So, you're guesting with a coven?
Awesome! Guesting is the first step in the search for a permanent home with a coven; but guesting doesn't mean you're in, and you should keep the following in mind;
1. Be polite! You are guest in their circle, so do not be cocky or overstep boundaries. It's great if you have a background in magic and the community, but you are not running this show, so be polite, and listen.
2. Don't play the "more experienced than thou" game. What do I mean by that you may ask, well, it is not uncommon in magick settings for people to try to start experienced based pissing contests, "Well *I* was trained by Lady BananaRamaDotCom who is a direct decedent of *insert ridiculous claim here*, and who studied under Crowley AND Gardner! I am basically royalty!". Ok great, good for you, but for the record, literally NO ONE cares or wants to deal with this. The easiest way to be ostracized by the community is to be THAT person, on SoM we call it Fluffy, but either way, do NOT do it.
3. Do NOT touch things that do not belong to you! Items in circle are often very specifically blessed and enchanted by their owners and touching them can mess with people's hard work. Alternatively, it is just straight up rude, so don't do it.
4. Always be early, but don't be invasive. Now, despite the common reference to "pagan standard time", it is extremely rude to be late to an event as a guest. Word of the wise, show up ten to fifteen minutes early.
5. Feel free to offer to help, but don't be pushy. Now, if you're like me, your first instinct in any situation is to offer to help your host; maybe it's chopping veggies for a salad, of setting chairs up for the guests, or really whatever they need, but not every host will accept your offer. Sometimes you will get someone who says no thank you, and that's ok! Accept their answer graciously, "Okie dokie! If that changes, I am here!" and sit down.
6. Never be afraid to set boundaries! If something in the situation makes you uncomfortable, it is ok to tell your host!
7. Always be aware of allergies and dietary restrictions. If you have an allergy or dietary restriction, tell the host ahead of time. Alternatively, ask your host about the group's allergies and dietary restrictions so that you can avoid them.
8. NO ONE has the right to touch you or make you uncomfortable! If you are in a situation and you no longer feel safe, find a way to leave without making a scene. It is also a good idea to have an SOS person on standby because even if a group seems nice, you can never be too careful!
9. Be aware of predatory behavior when guesting at potential covens! This is a long blurb, but here is a short version;
-No legit coven will charge you to be a member. Most covens require an act of service, and sometimes you may want to spend money, but no legit coven will charge membership fees.
-If a coven requires a "sexual initiation", RUN! Run like the ground is on fire, because this is never a good sign. No teacher should EVER require you to sleep with them in order to be taught; and unfortunately, situations like this can be connected to sex trafficking.
-If the coven starts to isolate you from your friends and relations, job, etc., RUN! Coven's should be a support system, not an all-consuming control panel.
-They're isolationists. If a coven refuses to interact with the community, there is almost always a reason. Do your research before you commit to make sure you're not walking into the lion's den!
Now, these may all seem like common sense, but still, be safe everyone!
Lady Wynnie is the ArchPriestess and founder of Covenant of the Rose. She is also a talented writer who will be blogging about the coven and it's happenings!