Coven vs. Solitary
Article ID: 15737
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 967
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Author: Lola Stardust [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: August 31st. 2014
Times Viewed: 5,929
Since I started to openly practice my Craft, I decided to join a coven. I talked to many a witch regarding what they prefer, the pros and cons involved in solitary practice vs. coven work and here is what I have found:
It appears to me that in practicing solitary you might have more freedom to do your rituals and spells the way you want to, which I of course, being of the "I do it my way" school of thought, find pleasing. You can practice in the privacy of your home or backyard. You can follow your own "rules" or rites of passage. You can have maybe a much more personal experience on the whole.
Some witches I have spoken to say they feel that having a "mentor-student" relationship is too confining or may cause some butting of heads. I can see that happening, depending on who your "teachers/coven members" are. One witch advised me that although they respect the elders in the religion (which my coven leaders would be considered) , sometimes elders are stuck in their ways and won't try "new" things. This can be frustrating and may cause some arguments or power struggles.
I am joining a coven. Here is why I prefer coven practice to solitary practice:
The community feeling I get is inspirational. I like the fact that a group of witches come together and our energies and magic really resonates amongst the circle. I feel more powerful when I am amongst other witches and I can always continue to practice solitary in my home however I choose.
I find I am learning so much from my Priest and Priestess. They are smart and caring. It is rare that you can find such comfort in a group of people; at least, it has been for me. I am, and always have been, a social butterfly. Growing up, I never had a problem making friends. I never had difficulties in approaching people, but this doesn't mean I was popular. I was an outcast. I found it strange because I liked people. I liked talking to people and finding out about them, etc. but I was picked on terribly in my grade school and junior high years. I was bullied. (We won't get into that right now because that is a whole new essay, I tell ya!)
But also, even though I am / was a social butterfly, it doesn't mean I can’t appreciate solitary practice. Being a parent and wife in a very small home, I don't get a lot of ‘me time’, so in those moments when the hubby takes the kids somewhere for a few hours, I usually practice my religion in the only way I know how when alone… with music, candles, spirits, and good energies. That is when I am the most creative, the most at peace. So, yeah. I get solitary practice. It is needed.
We as humans are social animals, but without our alone time, we would be unable to deal with life in general. We would panic when alone, or we would feel alone in our decisions. These are not good feelings. However, even being the social creatures we are, being able to function alone is important.
Fast forward.... I am 42 years old, have wonderful children and a wonderful husband. I found the people I want to spend a lot of time with. Finally!! I enjoy now being at home with family and close friends. I enjoy the intimacy of conversation and thoughts. I like to feed off of like-minded folks and within a coven, I am able to this and more.
I am able to be myself with absolutely nobody judging me. I am able to tell total truths with no fear. I am able to learn. I am able to be me! So maybe I am biased, but I feel -- coming from a social butterfly aspect in life -- it made sense for me to choose a coven atmosphere to practice in.
I recently attended an open circle for the New Moon, and one of the ladies I attend these gatherings with is an elder, a crone, and a hermit. She recently moved to our town from living in a cabin with really no social activities, and she enjoyed that very much. She was, and still is, a solitary practitioner, and prefers it that way. During the ride in, we discussed this and how she is trying to get out more since moving to our town and that is why she is attending these open circles with me, but, she confided, it would take her some time to open up to others.
So, we get there and we start discussing empowerment and what it means to us and how we are going to work on this in our own lives during the next cycle until the Full Moon. With all these witches in one small room, the energies were high and my crone friend really felt it. She started talking and joking around, really coming out of her shell. Mind you, she had only met these people a month ago, so to see her so open and talkative was really quite amazing. She admitted during our gathering that she really felt all the positive energy in the room and it really energized her and she really needed to feel this tonight. On our drive home, she talked about how wonderful it was to have that connection with others and that is a rare thing for her to feel since she has always been solitary. Now, she will of course, continue her solitary practice, but looks forward to our esbats together as well. She can have the best of both worlds.
That is what I find so appealing to my craft. I can practice with a group; I can practice alone. Either way, I am getting something amazing out of it.
So, coven lovin', or "I am a rock, I am an island" practice?
When choosing your practicing styles, keep this in mind: it just depends on your personality and comfort level. Either way, you are on the right track.
I know this because I live this.
Location: Spokane, Washington
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