- The Pagan Federation
- The Three Principles of Membership
- Functions and Activities
- A message from the International Coordinator
The Pagan Federation
The Pagan Federation has been in continous existence since 1971 and has published its journal Pagan Dawn, and its previous incarnation as The Wiccan, since 1969. Over this time it has grown to have a readership of more than 5.000 quarterly. These facts make the Pagan Federation one of the largest and oldest organisations of its type in Europe.
It was set up originally as primarily a campaigning organisation: one that would actively fight the ignorance and negative attitudes towards Paganism which were at large in the country (UK) then and which obviously still exist in various forms today.
To help campaigning, it was essential to create a network of like-minded people who shared common aims. The second major focus of the PF therefore, was to put Pagans in touch with each other, so that they could share views and meet and talk. A nationwide network, now run by over 40 Regional Coordinators and numerous local organisers, has been put in the place so that members can meet and work together for the benefit of Paganism in general.
These two functions are still paramount today but have evolved as times have changed. It might still not be easy to “come out” as a Pagan now, but it was almost impossible a few decades ago. This change in perception, which the PF has helped cause, has enabled us to make considerable strides toward a more proactive and visible celebration of Paganism.
The Three Principles of Membership
The Pagan Federation exists not to promote a single aspect or path within Paganism, nor does it presume to represent all Pagans. Rather it is an umbrella organisation with a membership drawn from all strands. All Pagans over the age of 18 are welcome to join regardless of which Pagan path they follow. They must however subscribe to the three principles which give the Pagan Federation its common purpose and its focus:
|Love for and Kinship with Nature. Reverence for the life force and its ever-renewing cycles of life and death.|
|A positive morality, in which the individual is responsible for the discovery and development of their true nature in harmony with the outer world and community. This is often expressed as “Do what you will, as long as it harms none”.|
|Recognition of the Divine, which transcends gender, acknowledging both the female and male aspect of Deity.|
Functions and Activities
The Pagan Federation has been actively developing and supporting events throughout the UK. Many regions now have annual conferences and most have their own newsletters to keep members in touch with local happenings. There are also a number of smaller events such as pub moots, discussion groups, workshops, picnics and coach trips to sacred sites to enable members to learn more about Paganism and to meet with like-minded people.
The serious campaigning continues. The PF runs an Anti-Defamation section, which seeks to defend Paganism against abuse and misrepresentation by the media and which fights discrimination against Pagans by the authorities. As a resource for the media, the Pagan Federation handles hundreds of inquiries each year from radio, television, newspapers and magazines, giving them accurate and authorative information.
Rather than be purely reactive in its mission to achieve the recognition of Paganism, the PF has also taken a more positive and proactive approach to achieve these ends. This has resulted in Paganism being recognised as a valid religion by “Religions in the UK”, the directory of the UK’s Interfaith Network. The Home Office has also recognised Paganism as a religion whose members have a right to spiritual support on a par with other religions. We now have several prison visitors, and a similar pastoral service is being provided for Pagans in hospital. This creates a useful precedent when dealing with other Government departments.
We are working towards winning acceptance of the right of Pagans to practice their beliefs openly and without discrimination. In all its endeavours, the Pagan Federation promotes factual accuracy about Paganism, and works toward the goal of tolerance, respect and mutual understanding.
A message from the International Coordinator
Greetings and a warm welcome to our visitors!
My name is Morgana and I was first appointed National Coordinator, together with Lady Bara, for the PFI the Netherlands in 1997, although I have been a member of the PF since the early 1980’s.
In July 1999 I was asked to step into the role of International Coordinator. In the previous two years our former IC Tony Kemp had managed to create a lively overseas district of the Pagan Federation. In a number of countries there are now regular pub-moots – gatherings where Pagans from all traditions can get together, socialize and discuss. And in 1999 we had our first European PF Conference in Bielefeld Germany. Hopefully this is a new tradition which will be continued in years to come!
One of the main aims of the Pagan Federation is to enable pagans to network with each other and certainly this is one of the main focuses of the PF International. With the advent of Internet and the widespread use of email networking with one another, worldwide, has become so much easier.
It is however also important to be able to contact Pagans in our own countries and to communicate in our own languages.
The PFI tries to cater for both situations. On the one hand we communicate internationally using English as our common language and at a local level we are building up regional contacts in the different local languages. We have launched a forum, on which we hope that members who are more isolated will join in and enjoy the networking.
At a local level – in a number of countries there are coordinators who provide regular newsletters, advertising events of interest to PFI members and also including news of local pubmoots. Most countries with a substantial amount of members are now also providing websites with the various information packs provided by the PF and translated into the local languages.
The PFI can also be interesting for Pagans who travel a lot and expect to live in different countries or live in more isolated areas of the world.
Our own contacts with England are still substantial. Apart from hearing the various speakers (and Pagan Bands!) it is a great opportunity for meeting other members, and of course browsing around the market stalls.
Another aspect of the work done by the Pagan Federation is to counter media distortions about our beliefs. In the UK much has been done in the field of anti-defamation. It is important for the PFI to act as a forum in assisting Pagans in other countries to dispel misconceptions surrounding Paganism. We can also help each by providing information regarding precedents in a legal context, for example regarding human rights. Much work has also been done in America in the field of anti-defamation. We can help members by pooling our resources and helping to arrange contacts.
By becoming a member you are supporting the work we are doing for the wider Pagan community, whether it is in the field of anti-defamation or supporting the work by fellow-pagans.