The Covenant of the Goddess, Purpose.

     
                          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