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Circles and Covens in Wicca

WHAT'S A COVEN REALLY LIKE? Well, if you're expecting to hear about sex and blood magic, animal sacrifice, and ritual cruelty, then you'll be disappointed. Forming or joining a coven, is a spiritual commitment (the words coven and covenant are related) that is entered into advisedly. Once that bond is made, though, you find yourself in a spiritual community of people who have roughly the same theology, getting together to celebrate the passing of the seasons and the cycles of the moon, providing support and comfort to its members -- a lot like a small spiritual community of any faith. Another common saying in the Craft is "In perfect love and perfect trust," and that sums up the relationship among coveners pretty well. Another kind of group for like-minded pagans to gather in is called a circle. The ties between coven members are as close as those between members of a family, and in some cases, closer. A circle is similar to a group of friends -- you like to do things together, but the bonds between members are not as serious as between coven-members. HOW DO I FORM A COVEN? Just as you shouldn't be in a big rush to find a teacher, you probably shouldn't set right out to form a coven. Most Witches believe the coven bond to be a very intense and serious one, one that applies on the Karmic as well as mundane levels. Think of it as getting married -- you wouldn't marry the first people you met who are interested in getting married too, would you? Forming a circle, or a magical study group, is perhaps a better first step. It can be on a relatively informal basis, and you and the other participants can get to know each other while learning about the Craft together (as a matter of fact, many covens are formed from study groups). The fun of this is that you can meet more people who are interested in what you're interested in, and you can all learn together, and maybe even develop a tradition from the results of your studies. (You can do this as a solitary, of course, but some people do take more enjoyment in working with others. Once again, do what's right for you.) The steps for contacting people to form a coven are much the same as finding other pagans and Witches in your area. A word of advice, though: You may want to leave your last name off, or get a P.O. box. Don't give out your number (unless you have an answering machine). Advertising yourself as being interested in this sort of thing might attract, shall we say, undesirables. Try writing such a notice so that those who are probably interested in similar ideals will know what you're talking about without attracting the attention of people who aren't. Even though *we* know that we're perfectly ethical and legitimate, not everyone else does. ***From:***