14 Group Dynamics

Our Priestess had a particular health problem aggravated by stress and asked our group for ‘hands on healing’. She had relationship difficulties and also assumed a former priest and past acquaintances had hexed her. I thought that a priestess teaching members within a coven would be strong in mind to set an example for her students. I began to speculate whether my decision to join her group was a mistake. Our priestess was on a ‘high’ during ritual as she bathed in the energy generated by group members. My friend from college excelled within the group,  but unfortunately her personal life demanded more of her time and this lessened her attendance.

Image - Nette and Me

Image – Nette and Me

The new psychic circle I attended was hosted by a young man from the spiritualist church. It was apparent that he enjoyed the attention from the female members being the only male within the group. After a few weeks he entered into a relationship with one of the female members which caused distraction and affected the group energy. One by one the members left and the psychic group closed.   

My Morris tutors visited us one evening and I confided in them about my concerns within the magical group. They confirmed that our priestess acted incorrectly and some of the teaching methods were wrong. The future of the group was uncertain as our priestess moved frequently and had in the past left suddenly without prior warning. She had spoke of moving away from the area if her relationship did not work out. This did not give the members security about the group’s future. After our conversation with our Morris tutors, my husband decided to leave the magical group. Our priestess’ birthday was imminent therefore he postponed his leaving. When the time came, he refused to tell her himself so I had the task of informing her. She asked me to stay, as she knew I was eager to learn which placed me in an awkward position as I did not wish to cause her further upset. My friend from college could not continue with the group either as she had too many commitments.  I decided then that it was time to leave which created an uncomfortable situation when attending Morris practice. Only one male member was left within the magical group and he was also in a difficult position. Our priestess did not attend the next Morris practice and I had brought along her altar accoutrements which I gave to her boyfriend. The coven members of our Morris tutors had also left their group as they found magical training too restrictive.

My husband and I travelled to Wales at the beginning of the year to visit our friends we met at the time of the eclipse. They had a new baby daughter that was due around the time of the London Pagan Conference. They were packing away items from their stall at the end of the Conference as her labour had begun. It was a four hour journey from London to Wales and fortunately they arrived home before the birth. Their home was two adjoining period cottages converted into one. A large workshop was situated next to the property where they constructed their wonderful merchandise.  We updated them on the situation with our magical group and the reasons we left. They assured us we made the right decision as our priestess’ health both physically and mentally had been a constant problem. They also informed us that their high priest had refused to work with her.

On our return home, my Morris tutor contacted me by telephone to inform me that our priestess visited her. The priestess’ story was that my husband left the group because he did not want to follow a woman’s instruction and I had personal problems and in need of counselling!  The Priestess continued contact with me as if nothing had happened and we were still friends. My main concern was maintaining a good atmosphere within the Morris team. The male group member still worked with the priestess and did not comment upon the situation which was the correct way to handle it.  Our Morris tutors advised us to wait at least six months before contemplating another magical group. The priestess attended practices and observed our interaction with the tutors, but we hoped that in time the situation would settle down. 

My husband thought that I should be more like him, stronger in the mind and positive about life. We did not work together magically, but I suggested a joint meditation. The first attempt was unsuccessful as he would not focus and when I suggested we try again, he declined. Meditation requires discipline and as he had a highly disciplined occupation it may have been the reason for his avoidance.

After a few weeks the priestess left the Morris team. She no longer contacted me and gave no reason for leaving. The priestess had told me she coveted the home and the life our tutors had. She felt everything seemed to go right in their lives and so wrong in her own. 

Our female tutor did not attend Morris practices for a while as she was tired of constantly teaching. I understood how frustrating it must be to spend many hours teaching team members who eventually leave only to begin again with new members. I offered to take on the responsibility as dance tutor and then discovered how difficult teaching could be. Even when members want to practice, the dominant personalities could challenge tutor’s instructions. The Priestess moved to London as her relationship had also ended and then our Morris tutors were in frequent contact and the awkward atmosphere within the Morris team subsided.


Jack In The Green Ceremony. Image – Company of the Green Man

We performed on Bluebell hill at sunrise on May 1st. The dancers sang “Jack in the Green” and each Morris team performed their dances. Getting up so early and arriving at 5am was not an attractive thought, but was well worth the effort as the energy and atmosphere were fabulous! It was a misty morning and I observed my female tutor collecting morning dew to wash her face. Some do say that this was a tradition for maidens to keep themselves young and beautiful. Its also quite refreshing!