Are you new to the pagan scene? Is this your first time venturing out to meet a bunch of pagans, witches and occultists? What should you do? What should you say? Here’s a few ideas that you might find helpful.
Things to do when you’re attending a pagan event
Arrive on time
- Find out in advance where you’ll be meeting and how you plan to get there. Allow time for travel and parking if you’re driving, or plan your public transport route well in advance.
- Arriving on time will allow you to mingle and meet with people before any ritual starts and to listen to the ritual prep in advance. You can then decide if you want to take part.
- If it’s a social meet up, if you arrive on time, you’ll get to hear everyone’s introduction. That way, you won’t be stumbling in to a bunch of people who all seem to ‘know’ each other even if they’ve only been there 30mins longer than you.
- If you’ve RSVP’d to an event as “Yes, I’ll be there!’ and find you suddenly cannot attend at the last minute, tell someone so the group isn’t waiting for your arrival before commencement.
- This might mean contributing your energy and focus during the circle or being generous with your help to tidy up afterwards, being kind and courteous will set you in good stead with the hosts, possibly securing a repeat invitation to future events.
- Be social! There’s no point turning up to an event only to sit in the corner and not speak to anyone. If you’re shy, make an effort to connect with at least one person who isn’t the host. Why not the host? They’re busy looking out for everyone attending or running the event itself. A good host will attempt to engage with you and try to make you feel as welcome as possible, but it’s a two way exchange.
- If you need to pay for your own meal or drinks, please do so. Don’t eat, drink and be merry expecting that someone else will pay for you.
Keep an open mind and ask questions
- Yes, you might be meeting people who believe in weird and wonderful things like energy and magic (hooray!), however there shouldn’t be anything illegal going on. If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, you can leave at any time.
- Listen to any ritual preparation given in advance. Ask questions when invited, and at other times that may be appropriate. We’re human and we don’t mind an enquiring mind.
- If the ritual isn’t for you, you can leave quietly and without fuss.
- If there is a specific dress code, do your best to make an effort to acknowledge it. If you’re not sure what to wear, try for something smart and comfortable. If someone is wearing something that you think is hilarious, outrageous or silly, it’s really not your place to comment on it.
Things you shouldn’t do when attending a pagan event
I could write a list with a million items on it, however it would do you well to remember your basic manners and respect for other people and their property, especially if you’re visiting someone’s private residence. Open pagan events can be used as a way for a private coven to literally open up and see who is out there in the community or to invite others to join their circle. Not all groups operate this way, however how you conduct yourself in public and in small groups is important if you’d like to be considered for membership of a smaller or more exclusive invite only group in future.
The below is a basic list of what NOT to do…
- Don’t touch things without permission – if there is an altar set up, do not touch anything on it without being specifically invited to do so.
- Maintain personal boundaries. A lot of pagans like to hug each other in greeting and they may already know each other, however wait to be invited before you touch anyone or enter into anyone’s personal space.
- Don’t violate basic rules of civility and respect – don’t laugh during a solemn meditation, don’t be rude to people, don’t take more than your fair share of food & drink at a shared feast etc
- Don’t bring children without asking in advance. If the event listing doesn’t state that the event is child friendly, please ask before bringing children along. Not all events are family friendly. Others may have organised babysitters to look after their children and your children at an event may be disruptive or unwelcome.
Hopefully the basic list above will help you navigate your way into the pagan scene when meeting other witches, pagans and occultists.