Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Deja Broom: Considering coven-style practice?

Considering coven-style practice?  One might first ask you --- what is it you are looking for in a coven?

  • Are you wanting to train in a specific tradition?
  • Are you seeking mentorship with more active or advanced practitioners?
  • Are you simply looking for others to socialize with who share similar spiritual interests?
  • Are you desperate to get help with some problems, both magical and mundane that you feel are out of your present level of experience or aptitude? 
  • Are you trying to find validation for your current knowledge base, hoping to share what you know with others or just bursting at the seams to not feel like you're the only one in the world where you live?
There are as many reasons to work in a group as there are to be solitary, and both ways offer benefits and drawbacks. What is really telling is discovering your motivation for whichever way your path takes you at any given time in your life. Be honest. Be authentic.

If it is camaraderie and social acceptance you're after, then try attending local Pagans Night Out gatherings, meet-ups, or occult topic book discussions in your area ----and know that the "in your area" part might not necessarily mean in your backyard....you may have to commute a bit to find one.  In fact, I highly recommend expanding your search to visit as many as possible within an hour's drive...if only to get exposure to a wider bunch of groups and individual personalities so you can compare and contrast to find our more about what suits your needs.

If it is study advancement you're leaning toward, try checking out some pagan-friendly bookstores in your vicinity. Many have bulletin boards that speak of class offerings, open circles and festival events. Also try looking up your local chapter of the Covenant of the Goddess or peruse the local group and individual listings on Witch Vox to see if anyone may be hosting any events you can attend.
"Fortune favors the bold!" as they say, so don't shy away from getting out there and introducing yourself at these opportunities.  But beware that the oft-quoted adage "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear" may not necessarily apply...many covens --particularly traditionalist ones--- do not advertise when they are open to new students. Instead they may work through a referral system via their present members, so you just never know if someone you bump into at one of these pagan-friendly meet-ups or classes may turn out to be a great networking buddy who can later help you in your search for a group. 
Thus your getting out there to "show face" has the dual advantage of allowing you to meet with folks who could potentially offer you exposure to particular pathwork that would not otherwise be offered to the greater pagan populace.  The personality fit, the "personal chemistry" match has to be there before some groups will even acknowledge that they would consider you for candidacy in the training curriculum of their closed, private group.

Most of all, know that a true coven is more than a bunch of random folks who get together for circle every month and on occasional holidays.  They are close-knit family of sorts, and you cannot just petulantly stand on their doorstep and demand to be adopted.  There has to be a time of getting acquainted with you and you with them. Covens aren't generally looking for any warm body to fill out their membership numbers....they're looking for a "good fit" for their established group.

Consider your seeking time more like an interview for a prospective dream job. Not every candidate belongs to every niche, but you can greatly increase your opportunities if you spend your solo time perfecting your rudimentary skills on a personal level and diligently searching for what you need.

Probability will work in your favor (what's that little thing about 'sympathetic magic' again? *grin*) and your chances are greater that you'll soon find the perfect home to call your own the more often you put your intentions out into the universe.

Good luck in your search!