Finding a Good Fit
Being part of the leadership of a Wiccan Circle is an interesting thing. Not only are you in service to the God and Goddess, you are in service to your other Circle members and most importantly to yourself. For both the Circle that I am involved with now and the one before it, we have had a listing on Witchvox. We do this for a few different reasons. One of them is that we are proud of who we are. Another is so that those seeking a group or a path are able to get in contact with us. This leads me on to the theme of this short little article.
Our group gets all kinds of people who contact us through our listing on Witchvox, and through our groups Facebook page. Some of these folks are just people looking for help on their spiritual path, some of them are just curious about Wicca or Paganism, and some are truly seeking a group to circle with, and to become a part of. It is these latter folks I would like to address.
It never ceases to amaze me when we get a first contact from people saying they would love to become a part of our family. I think “seriously, you have read a very brief description of our group, not to mention you don’t know us, you don’t know how we circle or what we are about for that matter. Yet you blindly would love to join our family and circle with us”. Not to mention the fact we don’t know you or what you are about. But it is ok because we are all good trusting Pagans and we will welcome you with open arms.
Well my friends, it just does not work that way.
Here are a few tips I would like to give, not only for folks looking for a group to circle with, but for groups interested in new people.
First of all, if you are seeking out a group and do so via an ad on Witchvox or some other similar way, don’t be surprised if it takes a few days to get a response back. Remember that the folks who are running the group or circle more than likely have a real life just like you do, and while the group that they are involved with may be a huge part of their life, it is probably not the only thing they are doing.
Secondly do not be surprised if you exchange much e-mail with a group you’re interested in before they ever invite you to meet with them. If you’re a seeker of a group and they invite you to come circle with them before ever meeting you in person, in my opinion that should throw up a red flag for you. Always meet a prospective group or member before circling with them.
Thirdly, and this should go without saying – meet them in a public place like a coffee shop. It is just not a smart idea as a group to invite someone you do not know to meet you in your own home. By that same logic, as an individual never go to someone’s home that you do not know. My Priestess and I often will meet new people interested in our Circle at a Starbucks or at one of the Pagan Picnics that happen here locally. Do not be surprised if, much like the e-mails, a group wants to meet with you several times in person before ever inviting you to attend one of their Circles.
Ask questions when meeting new folks. This goes not only for individuals but groups as well. We always ask new people that are interested in our Circle, even if they claim to have been on a Wiccan path for years, what they know or think they know about Wicca? What books have they read on Wicca and Paganism? How did they come to be on this path? What groups if any have they been a part of before? What is their personal practice like?
If you are an individual seeking a group to Circle with ask about the group’s practice. What is expected of members? How often do they meet? Do they circle skyclad, or robed? Do they have teaching Circles outside of ritual? If you are gay or lesbian ask about the group’s feelings toward gay and lesbian people. You may think in this day and age of enlightenment that it should not make a difference what one’s sexual orientation is, but I know that there are still Circles out there that will not admit gay and lesbian people to their ranks. They prefer male-female couples that are already partners, or are willing to find a working partner. Same goes if you are transgendered or transsexed, ask about the group’s feelings and way of working.
As a seeker to a group you should never feel like the group is trying to give you a “hard sell” to join. That should send up a red flag for you too, or at least it would for me. Also if you get to the meeting stage with a group and feel things are not right, you do NOT have to join that group even thou they may ask you too. Also remember that a group may meet with you many times, invite you to attend one of their Circles and still not ask you to join their ranks. If this happens don’t be disappointed, and remember that it probably happened for a reason that is not personal. When you find the right group that is a fit for you, you and the group will know.
Of course these are only a few of the questions that you can and should ask, and there are many more dynamics to finding a group to Circle with, and to groups finding individuals, than I have covered in this brief article. Most often times personal chemistry is the final determining factor for what ever the end result of a search may be.
My point with this post was to educate, and I hope that I have a little. Remember when you do enter the Circle, be it with a group of seekers or by yourself, you enter it in perfect love and perfect trust. Make sure you can do that with those whom you choose to Circle with.