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Are Coven Organizations Dead?

By Frater Barrabbas Tiresius

I have been a Witch for over 40 years, and I have seen the various traditions of Witchcraft grapple and deal with inter-personal issues occurring within and outside of the group organization called the “coven.” I have been a High Priest for a few covens, an elder, and a member of others. I have witnessed a lot of abuses and experienced the terrible consequences of investing authority in individuals who are either too flawed or incompetent to lead, or too unscrupulous to trust. Perhaps I have been unlucky with the covens of which I have been a member or leader, and certainly there were cherished moments that I experienced in all of them, even the ones that went seriously off the rails.

I also believe that I am an ethical and responsible person, but as a human being with the all too typical weaknesses, I am liable to be manipulated and made a fool of just like everyone else. I have no lust for power over others, no hidden agenda or passive aggressive impulses, and I don’t feel the calling to either lead or control people within a hierarchical organization. These days my only interest is sharing what I know and what I can experience with others magically and liturgically. I don’t belong to a coven and I have no plans for forming one either. Still, I consider myself to be a Witch, and I believe that you can be a competent Witch without having to belong to a coven.

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