No two covens are ever actually a like, but most do follow some common guidelines. This is just a brief outline I will go into more detail for each thing in separate posts.
They usually have a minimum of thirteen members. These would include twelve regular members being in the novice or adept class. Also a Priestess, Priest, High Priestess, High Priest or a combination of two or more of these. Part of the reason for this is the Priestess or Priest will usually control and channel the energy the coven is raising to accomplish whatever it is they are trying to do. If the group is much larger and there is not a strong enough Witch to control the power/energy being raised bad things can happen (I was visiting a coven that had twenty members and the Priestess was not strong enough to control the power that was raised and the sacred circle had not been open properly. So energy escaped from it and blew out three windows in the members home the meeting was at. Now one was seriously hurt just a couple of scratches). Usually with a coven this large a High Priestess and/or High Priest preside over the gathering as the coven is getting close to being divided into two separate covens. Some covens are a lot larger than thirteen members and work out well.
A regular indoor and/or outdoor gathering place. This can be somewhere specific for every gathering or the place might even rotate trough members homes and/or yards.
Almost every coven will gather for the eight Sabbats and thirteen Esbats. There is usually a time for socializing after the Circle and Ritual is done for members to visit, eat and drink.
The Priestess and/or Priest are the leader of the individual coven, One or both of them decide the roles and duties of the other members. They help meditate problems between coven members. Iniate novices and train adepts.
A novice is a brand new member of the coven and much of the time has no training in The Craft. In most covens a year and day is the time length for a novice to be active in the coven before becoming a full coven member. Once they have become a coven members they move to the Adept level.
Adepts help to train the novices. They might also depending on the coven leaders lead rituals usually on the Esbats. They can ask to be trained as a Priestess or Priest.
The High Priestess and/or High Priest usually have more than one coven they help and oversee. One or both train the Priestesses and/or Priests. They mediate between coven members if the Priestess and/or Priest have had no luck in doing so. They mediate between members and the coven Priestess and/or Priest. They may also need to mediate between the coven Priestess and Priest, which is very rare.
Some covens have a dress code (i.e. must ware a cape without or with a hood, a certain color dress or shirt, etc). Some do not care what a member wears as long as it is not degrading to the ritual and/or people. Some go Skyclad (nude).
Suggestions for possibly finding a coven in your area:
If there is a “New Age’ shop that sells Witch supplies go in a few times and talk with the employees after a few visits and they have become comfortable with you ask them if they know of a coven. Never ask for the coven leaders phone number but offer to give them your number to pass on to the coven leader. As most Witches are still in the “broom closet” for fear of rejection by friends, family, co-workers, etc.
This is a general search link on Google.com that might help you find a coven and/or other Witches in your area.
Copyright 2015 Lady Beltane