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Forums -> Wicca -> Ask A High Priestess

Ask A High Priestess
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 1

I have been a practicing Wiccan for over 30 years and High Priestess of a coven and then of a Wiccan Tradition since 1996. I thought I would start this thread as a place where those who have questions about Wicca, about being a High Priestess, or about what it's like to be in a real-life coven could ask me about it. I'll be happy to try to clarify anything you aren't sure about.

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Re: Ask A High Priestess
By: / Novice
Post # 2
As a solitary practitioner of Wicca since I began, this is the kind of thread I've been looking for. I have only the smallest clue as to how an actual Wiccan coven works, I've never even had the chance to visit someone else's circle, only my own. I've only gone as far as having one other person present in my circle, as the working was from them. I have a huge problem with people wanting to attend, but these people I've declined, for the fact I didn't feel they would take it seriously. I do have some people who are curious about it, and have even borrowed a few of my books on the basics, but then I find myself with a case of stage fright. (Though being alone I have no problem whatsoever communing.)

Coming from a small town, pretty much in the Bible belt of good old Missouri, there are little to none involved in the craft. Though I do take a group to an old cemetery to explore with no problem, "ghost hunting" is quite a bit different than an actual circle.

So, I guess my questions involve how to get out of my stage fright shell, and what would be a better approach to bringing in the curious ones.
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Re: Ask A High Priestess
By:
Post # 3
I have a question what if i am confused about the different traditions of wicca.Their is just lots of confusion over the different path because i am not so decisive to accept a certain tradition and initiate further.
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Re: Ask A High Priestess
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 4

teen_maiden, first things first. If you are under the legal age (18 in most states) then no reputable coven will accept you as a member because of legal considerations. So you do have some time to investigate some of the myriad Traditions of Wicca that are out there.

But, when looking for a coven, what is important isn't what Tradition that coven is part of as much as it is important that the coven feel like a family to you. Even if you think you'd like to follow a particular Tradition you might find that the closest coven of that Tradition to you isn't a good fit in terms of personalities, leadership styles, meeting times, etc.

When checking out a coven or Tradition, and I always recommend that Seekers do this before they commit to joining any group, I would talk to other Wiccans in the community to see what sort of reputation the group has. In addition, if there are any open circles or festivals near you this becomes a great place to meet with others belonging to covens in your area and getting to know them better. Do they seem to know what they are doing? Are they open to questions? Do they seem like people with whom you wish to join in a coven family? Whatever you do, don't just jump at the first coven you come across even if is the only local group there is.

There is an excellent discussion of British Traditional Wicca and its varied Traditions at http://www.newwiccanchurch.org/articles/btwfaq.htm I happen to be Gardnerian and I am happy to talk in generalities about British Traditional Wicca; however, much of the information about that Tradition is oath-bound and not revealed until one is initiated.

But there are hundreds of other Wiccan Traditions which are not considered British Traditional Wicca. Some of them are also initiatory and oath-bound. Some are very eclectic, do not require initiation, and are willing to talk about any of their practices even to non-members. It would literally be no way to tell you about all of these as each is very different.

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Re: Ask A High Priestess
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 5

Tethaia,

Forming and running a successful coven can be a challenging and difficult thing to do. But it can also be very rewarding. However, understand that the average life span of most covens is under four years. I was fortunate to successfully run a coven for 12 years and to leave behind three successful daughter covens.

There are a couple of books that I'd suggest and some websites you would probably find useful as well. You can find them on my former coven's website at http://www.tangledmoon.org/covenleaders.htm In particular take a look at my article on starting a successful magical group. And do read the books "Covencraft" by Amber K and "Wicca Covens" by Judy Harrow.

You might want to try to attend any open rituals or Pagan festivals near you. One of the best is Heartland Festival which isn't all that far away from you. These festivals are attended by a variety of coven leaders and can be a great resource for information on how they go about leading a group.

Given your stage fright and your concern over the lack of true interest in those around where you live I would suggest putting off starting a formal coven at this time. Instead, start out with either offering a Wicca 101 class or starting a study group. A study group is less structured and puts less pressure on you. Use this to weed out the simply curious from those who want to learn more. Later, if you find you have a core of people who want to continue to practice together you may realize that you have the beginnings of an actual coven and want to formalize the group by giving it a name and doing some form of dedication for the group and for the members.

As part of the study group I would suggest including covering the Wheel of the Year and what the various Sabbats represent. Then you can engage in some appropriate crafts and activities and perhaps a simple, celebratory ritual. A good book for suggestions on various season activities is "Circle Round" by Starhawk. I'd also suggest "Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon" and "Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Samhain to Ostara" both by Ashleen O'Gaea.

Hope this helps give you some ideas for starters. Don't hesitate to pick my brain at any time.

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Re: Ask A High Priestess
By:
Post # 6
Thanks lark for answering my question.I could assure you that i am of legal age and thats why i wanted to inquire about traditions and covens.I am working solitary now and look forward to join a coven.
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Re: Ask A High Priestess
By: / Novice
Post # 7
Thank you so much, Lark. I really appreciate it. I'll look into those books.
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Re: Ask A High Priestess
By:
Post # 8
Hi lark my question is an athame only an athame if it is black handled. I based this question off a bad source (Wikipedia) but I am recently writing about tools in my book of shadows and didn't want to mix them up.

Also is a boline only a boline if its white handled.

My last question is what should I call my athame if I dosent have a black or white handle? Can I call it anything I want?

If you are wondering where I got this from here is a link

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athame

Its in the first paragraph, thanks!

Peace be with you and brighter blessings! :D
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Re: Ask A High Priestess
By: Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 9

There are two answers to your questions about the athame and the boline.

First of all we'll talk about what they were traditionally and what they remain within British Traditional Wicca.

In Traditional Wicca the athame is always a double-edged, straight blade with a black handle while the Boline is a curved blade with a white (or light) colored handle). You can see a picture of the athames that my husband made for myself and for himself at http://www.tangledmoon.org/Athames.jpg And there are some pictures of typical bolines at http://www.wicca-chat.com/tools.htm

The athame is never used to cut physical objects. It is used as a focus for the Wiccan to direct energy and to "cut" through energy blockages to manifest the magic user's Will. On the other hand, the boline is used for various things such as cutting herbs, carving sigils into candles, etc.

The second answer applies if you are not part of a Traditional Wiccan group.

While the function or the athame and the boline remain the same if one is not a member of a Traditional Wiccan practice, the shape and color are of less importance. If you are working as a Solitary or as a member of an eclectic group then the tools can be of any color or shape that works for you. They would still be referred to as an athame or boline. As an example, when I was first working as a Solitary, my boline was a short kitchen knife with a light colored (but not white) handle.

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Re: Ask A High Priestess
By:
Post # 10
Thank you again for answering my silly questions lark!
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