In the Witch Community, there are many styles of Witchcraft that are usually called traditions. There are Groups in Witchcraft that are often called a Coven, but they are called other things too. They can be called a Coven, a group, or a grove, among other things. Basically, we all want to find a teacher and a group that feels like home. But… What if when you sought a teacher, and you find one who seems nice and ok but there is just that something that you just can’t put your finger on?
You join their classes, and you do the work, but somehow it just doesn’t feel complete or right. You keep telling yourself it’s because you’re new to witchcraft. You might tell yourself it’s just that you haven’t finished the courses. You are told there is an opening or two in the teacher’s coven as you finish your first degree. The teacher lets everyone know they are accepting petitions to join their coven at this time and the positions will be filled with students from their class.
You may not have seen any other students go through the classes or apply to the coven. You don’t have any information to indicate that they wouldn’t be fair about it, but the coven members you did meet were all the same race, and that race is different than yours. You think, could it be? But you quickly dismiss it with, Nah, they are Wiccan, and Wiccans are supposed to be accepting and tolerant people. Wiccans are supposed to be against this sort of thing. (It could be any reason). So, you go away thinking there was just something wrong with you. like you aren’t good enough or strong enough.
(Here is a little heads up, Most Wiccans have over-inflated egos)
The last coven I was in was that type of coven.
Now, not all covens are like that. The first coven I practiced with and learned from were very human and had normal human issues, but overall they really tried to live honorably and within the confines of the morals and ethics of which they claimed. I love and respect them very much. Then many years later, after being a solitary practitioner, I decided to look for and join another coven. I found a coven here locally in Southern California. They were small and typical. They were kinda Wiccan, but none of them were properly trained but… unfortunately, they had giant egos that weren’t earned. Of course, giant egos alone don’t bother me all that much. I loved the fact that they were a non-teaching coven, and that was great for me because I already had my 3 degrees of training and didn’t want or need to change my training.
They were pretty good people in general, but… then they added a new member who wanted to learn, and so they decided to start teaching only they required me to do it too. I wouldn’t have minded so much if they would have put effort into making a valid and valuable class that wasn’t going to be annoying to me. They didn’t, though. All they did was tell us all to go out online and find stuff. It was like going back to kindergarten after graduating from High school for me. That is the real reason I left. That and the food requirement. I have special needs when it comes to food. I don’t mind doing potlucks once in a while but when a formal meal is required for every single ritual, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I had enough. I wasn’t turned off from covens yet at that time. I figured I would just be open to one that I fit into.
Well, as time went on, I continued to practice my craft as a solitary practitioner. We had started Witch Digest, and I had been working on that for a while. Growing at the same time as the blog was growing. I got to a point in my life where I was ready to step out of my comfort zone and go to some meetups and stuff to check out the scene. Now, I haven’t gone around telling people this, but since you don’t know me personally, I will tell you. I am autistic with PTSD. I know I have sensitivities and that it’s not the fault of others. I don’t judge most people by how they interact with me because I’m weird to interact with, but I do watch how people treat others within their own groups.
The last coven I joined, I believed they were a prominent coven in the area. They were connected to several groups and all that bullshit. They had good resumes. The High Priestess was a teacher, another member was a teacher, another member was a caregiver, and another member was a chemist. The HP and HPS had an autistic son, so I thought oh, these people understand or at least are tolerant toward mental health issues. I saw a couple of other members, and they seemed to have autism. Maybe I was wrong, maybe they didn’t, and I just assumed. I contacted my first teacher for permission to disclose certain things, and she agreed.
After I joined and was practicing, I was interested in taking his classes just to see what he teaches and another member discouraged it because she was a 3rd degree as well in the same tradition as my own. So, I didn’t. I wish I would have taken his class, and I would have known right from the beginning. My ethnicity is Scottish/Irish, and I am with a life partner who is brown. It doesn’t matter which flavor of brown, just that he is brown. there was another coven member whose spouse was brown. Neither of the non-whites was ever invited into the coven. Maybe they didn’t want to be a member. But what about the non-white students of theirs who really wanted to be a member, and they wouldn’t allow them to join?
As time went on, I watched and listened. When I am meeting with a coven for ritual and stuff, I expect the meeting to be centered around witchcraft or stuff that is specific to the tradition. Healing stuff, witchcraft as a part of life stuff. None of them talked about Wicca or witchcraft or anything. All they talked about was their broken political views as if it was the law of the land. Another coven member and I hit it off a bit and became friends outside the coven.
She was so worried about them kicking her out. She, too, had a mental illness. If I understand correctly, we all had a diagnosis, including the leaders. There were a couple of little things happening with the HPS of the coven. She was making little comments that ripped at my self-esteem. That was a red flag for me. I invited them to my home, and only two of them showed up. the HPS and the other teacher. I was later informed that the HPS and her friend, the other teacher, never told any of the other ladies. And they treated me badly while they were here.
They entered my home, and the HPS exclaimed, “God! Even your house smells like a “real witch”. It wasn’t a compliment. This sort of red flag kept happening. I did bring my life partner, who would let me know if he agreed with my takeaway. By the time I firmly decided to leave the coven, HP had announced that there will now be coven dues. Yet another red flag. That was it for me. I started the process of “quiet-quitting” the coven. I told them I need a leave of absence and all that. I really did need a break because I was dealing with some new physical disabilities, but if it were an honorable coven, I would have come back, but I had no intentions of coming back. I really was quitting. but then, shortly after I did that, they started attacking the coven member I had friended.
I contacted her and asked her what was happening, and she showed me their messages and told me some of the things they said to her and what they tried to make her do. Now, this member has a mental illness that made her question herself. She thought she might have done something wrong. I went over everything with her. She did nothing morally or ethically wrong. They simply disagreed with her political beliefs. I stood up for that coven member against them, and then they attacked Witch Digest. They attacked me by attacking Witch Digest on Facebook.
I didn’t do anything to them at the time. I didn’t do a karma spell or a justice spell as I should have. Lesson learned for sure.
I regret highlighting the HPS and her poetry book. It was a mistake. I was sitting there with her one day when one of her fans mentioned that she saw her being highlighted on Witch Digest. The HPS just totally dismissed it with, oh, that is just Summer’s site. Um, it’s just as valid as any other site. I am a third-degree Wiccan who has gone to college, and this website is Professionally made along with the Witch Digest App. Maybe because she was so down on herself that she had to dump on me, too, it took her own kudos away that she was being lavished with by her admirer. That HPS crapped not only on me and what I was doing at the time, but she also crapped on her admirer, which took away from HER. That is how it works.
These are just a couple of the tell-tale signs that something was amiss. It took me 2 years to figure it out because it was so malignantly hidden in the shadows. The abuse of a coven member and the way they tried to control and manipulate her. And when I pulled the rug out from under them and when I let them know I don’t approve of such unscrupulous behavior, they attacked me and all that We have created with this Webpage.
So, How do you protect yourself against this type of coven? Educate yourself in the school of human behaviors. One good thing to learn about to actually protect yourself from it is to learn about narcissism, psychopathy, and sociopathy, along with the various cluster B personality types. These types can be mildly annoying and dangerous for some people who don’t understand them, but you will have to know how to keep them in check in your life. I’m sorry, I realize that SOME people with those mental health disorders have done what they need to do and they really try hard to be good are also being grouped with that trash right now, but for those of us who have experience with that set of behaviors from these types of humans, should understand that everyone is different regardless of their mental diagnosis. I simply avoid certain types of people who behave this way and treat others as their minions to control, regardless if they are mentally ill or just freaking jerks. That is NOT the nature of Wicca or its teachings to treat anyone like that. That behavior is specific to those who are the “BAD ACTORS” in their own Narratives…
It’s next to impossible to spot those types because they are all usually charismatic and often seem likable…until they attack you. they are always attacking someone. It’s important to keep them from focusing on you. How do you do that? As soon as you spot that, it doesn’t feel right or it doesn’t matter what the cause is. If something doesn’t feel right, get out. And even if it is a group of good people, if you don’t feel comfortable, leave. If they have a problem with you leaving, seek the help of a professional. An attorney, a police officer, adult protective services, or whichever professional you need.
Try to do it in a “grey rock” type of way if you can. With that type of coven, it is really best to just quietly walk away. I made an excuse for why I had to leave. So, no matter if they are a good coven or a bad coven, you should give a reason for leaving. But… with a coven of this type of people, Don’t contact them, don’t respond to their contact attempts, don’t be in contact with them at all. And if they attack you in the way they did me, Do your spell work and take legal action whenever possible in those circumstances. Although the entire membership of that coven was old people in their late 40s up to their 80s, and they still behaved like that. Not wise witches at all. Just hateful humans. I found out the hard way that age and education don’t make a group safe. The individual characters of the members are what determine if the coven is safe or not. For anyone who is seeking to join a coven, I highly recommend taking a year and a day to get to know each coven member to see if you like them before you ever petition to join. That is what I will do before joining another coven run by someone else.
Remember, kind people are easy to trick and manipulate because we are good people. The fact that I and if it happens to you, it happens because we are good and kind people, and we never even had the thought of doing something like that to someone or even a group of people never even crosses our mind. That makes us vibrate higher than those types as long as we don’t take in their internal corruption.
Stay kind but be aware of other humans. there are bad ones out there. It is the nature of this physical existence. It is the nature of Polarity.
May you be blessed with light and love,