Joining A Coven

Before joining a coven, consider what you are looking for. Some covens emphasise set ritual and ceremony and a learning path that can take years rather than months, along which you progress in an orderly fashion, gradually building up a great store of wisdom and experience and allowing your psychic powers to unfold slowly - is that what you want? It is important also to establish what you may be able to give to the coven. Can you devote the necessary evenings for the coven, or do you have a packed schedule and many commitments, which prevent you from setting aside a regular time?

Perhaps you may want to explore magick more informally with like-minded people where the emphasis is on spontaneity. It is important that you choose a coven that operates in a manner with which you feel comfortable.

Some modern covens do practise sky-clad, or naked, but I would advise you to avoid this, as this can make some people feel very self-conscious and needs very strong parameters to prevent ceremony from spilling into everyday relationships. It can also detract from the spirituality of the ritual. If sexual attraction or spontaneous sexual fantasies are allowed to arise between members of a group, this can make ritualistic contact very difficult, especially where members are in relationships with people outside the coven.

The Sacred Marriage, which involves ritual sex between God and Goddess, is an important part of seasonal celebrations. However, modern covens often celebrate the ritual coupling of Earth and Sky by plunging a knife into a chalice of water, or by the use of physical sex carried out in private, by an established couple, out of sight of the coven. In this way, any very human complications may be prevented from creeping into the ritual.

It is also possible to come across well-meaning but totally inexperienced groups who attempt to practise the kind of work that a medium, white witch or healer would take years even to approach. Unfortunately, it is all too common for lovers of occult movies to set themselves up as gurus and wreak unintended havoc on the psychological and psychic well-being of others.

You should be sure, when you choose a coven, that its members are kind and gentle and do not indulge in spirit summoning or spirit possession, even for trance purposes, unless under the supervision of an expert leader who has benefited from a very long training. If these warnings sound a little dire, it is because witchcraft involves very personal and spiritual experiences; it is also, by nature, a very hidden practice, and this means that it may be hard to tell the genuine from the charlatans.

Beware also of strangers or acquaintances who regale you with supposed Wiccan practices or offer to do spells for you, usually for money. True Wiccans are among the most tolerant of people and would never seek to impose their beliefs on others and are usually incredibly reticent with people they do not know.

In the meantime, it is wise to follow an indirect route to find your coven, perhaps through 'green' organisations and reputable New Age stores, or by attending workshops and celebrations arranged by pagan federations and healing organisations, and talking to people there. You can also visit healing festivals and buy established pagan magazines. Take your time until everything feels right and you have answered all the questions you need to ask.

No reputable coven will be in a hurry to sign you up - the reverse is usually the case. You certainly do not want to find yourself signing in blood, being initiated by having sex with the High Priest or Priestess or promising to fall on a sword should you leave the coven or betray their secrets. Nor should you pay huge sums of money in advance for training; for membership of an established pagan organisation, yes, but these tend to ask for remarkably little. Even a full Druidic or Goddess training, for example, costs no more than a few hundred pounds over several years. Most covens and healing groups expect you only to pay for your expenses.

I hope that, one day, joining a coven will be totally open, like joining any other organisation, and then the nasty elements who hide behind the name of magick will be exposed for the frauds they are.

Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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