So, you made some witchy friends and you’ve been invited over to their place. Great! (Although, visiting people? In this day of social distancing?)
Still, there’s a certain social etiquette to visiting people’s houses, especially when one of you (or both of you) are magical practitioners or pagans. Actually, these are pretty good rules to follow when visiting anyone that has a lot of spiritual energy or religious beliefs.
01 Don’t touch
There are obviously things you’ll need to touch. Door handles, floorboards, cups or plates given to you, couches, and so on. But walking up and messing with someone’s altar or workspace? No. Just no.
Truthfully, I don’t even like touching empowered things that I’ve been invited to touch that aren’t mine. I don’t like to touch items in stores because it’s weird. And I dislike the feeling of energy dredges that some items pick up when they aren’t cleansed regularly. (Although this is more of an issue in stores than it is in people’s homes.)
Energy transfer is one of the reasons that touching another practitioner’s stuff is a major no-no, but there are others. You don’t know the spells and rituals that item have been present for and it may be harmful for you to touch it. For example, I have several items in my home that could be dangerous or just not a good idea for anyone else other than myself to touch. Not even my brother, who lives with me and is a practitioner, himself should touch those items. And there are some of his items that I can’t touch.
You also have to consider respect. It’s disrespectful to move around someone’s altar or workspace. They probably had it set a certain way for a very certain reason and even if you put it back exactly where it was, there’s still a sense that something’s been messed with.
I’ve had to strip whole shrines then scrub and cleanse them because they were touched. And I once had to toss a complicated embroidered poppet spell I was in the middle of making because someone else touched it and messed up the spell’s associations. Just cleansing it wouldn’t work since it was completely ruined, so I disenchanted it and tossed it.
02 Don’t mess with their spirits, ghosts, familiars, servitors, deities, or entities. And that includes summoning yours.
Some houses have spirits and ghosts living in them. And the residents are okay with living beside them. And other people have spirits or entities around for their practice. Don’t mess with them. Just let them be. It may not be your jam, but going around and cleansing people’s homes of spirits just because you think they’re not good for them is just plain rude – and possibly dangerous if they’ve a connection or relationship with that spirit.
The obvious exception would be a place of harm. If you’re being attacked by a spirit while visiting someone’s home, obviously cast some defensive spells to ward them off – or offensive, if you need to. But also tell your host. Sometimes, they can just tell the spirit to knock it off and they will.
Summoning your own familiars, servitors, spirits, and so on is also asking for trouble. They might get caught in your host’s spells or fight with your host’s own spirits. I once had to stop two of my own servitors from tearing into a visitor’s familiar because they thought the familiar was invading. So be careful on summoning your own helpers.
03 Don’t go casting spells all willy-nilly.
This goes back to the energy thing from before, but there’s another reason. Some practitioners have spells to ward off magic cast by someone that isn’t them. There’s no reason to expect that doesn’t include yours. You might have your spell bounce back on you.
04 Take care when eating food or drink prepared by your host
There’s always a danger when visiting a fellow practitioner that you’ll be consuming enchanted food or drink. This isn’t always a negative thing. It could be to promote health or good cheer. If you don’t want to consume enchanted food, make sure you talk about that before hand. Many times food is enchanted during the preparation, so saying “I won’t eat this fancy pie you made because you enchanted it” will probably disappoint your host – or you, if you’re bringing it.
If you’re really concerned about this, ask. Sometimes just simply asking in a polite and friendly way can do wonders.
05 Host gifts
Host gifts are old fashioned and rather formal these days. They’re pretty good for magical practitioners though. The act of hospitality is an ancient one and rife with magical intentions and meanings. Bringing a little something, like food or a protection charm, can really bring a lot of great energy with you when you enter the home. Plus it can a lot of fun.
Depending on your host, there are a bunch of other things to consider. Communication is key with any relationship, so make sure you talk to your witchy friend about these things when you iron out the details. And have fun! It’s hard to find friends in this field nearby, so enjoy the friends you gain.