Sunday, October 10, 2010

A New Blog, a New Beginning

So this, my dear readers (if any), is yet another blog for our coven, Orbis Prosapia.  A few short quips about how horrid it is when blogs crash and the assumption that because I can stumble my way to starting a blog, I must be a computer programmer would be well placed here.  However, I simply don't care enough to go backward in time to recount the many snafus which have led this to be our third blog. 

Yes, third.

I do not know if it is even possible to retrieve most of what was left behind, but in due time, I will attempt it.  But for now, we have something more at hand.  I want to give you a little history about this group and give you an idea of what, and who, we are.

Orbis Prosapia is a family-oriented coven located in Lycoming county of Pennsylvania, this area's longest running coven as far as I am aware.  Now, what does "family-oriented" mean?  It doesn't mean that we only accept families or that the focus is on parenting.  It means that our goal is to be a group, a community, in which members can be of any age, with any kind of relationship/partnership they wish, have whatever variety of family/living arrangement they wish, and still be welcomed.  We aim to be the support for our members but also the catalyst which helps them towards their goals.  We are working towards a more active Pagan community in this area, including Pagan teens and kids, and our goals as a coven are only the beginning of that.

My name is Quill and I, along with my husband, Artayous, head this coven.  I'm a wife and mother practicing witchcraft for 13 years now and I teach a series of classes on successful spell-casting.  I'm also working on the completion of two books in the non-fiction occult genre.  Artayous is a wonderful husband and father, a hard worker, the all-purpose Idea Man, as well as an inventor in his spare time.  We are raising our two children Pagan and are teaching them magic, within the coven and without. 

Orbis Prosapia focuses on the cycles of nature and our rituals reflect that.  We are very much a nature-based group but enjoy retelling myths and other lore about Gods and Goddesses.  We each have our own deity relationships, which are valued, but are not the basis for our ritual worship.  It's been difficult explaining to people that we are not a Wiccan group (though we do occasionally have Wiccan members) so we don't do things quite the same as other groups in this area.  Our rituals are a series of original works we perform each year (unlike many Wiccan groups in this area which use new rituals every year) which include music, poetry, chanting and movement.  Afterward we always host a feast and often the celebration runs into the night with drinks, karaoke and conversation.  We have meetings once a month to discuss upcoming events and come up with new ideas or share news.  Our small dues requirements help pay for special events and items bought for group use.  Every month we host a workshop for learning, and trying, new things in the Pagan/magic arena such as poppet-making, homemade ink and conjure bags.  As you can see, we've put a lot of thought into what makes a group great.  I am proud to say that we have accomplished quite a bit since we began and we have a lot more in store.

To be quite honest, though, it has been a long road over a short period of time: we began the group under different leadership some 4 years ago and have gone through several members during that time.  I normally don't mention these facts because it seems, well, probably just as unflattering as you're thinking about it right now.  But the simple facts are there:  every member who has been removed from the group was removed because they refused to do their share.  We did what we could to hold it together but that has to mean everyone.  I say this now not to chastise those former members but to instill upon the reader the idea that there is a commitment made when entering a group.  If you can't be true to that commitment, then you are not welcome.

When I first began practicing magic 13 years ago, I dreamed of being in a coven.  I dreamed of having a teacher and a group of people -- a group of friends -- with whom to share ideas, go places, and celebrate the holidays.  It made me extremely humbled when I was offered admission to this coven.  But after seeing how lightly others take this amazing opportunity, I start to dread that the kind of honor and respect I felt as a newcomer (and the kind I still feel and exhibit upon meeting others, especially elders) was just a quirk of my personality, one others do not have.

Very recently I entertained thoughts of giving it all up.  It is a very tiring job to lead a coven since it seems that there is always something that needs planned, prepared, made, stitched or me.  And if anything goes wrong, the blame is squarely on me whether it is placed there by others or comes naturally by right as the leader.  Meetings fall behind, things go wrong, parts are not perfectly memorized and (quite often) important items weren't packed and need to be fetched from home.  That's just life.  Even in the best covens, mistakes are made.  But to be able to look at the best of it, the example the group is for others, the accomplishments and the years -- that has helped me hang in there. 

We have a website and a blog (again).  Neither sees much readership so I have to decide what I'm doing it all for.  In the end, I do it because it's what I've always dreamed.  Just like teaching, if I can't find one like I envision -- I'll just become one.  And that I have done.  Our coven has a long ways to go before we have the kind of membership and involvement I dream, but we are on our way. 

If you would like to follow our progress, stay tuned for more of our Scenes from the Circle. 

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