The coven signs up to the Pagan & Heathen Symposium events Code of Conduct.
This document lays out the principles, values, objectives and codes of conduct under which this coven operates. All members are invited to read this and return to it when needed.
Principles and ways of being
We each try as best as we can to live up to the ideals of being part of the priesthood.
We follow and respect the eight wiccan virtues – honour and humility, beauty and strength, power and compassion, reverence and mirth.
We understand that we are human, but try at all times to be in service to the craft and our brethren within.
We are committed to the work and ideals of the group and the craft. We understand the work to be both spiritual and practical. The HP and HPS are committed to act in service to the group and to only ask of the coven that which is in service to Wicca and to each other.
We recognise we have a responsibility to come prepared for the work and to be respectful of both the work itself and of the value of the time which the coven is devoting to our growth. By being prepared we are not wasting this gift of time.
We keep our promises. We are dedicated to showing up, to being an active participant and to the building and maintaining of the group egregore.
When we work together, we aim always to be receptive and attentive, truthful, understanding, honest and open. We are trustworthy and we trust each other.
We practice every-day reverence; we understand that the craft is a vocation and that it exists within and without us in every moment. We reflect this in everything we do.
We commit to our own self-development, to balancing the elements within ourselves and working to build our own magical abilities through regular practice.
We are strong and resilient, but also vulnerable and understanding of the vulnerability of others.
We are supportive and compassionate both to ourselves and to each other. We understand that each of us is a work in progress.
We recognise each other as adults and peers in the craft and understand that we are all children of the gods. We recognise what each of us brings.
If we stop loving the work that we do, we commit to being honest and to seeking support from within or without the group to help us and the coven to understand and accept our choices.
Discernment is important. We challenge and question assumptions and presumptions and we engage in continuous learning. We are not afraid to adapt, change and innovate.
We feel the craft should be sustainable and believe in making rather than buying, and to eating food which is in season and not imported – but, we also understand this isn’t always possible or practical.
The main driver of group development is the development of the individuals within the group, which will support the overall flowering of growth within the coven. We commit to the following shared values which will help the group achieve its goals. These are:
- Love and respect – for others in the coven, their choices and their decisions. If you find this hard, start by trying to change yourself, not them. Try to learn to see people as an extension of the Gods (since, as priest or priestess, this is what they are), and treat them accordingly.
- Communication – not sleeping on disagreements. If you need to discuss differences, do it with respect, or speak to the High Priestess (HPS) or High Priest (HP) for advice first. You should always feel free and safe to discuss your ideas and opinions. If you don’t, the chances are you are not alone.
- Inclusion – we do not support prejudice of any sort against any person or groups of people because of race, colour, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, or any other protected class of people. We also do not leave anyone out. Everyone will receive all communications about coven business. Everyone’s opinion will be taken into account when making coven decisions, as far as is practicable.
- Trust – that others are doing all they currently can for the group and its members, and that whatever they do that you find negative, is not directed at you personally.
- Support – provide support to others as far as you are able, and accept their support in the spirit in which it is given. Become aware of their support needs and requests – imposing support is as bad as not providing it at all.
- Reliability – We do what we say we will do and we are honest when this is not possible. We act with honour.
We will provide love, respect, communication, inclusion, trust and support freely and selflessly – because we want to, not because we have to. No one is forced to be in our coven. By providing these things, nobody is in your debt, not does taking them create a debt on your part.
This is a coven whose objectives are group worship, personal development, energy raising, magical work and mutual support. Its members agree that it is more effective to achieve these objectives as a group than solo and try to create a group atmosphere which allows us to work towards them.
The coven is working towards becoming empowered, like-minded individuals who feel a full right to participate in the running, organisation and development of the group as it tries to meet its objectives.
How we will achieve our objectives
Creating and maintaining a group atmosphere needs both personal and group development and organisation. The group prefers consensus and discussion over rigid structures. There is some structure, however this is there to help people develop, not constrain them. If the structure holds people back, we commit to changing it. We all commit to doing the work.
The HPS and HP have the responsibility of creating and maintaining the group and its spirit. This is the absolute limit of their authority, which is given them only to serve the group and its developmental needs. Any action they take or suggest should clearly serve this purpose, and if it does not, needs to be questioned. Disagreements about how their actions and requests serve the objectives are to be resolved by discussion and consensus.
More experienced members of the group are asked to facilitate training and to help and mentor more junior members.
The HPS and HP commit their time and energy to supporting the growth of the group and individuals within the group. In exchange, individuals commit to respecting this gift of time by showing up when expected, coming prepared and communicating clearly with the HPS and HP if they are unable to do these things.
The group commits to giving people the confidence and space in which to talk frankly and freely about their growth within the group itself.
Personal development requirements are addressed by training. Training is worked on during coven meetings and is also self-led, with the HPS, HP and/or your sponsor (the person who introduced you to the group and who may work through your training with you) being available to discuss any issues to answer any questions.
No one in the coven, not even the HPS or HPS, is a fully developed being – therefore no one is exempt from learning. Aim to devote time every week on personal and magickal development, to discuss or consider what you have discovered about yourself, your relationship to the Elements and the gods, and your plan for how you will address your development.
Your HPS, HP or sponsor will support you in identifying your needs and barriers, and developing plans to address and overcome them. More senior members of the group will also make themselves available where possible to facilitate learning.
We will use the training framework to identify needs, and support your learning during training sessions, both face-to-face and remotely. Therefore the first lesson for any new member of the group is to grasp the framework and to learn to develop themselves.
A suggested development framework for new members is shown below. The coven leaves it to individual coven members to put aside time to discuss this with their sponsor, who will be able to suggest ways (books, pathworkings) to address development needs.
This framework does not move you towards initiation. It allows you as an individual to move the group towards being better developed and able to serve the Gods, and in return the group is able to help you to achieve your goals.
Guidelines and observances for membership
- Perfect love, trust and respect will be observed in circle. Reverence and mirth are equally welcome, however no negative comments, no criticism and only low volumes of chatter and discussion are acceptable.
- There will be full agreement and discussion between all initiates before any witch, initiated or otherwise is invited to join our circle for a ritual; before any seeker is accepted as a new member or any initiate is adopted into the coven; or before previous members are allowed to return.
- All instruction as to the performance of a ritual should take place before or after, but never during the ritual. Where training needs are identified during the course of a ritual, a note of will be given after the ritual is over and a session with the person (or persons) involved arranged to correct whatever is going wrong.
- There is a minimum standard of attendance to activities by all members to both online and face-to-face events. New members are expected to attend at least 8 online hangouts and at least 8 face-to-face events during the year.
- Written versions of rituals should be distributed well before the event and parts agreed in advance. Everyone who has agreed to play a part is required to understand their involvement (and ideally to have memorised their role) and know what is to happen in the ritual.
- After Samhain we will discuss the year ahead. What do we want to achieve as a group? How do we see ourselves growing and expanding? How will this be handled?