Excuse me all for this but as a re-"new" learner I thought it would be good to touch on this subject as I think many new learners may want a solid answer to this question.
I hope I don't offend anyone with my beliefs and if I am out of order moderators just chat with me and ask me to edit this post and I would be happy to do so.
I believe we're all spirits that live through more than one body and I believe magic is within everyone and everything and it is just a matter of first becomming aware of its existance, believing in its existance, learning to blend with it, then encouraging it to bend to your will.
All of these steps however, require only 1 ONE, person. They do not require a coven or a mentor or any outside party. I see other users as people to discuss and learn with however I don't from this site see them in their truest form I don't believe. For me to trust someone intimately to "teach" or "lead" me or to "learn" deeply from others I have always felt I need to "meet" or "see" them or be 100% guided to them. I have read many of the "newbie" posts and suggestions, some have said they went to a coven right away to learn as much as possible. My question how ever is, "who are you learning from?". Do you have the same energy, the same senses, the same goals or desires? Is the internet face they show really their face? or is it something completely different? I want to learn intensly!!!! really really really I do... but... I want to learn from one who is in tune with my spirit. Has the same goals, beliefs or magic background.
Therefore the question, "To Coven or Not To Coven" quickly comes to the forefront. I believe there are many many people here that are true sponges for the information that many experienced users have here, but how to appropriately attain that information for Each Individual User is a question I don't see answered. The common answer I see is go study... yes... I know this. How to choose who to study and who to accept for most new people is a truly important question that should be answered.
I don't feel any coven for anyone who is just starting out is right. Just a personal belief. I think one should "know thyself" first, "know thy energy", and "know the energy of magic first and the energy of the magic that best suits themselves first... Far far far before joining a coven to "teach" them.
I put this post here because I want the question answered, and I think many new people would also benifit greatly from the answers provided, by those more knowledgeble than I at this present point in this present body.
Covens on this site are wonderful for some and others do not fit in the social and other outlets a coven offers. The covens on this site is groups for people to learn and share information. I believe anyone who is in the right mind can join no matter where on thier path they are.
A coven also helps us with finding ourself to know we are not alone to know that people have or are going throuigh what they are going through. This site has so many members and due to this covens on this site allow us to find a personal connection with a group that may fit us.
People are more likely to assist those in their coven before others due to knowing them and knowing they are part of something they are both achieving. You have covens that are known for elemental magic you have covens known for the left hand path and so much more. The coven we pick on here might not fit us but we find out what we need to learn from it. I do not see me belonging to certain covens due to my ideals.
And some covens do great for begginners. And some covens do great for those with years of experience. Others do good in both.
Great thread and glad to see everyone's opinions. I love SOM, glad I became a member, Not new to this life but new to this SOM. I have always wanted to join a coven for more ritual reasons. My geographical location just does not allow for it. I am alone where I live, the others simply do not wish to or are not ready to step out of the broom closet.
I was excited to see the covens on SOM. Having an online coven is the second best thing to the real deal, at least for me. I often go to the covens info pages and read all about them. Unfortunately, Even though there are many to choose from, I can't seem to find one that I feel is a perfect fit for me. Some are close but they list things that I am not seeking. Others are closer but stop short of all I seek.
I feel if I pick one that is "kind of" close, It is not being true to myself. I have also already been invited to join covens on SOM but again, They just were not where I feel I belong. I feel I would be doing myself a disservice as well as the coven I joined if I just picked one that was "close enough".
So for now, I will remain solitary and keep my eyes open for any new covens that start to see if they are for me. I will continue to read other covens info and their practices often to see if I end up seeing things differently and my feelings have changed to where I feel they are the right fit.
I do not feel I need to join a coven, just for a status symbol and strongly suggest others to not do so either. Especially for those new to this, It is often exciting to rush through things to get your "status" faster. Don't enjoy your journey. That is after all, what this is all about. Personal growth. If you do decide to join, take your time when looking through them and match yourself up almost as you would a group of friends you hang out with or even a significant other. You want to have lots of things in common. Afterall, The coven will become just as close and you need to feel completely comfortable within it to be able to open yourself up to others and continue your growth within your craft and yourself.
It is also okay to stay alone and absorb all you can being solitary. There is a vast wealth of information that you can get without a coven. To each their own, Only you know what is right.
Well! It is my experience that lots of people want to join a Coven but when they do, they do not contribute to it in any way. This makes it very difficult to make it an exciting place to be, especially when I find that I am talking to myself.
On the other hand, I am learning lots, I am pretty much a Solitaire anyway, so learning by myself is not a problem.