Results from a gentle foray into Pagan personality science

When I posted my initial link to the questionnaire, I said I had a hypothesis, but not what it was. I actually had two hypotheses:

  1. Pagans score lower on Compliance than average. (This was the ‘stereotype hypothesis’ in my mind.)
  2. Pagans score lower on Steadiness than average. (This hypothesis was supposed based on my experience resolving disputes as ADF’s Member’s Advocate.)

So, what were my results for these two hyoptheses? Statistically insignificant, and not corroborated, respectively. Only one person out of my 90 useable responses self-identified as a non-ADF member; their data actually pushed against my hypotheses but did not produce a singificant difference. Here’s the statistics, on which I’ve left far too many significant digits:

Dominance Influence Steadiness Compliance
Average 24.6 22.6 29.9 23.0
Median 23 19 32 23
Stddev 16.3 13.3 10.8 13.8

For the first hypothesis regarding Compliance, the big picture here comes from the standard deviation. When used to construct a confidence interval, the null hypothesis that ADFers are much the same as “average”, which is to say a 25% split four ways, is not rejected. (This is even the case for 50% confidence, let alone the usual standard of 95%)

For my second hypothesis, what jumps out at me is that my average result for Steadiness was actually higher than 25%! This throws my second hypothesis out the window. I will note it isn’t a statistically significant deviation, though.

Some Issues Worth Pondering

If I was doing this again, I would likely use my own instrument to tally the data. Not only would it be easier, but there were about ten submissions I had to reject because folks had written, from the confusing results chart, percentages for A, B, C, and D, which were associated with the biggest, second biggest, etc. value. Additionally I’d get access to the numbers as-computed, rather than a percentage rounded to two digits. One of my checks on data entry was to add the values; there were a number that totalled to 99 or 101 rather than 100.

I did note a number of cases where D > I > S > C and wondered if it was cases of this — but even if so, they would have pushed things toward my hypotheses, not away. The high value for S also argues against that being a major issue.

Of course, I’d prefer to do such with a Big Five approach anyhow. An ADF member with experience sent me links to some instruments that would involve not too many questions if I decide to do this again.

A gentle foray into Pagan personality science

I’ve been wondering about the personality composition of ADFers in specific and Pagans in general. I’m a big fan of the idea that a personality test is one where you tell it about yourself and then it tells you what you told it. Even so, they can be tools to know oneself.

I have a hypothesis which I want to compare against actual data. To test it, I need the test results from other ADFers (and Pagans in general, though it’s not as important) for the DISC personality setup, a relatively simple two-axis sort. The test can be found at I know there are other DISC assessments, but I’d rather everyone take the same one. I know the DISC may not be the most scientific per studies; a “Big Five” test would be ideal, but involves more questions. For this initial foray, I wanted something quick.

So, please take the test; something will be learned, even if it’s just “My hypothesis was way off.” Please to comment here or on my FB posts with your results, and identify if you’re an ADF member, a general Pagan, or just someone who likes taking online tests. In the spirit of full disclosure, when I first took this test my results were D 28%, I 28%, S 34%, and C 10%. A retake shows some shuffling: D 39%, I 28%, S 25%, and C 9% — though it’s interesting that I and C were both about the same on this instrument.


Edit: If you haven’t commented here before, your comment will likely be held for moderation. If you’d prefer your comment not be public, do say so and I’ll leave it screened.

Update: See what the results were!

Beltane, and the turnout is surprising

Beltane is not one of my historical top-form group rites. Beltane in my hands is often not as well-planned. There are a number of reasons for this. It comes right on the heels of Trillium, so it’s easy to forget how soon it is and just focus on Trillium. It’s also in the time of year when the weather truly tilts towards reliably nice to spend time outside. The rain stops being low-effort sleet, so being caught in a cloudburst a few miles from the car isn’t such a big deal. Also, the allergens start, so it’s not all positives on my side. It also isn’t as big a deal locally as it is other places for one major reason: Beltane comes right at finals time at PSU. Professors and students alike stress over the completion of the semester, and don’t have time.

Given all of this, I did not go into this year’s Beltane with specifically high hopes. Email advertising had gone out late, and I felt like I was racing to the rite without the preparation needed.

Until the day before, when I discovered I’d somehow gotten on-target with getting the needed offerings together, had a workable rite, and found myself picking up three people from the State College area to carpool to an undisclosed rural location (i.e. Pennsylvania Furnace). Of the three, one was a UU regular; one was someone from my Pagan Meetup days who had developed an interest in ADF; one was a student athlete who had only experienced rites as a family thing.

So we drove out to Pennsylvania Furnace, and met a fifth. I was reminded of the one thing I’d forgotten: sunset comes early. The brief amount of pre-ritual socializing grew long because I felt ahead of the game — I’d picked up three people from scattered State College locations and rolled in well in advance of the start time — so we abruptly hurried out with less of a pre-ritual briefing than I would have preferred.

This year was an improved version of last year’s Gaulish Beltane, drawing on the work of Three Cranes Grove but with the general structure I’ve been using in State College. Sirona and Belenos were honored — this year I had some fine jewelry for Sirona, to ensure things went well. The rite flowed well — a few minor hinks with the cueing, but that’s not unexpected. To my surprise, everyone had a Praise Offering.

Then it was time to draw the runes for acceptance of the offering, and I pulled Nauthiz, Need. That’s a No in my book. I was flummoxed, as I thought I’d planned well, so I asked what was needed and pulled another rune. Kenaz, Torch. Something needed to burn.

One person put more wood on the fire, as I scrambled to see if there was anything left of the oil. There wasn’t, but I discovered something was missing. As part of the turn from Winter to Summer, I had a red candle shaped like an autumn oak leaf to give during the Prayer of Sacrifice. I had forgotten that it was specifically there for that purpose, and it had hidden itself underneath things. I pulled it out, placed it in the fire, and drew another rune for acceptance. Raidho, Wagon. I interpereted this as a positive, but an incremental, moving forward one.

I then drew runes for each of the three Kindreds. The Ancestors gave Ansuz (the God Odin), Ehwaz (Horse), and Laguz (Lake). I saw this, in context, as a journey to the underworld to communicate with the ancestors, or perhaps the need to be flexible in our communication and journey. The Nature Spirits gave us Jera (Year), Dagaz (Day), and Sowilo (Sun). I interpreted this as powerful growth over the next year. Then it was time to ask the Gods and Goddesses, and I pulled Othala (Ancestral Lands), Uruz (the wild Aurochs), and Thurisaz (Thorn). I said this was a blessing with the power of our birthright, but a warning to avoid using it hostilely. This runecast seemed to evoke positive feelings.

After the rite it was time for a potluck, which unintentionally came out as Mexican food. Much discussion was had but the student needed to prepare for finals, so I drove the three that came with me back to State College, with some discussion as we went.

As I drove home, I reflected upon the pleasant surprise of the rite. Beltane in a historical context has aspects of purification, and in a modern context fertility is highlighted, but perhaps both of these things are actually renewal.

On “Druid Porridge”

I’m worried I will use this term sooner or later, so I might as well explain it. “Druid Porridge” is an in-joke among Hemlock Vales regulars; it is the result of pouring libations and grain into the same offering bowl when indoors, creating a sort of sludge that does not easily pour out when returning the remainder to the Earth Mother.

Beyond the potential jargon, why am I explaining this?

Simple: Druid Porridge can be a pain to clean out of the bowl — and if I didn’t think to use a two-bowl system when I started, I’m certain others won’t either.