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E is for Etiquette


I know that I’ve posted etiquette posts in the past, but almost every time my group hosts an open event, there are more issues that come up. From joining a coven, to attending an open event, there are some rules of etiquette that should be kept in mind. Most of these are common sense, one might think, but unfortunately, it seems that poor manners are more commonplace.

Circle Etiquette:

• If you have questions, or if there is no explanation beforehand, ask questions before the ritual begins
• If you have allergies or food issues, let your hosts know prior to the ritual
• Don’t enter, or leave the circle once it’s been cast.
• Follow what everyone else is doing, to the best of your abilities
• If you need to leave during circle for an emergency, speak with one of the hosts
• Do not touch the altar, or anything on the altar, unless invited to
• Do not talk during the ritual (unless its part of the ritual) – this is super rude and an awesome way to guarantee to not be invited again

Group Event Etiquette

• Be on time. If this is impossible, do you very best to give an accurate ETA to the contact whose info you have
• If asked to wear a certain color, do your best to wear it
• If asked to bring something (like for potluck), then do it. Don’t be that person who doesn’t bring anything and noms down on the buffet line
• Do not get wasted. Also, If you didn’t bring alcohol and there is a limited amount, abstain.
• If you want to smoke cigarettes, ask where you might be able to do so
• If you want to smoke pot, ask your host if that’s alright. Don’t just light up, even if you know your hosts partake
• Do not bring anything illegal to an event, this may include alcohol to public parks. This puts the reputation of the group, AND the Pagan community on the line
• It’s really nice if you ask if you can help in any way – this isn’t usually expected, but always appreciated
• Don’t complain about anything at the event (ie: the ritual, the lack of anything, etc.)
• Always keep in mind that these people have worked hard on the event

Coven Joining Etiquette - http://ivyartemisia.blogspot.com/2011/03/joining-coven.html

• Don’t come in with an entitled attitude. It’s likely the coven doesn’t need another member. Also please don’t expect the coven to change to meet your needs
• Expect to start at the beginning- especially with a non-eclectic tradition- you’ll have to learn the coven’s traditions, and most likely some sort of Wicca 101 class
• Just because you have 15 trillion years of experience, don’t act like you are better than anyone else
• Don’t be a kiss ass, we’ll see right through that
• As a dedicant, etc. please do what is asked of you- it’s usually for a reason, even if it’s not clear to you
• If the coven doesn’t accept you as a dedicant, try not to take it personally, it just means you weren’t the right fit for the group. Better to know now, rather than later

I might add a few things to this, it seems to be a work in progress. Anything else that you might add to this list?

Thoughts on Sabbat Ritual Timing

I may be alone in this, but I've been pulled to align my sabbat circles to different times of the day, depending on the holiday.

  • Evening for Imbolc, since for me, one main theme of Imbolc is a burgeoning spark of spring, inherent in the seeds of life. To me, this awakening takes place deep under the soil, and so, to me, it makes sense that this circle is during the dark time of the day. Any sort of night / early morning.
  • Then the flowers burst from the soil, and it’s Spring! To me, Ostara sounds a bit like a brunchy sort of sabbat, with the best time for a gathering being late morning.
  • Beltane seems an early afternoon holiday to me- definitely something during the day.
  • Litha feels like a mid-afternoon gathering would be best… as that tends to be when it’s the warmest, and it’s a holiday celebrating the sun.
  • Lughnasadh rituals might take place in the late afternoon, as it’s the first harvest, and after a long morning and afternoon of harvesting, it seems right to revel in the harvest, while it’s still light out, before the sun begins his descent.
  • Mabon is an early evening ritual for me. It’s a little cooler (usually), and it just seems right to toast the balance of equal night and day as the sun sets.
  • Samhain is a ritual that, to me, requires full dark, as it’s a time of reflection, and communion with ancestors. The darkness erases the distractions that light might bring, and allows us to focus more deeply into the mysteries.
  • Yule is the celebration of light, warmer times to come. To me, this would be a great holiday to have an all night candle vigil, culminating with some sort of ritual at sunrise.

I haven’t always followed this, and usually my energy is directed toward the coven circles, which are usually at night, but I’m going to make an effort this year to DO something during the time of day that I feel is correlated the best to each sabbat. Anyone else felt the same… or different?


E is for Equinox


Two equinox events grace our calendar this year. One in the Spring and one in the Autumn. During the equinox the days and nights are of equal length. From Mid December to Mid June, the nights grow shorter, and the days longer. The equinox in mid-March represents the halfway point, where the days and nights are the same amount of time. From Mid June to Mid December, the nights grow longer, and the days shorter, and the autumn equinox in September bisects these solar events, and once again, the days and nights are of equal length.

The Spring equinox represents the safe time to begin planting seeds, if you haven’t already. Spiritually, it’s a time to make some small changes toward goals chosen at Imbolc, or the new year. Themes of the Spring Equinox include new beginnings, the planting of seeds (spiritually and physically), and balance. Maiden energy reigns supreme, and the spark awakened at Imbolc now begins the first few steps to fruition. It’s a time of hoping and dreaming. Symbols include what the mainstream sees as symbols of Easter: rabbits, eggs, pastel colors, and what we think of as spring: seeds, flowers, and buds on the trees . Goddesses associated with the onset of spring: Flora, Hebe, Bloudewedd, Ostara, Persephone, Aprodite, Artemis, and Maiden goddesses.

The Fall equinox is the second of the three harvest festivals. The first harvest being at Lughnasadh/Lammas, and the final harvest at Samhain in October. Also known as Mabon, it’s a fruit harvest. This is the time to sit back, and look at what you have created during the fruitful part of the year. What have you accomplished? What should you adjust? It’s also a time to be thankful, and people include a thanksgiving rite as part of their Fall equinox festivities. Symbols of the harvest include acorns, fruit, wood and deep harvest colors- yellows, oranges, browns, as well as deep forest green and purple. Goddesses commonly honored at this sabbat are Persephone, Modron, Cerridwen, Hecate, The Morrighan, and Crone goddesses. Here are some more ideas for your Mabon/ Fall equinox.

The equinoxes are great times to center yourself, find balance, work in your garden, and align with the wheel of the year as it turns.