We're essentially a floating party -- a bunch of socially compatible pagans who are usually Solitaries but may be involved with another group -- you CAN be both a member of a coven as well as the UnCoven -- we don't have a problem with that, although the other group might.
We've been around in one form or another since 1990. We do seasonally oriented events, go on field trips (like apple picking upstate in the fall), do the occasional public ritual for local groups (such as 1995's Lammas and 1997's Samhain for New Moon New York) and go to pagan gatherings together. We also just hang out together sometimes. For some events only a small group of people will be invited to attend, usually due to logistical reasons (i.e. only so much room in a car) -- this does have the benefit of allowing people to get to know one another more easily than in a larger group situation.
We also have our own contingent in the Gay Pride Parade, although we are officially neither straight nor gay -- we are Pan-Sexual with members of all orientations, although most are either straight or bi. Members are NOT required to march, although many choose to as a show of support for their brothers and sisters who choose to explore sexual paths that are different from their own.
Who's in charge?
Persephone Yavanna the Entwife runs the group and usually coordinates events, as well as deciding if prospective members fulfill our membership criteria..
What are the criteria for membership?
We are semi-private and by invitation only -- we don't usually search for our members -- they come to us and are subjected to some non-negotiable criteria, as explained below by Persephone:
1. PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS -- We want everyone to be on good terms with one another -- bitchcraft has NO PLACE in this group (at least among members) -- any disputes among members are resolved internally WITHOUT backstabbing -- we only stab from the front (more sporting that way). UnCoven members are expected to have good social skills and to practice good manners. Those who cannot or will not behave civilly are no longer invited to events. We do have our disputes -- people being people -- and we resolve them as much as possible with win-win solutions. I realize that this criteria may seem elementary to some, but I've been part of groups where there were problem members who made life unpleasant for other members and where these rudimentary social skills were not practiced.
2. I RULE -- I (Persephone) am the Benevolent Dictator of this group -- I try to plan things that everyone will enjoy and where as many members as possible will be able to participate. I also decide who is part of the group and who isn't -- if other members or myself have problems with a member or member wannabe, that person is no longer invited to UnCoven events. I do my best to make sure everyone has fun and wants to continue to participate in a pleasant, friendly, family-type atmosphere. I am open to suggestions, but I base my decisions on what I consider to be the best interests of the group as a whole. If you don't like it, go form your own group.
3. ENJOY YOURSELF -- we gather in order to enjoy one anothers company as well as the event's activity. I try to ensure that everyone has as much fun as humanly possible.
4. SIGNIFICANT OTHERS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO RULE #1 -- your husband/wife/girlfriend/boyfriend can be a right royal pain in the butt and you won't get booted from the group -- you may however be requested not to have him/her come along to a group event. This is reserved only for the worst possible social behavior and has yet to be done to anyone. We're pretty tolerant of Significant Others and any personality quirks they may have. If you love them, that's good enough for us.
5. YOU CAN BE OF ANY RELIGIOUS BACKGROUND & BE A MEMBER OF THE UNCOVEN -- most of us are pagans, some are bi-trads -- i.e. we still follow (at least to some extent) the religions we grew up with -- everyone is pagan-friendly.