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The word Coven was originally a late medieval Scots word meaning a gathering of any kind, from the Latin root word convenire meaning to come together or to gather, which also gave rise to the English word convene. The first recorded use of it being applied to witches comes much later, from 1662 in the witch-trial of Isobel Gowdie, which describes a coven of 13 members. Due to the word's association with Witches, a gathering of Wiccans, followers of the witchcraft-based pagan religion of Wicca, is described as a Coven.
In Wicca and other similar forms of modern Witchcraft, such as Gardenarian, Alexandiran, Stregheria and Feri Witchcraft, a coven is a gathering or community of witches, much like a congregation in Christian parlance. It is composed of a group of believers who gather together for ceremonies of worship such as Drawing Down the Moon, or celebrating the Sabbats.
The number of persons involved may vary; from three to thirteen, two would usually be referred to as a working couple, many believe that a coven larger than thirteen is unwieldy, citing unwieldy group dynamics and an unfair burden on the leadership. With the average size of a coven usually fluctiuation arround five members, one may find it interesting to observe one member for each point on a pentagram.
When a coven has grown too large to be manageable, it may split, or "hive". This may also occur when a newly made High Priest or High Priestess, also called 3rd Degree ordination, leaves to start their own coven. Wiccan covens are generally jointly led by a High Priestess and a High Priest, though some are led by only one or the other. In more recent forms, covens are sometimes run as democracies with a rotating leadership.
The most commonly asked questions in regards to any Coven, usually reflect on the High Priestess, some of these questions have already been resolved in the above paragraphs however you may like to see them addressed again are:
Our High Priestess fills the roll of guiding the actions of the Coven, aranging meetings, finding dates for events we should attend, and mediating when needed. Like a mother who-ever fills the roll of High Priestess among us does not always have final say, but aids us in coming to a consensus, while taking the concerns and hesitations of all into account.
- What is the position of the High Priest/ess in relationship to the rest of the circle?
- Are they the kind of leader who dictates to everyone what they will do and how they will act?
- Do they listen to the concerns of others in the group?
- Are they respected but equal with the rest in the site of the Gods?
- Does the HP/HPS have enough knowledge of what they are doing to facilitate?
On occasion when action is needed we take the initiative, like with establishing this website. It had long ago been determined that we should, but funding and time, as well as all other matters kept delaying it. Finally Echo stepped forward and instead of paying her annual Coven Dues for 2007 she dropped the funds into a domain name and started scripting, making a general announcement to the Coven and taking a survey on what topics should be covered online. Taking the "When" "How" and "Cost" out of the equation, there was no further delay on productivity.
Echo's decision in making SilverMoonCrow.com her contribution to the Coven for the year, wasn't disputed by anyone and receivd many responses of "Its about time." Supported by the group including the High Priestess with the offering of much valued feed back. Macha regarded the decision for the betterment of the Silver Moon Crow Coven. With rituals devided evenly among us from writing to conducting we are all very much equals, under the guiding influence of whomever our High Priestess is for that year.
Being part of a close-knit coven can be a marvelous experience. I am as close to some of my fellow coven members as I am to my blood kin. This is the way it is supposed to feel. Sometimes it is just luck to find a group like this, but careful preparation in advance can help the odds in finding one. Remember it is better to continue as a solitary that to join with a group who does not help you meet your spiritual needs.
You could once have found the Silver Moon Crow Coven nestled in the quiet, yet growing community of Tooele, UT. The group was established in late April of 1997 and was the first Coven in the Valley to come out of the Broom Closet. The groups members have changed over time, new blood in and old blood out. Numbers reaching nine people or more, but today we consist of the original five founding members and two families. Though as time marches on and life brings new journeys and changes the majority of the Coven relocated to south western Michigan in late 2016.
As a small group we don’t have the capacity to fill all the roles we need filled, so we operate on a uniquely Tribal level, with the position of High Priest or Priestess changing ownership every October. Each of the five original members makes a unique contribution to the group, as we come from all walks of life.
In memory of those who once shared our path.
Banshee - A second generation American hailing from Ireland. Her was father L.A.P.D. raised during the turbulent middle of the 20th century; she saw her mother commit suicide, has been married three times, with three children. Seen her oldest off on a church Mission. Helped her daughter excel in academics and the arts. Buriing her youngest child, the victim of a Hit and Run, at the tender age of seven years.
Macha - Banshee’s sister has made it her life’s work to be there for her sister and family. Born with “The Sight” as her Irish grandfather called it, Macha has the unique ability to see into a situation in ways that others could not. Macha has had a life long struggle against cronic depression and finds solace in the Coven. Having filled the role of both Seer and Arch-Druid for a regional Druid Grove, Macha was our most recent High Priestess.
Angwon - Banshee’s daughter, she has seen a lot in her life, from witnessing her younger brother’s Hit and Run to the death of her father. Angwon can sing anything, play the piano, and has landed on the podium in almost ever 4-H rodeo our little valley had to offer as a Teen. She has seen friends through suicide attempts, pregnancy, and drug over-doses. And filled the positions of Seer and Bard for a regional Druid Grove and is currently serving as our High Priestess.
BrackenWolf - A life long spiritualist and philosopher, with experience ranging from a Jet Engine mechanic in the USAF during Vietnam, two marriages, raising 5 children, the deaths of both his sisters, and a grandson to SIDS, as well as the recent loss of both parents. Bracken Wolf has more than three decades of experience as an Astrologer contributing to our Astrology Page. Always available for a “Long Talk” as long as its not over the phone.
Echo - Bracken Wolf’s only daughter and a life long spiritualist. She is impatient and has the attention span of a gnat, but she has no trouble dedicating hours to writing rituals, or acting as administrator for SilverMoonCrow.com. She brings an earthy practicality and Business Degree to the group, and will let you yell at her for just about anything without saying a word in response.
Sesen - The neweset Initiate of the Silver Moon Crow Coven dedicated in 2011 just after completing Boot Camp and AIT with the United States Army. While away from home at Fort Campbell Kentucky or on her deployment to Afganistan Sesen is with us in spirit and handling her life lessons right along side thelessons of her craft.