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Author Topic: Universal Pagan Etiquette?  (Read 13759 times)
Zerynthia
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« Topic Start: October 18, 2007, 12:13:32 am »

Just curious if there are written or unwritten rules about ritual etiquette when the meeting or class or ritual is held in someone's home?

What are the expectations of the host/ess? What are the expectations of the guests?

Yes, I do have a story behind this, but I wanted to see if perhaps other people knew something I do not.
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elaoin
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« Reply #1: October 18, 2007, 01:44:56 am »

Just curious if there are written or unwritten rules about ritual etiquette when the meeting or class or ritual is held in someone's home?

What are the expectations of the host/ess? What are the expectations of the guests?

Yes, I do have a story behind this, but I wanted to see if perhaps other people knew something I do not.

In my opinion, the basics of visiting anyone's home, especially if you don't know them that well, apply here. Don't poke your nose where it doesn't belong (not to say don't ask questions, just don't go snooping on your own); no stealing or "borrowing" (duh!); be polite and follow house rules; if you're not sure, ask. Stuff like that.

As for ritual-specific... that I don't have a clue on. Though I think the "if you don't know, ask" bit translates to ritual/class as well. No such thing as a dumb question!
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yewberry
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« Reply #2: October 18, 2007, 02:24:05 am »

Just curious if there are written or unwritten rules about ritual etiquette when the meeting or class or ritual is held in someone's home?

What are the expectations of the host/ess? What are the expectations of the guests?

I think the most insulting thing you can do to just about anyone is to make assumptions.  If you want to start off on a good foot, tell your host(ess) that you know little to nothing about what will be expected of you and ask for their help.  It's both an ice breaker ("Hi, I'm human") and a doorway to deeper understanding.

I'm told there are no stupid questions.  And while I sometimes doubt that's true, I still err on the side of asking rather than assuming.  Wink

Brina
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Jenett
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« Reply #3: October 18, 2007, 07:53:28 am »

Just curious if there are written or unwritten rules about ritual etiquette when the meeting or class or ritual is held in someone's home?

Basically the same as for any other visit, in my book, with a few addenda, because you're there for a specific purpose.

1) Before going, talk.

Ask "Is there anything I should or could bring?". Some people will prefer you bring food and drink to share. Others will have cold drinks, tea, etc. for guests already. There may be items you should have for the class/event. If there's a potluck, ask if it's customary to bring ingredient lists, or if there are items you should avoid.

Ask any questions that are relevant to your health, general comfort (in the sense of 'will be able to focus on what's going on') and safety. If you have pet allergies, this is the time to ask about them so you can medicate appropriately.

2) Give them information if needed.

This is the one that has most reliably driven me batty. I don't care if someone has food allergies that prevent them eating bread at ritual: I am happy to find an alternative they can share in. That said, it's a whole lot easier to do that if they tell me *before* they get there, so one can add an appropriate food to the shopping list, rather than tossing it in 5 minutes before ritual starts. (This is *after* us making it clear that advance warning on this one is good and necessary.)

Also important information: mobility concerns (is the space accessible for you? Can it be made so?), assistance animals, and anything that might mean you may have urgent problems in the middle of whatever the activity is. (asthma, hypoglycemia, etc.)

3) If you don't know the people well, default to polite.

Don't show up an hour early, assuming it'll be fine if you come in. They may have other things to do. Don't plan to stay an hour or more after the end of the event: they may need to wrap up and go to bed, or go to another event, or just collapse on the couch and recover. Don't throw fits about the fact they have pets, or smoke, or dust bunnies, or whatever else they warned you about or you should have checked about (if it bothers your health: politely excuse yourself if you have to, and remember to ask next time. If you asked, and they lied about something, that's a good reason to go elsewhere anyway.) 

Don't go rummaging in their cupboards unless someone gives you permission to find what you need (in the kitchen, etc.) If doors are closed, leave them closed unless told otherwise: there may be a pet closed up in there for good reason or it may just be private space. Plus the obvious: don't touch people's private stuff without permission. (And ask about altar items, etc. We're fairly comfy with people handling ours, but we tend to want to do an introduction to them first, because a few are unusually fragile if you don't know how.)

Which leads to the following:

Expectations of the host/ess
Be clear about what's going on, when people should arrive, when they should plan to leave, and any things in your house that might pose issues to a reasonable number of people (that there are stairs to navigate to the ritual space, that you have pets, etc.) and be prepared to answer reasonable questions about other stuff.

Best practice is to nudge people coming into a conversation when you issue the invitation - let them know the obvious stuff, and ask if they have any particular needs or questions. If you're going to be hosting semi-regularly, it's worth having a list of standard stuff you keep, and running through that with any new guest - both in conversation, and when they get there (where the bathroom is, etc.) Have someone (doesn't have to be you) you can point new people to, to get a tour of the relevant spaces, answer any further questions, and do a follow up check on "Right, you don't have any food allergies, do you?" type things.

Expectations of the guest
Don't be stupid. Don't assume they do things like you do. Don't pry. Ask first, until told not to ask, or given free rein in an area. Check with the host/ess and see if there's someone else you can ask, if he/she is busy. It is not the end of the world if you sit on the couch unsure what's okay for a bit. Offer to help, but don't be surprised if (especially the first few visits) your help is nothing to minimal. (Me, I tend to want to get to know people a bit before asking them to wash breakables, deal with ritual items, etc.) Provide information about things you need (not in excruciating detail, but enough to allow your host/ess to plan ahead) without needing it dragged out of you.
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« Reply #4: October 18, 2007, 01:58:46 pm »

As for ritual-specific... that I don't have a clue on. Though I think the "if you don't know, ask" bit translates to ritual/class as well. No such thing as a dumb question!

The exception to that rule would be to decide you want to ask about something right in the middle of a ritual or guided meditation - leave it until later.

And if you have a mobile phone, switch it off prior to the ritual! 
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Mari
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« Reply #5: October 18, 2007, 02:36:33 pm »

Just curious if there are written or unwritten rules about ritual etiquette when the meeting or class or ritual is held in someone's home?

That depends upon the group and their particular tradition/s, of course. We have very hard and fast meeting / ritual / class rules. Here's a brief overview of such.
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Mari
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« Reply #6: October 18, 2007, 02:39:18 pm »

I think the most insulting thing you can do to just about anyone is to make assumptions.  If you want to start off on a good foot, tell your host(ess) that you know little to nothing about what will be expected of you and ask for their help. 

Now, in my group, it's required that any guest meet with the HP and HPs first - like a day or two or even a week before the open ritual so we can sit down and discuss what it is we do and what the guest can expect - and what's expected of the guest.
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« Reply #7: October 18, 2007, 02:40:11 pm »

And if you have a mobile phone, switch it off prior to the ritual! 

That's one thing I've never taken into consideration. Maybe I just have a good bunch of people. Wink
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Lorraine
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« Reply #8: October 18, 2007, 03:12:53 pm »

That's one thing I've never taken into consideration. Maybe I just have a good bunch of people. Wink

I don't think it has ever happened during one of our rituals, but yes, someone forgot about it during a guided meditation once and had to dash out of the room.  They've come in handy beforehand when someone's on the way and has got lost/delayed on public transport though.
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Dania
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« Reply #9: October 18, 2007, 03:27:14 pm »



That's a very good list, Jennett. I really can't think of anything to add to it.

Lorraine is right about the cell phones!! And pagers, blackberries, etc.
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Reona
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« Reply #10: October 18, 2007, 03:52:40 pm »

I don't think it has ever happened during one of our rituals, but yes, someone forgot about it during a guided meditation once and had to dash out of the room.  They've come in handy beforehand when someone's on the way and has got lost/delayed on public transport though.

“Unless the gods know your phone number, I suggest you turn your cell phones off before entering.”

The message posted outside of the meditation room in my local metaphysical shop.
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« Reply #11: October 18, 2007, 04:31:45 pm »

The exception to that rule would be to decide you want to ask about something right in the middle of a ritual or guided meditation - leave it until later.

And if you have a mobile phone, switch it off prior to the ritual! 



 I agree with you!
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« Reply #12: October 18, 2007, 05:29:36 pm »

“Unless the gods know your phone number, I suggest you turn your cell phones off before entering.”

LOL I love it!!!
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joshuatenpenny
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« Reply #13: October 18, 2007, 05:49:24 pm »

That depends upon the group and their particular tradition/s, of course. We have very hard and fast meeting / ritual / class rules. Here's a brief overview of such.

You mean my group isn't the only one with a list like that online!? How wonderful.

This is our list: Ritual Etiquette in the Asphodel Tradition

-- Joshua
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elaoin
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« Reply #14: October 18, 2007, 07:52:28 pm »

The exception to that rule would be to decide you want to ask about something right in the middle of a ritual or guided meditation - leave it until later.

And if you have a mobile phone, switch it off prior to the ritual! 

I just assumed that that sort of timing issue would be apparent. Of course, I've been told my common sense is different from a lot of people's common sense, so maybe I'm just assuming too much. And I second the cell phone rule, and honestly I would just turn it off before even entering the house! (I feel) It's rude to be talking to someone in their house then have your cell go off, and you just whip it out with a "just a second" and start talking.

But then, I've had that happen to me before. And had the conversations last a half hour or more. Angry
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