Pub Moot Guidelines
The following is from the Pagan Federation's guidelines on how
to run a Pub Moot. We've had a fair number of e-mails from people
and organisations wanting to set up their own moots, so here are
some handy tips based on what we do.
So you want to host a pub moot! These guidelines will be a word
to the wise, and hopefully make it easier for YOU. Playing
'facilitator' of a moot is a vital role - this will be many people's
first contact with both Pagans and Paganism. Remember that you can
always ask others hosting moots for advice, and that the Pagan
Federation will always give its members support. But these moots
do not belong to any one Pagan, path or organisation - their
existence depends upon a variety of Pagans being made welcome, and
encouraging people to feel that they can contribute something.
Pub Moots and Setting One UpChoose a pub where anyone
can feel comfortable. Pubs displaying "smart casuals over 21"
signs are an obvious one to avoid. As are those catering to any one
sub-section of society, e.g. Irish pubs, Elvis theme pubs, etc.
Unless of course your area has a high proportion of that section,
Pick a venue and night for the moot, then stick to it!
Changing these details once published proves difficult. Check out
in advance the pub on the particular night that you have
picked to hold the moot on. Choose a quiet night and the landlord
will be happier to see you. Avoid quiz nights and intrusive piped
music; but especially avoid clashes with other regular
Pagan events and moots (PF, Paganlink, whatever) - it's not a
Try for a location central to your region with reasonable
transport access and be cautious if arranging lift shares. Make sure
you know the person and don't send anyone off into the night with a
complete stranger! Alternatively you may wish to offer floor space
to people overnight.
All this may seem obvious, but there will always be exceptions,
and what suits your regional membership, and you as facilitator of
the moot is important.
Pub Moots or Hearth Nights?You may find it easier to host a
moot in a private house. A 'hearth night' is great if your region
is, for example, rural, or you are happy to be that open with
people. A hearth night might be by invitation only, or grow out of a
pub moot to cater for a sub-group with special interests. However,
you may not wish to be so open with people that you don't know well;
or need to keep your home address secret. Also people may feel
nervous about going into an unfamiliar person's home. But it's
whatever works best for you and your local Pagans that will decide
Pub Moots Are Monthly?Pub moots are usually held in the
neutral territory of a pub or bar, or in the upstairs room of one if
you are lucky. If the landlord realises, or has it explained, that
his takings significantly rise on what would otherwise have been a
'quiet' night, he may offer this facility free of charge! People can
relax at these informal gatherings and drop in and out as they
Moots can be monthly social events, or have a more structured
talk approach - if there is an obvious gap in your region. This can
take the form of a structured approach with talks/discussions on set
themes - or a mixture of the two, according to the needs of your
region. Perhaps some of your members/moot goers could give a talk or
hold an open discussion. In Britain, your PF Regional Co-ordinator
can also suggest speakers, as may representatives of other Pagan
organisations in your area.
Pub Moots On A Saturday Lunchtime?A Saturday moot can be an
option. Useful in order to include those who work in the evenings,
fear travelling alone, or live in areas where evening transport is
poor. Similarly those with partners hostile to Paganism can make
more believable excuses, or in remoter areas people can make a day
out of it and still get transport home.
Pub Moots Are Only For Members Of My Organisation? (PF,
Paganlink, etc.)Not if details have been
advertised in Pagan Dawn, or another magazine received my members
and non- members alike. The moot details can be duplicated in many
other publications. If you wish a 'closed' moot, place minimal
details and advertise within a regional, members-only newsletter.
Making non-members welcome helps to attract new faces and fresh
skills to the organisation. The PF finds this essential as the
membership grows both larger and more diverse. So take some
introductory leaflets to hand out to interested parties, but
don't push them or leave them lying around at the end of
You may wish to list a contact number with the moot details. You
can use a pseudonym and list a phone number only if you wish. Look
in Pagan Dawn for examples of how to advertise a moot (and inform
the Editor as soon as the moot changes date or location, etc.). Also
consider advertising in other Pagan magazines. This will all help
newcomers to check that a moot is still going and get involved. They
will also be able to introduce themselves which helps to "suss out"
newcomers if this worries you.
Pub Moots Must Exclude Non-Pagans?Again, if a moot is
advertised and in the public venue of a pub or bar, then exclusivity
isn't wholly practical. Those new to the moot, or not wishing to
travel alone at night, will want to bring a friend. This may be
someone who, if not Pagan, is sympathetic, which can have useful
interfaith and anti-defamation implications.
Pub Moots And Pagans Of All Varieties?Pagans come in a wide
assortment of paths; not to mention shapes, sizes and modes of
dress. Keep an open mind - if you can't, then think
twice before organising a moot.
Pub Moots And Caretaking Them?If you are hosting a moot. or
'caretaking' one for someone else, then do turn up and stick
around - even if noone else 'seems' to have turned up. This is
obvious but can break down. People may be coming distances to the
moot, or from work, or hover nervously - so give them a chance. Take
a book, take a friend, and the waiting won't seem so long. Have a
copy of Pagan Dawn or PF badges obviously displayed so that you can
be spotted as the moot.
Pub Moots And Conversation?Talk about anything! Forthcoming
events, open rituals, conferences, camps and interfaith, etc. Make
newcomers feel welcome and included, introducing them to your
regular mooters. This may be difficult with four people trying to
talk to you at once! Also keep an ear on the conversation in view of
the PF's anti-defamation and interfaith work. It is a public place,
so ears will twitch!
Hosting a pub moot can be great fun, and extremely rewarding for
the work put in. Meeting and making new friends being the greatest
reward of them all.
Last Modified 02/02/2000 by Vinnie