[please keep your RSVP up to date so we can plan for snacks and materials for the meeting]
What is the purpose of this meeting?
This meeting has a threefold goal:
1. For initiates to explain to members who we are and how we influence the tradition.
2. To give our experience of what life in a coven is like vs. our “outer court”, to see if you may be interested in future membership.
3. To inform meetup members of the structure of the organization as a whole.
We also intend to have an informal social hour after the library meeting so newer folks can get to know us (details TBD)
Info on the coven aspect of the meeting:
Even though covens may or may not be accepting petitions around this time, this is the only annual interest meeting so if you think you may ever be interested in joining a coven or initiating into the outer court, you should strive to make it.
Aside from coven talk, this will also give you a great idea of Firefly’s overall structure, levels of involvement and membership, and how to get involved. The vast majority of what we do is outside of the coven structure and most initiates are not in a coven, so there are many ways to get involved outside of them.
Firefly’s various covens form the “inner court” of the tradition whereas The Firefly House meetup members and initiates make up the “outer court.” Covens are a committed and highly involved group of individuals who participate in a deep clan-based system. Think of it this way: Firefly meetup is a “drop in” group where all are welcome to participate as frequently or infrequently as they like. The Covens are closed, small, initiatory sub-groups that have certain demands and expectations on members, as we will outline and explain in the meeting. Most people are not meant for coven work, and that’s OK. This gathering will help you start to figure out if you might be.
What happens after the meeting?
After the meeting you will hopefully have a good understanding of what a clan-based coven is like within this tradition. If how we work speaks to you, you will have the option of “petitioning” (applying) for dedicancy at some future point. Dedicancy awards full trial membership to a coven for a year and a day. After that time, if all still think of it as a good fit, the dedicant may initiate into the 1st degree and become a full priest/ess. All are welcome to apply for dedicancy at any time and any petitioners will be able to meet with individual coven members throughout this process. Please note that acceptance to the dedicant grade requires a full unanimous vote from the entire coven. It is much more likely that you will be accepted as a coven dedicant if you first initiate into our outer court tradition. That happens by taking our annual tradition class series, starting in March.
Please look through the Firefly website for more information, particularly this page about our coven’s structure:
If I’m interested in coven work, how do I know which one could be right for me?
People! Covens are based on people dynamics, for a start. As you get to know other Fireflies, you’ll start to figure out who you’re drawn to and how your friendships might contribute to a positive experience. You’ll also be able to talk more with members and figure out if their work and values as a coven fits your paradigm. For example: some covens will bind and banish harmful things and people, while others will not. Some covens allow alcohol at meetings, while others forbid it. The covens are diverse and vary so getting to know members is essential.
Small details like location can also make a difference. For example, members in Maryland might find it challenging to travel down to an area like Springfield every month for late-night full moon meetings.
If I decide to petition for a coven, what is the best way to go about it?
Spend as much time as possible with members for as long as possible. Attend as many Firefly events as you can and help out with as many sabbat events as possible. While getting to know the members and forming friendships, your willingness to participate and help the tradition will show that you’re willing to be a helpful member. Attending our foundations training in the spring and getting outer court initiation is also helpful, as you will need to take this training eventually at some point anyway.
How do I know what the beliefs and values of a coven are?
All of our covens have a basic ritual outline for their private meetings that you’ll be able to see in the more public sabbats. In terms of the work they do and what they might specifically align with (for example, CSM does a lot of sabbatic trance work while CEF might focus on crafty spellwork), simply ask the members.
After a period of getting to know members and sending a petition, when, if ever, will the coven accept?
This varies greatly. If a coven already has their eye on you, they may just have a short conversation and accept immediately. For others, they may require individual conversations over a course of time. Others might ask you to “freeze” your petition until you’ve had a chance to get more involved so they can see what you’re like.
If I initiate into the outer court, join a coven, and then leave a coven later, where does my membership stand?
Covens are always changing and it is natural to leave them after a time (usually years). If you had already initiated into the outer court before joining a coven, your membership as an initiate of the tradition will stand forever. Outer court initiation cannot be “undone” as it is a process that is conferred.
Can I take the foundations training, initiate into the outer court, and never join a coven?
Yes! In fact, that is what most people do. Most find that general tradition initiation is plenty of involvement for them, as it doesn’t require annual attendence guarentees and continuing education like the covens do.
I have no idea if I would ever join a coven, take a training, or initiate into ANYTHING. Is this meeting useful for me?
Absolutely! All you have to do here is show up and listen (and ask questions if you like). If the routes of outer court initiation or coven membership seem like too much for you to do, then you’ll at least walk away as an informed Firefly meetup member, familiar with our core structure.