Do’s and Don’ts when joining a Witches Coven

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What to ALWAYS and NEVER do once in a Pagan witches coven
• Always remember that even if you are an experienced witch do not presume that you cannot learn from the lesser experienced of the group.
• Always do your best to keep learning and progressing outside of coven time.
• Always respect the coven tools and book of shadows by taking care of them properly.
• Always know that if you have a problem with someone in the group you can go to the coven leaders for help. Although it is important to have the skills to settle differences yourself. If it is over something ethical or a main principal of Paganism, coven leaders may take action.
• Always try to be enthusiastic and willing to join in the celebrations.
• Always wash and wear clean clothes before conducting rituals; this is in accordance with traditional ceremonial magick, and for the sake of the other members.
• Always take your work seriously within and outside of the coven; although it is important to have a sense of humour.
• Always be respectful towards other coven members, especially coven elders and leaders for the experience and knowledge they posses.
• Always be aware when the time calls for sombreness, quiet contemplation or seriousness. Some ceremonies, initiations and dedications require this from you.
• Always remember you must walk before you can run; thirst for knowledge is great, but be patient and trust your guides. Even if progress seems slow.
• Always give in coven fees and homework on time.
• Always ask your high priest or priestess for permission to leave a magick circle if you need to, try to exit a magick circle at East, and cut a door with your athame.
• Always keep your own tools clean and your book of shadows organized.
• Always respect the esteemed gifts, powerful knowledge and ancient secrets your high priest and high priestess have bestowed upon you; by not passing them on to people outside the coven without permission.
• Always remember when you take an oath to dedicate your time and energy to a coven; it should be your priority to keep your oath.
• Always know that you can leave at any point and be welcomed back with open arms.
• Always know that your coven members are your friends and will help you out in your personal life, but coven sessions should predominately be about your witchcraft education.
• Always be clear about what the coven leaders expect from you; and make it clear to them what you expect in turn.
• Always remember that everyone is equal in the coven and that everyone one is learning no matter their degree. Everyone is there to serve each other.
• Always remember that you are in the coven to learn, practice and share experiences.
• Always be mindful of keeping to topic when at coven meetings, and not continually straying away from the reason you are there.
• Always remember you are lucky to of found your coven, each person is there because of a common goal. There is strength in numbers and many minds equal more power. No coven is perfect and you should make the most of your time there.
• Never touch or pick up another persons magickal tool, such as an athame, wand or crystal without their permission.
• Never be late to a coven meeting. Too little punctuality may cause you to lose your place within the coven. You must be responsible for yourself.
• Never be afraid to speak up if you have something to say. Even if it challenges the belief system of another member. We are all entitled to our opinion.
• Never be afraid to change your mind about your beliefs. It is the human right of choice which defines our being.
• Never disclose any information which another in the group does not wish anyone else to know, such as their witch name and other details. It is a tradition of secrecy which prevails over the coven for safety, but also common decent thought for others.
• Never make someone in the group feel belittled or unappreciated.
• Never speak over someone else in the group; even if it the debate is becoming heated.
• Never point a wand or athame at someone in the group whilst holding it.
• Never practice magick from books or read text which has been banned by the coven leaders, as discussed and agreed by all coven members.
• Never sign any documents which you haven’t fully read.
• Never feel pressured to do something you don’t feel comfortable with, or pressure and bully anyone else into something they don’t want to do.
• Never engage in paranoid talk, gossip and rumour spreading. It is possible for people to become detached from reality when indulging in such topics as we practice. As it is for any person of such persuasion in matters of religion and sect.
• Never be afraid to ask questions. Good leaders will encourage this.
• Never collude with members from other covens, or pass on information without the express knowledge of your leaders and permission of your own coven.
• Never be drawn into talks devised by unscrupulous coven members set to divide the group.  These types of people can go undetected for a time and their intent breaks up covens, and damages the Pagan community.
• Never should any member of the coven, including your high priest and priestess, intimidate you, put you down or shout at you.
• Never underestimate your other coven mates – each person’s strength is different. 
• Never stray from the righteous path within Paganism, and be sure to exercise your fidelity to Paganism and loyalty to the coven.
• Never break coven etiquette or coven rules. Each individual coven has its own set you must adhere to once you have joined. Breaking them may result in being asked to leave. If you disagree with any rules, you must say so before joining.
Beth Champion