Frequently Asked Questions…
Everglades Moon Local Council gets occasional inquiries from outsiders looking to connect or learn more about the Craft. There are excellent sets of resources on the Covenant of the Goddess national website for general questions and those seeking teachers, including:
CoG’s “Commonly-Asked Questions, Straightforward Answers” Page
CoG’s “About Witchcraft” Page
CoG’s “A Few Things to Think About When Seeking a Teacher” Page
The Witch’s Voice is another very helpful resource for finding local teachers, groups, events or friends in the Craft/Wiccan community. See http://witchvox.com for more information.
Here are some questions that have come to us that might be the same as yours:
1. I have been researching natural magick, ritual, and Wicca. I would like some more information on your group. I am looking for some kind of direction and learning new skills to enhance my spirituality Please send me more information.
Covenant of the Goddess is an umbrella group for Covens and Solitaries who have already been studying and practicing within the Craft for some time.
There are many paths to choose between. Reading several books may help you clarify your leanings. Occasionally, we know of covens that are opening for a few new students. However, be advised that training, either with a Coven or Solitary Teacher, entails a commitment to hard work. Proximity and personality play a big role in the success of these choices. The more you know about yourself and the Craft, the better you will do. Resources are listed on the “Witches Voice” website, see the link above.
2. How do I connect with a CoG Coven or Members near me?
Some of our groups that present a public face are listed on our website at www.emlc.net. You can write us at em at cog dot org or contact CoG’s National Correspondence Office at info at cog dot org if you don’t live in Florida. Please keep in mind that many CoG groups might not be taking new members. Not every inquiry will result in follow up contact.
In the meantime, become aware of Pagan Festivals within a couple hundred miles of you. The Witches’ Voice (http://www.witchvox.com)also has great resources for finding other Wiccans and Witches and festivals that they put on or attend. Local metaphysical shops often have some flyers or local publications about groups and events, as well. There are a growing number of Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagan groups which are a part of the Unitarian Universalist Congregations. See cuups.org for more information. Connecting is an exercise in networking. Be patient, open, persistent, and honest.
3. What might my first meeting with a Coven be like?
Perhaps you have friends that you do not suspect are in the Craft, and one day they will reach out to you. Alternatively, your first contact might be some sort of interview or meeting. This could be either online or at some neutral location like a restaurant.
The purpose of the exchange would be to determine your seriousness, compatibility and dedication. It would be helpful if you have shown motivation by reading several books on your own. Do not bluff. These people have heard it all before. Take comfort that not every connection will be a good match.
4. What might be expected of me when I join a Coven?
Compatibility with the other members is really important. There will most likely be regular meetings that you will be required to attend. You will be expected to attend all eight Sabbat rituals. You will be taught many things, and you will be expected to be an active participant in your training. The Craft is not a spectator sport. In a coven, you have the benefit of being trained in a tradition that others before you have also practiced, and you have the benefit of the experience of your teachers. You will be expected to respect your teachers. If you do not respect them, you belong somewhere else.
Coven membership involves a serious commitment of time and energy and an entering into community. It is not for everyone. 80% of Craft people are uncovened. On a solitary path, you can build your own network of events, rituals, colleagues, teachers, and mentors.
5. What if I am already established, either in a Coven or as a Solitary?
If you are established, then you understand the need to make yourself known to us over a period of time. The membership section of this website, describes the formal procedure. Informally, get to know us at our regular meetings and then join us in Circle. EMLC meetings are normally open to all who are interested in becoming members. Contact us at em at cog dot org to find out when and where the next one will be.
6. Can you help me with a spell for love, money, or to hex my ex?
When you get into directing energy at other people, you are entering an area of ethical concern. The Three-Fold Law of Return and our belief in personal responsibility guides most Wiccans away from crafting spells for others. What works best is something personal that you have created yourself. Remember that positive steps in the mundane world go a long way in aiding your spellwork.
7. Someone is directing negative energy at me. Can you help?
Most books on Wicca address this problem. You can help yourself. Protection has a lot to do with common sense. Seek positive people. Avoid negative people. Look for a solution in the mundane world first.
8. Can you tell me if x is really an Elder or Minister within CoG?
Elders and Ministers are issued an ID card that includes their mundane name, credential number, and county and state of residence. This card is renewed annually and on the back has a web address and postal mail address in Berkeley, California, where you can request verification.
9. I am looking for Wiccan/Pagan Clergy for a wedding, child blessing, vigil, or memorial. Can you help?
Yes, and when contemplating a handfasting (wedding), there is a big difference between the role of an officiant, who solemnizes the vows and makes the bond legal, and a wedding planner, who arranges everything.
It is very important that you be clear in your expectations and also about time and location. Wiccan clergy tend to have day jobs, lead busy lives, and have a community that they already serve. Contact us to see if we have someone in your area, or someone who would be willing to travel to you. Also, bear in mind that Ministers of Wicca, like any other Minister, may ask to be recompensed for their time and energy.
10. I am doing a term paper, research study, master’s thesis on Witchcraft, and I am looking for people to interview and observe.
Some people within the Craft might be willing to participate. They would ask that you respect their anonymity and practices. They might not want their words to be used against them in negative public relations. Please demonstrate your sincerity, and we will ask around.
11. Our condominium social director would like to bring a bus of 60 senior citizens over for their monthly outing to see a Wiccan Ritual.
While some of the member groups in CoG or Everglades Moon occasionally hold circles open to members outside of their group, none of our groups in Florida are current doing rituals as form of public outreach or interfaith education. Additionally, our religion is very participatory and, therefore, not designed for observers.
12. Can anyone give me information on how to apply for the COG credentials as Clergy? I looked at the COG main site and could not find any links to the necessary paperwork for me to fill out.
Minister and Elder Credentials are only available to members, so if you are not already a member of CoG, you would need to pursue that first. Please see our membership page for more information. If you are a CoG member, then please contact the current Membership Officer, who will be happy to help you with that process.
13. I most certainly need to speak to another Pagan/Wiccan, because I went to see a “regular” therapist, and I didn’t get much past…”Well, I’ve had this huge falling-out with my coven over the interpretation of the Wiccan Rede.” before she was on the phone to my doctor recommending I be “Baker Acted” and put on Zyprexa and Haldol.
It is important that you shun unwholesome relationships. For me, the Wiccan Rede includes a provision for self-defense, although I am still responsible for my choices and resulting Karma. If third parties are offering to Baker Act you, perhaps a little time in a meditation group would be well spent?