The Covenant of the Goddess Purpose The Covenant of the Goddess was founded in 1975 to inc

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The Covenant of the Goddess Purpose 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. Functions The Covenant is incorporated as a non-profit religious organization in California, though it has grown to be a nationwide organization. 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. The Covenant holds a Grand Council annually to elect national officers, set a budget, and decide matters which require deliberation by the full membership. Decisions are usually made by consensus. Code of Ethics: * And ye harm none, do as ye will. * Since our religion and the arts and practices peculiar to it are the gifts of the Goddess, membership and training in a local coven or tradition are bestowed free, as gifts, and only to those persons who are deemed worthy to receive them. However a coven may expect each of its members to bear a fair share of its ordinary operating expenses. * All persons have the right to charge reasonable fees for the services by which they earn a living, so long as our religion is not hereby exploited. * Every person associated with this Covenant shall respect the autonomy and sovereignty of each coven, as well as the right of each coven to oversee the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical development of its members and students in its own way, and shall exercise reasonable caution against infringing upon that right in any way. * All persons associated with this Covenant would ever keep in mind the underlying unity of our religion as well as the diversity of its manifestations. * These ethics shall be understood and interpreted in light of one another, and especially in light of the traditional laws of our religion. Confidentiality All information given to the Covenant of the Goddess or any of its officials is considered strictly confidential, unless you indicate otherwise. No information about members is published or given out without explicit written permission. Direct access the the Covenant's mailing list is limited to the Board of Directors. Maximum privacy is assured. Newsletter At every Sabbat the Covenant publishes a newsletter of Craft and Pagan news, original articles, poetry, humor, rituals and announcements. Member covens receive the newsletter automatically. Individual coveners and non-members who donate a suitable tax-deductible gift will also be placed on the mailing list, to receive the newsletter and other mailings. Circulation is limited to members and friends of the Covenant. Finances An annual membership tithe is set every year at the Grand Council to cover the bare expenses, based on the previous year's expenses and any projected cost increases. The annual financial statement is published on the newsletter. Other activities are supported by fund- raising. All contributions to the Covenant of the Goddess are greatly appreciated and are tax-deductible. Applying for membership Any Goddess-supporting coven or solitaire can be eligible for membership in the Covenant of the Goddess if certain criteria and requirements are met. All inquiries into membership should be sent to the National Credentials Officer, who will respond. If the coven or solitaire is in an area near a local council, the National Officer will forward the inquiry to the local Credentials Officer, who will respond by felling out the appropriate form and sending it in with the initial membership tithe. General Criteria for Coven Membership * Generally focus theology and ritual,etc., around the worship of the Goddess and the Old Gods (or the Goddess alone). * Believe and follow a code of ethics compatible with that of the Covenant. * Have been meeting monthly or oftener for at least six months. * Have three or more members who have been formally accepted into the clergy. * Be a cohesive, self- perpetuating group. Requirements for membership Full Membership: The applicant must be recommended without reservation by two active members of the Covenant. Provisional Membership: The applicant must be recommended by one member; and then within a year and a day must make a viable effort to get to know other members, in order to achieve Full Member status. The appropriate Credentials Officer (National or local) shall verify information regarding the criteria and requirements. Coven-At-Large: This is the term we use to represent the many Witches who are solitaires, i.e. practicing alone. Each local council may devise its own standards for admission of coveners-at-large, in harmony with national guidelines. Local Councils A local council is a smaller branch of the Covenant, consisting of at least three member covens of at least two different traditions, in reasonably close geological proximity to each other. The local councils meet more often than the national organization. They may initiate independent projects, sponsor local festivals and workshops, and generally work together for common goals close to home. As the Covenant continues to grow, we encourage new members to form their own local councils. Voting When a matter requiring a decision is presented before the Covenant in council, is is discussed by the members in attendance until a consensus is reached. If a consensus cannot be reached, then a vote is taken. A coven holding a current Full Membership is entitled to one vote. Each such coven also holds the power to veto, though this is exercised only in extreme cases. A coven with Provisional Membership is entitled to one vote, but does not hold veto power. A coven-at-large is entitled to one vote if, and only if, three individuals are physically present at the council and unanimous in their choice of vote. Ministerial Credentials In order to be eligible to receive Ministerial Credentials as a Priestess of Priest, a person shall: 1. Be an active member of the coven which is a Full Member of the Covenant. 2. Have been 'confirmed' to taking on the full commitment to the requirements of that coven's Tradition of our religion. 3. Have undergone at least a full year of active training for the ministry of that Tradition. These credentials shall remain valid only so long as the person remains an active member of the coven which remains an active member of the Covenant. In order to be eligible to receive Ministerial Credentials as an elder, a person shall: 1. Satisfy (2.) and (3.) above. 2 Have undergone an additional full year of active training for the ministry. 3. Be fully able to form a coven, admit members, and train them in the tenets and practices of that Tradition. These credentials shall remain valid for life, unless specifically revoked, so long as the person remains in contact with the Covenant. The National Festival The annual Grand Council or national business meeting is held as part of a national festival, which is open as part of a national festival, which is open to the whole membership as well as Pagans and Witches who are not part of the Covenant. The festival is usually held at a secluded campground or resort, and moves to a different area of the country each summer. In addition to the council meeting, the program includes workshops on magick and the Craft, concerts, a potluck feast, a talent show, and the opportunity to purchase (or barter for) art, crafts and ritual tools by Pagan artisans. Registration information is available in the newsletter. For more information: Write to the Covenant of the Goddess, P.O. Box 1226, Berkley, Ca. 94704

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