My advice is to take your time and don’t be in any rush. You are already a great person.
Start by looking here on Witches Voice. You may not even know what “style’ or religion you wish to follow just now. As you learn, you will move towards the right group. You want to join a group where you feel like you can be yourself!
NOTE: If you know of another great source for people to find a coven, let us know in the comments below!
Also, realize that a coven is like a small family. Many Wiccans are closer to their coven-mates than they are to their own siblings. Just because you’ve found a coven doesn’t necessarily mean you are guaranteed acceptance. Coven membership is a two-way street. Wiccan covens do not actively recruit new members, and no matter how uber-witchy you think you may be, if one member of the coven has a problem with you – justified or not – it could keep you from becoming a member. Take the time to ask questions when appropriate, and you can make an informed decision in the event that membership is offered to you.
Some covens are limited to males or females only, others are specifically for gay Pagans, and some are for families and married couples and exclude single members. A coven you’re interested in may already have what they consider their ideal number – sometimes thirteen but frequently less – and they may tell you to wait until someone leaves before you can join. Accept this, and move on. Don’t take it personally. Ideally, you’ll be able to find a coven in which you can get along with all the existing members, and you won’t have a clash of personalities or philosophies.
Some of the more bizarre things we have heard of that have taken place in some covens:
• Beware of anyone whom you do not know well that asks you to join a coven. This is not a normal Wiccan practice. Students must ask to join and are only admitted after months, or sometimes years, of study.
• Beware of any adult coven leader who accepts as a student or coven member, anyone under the age of 18 without verified permission of the child’s parent or guardian. Most High Priests and High Priestesses will not take on students under the age of 18 unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian to all events. You will occasionally find “covens” or study groups whose members are all under the age of 18. We highly recommend that you do not involve yourself with such groups unless you have permission from your parents and you know that the group is either supervised by responsible adults, and/or the parents and guardians of all members are aware of the existence of the group and condone its meetings.
• Beware of a teacher who seems to blame other people (students, assistants, society) for their problems. A leader of a coven or group needs to take responsibility for what happens in the group and to the group.
• Beware of teachers who require students to do house work for the High Priest or High Priestess. This is not normal Wiccan practice. It is reasonable for a High Priestess to ask for help setting up for ritual and cleaning up afterward.
• Some Wiccans have reported being beaten for failure to obey rules of the coven or for failure to do housework. This is definitely not part of Wicca! If you are a victim of such a practice do not hesitate to report it to the police. Wiccans, like everyone else, are required to obey civil laws. No oath of secrecy binds you from reporting such illegal acts.
• Beware of teachers who claim that you must have sex with them before beginning your instruction. This is not normal Wiccan practice and should be a major warning that the teacher is unscrupulous.
• There are some covens which do use actual sex for purposes of initiation. If this is a concern to you make that very clear to the High Priest and High Priestess. You may be told that the initiation involves only a symbolic “Great Rite” or symbolic sexual union between god and goddess.
You are all strongly advised to understand the differences between the religions and practices before joining any coven or group.