WOTC Extra – CIRCLE ETIQUETTE AND PROPER CONDUCT
Circle etiquette is pretty elementary, and usually just plain common sense and consideration. Unfortunately, some people leave that at the door when they come to circle, or so it would seem. So here are a few do’s and don’ts:
DO bring something to every circle you are invited to, such as a dish for feast, or some wine, or soda. Or ask the hostess what she would like you to bring.
DO stay and help clean up afterwards! Your host or hostess are not your servants, and they were kind enough to invite you into their home, be kind enough not to leave it messy. Pick up, and wash if necessary, dishes, or glassware you have used. If you borrowed a robe or a tool (such as a chalice or athame) make sure it gets properly put away where it belongs.
Show proper respect for other people’s belongings, especially their altars and tools. Touch nothing without permission. Some people are very sensitive about someone handling their tools.
DON’T be late! (I know we all seem to run on what we call “Pagan Time” but, if you are running late and it’s unavoidable, at least call to let them know you are late and just how late you think you will be. Many times we have waited rituals for people who had decided at the last minute they weren’t going to attend. If you do find that you can’t come and you had committed to coming, the courtesy of a phone call is always appreciated.
DON’T bring guests without permission! This is especially important if you are having a “closed circle” not open to the uninitiated public. If you know that it is an “open circle”, it is still wise to let your host/hostess know that you are planning on bringing someone with you.
DON’T put anything on the altar unless you ask first! Most of us will hold our ritual tools during the ritual or place them on a special table or a place beside, under or other than the altar. This varies, however, with each group and may vary depending on the location of the ritual (such as out-of-doors where you may use a rock or a tree stump for an altar). The altar usually should have those tools and supplies that will be used by the high priestess/high priest during the ritual. You also do not want the altar to be cluttered and accident prone (such as knocking candles over trying to reach for a tool). Often times we will put the cakes and ale, extra tools, extra supplies under the altar (such as, if it is a free standing table) to be out of sight and out of the way until they are needed.
DO make sure you say “Thank You” to your hosts!
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