A coven is a place where the heart, mind, and spirit go to find unity with others. Unlike churches or larger religious organizations a coven is an intimate group of like minded people who have gathered willingly to share the awesome experiences of our spirits. We gather in groves, parks, back yards and living rooms, making each place a sacred space for devotion and spiritual exploration. With our minds and bodies cleansed, within the magick circle we are free to open ourselves to the great divine within each of us and to our fellow covenmates.
Being a member of a coven is not necessary to have deep and meaningful spiritual experiences, but alone we cannot begin to understand the dynamic of group energy and the spiritual fulfillment of others. Coming together to create magick allows us to experience the ecstasy of the divine through many different perspectives thus allowing us to maintain an open perspective on our collective spirituality, there is no one right way. Alone we only have one point of view, but together we can experience a dynamics of power and love that can only be provided by the group experience.
It is no secret that we demand a certain level of commitment and understanding before we allow people into our covens to experience devotion with us. In perfect love and perfect trust shall each person enter the magick circle or be banished from the rite. This rule is in place to help us create an atmosphere of trust and acceptance so each person may fully and without fear have the experience they are meant to have, without reservations. In the circle all realities are possible and all possibilities are real, but only for those who have the presence of heart and mind to allow the impossible to penetrate their world view.
The coven environment, while fluid and evolving, is specifically designed to allow maximum productive exploration of the divine and the self. When a coven is in harmony with itself, that is all members are in a state of perfect love and perfect trust, then the experiences to be had there cannot be matched anywhere else. But when discord has entered into the magick circle then the spiritual lives of all members becomes disrupted. It is important at this point to identify the concern and take action to alleviate the stress immediately if the coven has any hope of surviving.
It is often said that a coven is a family, and while this is true I would like to offer that a coven is more than that. Your coven leader is more than a High Priest or Priestess, more than the organizer and implementer of ritual. Each coven leader is a teacher, a confidant, a parent, and a friend. It is their job specifically to see to the happiness and wellness of not just the coven members but of the coven itself as well. A coven that works well becomes an entity of its own, taking on life and purpose determined by its members and guided by the coven leader. When in harmony the workings flow as easily and naturally as breathing and within this environment we can truly hope to grow as spiritual beings.
The coven leader is not the only one responsible to holding the coven together though, each covener also carries a part of that responsibility. The most important thing a covener can do for his or her coven is to be honest with themselves. When we are true to our feelings and thoughts and share them in a loving and mature manner then harmony can be maintained. Even dissent or dissatisfaction can be handled in a positive way if the unhappy party is honest about their feelings. In the magick circle we are all linked directly by the emotions and experiences of those around us, we become vulnerable as we open ourselves. This is where a coven becomes more than family.
In perfect love and perfect trust also means no judgement. It means that each persons experience no matter how great, horrible, or indifferent is valid and true. More than family means acceptance of those around us as divine and their experiences as a part of their personal growth. More than family means for each member to look into the eyes of their covenmates and see a piece of themselves there.
In my spiritual journey I have been solitary, I have been a member of a coven, and I have been the leader of a coven. All of these experiences have enriched my soul and given me experiences that cannot properly be expressed in words. While life changes and sometimes people move on I see each group I have been a part of as necessary to my personal journey. I would recommend the coven experience to anyone who wants to experience "perfect love and perfect trust", to anyone who wants to know what "more than family" really means. And remember that it is ok to be discerning about the group you pick, make sure it feels right for you. Be honest with yourself and your coven, love openly and freely and your experiences will take you beyond the stars.