As a Witch the goal for me has always been to work and practice in a coven. In twenty years of mostly Wiccan-style Paganism I’ve only truly been a part of a real, living, breathing coven a small handful of times. That’s not to say I’ve been a solitary for the majority of a my time as a Pagan, just that the groups and people I was working with didn’t quite meet the standard of a coven. The word coven means something to me, it has value, so I don’t like to use it lightly.
Most of my group ritual has taken place in ritual groups I generally label circles. These are usually eclectic gatherings of people without much (or any) adherence to any particular tradition or path outside of the basic Wicca-101 type books. I’ve had some truly amazing experiences in these types of groups, but with revolving door memberships most of them lacked cohesion. Just because something worked the one time didn’t mean we’d remember it for the next sabbat.