I've been watching a young group move its way through decisions, and it's brought back to me my early years in Reclaiming.
The first major issue my young coven came up against was: Are we obligated to work with anybody who wants to work with us?
From where I stand now, the answer to this is so obvious ("no," for those of you who feel a bit confused by the question), that I'm grateful that I once did not, truly, no kidding, know the answer, cause that makes me much more useful to cohorts who are addressing the issue now.
Part of my confusion was due to my deep conviction that everything that came my way was part of a big ol' plan that would ultimately act towards my spiritual good, if I only just trusted it.
Well, yes, I guess, but I gather that even if that's true, sometimes people are sent my way not so that I can learn to work with them no matter how gawdawful they are, but so that I can learn to say, "get out of my living room."
It's good to know how to say things like that, and mean them, in case they become necessary.
I remember our first problem came in the form of a young woman who'd been through the whole series of Reclaiming classes with us, and wanted to be in our newly formed circle, and showed up at one of our (non-public) rituals, drunk, with a couple of guys she'd picked up on the beach, and dragged over so they could see "how real witches work."
I'm sorry to say we actually allowed them, and she herself, into the circle, and had the ritual. We were young, I will say that.
But we talked it through later, and added that incident to a host of others, and decided we did not want to work with her. It was horrible, telling her that, and she cried, and we did it anyway.
And it was then that we started moving towards being a coven, and not just a circle. We wanted to work strong, and we wanted to work deep, and though we understood that people go through changes, and energy shifts, we didn't want to work with deadwood.
We were serious.
So it made me very happy when the group I've become acquainted with drew some boundaries like that. I take it that they're serious.