Circle Etiquette

Circle attendance:

Each coven or circle has its own attendance guidelines. If the circle is publicly advertised then follow the guidelines in the advertisement or call the phone number provided if you have questions. If you are personally invited to a circle do not assume it is O.K. to bring anyone else. If you have a friend, relative, child or significant other whom you would like to bring please ask the High Priest or High Priestess first. Some covens are more open than others but please respect the decision of the HPS or HP. Also, we do have freedom of religion in this country, but there are those who, out of ignorance, still deny us the right to worship as we choose.

If you have been invited to a Circle which is not publicly advertised please do not discuss it with anyone without checking with the HP or HPS first. Private circles are by invitation only and it is never good to assume who the other attendees of a particular circle will be. Respect the privacy of those in the circle and never mention who was there to anyone. See this page for a detailed explanation of the importance of the Oath of Secrecy in Wicca.

Also: Please do not attend circle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol and NEVER bring drugs onto the property of any person or group holding a ritual.

When accepting an invitation:


Ask what the mode of dress is for the circle you will be attending. At large pagan gatherings you are liable to see elaborate costumes, simple robes, street clothing or nothing at all (skyclad) in the same ritual.

At smaller public rituals robes are nice but street clothes are acceptable. If you wear street clothing, make it something loose and comfortable so you have no distractions.

And please, no t-shirts with pictures or messages which may be distracting to others.

If you are invited to a non-public circle be sure to ask what to wear. Some covens may require participants to be skyclad, but robes are more common and may be required. Some groups have not allow certain colors of robes so be sure to ask. Also, certain types of jewelry may not be appropriate. For example, a triple-moon head-dress or an amber and jet necklace is usually worn only by a High Priestess. If you wear one of these to a large public ritual and you are not a High Priestess you may find yourself being asked to perform some duty for which you are not prepared. Generally - when in doubt - ask.

If the ritual will be held outdoors please dress accordingly.

Before ritual:

During ritual:

In large public circles you will see many different ways of saluting the Quarters since each person tends to use the method he or she is most familiar with. One or two pointed fingers is a customary substitute for an athame or wand in many Circles.

The HP or HPS may invoke a god or goddess during the ritual which means the deity has entered the body of the HP or HPS and may speak through them. Do not talk at all during an invocation unless the god or goddess specifically asks YOU a question.

After ritual:

This is a good time for hugs, relaxing, asking questions, singing, dancing, drumming, eating, socializing and networking. Please offer to help clean up as well.

This page may be reproduced and distributed provided nothing whatsoever is changed.
Copyright 1993, 1995, 1997, 2000 by Forest Butera.


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