The Coven: Introduction & Terminology - Covens, Rituals & Terminology

Wicca: Book of Spells and Witchcraft for Beginners. The Guide of Shadows for Wiccans, Solitary Witches, and Other Practitioners of Magic Rituals - Arin Chamberlains 2018

The Coven: Introduction & Terminology
Covens, Rituals & Terminology

While there most certainly are individual witches, several witches prefer to work in groups, which are designated as ’covens’. A coven is commonly no more than thirteen, which is the traditional size of a coven, but it may be smaller or larger than this. It is advisable that you spend a lot of thought and time selecting the members of your coven to ensure that they are people who you will get on will well, feel comfortable around and completely at ease with. This is because oftentimes, the members of your coven will eventually be closer to you than even members of your family.

Forming a Coven

Every group needs a leader, and the coven is no different. The leaders of a coven are considered the priests of the coven. It makes sense to select a female and a male leader to represent the God and Goddess. Typically, the leaders are chosen by the vote of the members and serve for a year before re-election. The leaders have no more power than the others in the coven, they simply are leaders — all members of the coven participate. It is better when each member has a task to perform, like topping up goblets, lighting incense etc. According to your preference, those in your coven may be referred to as ’Lad’ or ’Lord’ and their Witch name, or simply by their Witch name alone. Alternatively, only the leader could be referred to as ’Lord’ or ’Lady’ and addressed as ’My Lady’ etc. Again, it is a matter of preference.

Covendoms & Covensteads

Covensteads are the place where the coven meetings regularly take place, within which is the Temple. The Covendom is the radius extending from the covenstead. Traditionally, convendoms would not overlap, but today this rule is no longer strictly honored.

The Book of Shadows

For the age-old rituals of the witches not to be lost forever, witches wrote their rites and rituals in a book that was later called The Book of Shadows - a collection of rituals from various witches of differing backgrounds, to be kept safe and protected furiously. There used to be one per coven, but today it is not uncommon for every Witch to own a Book of Shadows of their own.

Make one for yourself from binding in any color you like and blank pages of any design you prefer, even crafting your own book from scratch if you would like. Fill the book with rituals you would like to perform in your Circle and ensure that it is written so clearly that you can read it in the candlelight.