Tag Archives: Coven

Ritual Etiquette Rant


I organize a group via the Meetup.com site, welcoming pagans who wish to join in workshops, social outings, and occasional rituals. It’s a handy site, including message boards but more importantly, online tools to organize events.

I can add venues, add map directions, limit members, and get automatic alerts when people change their RSVP, even at the least minute.

So Mabon I had seven members signed up. We were going to have ritual and potluck. Only three members bothered to list what they’d bring, one added an activity, while everyone else didn’t want to plan the Mabon ritual. Two backed out the day of the ritual, one messaged she couldn’t make it due to traffic, while three others didn’t bother showing up at all.

So I wanted to share a few things about attending rituals that I think people need to understand about the etiquette.

If you’ve given your RSVP as yes, show up! Just not showing up is one of the biggest peeves of mine. I will wait a bit for late arrivals, but when members don’t arrive at all, it can seriously impact the energy in the sacred space. I even give my cell phone numbers for them to call, but also have the meetup app so if they change their RSVP, I get the alert immediately.

If you say you’re coming, arrive on time. No one was late…this time. But this was worth mentioning. Being late interferes with rituals, or forces groups to wait for your arrival, or ‘open a door’ when you get there. I often wait 15 minutes for late arrivals, but rituals that require meditations or power raising are affected by such disruptions.

Do not bring uninvited/unexpected guests. This didn’t happen for Mabon, but its happened in the past before. It is very rude to bring a guest, (sometimes who isn’t even pagan) to rituals, unless its understood to be an ‘open ritual’. Even then, some pagans feel uncomfortable being open to the scrutiny of strangers. Always ask before bringing a guest.

ASK QUESTIONS. When in doubt, talk to the organizer about what is expected.  Leaders should be approachable, but as a member, you have a responsibility to yourself to speak up if you’re confused or don’t understand something. Some of us take things for granted (or make mistakes), so letting us know is appreciated.

If it’s a potluck- BRING SOMETHING. Don’t let everyone else carry the load of food and drink. It helps even to bring utensils, napkins, plates, etc. You don’t have to make something. You can buy something, or if you’re really poor, let the organizer know. I’ve been open to letting members help with setup or breakdown instead of food.

If you didn’t go, send an apology! It bothers me when people don’t show up but it shows a deep inconsideration to not apologize for the inconvenience. It lets the host know that you didn’t just forget them, and more importantly, that you’re not taking them for granted.

I was so disgruntled after Mabon, I’m not keen on having any more rituals this year.

What are your thoughts? Are you part of a group that has rules to deal with this? Have any suggestions? I’d love to hear from my readers.


If I started my own tradition…

TOSHIBA Exif JPEGThere are many traditions within the pagan religions, with many more since I started at the young age of 14…so many, many years ago.

New ones are popping up all the time, from the orthodox Gardnarians to the easy-going Reclaiming, to traditions specific to cultures such as the Asatru (Nordic) or Tamaran or Kemetic (Egyptian).

So what would I have if I were to start my own tradition?

  • I would have no leaders or followers, and no degrees. I’m a huge believer that EVERYONE is responsible for their own spiritual path.
  • We’d have no priest or priestess, but teachers. Their role is based on their ability to teach and share knowledge, but are also considered part of the group. We have rituals in circles, having no ‘head’, all are equal.
  • Members are expected to take responsible for their own spiritual path, including their ego.
  • My tradition would incorporate some of the Buddhist beliefs of removing the ego, to find happiness.
  • Members would be required to read a lot of books, even the ‘bad’ ones so they can hone their opinion.
  • They would be expected to think for themselves, to speak up and share their views. Groups would encourage diversity and mutual respect.
  • Laughter and play would be essential to all rituals.
  • Rituals would be done by everyone, where each member is encouraged to have a say on how the ritual is done, often sharing the diversity of the group.

So what would you include your tradition? Post in comments

Thoughts on tattoos

tattooI’m considering a new series of posts about tattoos, from its history, culture, to the individual, personal stories people have with their tattoos.

My own tattoo is the Triple Spiral Swirl which predates the Celts. What I love about its symbolism is that it incorporates many meanings:

– Birth, Death, and Rebirth

– Mother, Maid,  and Crone

– Land, Sea, and Sky

– Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

I was a member of a coven, the Unorthodox Dirt Children, and members picked the symbol for our group. Everyone in the coven got one. Some picked purple, black, or green (which I picked), and they could pick where they wanted it. Some picked the lower back, upper arm, ankle, or calf. I picked the shoulder.

What made it special is that we cast circle before the artists began their tattooing, and members drummed while this was going on. My tattoo was also bought for me- a gift, from some friends (since I had no money for one).

Unfortunately, it faded a bit since I didn’t put enough lotion on it or something. I need to have it redone to make it look better, but I still like it.

How to care for a tattoo.

The coven also fell apart. Someone even joked about getting the tattoos led to that because as you know, if you get a tattoo of someone you love, you’re less likely to stick it out. I don’t know if I believe that, but the group basically imploded and never recovered.

I still like my tattoo, nevertheless.

I’ve discussed with my husband possibly getting ring tattoos. This way he can remove his wedding ring at work. He nearly lost his finger twice at his workplace, (He’s a fireman) and I told him that I don’t mind at all if he takes it off. He’s sentimental about it though.

Another tattoo I’d like to get is one of the Luna Moth or a butterfly. They represent transformation, and I feel since overcoming my Depression, it would acknowledge that.

If you have a story, let me know. I will post here. Add comments or ideas. I’d love to hear from you.