We live in a primarily non-Pagan and heavily Christian [mostly LDS/Mormon] area. For many of us that is just the way it is and we have absorbed the rules and manners this region of the world taught us. With changes to many of our opinions, lifestyles, and beliefs it is important to remain polite and respectful despite facing negative [and quite possibly offensive] behavior from those outside our circle of safety.
The primary rule we should remember is not to give out other Pagan member’s information without their consent, even to fellow Pagans. This is called “outing” and can be terrible if someone is not comfortable with their information and identity being spread to others. If someone wants to make more contacts, get their information and provide it to the necessary individuals.
The next very important rule is not to touch or ‘fiddle’ with other Pagan’s material or possessions. If they have provided explicit permission, still be incredibly cautious and respectful. This includes crystals, rocks, tarot cards, jewelry, robes/garb, familiars, and altar tools [especially ritual knives]. If it’s out in public or on a booth table, it’s likely alright. Ask no matter what, the owner will appreciate the gesture.
If someone bestows upon you the very great honor of letting you near his or her personal altar, don’t touch anything on it.
The golden rule applies here as well. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Refrain from judging, gossiping, or being rude just because someone belongs to a different category of people. This includes gender, sexual orientation, health conditions, age, weight, or lack of, race, place of origin, dietary choices, and more.
Here are some guidelines for etiquette that will minimize conflict.
- Politely avoid people you disagree with or feel are emotional/spiritual “bullies”.
- Saying “you are more powerful than me” can be considered rude.
- Saying “I am more powerful than you” is very rude.
- There are a number of ways to practice Paganism, if it doesn’t cause harm or exploitation then leave it be.
- Don’t harass other people’s gods and goddesses.
- Rituals are performed any number of ways from quiet meditation to screaming dance. Many are acceptable at many different times.