Coven = a group of 13 Witches

Coven = family

What is a Coven? First it is a group of Witches - the size was at one time to be 13, but today it can be any group of Witches that have two or more people in it. And 13 is considered small by many.

One of the problems with Covens over 13 is that many become just observers, which is not Wicca. But to get around this is the use of the Inner and Outer circle or court system. The Coven proper is the Inner Circle and the Outer Circle is made up of students and Solitary that want to be connected with the Coven.

In some cases the members of the outer circle only become inner circle member long enough to be hived off into another new Coven. And some become members of the current inter circle. And still others just stay in the outer circle.

You should have seen the term "Perfect Love, Perfect Trust" - this is a Coven. You must have Perfect Love and Perfect Trust for the other members of your Coven. They are family - close family. Chances are nothing will be hid from them - so if there is anyone in the Coven you do not feel Perfect Love, Perfect Trust for - don't join it. (I am talking about the Inner Circle) Because of this many Covens have taken on an Outer Circle...


The people in the outer circle are not part of the true Coven. They are allowed after taking an oath to the Coven to attend most rituals (The ones they are not, they usually don't even know about). As I said above they can be students. They are working on their year and a day and they are learning from the Inner Circle. Being in ritual help them in doing some of the things they have read about. It helps bring them out. It also put them under protection of the Coven.

The other type of person you will find in the Outer Circle is the Solitary who wants to be part of a group, but has yet to find a Coven that fits just right. They like the people in the Coven, but they just don't have the perfect love, perfect trust needed with everyone in the Inner Circle. And sometimes they don't want to be part of a Coven, but like one to come to for the Sabbats and a full Moon from time to time, but do not want to become tied down to that Coven. These people must also take an Oath to the Coven, which will allow them to attend rituals that are closed.

There is a third type in the Outer Circle and this is the person who wants to become part of the Inner Circle, is already degreed from another Coven, and is working with the Coven to see if they will fit in with the perfect love, perfect trust.


The Inner Circle is the Coven. They run the Coven, create the laws, vote on what's going on. They are the teachers of the Outer Circle students.

These people will worship skyclad together whenever they feel its nessary without a second though. They will help one another with out a second though. They are always there for one another.

Are all Inner Circles like this, no. For one reason or another Covens will form without having perfect love perfect trust. And they are weaker for it.


The above is just one kind of Coven and much is based on Dragon Palm. Some Covens do not have an Outer Circle and when you become a student to the Coven you must join. Some are in traditions that give you the laws and rules and the only way you can form your own Coven within the Trad is to hive off another existing Coven. Some are more social clubs than religious organizations.


1. Are they recruiting members right and left? This is not a good sign. They are taking in everyone and not really caring much about who.

2. It costs to Join! We are not taking about dues or donations to help buy the needed items for rituals, but when you must pay a fee to join that is beyond what it is costing them to have you join. (If each Covener wears the same Gram, then you will be expected to buy the Gram or pay the Coven for it - again if its a Gram that sells for $19.99 at the local New Age store and the Coven says you must buy it from them for $50.00 - keep walking.

3. You are told you must do something you don't want to do. This is a case where there may be nothing wrong with the Coven, but it is not for you. Many Covens expect their members to worship skyclad - if not all the time, for special worship...If you would not feel comfortable Skyclad - make sure that the Coven doesn't do it, or if they do - would you have to join in.

4. The HP/HPS rule the Coven with an Iron fist. What they say is Law and you MUST do what ever they say... In most Covens the HP/HPS is the religious leader and leader of business meeting - when ever they are the outright leaders of the Coven they are elected and elections are held yearly or when the Coven feels that they are not doing right by the Coven. Some Covens HP/HPS are members that fit the role and do it best. In these Covens each member has as much say as any other in the running of the Coven.

5. You must have sex with the HP/HPS to join...Now there are a few Covens like this, but unless you meet them first and feel the same way they do about sex beware - If you are young and are approached about joining a Coven - BEWARE - First you must seek out most Covens and second most Covens will only let adults join as full members. There are a lot of weird people out there. Anyone can read a few books on Wicca and act as though they know what they are talking about. And Sex against your will is RAPE (doesn't matter if you are a man or woman) And if you are under age and are told to have sex with an adult - even if its sounds OK to you - it's still RAPE! This is against the REDE!

When looking for a Coven, find out as much as you can of what they will expect from you. Be forward with what you are looking for in a Coven. See if you can attend a ritual before becoming a member. See if they have an outer circle you can be part of for a while to see if you can work with them. If you don't want to be skyclad - make sure you let them know. You may also let them know your views about sex. (Less and less Covens are doing the GREAT RITE - but it is still part of Wicca - and some Covens expect it of their third degrees). The more you find out at the beginning the better you are. Most Covens because you are seeking to join them do not give you a lot of information - you are the one who must give the information. Don't be upset when a Coven tells you, you wouldn't fit in. It means that from what you have told them they know that there would be conflict between you and the rest of the Coven. They may or may not tell you why. (More likely not).

Don't give up if you are rejected by several Covens - this has nothing to do with you as a Witch. It just means they don't feel that you would fit in their Coven. And if they feel that way - would you really want to be part of it.


This I can not talk enough about. It is the most important thing. And being part of a Coven like this is wonderful. Now this doesn't mean you don't fight - you will and like dogs and cats...but it always ends in a hug. And when you are fighting - the gods help anyone who is an outsider that tries to jump in and take a side. (They will find both of you on them).

How will you know if you find it - don't worry you will.


Sometimes you can not find a Coven. This may be the time to form your own. Some things to think about are:

1. Once formed it is not YOUR Coven

2. Do you have people to start the core group?

3. How will you form your compact

4. How will you determine who will be in charge

5. How will you go about finding people for your Coven

6. Are you ready to start a Coven?

Some of the questions sound silly or easy - but before starting a Coven you should have some idea of what you want and the type of people you want in it. Sometimes a study group will turn into a Coven - other times a group of Witches who meet together for Sabbat will decide they should form into a Coven. As with joining a Coven - be very careful in forming one. Beware of people who are not what they say.


1. Teaching Covens

2. Why Perfect Love Perfect Trust?

3. Are Covendoms out dated.


1. What is a Coven

2. What is the traditional size of a Coven

3. What is a High Priest or High Priestess?

4. What is a Covenstead?

5. What is a Covendom?

6. What is the original meaning of Coven?

7. What does Hive Off mean?

8. What is a working pair?

9. What is Banishment?

Read pages 55 - 63 Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft and pages 119 - 132 To Ride a Silver Broomstick.