The pendulum seems to constantly swing when it comes to the popularity of
joining a group. Lately, I have noticed a large upswing of people who are looking for groups that they can join. Whether they are looking for camaraderie with like-minded individuals, pre-initiate training, or on going direction the pull to find a sect or group seems to be on everyone’s mind these days. Maybe it is because we are growing tired of the social distancing and isolation that has infringed on our lives that people are seeking out connectivity in other ways to help bring back a sense of normalcy. Whatever the reason, belonging to a sect does have some advantages, but being solitary also has its perks, it’s all about what really works for you.
WHY JOIN A GROUP
The first reason is pretty obvious, to be able to connect with others who share your beliefs and interests. This can be a lonely path, let’s be honest; and having others that share your perspective definitely helps us to feel less alone and isolated. Having people that can be our sounding board is another perk to being a member of a sect or coven. We may have a good idea if what we are thinking of trying will work, but being able to get input from other, more experienced practitioners can help us to fine tune our plans and perceptions.
Another perk to belonging to a group is of course formal training, at least at the pre-initiate level (although some groups do offer ongoing classes after initiation). Some people just do better when they have someone to act as a mentor when they are just starting off. Books are fantastic but knowing that you have someone that you can bring your questions to and who will guide you can be of great importance to people.
Depending on whether your group is local or not you would also be able to attend live rites and celebrate with others. You would also have access to Daemonolatry clergy for rites, rituals, and counselling should you ever have the need for them.
Downsides to belonging to a group is that where there are people there is bound to be drama as well. You may not get along with all your coven mates and that can make gatherings uncomfortable. If you have the need to be at the center of attention and a focal point all the time, then being in a group may not be the best fit for you. A coven is there for all members not to always focus on or elevate one over the others. Everyone needs to chip in to make it work for the betterment of all members.
A major problem with wanting to join a group is that there aren’t many Traditional Daemonolatry groups that are public or are accepting new members. Usually members are either born into a group or are brought in by other members and vouched for. Locating a local group is even harder than finding an online one, as they tend to be even more secretive and selective. It might take you a while to find a group, let alone the right one for you.
WHY GO SOLO
When you decide to be a solitary practitioner you are taking full responsibility for your path. You get to decide what you will study, practice, and incorporate into your daily practice. This can be both a wonderful thing or very stressful, depending on the type of person you are. You don’t have to worry about infighting or personality conflicts, but you will also be the one handling all aspects of your practice, sometimes with little support unless you know of other solitaries that you can talk to and bounce ideas off of.
I have been both a solitary practitioner and member of a coven and both have served me well. I can’t say that I prefer one over the other as both offered me different ways of growing and learning. Being a solitary taught me focus and the importance of being self-motivated as I was the one creating and performing the rites and rituals that were important to me. Being part of a sect has helped me to be more open-minded with other people’s perspectives, how to include everyone so that no one feels left out, and also has brought some amazing people into my life that I am proud to call my brothers and sisters.
There are definitely positives to being part of a coven or sect, but groups aren’t for everyone and it is OK to simply do your own thing.