Summer is here and many of us have events like Pagan Pride and local coven parties to attend. Or, you’re thinking of maybe throwing together a witchy cookout or get together. But events can go wrong very quickly when there’s a lot of people involved. Here’s some things to consider.
17 tips and suggestions for planning, setting up, packing for the event, or getting to the event
- Be really clear on on the dates, locations, and directions. Ask a five year old if they can understand it if you’re unsure. Also be clear where to buy tickets, if tickets are necessary, what, where, and to whom donations can be made (whether food or money).
- Arrive early vendors and make sure your paperwork is covered. Bring extra water, food, and a spare chair in case something tragic happens to yours or a friend stops by. Be very clear on whether you are cash only, card only, or both. Have cash on hand just in case. And don’t forget to set online shops to vacation or whatever/watch the inventory so you don’t oversell and disappoint customers.
- Carpooling is a great as parking is usually a mess. However, be super cautious when carpooling with strangers.
- Double and triple check public transportation routes and fares. You might want to even consider emailing, calling, facebooking, or tweeting your public transportation folks to ensure that the area is being serviced.
- If you’re going somewhere alone, let someone know where you’re going to be. Even if it’s just your internet friends.
- Park in well-lit areas if possible and lock up your car’s windows, trunk, and doors. Keep valuables out of view of windows. Yes, anti-thief spells are nice. But so are locks.
- Bring a device charger. Solar chargers are getting better and better now and they’re priced just about as much as a regular charger. If not, at least bring one to plug into a wall. Even if the event is at a campground there’s bound to be someone with something you can plug into to charge your device with.
- For the love of the gods and spirits, wear sun protection like sunblock, hat, sunglasses, and so on. And hey, bug spray usually won’t go amiss either.
- Bring cash in small bills. Many shops do take cards now but cash is often appreciated.
- Biodegradable serviceware! I’m not just talking about cups. Everything from plates, bowls, forks, knives, spoons, straws, take-home boxes, delivery boxes, and yes cups are made with biodegradable plastics or materials now. Some are better than others so do your research. But this is HUGE and I’m SUPER disappointed I don’t see this more at events. Like, do you know how easy it is for a practitioner to pick up your used cup and use it as object in a spell? Having a biodegradable cup can really muddy the waters when trying to do a spell (especially if the cup is made with seeds). Plus it helps the environment! Yup, it’s more expensive (usually) but then you don’t have a plastic cup sitting out there for years if you missed it during clean-up.
- Do not put non-edible things in community shared food. It’s one thing to do it at a private dinner where it’s expected but it’s entirely another where it’s a community event and you can’t be sure you’ve told every single person not everything is edible.
- Write down ALL ingredients included in a recipe. Also write down if you enchanted it or if those ingredients used have been enchanted (like if you grew the plants in your garden and poured fertility magic into it… uh, mention that?) This isn’t just for magical needs but also for things like allergies, medical disorders, or religious observances.
- Wear sensible shoes. Actually, just wear shoes. I personally love/hate shoes and yet they stay on my feet at events. Amazing concept.
- While first aid kits, safety kits, and properly trained attendants of first aid centers essential for community events, this leaves aside the whole aspect of magical needs. What if someone can’t find a lighter for a ritual to be performed in five minutes in front of the whole community? What if someone is super negative and you need to cleanse yourself right there and then? What if you need a spell, stat? What if your special event garb rips? Build an emergency kit to cover your needs. It can be as small as an Altoid’s tin or as large as a whole bag.
- Note keeping is rarely mentioned in these lists and it’s a shame. A lot of fun ideas and information is thrown around at these events. Keep a small notebook and pen on you to write down information like website names, emails, phone numbers, or terms to research later. You can also use your smartphone by texting yourself or a note keeping app.
- Casting some spells to find your things, look more attractive, be confident, or draw customers? Don’t go overboard. If your spells are super forceful, people will feel that and either ignore you (because rude to do that) or can even become ill.
- Bring drinks. Yes, you can usually buy something there but BRING DRINKS. And if you bring your vendor friends’ coffee they will probably thank you immensely.
Food and magical practitioners have a long, long history. Many of us love food and drink and often incorporate it in our magic. Some even work solely in the kitchen. But there’s a downside to this: we don’t know if anyone’s enchanting our food or drink without permission. Many practitioners are somewhat wary about dining with other practitioners, especially when food is being brought in or privately made. Here’s some more magic related tips to consider when planning an event.
18 tips and suggestions for how to act while at the event
- Never, ever leave your drink or food unattended. If you can’t take it with you, leave it. If you leave for some reason and plan on coming back, as a trusted friend to watch it. And even then that should be avoided.
- This community, like all communities, has our assholes and predators. Call them out on it as needed and ensure the safety of everyone around you. If you feel creeped out, tell them to go away. And don’t be afraid to call or scream for help if you need to. If they insist on contact information, give them a fake. You are NEVER obliged to give out your information or anything. Not even the damn time. Never.
- Do not feed the wildlife. Do not litter. Do not spray the environment with chemical sprays unless explicitly told you can. And watch for poison ivy, oak, and sumac.
- Help each other out. Seriously, if someone is uncomfortable looking talking to someone, go over and join into the conversation. At worst you’ll be considered rude and told to butt out. At best you saved someone from a harmful situation. This is especially true with minors.
- Remember not everyone has perfect physical mobility and just because someone looks healthy doesn’t mean they are. Ask if they would like help and don’t help if they say no.
- Do NOT touch someone’s clothing, hair, body, animals, or things without their explicit permission. This is basic common courtesy.
- Community elder does NOT mean they are entitled to anything, least of all special treatment, discounts, or even your respect. Treat them as everyone else and let them earn your respect with their actions and wisdom rather than be expected to comply because they’re a pillar of the community.
- Keep an eye on your weaponry. Yes, that athame is very pretty. Yes, it’s very much part of the ritual you plan on performing as a part of the event. No, it should not be swung around like you’re in a hack and slash game and it should not be handed to children.
- You are not at home. Don’t treat it that way. Please shower and by hygienic when you arrive. Please remember your manners. No, not everyone is family and you shouldn’t treat strangers with familiarity like that unless they say it’s OK.
- Tip your fortune tellers. This depends on the event and reader. Often times if you’re paying the reader individually, then it’s not often expected. If they’re being paid by the event, the event takes a cut, they squeeze you in, or they’re doing it for donations/fun then tip them. Even a dollar or pocket changes goes a long way.
- Do not ask someone to do a psychic reading or perform for you. It’s ridiculously rude unless that person offers or are selling their services. Furthermore, why would they open themselves up at an event where there’s so much energy being thrown around? Why would they do that to themselves. Don’t be afraid to say no, if you’re the person being asked. You also don’t have to agree to have such a service performed if you don’t want it.
- Be mindful of minors when holding discussions that involve graphic sex or violence descriptions. And yes, some of them probably do need to be there. If your parent is working the event and can’t find a babysitter for a Saturday, guess who’s tagging along at said event? I’m not saying don’t talk. I’m saying don’t tell someone in graphic detail about your sexcapde the night before in a public forum unless that forum is specifically for adults and/or a community catering to that.
- Not everyone is an extrovert. Some people really do just prefer sitting back and watch than participating in an event. They like it even. Do NOT pull someone into an event if they don’t want to be.
- Be nice to the beginners, children, teenagers, and newbies; they’re learning. That being said, you don’t have to correct them, you don’t have to be nice, and you don’t have to teach them, especially if they’re toxic to you. Some people need a hard truth to learn. Also, not all beginners are young. Some people come into this much later in life.
- Remember, some people simply do not want to learn or change. You might as well be arguing with a wall. Learn when to disengage and walk away. Let them win. Fools never recognize when they’re wrong.
- Remember not everyone practices the way you do. While your religion may say you can only practice one way and there’s only one truth, that does NOT mean you get to degrade, bully, insult, or be an asshat to anyone else. Also, bashing other religions like Christianity is petty, unnecessarily, and absolutely spreading the same toxic behavior you’re claiming they’re giving you.
- Burning incense or candles at an event? Be kind and post a little sign on what you’re burning! Not only is it great for businesses to advertise that you sell it but you can also popularize the smell. Scent and smoke sensitive folks will especially thank you.
- You are not entitled to ANY information from anyone. You are not entitled.
15 tips and suggestions for after the event and clean up
- Clean up the grounds after your event. Even the trash that isn’t yours. This includes your animal’s deficantions.
- Check for all your stuff and money before you leave the event. Often times if you lose something you won’t have access to that site to even look for it later.
- Just because you met someone at an event doesn’t mean you’re entitled to talk to them again, have their time, or their attention.
- Update websites after the event is over, community organizers. Apologize for things that went wrong, list any shops that made an appearance, and consider a missed connections forum of some kind so people can reconnect after the event.
- Take down any photos of people who request them taken down and ask give names to people and events so others know what was happening when and who was there.
- Do not include people in your prayers or workings if you met them at the event. Ask them again in private outside of the event if they want to be included.
- Ground and cleanse yourself after the event as needed. Some amazing energy can be raised there and some really crappy energy can be as well. Do it to your tools and things too.
- Do not be a creep and try to excessively hit on, stalk, or harass someone you saw at the event. Especially do not do this to minors. It’s one thing to contact someone and follow their social media but it’s wholly another to continually contact them when they don’t respond or ask you to go away.
- Shop owners, do an inventory. Yes, right away. That night or the next day. If you don’t and find out you’re missing a whole box of stuff two weeks later there is incredibly little that can be done about it.
- Reconnect with people that interest you or groups. Maybe group work isn’t your thing or their style isn’t what you thought it would be but supporting your local community is often the best way to connect with them.
- Supporting your local community is a strong ideal. However, you do not have to support a local community if it won’t support you or has toxic behavior.
- Didn’t see a shop or person at an event and think that’s weird? Check out why. It could be some personal drama or that person could have a real serious reason why they didn’t attend right down to what the event supports or the event excluding someone for some reason. Knowing your community politics is a good way of avoiding being dragged into them.
- Give feedback! Make suggestions on what you’d like to see next year and what events you really enjoyed.
- Some traditions or covens are specific on who can join in. Just because they did an event doesn’t mean that they’re looking for new members or you’re eligible to join in.
- Just because someone’s culturally appropriating something doesn’t mean that you can do that too. Nor does it mean you should instantly berate them. Inform them after the event is done so you can provide insight from the cultures involved and links for additional information. Starting an argument onsite it not the way to go about it and puts someone immediately on the defensive. The exception to this is if they’re being racist or extremely toxic in some way.
There you have it! 50 tips and suggestions for magic practitioners to keep in mind this summer. Some of these are super general and can be applied to any event and others are more specific. So followers, what tips, tricks, suggestions, and secrets do you have to share about event going?