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 publishes a newsletter; issues ministerial credentials on request to qualified persons; sponsors a national festival each summer; and encourages networking nationally, as well as regionally through local councils.
The Covenant is incorporated as a non-profit religious organization in California, though it has grown to be an international 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 decide matters which require deliberation by the full membership. Decisions are usually made by consensus.
- An ye harm none, do as ye will.
- Since our religion and the arts and practices peculiar to it are the gift of the Goddess, membership and training in a local coven or tradition are bestowed free, as gifts, and only on 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 thereby 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 shall respect the traditional secrecy of our religion.
- Members of this Covenant should 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.
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 to the Covenant’s mailing list is limited to the Board of Directors. Maximum privacy is assured.
Within a Local Council, Affinity Groups may be established to further the interests and aims of two or more Local Council Members who share common interests and aims other than their tradition of Our religion. Covens may, at their discretion, join one or more Affinity Groups. Affinity Groups will approve Affinity Group membership, determine the frequency and purpose of their meetings and select and follow through on their own projects and activities. Affinity Groups shall keep the Local Council First Officer and other appropriate officers informed of their activities. Affinity Groups are encouraged to invite membership by CoG Members beyond Local Council boundaries.
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 a physical copy of the newsletter and other mailings. Circulation is limited to members and friends of the Covenant.
An annual membership tithe is set every year at the Grand Council to cover bare expenses, based on the previous year’s expenses and any projected cost increases. The annual financial statement is published in the newsletter. Other activities are supported by fund-raising. All contributions to the Covenant of the Goddess are greatly appreciated and are tax-deductible.
When a matter requiring a decision is presented before the Covenant in council, it is discussed by the members in attendance until a consensus is reached. If a consensus cannot be reached, then a vote may be 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.
An Assembly of Solitaries is entitled to one vote if, and only if, three individuals are physically present at council and unanimous in their choice of vote.
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 geographic proximity to each other. The Local Councils meet at least twice a year and usually more often. They may choose to 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 member covens close to one another to form their own Local Councils.
This is the term we use to collectively represent the Members who are Solitaries, i.e. practicing alone. Each Local Council may devise its own standards for admission of Solitaries, in harmony with national guidelines.