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The following is an extract from the book `Coven Guide: How to become an Initiated Witch’ (c) Mani Navasothy. (available to purchase as pdf eBook or as Kindle eBook)
What is a Coven?
A coven is traditionally a group of witches – full stop! It is not a place, nor a room, not a house, not a website and not a forum, or a meeting point. A coven is given a unique identity by a name for that group – often at the choosing the people who formed the coven and lead it. It is a magical association of certain specific individuals. Where ever those members may be, they feel and know that along with the others of that group, they are `their coven’! You can compare this to the question of `what is a family’? A Family being a group of relatives: a core family framework being a man and woman – father and mother and their children. The extended family includes grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, niece and nephews, etc. A family starts with a couple and grows as they have children. A coven has very similar structure, as you’ll see below.
Who are Coven Members, Seekers and Trainees?
All the people who have formally asked to join a coven, under the leadership of the couple who formed it, are members – of that coven! Even in the early stages, if some people have asked to join a coven or are exploring or seeking – but have not gone through an initiation ceremony – are still in many ways members of that coven.
A Seeker is an informal description used to refer to people who are exploring the possibility of becoming Wiccan and eventually even become initiated. A Seeker is one who has his or her immediate and long term options open and has not formally committed to a particular path (in this case, Wicca). A Seeker is often someone who is trying out more than one path or option. For example, you may be interested in Wicca and are attending open rituals and open Wiccan Circles, run by a particular coven, but you may also be reading up a lot about Druidry, while attending some Open Rituals that explore Shamanism in another group. Effectively, you are exploring three paths! It is a bit like shopping for spirituality – searching and seeking, until you find the one that matches your internal expectation. Sometimes, it may even be an internal yet puzzling attraction – towards a path that you `normally would not have even thought about’. When that happens, it could be a case of genuine intuition kicking in showing you insights or a hidden or suppressed whim/ shadow. You just won’t know which it is – so you owe it to yourself to explore what has come up, until you can also consciously be sure that it does fit in with what you want, hope and desire!
When do Covens meet?
Covens officially meet for rituals, socials and for training purposes. As with a club, college or society, the coven leaders may call full meetings on other occasions – either to do urgent rituals for such matters as; protection or healing for its members or others, to discuss internal matters, concerns or bad behavior of one or more individual members. Coven meetings may also take place with restricted few members – if the matter to be addressed is private and confidential. In some cases, coven leaders may call selected experienced members within the coven for special meetings, to plan forthcoming rituals, etc.
Here is a quick summary of when a cove meets:
(c) Mani Navasothy 2013