1. Leave your ego at the door. This isn't about you, it's about community and Spirit
2. Respect is the order of the day. If you can't maintain respect for yourself. For the Ounfo. For the Lwa and for the household, don't cross the threshold.
3. Alcohol may be offered to the Lwa during ceremonies. No alcohol or drug usage (with the exception of prescription drugs for physical or mental illnesses) by participants will be tolerated. If you are drunk or drugged don't attend.
4. Competition is inappropriate. No one becomes more powerful by trying to take power away from someone else. Every Serviteur is important to the community, but no one wants to have to compete to hold on to their place in the community. Certain people hold certain jobs and job titles. This doesn't make these people more important. Or higher or better than anyone else. Like it or not, these are their jobs. They have taken them on as a form of devotion or service. They should not have to deal with anyone's resentment for that service.
5. This is not a pick-up bar. We are doing intimate work with one another and have got to be comfortable and trusting with one another. If you feel compelled to hit on or flirt with anyone in this community, make a date with them and pursue them outside of the temple. Have a game plan for how you will handle continued involvement with the temple once you have broken up. Guests to the Ounfo are absolutely off limits.
6. If you use something, put it back. Whether you use a coffee mug, a drum, or a chair, make it your own responsibility to put it back wherever you got it from before you leave the house. If you drank coffee, for instance, make sure your mug and the coffee pot and machine are all washed and back on the shelves where they belong at the end of the night. If you smoke cigarettes, pick up your butts and throw them in the trash. The temple needs to be cleaned after every ceremony. It should be swept and mopped. All the candles need to be extinguished. Offerings should stay on the altar for at least 24 hours, unless you want to take a special offering home with you that night. If you want to take an offering home with you, be sure to do so - otherwise all offerings will either be incorporated into the alter, or disposed of at my discretion. Be sure also to take home with you all personal items, clothes, plates, containers, etc. that you brought with you.
7. Ceremonies start at 7:00pm, unless otherwise noted. We will get together at 6:30pm for a brief practice. Choir practice and meetings are the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of every month. If you cannot attend, or if you are going to be late, CALL and tell us so that we don't wait for you. We will no longer wait more then 15 minutes for anyone who has not bothered to call. Chronic tardiness is arrogant, rude, and wasteful of everyone's precious time. Don't be late.
8. If you want to bring a guest, call first and obtain permission. Do not invite someone you don't like and respect. You are responsible for your guest's behavior. You should also explain in advance to your guest everything they need to know in order to participate in the ceremony. Do not explain the ceremony to them DURING the ceremony. A small amount of whispering is fine, but endless and loud talk is rude, disruptive and distracting.
9. Everyone makes mistakes, which is fine. But if you are not willing to attend practices or learn the rhythms or words to the songs, please do not sing or drum during the ceremonies.
10. If these rules are unacceptable to you, do your own thing elsewhere.