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- Paganism & Witchcraft
Should I Join a Coven?
The Pros and Cons of the Coven
Pros of the Coven- I find that having a good, solid connection with your community is essential for personal growth. It is refreshing to have some friends or peers who share the same ideas, feelings, politics, or religion as you. Human beings as a whole need a sense of belonging and acceptance and covens can be wonderful sources of such. There are probably quite a few somewhere around you and with a little research, you should be able to find a coven that suits you personally. Another good thing about belonging to a coven is knowledge. The secrecy running rampant through the religion holds that there are some rites, spells, and lore that may not be available online for the curious to find. Being in a coven may be the only way to obtain a certain tidbit of information that you need.
Cons of the Coven- Sadly, there are people that have no idea what they are talking about, looking for a way to be rebellious (not a true Wiccan), or people that are filled to the brim with nonsense. Being in a circle cast with people who are gossiping moments before, who are half-hearted about what they are doing, or people who genuinely do not care is a very unpleasant and unsatisfying experience as the energy needed s simply not present or is working against you. I find that the covens like these are abundant, unfortunately. There is also the problem where a coven that you like may be states away from you, or has a certain worship type that you do not agree with.
Pros of the Solitary- I find that Wicca should be a very personal experience. It should involve personal studying, personal time to reflect on how you feel about something you have learned and the ability to come to a sound conclusion because of it. Practicing Wicca on your own can be very rewarding in that respect. The energy you create and the results you receive are all your own. That sense of self-reward and self-awareness has no price tag. The intimacy you may feel with the God and Goddess is unmatched.
Cons of the Solitary- The word "solitary" says it all. You are alone in your ventures and may not have too many people to talk to about your thoughts, feelings and findings of Wicca. You may have some friends and online sources, but if you are a social butterfly, or if you feel your personal energy is not quite right or strong enough for such a lonely experience, a coven is probably your best bet. Being a solitary Wiccan might also mean that your findings and ventures will be greatly influenced on sources that might not be the best for you. Without someone handing you a Book of Shadows, you might feel compelled to buy a Book, or use a search engine to find someone else's (perhaps marred) version. Regurgitating information is not becoming of a Wiccan.
Ultimately, all that I can say is that my personal decision was to be solitary. But that was my personal decision. What works for me may not work for you.
Once everything boils down, you will see that there is no one right answer. Trial and error will be prevalent, but once you make your choice and know it is the right choice, you will be far down the road to your own personal spiritual achievement.