Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

July/August 2014 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Coven

This article was written by John Michael Greer on April 01, 2005
posted under Coven

In Scottish folklore and modern Pagan practice, a group of Witches. The traditional number of members in a coven is thirteen, and Margaret Murray, whose writings on medieval Witchcraft were a major source for modern Wicca, insisted that this was an absolute rule. The medieval evidence does not support her claim, however, as groups of thirteen are hard to find in any pre-Murray discussions of Witchcraft lore of the Witch trials.

The word coven is a Scots English version of convent or conventicle, and simply means "gathering." It appears in the records of a few Scottish Witchcraft trials, and was taken from those sources by Murray.

In modern Wicca and many other Pagan traditions, the coven is the basic unit of organization, and consists of three or more people who meet at least often enough to celebrate the eight Sabbats. While thirteen is considered the optimum number of members, this requirement is usually honored in the breach, and covens range in size from three members to twenty or more. In most Wiccan traditions, the leadership of a coven is centered in the High Priestess, who may or may not share her authority with a High Priest. Other officers include a Maiden, who is female and assists the High Priestess, and a Summoner or Guardian, who is male and assists the High Priest; these positions are often held by members in training to become High Priestesses or High Priests themselves.

In western ceremonial magick, there is often a tendency to view a magickal operation as something that is at odds with the natural order of the universe. This is very much the core of the western mindset, where nature is something external to oneself to be "conquered." Human individuality and the Will of the magician are thought to be somehow... read this article
Casting a Circle for Clairvoyant Readings
The Moon and Rainfall
6 Truths About Enlightenment
High Magick & Initiatic Orders
Planetary Meridians: 10 Gateways to Empowered Intuition

Most recent posts:
Treatment Vs. Self-Medication
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Jean-Louis de Biasi, author of Secrets and Practices of the Freemasons, The Divine Arcana of the Aurum...

Cards of Endings
In tarot, many cards seem to share meanings, or at least aspects of meanings. For beginners this can be frustrating. One way I encourage people to...

Llewellyn Titles Win 2014 COVR Awards
The annual COVR (Coalition of Visionary Retailers) awards were announced this weekend at INATS in Denver. Two Llewellyn titles won 2014 COVR Awards,...




Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar
82nd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide
Complete Astrology At-A-Glance

By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2014 Herbal Almanac Llewellyn's 2014 Herbal Almanac
Herbs for Growing & Gathering, Cooking & Crafts, Health & Beauty, History, Myth & Lore

By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Sun Sign Book Llewellyn's 2015 Sun Sign Book
Horoscopes for Everyone!

By: Kim Rogers-Gallagher
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2015 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $13.95 CAN