There are those in Southern California and throughout the United States interested in becoming members of the Covenant of the Goddess. In order to better answer your questions, we have the following information about who, and what is The Covenant of the Goddess (CoG) and how to become a member. As the Orange County Local Council, we are available to assist Orange County covens and solitaries in the process of membership and to answer additional questions you may have.
An Overview of the Covenant of the Goddess
The Covenant of the Goddess is one of the largest, and oldest Wiccan religious organizations. Wicca or Witchcraft is the most popular expression of the religious movement known as Neo-Paganism. Wicca or Witchcraft is the fastest growing religion in the United States according to the Institute for the Study of American Religion. Its practitioners are reviving ancient Pagan practices and beliefs of pre-Christian Europe and adapting them to contemporary life. The result is a religion that is both old and new, both traditional and creative.
Organization and Activities
The Covenant is an umbrella organization of cooperating autonomous Witchcraft congregations and individual practitioners with the power to confer credentials on its qualified clergy. It fosters cooperation and mutual support among Witches and secures for them the legal protections enjoyed by members of other religions. The Covenant is non-hierarchical and governed by consensus. Two-thirds of its clergy are women.
The Covenant is coordinated by a national board of directors. Many of its activities are conducted at the regional level by local councils. The Covenant holds an annual national conference open to the Wiccan community, as well as regional conferences, and publishes a newsletter. In recent years, the Covenant has taken part in spiritual and educational conferences, interfaith outreach, large public rituals, environmental activism, community projects and social action, as well as efforts to correct negative stereotypes and promote accurate media portrayals. Its clergy performs legal marriages (handfastings), preside at funerals and other rituals of life-transition, and provide counseling to Witches including those in the military and in prisons. The Covenant also provides youth awards, sponsorship of college and university student groups, and legal assistance in instances of discrimination.
What is the 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 in 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
What are Requirements for Membership?
Full Membership: The applicant must be recommended without reservation by members of two different covens or solitaries that are known to the Covenant.
Provisional Membership: The applicant may receive one letter of recommendation, and then has a year and a day to obtain the required second recommendation to achieve Full Membership status.
The appropriate Membership Officer (National or Local) shall verify information regarding the criteria and requirements.
Please see CoG Information for further information on membership requirements.
How do we apply for Membership?
Any Goddess-supporting coven or solitary 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 Membership Officer. If the coven or solitary is in an area near a Local Council (Orange County Local Council: firstname.lastname@example.org), the National Officer will forward the inquiry to the local Membership Officer, who will respond.
In the 1970s there was a marked rise of interest in Witchcraft not only in the United States, but throughout the world, reflecting a growing feminist awareness and global concern for the environment. In the Spring of 1975, a number of Wiccan elders from diverse traditions, all sharing the idea of forming a religious organization for all practitioners of Witchcraft, gathered to draft a covenant among themselves. These representatives also drafted bylaws to administer this new organization now known as the Covenant of the Goddess. At the 1975 Summer Solstice, the bylaws were ratified by thirteen member congregations (or covens). The Covenant of the Goddess was incorporated as a nonprofit religious organization on October 31, 1975.
If you have any questions regarding membership or you are eager to apply for membership in the OCLC CoG, contact us by email at OCLC4COG@gmail.com.