Coven structure & roles

I recently listened to an interesting podcast from Circle Talk: Four Witches on Coven Hierarchy. I was pleased to note that most of the speakers on the podcast were advocating for a pretty flat hierarchy. I have written a fair amount about the roles and expectations of the different degrees in Wicca (in All acts of love and pleasure: inclusive Wicca) and quite a lot about coven leadership and the concept of “elders” (in The Night Journey: Witchcraft as Transformation). I regard the Wiccan degree system as being like the apprenticeship system in medieval guilds (apprenticeship, journeyman, master). There was very little in the podcast that I disagreed with, except the one guy who makes his first degree coveners clean the coven brassware. I’m with the woman who said she is happy when people volunteer to help, but she doesn’t make them do tasks.

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Madge Worthington

Madge Worthington (1913-2005) was the co-founder of the Whitecroft tradition of Wicca, and was immensely important in the development of the Gardnerian Craft. She was initiated around 1964 by her high priest, Arthur, who was in turn initiated by Eleanor (Ray) Bone who died in 2003. Madge and Arthur used to hold their meetings in Arthur’s house in Whitecroft Way and to this day her many magical descendants speak of themselves as being of the Whitecroft line. Sadly, in the last few years of her life, Madge was progressively immobilised by Parkinson’s, and unable to pursue her great passions – the Craft, Green politics and animal welfare.

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Interview with Eleanor Bone

Another gem from the Wayback Machine, by the same author as the obituary of Eleanor Bone that I posted previously. If anyone knows who the author is, please let me know; it seems to be by the person who founded the Occulture festival.

There are some very interesting points in the interview, such as the allegation that Gerald Gardner never received any initiations beyond first degree from the New Forest Coven.

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