Always follow the High Priestess’s lead. Let her invoke the deity. You may invoke an incompatible deity. Wait to be invited to participate. Invoking Kali and Loki to the same Circle would probably not be what the HP has in mind, unless this is a Discordian circle, of course. Miss Kat has attended Circles where East was called in all four directions and they wondered why everything blew away?? Indoors???
Please do not sing or chant louder than anyone else. It’s not nice and the Priestess may have been planning something different than you expect or have a change in words.
Please do not point out – “ That’s not the way my tradition does it!” No one cares and you aren’t HP.
Some traditions use different elements for the 4 corners and some traditions only use 3 elements. Some traditions don’t dismiss the corners because they feel it’s rude. How would you like to be invited to a party and then be told to leave? Is that anyway to treat a deity? Please be respectful. They know their traditions.
Do not invoke the God in a Dianic Circle.
If you are Dianic and find yourself a guest in a mixed circle do not rescue the Chalice from the Athame during the simulation of the Great Rite.
If you have to leave after the Circle is cast make sure someone cuts you out of the Circle or cut yourself out. The direction to leave in is usually East and/or Air and is usually announced before the Circle begins. Reasons to leave can be to answer the call of nature, uncontrollable coughing or laughing or having your comfort level exceeded. If they start yelling things like “Death to the Scientists!” this is a good time to leave. Especially if you are a scientist, Miss Kat has her degree in a scientific discipline and crawled in the corner during one of those circles and that kind of negativity is not necessary or good in the Craft and scared the whatsis out of her. Then they proceeded to ground the energy into the Earth! Mama gets enough garbage without that kind of junk!
Miss Kat doesn’t care if some traditions insist that once you are there you have to stay. If you are uncomfortable or scared, GO! After cutting yourself out of the Circle, please.
Always move Deosil (clockwise) around the Circle unless instructed differently. Some groups get their knickers in a twist if you move widdershins (counter-clockwise) around the Circle.
Do not snore during the guided meditation. Snoring with your mouth open is an invitation to trouble. Who knows what could take up residence there? Or what someone else could be tempted to do to you?
When involved in a Spiral Dance, do not indiscriminately drag people into the Dance. They may have a disability that keeps them from participating much as they might like to. Being kicked by a leg brace or hit with a cane is not cause for ecstatic dancing. Also don’t start ecstatic dancing if no one else is dancing. You will look like an idiot. There is a time and a place for everything.
Some rituals have an interpretive dance done by a talented member and only they get to dance. Depending on the talent level of the dancer this can be when Miss Kat gets up and leaves while trying to stifle hysterical giggles.
Passing the tongue with the ritual kiss could get you bit, at the very least and at the most, part of your anatomy could become an impromptu sacrifice. This happened to Miss Kat at one of her first public events and she was beyond flustered and furious and if the gentleman in question hadn’t left immediately she would have hurt him. She had never seen him before or since and she didn’t go to a mixed ritual for a very long time after that.
Do not hog or over-indulge in the Cakes and Ale. The corollary to that is don’t backwash in the Chalice. That’s just gross.
After the ritual:
Thank your hosts. A thank you note is not amiss here, people, even if you do it by email. People like to know the work they do in the community is appreciated and the burn out rate in a pagan groups that do public ritual is quite high. If you want to keep going let them know you appreciate it.
If outside in a park, leave the place cleaner than you found it. Doing this in someone’s house is usually not appreciated. Unless, as a apprentice your all powerful High Priestess has instructed you to do so.
On Beltane, Sex in the bushes after public ritual is frowned on as you could:
A. Have a sponsor lose the use of the place you are holding ritual. This is not fun and gets your group a bad name in the community and the next pagan group may not be rented to because of some people’s lack of self-control.
B. Get a disease; ritually contracted syphilis or AIDS is not anymore comfortable than the mundane version.
C. Find poison oak, ticks and rattlesnakes – Nuff said?
D. Use you own bed it is more comfortable.
Congratulations! you just made it through your first public ritual.