We recently celebrated Imbolic, and I personally have been trying to get in touch with a local coven that I have heard so many good and positive things about. So it begins like this...
I was first introduced to Laurel-Grove-Wiccan-Circle by word of mouth first by a friend, who is part of a paranormal group, then by my daughter. I've always been the one to believe that if it keeps coming back to you, or that if it is a continued thought that there is a reason, so I began to take a closer look at what would be involved in this coven. Imbolic came and I was sent an invitation to attend. Yay a perfect opportunity to get to know the group. Totally thrilled and not knowing a thing, except for a few names, and what to wear,, Yes we had cloths on, but to be honest that was one of my concerns, it's my understanding that some covens are skyclad, another policy of mine is if you dont know ask. lol.
I was pleasantly surprised by the group of people I met, and was immediately treated like family. I was greeted with warm hello's Merry Meet's and Blessed Be's, and was put to work almost as fast. I loved it! I also asked a lot of questions. I suppose anyone would. The first one was is there a formal ritual or initiation into the coven, and the answer was no, that some do that, and it's a matter of preference between coven families. There purpose is to be part of the community as witch's offering what ever is needed to help other witch's or the community as a whole. For the most part we only gather for holidays, But have started doing other things inside the communities to teach not only other witch's about witch stuff,, but also to teach people about us, that we are not to be feared. We are in the process of doing what is called workshops where for a very small cost you can learn how to make your own runes, or jewelry with magic intent. All of which you keep when the the workshop is done. They also offer at no cost for Gardnerians wicca training. It was Gerald Gardner who made it his policy to never charge for education, or spiritual improvement. He also firmly place "with harm to none" in his conduct of teaching. At that the discover of nature and all her mysteries should be a shared practice. So basically in my experience, it's totally to coven. I found my experience to be more of an outdoor church, that would be the actual ritual, which was conducted with all manners and behaviors that you would have in a church, such as dont leave the circle, or do not speak unless you are invited to. After the ritual was when the real fun began, for myself It felt similar to a fellowshipping just like you would have after a church service, only way more fun. We ate cakes that where prepared for the ritual, and for those of us who dont drink where offered herbal tea's, or punch for ale. It was a really great experience and one that I intend to continue, as the friendships there can become very special. To me coven means family and friends. This is just my experience if you have a chance to find your own,, I reccemend it, but would also suggest asking questions, and learning what you can about what ever coven you choose before becoming involved.
Blessed Be with love and light. Lady Kane