Coven

Table of contents

Overview

The Coven represents the spiritual body of Anathema, and is an eclectic guild of witches and pagans who subscribe to the traditions of witchcraft. As an eclectic coven, members are not required to follow one specific pantheon or path, promoting diversity amongst the members and their magical styles. All Anathemans are welcome to join the Coven, whether they are an experienced witch or a new initiate into the Craft.

The Coven ranking system is broken up into 5 tiers altogether; Initiate, 1st Degree, 2nd Degree, 3rd Degree, and The High Council.

The primary goal of the witch would be to achieve the rank of 3rd Degree, where one is deemed a master at their art. When reaching the 3rd Degree, or shortly after entering this rank, a witch can earn the title of Priest or Priestess by choosing a Magical Path and becoming proficient with at least one Magical Specialization. (For example, after months of study, Priestess Jane has become a 3rd Degree Blood Witch, with a specialization in Spirit Speak.)

Descriptions of Ranks and how to achieve them, Magical Paths, and Magical Specializations are below.

Ranks

The High Council

The court consists of experienced 3rd Degree witches and some 2nd Degree witches who possess specific, well-trained abilities to fill certain roles. The court is not 'above' any other witch; in fact, the primary role of the Court is to serve every coven member.

High Priestess (1) and High Priest (1)

Performing much the same function, the High Priestess and High Priest act as the coven leaders and work in conjunction to govern all coven matters. The High Priest/ess typically stands in for the God and Goddess during ritual and spell work, and because of this the person filling the role must embody the respected gender at that time. However, they are not required to be that gender in body, meaning that the High Priestess can be male, and the High Priest can be female. There is equal opportunity for all characters to fill this role. The High Priest/ess must be a 3rd Degree witch as they are responsible for mentoring the entire coven. When a High Priest/ess steps down, a new qualifying member may enter this position by coven vote only, and cannot simply be appointed or given this position by the remaining High Priest/ess.

Magistrate (1)

The magistrate is a 3rd Degree witch who acts as a judge for the coven, and councilperson to the coven leadership. The Magistrate steps in when there is a dispute that needs a neutral party to help see it through, or in rare situations when judgment must be passed and a coven vote cannot take place.

How to Achieve this Position:

Meet all 3rd Degree requirements. Show proficiency with neutrality and fairness in their prior actions. Petition the High Priest/ess for the job, and be voted in by the coven by a majority vote.

Oracle (1)

This is a 2nd or 3rd Degree witch who possesses highly developed psychic abilities and, through various modes of divination or psychic reception, receives important messages from the spirit world and assists in the guidance of the coven by acting as the voice of the spirits.

How to Achieve this Position:

Meet at least 2nd Degree Requirements. Demonstrate proficiency with at least 1 divination specialization/skill. Petition the High Priest/ess for the job, and be voted in by the coven by a majority vote

Black Dog (2)

This 3rd Degree witch demonstrates superior psychic abilities and is responsible for detecting any negative or harmful spirits and energies that might threaten the coven during ritual - or at other times. This person actively seeks to find these spirits and banish them before they can cause any harm, thus protecting the witches from psychic, metaphysical, or physical attack during ritual, spells, meditation, study, etc.

How to Achieve this Position:

Meet all 3rd Degree requirements. Show ICly proficiency with at least one psychic skill. Petition the High Priest/ess for the job and be voted in by the coven by a majority vote.

3rd Degree

Upon advancing to 3rd Degree, the witch is expected to take a job in service of the coven, if they have not already done so. At this point they would have probably selected their magical path, but if they have not done so yet, they would decide upon being elevated to the rank of 3rd Degree. The 3rd Degree witch is normally expected to take on a pupil of any rank beneath them, and either train them in their same magical path or teach them a specific skill that they possess, such as herbalism, manifestation, astral projection, scrying, crystals, divination, sigil magic, and more. These members may also seek a seat on the High Council. This is the highest rank a witch can achieve, and all 3rd Degree witches are on an equal level with the High Priest/ess. Should the High Priest/ess be incapacitated or absent for some reason, all 3rd Degree witches have the knowledge and skill to act as a proxy during ritual until they can resume their duties.

Where to go from here?

3rd Degree Priest/Priestess

The 3rd Degree is the highest rank a witch can obtain, and happens when the character is proficient and well learned in their craft. Upon reaching 3rd Degree, your character can aspire for a seat on the High Council, and/or can achieve proficiency in their craft and earn the title of Priest or Priestess. This title indicates that they have mastered their magical path and magical specialization. When one achieves the title, they may expect to be addressed as such, especially in formal situations (ie Priest John, Priestess Jane), though the character can choose to dispense with the formality.

How to Achieve the Priest or Priestess title:

Attend at least 2 rituals and 1 Sabbat, or 2 Sabbats and 1 ritual. Of the 3, your character must lead 1. Complete 1 thread studying your craft or teaching a lower level witch. Choose a Magical Path if you have not yet done so and complete 1 thread performing a spell or ritual in your character’s chosen magical style. Choose a Magical Specialty if you have not yet done so and complete 1 thread using that specialty. Complete 1 thread where you teach your Magical Path, and 1 thread teaching your Magical Specialty to at least 1 student. Be in the 3rd Degree tier for at least 1 month.

2nd Degree

When a witch completes their 1st Degree study, they are then elevated to 2nd Degree. They are still expected to dedicate time to studies, but more time to practical magic and leading rituals. 2nd Degree witches typically study under other 2nd Degree and 3rd Degree witches. Upon entering this rank, the witch is encouraged to select a magical path*. If they are not ready to select a path yet, then they are encouraged to take more time to practice different types of magic to see which style or pantheon resonates with them the most.

*Magical paths include, but are not limited to: Hedgewitch, Necromancer, Pyromancer, Elementalist, Faery Witch, Voodoo Shaman, Summoner (Demon), Summoner (Angel), Alchemist, Gray Witch, Blood Witch.

How to Advance:

Attend 2 rituals, 2 Sabbats, or 1 of each. Complete 1 thread studying your craft. Complete 1 thread performing a spell or ritual of your character’s choosing. Select a Magical Path and complete 1 thread studying, using, or preparing items for that skill. OR Select a Magical Specialty and complete 1 thread using that specialty. Be in 2nd Degree tier for at least 1 month.

1st Degree

When a Dedicant completes their initial study and decides that they still want to be with the coven and follow the Witches’ path, they then become a 1st Degree Witch and enter their first “year” of study. There will be no jobs within the 1st Degree as their only expectation is to study, practice, and learn. 1st Degree witches are allowed to perform coven rituals or spells with approval of the High Priest/ess and with assistance from a 3rd Degree witch. The witch likely has a mentor from their time as a Dedicant, but if not, then they are encouraged to seek out a teacher.

How to Advance:

Attend 1 ritual or 1 Sabbats. Complete 1 thread studying your craft. Complete 1 thread where your character performs their first spell, under the guidance of a mentor. Be in the 1st Degree tier for at least 1 month.

Dedicant

An initiate. The Dedicant is someone who has expressed their interest in joining the coven, and has performed a formal ceremony declaring to the Goddess and God that they will seek knowledge and understanding of the Witches’ ways. The Dedicant’s primary job will be to attend rituals, and to meet the members of the coven and learn from them. This way, they can decide if the way of the witch is truly a path they want to follow.

How To Advance:

Participate in a Dedication Ceremony with at least 1 member of the coven. Attend at least 1 ritual or 1 Sabbat. If no coven events are coming up, you may request arrangements to be made in the Coven chat on Anathema’s Discord channel, or may PM or DM a member of the coven. Complete 1 thread where your character is studying the craft. They can be working with a mentor, or experimenting with spells, herbs, meditation, etc. Be a Dedicant for at least 1 month.

Magical Paths

A Magical Path is a specific type of witchcraft or pantheon that your character chooses to focus on. There are many different paths to appeal to a wide variety of interests. Although the below list suggests several of those paths, if the path you desire is not listed we are happy to consider adding it. Simply contact the High Priest or High Priestess via Discord, or PM them on the forum.

Types of Magical Paths:

Hedgewitch, aka Green Witch or Kitchen Witch - These witches primarily use the forces of Mother Earth to power their craft, including trees, standing stones, weather, etc. These witches are normally experts on herbs, covering both magical and medicinal properties, but are not necessarily herbalists. It is common for these witches to follow the Celtic pantheon or be proficient with Faery magic.

Necromancer, aka Spirit Summoner - A Necromancer’s primary magic is performed with the dead; they often commune with spirits, cast death or resurrection spells on people on the brink. These witches find cemeteries as a place of power. Contrary to popular assumption, the Necromancer is not necessarily evil.

Pyromancer, aka Fire Witch - The Pyromancer’s source of power lies within flame. They draw their power from fire, the sun, and even lava. Pyromancers can find power in symbols of fire as well, such as lava rock.

Elementalist - These witches work with the four natural elements (earth, wind, fire, water) as their source of power, and include spirit as the fifth element. Spirit can either be their own spiritual essence, or that of the divine.

Faery Witch, aka Feri Witch or Fairy Witch - One whose practice is based upon Fey lore and the magic of the creatures of legend. Because of their penchant for nature, Faery witches are often confused for Hedgewitches, but are not necessarily the same.

Voodoo Shaman, aka Voudon or Haitian Vodou - The Voodoo Shaman is a witch whose primary pantheon and traditions are steeped in those relating to one of the various paths of the Voodoo tradition. Because of the spectacle of their typical ritual, and because they are known to perform blood magic or animal sacrifices without batting an eye, the Voodoo Shaman is often considered evil, but that is not always true.

Summoner; Demon - The Demon Summoner is one who works with the powerful spirits of the dark. Demon Summoners are separate from Necromancers because Demonic spirits are not, nor have never been Luperci spirits. These spirits can, however, possess a Luperci body if they are strong enough and are so inclined.

Summoner; Angel - In contrast to the Demon Summoner, the Angel Summoner works with spirits of the light. Much like a Demon, an Angel is a spirit that has never lived a Luperci life. They, too, can possess the right Luperci body if they chose to, but would only choose to use the body of a willing person. Often times, the Angel Summoner allows the Angel to possess their own body, letting the being work through them, for lack of other willing assistants.

Alchemist - The Alchemist is a very studious, scientific sort of witch who uses potions and brews as the focus of their power. The Alchemist’s skillset is often vast, with the potential to act simultaneously as a medic who creates healing droughts, a poison specialist, a bomb expert, and more. While very rewarding, this is a very time consuming path that requires years of dedication to master.

Gray Witch - Contrary to popular belief, the “Gray” in Gray Witch has nothing to do with the ethics and morals of the magic performed, but the type of magic altogether. A Gray Witch utilizes the light of the half moon for their rituals of power, in contrast with using the Full or New Moon. They embrace the concept of “between worlds”.

Blood Witch - A Blood Witch is much what it sounds; one who uses blood magic for their main form of spell casting and ritual. A powerful and effective form of magic, the morality of Blood Magic has long been debated. Blood Witches may use their own blood or the blood of another for their spells, and may or may not perform animal or Luperci sacrifice as a part of their practice.

Magical Specializations

Magical Specializations are different from Magical Paths in that they are a specific type of skill your character has honed to help them with their spiritual journey. Most Magical Specializations are types of psychic power, but can range outside of that sphere as well. There are hundreds of possible Magical Specializations, so we have listed just a few popular ones. So once again, just like with the Magical Path, if your desired Specialization (skill) is not listed here, we are happy to honor it. Simply contact the High Priestess or High Priest via Discord or PM.

Types of Magical Specializations:

Astral Projection - The skill of willfully extending the spiritual self beyond the physical body, to travel the astral plain.

Crystal Casting - Crystal Casting is a form of Divination, in which the caster throws various crystals onto a grid and reads the patterns and meanings of the crystals as they lay, to gather desired information.

Tarot Cards - Tarot cards are a tool of Divination, and can help the reader receive messages from the Divine to prophesize the future, or seek guidance.

Sigil Magic - The skill to empower oneself magically by creating and activating sigils. A sigil can work on its own or to enhance a spell, and is effective for warding households, oneself, and bringing about desired results. An activated sigil worked by a skilled hand can be just as effective as a spell, and done in half the time.

Herbalism - The knowledge of herbs and their magical properties. Herbalists use various plants as a main component of their spells, and often times are skilled in the healing arts of herbs as well.

Psychic Shielding - The ability to maintain magical shields to prevent from psychic and spiritual attack.

Aura Reading - The ability to gain knowledge of a person or object by reading its energy.

Scrying - The ability to gain information through gazing upon a chosen medium (mirror, flame, scrying bowl,etc), often entering a trance-like state, and reading the images, thoughts, and feelings that come while performing the reading.

Spirit Speak - The ability to communicate with the souls of departed Luperci. Spirit Speak is limited to Luperci spirits, only, and it takes special training to move beyond basic Spirit Speak to communicate with other non-Luperci beings such as Faeries, Angels, and Demons.

Faery Speak - The ability to communicate with the beings of the Fey. The Fey can be a tricky people and the skill of Faery Speak should only be learned by one with the sharpest wits, so as not to fall into a Fae trap.

Angel Speak - The ability to communicate with Angels; non-Luperci spirits that are typically aligned for good.

Demon Speak - The ability to communicate with Demons; non-Luperci spirits that are often up to no good.

Clairaudience – The ability to acquire information by paranormal auditory means.

Claircognizance – The ability to acquire psychic knowledge by means of intrinsic knowledge.

Clairgustance – The ability to taste or perceive the essence of a substance from the ethereal realms without contact.

Clairsentience – The ability to acquire psychic knowledge by feeling.

Clairvoyance – The ability to perceive person, object, location, and physical events through extrasensory perception.