Answers to Likely Questions

Hi! Never been to a South Bay Circles ritual before? Welcome!

We hope these help you feel more comfortable. If you have other questions please ask us. Email us at: or call Bianca at 408 623 5048 (leave message)

What time should I arrive? There are two times listed on your events.

Please try to arrive at or slightly after the first time listed, the Gather time. A ritual is a complete experience and you should arrive and be ready before it starts. If you arrive before the Gather time, we may be busy with setup or rehearsal and ask you to come back a little later.  The time in-between Gather and the start of ritual is a chance to meet people, greet friends, put your food on the potluck table, pay your donation, ask questions, etc. There is usually a 5 or 10-minute warning before the ritual actually starts so that you have time to use the restroom or attend to any other last minute needs.

What should I wear?

Wear something comfortable, many rituals may include a dance. Some are outdoors. If you have a ritual robe you can wear that. At one time it was common for most attendees to wear them. If you don’t have designated ritual wear, don’t worry.¬† It can be fun to wear something seasonal.

Can I bring my children?

To most of our rituals: Yes, as long as they are mature enough to not be disruptive. If a specific ritual is inappropriate for children we mention it on the announcement. One of our member groups is South Bay Pagan Kids, you might want to check them out if you’ve got kids that would enjoy coming to rituals.

Should I bring my drum (or other instruments)? Can I play it during the ritual?

Ask the people presenting the ritual during the Gather time (or prior to the ritual day if you know them). For some rituals there is no good time for an unrehearsed participant to drum or play other instruments, but during others it might be welcomed.

How important is bringing something for the potluck?

The after-ritual potluck has always been part of South Bay Circles events. It’s a time to socialize and be a community. Bringing something is how we have enough for everyone. Originally we used to ask for an extra donation if people didn’t bring food, to help encourage them to do so. We’ve stopped doing this currently, but we still really hope you will join in both the bringing and consuming and socializing.

Do I need to know anything about Wicca or Paganism?

If you have read a book or two by and about modern Pagans and found what they say appealing to you, or attended other public rituals, you should be fine. If you have no idea what to expect, you should probably do a little reading and attend an open discussion event like a Witches Tea or Pagan Meet and Greet (listed on Meetup: San Jose Pagan and Magick Meetup and Palo Alto Area Pagan Meetup) to see what we really are like and get some of your questions answered first.

So are you Wiccan or what? What’s this Wiccan or Pagan you keep saying?

South Bay Circles original member groups were from various mostly Wiccan traditions so usually our rituals follow a Wiccan-style of format that varies some between presenting groups. Wicca is just one subset of Paganism, some other forms are Druids, Heathens, Hellenics, and others. Sometimes our rituals are presented by friends from these other forms of Paganism in their own style and format.

How do I join? Do I have to join anything? Do I have to be Wiccan or Pagan?

Our rituals in public locations (churches, parks, etc) are open to the well-behaved public. If the ritual is held in a location we can’t openly publicize, then the address will usually only be available to people we have personally met (for example you’ve been to some of our other rituals or come to a Meetup where we had a chance to chat with you).

You don’t have to join any of our member groups to come, but if you want to find a coven or circle, come to some of our rituals and talk to a variety of people. Sometimes there will be announcements about open circles or classes or discussion groups. See if any of our groups are a good match with you or maybe you’ll make friends here and start something new with them. We have a varied bunch of groups and styles, some stick to some specific tradition, some very eclectic, and some are in-between.

How do I sign up to lead a ritual? How does my group join?

You want to help put these on? Great. Please come to several so that you have an idea of what we do and expect. Talk to people involved when you’re here for more information on what’s involved. And join our mailing list (you’ll find out how at ritual or other meetup) so that you’ll know when business and scheduling meetings happen. It is best to start off by working on rituals with people who are already involved before leaping into fully running one.


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