Especially for Open Gatherings and Circles
Remember, do only what you feel comfortable
with. Do not allow others to intimidate you into "going
along" with the group. If you feel uncomfortable,
then do not participate in that part; stand or sit silently
or exit the circle area appropriately. Also, be sure to
check out Secrets
of the Inner Circle for tips on getting acquainted
with your pagan community.
Circle/Ritual Area: Preparation
When an area has been selected and is to be prepared
for ritual, only the person or persons designated are
allowed within that space. The area will be cleansed and
a Sacred Space created for the circle. Please respect
it by not stepping into or crossing over that area. When
the area is ready for ritual an announcement will be made
and you will be directed to the proper entrance of the
Circle area. This area is usually
chosen and marked off. Quarter candles or quarter
altars are set up. The main altar is set up. A designated
doorway is made for the circle. Some circle boundries are made and circles are cast
with salt, flowers, candles, rocks, brooms, sticks,
Entrance to Circle (doorway). This
will usually be to the East or North East area of
Wait outside the Circle entrance until
summoned to enter.
At the entrance you may be asked,
"How do you enter here?" For open circles,
the answer is usually, "In Perfect Love and In
Perfect Trust." For closed circles, a password
is usually chosen and only given to members or those
Entering Circle. As you enter the
circle area, you may be smudged or blessed. Watch
others that go before you and follow suit, as long
as it is comfortable to you. (See special
at end of guidelines)
Inside circle you will turn to the
left and walk clockwise (deosil) within the circle
area to the position you will be standing in, unless
Wait patiently while others continue
to enter. You may wish to center and ground yourself
at this time.
During ritual, please remain silent
unless the ritual provides for chanting and singing,
or you are asked or offered to speak.
During ritual feel the energy, add
your energy to the group, and help to raise the energy.
A Basic Open Circle
High Priest and/or High Priestess
will cast circle. They will call the Quarters and
Elements or motion to others to do so. The circle
will be sealed. Then the God and Goddess will be invited
Specific ceremony/ritual follows.
Relax, enjoy, share energy, listen, observe and learn.
You can watch others and follow with greeting and
blessings, such as: So Mote It Be, Blessed Be, chants,
songs, etc. Follow along the best you can.
A symbolic Great Rite will be done
with the High Priest and High Priestess. Wine or other
drink is blessed and offered/passed to all. Usually
as the Chalice or drink is passed, a blessing of "May
you never thirst" is said. It is suggested to
save a tiny bit to offer back to the earth and/or
nature's creatures as an offering. (See special
at the end of guidelines.)
Next the cake, bread or fruit is blessed
and again passed to all. Usually as the food is passed
a blessing of "May you never hunger" is
said. Again a bit is saved and offered back to the
earth and/or nature's creatures as an offering. (See
at the end of
End of Ritual. High Priest and High
Priestess bid thanks and farewell to the God and the
Goddess, then thanks and farewell of the quarters
and elements are said. The circle is then open.
Once you have entered the circle area, remember
to always walk clockwise (known as deosil) unless otherwise
specified. This is to keep the main flow of energy in
the proper direction for the specified ritual. (There
are certain times we go counterclockwise, known as widdershins
and if this is in the ritual, you will probably be directed
Should you need to exit the circle, please
do so quietly and swiftly in the proper direction. You
will enter and exit at the same point in the circle. At
the doorway a gatekeeper will open an exit area for you
and then will re-close it after you.
Most rituals are done while standing, although
if you need to sit down, please feel free to do so. You
may bring a chair with you into the circle as you enter.
You may wish to bring
your own chalice to drink from. If you do not desire to
drink from the same chalice as others, please use your
own or at least make the gesture to drink or pour a drop
or two on the earth as an offering/blessing and pass it
on. Remember that some of these gatherings have 40 to
200 attending and may drink from the same cup! You may
also wish to ask exactly what is in the chalice before
drinking. Some groups use water, juice, punch, nonalcoholic
beverage, wine or other alcohol.
The food offerings
passed are also something to consider if you have specific
allergies. You may need to ask if the cake or breads have
nuts in it, etc. Again, you may wish to only take a small
piece and give it to Mother Earth as an offering.
Circles/Rituals are done in a Sacred Space,
so... Please refrain from speaking or conversing within
circle. Hold comments, suggestion and so forth until after
circle/ritual is finished and circle is again open. Please remember to turn your cell phones off.
No smoking in circle.
You should check to see if you might bring
items into circle such as flowers or other offerings, drums,
rattles, etc. to join in ritual.
It is suggested to ask the ritual sponsor(s)
if you may attend, or to announce you will be joining
for an open circle. This insures space to accommodate
Ask ritual sponsor(s) if there is anything
specific you need to know, bring or be aware of for the
ritual, such as food to share for potluck, dress code,
Most Pagan/Witch/Wiccan groups do not allow
anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol to participate.
Chanting, drumming and some herbs can altar consciousness.
It is suggested that if you are on prescribed medication
that can altar your awareness/ consciousness, please inform
the person who is leading the ritual.
Please do not use cameras within the circle
area unless asked to do so by the circle sponsors. Do
not take pictures of anyone without their permission to
Remember that there are many paths, beliefs,
truths and ways. No one path or way is the "right"
or "only" way. If you feel something is being
done or said you do not agree with, do not blurt
out loud or under your breath that it is "wrong/incorrect".
If you must, please wait until the ritual is over. You
can then ask the sponsor/leader of the ritual why they
did or said things you did not agree with. Experiencing
new ways and food for thought are always enlightening.
We can all "Agree to Disagree".
We hope you have a pleasant and enlightening
April 8, 2012
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