What Is a Coven?
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Hi my name is Phyllis Karrot and I’m a Wiccan priestess in the aura tradition. And most Wiccans have work together in groups, which we tend to refer to as circles in tradition. But the traditional word is coven, which actually comes from the french, and it is a group of like minded souls. And you are generally initiated into a coven. Covens comes into being through the process of mutual commitment that a group of people make to work together. And I have been in covens that have lasted 3 and a half years, and my own covens which have lasted 8, 9 years.
You can however practice alone, you don’t have to be in a group, a circle, or a coven in order to practice. The real blessing of working with a group of people, whether it’s a circle or a coven, or just a peer group that meets on a regular basis, is the opportunity to have support. Because when you start to open the door to the mystery and it enters your life, a lot of very extraordinary things happen. That’s one reason I wrote my first book. I wanted to share those experiences with other people. When I was having them I doubted my sanity for awhile. Which of course they tell you, if you’re doubting your sanity that means you’re sane. I stopped doubting my sanity because there was an objective component. I would have a precognition, it would happen. I would have a dream, it would manifest. I would hear a voice and then it would be repeated by somebody two days later saying the same thing. So I had an objective verification of the experiences. That’s part of what a coven, a group will provide to you. You share these really extraordinary experiences, visions, auditory things.
They’re not hallucinations, they’re not purely subjective. They are in fact the sacred coming to you in this world, and you entering into the realms of the sacred beyond ordinary reality. It’s an amazing experience when you share that with other people and they confirm the experiences that you’ve had. They have had a similar dream, they have the same vision, they were given the same message. It verifies the experience and it’s incredibly empowering, the gift that everybody gives each other. And when you work together there’s also truth in the fact that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. There is an energy that is generated, and it’s very interesting that advanced mathematical theory is proven that the vectors leading into a cone are actually less than the energy mathematical equivalent to the energy created in the cone as those vectors cross over. Which is the essence of a cone of power and you create that with other people. You can raise and generate energy on your own, but when you’re with a group of people of like mind, it’s extraordinary. And women of course have a very profound bond, and you’ll find that your menstrual cycles start to link up.
Which is fascinating. There’s a world to be explored in that kind of spiritual community, that I do think that other faith traditions have but witches particularly profound in Wiccan and the variety of pagan paths. Because they are about spiritual practice and with practice just like physical exercise, any exercise, anything you do on a regular basis with sincerity, devotion, and a certain amount of discipline, you get good at. When you’re doing that with other people, that capacity is greatly enhanced. It’s a pleasure to work if you have a community of people, and you also learn about trust, you learn about love, and you learn about yourself because we’re all reflecting back lessons that we need to learn. And this is very much about that kind of transformation. That kind of transformative journey.