I'm really trying hard to find a Wiccan coven, or even any kind of Pagan group, but everyone around here seems to be so secretive about it. I know that covens aren't listed in the Yellow Pages or anything, but why is it so hard to find a public group of Pagans?
Actually, there’s not a lot of secrecy anymore. More and more books are available on the subject than ever before. Covens often worship publicly, and many areas in North America host Pagan events. It’s estimated that there are anywhere from 200,000 to two million actively practicing Pagans in the United States. It’s hard to get an accurate count, however, because many people keep their spiritual path private.
A Wiccan or Pagan may decide not to tell people about their beliefs for a variety of reasons – they may be concerned about losing their job, alienating their neighbors, or even fear physical harm due to their religious preference. “Coming out of the broom closet” is an intensely personal decision, and something that no one should force anyone else to do.
The fact that Wiccan and Pagan groups don't advertise or actively recruit and convert new members shouldn't be taken as a sign that the religion is evil or bad. Instead, it's a matter of personal choice, and many of the people involved choose to stay private, rather than go public with their beliefs. Keep asking around, and let the word get out that you're interested in meeting up with like-minded people. Eventually, you will find each other.
In the meantime, practicing as a solitary isn't always a bad thing. Read up for some tips on how to have an effective solitary practice.