“If one is luck; a solitary fantasy can totally transform one million realities.”
– Maya Angelou
Do you have a memory of attending that very first open circle and feeling a sense of awe? At that moment you probably hardly knew such as thing as Wicca or Witchcraft. This is when many people have an AH HA moment. There was a comfort in seeing that group, knowing their ideas were very similar to your own. This experience may become a deciding factor on whether you join a group or become a Solitary Wiccan.
Group and Coven Practices
In looking for a group, you’ll want people who share your vision of the Divine and magick. You also need a sense of comfort with their approaches to various workings. Any group that says you must do something that goes against your personal taboos or other strictures is one to avoid. Wicca has no proverbial pulpit pronouncements. Your inner voice and Higher self must guide you.
In exploring various groups, there are questions for your investigation:
- Does the group have consistent leadership (that you feel you can respect)?
- Do people take turns preparing ritual? What are they like?
- Do they have study groups on various topics so you can learn more?
- Do they offer a specific path or blended paths?
While you’re very unlikely to find any group that’s perfect in every way, finding out as much as you creates a clearer picture of whether or not a specific group is right for you.
Joining a coven represents a commitment to each person in that group. You are a magickal cooperative, even when you’re not getting along very well. You share energy and space with each other regularly. That means the struggles of one person or the regular absence of a member leaves a distinct “hole” in the energy pattern created. Therefore, be aware that there is a time investment involved with groups (and sometimes financial investments too). For the Pagan on a budget or those time-challenged souls – a coven setting may not work.
The Solitary Magical Path
Meanwhile, solitary work stays wholly on your budget and time schedule. There are some caveats to working alone:
- Solitary Wiccans do not have regular access for fellowship
- Unless you periodically go to open circles or a discussion group, there’s little mental and spiritual feedback from outside yourself.
- Stricture and discipline may be a struggle unless you have those abilities in your mental kit already.
- Groups generally raise a lot more energy than can just one person working alone.
On the other hand, in your personal sacred space, there are no personality clashes. You also don’t need to adjust the way you work to appease with others. The beauty of the solitary path is that it truly reflects your vision.
The solitary life is more “fly by the seat of your broom.” The internet becomes an ally for eking out information you need for spells, rituals, meditations, or charms (or any other magical process). The responsibility for any results from your efforts (for boon or bane) also lies totally with you. However, you will always know if you’re in the right physical, mental, and spiritual space for magick In a Coven you can’t always ensure that same preparedness for each person present.
Choosing the Solitary or Coven Path: Take Your Time
It may take you a while to make a choice on the path that best suits your personality and beliefs. That is perfectly fine and even recommended. Your spiritual path impacts your life greatly. Thin of it as a sacred contract – read the fine print.
During your exploration of Wiccan traditions, don’t stop studying or working magick alone. Our lifestyle is such that it always offers flexibility. If you don’t find you like working alone-find a group. If you don’t like working with a specific group, find another one that appeals to your higher senses, or work alone.
No matter what your decision, give a situation a fair chance. Don’t “coven hop.” Stick with that choice for at least several months. After that time you should know for certain (one way or the other) if you’re in the right place and with the right people (even if the only person is you!).
Adapted from “Witches Book of Wisdom,” by Patricia Telesco. All rights reserved.