Sunday, July 7, 2013

Why is it so hard to start a coven? OR is it really that hard to start one?

" Xwitch made a suggestion that it hard to get into a coven. I think this would be somewhat true and depends on where you live. e.g., I would love to be able to organise a study group/coven in my local area, I thought about doing flyers or a mail box drop advertising as such but then I feel that I would get phone calls or emails from negative people and/or a mole might get in, kinda like what we get in this group, and a heap of other factors that have turned me off it completely. Mind you though I have gotten a flyer in my mail box about a local churches bible study group so I see it as a huge unfairness on us as Wiccans that we still have to hide away even with all the laws protecting us."
I have decided to address one of these today on a public forum because I want there to be MORE Pagan/Wiccan/Witch groups not less. But for that to happen, I need to share in a bigger way how to start your own coven.  FIRST, let me state there are not "all of these laws out there" protecting you as a Wiccan unless you decided to get organized and get a Legal 501c3 Religious organization license.  For you to think that your coven will be protected is naive, study the law and all of the cases and you will see time and time again the odds are stacked against you.  You live in a world where people understand Church, Temple, Worship center but they do not understand "coven/circle/grove/backyard".  So if you think that forming a coven will protect you and your buddies from "discrimination" and that you can do anything you want and sue then think again...that is not the way the law or the world works.  This is why after years of leading covens my husband and I banded together and organized and formed a legal 501c3 Wiccan Church  with a whole bunch of other fabulous folks (Wicca is protected Pagan and Witch are not).
IF however, you want to form a coven with people because you have a sincere desire to learn, to grow, and to practice magick with people you enjoy then you have the RIGHT reason to form a coven.  So first I would advise you to sit still and figure out WHY you want to form a coven.  If it is for POWER POWER POWER or because you are Lonely then DO not form a coven those are not good reasons.  NEXT, what kind of coven do you want it to be?  Do you want it to be a women's only group?  Do you want it to study the Celtic path?  Is it eclectic?  Hellenistic? etc.  Do you know anything about these areas?  IF not, then be honest and say I want this to be a coven for people that are new to the path and want to learn together. DO NOT( and I repeat this do not) call yourself a Highpriestess if you have no experience on the path; give it time you will grow into that role the Goddess truly initiates her own and you will know when that "title" is right for you. Priest and Priestess we all are, but Highpriestess or Highpriest is earned.
This is the tricky part...are you starting the coven alone?  If you are then you have to decide are you going to be the leader?  Would you rather it be a leaderless group? If there is a leader will it be just you or are you going to share that responsibility oh and HOW WELL do you know them?  Where are you going to worship, a park or your back yard?  Do you want to have a bunch of people worshiping in your home but you have no control over what happens?  If not, then you do not want a leaderless group worshiping in your back yard.  (BTW I love how people say this alot because I do not believe in leaderless groups, whomever founded it and whomever home it is at is the leader and if who founded it and the house used to do it are owned and run by two different people there usually are issues that arise I am sharing this from alot of experience. Because truthfully we humans like boundaries, rules, leaders, and struggle with control all of us do.)  
What kind of rules do you want to have?  Yes, Covens have rules, like you have to study with us for three months before we decided whether we want to take you on or not.  OR you are only a first degree after a year and a day and we initiate you.  Oh yes, what kind of initiation will you have? What kind of mission will your coven have?  Or you all going to do things to help each other, help the library, what about the food bank, etc?  How will you dress?  Will you wear robes, wear street clothes, etc?
HOW many people do you want in your group?  Remember the more people it seems the merrier but if this is your first time the more people who share energy the more you have to get them to mesh, get along, and be in sync and this is so much harder than it looks on the surface.  WHO or HOW are you going to pay for all the rituals?  Cakes and ale, herbs, resins, stones, incense,  altars, altar cloths, God and Goddess statues, cauldrons, sage sticks, all of these things cost how are you all going to pay for this?  When I first started we all rotated this together one week I provided candles the next the sage and incense, etc.  HOW often are you going to meet?  Every week thus every moon cycle, every new moon, every full moon, only dark moons, etc...THIS is important for if you do not meet enough the bonds are not there and the group falls apart.  IF you meet to soon you burn out and then the group also falls apart.
HOW long do you want the coven to work?  Would you like to re-address it every year?  Every three years?  How will you know when it is done...I am not saying you will have the answer to all of these going in, but if you think about all of this BEFORE you try to form a coven then you have a leg up and might be able to make it work.  Because, let it be stated here that leading, organizing, and running anything is hard work so if you work 40 plus hours and have many other obligations (like many children and a high maintenance marriage or full time college) starting and running a coven is NOT for you!  Being in one, now that might be more your speed and for Goddess sake if you cannot run one and know it please be nice to the person that is sacrificing their time, home, and energy it is a HARD job; respect them!
NOW after you have done all of these things, and have decided you have the time and energy and money to do this thing and know where you are going to meet then what?  Advertise.  Yep, you heard me, advertise.  Do it on Facebook say I am forming a group, and send me an email if interested.  PUT up flyers in the coffee shop, or occult store, or at the New age place, or at your local Wiccan church. Twitter it if you want! Once again have them email you if interested not call you. DO NOT advertise your phone number that is a mistake!
WHEN they email you send them back a list of questions that answers for you why they are interested, what their experience is, and if they have psychological issues, or drug and alcohol addictions (yes, please ask this sure they can lie but you will be surprised how many will be honest and you don't want to start off with people that might not benefit from this spiritual path due to psychological issues or addiction issues).  Read the emails, screen them, pick your favorite then call these people back and set up an appointment to meet them face to face!  Make sure it is in a open area like a coffee shop and go meet them and talk and see how you feel about them.  IF you like them set up a date for a future time and get together again, do this until you feel comfortable and add people as you go...and then VOILA!  You have the startings of a coven anything more than three is just that...!
NOW see it really is not as hard as you thought?  It really is more common sense than you realized?  Of course it is.  IF you feel a need or a calling to start a group, then please do so...if it does not work out then so what you tried.  If it does work then WOO HOO you are on your way to growing together!
GOOD LUCK, and GODDESS BLESS.  My email is if you need any further advice or help in this area for that is what I am here for.  



  1. First off, applause and cheering for the stands on this! You hit it all just right on the head. Another point I'd like to wiggle in about living in the ever delightful Bible Belt is we have so many different versions of the Christian church that their ads are no safer than ours from negative phone calls. If you really think the presbytyeians, catholics, methodists, latter day saints, everything else from agnostic to atheist to adorable teens are really not leaving each other nasty messages that's another naive point right there. Will there be some negative feedback even to your e-mail? Yup, but there's a delete button. Don't let stuff like that get to you; chin up and power through. While we're super awesome, we're not so awesome as to be the other people trying to put together religious gatherings that get negative phone calls about it.

    My two cents. I'll go back to applauding this article now. WHOO-HOO!

  2. Thank you Ms. Megan and I agree with you completely, all groups...any group even the Lions club has human issues but DO not let it stop you