Who Am I?
Hi! I'm Shauna Aura Knight, and for the past years I've traveled the US and Canada teaching leadership, community building, public speaking, ritual facilitation, and personal growth work., but I need help to keep doing this work.
My primary audience has been the Pagan/Earth-centered/Alternative spirituality communities and other artistic and activist groups. Grassroots leaders have a tough job; we step into leadership without a lot of training, and when our groups blow up, we don't know what went wrong. I dream of healthy, vital grassroots groups and Pagan communities. I have worked to make leadership training more broadly available.
My challenge: in following this calling, I've taught for many groups that couldn't afford to pay me much. Often I even paid gas money out of my own pocket to be able to travel and teach without pay. In the past years I've spent more in car repairs than I've ever earned in class fees. This has left me without any financial buffer.
Recently, my car was totaled in an accident that wasn't my fault, however I won't receive any settlement toward a new car. This has left me without any way to get to the conferences, festivals, and events where I've agreed to teach leadership.
I'm stuck in a Catch-22. I live in a rural area in order to minimize my expenses so I can focus on writing and teaching. Without a car, I can't get to any of my upcoming teaching engagements. There aren't even viable jobs within walking distance of me. I've sacrificed so many creature comforts in order to bring the leadership work out to the world, but now I need help to continue offering leadership training.
I'm looking to raise enough money for a car so I can continue to travel and teach leadership. Optimally that's about $6,000, though I could buy a less reliable vehicle for about $2,000.
I have listed more extensive details at the bottom of the page about my specific goals and what work I will do including some cool "stretch" goals if I surpass $5,000.
While more than 75% of my mileage is from traveling for teaching or running Pagan events in Chicago, having a car also allows me to sell my artwork and bring in other freelance income that will in turn allow me to fund future leadership training work and resources like videos.
In addition, I hope to raise additional for my living expenses in order to have the time to finish writing several books on leadership and facilitation, or even create videos and recordings to offer further resources to people who cannot travel to attend leadership classes in person.
You can help me achieve more leadership education. I believe that it is crucial for grassroots groups to have access to leadership and facilitation skills in order to do the work that calls to them.
Help me keep building stronger leaders and stronger communities.
If you haven't heard of me before and want to know where your money would be going to, you can learn more about me at: http://www.ShaunaAuraKnight.com/about
or you can read some of my leadership blog posts at https://shaunaaura.wordpress.com or my environmental and other activism posts at http://paganactivist.com/author/shaunaaura/
You can also take a look at my currently published books. http://www.shaunaauraknight.com/books/
What You Get
I'm offering some cool things in return for your generosity. I certainly welcome donations from folks who have benefited from my writing and leadership training in the past, and those who want others to benefit in the future.
I think one of the cool parts of an Indiegogo campaign is the ability to offer you—my supporters--some tangible, nifty perks that tie into the work that I’ve already done, and that further community building work that I hope to continue doing
- MP3 files of chants and guided Trance Journeys,
- eBooks and hardcopies of my collected articles and blog posts on Leadership and Ritual Facilitation,
- Perks also include one-on-one or small-group Skype calls with me to talk through leadership issues,
- I'll write articles or do a Youtube video on leadership topics of your choice,
- My own artwork and digital collage images, or having me come to town to paint a mural in your home or even having me build a shrine in your back yard or other installation,
- Bringing bringing me to town to teach workshops, or even having me help you organize a leadership conference in your area.
Check out some of my artwork if interested in those perks:
Mythic Mixed Media:
Digital collage Images: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ShaunaAuraKnight
A note about the perks:
Paintings will be given away as perks on a "first come first served" basis, however, if a particular painting is sold, I can either paint another one that is similar, or prints may also be available.
Items from the digital goodie packs will be available in early March. Physical items such as paintings that I have on hand will be shipped early April at the latest. If your perk includes custom work, that may take longer.
If you choose one of the perks that involve my travel, we will arrange for a time that works best, this year or next year. For any of the perks where I'm traveling out of town, pricing reflects the assumption that I'll be staying in a spare room locally. We'll need to negotiate specifics--for instance, I need to stay in a smoke-free space. Please feel free to contact me with questions if you are thinking about selecting one of these perks. ShaunaAura (at) gmail DOT com.
*Perks such as the installation art and conference planning do not include things like extensive supply costs or renting venues or paying for other event costs. Contact me if you want to talk shop on your vision and how I can help make that happen for you.
**I reserve the right to turn any of those gigs down based on the creepy factor. It's only happened once or twice, but I have had people that hit high on my creepy scale invite me to stay with them and teach and I've had to say no.
We need healthier communities. Whatever your spiritual background, whatever your particular interests...you are doing work that matters, and I want to help you grow stronger, healthier groups.
Sometimes leaders need help figuring out group dynamics, or be a better public speaker, or how to facilitate a workshop or a ritual. There are so many challenges to small group leadership and most volunteer leaders can't afford to spend the time and the money to take college-level leadership classes or attend expensive seminars. For that matter, most leadership classes don't address the special needs of grassroots groups.
I want to help more communities succeed. I want to see us change the world, build a healthier, beautiful world of cooperation and connection. I've seen the positive impact of my leadership work when I travel and teach and I want to help grow more leaders and more teachers.
Let me help you build stronger communities.
Other Ways You Can HelpMoney is tight for many folks, and I of all people get that. There are lots of cool fundraisers I'd love to donate to myself! I want to let you know that truly, $1 or $5 really does make a difference.
However, other ways you can help include getting the word out about this campaign. with Indiegogo's sharing tools, or you can:
Post a link to this campaign on your Facebook wall
- Post a link on your Twitter
- Mention this fundraiser to friends in person.
- Mention this fundraiser on a Yahoo group or Meetup group you are a part of
- Do a blog post about this campaign
- Share one of my leadership blog posts on your Facebook, Twitter, or blog, with a link to my campaign. https://shaunaaura.wordpress.com
If you'd like to find other creative ways to help, please contact me at ShaunaAura (at) gmail DOT com.
Collaboration: You can also collaborate with other members of your local community to raise money toward the larger goals, such as bringing me in to teach leadership. I know of several communities that were planning to host a bake sale to help bring me to their area to teach leadership classes.
Books: You can also buy or post links to my already published books, or recommend my books to your friends. http://www.shaunaauraknight.com/books/
I make about $1 per book sale on any book where I'm the sole author, and word-of-mouth is how most people learn about new books. It might sound silly, but more book sales in the coming months would make a big difference in what kind of car I can buy.
What Will I Use The Money For?
This depends on how much I raise. Optimally, I’d like to raise about $5-$6,000 for a reliable used Dodge Grand Caravan. It's a car that fits all of my event supplies, it gets good mileage, and it's also the car that kept me alive in an accident that the police say should have put me into the hospital.
When I drive long distances alone, it’s nice to know that my car is going to keep me safe and not break down during a trip. I've been there, I've done that. If you want, I'll tell the story via a Youtube video :D
I can buy an ok car for as little as $2,000-$3,000, it’s just that that car is likely to rack up more in car repairs more quickly, but at least I’ll have a vehicle.
If I raise enough money, I plan to use about $1,000-$2000 to cover some of my living expenses for the next months so that I can finish up several of the books on leadership and ritual facilitation that I am close to finishing.
Stretch GoalsI'm nothing if not a dreamer, and this is the fun part for me. I'm always thinking up cool ideas for what I could do if I had the time and the money. All of these projects are things that are on the horizon for me, but here are some projects I'll commit to doing if we zoom past $5,000 together.
If we make:
I’ll write a series of blog posts based upon topics suggested by you folks who become backers. You’ll get to vote on what I write about.
I’ll create a Youtube video or series of shorter videos on the topic of your choice. Backers will get to vote on what I do the video on. The video will be available for free download as a community resource, so I’m thinking topics like leadership or ritual arts. But, I’ll read the phone book or play didgeridoo on a pool noodle if you want. (No really, I’ve done it, it’s my only party trick.)
I’ll record a whole bunch of chants that I regularly use in ritual and make them available for a free download on my site so that it's easier to learn them. Some of these chants I’ll have to check in with their copyright holders, others I already have permission to do this.
I'll set things on Fire. Really. I’ll replicate some of the “ritual leader setting things on fire” accidents I’ve either been personally responsible for, or witnessed others doing. I’ll film these in a safe environment and post them on Youtube for educational purposes to first understand 1. How the fire accident happened, and 2. How to prevent them, 3. How to put the fire out once it happens, and 4. Some tips on how to recover as a facilitator and re-center the group to move forward with the ritual after the fire is out.
Wow. If we hit 10K on this fundraiser, I’ll have the time to do something pretty cool. I’ll organize a Pagan leadership conference in Chicago (or the nearby Midwest) that will have registrations available on a sliding scale (ie, no one turned away for lack of funds) so that people, regardless of income, can better afford to attend.
Backers will have the opportunity to attend some kind of VIP party or have access to a VIP package at the event. In fact, if we reach this fundraising goal, the backers can vote on what kind of a VIP package you’re interested in, or what presenters (and maybe musicians) you’d like to see at this event.
What Do I Dream Of?Beyond all of that, here are some projects I’m working on (or would like to devote time to) that become far easier for me to do if I meet or exceed my funding goals:
series of books on facilitating rituals
series of books on Pagan leadership
that go along with the books to make training accessible to people who can’t travel
or pay to attend workshops
ability to travel and teach to even more places to offer education that
many Pagans don’t have access to
Thank you for your assistance in helping me build my dream of healthier and more effective communities.
And good luck to you in the work that you are doing, whatever your community, whatever your calling.