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The Pagan, The Witch, and the Coven

by Roman Delgado

Time goes on, the wheel turns. I feel beckoned by Goddess to write once more ( This time about a subject particularly helpful for beginner Wiccans). This is something I have been meaning to speak about for a very long time. It is a subject that carries a lot of controversy and also has the potential to trigger a lot of intense emotions and opinions from many sides of this argument.

First of all first understand that I am not trying to invalidate anyone's path here. Your spiritual path and how your live it is between you and your chosen divinity and nobody else. However I feel this subjects needs to be addressed in order for my own thoughts to be set to rest and I can feel peace within my own mind.

So let’s get started with the topic at hand, if this blog post moves you in any way. Even if it moves you into anger, I invite you to share it and make conversation about what I say with your local magical community. So it's get at it: Organized Religion in Paganism: Do we have a place for it in our lives and communities?

I will approach this subject from my own training in Wicca.

First and foremost I do not agree with the old saying that only a Witch can make a Witch! Witchcraft is the practice of the Art of Magic. Paganism and in my case Wicca are Religious paths that sometimes, however not always include the use of magic as part of their belief system.

I know many people come into all 3 paths from a perspective of deep wounding. Having been very horribly treated by the communities and leaderships of mainstream religion. To include but not exclusively the Abrahamic Religions in the western world. It is that wounding that in my own personal opinion has given rise of the need of this dialogue.

Please my friends, just for a few minutes while you read my words. Step away from your programing and take in what is being put across, learn instead of react. In Wicca I have seen so many people come to the Craft, in order to find empowerment and independence. Most choose to worship and practice magic on their own. In more recent times I have seen Pagans and Witches band together in small groups that lack a hierarchy or organization. When asked why not join a formal Coven, most of the times the answer I get is that if they wanted the toxicity of organized religion, they would have stayed in the mainstream paths of their upbringing.

I myself being a part of a large tradition of Wicca, with Covens over several different countries am constantly criticized for embracing organized religion within Wicca, as if I am doing something wrong. However I am now here to point out what an uneducated and myopic view of the Craft it is when we think that there is no room for organized religion in Wicca.

Wicca and to be more specific British Traditional Wicca and the forms of Wiccan religion that can trace back their lineage back to Gerald Gardner,( The Founder of Wicca ) have always been a form of organized Religion. If that was not the case there would be no priesthood in any of our covens, and no organizational positions to help run the day to day activities of those communities.

From the day when Gerald Gardner was initiated into Wicca by “ Old Dorothy” into the New Forest Coven it has been organized religion! Yes there is validity within the path of being a solitary practitioner! After all many of our trailblazer Wiccan Elders have laid those foundations needed for the members of the community, who do not wish to join a Coven to live their faith in private.

It was Doreen Valiente one of Gerald Gardner’s High Priestesses who in one of her early books published for the first time a self-initiation ceremony into Wicca. Many years latter it would be Scott Cunningham who would cement into the Pagan Community the ability to practice solitary in his book “Wicca: A guide for the solitary practitioner” and Respect must be paid to those elders and their work, their books have helped the Craft grow and introduced (myself included) many Wiccans to the religion we now practice. Yet I must point out that those aspects of Wiccan Religion are more contemporary additions to Wicca. If you wish to learn about Wicca as it was originally created, it cannot be denied: Wicca has always been an “ Organized Religion”!

It is also important to point out that for the vast majority of its life Wicca has been a religion of Priesthood. All Wiccans Either solitary or coven members have the ability to act as their own clergy in order to connect with divinity! This is part of what attracts so many people to both Wicca and Paganism in general. Yes in more recent times I have seen more people who are more content with attending pagan events than practicing on their own, as such all things evolve; including religion.

So you see friends there is no real argument here! There is no path better than the other. In all reality religion is about each individuals connection to the divine. As long as you are walking your path in authenticity, growing and learning. You are doing just fine!

Please friends, it’s time to set aside the argument of organized religion in Wicca, Paganism and Witchcraft! Both the solitary path and the path of a witches’ coven are equally valid. I hope this little blog post has helped you understand a little bit better where each form of the Craft comes from a tiny bet better.

Be at peace

Be authentic.

Blessed be.

If you are interested in learning more about Wiccan History Wolston-Steen Theological Seminary an online seminary for Wiccan Ministry carries amazing classes in Wiccan History at

Roman Delgado is a Psychic Reader and Shamanic Healer at Teotl Tonalli Intuitive Arts. He is an active member of the Keepers of the Flame Coven, ATC (The Ever Green Hearth) Please check our Community Connections page to find ways to connect with Roman or other members and Affiliates of The Ever Green Hearth.


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