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Author Topic: Do you prefer coven or solitary? (wicca)  (Read 11969 times)
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« Reply #15: February 24, 2009, 09:03:06 pm »

Sometimes I get a bit confused with certain traditions and where they are at on the spectrum.
Yeah, it can be very confusing, and can take a lot of research to figure out just what's what.  A lot of it's history-related in some way - either peseudohistory/mythic history and how that's affected modern developments, or the modern developments themselves (or both), and you have to really poke at the gaps between what actually happened, and what people thought happened.

If you can figure out a way to phrase it, you could start a thread to find out more - this sort of thing is kind of a specialty of mine, and there are many other Cauldronites who have lots to contribute.  Or you could dig around in the archives; there's a ton of stuff there that's related to this in some way.

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« Reply #16: February 25, 2009, 11:47:30 am »

Well, both, really. I'd rather work solitary than with the wrong coven, and the first coven I joined was fantastic, so it's a hard act to follow. After life led us in different directions I went back to working alone for several years. But lately have been feeling a niggling urge to return to a group. If nothing else, for the like-minded companionship and learning opportunity. I have my fingers crossed about a local coven that seems much along the lines of the first in terms of practice, attitude, and scholarship.
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« Reply #17: February 25, 2009, 12:55:53 pm »

Just curious... do you prefer solitary work or coven work if you're wiccan? (or other pagan religion)
When it comes to rituals and spells, I feel more confident with a coven.  I did a small ritual for Yule, by myself, last year.  I gave some offerings to the deities and nature spirits.  But I feel more at easy with a group than working alone.
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« Reply #18: February 25, 2009, 07:13:37 pm »


Well, the first coven I've experienced was a nightmare.  Long, bitter, painful story.  It's left a bitter taste in my mouth for covens and wicca.  I've gone to a couple of 'open' circles that were wiccian-based.  They didn't do much for me either, one was actually very insulting.  Even more so since they were supposed to be friends.  Right now I'm involved with ADF, I like them.
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« Reply #19: February 25, 2009, 11:54:25 pm »

Just curious... do you prefer solitary work or coven work if you're wiccan? (or other pagan religion) Just curious what other people's experiences with covens were. I've heard positive and negative, but I've always been a little nervous about seeking out a coven. Plus I like the freedom of solitary work. But I also feel a bit isolated, cause I know no one who is pagan. If you are solitary, how do you keep from being isolated? How have you found other pagans to associate with in your area?

I'm a solitary partly by preference, partly because I have some trust issues. With myself. And I don't make friends easily. Solitary work has it's good points. If I'm out of town during a ritual I just do it when I get back. I also worship more than one deity. Which I think some covens only work with a specific one. (I may be wrong here, and I'm sorry if I am)

I wish I knew other pagans, because it would be great to talk with someone and say,"Hey what are you doing for the full moon/Sabbat next week?"

Both of my stepkids are pagan, but I only see them during the summers.

I've only been a part of a coven experience once. It was at Lammas. It was great. 
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« Reply #20: February 26, 2009, 07:31:12 am »

I'm a solitary partly by preference, partly because I have some trust issues. With myself. And I don't make friends easily. Solitary work has it's good points. If I'm out of town during a ritual I just do it when I get back. I also worship more than one deity. Which I think some covens only work with a specific one. (I may be wrong here, and I'm sorry if I am)

What seems to be most common is that the deities the coven works with/honors are not necessarily the same as the deities the individuals work with on their own.

In our case, there are four deities that the coven works with fairly regularly. Each of us also works with different deities on a personal level. This is, as I sometimes say, one of the benefits of polytheism. *grin*

Why does it work? Because what we're doing, ritually, is different from what we do on our own. It's sort of like how you might do some things with one friend, and something different with another friend. In both cases, you're spending time with your friend, doing things that you enjoy, and that bring you closer together, and that do other things for you, and there's a lot of similarities - but that doesn't mean that doing the exact same thing with everyone in your life makes sense, either.

In terms of seasonal celebrations, the deities I work with personally don't particularly care about whether I invite them to esbat/Sabbat rituals. (I do if I'm working on my own for some reason, but that's pretty rare for those rituals). They care more that I do them somehow.

One thing I've been working on verbalising recently (as part of coven training documents) is about how deciding to join a particular tradition and coven is about a bunch of things. Some of it is ritual - but some of it is also learning our particular internal culture, and deciding if that works for you, and about getting to know us. We've explicitly said "We don't expect to be great friends right away. We want that possibility to be there - but true friendship takes time to develop, and the Dedicant year gives that time. Learning about what we do, how and why we do it, also takes time."
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« Reply #21: February 26, 2009, 01:24:40 pm »

Just curious... do you prefer solitary work or coven work if you're wiccan? (or other pagan religion) Just curious what other people's experiences with covens were. I've heard positive and negative, but I've always been a little nervous about seeking out a coven. Plus I like the freedom of solitary work. But I also feel a bit isolated, cause I know no one who is pagan. If you are solitary, how do you keep from being isolated? How have you found other pagans to associate with in your area?

Not Wiccan, but I personally feel comfortable being solitary - I practice low magick, so it only makes sense. I've thought at times that a coven would be interesting, and that I'd at least like to experience High Magick/group ritual before I say "Not for me"... but it's not something I feel drawn to.

I would definitely LOVE to find a discussion group, or perhaps a mentor to learn from. I've only been Pagan for a little over a year, so I feel that having others who could offer guidance and insight would be very valuable for me. I have friends who identify as Pagan (earth-based and/or goddess worship), but we really haven't had any in depth discussions about it, and even though we get together with our kids to mark the quarter days and cross-quarter days, we do no ritual together.
 
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« Reply #22: February 27, 2009, 12:01:35 am »

What seems to be most common is that the deities the coven works with/honors are not necessarily the same as the deities the individuals work with on their own.

In our case, there are four deities that the coven works with fairly regularly. Each of us also works with different deities on a personal level. This is, as I sometimes say, one of the benefits of polytheism. *grin*

Why does it work? Because what we're doing, ritually, is different from what we do on our own. It's sort of like how you might do some things with one friend, and something different with another friend. In both cases, you're spending time with your friend, doing things that you enjoy, and that bring you closer together, and that do other things for you, and there's a lot of similarities - but that doesn't mean that doing the exact same thing with everyone in your life makes sense, either.

In terms of seasonal celebrations, the deities I work with personally don't particularly care about whether I invite them to esbat/Sabbat rituals. (I do if I'm working on my own for some reason, but that's pretty rare for those rituals). They care more that I do them somehow.

One thing I've been working on verbalising recently (as part of coven training documents) is about how deciding to join a particular tradition and coven is about a bunch of things. Some of it is ritual - but some of it is also learning our particular internal culture, and deciding if that works for you, and about getting to know us. We've explicitly said "We don't expect to be great friends right away. We want that possibility to be there - but true friendship takes time to develop, and the Dedicant year gives that time. Learning about what we do, how and why we do it, also takes time."

Thanks for the insight Jenett.  Grin  I wish there was a way to do a "come to me" Wiccan spell. To draw
like-minded Wiccans to me. lol
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« Reply #23: March 03, 2009, 09:07:40 pm »

Just curious... do you prefer solitary work or coven work if you're wiccan?

I still do my own personal work, even though I'm initiated into a coven. And many times, that work doesn't even include my husband, who will be initiated into the same coven at Ostara.

I really enjoy working with the coven to do magic at our monthly moon rituals. I also enjoy having a large tradition (I think we're up to 6 hives now) to celebrate the high holidays with. It's like a big family or a tribe. I'm lucky to have found such a wonderful group.

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« Reply #24: March 04, 2009, 10:15:12 am »

Plus I don't think I could stand that many other girls besides myself in such closeness!

I meant to reply to this last week; just now finally getting to it. 

I've found that when women work together in a spiritual group where men are not around and the focus is on women's mysteries, the cattiness, bitchiness, and competitiveness disapeers.  I attended a weekend women-only retreat last year, and there was only one woman among the 200 that had a stick up her butt.  Everyone else was so warm, welcoming, and willing to work together and be friends.  Much different than normal daily woman to woman interactions.

I sometimes work with a women's group, and it's a nice break for me.  I work with a bunch of men and live with one too, so sometimes it's nice to get away from them.
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« Reply #25: March 05, 2009, 07:51:44 pm »

I never understood the concept of female dominance in wicca. Seems so unbalanced to me. Plus I don't think I could stand that many other girls besides myself in such closeness!

LOL! I kind of agree. I have been solitary mostly because of time, partly because I think it's hard to find the right fit. You don't want to be surrounded by people you aren't sure on the same spiritual page as you.
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« Reply #26: March 09, 2009, 04:54:22 pm »

...do you prefer solitary work or coven work...

I'm new to the board, hope you don't mind me chiming in. I'm solitary. Mainly, because I'm a closet practicioner. Grin But, I really enjoy solitary work. It allows me to have flexiblity in when I decide to do any work. I have two boys and a very busy family life. It's a little hard to meet others to even consider being in a coven. But, I use to participate in open circles held at a local pagan shop. A different coven would host. It offered a great learning experience into coven work and other beliefs. But, I like the solitude for my own things. Perhaps, it's personality to why one chooses a coven or to be solitary.
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« Reply #27: March 11, 2009, 09:22:37 am »

currently i only really have the choice of being solitary. Australia(melbourne in particular) seems to either lack covens or they're so well hidden you'd have to know a member to actually find them. so as far as things go at the moment, I'm a solitary with a library card that gets used extensively
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« Reply #28: March 30, 2009, 09:06:14 am »

Just curious... do you prefer solitary work or coven work if you're wiccan?

I have gone down both paths and definitely prefer being in a Coven to being a solitary.  When I don't have others around, it becomes to easy to "do it tomorrow". 

I love sharing Sabbats... and my home... with others.  I love to cook and sit around the fire pit in the back garden... in our home, feast is as much a part of the ritual as casting the circle.

I also learn so much from my students.  Being in a coven  is (usually) an interactive experience.  You can learn so much more with face to face training than you can by reading books, if only because everyone has a different perspective on whatever topic is being taught.  Having a group where discussion is encouraged leaves everyone the richer for the experience. 

One thing that I can't stress enough, though, is to remember that even if you like the people in a given group, you might not like the tradition, or vice versa.  Finding the right coven takes time.  When the time comes, be patient and remmber that you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you.  Ask questions.  If you don't get straight answers (even if that answer is sometimes, "I'm sorry, I can't get into Oathbound material"), keep looking.

Bright blessings,
Helen Pattskyn,
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« Reply #29: May 23, 2009, 11:46:43 pm »

Just curious... do you prefer solitary work or coven work if you're wiccan? (or other pagan religion) Just curious what other people's experiences with covens were. I've heard positive and negative, but I've always been a little nervous about seeking out a coven. Plus I like the freedom of solitary work. But I also feel a bit isolated, cause I know no one who is pagan. If you are solitary, how do you keep from being isolated? How have you found other pagans to associate with in your area?

Great topic!

When I was younger, I tended to prefer covens. I think I liked the support system and found it helpful to have a group of people with which to bounce around ideas. However, as I've grown, solitary practice has appealed to me more and more. On a practical level, this is because I moved to an area that is much less accepting of paganism and thus I am less willing to share my beliefs. On a spiritual level, I really enjoy the introspection, reflection, and personal development that solitary paganism fosters. In short, I think coven and solitary spirituality have benefits and drawbacks; covens are can be supportive or limiting, and solitary life can be nonrestrictive or isolated.

As far as the isolation of solitary practice is concerned, it doesn't really bother me. First, I have been able to counter it to some extent through online contacts and readings. Second, I have always been very introverted, especially with regard to spiritual belief and practice. Being alone is, for me, more relaxing than lonesome.
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