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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Coven membership

 

 

 

Like people, like cities, every coven has a secret name.

Secret names are privileged, not public, information. (Someone who knows your secret name can, reputedly, harm you magically. An enemy that knows a city's secret name can thereby the more easily take it.) Therefore, in Ye Grande Olde archaic fashion, each coven has two names: a secret and a public, an inner and outer. When you join the coven, you learn the secret name.

Here's the story of my coven's.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Rede for the Uncovened

I know, I know. More than anything else, you want a coven, but either there are none, or none of them will have you.

Believe me, I understand your pain. I remember it well.

I'm one of the lucky ones. For nearly 40 years now, I've been part of one of Witchdom's oldest and most stable covens. So what could I possibly have to say to the uncovened?

One thing that I can't do is to invite you in. A coven simply doesn't have the resources that a nation-state does; we can't take in refugees. At least, we can't take in many.

But I was a refugee once myself. In fact, we all were: refugees from the Island of Misfit Toys. We were the ones that nobody else wanted.

So we banded together, our little coven of misfits, and here we are today: still going strong four decades later. Meanwhile, all those groups that wouldn't have us have fallen by the wayside.

What do you do when you need a coven and you can't find one?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    In "The Goodly Spellbook" there is a recipe to attract witch friends on page 358. Interested parties might find it at their local
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    My bardic advice to those considering joke names for things is generally: Ask yourself if the joke will still be funny 25 years fr
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    There actually is a Coven of Misfit Toys in Wisconsin...
What Do You Call Fellow Coven-Members?

What do you call fellow members of your coven?

In the absence of a universally-accepted term, a number of usages have sprung up across contemporary Witchdom.

Coveners: Coven as something you do. Personally, I find this term inelegant, since generally -er is a suffix attached to verbs, not nouns. I don't like the phrase “to coven together” either,* but—in the long run—use determines correctness, so maybe I'm just being a dinosaur here.

Coven-mates: Coven as a place, or as a group of friends. This is the term that they use in our sister-coven. I'm not sure whether this is mate as in “pal,” or as in “room-mate.” I don't usually think of a coven as a place, but I guess I'm good with it either way.

Coven-sisters/Coven-brothers: Coven as family. These are the oldest and most traditional terms, and anyone who has ever been part of a functional coven will readily understand the metaphor. The disadvantage of these two, of course, is that they're gender-specific, which in a mixed group can get awkward.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    I have always said "coveners." Depending on context it may be "coven members." One of our traditional rituals talks about "br
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 normative.

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

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?

Yes.

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?

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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.

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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!

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