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Frequently Asked Questions about Home Circle

Is Home Circle a coven?
Home Circle is not a coven, although some of our Groves are Traditional covens.

Is Home Circle a tradition?
Home Circle is an umbrella organization for a particular branch of a specific Tradition, and is currently the only branch with a public presence.

Where can I find out more about Home Circle, or about your Tradition?
The only public information about Home Circle is on our web site, and the Laughing Cat discussion group is the only open forum we sponsor.
Our Tradition has a history of being very private and we respect our kin who do not share our viewpoint about having a public presence by keeping the particular information available through our forums and other mediums to a minimum. As always, general information is available through appropriate in-person interaction, and specific information (as well as proper vetting) is available to qualified students.

Is Home Circle BTW or Traditional Wicca? What's the difference?
Home Circle is part of a blended Tradition (that is, we have a distinct heritage from a non-BTW British-origin Witchcraft Tradition, as well as from British Traditional Wicca), and as such we are not part of the BTW family. A more accurate classification would be Traditional Initiatory Witchcraft.
Since there are many definitions used among different groups for the terms "BTW" and "Traditional", distinctions of the terms as we use them are available here.

Is Home Circle a legally recognized church?
Yes. Home Circle is recognized by the IRS and by most states as a legal church.

What kinds of services to you offer the public?
We sponsor the Laughing Cat Wiccan Discussion Group as an open forum to discuss and explore topics that relate to Traditional Craft.
For seekers and those interested in Traditional forms of Craft, we provide resources to help find information and contacts suited to their search. In addition, we serve as a point of contact for our members and groups who do not wish to be known to the public.

If you don't do public services, why are you a church?
Our existence as a legal entity also provides support for our membership who wish to be publicly active, as well as providing an umbrella for those of our membership who may serve in various ways but do not wish to be publicly known.

I need someone to perform a handfasting (or other rite of passage). Can you help me?
We do have members who are legally ordained, and who may provide such services on a very limited basis. We strongly recommend, however, that people work with clergy that they are familiar with, and who is in turn familiar with their individual circumstances and needs.
We have specific requirements for working with rites of passage, and will not accommodate situations where "generic Pagan/non-Christian clergy" is what is wanted, or where "general Pagan or non-religious handfasting" is the primary request.

Can I celebrate the Sabbats with you?
Home Circle does not sponsor open circles or Sabbats on a regular basis. Although individual members, Groves or Clans may host an occasional public or semi-public event, all Home Circle forums and rituals, with the exception of the Laughing Cat discussion group, are open only to Home Circle members (and, in some circumstances, their invited guests).

There isn't a Grove or Clan in my area. Can I start one?
Unfortunately, no - unless you are an Initiate of a Home Circle member, or are accepted as a properly vouched Initiate from particular Traditions that are closely related to our Tradition. Home Circle is a Tradition-specific organization, and our membership does not initiate from distance or correspondence training.

I am an Initiate of another coven/Tradition. How will that be regarded?
Properly vouched Initiates of certain closely related Traditions may petition for recognition and membership. Initiates of other Traditions are respected for their previous accomplishments, but would be required to "start over" with us in order to learn our ways fully.

I'm under 18. Can I still attend your Seekers class?
Only if you are over 16 and either can document current college enrollment, or your parent attends Seeker classes with you.

How can I become a member?
The best way to start is to attend our open forum, the Laughing Cat, for a while. That gives us a chance to get to know you, and it gives you a chance to decide if you like the way we think about things. Folks who are a good "fit" may be invited to participate in other forums or events as openings become available. Formal Dedication is required for full membership in the Home Circle organization, and Initiation is required for full membership in our Tradition, as well as to have a vote in organizational business.

I don't want to join a group. Can I still participate? Do you have a place for solitaries?
Some of our members may accept solitaries as personal students on occasion, however group work is required for Initiation within our Tradition.

If you have a question not answered here, email homecircle@mindspring.com.