Frequently Asked Questions

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Who are the Weavers, anyway?

What is the Covenant of the Goddess, and what does it do?

Can you help me find a coven or teacher in my area?

Can you help me find open Pagan celebrations in my area?

How can I learn more about Wicca or Witchcraft?

I'm under eighteen.  Is there any way that I can learn more about Wicca before I'm a legal adult?

I want to become a legal minister.  Can Weavers or COG help me?

How do I start a legal Pagan church of my own?

Qualified ministers of Covenant of the Goddess can perform legal weddings. What do I need to know about rules and legalities in my state?



Who are the Weavers, anyway?

The Weavers are the local council of the Covenant of the Goddess that serves Western Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Hudson River Valley area of New York state, as well as portions of Vermont and New Hampshire.  We're a network of established covens and elder solitaries practicing Wicca or Witchcraft, sometimes known as the Craft or the Old Religion.  We meet four times annually for official business (and fun) and in between times as members see fit.  We are not an open Pagan group, but one that is only for qualified members who care to commit their time and energy to creating a networking group for experienced members of our religion.  We seek to support one another in our lives as priests and priestesses of the Craft, to encourage local networking and community building,  and to educate the public and those Pagans and Witches who seek our counsel and aid.

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What is the Covenant of the Goddess, and what does it do?

The Covenant of the Goddess was founded in 1975 to increase cooperation among Witches and to secure for Witches and covens the legal protection enjoyed by members of other religions.  The Covenant publishes a newsletter; issues ministerial credentials on request to qualified persons; sponsors a national festival each summer; and encourages networking nationally, as well as regionally through local councils.

It is a confederation of covens and solitaires of various traditions, who share in the worship of the Goddess and the Old Gods and subscribe to a common code of ethics.  Decisions are usually made by consensus.
 
 

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Can you help me find a coven or teacher in my area?

Actually, finding teachers and covens is a very challenging job for us as well as for you.  However, we can offer you some advice on the subject.  (For instance, see The Witches' Voice's articles on choosing a teacher for some pointed tips on how to evaluate the worth of any teacher you may find.)

Furthermore, on occasion, a Weavers' member coven may either have an opening for a student or know of a specific reputable group or teacher in your area.  If you are interested in pursuing this, send us a detailed description of yourself, including your age, where you live, what books or other sources of information you've already learned from, a description of how long you have been exploring the Craft, and some information about what you are looking for.  Be sure to also include permission to post your description and request to the Weavers' listserve; we are very careful about confidentiality, and the Correspondence Officer will not be able to pass your request along without your permission.  Be sure, too to really give as much information about yourself and what you are looking for as possible: Weavers receives hundreds of these requests each year, and we really can't do much without good information.

You may also want to explore open Pagan celebrations in your local area.  Often, this is the best way to meet like-minded folks, including potential covenmates or teachers.  Take the time to explore a little, and get to know who you feel an affinity for and who you don't.  And remember, there is no "Pagan Pope", and so groups vary widely in terms of their skill, their focus, and their ethics.  Take the time to carefully assess any group or teacher before you commit to them.
 

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Can you help me find open Pagan celebrations in my area?

Well, maybe.  You can certainly contact us, and if you give us permission to post your request to our listserve, a member of Weavers may know of celebrations in your area.  (Do be sure to tell us where you are, if you'd like us to try.)  But there are many celebrations in New England that members of Weavers may not even hear about, and you may want to try and find a local open Pagan group or circle on your own before contacting us for help.  There are several excellent resource guides in our area, and you can search most of them by geographic area.  Try a visit to:
Horns and Crescent-an online calendar, listing Pagan events throughout New England.
The Connecticut Wiccan and Pagan Resource Page- a comprehensive networking tool listing events and contacts in the Connecticut area.
The Maine Pagan Resource Page- Everything you ever wanted to know about Pagans Down East, including events listings.
The Pagan Community Church- Offers open events in the Bridgeport, CT area.
Pagan Profiles- Offers a way to search geographically for networking contacts around the world.
Pete's Helpful Pagan Site- lists contacts and events in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut.
The Witches' Voice lists Circles, Workshops, and Events and also festivals, covens, and groups.  This is a huge and hugely helpful site.

And, don't forget: Weavers Local Council is hosting Merrymeet 2007, at U. Mass (Amherst).
 

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How can I learn more about Wicca or Witchcraft?

If you haven't done so already, begin to read, read, read!  Check out our Online Reading List for some suggestions.

Of course, you will want to look closely at the Witchcraft  information and FAQ on COG's own web page.  But we also recommend a visit to The Witches' Voice, a large, informative, well-managed website with information for everyone from newcomers to Craft elders.

Once you have done your reading, visit some open circles and workshops to learn more about Witchcraft and Paganism in action.  At this point, if you are still convinced that the Craft is the religion for you, you may want to look into our Associates Program, in order to meet and network with experienced Witches and coven leaders.

You should also feel free to ask us questions as you progress.  We'll help as best we can--but doing the homework (reading, meditating, and researching) is going to be Back to you.
 

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I'm under eighteen.  Is there any way that I can learn more about Wicca before I'm a legal adult?

Most reputable Wiccan groups will not admit or train members before they are eighteen, for legal reasons.  An exception is sometimes made for teens who have parental permission to study the craft.  Whether or not you have the option of seeking training from an established group or teacher, you can read and learn all you can--about all religions, not just the Craft.

COG maintains an excellent resource guide for underaged seekers.  Visit COG's Next Generation Page for more detailed information on how to learn more about Wicca under the age of eighteen.
 

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I want to become a legal minister.  Can Weavers or COG help me?

Neither the Covenant of the Goddess nor the Weavers Local Council offers a "mail order minister" credential.  However, trained and experienced Witches and Wiccans can receive legal ordination after joining the Covenant.  There is a separate credentialling process for ministers, and not every member will qualify.  For more information, you should first consult the COG Membership Guidelines.  If you qualify, the National Membership Officer will be glad to talk with you further.  Contact him or her at membership@cog.org .

You can also read more about the state requirements for registration of clergy (through the Covenant or not) under State Marriage Regulations, at this website.
 

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How do I start a legal Pagan church of my own?

There is no one formula.  Regulations vary from state to state, regarding registering your church with the state government.  In order to receive tax-exempt status, you will need to submit paperwork documenting a number of things, including how your church handles money and property, to the IRS.

The Covenant of the Goddess is incorporated under California law, which may vary significantly from the relevant laws in your state.  However, if you want to learn more about COG's incorporation history, you may contact the National Correspondence Officer. (info@cog.org )

For more detailed information, you will probably want to consult an attorney in the state where you plan to incorporate your church.
 

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