At least once or twice a week I find myself fielding an email that goes something like this, “Hi I’d like more information on your group/coven.  What does it take to join?” That’s the very simplistic version, but the answer is almost universally the same. I have to tell them we aren’t currently taking new members and then I suggest ways for them to become more involved in the community they are a part of.

Sometimes, the response is positive and other times not.  In our, immediate gratification society, it’s difficult for people to understand why they are being turned away.  Covens are, for all their mysticism, actually quite a bit of work.  They are built on the bonds of friendship and those relationships typically don’t develop overnight.

We all have a need to belong, to know that we are not alone on this journey and to find others that hold the same beliefs as ourselves.  I think everyone goes through this and sometimes that need shifts into overdrive.

Everyone has to start somewhere and when you’re delving into a new spirituality it can be daunting and confusing.  Wiccans/Pagans/Witches typically don’t proselytize, so if you started seeking you feel like you’re pretty committed to the process. You feel like you should be taken seriously, and that everyone should want you in their group.

Here are a few tips for those looking for a coven, mentor, or teacher:

1) Become involved in your community. You’ll find you will naturally build connections with others as you attend open functions, study groups or volunteer at an event.

2) Be yourself. All too often people pretend to be someone/something they’re not in order to garner acceptance. This only hurts you in the long run because trust is hard to regain once broken.

3) Know your craft. Read/Study/Practice on your own. Groups like individuals who take initiative and show they would be a valued member.

4) Be selective. Just as a group is being choosy you should as well. What do the members offer you? Will they help further your path? Do you connect?

5) Be persistent but don’t stalk. If you have a desire to study with someone or join a particular group take no with a grain of salt. Ask if they have study groups, open circles, or other opportunities to meet with them. Making a connection takes time but groups evolve and change all the time and a closed door today may open in a year or two.

These are some very simple concepts, but they are the ones that people seem to overlook all the time.  If you are patient and persistent opportunities will present themselves.  When I first moved to St. Louis I didn’t know anyone and I wanted to make friends in the local community.  I decided that I was going to get involved.

I even went so far as to make that declaration out loud.  Little did I know what the universe had in store for me.  There really is something to the saying, “Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it.”  I ended up meeting someone that pointed me in the direction of Pagan Picnic.  I decided to contact the committee to see about donating some time at the event.

I was invited to the next meeting and I went with my significant other in tow.  By the time the meeting was over I was being asked to assume a committee position.  I told them I’d need to think it over, but by the second meeting I was in and suddenly in charge of programming for the picnic.  Now, years later it’s become once of my passions and it opened up so many doors to me. I met people from all kinds of different groups and I got to know them.  Eventually, I had groups inviting me to attend functions and consider becoming a part of their group.  Those people I know consider family.  We have the occasional tiff, but push come to shove, they are there for me.

When you look to bring a mentor, teacher, or group into your life they are becoming a part of you and your journey.  Make sure those you surround yourself with are ones that are worthy of your time and energy and that you are doing the same in return!

Some of My Extended Family

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