Sometimes the personal issues of one or more members can interfere with the smooth running of a magickal group (clan, circle, coven, grove etc). Often these problems can be simply due to personality clashes and differences of opinion between members or even plain old rudeness and lack of respect, but at other times it can also involve mental health issues.
The following 4 very interesting and insightful articles written by “melittabenu” in 2012 may help to shed some light on the matter of mental illness in relation to Paganism, Magick and Mysticism.
- Magick and Mental Illness, Part 1: An Introduction
- Magick, Mysticism and Mental Illness, Part 2: The similarities between Psychotic and Mystical Religious Experience
- Magick, Mysticism and Mental Illness, Part 3: Does Magick Make You Crazy?
- Magick, Mysticism and Mental Illness, Part 4: Practicing Magick with Groups while dealing with Mental Illness
There are times when it is obvious that a person has issues and also that the person knows they have problems yet they do nothing about it, refusing to seek professional advice, and continuing to disrupt group activities with their erratic behaviour.
A magickal group requires personal accountability from its members and if someone isn’t in the right state of mind to handle any confronting psycho-spiritual pathway work or other magickal activities that the group is doing then they should not be there, both for their own safety and wellbeing and that of other members.
No one should enter a magickal group with the idea in mind that it will “fix” all of their problems. The Dragons (or other deities) can give you the ability to overcome many of your problems, and that can only be achieved by building solid relationships with the Dragons themselves.
A clan or other magickal group is a place for people who have their personal problems under control or are working through them with a qualified group or therapist. There is neither time nor personnel in most magickal groups to handle on-going personal problems. While clan members may be happy to support one another in times of crisis, personal problems are ultimately the responsibility of the individual.
If a person is refusing to take responsibility for their own actions and does nothing to get their ongoing problems under control, then there will come a time when the clan leader will need to ask them to leave the group. It is often a difficult situation but something that has to be dealt with, preferably sooner rather than later.