sacred, give up unhealthy behavior, learn to deal with dysfunctional people or grow as a person, then this is the place.)
That should do it :-)
Next Day Addendum:
Wow. That really did do it. We've have 7 new members join in just the last 24 hours. People really do want a safe place to share.