Unfortunately for the modern Witch, there are some words ... even combinations of
I recently witnessed such a phenomena unfold through a conversation that occurred within a group on facebook. A fellow Witch posted a link to a YouTube video, which featured a popular (though I hadn’t heard or seen her before this post) author, teacher, and speaker who was promoting her own “coven”, which in order to become a member of the individual was required to pay a membership fee of $333.00. The video had me curious so I visited the link that was posted in the information section of the video and was brought to the webpage that gave more information on this “coven”. At this point I frowned and shook my head. The “coven” is described as an international witch school and boasts that it has 300 members, including some of the “best” teachers in the world. I have never come across a definition for the word coven that included the words “witch school”, though while there are covens that do describe themselves as “teaching covens”, Lunar Wisdom Coven and Wisdom of the Crescent Moon were both covens that did so, the concept of a coven isn’t a school for Witches. When I hear the phrase “witch school” I think of Hogwarts from Harry Potter and Hogwarts was not a coven and I think you’d be hard-pressed to find individuals who would think otherwise.
I expressed my feelings and thoughts about the use of the word coven in the context of the video and program that was being offered by this individual on the facebook post as did many other members of the group, but not all shared my uncomfortablity with the use of the word “coven” by the video / program creator. A few of the facebook members obviously Googled the definition for “coven” and posted it in a comment and argued that this program clearly met the definition.
A group or gathering of witches who meet regularly
(derogatory) A secret or close-knit group of associates.
A basic group in which witches are said to gather. One of the chief proponents of the theory of a coven was the English Egyptologist Margaret Murray in her work The Witch Cult in Western Europe (1921). According to her a coven consists of 12 witches and a devil as leader. The number is generally taken as a parody of Christ and his 12 disciples. (An alternate theory, stressing the Murray view of a pre-Christian tradition of witches, explains 13 as the maximum number of dancers that can be accommodated in a nine-foot circle.)
- Encyclopædia Britannica
Usually refers to a gathering of witches or community of witches, much like a congregation in Christian parlance. It is composed of a group of believers who gather together for ceremonies of worship such as Drawing Down the Moon, or celebrating the Sabbats.
Generally, covens are ritual groups where the membership is fixed. Only those initiated into the group can attend the rituals, and attendance may be mandatory. Each member generally practices on their own as well, coming together to celebrate the Moon and High Holy Days, as well as occasions like blessings and purifications. Such groups are likely to be hierarchical, with degrees of initiation, High Priestesses and High Priests leading the group. In most, new members may join from time to time. This usually involves some kind of initiation. There can be rules about how many people can be in one group. Traditionally the number is set at 13, or sometimes 9.
“I really liked the fact that the course is flexible …”
"I found the course to be really informative …”
“This course was the best …”
So if it is structured and defined at the top of the webpage as a witch school, why then call it a coven? What is the creator’s purpose or intention in doing so? And while I was / am being criticized for implying that this individual’s program is not a “real coven” and that I am not being part of “be the witchy change” movement on YouTube I have to say, as a self-proclaimed Witch, this individual is doing her best to align with the vibration of the word coven by labeling her course / program as such while not embodying the definition of the word … or by doing so in a very, very liberal way.
I don’t believe that this is a situation of dictating my personal opinion or my personal experiences with covens as the definitive defection of the word, nor is whether or not this individual can use the word “coven” to describe what she is offering on her website, I believe this is about the individual’s intention to purposefully mislabel what she is offering to her prospective students / clients. While any one of us can use any word we desire to describe whatever we want even when the general consensus doesn’t agree with our labeling, it doesn’t negate the consequences of such an action. Because our words hold a particular vibrational frequency we, as Witches, are able to wield them in a way to harness power when we speak and write. We can use our words to heal and to harm, to create and to destroy, along with every other action along the spectrum of human experiences. When we purposefully label something that isn’t aligned with the general consensus of the shared reality we are deliberately misaligning that thing with the intention of manipulating the energies to coerce others into perceiving something that it is not. It doesn’t make this a “right” or “wrong” action, I don’t judge things in this way, but it is manipulative.
It is dishonest.
It is deceptive.
Hell, it’s a fucking glamour! And while I do enjoy an expertly cast glamour, I am disappointed when it is done so sloppily that I can see the truth behind the mask. I guess on some unconscious level I am frustrated that other individuals who identify as Witch do not see it as well. Or perhaps that is the true crux of the situation … maybe those other individuals who identify as Witch ... well, perhaps I should stop now before I am condemned further by the witchy YouTube community for not being part of “the witchy change”.