How to Start a Coven

Can't find a coven? Why not start your own?

Do you want to start a coven or moon circle?

Maybe you’ve decided solitary witchcraft isn’t for you.  Or, maybe you like working as a solitary, but you want the additional support of a group to enrich your practice.  

Maybe, you’ve looked around and you can’t find a coven in your area.

Maybe, it’s time to start a coven of your own.

(Want to take a leadership role in your new coven?  Consider getting some formal training with Moody Moons School of Metaphysical Art’s High Priestess Certification).

What is a coven?

A coven is a group of witches or practitioners of witchcraft who come together for various magical and ritualistic purposes.

Covens can vary in size, structure, and practices, but they typically share a sense of community, camaraderie, and a common interest in performing witchcraft or other related spiritual and magical activities.

In many cases, covens are organized around a specific tradition or belief system, and they may have leaders or high priestesses who guide the group’s activities and rituals. Covens often meet at regular intervals, such as during full moons or sabbats, to perform rituals, share knowledge, and support one another in their spiritual and magical journeys.

Covens can be found in various forms of modern witchcraft and pagan traditions, and they provide a supportive and educational environment for those interested in practicing magic and spirituality within a group setting.

Step 1:  Self-exploration & study.

Before starting a coven, it’s essential to have a deep understanding of the path you want to follow.

Do you want to go “non-demoninational” with a general celebration of the full moons or group spellcraft?  Or do you have a very specific tradition you’re interested in?

Read books, attend workshops, and engage in self-study to learn about the practices and beliefs.

At the very least, you should have a basic knownledge of modern magic.

Step 2:  Find like-minded individuals.

This will be either the easiest part (if you’re very social) or the hardest (if you’re not).

Connect with others who share your beliefs and interest in forming a coven.

You can attend local pagan or neopagan events, join online forums, or use social media to find potential members.

Remember that you can start small—3 or 4 people is plenty.

Step 3:  Define your purpose & structure.

Clearly define the purpose and structure of your coven.

What are your goals and objectives? How often will you meet, and what roles will members play within the group?

Establishing a clear vision is important for cohesion.

Step 4:  Establish a tradition.

Determine which pagan tradition or path your coven will follow.

Or, opt for a general, moon circle style, if you prefer the more open, let’s-get-together-and-make-some-magic approach.

Either is fine, but be clear on which one you plan to be.

Step 5:  Choose leadership.

Just because you’re the one organizing to start a coven, doesn’t mean you must assume the role of clergy.  Especially if you’re not sure whether or not you’re ready to assume the role of high priestess.

You don’t even necessarily need clergy if you’re just planning a moon circle or study group.  You might even decide on a “pass the wand” style of leadership in which members take turns planning and leading rituals.

Either way, leaders should have a strong understanding of the chosen tradition and be capable of guiding the group.

Step 6:  Set rules & guidelines.

Establish guidelines, rules, and ethical principles that will govern your coven. This can include rules for attendance, participation, confidentiality, and behavior within the group.

Having clear boundaries prevents a coven from going toxic.

Step 7:  Design rituals & practices.

If you want a more formalized feel (especially for specific traditions or ceremonial magic), consider designing a set of rituals, ceremonies, and practices that your coven will follow.

These can include writing your own spells,  rites for the sabbats and esbats, as well as initiation and dedication rituals.

Step 8:  Membership selection.

Establish a process for selecting and initiating new members into the coven. This might include a period of training and evaluation.

You don’t have to be clique-y or exclusive about it.  But it’s important to take careful consideration when approving members in order to protect the group.  (You may even consider background checks).

Step 9:  Celebrate together.

This is the fun part!

Begin conducting rituals and celebrations together, starting with simple gatherings and building up to more complex ceremonies as your coven gains experience.

Make your celebration schedule sustainable, especially at first.  Once a month for the full moon, for example.

Step 10:  Respect privacy.

Maintain a respectful level of privacy and confidentiality within your coven, respecting the personal beliefs and boundaries of your members.

This is especially important for members who are still in the broom closet.

Remember that not everyone has the luxury of being public.  “Outing” someone can have serious consquences, from job loss to complicating custody disputes.  Protect your sisters.

Step 11:  Know the law.

Before you start a coven, familiarize yourself with any legal considerations for practicing witchcraft or neopagan traditions in your area, and ensure that your activities are within the boundaries of the law.

For example, if you decide to act as high priestess, you may be considered a required reporter in your state.

You may also need to get special designation to perform handfasting ceremonies that result in legal marriage.

Know the law!

Can't find a coven? Maybe it's time to start your own.

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