The ‘Flexible Coven’ Concept for Solitary Witches and Pagans

The ‘Flexible Coven’ Concept for Solitary Witches and Pagans January 23, 2019

I’ve been involved in a couple of established covens; however, over the years, they fell apart.  As a solitary practitioner, I’ve found that I miss having a spiritual community.  To remedy that, I’ve come up with something that I call the ‘flexible coven’ concept.

flexible coven witch friends pagan wicca
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What is this magical ‘flexible coven?’  Is it a bunch of witches who do yoga together? 

Maybe, but not necessarily. 

A flexible coven is a group of friends who are pagans, polytheists, or witches.  These people are all out of the broom closet with each other, and they practice magic or energy work in some form with each other.

Sometimes, your flexible coven is just you and your bestie in the woods.  Other times, it’ll will be you and three hundred people at a big pagan gathering ritual.  Your flexible coven can even be made of strangers in a facebook group who’ll light a candle for you or send you some healing energy if you ask for it.

 

“Psst! While we’re hanging out, do you want to do something for the first quarter moon tonight?” “Absolutely!” CC0

Your flexible coven size will change depending on what you need, when you need it, and who can provide it.  People can cycle in and out, depending on their availability and willingness to do the work.

The flexible coven concept is a good solution for solitary witches and pagans who need community just as much as people in established covens.  Even if some solitaries are introverts, once they’re out and about, they often still relish the opportunity to feel something bigger than themselves with other people.

pagan gathering event social introvert introversion wiccan festival
Photo courtesy of Pixabay, CC0

There are a few potential downsides to the flexible coven, of course!  With ephemeral people, it’s possible that no lasting relationships will be formed.  It’s also possible that you’ll be working with someone of a different belief system; or someone who is not as advanced as you (or way more advanced).  The flexible coven has no established traditions, so there’s bound to be variability in methods and mannerisms.  There will also be flakes who won’t show up because there are no ties that bind them to any group.

But there are upsides, too; the biggest of which is magical community.  When two or more people get together, something changes.  If everyone is earnest in their workings of the magic, the energy they share can escalate faster than by one person alone.  You can also draw on the wisdom of others and learn from them.  The flexible coven is also how leaders are born — leaders who see a need for someone to take the reins, and do it.  It gives them informal practice so that they can decide if leadership is a path for them.  Having a flexible coven removes the pressure to show up at a certain time and place, and gives people more freedom to decide what they want to do with their time.

Your flexible coven could even include your cat! Photo of the author, all rights reserved.

To start up your flexible coven, add your spiritual or witchcraft work to existing friendships.  It’s really easy to do some herb magic, a candle spell, or a quick banishing.  Use your intuition to do whatever feels right.  This not only gives you more magical support in the moment; it can also deepen a friendship into something more meaningful.

If you’re a solitary, does this concept work for you?  Do you already do something like this with your friends?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

Bright blessings, as always!

~ Align with Starlight Witch ~

Intuitive Witchcraft: How To Use Intuition to Elevate Your Craft

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About Astrea
Astrea is the author of Intuitive Witchcraft: How To Use Intuition To Elevate Your Craft (Llewellyn Worldwide). She also leads the fire dancing group Aurora Fire and stirs up magic for the Blessed Be Box, the service that ships a "ritual in a box" with all vegan and cruelty-free items. You can read more about the author here.
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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Brianne Raven Wolf

    I liked the article and shared it. Quite an interesting idea. I’ve never been part of any coven in person, but was “sorta in” one on FB near where I live..but they rarely got together and disbanded the FB and actual coven a few months ago. So by this idea, then I’m part of a large coven at Circle Sanctuary and an even larger one at PSG. Works for me!!

  • Amy Krinner

    I have been the HPS of a non traditional coven for over 20 years. We started out simple. We were solitaries who gathered together for full moons and Sabbats, but most of our other work was done alone. As years passed and our numbers swelled (over 60 members at one point), we got more traditional. We included a loose degree system. It worked for a while, but got too complicated. We recently downsized and now we are back to our roots. We are solitaries who come together when we can for a group experience. We have a basic ritual format we use since everyones solitary practice is different. Honestly, I feel our group is healthier now and the participants are happier. Sometimes simple is best.

  • Rhonda Lang

    I like this. I definitely feel at home in a flexible coven.

  • Shion Flame

    I started out in a coven that was similar to this description. Years later when I separated from the coven and began working within formal groups. Some of these groups yielded closer bonds. For example, while working on military base (substituting) for the standing officer that was teaching the craft academically, I was provided the opportunity over a duration of time to get to know many individuals. I later began working with three of these individuals in a private “flexible” coven that developed between us. We never used the word “flexible” but it was indeed that -adding people by majority vote and agreeing to limitations and other concepts that bonded us as practitioners. Prior to that, other groups that became small covens may have included 12 or 14 but usually 4 or 5 of us had a closer bond developing into what is sometimes referred to as “inner” and “outer” circles. I’ve been solitary for about five years now while mentoring students that come to me from time to time. I still find myself involved with groups but I find “flexible” covens tend to stand the test of time and have the possibility (when dissolving) to end in such a way that practitioners still share a bond while treading out and about on their own (such is the case with many of my friends who are scattered like leaves in the wind” across the United States now. If I were to go back to flexible covens, I doubt I’d work beyond 8 people.

  • kenofken

    Probably the best coven I ever had was a flexible one of sorts. It was really at the core a coven of two. I partnered with a priestess who shared a similar vision for what she wanted in a new coven. We had a sort of “outer court” of friends and family, not all of who were formally Pagan, and we threw some wonderful holiday events on the Sabbats. The rest of the time, we mostly worked as a pair and had some wonderful workings for a number of years.