How Do I Find A Coven In My Area? To Coven or not to Coven? That is the question.
Updated: Aug 29, 2022
How do I find a Coven in my area???
One of the most difficult things for a seeker of the Craft is finding where you fit into it all. Most seekers start by picking up a book or two and then decide they need to find teachers or mentors that can help them make sense of it all.
Let's face it, being a solitary Witch can be lonely for some and finding a coven isn't easy! Though today in the age of the internet it sure is easier than it was when you had to write letters, snail mail and wait for a response! There is no how-to guide on finding the right group. Part of the magic is knowing who you are though and what you are looking for. You might prefer the life of a solitary. I'll start off by saying in most cases you will not be joining a coven immediately. Most (not all) established groups have some kind of 'apprenticeship' or (cue music) 'getting to know you' period prior to initiation into a tradition or entry into the coven. In traditional "Wiccan" covens you will see these training groups called Pagan Groves, Outer Court or something similar. They are structured to teach you and give you a feel for what a coven is about. In many groups you are going to spend at least a year and a day doing that. Some leaders take a different approach and only get to know people over a period of time, no rituals, just talking and deciding whether they would bring you into their inner group. You will find that Covens are scattered around and not in every area so be prepared to travel. I was lucky when I found the Coven I was initiated into. I was living in a hotbed of Witches without even knowing it in South Florida. I only had to drive about twenty minutes to get to gatherings. It was ideal to say the least. I say I was lucky because I know people who drive to different states, or even fly to get to their gatherings!
At the time, I personally felt I wasn't growing as a solitary and needed some structure. Well I got it! I had walked right into a Grove sponsored by a Gardnerian Coven without completely understanding the differences between all the Wiccan traditions. I learned pretty quickly that I was where I needed to be. Again I got lucky. Previous to that I had a real flop of an experience with an eclectic witch who I think fell in love with me... And turned me off of Wicca for a time, but I digress... Know what you want! I wanted structure. I knew it. I wasn't looking for a group of friends, although I got that too. I wanted training from others who knew more than I did.
What advice can I give to those who are looking for a group but are hesitant? Well first of all, man or woman up! Learn how to spot charlatans and abusers. Use common sense and trust your gut!
What should I be doing? and what do I need to know?
Ask questions. Be prepared. Know what you are getting into!
Some of the more ‘famous’ Witches of the Craft have been around for ages or they pop up out of nowhere and are suddenly presenting themselves as some guru. Don’t get caught up in the charisma of these people. They sometimes want followers to buy their products or prey on your innocence as a seeker. I suggest everyone read the Advanced Bonewits Cult Danger Evaluation Frame and familiarize yourself with any warning signs. Be aware that some things are completely normal in different Covens or Wiccan Traditions such as secrecy or even skyclad practice, but ask questions of the teachers. Good teachers want you to ask questions!
What do I do first?
Understand the different traditions that are included under the wider umbrella that calls itself Wicca or Wica. Research Facebook Groups, search the groups listed on this site, Google search for groups in your area. How do these groups represent themselves? Are they asking the right questions of applicants? These are important questions.
NOTE ON INCLUSIVITY
Many groups today will add in their profiles or websites their policies on inclusivity