Running any kind of group takes a great deal of work and organization. A coven is no different. I actually believe that leading a coven is sometimes even harder than any volunteer group or job I’ve ever had, because as witches we deal with the idea of perfect love and perfect trust. Group dynamics can sometimes be difficult to maneuver under normal circumstances, but you add the fact that as coven members, you hold a higher esteem for each other so you want to be careful with those feelings and relationships. Trust me, I’ve been a part of a really healthy coven as well as an unhealthy one. I know what I’m talking about when it comes to how important coven communication can be.
We don’t have a High Priest and High Priestess in our coven. We try to make decisions together and if a need comes up for something more we have a Council of Elders, which happens to be Cathy and me right now.
Our coven made the decision early on in our existence that we wanted more than just celebrating the Sabbats together. Usually that means that we study Wiccan books together and discuss how the concepts either work or don’t work with our practices as both individuals and as a coven. We made the commitment to each other that we would meet every other Sunday for these study sessions, so to facilitate a schedule we have a planning meeting at the beginning of each year. That is when we discuss when we will hold our Sabbat rituals as well as the study sessions and any other fun extras that help to give us a sense of community as a group.
From what I’ve learned from other coven and groups, this is what they do as well. With that in mind, I thought for this week’s blog post I would give some tips on what I kept in mind during our planning session for this year.
- It’s helpful to have a tentative schedule going into the meeting.
Cathy and I sat down just after the new year to figure out the actual dates of the Sabbats for 2015 and then what day might work best for the coven ritual, along with all the study sessions for the year. This way we were able to get that information hammered out quickly and sent it out to the other members before we sat down together. It gave everyone an opportunity to check for possible conflicts in their schedules and to proof our work in case we scheduled something too close to another calendar holiday. It seems that Mother’s Day and Father’s Day always gives us a hard time. 😉
- Share the load
We found that it works well for our coven to let one member take the lead for each ritual. We use the same ritual each year so the person in charge doesn’t have to write a new one unless they are really compelled to. What they are responsible for is to ask members to do specific tasks during ritual and to facilitate who is bringing what for feast. This year we put names in a hat and pulled them to figure out who was in charge of what holiday. We found this works well for us and it makes it so we all feel part of the whole and sharing in our celebrations.
- Set your tone
Because I am an Elder of our coven I meditated the morning of our meeting and asked for guidance. We planned to talk about some topics that had the possibility of becoming heated or hurtful and I felt that it was important to have the right mindset to maintain perfect love and trust. I asked my Spirit Allies for advice and I was told to think before I spoke. Such valuable advice! I can be hot headed so caution was the perfect message for me.
- Remember to ask for opinions
Sometimes you can get wrapped up in everything you want to say, but it’s equally important to listen to the opinions of others. It’s also vital to recognize those in your group who may have something to say, but tend to not speak up. Ask them for what they want or don’t want. Then you have all the information you need to make an informed decision as a group.
I don’t think I need to say anything more about that!
I love each and every member of my coven so much. I also respect them and know how blessed I am that they’ve all come to be a part of my life. I hope what I’ve shared is in some way helpful. If you are a member of a coven, how do you schedule your calendar? Do you have additional advice?
As always, thank you for your time and thank you for walking a little on my path with me. BB