Covens

Here I talk a little bit about my take on Covens, their role, and their future usefulness.

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6 responses to “Covens

  1. I found this blog by way of youtube. Impressive work! I’m always interested in new information and new perspectives on the big vague thing that is magic. Glad I found you!

  2. The thing that you lose when you shift to a totally community-based open system is the intimacy of a coven – you completely missed this point. Have you ever worked in a coven, yourself, or just observed them from afar and made your proclamations based on that? When you have a small group of people who know each other so very well that they can completely remove all of their masks, have complete trust with one another, what you get is a powerful magical and spiritual unity that can never be paralleled in open communities where few know, much less trust, one another. The point of it isn’t about hiding from persecution; it’s about creating a structure in which people can pool their energies to create magicks that are greater than the sum of their parts. A coven will never be out-moded, because it’s a necessary structure. We will always have a need for covens, because there will always be people who see and appreciate the deeper paths that one can take when one forms the greater bonds of intimacy and connection that only a coven – not an open gathering of strangers – can create.

    • You’re missing a huge part of my point, which is ironic, because in not even seeing it you’re making it for me.

      I’m not talking about magic. I’m talking about life.

      I don’t want a group of spellcasters I can turn to for help raising energy. I can do that on my own.

      I resent your implication that a coven is necessary to perform magic. Most pagans do fine without them.

      I reject the false dichotomy that either I have to work magic in a coven, or I must work with complete strangers. I also reject the notion that only covens can foster intimacy among pagans. If I do need assistance, I have people that I trust that I can call upon. My community will support me, and we don’t need to belong to a coven in order to trust each other. I’ve also witnessed plenty of cases pf coven leaders manipulating their members to know that “perfect trust” isn’t always perfect.

      And you’re missing a lot by fixating on the practice of magic.

      I think that covens are outmoding themselves because we can always form groups to perform magic, and those groups can be strongly intimate. But more pagans are missing community support, not magical support. To be part of a community of shared values and raise their children, not a secret group casting spells.

      If a coven works for you, fine. But be aware of the history of that structure. Be aware that its origin came from how Christians imagines devil worshipers stayed hidden, and that Gardener adopted that as a way to keep witches hidden. No ancient pagan religion had anything like covens. Be aware that many have had difficulties with covens that are problematic about allowing children friendly spaces. And be aware that a relatively small number of pagans are members of covens, and that Wicca and Wiccan-based Pagan traditions are the only ones that generally entertain the idea. My tradition is temple-based. We didn’t meet in small groups in secret in the woods; we met proudly in public at great edifices designed to honor the gods. To tell me that a coven is and will always be necessary is to ignore all of that history and invalidate my entire tradition.

      Like I said, I think covens have their uses. And of they work for you, fine. But at present, I don’t need one. I’m doing fine without one, as are most of the Pagans I know. If those needs change, I’ll be sure to blog about it.

  3. Pingback: Witch Questions 6 | Blacklight Metaphysics

  4. Pingback: More on Covens | Blacklight Metaphysics

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