The first six months of its existence my ritual group mostly floundered. We had a good circle of people around us and did some nice rituals, but we didn't really have any sort of structure. To find a solidity for ourselves we had to do a ritual for someone else.
When my wife and I put our ritual group together we did so with low expectations. We were basically just looking for a group to ritualize with, we weren't necessarily seeking anything formal. During those early months our rituals were continually different. We never used the same quarter calls twice or called to the same gods and goddesses for that matter! The circle was scripted but eclectic, details constantly in flux.
I'd like to imagine that starting a coven is a completely organic process. Perhaps a few friends get together and decide that it's time to form a coven or at least begin operating as one. On the traditional side it's easy to imagine a Priestess and Priest recently elevated to Third Degree and hiving off to form a new coven, perhaps taking a few of their old coven mates with them in order to do so. Both of those scenarios sound better then how our group started. Our coven began with a question: "who should we invite over for ritual?"
Four years ago, when I first started my Pagan Music Project, I got asked "What's the difference between Witchcraft and Paganism?" That was difficult for me to answer. I struggled with it for a while, and then forgot about it. Now, I think I've got it.
Witchcraft is about energies and powers that be. Witchcraft spells and Witch magick are about working with the energetic machine that the world and universe are part of. It's almost more of a job than it is a religion. Witches around the world are people that "do." Whether good or bad, Witches "do" things.
The longer I spend online browsing blogs, lurking in discussion forums and generally talking to other witches and pagans, the more often I see the comment that many people do not celebrate the Wheel of the Year as they have decided the dates as they are traditionally understood in contemporary practice as simply not being a fit any more for their own practice.
As you may have noticed, I've been a bit scarce around here since last autumn. Many changes have occurred in my life which I won't bore you with just now. However, one good thing that came out of the past several months is a better idea of how I want to use this blog. See, each of my blogs has a personality, and this one was taking a little longer to coalesce. I liked having a place to write about some more 101-focused information, since there are still plenty of folks who are just learning, but I was having trouble coming up with ideas--until now. While I have spent many years helping other pagan folk along their paths, you may consider this my first official advice column.
You're welcome to ask me questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. You will be anonymous, though your question will be posted as quoted. The more questions I get, the more I can post!
Winter is starting here in Wellington New Zealand, and has been heralded by a weeklong southerly storm. The Cailleach, she is not far away and can be felt in this the first of the winter storms. Offerings are already being made by unsuspecting people who were silly enough to bring umbrellas as protection against the strong southerly winds.