The Covenant of the Goddess, Purpose.
The Covenant of the Goddess
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.
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
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
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
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
* 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
The applicant must be recommended without reservation by two
active members of the Covenant.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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