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Stay safe!

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Morgana Post number 22605 Posted: 23rd March 2016     Subject: Stay safe!
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This is a notice published by the PAGAN FEDERATION in the London area, but it really applies to everywhere

Stay Safe!
All groups have their share of bad apples and there are those out there that would seek to manipulate and abuse spirituality for their own ends.
We are distinctly aware that Paganism is no different. Though, thankfully, we have found that such individuals who would seek to use Paganism in this way, are few and far between. Nevertheless, we want to do all that we can to make sure that everyone is able to explore their spirituality in safety. As such, we have put together this guide, in the hope that it will help people to stay safe and able to recognise any unscrupulous characters that may cross their path.

Warning Signs

No Pagan path expects, demands or requires that you engage in sexual activity. If someone tells you that you have to do this, we recommend that you walk away.
No Pagan path demands that you engage in drug use.
You may find that many Pagan groups commonly use alcohol in their rites. But drinking alcohol is not a requirement. If a group is unwilling to allow you a non-alcoholic alternative, we recommend that you find a different group.
Wicca covens will never initiate someone under the age of 18. If you are under that age and being offered an initiation, then they are almost certainly not a Wicca coven. We recommend that you stay clear of such groups, especially if they are suggesting any kind of sexual and/or illegal activity, in which case you should also report them to the police.
Pagan ceremonies do not involve animal sacrifice or abuse. Any group professing to do this should be avoided and reported to the police.
Pagan ceremonies do not require you to engage in any kind of risky activity. If you are uncomfortable with something, don’t do it.
Whilst it is not unreasonable for a Pagan group to ask for contributions towards eventualities like hiring a hall, tickets for events, or food to share, it should be understood that Paganism does not require you to pay large sums of money Covens, Groves, Hearths and other private groups have no reason to ask you for large sums of money
Claims to be members of a super secret ancient Pagan group are almost certainly rubbish. If someone tells you that they belong to such a group, it may well indicate that they either don’t know what they’re talking about or that they are a dodgy individual to stay clear of.

Good Practice

The groups and moots advertised on this website are run by people and groups that we are familiar with and that are, in our experience, good. That being said, always exercise caution when meeting new people.
The London Pagan community is generally very tight-knit. If you want to know if a group is reputable, you can ask around at moots, on London Pagan Facebook groups and at events. Even if someone doesn’t know the people in question, chances are that they will know someone who does.
Similar to above, Wiccans and Wicca covens in London (and nationwide) are very well connected and asking around, others will be sure to quickly tell you if a group is genuine or not.
There are a number of great organisations running Pagan events in and around London. Perhaps too many to name.
But some of these are The Pagan Federation, The Children of Artemis, Pagan Future Fests, Atlantis Bookshop, Treadwells Bookshop.

If you want or need advice, if someone or something gives you a reason to doubt, if you have questions – please feel free to contact us.
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