View Poll Results: Do you prefer a solitary or coven environment? Are you practicing differently?

Voters
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  • I prefer and practice coven involvement

    17 6.91%
  • I prefer and practice being solitary

    117 47.56%
  • I prefer solitary involvement but practice in a coven

    5 2.03%
  • I prefer coven involvement but practice solitary involvement

    25 10.16%
  • Unsure; I have never experienced coven involvement, but would like to try it.

    82 33.33%
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Thread: Solitary or Coven?

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citana View Post
    Of those who have been involved in a group environment, but no longer are due to group dynamics, "bs," etc. I would like to know what had originally attracted you to a group environment, and if that would still bring you to a group if those negative dynamics weren't an issue, basically, if you found a group that fit.
    Hmm, I wonder if some aren't cheating themselves of the coven/group experience by holding out for a "perfect fit" rather than a fit that's close enough to work with? When my first group broke apart and then reformed, the dynamics changed and became too rigid for me to work with. Sadly, I don't do well with solitary practice and felt really lost for quite a while.

    I searched far and wide for another group to join, rejecting one group that felt it was necessary to follow the government formula for a "church", and rejecting another that seemed to want to stamp out all individuality, making everyong in the group a clone of the leaders. Then I found a group with a good heart and spirit. The leader and I bumped heads a few times as I actually had more training and experience than she did, but she was willing to take on the role of leader and I was not ready at that time.

    So... not a perfect fit, but I was able to work with them and was motivated to learn more and developed a close bond with most of the group members. Nearly six years later, several of us are still together, been over some bumps and through some potholes, and we don't agree on everything. But we might become complacent if we didn't challenge each other's beliefs and prejudices every now and then, eh?
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  2. #22
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    Since a big part of choosing a "path" for me is deciding whether it's a cultural force or system that I want to participate in (and some perfectly nifty and valuable religions will not be), it would be hard for me to answer that question without observing and interacting with a group of people in a religious context.

    Certainly coven practice is not objectively better than solitary practice. It just happens to be what helps me answer this important question.
    "There are mighty few people who think what they think they think." Robert Henri

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lunacie View Post
    ...been over some bumps and through some potholes, and we don't agree on everything. But we might become complacent if we didn't challenge each other's beliefs and prejudices every now and then, eh?
    This is well put. There is not magic number, or group that will materialize because you have a particular ideal you want to form. Of course you need to be able to mesh at least well enough to work together, and BOND is a key element. Many approach group workings with a very non-commital air about the subject. But if you want to work in a group successfully, everyone has to have a certain level of commitment and desire for the group to function, and faith in the others within the group.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]It's all in your head......... No, Really. I promise it.

  4. #24
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    as I said in your other poll, Im a bit of both, I practice solitary but also work with a coven
    but more often.. I prefer working alone
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MonSno_LeeDra View Post
    I wonder if your results will not be schewed by the usuage of the word "Coven" as a descriptor? When I hear the word I tend to think of a Wiccan or Witchcraft inspired grouping.
    We use the word coven in my tradition, but we are not Wiccans. Though we do not always use the term, we do think of ourselves as "witches" in a sense, though we do not worship a Goddess. Since the European witch hysterias have particularly influenced our teleology, we see no reason why we shouldn't use the term, but some people I have met have claimed that we have no right to it (baloney). Is there a better, more general term that pagans can use for group worship, other than "coven"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Invidosa View Post
    Actually, I would have to say “other”

    I run a small coven, very close knit family type group. We celebrate the holidays together, and participate in group learning, share resources, and I am available for consultation at any time, (and am frequently consulted) but most of our “working” is done in a solitary fashion. Unless it’s something major, or outside of the depth of one member. Full/New moons are spent working alone more often then not, but we do get together once a month to share information and work on whatever project we have going (we try to keep the cupboard well stocked, so we get together to mix teas, prepare candles etc.)
    Yup that's pretty much what we are like too, we get together for holidays and stuff but on the whole we're usually solitary more often than not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Citana View Post
    sorry about the confusion on the word choice.

    There's not enough room in each selector to have done "coven/group" each time I stated "coven," unfortunately, and since there is a plethora of ways people define their 'groups,' it seemed at the time that "coven" was the most generic term on my mind (I have had people prefer I don't use the term 'group,' as it denotes a lesser than spiritual gathering, or implies something sexual in nature). And so, there it is. Sorry for the confusion again, I will see what I can do about that. I'll post another thread re: what your group is referred to as.

    Most people who respond will know what I am referring to though, hopefully, and is why I clarified it by my original statement/post when I started the thread.

    Thanks for the feedback though! It's been great so far!
    Unfortunately I don't think you really could have chosen a better word than "coven," I mean I certainly understand your choice of words here. But maybe there is a better word out there that I am not able to think of right now.
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  6. #26
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    I prefer solitary because I'm not huge on people and groups. Plus, I've been on this path for awhile now and it'll be difficult to find a group that encompasses most of my beliefs.
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  7. #27
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    I do my daily practice and other "big projects" (currently my Elemental Attunement) solitary. Esbats and Sabbats I share with my "twoven" - that's myself and my wife. We're starting to get together around Sabbats also with two friends of ours, and I'm not sure how that's going to evolve. To this point, they've just been getting together for some good food and wine and chatting about what the season means to us. I think folks are leaning towards getting a bit more structured, but we're wary of becoming "a coven." Not that we have anything against covens per se, but we've experienced them before, and that level of structure would not work so well for us.

    I love doing both; it provides an excellent system of checks and balances. When I work on my own, I can do whatever, say whatever (out loud or in my head), experience whatever, without having to check myself for whether I'm upsetting anyone or putting an undue burden on the group. But meeting with the group (even when "the group" is just my wife) semi-regularly gives me an opportunity to check myself and make sure that being left to my own devices hasn't sent me down a destructive, unproductive, or completely whack-a-doodle path.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citana View Post
    Of those who have been involved in a group environment, but no longer are due to group dynamics, "bs," etc. I would like to know what had originally attracted you to a group environment, and if that would still bring you to a group if those negative dynamics weren't an issue, basically, if you found a group that fit.
    I was in a coven for almost a year, but had practiced on my own for 6 years up to that. And yes it was the bs of consensus vs. what the high priestess wants consensus to decide. The coven I was in was for people who wanted a hierarchy, but I had already been solitary and my practice is somewhat impromtu. However I do like working with groups, I like the group energy. Fortunately I live in a witch friendly area so it's easy to find groups I can go to as I desire or blow it off without criticism.

    In the long run, I think it's better I did leave the coven because it allowed me to be friendly with the high priestess because she is very good just not my cup of tea.

  9. #29
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    I prefer to work with a group. I feel more comfortable doing rituals in a group setting. Sometimes [if I feel in the mood] I'll do small rituals on my own.


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  10. #30
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    I'm generally indifferent to working solitary or with a coven. Some covens are pretty awesome and are wonderful fun to be a part of for a laundry list of reasons. Some covens are ... highly ineffective and tend towards being counterproductive, at best. (Yeah, I'm doing my best to be diplomatic right now. I'm not sure if members of that coven which I got into a rather huge argument are about here or not and I don't want it to get dragged into here.) As a solitary, it can be wonderful but it can also be very lonely.

    *shrugs*

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