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> Coven , Grove , Circle ....., good or bad idea?
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Nancy-Raven 
  Posted: 13-May-2005, 06:51 PM
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I was just curious to know how many people are part of a group or go to public ritual or something like that?If yes is it close of where you live , if no why , did you have bad experience to share(or good too).

I had a good experience the first time I went to a public ritual.I will not explain in detail you can imagine .After the ritual we all go to a small restaurant (+- bar)and discuss of everything and nothing to know each other.It was great .

A bad one , all other time I went which mean 4-5 I guess.The ritual is always in english , well it's not a big deal but feeling not welcome because I don't feel comfortable to speak english. People who speak french didn't have there place.People don't talk to other ,everyone is on a corner of the room .After the ritual everyone disappear and don't care of who you are.The ritual is done by a different person each time and have their friend close , you feel like an intruder.I went to with my sister and we both agree we have nothing in common with these people and stop to go.

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Moon Child 
Posted: 15-May-2005, 12:37 PM
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The closest thing I have been to being a part of a group is by doing outings with other pagans and such alike. We have a group here in Calgary that goes out once a month sometimes more to do different activities and see different things within the city. The group is called Calgary Pagan Nights Out. They are a group of different people from the pagan community where their families can get together and do activities without feeling that we belong to any one specific group. They are wonderful people and made me feel very welcome the first time I went to an event.

I haven't been to a public ritual since I am a solitary witch and prefer to do my rituals alone. But I have also started looking into doing learning circles and other classes since I want to start getting more involved in the pagan community and meeting new people.
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Shadows 
Posted: 15-May-2005, 01:15 PM
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One's magick is personal in my opinion, but occasional binding of powers is not to be excluded... I do sweat lodges, and circles when the right beings are present, but mostly I practice alone.


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Swanny 
Posted: 15-May-2005, 02:35 PM
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In my belief, formal ceremonies requiring a gathering of people are by their nature "group events". That is what makes them ceremonial. biggrin.gif. None are open to the general public. I perform my own rituals daily, and once in a great while will perform a ritual for an individual or very small group at their (proper) request, and only if someone more qualified than I is not available. As a general rule I only attend formal spiritual ceremonies as mentioned above when invited, about once every year or two.

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Sekhmet 
Posted: 16-May-2005, 02:43 PM
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I had a coven for quite a few years, then it evolved into a much more casual gathering of like-minded folk and friends. We gather for the major holidays and for barbecues and the like, and we much prefer the more relaxed setting. Back in college there used to be larger groups that would have two big parties, one for Beltaine and one for Samhain. Those were usually held in the park or at someone's house who had a lot of room.


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Emmet 
Posted: 09-Jun-2005, 08:48 AM
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I practiced solitary for a long time, and was in a very good coven for a long time, too. It was a great source of learning, support, and personal and spiritual growth and development. I've also attended public ritual with groups which were pretty disfunctional, and sometimes just downright silly. Rather than be in a group where I don't fit in or work well with, I'd prefer to be solitary.


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Nightchild 
Posted: 05-Jul-2005, 04:09 PM
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I happend to find a circle by chance. It's a really great group of people, we learn and meet for the sabbats. They are good for me and it felt good after several years I was trying to find my way all alone to have someone to teach me things. By the time I met them I had almost lost my way.
But nonetheless I think there are times when covens, circles or other kinds of groups are good for you and for your learning process and then there are times when you feel like leaving what in my opinion you should do, if you feel like doing so.


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Moon Child 
Posted: 06-Jul-2005, 12:04 AM
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Nightchild, I have to agree with you on that. It's a personal choice on what you want to do!! I was lucky when I started doing my studies of having my mentor as well as her being my best friend to teach me what she knew from her mentor. I find though sometimes practicing solitary that it gets a bit lonely since I don't really have anyone I can share my information with when I find or learn something new. My mentor lives in a province beside me, so I don't get to see her that often. I only have one other friend that practices other then my mentor but she doesn't practice very often as I do. Which I know is a personal choice but how can you call yourself a wiccan or even a witch if you don't follow the guidelines and rules on a daily basis. wink.gif
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Nightchild 
Posted: 06-Jul-2005, 01:31 PM
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You're definitely right. Everyone must chose for themselves.
It's just that I think there are reasons for each choice one makes. And there are reasons that might lead to not actively practicing any longer. At least for some time.
About 3 or 4 years ago there was a time when I myself didn't do anything. I still considered myself being some kind of wiccan (some kind, because that was a time when I didn't really know where I was standing, where I was coming from and where I was going to). I just had some psychical problems that made me feel not strong enough psychical for doing anything active like rituals, spells or even meditation. It felt like being to dangerous, so I just didn't.
For me it's not what you do that makes you a wiccan it's what you feel deep down inside. You can do whatever rules tell you to but if you don't feel the way of wicca you just are not one.
At least that's my opinion wink.gif
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gallesjrrt 
Posted: 11-Nov-2005, 10:00 AM
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Interesting question!

I don't for a moment suppose that my experience is unique, but I'll pass some of it along.

For most of my life (and I'm in my 50s now), I was a member of a Congregational/United Church of Christ congregation - chair and member of the music committee and the Christian Education committee, Church clerk, corresponding secretary of the search committee for a new minister ... even co-taught the Confirmation class with our minister.

I cherish MOST of my time in that circle - most of the people were friends, and I was fortunate enough that the congregation was fairly open-minded about most things in life - very tolerant. We came from a Christian background, of course, but for those of you who don't know - Congregationalists are notoriously independent ... NO ONE is going to tell them what to do or when, or what form your belief has to take. So, we were given a good grounding in scripture but, more importantly, in the beliefs BEHIND the scripture - love one another ...; as you do to the least of these ...; etc.

About 25 years ago, my next sister down (I'm the oldest of 5 "kids"), announced that she'd become a witch/wiccan. I suspect part of it was for the shock-value (long story about feelings of family acceptance and maybe-they'll-reject-me-because-of-this-and-I-won't-have-to-feel-guilty-about-not-spending-time-with-the-family). She and I would have conversations along the way, and I became interested - from a mythological/historical/literary point of view - in what she was studying.

The church got a new minister with whom I disagreed on almost everything; members started leaving the church in droves; and my best friend, with whom I'd served on the search committee, was defending the new minister to the point where our friendship ended. I left the church - not formally - just stopped going. And I drifted for a long time.

I eventually became friendly with a woman who had just started getting back into reading tarot and astrological charts, at about the same time that I began to look into the Celtic culture and spirituality. She got me to go with her to a New Moon Meditation group - which I liked ... to begin with. The more we met, though, the more apparent it was to me that one of the women who was leading the group had real control issues. I began to drift away from that group but, in the meantime, had discovered a couple of New Age/Pagan shops, which I visited on a regular basis. Eventually, the owner of one of them invited me to go to a Mabon celebration held by a group that met in her classroom space. I went, liked the people, and continued going for the Sabbats.

We decided that we missed each other on the months when there wasn't a Sabbat, so we decided to get together once a month to read cards for one another, or just to chat. Several of us had also been attending a weekly Monday night meditation group (NOT the New Moon one), but the timing was terrible. We eventually started meeting on a weekly basis (on Sunday nights), to do our own meditations when there wasn't a Sabbat.

I celebrated my first anniversary with the group at Mabon, 2004. Samhain was strange - a cross between a Hallowe'en party and a Samhain ritual. At the end, the High Priestess asked us to stay to observe her "private" ritual. She explained that all of her life she'd been very feminine, and very dependent on the whims and opinions of others. One day she was just fed up, went into a park, and meditated, asking for help. Her answer came from some of the "dark" gods - including Lucifer. Her ritual was pretty tame compared with what she'd led us to believe, but it did disturb some of the members of the group.

As time went on, several of us tried to make suggestions for new things that we might think about doing with meditation or at Ritual. She seemed to go along with it, but ... The BIG CHANGE came at Ostara 2005 - she announced that she was too busy with school (woman in her 40s trying to get in to Nursing School) and that she couldn't run Ritual any more, and that she wouldn't be coming on a weekly basis, but would still come to Rituals. We haven't seen her since. In the meantime, though, our "bucket-of-stuff" - our ritual supplies that we kept at the shop, was raided several times ... objects would disappear and then appear again. And eventually, every birthday gift that any of us had given her at her last birthday ended up back in the bucket.

Starting with Beltane, the group members have been taking turns at planning Rituals - the one exception being Samhain, which we decided had to be a group effort. Things aren't perfect, but we're exploring new techniques (drumming, YEAH! and creating our own incences for meditation and ritual), and we're using different techniques for meditation, etc. We're growing as a group, those some individuals are growing at different paces (as can be expected). We're an eclectic group of people who all do their own things in private but can manage to come together to celebrate in common when we need to. In a few months, it will be year since our former High Priestess left us (we don't have a HP anymore), and we'll re-evaluate where we are, what we've accomplished, and where we'd like to be at the end of the next 12 months.

So, the short answer rolleyes.gif I both celebrate solo and in group!


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Nightchild 
Posted: 11-Nov-2005, 12:54 PM
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That sounds like a fantastic experience smile.gif
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gallesjrrt 
Posted: 11-Nov-2005, 02:05 PM
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well, it's been a LONG experience, at least wink.gif
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Nightchild 
Posted: 11-Nov-2005, 03:29 PM
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Probably that was the way you were meant to travel during this life. smile.gif
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Boadiccea 
Posted: 24-Jan-2006, 06:17 PM
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QUOTE (Shadows @ 15-May-2005, 01:15 PM)
One's magick is personal.

I agree with Shadows, I do all of my work at home in my sacred space, the only occaion on which it do something in public is on samhain when a local coven hold ritual in the park. smile.gif


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gallesjrrt 
Posted: 31-Jan-2006, 08:54 AM
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QUOTE (AyaLove @ 24-Jan-2006, 07:17 PM)
I agree with Shadows, I do all of my work at home in my sacred space, the only occaion on which it do something in public is on samhain when a local coven hold ritual in the park. smile.gif

I've never actually worked in public - just in the company of our ritual group. Some of us from the group are thinking of going to Akasha Con in March - if so, we'll be participating in the drumming circle, at least, as well as doing some of the workshops.

3 of the 5 of us went to an introduction to runes class last week, and we practiced doing readings after our early-Imbolc ritual on Sunday. I think that I was the only one of the group who didn't even get Raidha, which, reversed (the way it came up in all of the readings) means, among other things - no travelling! sad.gif
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