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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in coven

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Does Your Coven Have a Secret Name?

Even after 40-some years inside, the Craft can still surprise me.

A friend was telling me about her group.

“What are you guys called again?” I asked.

She looked a little embarrassed.

“Well, the real name's secret” she said, “but we go by N.”

Like most good ideas, the notion that a coven should have a secret name seems perfectly obvious—once someone else has thought of it. People have secret names, cities have secret names. (Rome's, for instance, is Flora.) It makes perfect sense for a coven to have one too.

Now, when it comes to covens, I feel like I've won the jackpot in the Paganistani lottery. I'm part of the oldest continuously-operating coven here in Witch City; this year, we'll be celebrating our 38th Harvest Home together.

But in that moment I'll admit to having felt some envy.

“I wish we had a secret name,” I whined to myself.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Coven in Question II

So, you've had a sennight to mull over your own answers to these questions.

Here are mine.

 

What's the minimum number needed for a coven?

Traditionally, three.

It takes three witches to make a coven; two witches is just an argument” (Terry Pratchett).

This seems reasonable to me.

 

Is there a maximum number?

Yes.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Coven in Question

Gaggles of geese, murders of crows, covens of witches. I'm interested in the parameters of this thing that we call a coven. As usual, one defines by asking questions and examining extreme cases.

I'll give you my answers in a day or so (you can see them here), but in the meantime, how's about you ponder your own.

Let me just add that my interest here is to define—what's a coven, what isn't—rather than to prescribe (or to proscribe).

 

What's the minimum number needed for a coven?

Is there a maximum number? If so, what is it?

Does a coven actually need to meet?

If so, how often does a coven need to meet? Once a month? Once a year?

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How Does a Coven Manage to Stay Together for Nearly 40 Years?

 It takes three witches to make a coven. Two witches is just an argument.

(Craft proverb*)

 

Come Harvest Home, we'll have been together for...well, for nigh on 40 years.

(“That's 90-something in cowan years,” my friend and colleague Sparky T. Rabbit would have quipped.)

In the fractious and ephemeral world of contemporary Witchdom, where covens tend to come and go, this is a pretty remarkable achievement.

So how have we managed to do it?

Well, every group is different. What works for us might not necessarily work for you.

But it might.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    So wise, you crafty old witch.
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    All excellent points to remember. Thank you for sharing this!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_A-Christmas-Carol.jpgIf I could reach through the folds of time and explain a few things to new-Priestess me, here is what I would say about who I might want to re-consider letting into the Coven:

The woman with the brassy-sassy personality who called you at work crying because it looks like she'll be getting fired wants to know because if it's because the Gods rejected her offerings...and gets rancid-offended when you suggest it's probably less about the offering and more because she slapped a co-worker that morning...she's going to be a bit tough to work with.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Naya Aerodiode
    Naya Aerodiode says #
    I, too, work in a closed coven with a strict vetting process. Though my path is an initiatory one, I've experienced a lot of the

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

This weekend my coven will be celebrating our first "outdoor" sabbat.  I know that a lot of groups exclusively meet outside but that's never really been an option for us.  While my wife and I are lucky enough to live in a house, there's another person living in our backyard.  He's not a living in a tent or anything like that, but he does occupy a studio-like living space attached to the garage.  I doubt he wants to listen to us chant in the backyard while he's trying to sleep.  

b2ap3_thumbnail_11154794_10153182764238232_3199456830967391410_o.jpg

While I do share a backyard the garden spots are all mine and with the corn already over six feet it feels pretty magical. It may not be with the coven, but every time I water my garden (with grey water from the shower) I feel like I'm at least performing a private ritual. I talk to my sunflowers, implore my pumpkins to grow, and stop to bow at Aphrodite-Chicago of the Lemon Tree.  My garden is ia magical place, but it's a magical place for mostly "just me" (and sometimes my wife when she checks on things). 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

When my wife and I started the Oak Court (for those of you new to the column, that's the name of our coven, and the street we live on) we weren't setting out to start a coven. Heck, our little gathering didn't even have a name in those early days and certainly wasn't called "The Oak Court." We simply invited a few friends over who weren't involved in any other small-circles or covens and grew from there.  

b2ap3_thumbnail_11121771_10153151704153232_6509835819056060897_o.jpg

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes says #
    First, I should say that I totally agree with your understanding of coven as chosen family. I tell people that to be in coven with

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