Wiccan covens are a popular topic as more and more people are getting involved in the Wiccan religion along with their witchcraft practice. Sure, plenty of people get along fine as a solitary Wiccan but there is something special about being part of a group. So if you are interested in Wiccan covens, here is what you need to know.
What is a Coven?
A coven really is just a group of people who gather regularly for rituals, study and even socializing. A Wiccan coven may or may not have 13 people in it, and they may or may not wear long black robes (and yes, some may operate in the nude). Forget what you've seen in the movies. Some are very casual and informal, but some covens are strict and hold secrets for only their inner members. There may be teacher/student relationships within a coven, or it may just be a group to gather with at Sabbat time. Really, there are many variations and there isn't one definition that will suit them all.
Why Be in a Coven?
Again, loads of answers to this and it won't apply to everyone. The main reason why people join covens is to harness the additional energy that a group ritual can create. Covens can also be excellent places for learning from more experienced witches. It can also be a mandatory part of more formal traditions like Gardnerian or Alexandrian Wicca. Even with all the material published today, there are some aspects of these Wiccan branches that are only taught in person through an initiated coven.
Finding a Coven
This can be a tricky thing if you don't live in a large city. Covens don't really advertise all that much and can be tough to find. And even if you do, that doesn't mean they are accepting new members. Local witch shops may be able to point you in the right direction, or do some social networking to see who and what's going on in your area.
Oh, and though I've been talking about Wiccan covens specifically, there is no particular reason why a coven has to be Wiccan. You can have all sorts of magickal groups involved in different kinds of witchcraft that are not Wiccan.