PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in coven
Survival Secrets of the Long-Lived Covens

Statistically, the average coven has a lifespan of three years.

But let us not make the mistake of taking this as the norm.

In fact, the history of the modern Craft is studded with examples of long-lived covens. In a year and a half, the group that I'm part of will have been together for 40 years. Our daughter/sister coven is still going strong after almost 35 years. Gardner's original Bricket Wood coven has been up and running for some 60-plus years now. Across the wide and many-colored world of modern Witchdom, there must be hundreds—if not thousands—of similar examples.

Long-lived covens may be a minority in the Craft, but they are neither outliers nor anomalies. They are, rather, the heart of who we are and what we do.

Each of these covens is a success story: a success story in which we all share. Each one is a triumph for us all.

Last modified on
A Few Friendly Tips on Choosing a Coven Name

Take your time. In the initial exhilaration of coming together, it's altogether tempting to want to name your new coven right away.

My recommendation is, don't. This is really far too important a decision to rush into.

Names are Wyrd-ful things. A coven name is aspirational, yes: but though it shapes what the coven will eventually become, it also needs to reflect what the coven already is. And sometimes that can take a while to "firm up."

So go slowly, and hold out for quality.

Avoid the humorous. Really, will the joke still seem funny 25 years down the road, after the ten thousandth repetition?

Probably not.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Does Your Coven Have a Secret Name?

Even after 40-some years inside, the Craft can still surprise me.

A friend was telling me about her group.

“What are you guys called again?” I asked.

She looked a little embarrassed.

“Well, the real name's secret” she said, “but we go by N.”

Like most good ideas, the notion that a coven should have a secret name seems perfectly obvious—once someone else has thought of it. People have secret names, cities have secret names. (Rome's, for instance, is Flora.) It makes perfect sense for a coven to have one too.

Now, when it comes to covens, I feel like I've won the jackpot in the Paganistani lottery. I'm part of the oldest continuously-operating coven here in Witch City; this year, we'll be celebrating our 38th Harvest Home together.

But in that moment I'll admit to having felt some envy.

“I wish we had a secret name,” I whined to myself.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Coven in Question II

So, you've had a sennight to mull over your own answers to these questions.

Here are mine.


What's the minimum number needed for a coven?

Traditionally, three.

It takes three witches to make a coven; two witches is just an argument” (Terry Pratchett).

This seems reasonable to me.


Is there a maximum number?


Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
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?

Last modified on
How Does a Coven Manage to Stay Together for Nearly 40 Years?

 It takes three witches to make a coven. Two witches is just an argument.

(Craft proverb*)


Come Harvest Home, we'll have been together for...well, for nigh on 40 years.

(“That's 90-something in cowan years,” my friend and colleague Sparky T. Rabbit would have quipped.)

In the fractious and ephemeral world of contemporary Witchdom, where covens tend to come and go, this is a pretty remarkable achievement.

So how have we managed to do it?

Well, every group is different. What works for us might not necessarily work for you.

But it might.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    So wise, you crafty old witch.
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    All excellent points to remember. Thank you for sharing this!

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_A-Christmas-Carol.jpgIf I could reach through the folds of time and explain a few things to new-Priestess me, here is what I would say about who I might want to re-consider letting into the Coven:

The woman with the brassy-sassy personality who called you at work crying because it looks like she'll be getting fired wants to know because if it's because the Gods rejected her offerings...and gets rancid-offended when you suggest it's probably less about the offering and more because she slapped a co-worker that morning...she's going to be a bit tough to work with.

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Naya Aerodiode
    Naya Aerodiode says #
    I, too, work in a closed coven with a strict vetting process. Though my path is an initiatory one, I've experienced a lot of the

Additional information