Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Some Rambling Thoughts on Practicing Witchcraft in Groups or Covens

       Coming from an organized religion into the world of witchcraft definitely lead me to believe that the only way to learn or even be initiated into a religion or belief system was through schooling of some sorts. When I first set about trying to figure out what sort of earth based religion I wanted to follow, the idea that I had to join a group was almost overpowering and not in a good way. After being in a religion with a designated priest and designated roles that required you to devote yourself to God in the way the catechism stated I was certainly not all for the idea of leaving one organized religion and hopping into another one.

       Quite honestly, although I quite like many of the philosophies of druidry I think the idea of having to take a course on it (which is what the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids suggests), put me off. I have every respect for learning about your faith practices through a sequential period of lessons but it wasn't right for me a year ago and its not right for me today either. I think growing up with such a hierarchal religion really deterred me from organized faith. I just don't agree with the concept that individuals who study in seminaries or theological schools have the right to tell you how to practice your faith, going to church every Sunday does not make you devout if your spirit isn't in it.

      I don't go to church every Sunday now, and to be honest I don't really go to church (unless I'm accompanying a family member to be with them as they celebrate) and overall I'm a whole lot happier about it. I'm not just talking about Christianity here either, Wicca has its own church in Canada, aptly named The Wiccan Church of Canada  with a central location in Toronto, Ontario. I think its great that Wiccans who seek to celebrate together have a place to do so, its just not for me.

      Realizing that I definitely didn't want to practice in a group left me in a really interesting place. So very many Wiccan pages state that the only way to truly become a witch (never mind traditional witchcraft) is by meeting with a Wiccan group and having them initiate you. Totally totally wrong. There are thousands of Wiccans out there who don't practice in groups, never have and never will, and guess what they are still Wiccan. 

Any site that says you need to go to an initiation ceremony to believe what you do is off its rocker!

      After all this rambling, what I really want to say is that you don't have to be Wiccan to be a witch. You don't have to practice in groups to be a witch. You can be a witch without being Wiccan, its called traditional witchcraft, and you can practice by yourself, its called being a solitary witch. The world will not end if you want to celebrate the Sabbats by yourself. Just be who you are (if that means practicing in a coven, practice in a coven :) ), there is no need to force something on yourself that doesn't feel right. 

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