While it's a good idea to never overlook the potential problems of joining a coven or group, it's also important to recognize that there are many wonderful things you can gain by being part of one. A coven is like a second family - and unlike your real family, you get to choose who is in it with you! Let's look at some of the reasons you might wish to find a Wiccan coven or other Pagan group to join.
- Looking to grow and advance spiritually: Some people tire of reading books and feel that they might benefit by learning from a teacher who has experience and knowledge. For many, a coven setting is ideal for this. In Wicca in particular, there is a significant amount of information that is oathbound, and as such can only be learned from someone else by initiation into a coven, as it is never revealed in books.
- Camaraderie: Let's face it, can get lonely being the only Pagan on the block. All your neighbors have church suppers, so why shouldn’t you be entitled to attend a Sabbat celebration? It's a great way to get to know like-minded people.
- Support: It may be that you are lacking a support network in your spiritual life. If you're the only Wiccan or Pagan in the family, there are times when the people who love you do not approve of your religious choices. By joining a coven, you have the support of other coven members, who will help you feel better when your family or friends are negative about your beliefs.
- To interact in new ways with the Divine: If you've been practicing as a solitary, there's definitely nothing wrong with that. However, working with a coven generates a different kind of energy. It's not better or worse, but it's different. When it comes to working with the gods or doing various energy work, a group setting can be of huge benefit to you. There's a lot to be said for magical teamwork. Most Wiccans and Pagans continue to practice by themselves even when they are part of a coven.
It's also important that we talk about reasons NOT to join a coven, just so you can make some decisions on your own about what is right (and not right) for you personally. Don't join a coven just because:
- You need someone to tell you what to do, and you're proud of your ability to blindly follow orders.
- You need help in hexing, cursing, or smiting someone who has annoyed you, or because you need help with love spells.
- You want to conjure up a spirit even though you really don't know anything about how to do it.
- You want to be able to tell everyone at school/work/bowling that you're part of a coven and now you're Sooper Spooky.
- You read a Wicca 101 book and decided you deserve to be a High Priest/ess.
- You think being able to cast spells is going to make you a more popular person.
- You figure it's a good way to meet guys/girls/both because everyone knows Pagans are really open about sex.
If any of these apply to you, it would be a good idea to rethink your goals and your spiritual path.
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