In order for us to be free of inhibitions, to feel we are
in "safe space," to get the most out of what we are doing,
and to protect those whose identity as Witches, were it revealed,
would compromise them in their mundane lives, it is imperative
that everyone know and agree to abide by the following general
First and foremost, a circle is not for observers; it is
participatory and experiential. A circle is a religious rite
and all participants should conduct themselves in a manner
respectful to the Old Gods. If one is not prepared to focus
and contribute his/her attention and efforts to the ceremony,
one does not belong in the circle. If one does not wish to
participate, s/he should excuse her/himself before the
pre-rite meditation and grounding begins.
Confidentiality must be respected. Names of persons who are
involved in the Craft must not be revealed outside of the
Everyone should arrive clean and well-groomed.
Craft groups and Circles are not inviolably solemn, but
they are serious in central purpose. Inappropriate talking,
joking, laughing, etc. are not only rude and disrespectful
of the God/dess/es, the Mighty Ones, and the priest/esses of
the ritual, but also they interfere with concentration and c
ontinuity of the ceremony. She commands us to have mirth and
reverence; humor and laughter are gifts of the Goddess. Our
attitude, conduct and energy should reflect both the joyousness
and the solemnity of this, our celebratory religion.
Since traditional lore teaches that a consecrated object
easily absorbs energy (becomes "charged"), tools, such as wand,
chalice, athame, jewelry, drum and other ritual regalia,
should not be touched by someone other than the owner
without the owner's express permission.
Once the circle is cast, all celebrants should consider
themselves in it for the duration. Everyone takes care of
personal needs (medicine, restroom, etc.) before the ritual is begun.
The Circle contains and focuses the energy, and when it is
casually entered and exited, that energy can become dissipated
or lost and focus shattered.
Anyone who is drunk, stoned or otherwise inebriated does not
belong in Circle. In addition, the use of drugs or alcohol
(this includes the smoking of cigarettes) in Circle is
unacceptable behavior: it can show disrespect, and it puts the
user(s) on another wavelength than the nonuser(s).
Children are welcome at certain of our events, but should be
under the watchful eyes of their parents or another adult
at all times.
People who invite others to rituals are responsible for
preparing the guest(s) as to what is expected of them,
how to behave, etc. Guests cannot be expected to know what's going on
all on their own, especially if it's their first Craft ritual,
but much can be done by the person who invites them to help them
feel more comfortable and included by giving them some information
ahead of time about how things work and how people are expected to behave.
Section 2: Guidelines for Waxing Moon Circle Events
Most of our events are at Covenstead: Ivan's home. Please remove your
shoes in the front hallway, and leave them in the shoe rack
(or, if there isn't enough room in the rack, on the floor there).
Please bring a potluck item.
Please arrive clean and with your preferred attire. Ritual robes
are preferable, but not required. We do not Work skyclad.
If you must arrive late, please do not interrupt the lecture.
Socializing is for the potluck time: if you want to chat with everyone,
please arrive in time to do it then.
The door will be locked and the phone turned off when ritual begins
(officially at 8 PM; unofficially, sometimes a bit later).
Like most covens, we have informal discussions during cakes
and wine. This is time for announcements and for relevant discussion,
not for mundane chatting.
During cakes and wine we pass around a chalice that usually contains something alcoholic. If you do not wish to drink alcohol or are concerned about germs, you may touch the cup to your forehead instead of drinking from it.
The 24 hour rule: Once a ritual is complete, do not discuss it
for 24 hours.
Note that different traditions have different rules. We do not necessarily agree with everything on these pages. In fact, they may not always agree with each other. But you will notice certain general trends. (Links will open in a new window.)