Ask Phoenix: Picking Up the Pieces – Surviving after your coven disbands

Q: I started practicing wicca
several years ago with a coven that had many
internal problems. The coven fell apart and I stopped practicing.
However, lately, I’ve been feeling the need to pick it up again. What I
am unsure of is; when (ie: which sabbat, moon phase, etc.) should I
start on… and is it unwise to just try to pick it up again after
neglecting it for so long? I would really appreciate your help.
— Bridgid

A: Working with others is
probably one of the most rewarding parts of being Wiccan. Losing ties
to a coven can be devastating and can rock the foundation of your
beliefs. But it’s possible to bounce back and be a stronger witch for
the experience.


It doesn’t matter what phase of
the moon or month you begin to work again, as long as you begin. Start
by doing something simple, such as writing a devotional to the god and
goddess and reciting it a couple of times a week at the same time of
day. Celebrate the sabbats if there are public rituals in your area.
See if any new books have come out in an area that interests you.

You’ll probably find that working
as a solitary is very different than working in a coven structure. You
may think that the energy you raise isn’t as effective or you might
feel even a little silly speaking aloud with nothing but the walls to
hear you. But rest assured, working alone can be just as powerful, akin
to singing solo as opposed to singing in a chorus. Keep your rituals
very simple to begin with — even as simple as lighting a single candle
and speaking directly to the god or goddess.

If you feel so moved, you can
also do a small ritual to rededicate yourself to the craft. You may
choose to do this on the dark moon (traditionally a good time for
initiations and rites of passage) or during the waxing moon to allow
the growing moon energy to represent and feed the new beginning you’re
embarking upon.

Allow yourself to work through
whatever healing process you may need during this time. You may have
feelings of regret, anger, distrust in your abilities, and depression
as a result of getting back into the craft you previously worked with
others. These are perfectly normal and natural. If you find you’ve
begun a ritual and simply can’t go through with it, shut things down,
ground and center and have a cup of tea. Try again another time.

The important thing is to
remember the reason you originally became Wiccan and why it calls to
you now. Allow yourself to rediscover the journey and enjoy the
learning process. Take it slowly, but do keep moving forward.

Phoenix is a Wiccan living in
East Central Illinois, where there’s a surprisingly strong Pagan
community for such a small town. She’s ever inspired by the diverse,
wonderful individuals in town and in the circle she works with.

1999 Phoenix and Spiritualitea. Do not reprint without permission

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