Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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The Coven in Question

Gaggles of geese, murders of crows, covens of witches. I'm interested in the parameters of this thing that we call a coven. As usual, one defines by asking questions and examining extreme cases.

I'll give you my answers in a day or so (you can see them here), but in the meantime, how's about you ponder your own.

Let me just add that my interest here is to define—what's a coven, what isn't—rather than to prescribe (or to proscribe).


What's the minimum number needed for a coven?

Is there a maximum number? If so, what is it?

Does a coven actually need to meet?

If so, how often does a coven need to meet? Once a month? Once a year?

Do on-line meetings count, or do they need to be real-world, physical get-togethers?

How long can a coven go without meeting before it ceases to exist?

How long does a coven need to exist in order to properly constitute a coven?

Does a coven need to enact ritual together?

Does a coven need to work magic together?

If a coven meets “on the astral,” does that count as a meeting?

What constitutes continuity of identity in a coven? When all the original founders of a coven have died or otherwise departed, can it be said to be the same coven?

If a coven goes out of existence, and then re-forms, is it the same coven or a different coven?

Can you belong to more than one coven?

Can a nuclear family be a coven?

Can non-witches constitute a coven?


You can see my answers to these questions here.

But please do answer them yourself first.






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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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