Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Pagan Festival Tips

[Show all]

Views: 479,227

Year: 2009 ...

An Open Letter to Pagan Parents

Year: 2003 ...

Event Expectations - Part I

Event Expectations - Part II

Year: 2002 ...

Psychic Self Defense for Festivals (and beyond)

Public Circles & Rituals - Pros / Cons, Stay or Go?

Duties, Care & Feeding of Guest Speakers & Artists

Mundane Health & Safety at Gatherings & Festivals

Year: 2000 ...

Nudity at Festivals


Festival FAQ's

Matters of Etiquette

Pet Peeves

KidCraft: Parental Rights and Responsibilities

Helpful Hints for Camping events

Festival FAQ's (part II)

Fire Safety

Dancing The Fires: Gardians for Your Safety and Security

Reservation Roulette

Merchanting at Gatherings, Events & Festivals

Serving those that Serve

Hosting a Festival, Gathering or Lecture

Workshops at Festivals

INDEX: Author Profile & Index

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Public Circles & Rituals - Pros / Cons, Stay or Go?

Author: Patricia Telesco [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: June 30th. 2002
Times Viewed: 13,663

I recently received an email from someone who had gone to an open Circle and came away very disappointed. It was poorly organized, the songs too complex, and overall it seemed tossed together with no more thought than a green salad. Her question, as a result, was: "how do I avoid this type of disaster in the future -- one that cost both money and time and ruined the holiday."

At first I thought the answer was easy -- but it's not. This group had been doing this ritual for years, so there was a history behind it. My friends couldn't be accused of going to a new event without doing some legwork first. So what was (and is) the key?

Tackling this question from several standpoints, let's begin with attendees. If you've never been to this particular open circle before and don't know the coordinators, ask around. Try to get some word of mouth feedback. In particular call the owners of any metaphysical shops in the area to see if they've heard anything. You'd be amazed at home much praise and grumbling goes on while shopping!

Second, trust the tried and true festival section. People post reviews here of various events. If the event in question isn't listed try the group's or event's name on Google or another search engine. One thing on which you can depend in our community is for people to post about their event experiences, both good and bad, somewhere!

If those approaches don't work, you may have to go and take your chances. But, don't forget you've got magick in your pocket too. Try divining about the event, or casting a spell that encourages success before you head out!

For those events to which you do decide to go, come somewhat prepared. Offer to lend a hand if the priest or priest/ess needs extra help. Focus on mingling your energy with the whole. Be good hearted about the occasional goof up that's bound to happen with a lot of people, and after the event offer both your thanks and insights so that on-going improvements can happen (please be diplomatic about the insights).

Finally if you find you're really unhappy with the event you always have the option of talking with your feet. You can (without disruption) take yourself out of the circle and approach the coordinator later with your issues (an open circle really isn't the place for this type of discussion especially if the ritual is still in progress). If the leader listens and makes efforts to change things, then return and see how that Circle goes. If they do not, warn others of the problems you experienced, again so our networking system does what it's intended to do -- protect us, inform us, and keep us connected!

Now let's consider the coordinator's perspective. Running an open circle isn't easy. You're bound to run into people from a wide variety of traditions, all of whom have an opinion on how it "should be done". How do you mix the diversity of Paths into a harmonious whole? I think there are various answers to the equation of what makes for a good public circle or ritual:
  1. planning and practice -- don't expect to pull this off without some time and effort behind it. If you don't have the training, experience, or bodies to pull it off, find a facilitator who does and ask for help. Also if you have any specific information on your atendee's traditions, consider adding minor elements from those to make folks feel at home (do so with gentle respect for those Traditions).

  2. memorize the material -- crackling paper is very distracting as are halting words because you can't see the paper by candle light. I also truly believe you can put more energy into your words if you're not focused on crib notes.

  3. think simple, symbolic, and sensual -- too much complex material in a large group will dissolve the energy built very quickly. Strong communal symbolism and sensory input improves the overall experience for the attendees

  4. be responsible -- you are about to become a public representative of the Craft and your magickal community to those within and without. Think carefully about what kind of impression you're making

  5. remain sensitive -- a good leader is one who recognizes the dynamics with which they're working. If those dynamics call for a last minute change in plans, honor them. Rigidly adhering to a construct creates "fundamentalist" magick.

  6. Get feedback: after the ritual listen carefully to attendees. What did they like? What bothered them (if anything)? What seemed to fall flat energy wise? This information will help you make changes for the next open Circle, which in turn will be more successful for the effort. Greet ideas with gratitude.
Like any ritual, good public ritual depends on a lot of factors all working together for the good of All, but when each individual (both the attendees and the coordinators) does their part, the results are likely to improve geometrically

In Service,

Trish Telesco

The Witches' Voice
June 29th., 2002


Article Specs

Article ID: 4362

VoxAcct: 99809

Section: festtips

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 6,320

Times Read: 13,663


Patricia Telesco

Location: Amherst, New York

Author's Profile: To learn more about Patricia Telesco - Click HERE

Other Articles: Patricia Telesco has posted 39 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Patricia Telesco... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

To send a private message to Patricia Telesco ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2019 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh.

Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections
(including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wren’s Nest, etc.)
are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ Voice, Inc.
TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.

The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.

Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
Witches, Pagans
of The World

Search Articles

 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide

NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).