In this video we discuss the pros and cons of being a solitary practitioner against being part of a Coven or Circle of Witches.Transcription of the video
Previously, the only way to learn to practice Wicca was through a coven. With the publication of books and especially with the rise of the Internet, Wicca has become accessible to anyone. It is now possible to learn the rituals and practices without having to find a local coven. Wiccan practitioners who do not belong to a coven are called solitary practitioners. There are benefits and drawbacks to both working in a coven and working as a solitary.
The benefits to working in a coven include growth, friendship, and family. Working with others in a magickal setting can help to expand and develop the practitioners understanding and involvement in Wicca. Having a supportive coven can not only help to increase magickal knowledge, but it becomes a second family built on strong foundations of trust and communication. Rituals and spell work become a group activity where the energy generated is greater than the sum of the whole. The preparations for rituals are often shared including responsibilities for preparing, leading, food, or the physical space. With more people, more ideas can be generated for new possibilities and magickal workings. The best part is that there are always people to practice with so that celebrations are not skipped or overlooked due to a busy schedule.
But a coven can have drawbacks as well. It may be difficult to get along with or form bonds with all of the people in the group. Some covens have people who are flaky which compromises the stability of the group. Problems arise and can complicate rituals such as illnesses or family emergencies. Energy problems can also arise such as too much drama or stealing energy from others. Many covens have deeply ingrained rules and procedures to follow during magickal workings. While the routine and structure can be uplifting for some practitioners, it can be stifling and challenging to others. Covens can also be difficult to find depending upon your geographical area.
A solitary practitioner is able to control their own magickal practice without the input of a group. The solitary is able to determine what is acceptable and unacceptable in their own magickal working. As a solitary, there are classes and workshops one can take as well as a plethora of knowledge and other practitioners online including a large and wonderful YouTube community of witches.
Regardless of your decision, there are a few things to note about working magickally with other people.
If an individual or group is requesting a large amount of money for becoming part of their coven or taking classes, be wary. While there is nothing inherently wrong with requesting payment for services such as with a workshop or asking for a coven fee to cover ritual supplies, use your own judgment and inner compass to determine what is acceptable to you and what is not.
If anyone makes unwanted sexual advances or asks you to perform any sexual act that you are uncomfortable with, tell them you find their behavior unacceptable and leave immediately. In fact, you can just leave immediately without any discussion! No one in any spiritual path should take sexual advantage of another person in any shape or form.
When working with other people or participating in magickal workings at a public event, it is vital to know your own personal boundaries. A great way to ensure your own well-being and safety is to bring a friend with you – use the buddy system!
Overall, trust your instincts. If you even get a twinge of discomfort, it is probably not the right space for you to open yourself especially when working with magick. Keep in mind that no one has all the answers or can tell you how to connect with the divine, every path is legitimate. Ultimately it doesn’t matter whether you join a coven or choose to be a solitary practitioner. The most important thing is to practice the craft and continue to learn using the resources available to you.