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Coven Offices

Coven Offices

Leadership in a mixed coven:

  1. High Priestess – Coordinates ritual leadership, counseling, teaching, and administration duties, in company with the High Priest. Chief representative of the Goddess energies at rituals. Badge of office: crescent Moon crown or coronet of candles.
  2. High Priest – See above. Chief representative of the God energies at rituals. Badge of office: horned headdress or animal mask.
  3. Maiden – Understudy to the High Priestess, and substitutes for her when necessary. Badge of office may be a simple silver circlet or tiara.
  4. Summoner – Understudy to the High Priest, who substitutes for him when necessary. Main administrative deputy, passing out information, collecting dues, letting people know when to meet and what to bring, etc. Also called the “Man in Black,” “Black Rod,” or “Verdelet.” Badge of office may be a blackthorn staff.

Leadership in an all-woman’s coven:

One pattern: No hierarchy or titles at all: ritual leadership rotates; other jobs are carried out by anyone capable and willing.

Another pattern:

  1. Maiden – Understudy to the Mother, and chief administrative deputy (see Summoner’s duties above)
  2. Mother – Coordinates ritual leadership and administration, guides coven projects and activities. She does not necessarily do these jobs herself always, but has the responsibility to see that they are apportioned fairly and done effectively.
  3. Crone – Chief counselor to the Mother, and does a large share of teaching and individual counseling. May perform divination on questions of concern to the coven. Possibly a former “Mother” or High Priestess, experienced and skilled in magick, herbalism, etc.

For both mixed and single-sex coven:

Council of Elders – A gathering of all the higher-rank initiates in the coven. They may function as advisors to the coven leaders, or may actually set policy, establish the budget etc. In the latter case, coven leaders are essentially executives responsible to the Elders.

Other possible officers in mixed or single-sex covens:

  1. Scribe (secretary) – Keeps minutes of business meetings, handles correspondence under the direction of coven leaders.
  2. Pursewarden (treasurer) – collects dues, keeps accounts, makes purchases, coordinates fund-raising projects.
  3. Archivist (historian) – Keeps the coven Book of Shadows or “Witch Book” up to date, keeps files of coven projects and activities, rituals. These functions may be combined with the Scribe’s job.
  4. Bard (music director) – Collects songs and chants, leads the coven in them, provides musical accompaniment; collects ballads and legends, preserves the old lore and coven history in original songs.
  5. Watchman (sergeant-at-arms) – Assists in initiation rituals; in charge of safety & security at meetings and rituals. Indoors, checks locks and closes curtains; outdoors, finds safe places for rituals and posts sentries to warn off strangers approaching. Sets wards and arranges other magickal protection. Knows laws regarding freedom of religion and assembly, trespass ordinances etc.
  6. Mistress-of, Master-of– (resource persons and teachers) – Any individual who has achieved great competency in a magickal skill may earn this title. They serve as a resource for the coven, and teach others. An initiate may choose to apprentice with any Mistress or Master. Fields:
  • Divinatory Arts (or sub-category, such as Tarot, Astrology, I Ching, Lithomancy, Dreamcraft, Scrying, Radiesthesia etc.)
  • Herbalism (for healing, amulets/talismans, oils, incense)
  • Healing Arts (including herbal healing, psychic healing, aromatherapy, remedies, polarity balancing, healing with stones, color therapy, chakras etc.)
  • Familiar Arts (magickal work with animals, totems, elementals, shape shifting)
  • Talismanic Arts (designing & creating talismans & amulets)
  • Ritual Toolcraft (designing & creating ritual tools)
  • Runecraft (use of magickal alphabets)
  • Necromancy (communication with, or evocation of, the dead)
  • Psychic Skills (astral travel, telepathy, empathy, clairvoyance, clairaudience, telekinesis, teleportation)
  • Incantation (Words of Power, charms, chants, mantras)
  • Fascination (trance work, hypnosis)

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