When you dream of ways to improve your business, do you ever focus on yourself and your staff? A metaphysical business is still a business, and like any business, it will benefit from periodic brainstorming, goal-setting, and visionary work. For owners and staff, a "magickal business retreat" will leave you inspired as you rejuvenate your business plan and recharge your creative passions.
Susan Pesznecker, author of The Magickal Retreat, provides ways to have a successful and rejuvenating magickal retreat for your business.
A Special Event for Magickal Businesses: The Creative Retreat
By Susan Pesznecker
Begin with a meeting in which the staff collectively discusses a "to do" list for the retreat. Find out what everyone thinks is important, and make sure each person is heard, for sometimes the best ideas come from unexpected directions—and not always from the boss. Identify a common goal and vision, and then develop a detailed list of action items for the retreat. Your aims might include an annual review, setting goals for a period to come, operational changes, community outreach, marketing, policy changes, or just about any aspect of running a business effectively. Focus on "blue sky" items, too: What is possible? If there were no rules, what could we do? What could we accomplish? Think big: the sky's the limit!
For best results, aim for at least a day-long retreat. If you want to focus on staff bonding or specific magickal workings, try an overnight, providing work time as well as evening space for socialization and special events, like ritual work.
Once you have a working agenda and a general plan, parcel out the responsibilities, giving each participant a specific responsibility. Giving everyone "ownership" in the retreat insures a rich infusion of energies and ideas. Assign someone to locate a place for the retreat. If possible, choose a novel space, getting everyone out of their comfort zone; this establishes common ground and supports team building. If staying overnight, you'll need sleeping and bathroom spaces, bedding, and towels. Most groups will want to have WiFi, along with an on-site computer and printer if possible.
Having great food boosts morale and keeps everyone energized. For a short event, ask participants to bring their own food. If sharing food, focus on scrumptious fare that can be purchased, prepared ahead, or assembled quickly. A potluck might work perfectly; take-out pizza is another winning idea. Furnish fruits, veggies, and nuts for healthy snacking.
Once you've accomplished these initial steps, assign someone to prepare a written agenda and time schedule for the meeting. Decide who will chair or moderate the meeting, and finalize the pertinent details. And please: resolve to run your retreat on real time—not Pagan Standard Time! There's nothing more frustrating than trying to get serious work done when half the group either hasn't shown up or hasn't gotten out of bed. Respect the clock: when you're trying to accomplish a lot within a short time, it's your friend.
When the retreat date arrives, open and close with a group ceremony or ritual, even if brief; this brings the group together and reinforces the shared magickal purpose. Stay focused on your agenda, adding magickal effects with music, incense, candles, firelight, or other mood-setters. Brewing herbal teal can be a wonderful communal activity. Plan time to socialize, too. You might include a Bardic, divination hour (you can "read" the results of your meeting), drum circle, or ritual, or even a S'mores party around a campfire pit.
Before leaving the event, thank everyone and may sure they know what will happen next. Assign individuals to follow up on questions and implement decisions. Be sure to hold a post-event evaluation; make this anonymous so participants aren't afraid to be honest. Collect and share the evaluation results with your group, using the feedback to plan the next event.
Susan Pesznecker (Oregon), a writer, teacher, nurse, hearth Pagan, and Druid, is the author of The Magickal Retreat and Crafting Magick with Pen and Ink. Sue teaches green magick at the online Grey School. For more retreat ideas, visit Sue's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SusanMoonwriterPesznecker.