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We Need To Talk About Covens

There has been a lot of chatter lately on the subject of Covens and while I have not been a part of a Coven, I have worked with many in the past and was asked to talk about and clear some things up over the use of the word in a digital space. 

To kick things off, let's clarify what a coven traditionally is within the world of witchcraft. A coven is commonly recognised as a formal group of practitioners coming together for rituals, ceremonies, and magical workings. It often involves specific roles, initiations, structured practices, and typically, a shared commitment to a single tradition.

Informal Covens are a more laid-back, casual setting where discussions on witchcraft unfold not within the structured boundaries of a single tradition or path but rather among a group of friends, typically on various paths and from various traditions. Here, the emphasis is on camaraderie and the joy of shared interests, creating an environment that’s far from the formalities associated with traditional covens. In this setting, the lines between learning, sharing, and simply enjoying each other’s company blur, allowing for a more relaxed and open exchange.

Understanding the Informal Coven Dynamics

The aim of this blog is to delve into the dynamics of friend-based witchcraft groups, typically like the ones we see on Tiktok. But more than that, we’ll celebrate the informality that characterises these digital gatherings. It's about understanding the strengths and challenges of this approach, promoting open communication, and fostering an inclusive space where diverse paths are not only respected but embraced.

What Sets It Apart? 

What sets an Informal Coven apart is the genuine emphasis on friendship rather than conforming to a rigid structure. Unlike traditional covens, where roles and rituals are meticulously defined, it prioritises the warmth of camaraderie. Here, it's less about titles and hierarchies and more about building connections, fostering a sense of belonging, and allowing friendships to flourish organically, or at least, it should be. 

Sharing Ideas and Experiences

Here, discussions should flow like a meandering stream, unencumbered by the weight of formality. In Informal Covens, the joy lies in these informal conversations. We come together not just to perform rituals but to share our individual perspectives, swap stories, and draw inspiration from one another's experiences. It's a space where the richness of our collective knowledge unfolds naturally through the simple act of sharing.

Embracing Diverse Paths within the Group

One of the beautiful aspects of an Informal Coven is its inherent flexibility and inclusivity. Here, diverse paths aren’t just tolerated; they’re celebrated. Our group thrives on the understanding that every witch walks a unique journey. Whether you're drawn to a specific deity, follow a particular tradition, or simply forge your own path, there's room for it all. It's a space where individuality is not just accepted but actively embraced, enriching our collective tapestry with a myriad of magical perspectives.

So, if you find yourself revelling in the unstructured beauty of witchcraft discussions with friends, you're experiencing the essence of what sets an Informal Coven apart. It’s about the friendships that blossom, the joy found in shared stories, and the embrace of diverse paths, creating a magical space that thrives on authenticity and inclusivity.

But, Is There A Downside To An Informal Coven?


While the informality of friend-based witchcraft is its strength, navigating challenges often involves finding a delicate balance. It's essential to celebrate the diversity of individual paths while maintaining a sense of unity. Balancing deep friendships with respect for each member’s unique journey ensures that the group remains a supportive space for everyone.

Addressing Disagreements

Disagreements are natural in any group, but in a friend-based witchcraft setting, addressing them is crucial, especially if you consider your group an Informal Coven. The magic lies in open dialogue. Rather than letting tensions simmer beneath the surface, encourage honest conversations. It's about expressing differing opinions respectfully, seeking understanding, and finding common ground without compromising the supportive atmosphere we've cultivated.

Recognising and Resolving Issues 

Every community faces challenges, but in a friend-based witchcraft group, maintaining a supportive environment means recognising and actively resolving issues. It involves being attuned to the needs and concerns of members, ensuring that everyone feels heard and valued. By addressing conflicts with empathy and a commitment to resolution, we preserve the positive and nurturing essence of the group.

In the end, being part of a friend-based witchcraft group is about cherishing the unique qualities that make it different from more formal structures. It’s a journey of shared learning, mutual respect, and the joy of weaving magic together in an atmosphere of friendship and inclusivity.

What Can Go Wrong If Things Are Not Handled?

In any group, whether it's a Traditional or Informal Coven, it's crucial to be aware of signs that the camaraderie might be taking a dark turn. Watch out for members who use their influence to manipulate or belittle others. This might manifest in subtle ways, like dominating conversations, dismissing others' opinions, or even undermining someone's confidence. In friend-based witchcraft, the magic lies in shared respect, not in one person's attempt to control the narrative.

Power Imbalances

The lack of formal structure can be a double-edged broomstick. While informality fosters closeness, it can also lead to power imbalances. Without clear guidelines, certain individuals might find themselves in positions of authority, unintentionally dominating the group. This can suppress diverse voices and hinder the free exchange of ideas. It's essential to keep an eye on the power dynamics within the group, ensuring that everyone has the space to contribute and no one feels overshadowed.

Echo Chambers and Groupthink

Picture a gathering where everyone nods in agreement, and dissenting opinions are as rare as a phoenix feather. That's the danger of informal covens turning into echo chambers. When differing viewpoints are discouraged, personal and spiritual growth can take a nosedive. In the vibrant realm of witchcraft, where diversity is the potion for enrichment, avoiding closed-mindedness is the key to unlocking the full potential of the collective wisdom.

Impact on Individual Paths

The beauty of witchcraft lies in its kaleidoscope of practices and beliefs. Groupthink and Echo Chambers, however, have a way of narrowing this spectrum. In friend-based witchcraft groups or Informal Covens, it's essential to celebrate the unique paths each member walks. Echo Chambers can stifle this diversity, limiting the richness of the collective experience. Embracing individual exploration ensures that the coven remains a tapestry woven from diverse threads.

Recognising Exclusive Behaviour

Friend-based witchcraft groups and Informal Covens thrive on inclusivity, but there's a lurking danger of exclusivity. Be attentive to signs of exclusive behaviour, like forming cliques that may unintentionally alienate certain members or other witches. While friendships naturally form, it's crucial to maintain an open circle where everyone feels welcome.

Impact on Inclusivity

Cliquish behaviour can be like a spell that inadvertently diminishes the inclusivity that makes friend-based witchcraft groups powerful. Discussing and addressing this impact is essential to ensure that the warmth of the group extends to every member. Inclusivity should be the cauldron that brews the magic, not an afterthought.

Promoting Online Civility:

Online spaces, despite their virtual nature, are as real as any physical gathering. Address the challenges of maintaining a supportive environment in the digital realm. Emphasise the importance of respectful communication, fostering an online space where everyone feels heard and valued. A sprinkle of online civility goes a long way in nurturing the bonds formed in these virtual covens.

Dealing with Online Bullying

Sadly, online spaces aren't immune to negativity. Informal Covens should provide practical advice on how to handle cyberbullying within friend-based online communities. Encourage open communication and create a culture where members feel safe reporting any issues. Fostering a healthy and safe online space ensures that the magic of the group transcends the boundaries of the digital world.

What Happens When the Digital Cauldron Turns Poisonous

So what happens when the Informal Coven turns on itself and on others. When a once-supportive friend-based witchcraft group morphs into a mean-spirited clique, swift action becomes paramount.

Firstly, confront the toxic dynamics within the group, addressing specific instances of bullying and exclusion in a respectful way. Encourage open dialogue to unearth the root causes of the negative behaviour. If necessary, consider seeking mediation or involving a neutral third party to facilitate discussions. Simultaneously, safeguard your own well-being by setting boundaries and distancing yourself from harmful interactions and if all that fails, dont be afraid to walk away.

Remember, the strength of a friend-based witchcraft community lies in its nurturing environment, and addressing toxicity head-on is crucial to preserving the group's magical essence while fostering a space of acceptance and growth.

At The End Of The Day 

Discovering your magical tribe is a journey worth embracing. Like-minded friends, with whom you share a resonance in your spiritual journey, can be a source of profound support and inspiration. The importance lies not just in common interests but in the shared energy that fuels your collective magical endeavours. These are the friendships that weave a tapestry of understanding, creating a space where each individual contributes to the overall magic of the group.

The foundation of such a group is laid upon open communication, mutual respect, and a collective desire to explore the magical realms together. It's about creating a space where everyone feels not just welcomed but valued.


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