Covens

In Wicca and other similar forms of modern neopagan witchcraft, such as Stregheria and Feri Witchcraft, a coven is a gathering or community of witches, much like a congregation in Christian parlance. It is composed of a group of believers who gather together for ceremonies of worship such as Drawing Down the Moon, or celebrating the Sabbats.

Wiccan groups are called covens. The word “Coven” or “covan” originated from the Scots about 1500AD, and describes any kind of gathering. In Wicca, the word “coven” describes a gathering of witches. The first noted use of the word coven, in the context of describing a gathering of witches, was at Isobel Gowdie’s heresy trial in 1662 when there was mention of a witches’ coven of 13 members.

Membership

The number of the members may vary, but anything above the number of two is called a coven. Ideally there will be thirteen coven members: six men and six women led by a High Priestess or a High Priest. This is rarely the case though. There are many male only and female only covens. There are also many more women practicing the craft than there are men, so chances of a 50/50 split, is remote. In addition, some traditions prefer having both a High Priestess and a Priest. All of this makes it rare to find a coven numbering thirteen exactly.

Structure

A Wiccan coven is usually ed by a High Priestess and High Priest. Below them as the priestesses and priests and other members.