The upside of joining a Coven is that it can give you some discipline when practicing your craft. For example, you will be celebrating every Sabbat, and making sure to do your daily devotions. It can be a rewarding experience to meet with like-minded people – no matter what you do.
Also, the High Priest and High Priestess will always be there to help guide you on your path.
The downsides of joining a Coven are mostly the politics involved. There can be squabbles, and problems within the group (for example, arguments over who should lead, etc). There may also be people who join who have a lot of emotional baggage, and actually bring negative energy into the group. This can corrupt the energy that the Coven is working with – in short, it may bring everyone down. Covens are NOT witchcraft schools, but are a good way to find like-minded people who share your beliefs… it is wonderful when you can work your Magick with others as a group.
The last downside of belonging to a Coven is that it can be a large commitment of time and energy. You will be expected to participate and even donate some money towards expenses and materials.
Where To Find Covens
You can easily find Covens in your area by checking them out online. To start, just go to http://www.witchvox.com and sign up if you aren’t already (it’s free). You can also try to “google” the name of your city along with the word “Coven”. For example your search may be “New York Coven”.
You may have many covens in your area, and may have a choice as to which one you want to join.
Once you have at least once Coven to visit, contact them and find out if you can join. Then go visit and talk to the High Priest/Priestess and find out what the Coven is all about, and if you feel comfortable with it.
Here are some of the questions you can ask on your visit to the Coven:
1. What does your group have to offer me?
2. What is your philosophy of witchcraft?
3. What tradition do you practice?
4. What do you feel that I have to offer your group?
5. What are your requirements for degrees?
6. How long is the dedication period?
7. What are the expectations of members in your group?
8. Are there membership dues?
9. What is your lineage?
10. What is your teaching style?
11. How do you define covenstead?
What Covens Do Together
It would be more accurate to ask what covens do not do together! Make ritual candles one full moon. If you do not practice skyclad, make your robes together. If you do practice skyclad, make robes for when you do visit other covens. Make soap or other Yule gifts together. Buy a case of tomatoes from the Farmers market and can them as a group. Throw parties. Make ritual bath salts, make incense, go visit other covens or Renaissance festivals as a group. Cook a weeks’ worth of meals for somebody mourning a loss or celebrating a baby. Become active in the pagan community. Make ritual jewelry together. Design and build a sacred space in your covenstead. Go to movies. Go out to dinner. Switch off babysitting. Adopt a road and pick up the litter. Hold a group yardsale. Help your fellow coveners move. Practice random acts of kindness. Enjoy!
by Rose Ariadne