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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Are Megacovens Covens?

Since the days of Margaret Murray (at least), the term “coven” has referred to a small group of witches that practice together regularly.

In fact, however, while small groups predominate across contemporary Witchdom, there's no shortage of much larger groups—in some cases numbering more than 100—that call themselves covens.

So: is a group of (let us say) 130 people actually a coven? If not, what is it?

Historically—appeals to the supposed “number of full Moons in a year” aside—the coven is a product of the Age of Persecutions. The notion of the Horned and his coven of twelve undoubtedly originated as a “satanic” parody of Christ and his twelve apostles.

Tradition does, of course, make provision for a larger group, called a Grand Coven, the name given to a number of covens which gather together (usually on a one-off basis) for a specific purpose.

(Also known as a Coven of Covens, the Grand Coven rather charmingly traditionally numbers 169: thirteen thirteens.)

Still, that's not how contemporary megacovens function.

Well, me, I'm nobody from nowhere, but if you ask my opinion, “coven” implies small. (This is certainly the most widespread understanding of the term as currently used.) If a megacoven is a coven in any sense, it's a non-traditional coven at best.

So as for me, when referring to these larger groups, I plan to stick with the term “megacoven,” at least for now.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Victoria
    Victoria says #
    Historically, numbers in a coven are not specified. A coven refers to: coven (n.) "a gathering of witches," 1660s, earlier "a mee
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Let me add that the social dynamics between a group of, say, nine, and one of ninety are, as one would expect, entirely different.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Ah, but what if we read Murray, not as historic history, but as mythic history? Then her work becomes a guide to how to think and
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Certainly as the Craft grows and expands, there will be an increasing need for larger congregations. "Temple" seems to me a good n
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Sounds to me like they have transitioned or are transitioning from coven to neopagan community. Curiously reminiscent of househol
Witch Craft: DIY Manifesting Money Bags

 Rather than chasing money or possessions, you can simple draw them toward you with wisdom from days gone by. A tiny green pouch filled with the herbs basil and mint, three cinnamon sticks, one silver dollar and a green stone,  peridot or a smooth mossy-colored pebble of jade would be perfect. The untrained eye might perceive this as a bag of weeds and rocks but any practical witch knows this is a powerful tool for creating powerful change into your life and attracting good fortune.

 Prepare your attraction pouch during a waxing moon; the strongest power would be when the sun or moon is in Taurus, Cancer or Capricorn. Hold the pouch over cinnamon or jasmine incense and as the smoke blesses the bag, speak this spell:

...
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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Doonesbury: The Paganistan Edition

Not every pagan community gets referenced in Gary Trudeau's cartoon Doonesbury.

But, back in the early 80s, Paganistan did.

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Shift Your Energy With Gemstone Elixirs

Elixirs are very simple potions made by placing a crystal or gemstone in a glass of water for at least seven hours. Remove the stone and drink the crystallized water. The water will now carry the vibrational energy of the stone, the very essence of the crystal.

 Place into a glass of water:

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Confessions of a Pagan Triumphalist

Yes, I'm a pagan triumphalist.

I believe that the ways of Abraham are an anomaly in the history of human religion.

I believe that eventually we will simply reabsorb them, as Hinduism reabsorbed Buddhism.

I believe that their envisioned apocalypses predict nothing but their own eventual demise.

I believe that everyone is born pagan. Anything else, you have to be made into.

I believe that paganism is intrinsic to humanity.

I believe that (unlike the rest) paganism is natural.

I believe that paganism is inherent.

I believe that paganism is instinctive.

I believe that paganism grows from the Earth like a tree.

I believe that paganism inheres in existence.

I believe that, where there is intelligent life, there is—and will always be—paganism.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Goddesses Brew 2019

Every year I've made the Northern Lights Goddesses Brew, I've added something to the recipe to honor additional goddesses. This year I added something for Hel and something for Sunna. This year's batch is going to taste similar to last year's, but sweeter. I think. I can never be sure how it will come out until I taste it. This is a story about the internal mental process by which I arrived at the ingredient to add for Hel (also called Hela.)

So there I was in my kitchen. I had all the usual ingredients out on the counter, ready to start this year's batch of brew. I had not decided on an ingredient to add for Hel yet. I usually like to plan ahead, but I had an hour of time to myself when I was not likely to be interrupted, and no more pressing task to accomplish, so I had decided it was time to get the brew going. I needed to figure out what to put in to honor Hel, and started considering and rejecting various ingredients. Nothing seemed quite right.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale says #
    Anthony, the leaves can be roasted and eaten like artichoke but they're very fibrous. Around here people usually don't eat the lea
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I've seen agave leaves in the grocery store, but I've never tried to do anything with them. I have never been served a dish that
Cauldron Money Magic: Money Spells

To attract more money into your life, fill a pot with fresh water and place it on your altar during the new or waxing moon phase. Light a green candle and pour into it an offering of a cup of chamomile and mint tea. Pray aloud:

 I call upon you, gods and goddesses of old, \

...
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