My introduction to Witchcraft happened in the early 1970s. Books on the subject were few and tough to find. At that time, online shopping did not exist. Sybil Leek was the most famous witch in the world and if she made a television appearance, we hung on her every word. The ONLY pagan book I had to reference was Sybil Leeks “Book of Curses”. I read that book through on multiple occasions and in all honesty, I still have it. Every word she spoke or typed, I meditated, contemplated and practiced. This work was invaluable. There was nobody to tell me what to do. If I made a mistake, I remembered the lesson. Valuable years, and looking back, pure grace.
By the time I started working with others, I had proficiency in spell-casting, circles, simple invocations, herbs, oils and basic tarot. Moving into the 1990s, life changed. The resurgence of witchcraft meant we could step out of the closet! This opened up a new world and those of us who had practiced in the shadows relished the idea of community gatherings. We didn’t have to whisper anymore!
Working with others was amazing. Sabbats became real celebrations. As a group we could raise energy and do spell-work with ease. Success was guaranteed if we all stayed focused on the same goal. There were others to learn from and contribute ideas. A big change from being a solitary, who had to plan and execute every working.
Every witches dream is to own and operate a metaphysical store. In 2000 I started living the dream with no regrets. Shelf after shelf of herbs, tools, books, incense and crystals were at my disposal. Through working, teaching and studying, I learned very valuable lessons about Covens and the pagan community at large:
Coven work is wonderful if everyone is connected and respectful of each other.
Somebody needs to be in charge.
The phrase “Don’t throw your pearls to swine”, has meaning.
Respect all paths, even if you don’t understand them.
People who spend their time telling everyone they are a Witch, don’t have time to practice Witchcraft.
Witches who make magical threats are weak and untrained.
It takes years of experience to become a High Priest or Priestess, respect them.
There is always someone who knows more than you and they don’t all wear purple.
Dark Goddess work is for the experienced practitioner.
Respect the journey, every step is critical to the next.
If you are working as a solitary practitioner, it can feel lonely sometimes. But in those moments, you are not alone. You are having an intimate relationship with the Gods. Rejoice. If you are working in a group, enjoy the celebrations and don’t forget to keep some level of autonomy. Groups come and go, but the Gods remain.