Article Specs |
Article ID: 2987
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 6,373
Times Read: 7,714
Author: Moonspider [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: September 10th. 2000
Times Viewed: 7,714
Remember, just a few years ago, all the brouhaha about whether you could even be considered a Witch if you weren't in a coven? Thank the Gods we've grown up in this community.
For me I've always been a solitary. That is how I grew up. It is the way I prefer to practice. I heard too many problems from my Craft colleagues about coven nonsense. My time is too important to get involved in such things. Fortunately, those folks seem to have grown up too.
A coven is like an extended family. We all know what family can do to/for us. Its a lot of work, give and take. I admire folks who can make their's work.
I cannot really comment specifically on the coven experience, because I've never belonged to one. I do belong to Pagan organizations, have attended many public rituals. But, have never belonged to a coven. Even the students I've worked with, I don't refer to that as a coven.
I grew up working alone. Made my discoveries on my own. Made the realizations, connections, etc., by myself. I felt the connection, but didn't always know the words behind them. When I did interact with others of like mind, my thoughts were confirmed.
In a coven you may get direct feedback. For me I was able to contemplate, experiment, ingest a topic, just immerse myself in it. That is how I usually work. I love it.
I also feel like I'm more in line with the old ways in my current practices. If you think about the romantic vision of the village witch. She usually was alone in her little cottage. Folks would come to her for help. People didn't live in neighborhoods, they didn't exist. True pagan existence was spread out. Your neighbor could be miles away. And, travel was often on foot. How would people contact each other? Forget phones, letters were very rare and extremely expensive. Also, who knew how to write. Common writing of ordinary folk is relatively new.
You had to be guided by the divine. You had to rely on your memory, since writing was rare, paper (vellum) was expensive. Our ways are very dissimilar than our ancestors. We do operate in modern times, just as they did in their own time. We have come a long way.
I can connect with others via the Internet. I have friends literally all over the world. Some I've never even met, perhaps never will. Yet we are connected. Being solitary does not mean being lonely.
Working by yourself, you are always present. You only have to be concerned with yourself. In a coven there are many things to be considered. What do you call the coven? Do all members have roles? How are new members acquired? Do you have inner court and outer court work? Who calls the meetings? Who writes the rituals? Etc., etc., etc. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
They must be considered in our busy lives in order for things to run somewhat smoothly and without too much chaos. Without organization chaos rules. Though, we all understand that life happens, and should be flexible in most matters not just this.
Working solitary gives me the most flexibility. I can work when and where I please. Have to answer only to myself. I can experiment with greater ease. If I choose to work robed, street clothes or skyclad, it can depend on my mood. Not a prescribed way by the coven. I can change the rituals much more easily. I can do a quick one, or a long one. I can try another pantheon, etc. It is how I feel at the time. Oh, sure, I have my standards that I use, but I can go with the flow much more easily working alone.
The mechanics in a coven is a true meeting of the minds. Change may or may not be easy. Do you attend meetings in your mundane life? I do. Some are just horrid. Ever been in the position of changing people's mind to meet your own? Can be quite challenging. Fortunately most Crafter's aren't quite as anal as your committees at work, but still, you must have working agreement on just about every aspect that you practice.
Does this mean that I go around willy-nilly about what I do? Hardly, I think about what I do a lot. Maybe even more so than in a coven, for there in order for things to move along you can't belabor a point. I can mull on things for moments, hours, days, weeks, months, even years if I so choose. Only when I feel its right will I move ahead on some things.
Covens may have regular meeting schedules that have been agreed upon. So you probably at least meet for the Sabbats. Do you then meet at full moon? If you meet at full, do you then meet at dark?
Working solo, I can decide that at any point. I usually do Sabbats, but not always. I often do full moon, but again, not always. In more recent years I've been celebrating dark moon, though again, not always.
I am a Witch all the time. Its not a part-time affair. While marking those times are important. It is more important that I act in accordance with the ways all the time. Ritual is mostly associated with this topic. However, ritual is only part of what we do.
Covens should be safe places to learn to grow and to practice. I feel very strongly that people should not be outed without their consent. Religion is a private matter. I don't see folks running around saying, "I'm a Hindu, I'm a Hindu." So what! Do we need to protect our religious rights, of course. But, it seems here in America, everyone's life is an open book, or so it would lead you to believe with some of the talk shows.
Being public, or private is a matter of choice. There are still many people out there who don't like us. To them I say, "Too bad." I digress slightly, but to make a point. For some people it may just be safer to practice alone. They may not stay there all the time. They may later, in fact, become public. But, for whatever reason, preference, geography, safety, the choice should always be yours.
Both situationssolitary, or covenhave their place in the Craft. I may one day choose to be in a coven. For now, I prefer to work, as I always have, alone.
Mark MoonSpider Sosnowski
Location: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Author's Profile: To learn more about Moonspider - Click HERE
Bio: Mark MoonSpider Sosnowski has been on this path most of his life. Life has dealt him many twists and turns, and usually says he came into the Craft through the back door. He loves books and reading and makes his living as a librarian. Numerology is his main form of divination having worked it for over 15 years. but, his Gemini mind, never at rest, has studied astrology, crystals, runes, I Ching and whatever else strikes his fancy. And, recently joined a local Pagan board as education chair.
Other Articles: Moonspider has posted 16 additional articles- View them?
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