A Wiccan Grove

December 4, 2008

The Grace of Etiquette ~

Filed under: General Discussions,General Information,Rituals,Wiccan Religion — ravenbird @ 10:01 pm

1. Your Book of shadows should be noted with who, what degree and what tradition the material is accredited to, to prevent any hurt feelings, confusion of the history of the document, and should be done out of a sense of duty as well as common courtesy.

2. A Priestess’ name should be preceded by the title of Lady as a sign of respect for her position and place. The right to bear that title is earned, not assigned or taken on whim. Therefore, let not any unqualified person use the title that is reserved for the proper Priestess of the Goddess, who has earned the title and respect through the course of her years of training and experience.

3. Reserve Circle names for Circle only. They are magickal in intent and not for everyday use. There are also public Craft names by which a Crafter may be called, if that is their wish. However, these names are not for mundane use in a public place unless permission is given or it has been the stated preference of that person.

4. In most Traditions, the Cuveen is not a democracy, nor is it run by consensus. It is lead by the Priestess who, guided by advices of the Priest and the Elders, has final say in all matters.

5. Never give out names, addresses, telephone numbers or places of employ of any in the Craft without their express permission. If a person does not abide by this policy they are subject to censure and banishment.

6. If there is a lull in the ritual, feed in positive thoughts, build the power or meditate. Do not fidget, chatter or act inappropriately. This is distracting to others in Circle and detracts from the ritual and its intent.

7. At Sabbats everyone must contribute something ~ food, drink, cooking, serving, or perhaps clean up. (This does not include a first-time guest.) Those persons who consistently do not contribute should not be invited back.

8. Pick up after yourself. It is only good manners to leave a place clean and tidy. After all, your hosts have worked hard to provide a pleasant and fulfilling time for all, and should not be left to deal with a mess in their homes.

9. If you have a large Athamé, make sure it is sheathed at all times, except when in use. Be careful when you are using it ~ we’ve had enough bad press, and false accusations about the practice of sacrifices.

10. Always come prepared with robe and Athamé. The Cuveenstead is not a pinch-hit costumer’s. Also, bring sensible shoes, tennis shoes, hiking boots, etc., for walking to outdoor Circles.

11. Initiates should always be prepared to call a Quarter or to cast the Circle.

12. Be on time! Being late is a form of disrespect and breaking your word. It lets other people down. They are counting on your input and energy. Please call to let the Priestess know if there are unavoidable delays.

13. Show true respect to your Cuveen leaders. They are people, too, and have feelings and problems like the rest of us. Do not take them for granted, and you will get much more out of your training.

14. Visiting dignitaries should be introduced as such, and given due respect of their position and place. However, they too, have an obligation to the Cuveen they visit. They should never butt in on another’s Circle and act as if they, alone, have the message of the Gods. Nor, should they try to lead the Circle, re-inscribe the Circle, call the quarters in their own fashion after they have been done ~ unless they have been asked to do so. If you do not trust the Circle that the Priest or Priestess has cast, you shouldn’t be there. Everyone has his or her own way of casting and calling. Try to appreciate the similarities and celebrate the differences.

15. Never touch another person’s tools! The same goes for their Book of Shadows, their personal library, knick-knacks, or anything in their possession without absolute surety of permission. Not only is this a rude practice, it is Magically unclean. Persons who have been found riffling through another’s belongings must be asked to leave and never again invited. The community should be warned of their behavior. It is a shame that common courtesy and good manners have to be pointed up, but there it is.

16. Should someone spill food or drink, it is up to that person to clean up the mess. Or perhaps, if the stain is bad enough, offer to pay for upholstery or carpet cleaning. If you break or damage an item, you are obliged to repair, replace or reimburse the hosts for the item.

17. Do not go against the rules of the Cuveenstead or home that you visit. The rules on drugs and drunkenness should be most strictly observed. Zero tolerance is a fact. Other people should not be made to suffer for the actions of those that do not know their limits or care to follow controlled substance laws.

18. If you have a feud going with someone, you must either avoid being in the same space with him or her, or resolve to be pleasant. If the disharmony is too great to do this calmly, ask help from your Elders to settle the matter. Do not ruin the Circle or gathering for others.

19. Never refuse any reasonable request from your Priestess. She will not ask you to do anything that goes against your ethical code or your gut feelings, if she is a true Priestess of Our Gracious Goddess.

20. When two people are engaged in a “reading” or private conversation, unless you have been invited to comment, do not barge in to give advice, reinterpret the meanings, or enter the conversation. A polite “May I?” is often all that is needed, to know whether or not you are welcome to participate.

21. During meetings or classes do not speak out of turn, make frequent trips out of the room or constantly make asides to others who are trying to listen and learn.

22. You know by the calendar and your pre-set schedule when classes and Sabbats are being held. Do not expect your Priestess to make a special call to prompt you to be there. It is your responsibility to do so on your own cognizance. Also, you must be careful not to schedule other plans on the dates that have been set aside for Cuveen work or training classes. Your input and energy have become a part of the whole and as such, is needed and expected. Therefore, you must make every effort to be in attendance. Excuses are not acceptable, reasons are.

23. Some acceptable reasons are:

v Illness, or illness of a family member,

v death of someone close to you,

v having to work extra hours, or

v traffic accidents.

The type of thing that is not acceptable:

v Concerts

v Conventions

v last minute drop-in friends

v a TV special — tape it!

You must make every effort to be there.

24. If you frequently guest with other Cuveens (having gotten your Priestess’ permission), you may wish to join that Cuveen. Follow the Law ~ you may not belong to two Cuveens at the same time. The reasons being: A) Neither group gets the full benefit of your support and attention; B) Confusion over methodologies, practices and cosmologies can become a problem; and C) Tale-bearing and gossip can cause strife between the two groups. It is our true way to avoid any strife that may bring us under the scrutiny of Cowans. There are too many that are willing to cause strife as it is.

25. A true Priest or Priestess will never make sex a condition for training or initiation. There are those Traditions who do the Great Rite actual at the time of initiations, but they should have informed people of that aspect of their practices prior to any initiation practices. Should this be sprung on you at the last minute, void the Cuveen and go to Community Elders for advice, and then apply to other groups for completion of training and for initiation. Of course, you will now be certain to inquire about such practices in the beginning.

26. We often show affection to our larger Craft family, and this is as it should be. However, grasping, grabbing or touching another person intimately without their permission is not to be countenanced. Your body is your own to share with whom you will, but not subject to abuse by others.

27. You must conform to the working methods and practices of any group you work or guest with. If you do not like their ways you must leave and seek another, more compatible group. But, do not under any circumstance try to stir contention by explaining how you would run things unless specifically asked. Nor should you try to compare any Priestess, Priest or group with any other. Comparisons only serve to promote vanity and bitterness.

28. After your Priestess has cleared a person as a guest with your group, it is her/your responsibility to see to it that your guest is informed of any rules, etiquette or expected behaviors necessary to a pleasant and instructive time for all.

29. Cuveen Leaders should explain a little about the meaning of the Rite or Ceremony to first-time guests. This will help things to run more smoothly, and everyone will be able to make a decision as to whether they wish to participate. Thus, everyone will be able to feel comfortable with the proceedings. Too, a simple grounding technique must be demonstrated to any new persons for their protection.

30. When Hosting a Circle for others, one does well to remember that whatever takes place in your Circle is your responsibility. If another person tries to disrupt the ritual, they must be ejected from the Circle and the place of meeting. If any person tries to use the Circle as a forum for their grievances, they must also be ejected. If any person tries to use the energy of the Circle to call down dire consequences on another person, not only should they be ejected from the Circle and meeting place, but, they should be shunned by all concerned. To use other people’s energy for a purpose they may not wish to forward, is the rankest of ill, and any who take this action, or any who allow it to happen shall pay in Karmic spades.

31. You must avail yourself for training at the teacher’s convenience. They have lives to live and other students to train as well. Work with the teacher to arrange a schedule that is comfortable for you both for your private sessions. And, of course, be there, always, for your group learning sessions.

32. The Craft, while a celebration of life, is also a serious business. It means dedication and hard work. If you do not wish to read and study, to put in the long hours of patient practice required, you do not belong in the Craft Proper. There are plenty of other organizations and Community functions to attend. Ask your Elders about them. Be honest with yourself about the amount of time you want to give, and how much effort you are willing to expend. There is no shame attached to want to practice at a different level.

33. On Banishment ~ If it becomes necessary to banish a person from the Circle or group, for whatever reason, this person may still want to socialize with various Coven members. This is acceptable as long as the offense was of the broom, and not of the sword. Also, it should be noted that those of the Cuveen or group who do continue an association with the banished person, or those persons on Sabbatical, should strictly observe the rule of Sub-Rosa, or what is Cuveen business remains in the Circle. If the offense is serious enough to have to involve the law of the land, or it is serious enough to damage the whole Craft, it is serious enough for the calling of a Tribunal of Elders. Otherwise, talking up Cuveen matters is grounds for dismissal.

34. Always be on guard for impostors. There are many persons that for their own advantage, or to write a book, or to infiltrate for the Religionists or the government, will masquerade as Witches. To avoid deception, take no one on his or her first word. Be hospitable, but test them subtly concerning their knowledge, their attitudes and ethics. Check any and all references and credentials they may lay claim to. Do not take them into your confidence until you are sure that they are true and worthy servants of the Gods.

Notes: This piece was originally written by Zanoni Silverknife in 1980 and published in the Georgian Newsletter dated April 1982, under a Japanese pseudonym Shigitsu Chishiki, roughly translated as “truth-knowledge”. “Grace” was later incorporated into the Georgian teachings and is passed down in its original form. It has gone through several revisions since that time. Latest revision: 2000.

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