We are Witches, and experienced coven leaders. These notes are based on our own experience and study. Still, they are only what we have learned up until now -- they are hardly the final word on the subject. We hope they will be helpful to other coven leaders as well as leaders of all other kinds of Pagan groups, people who are intending to start groups soon, and those in advanced training. They are not intended to become the basis for the next Pagan fad, nor do they replace what you have learned from your own practice, from your circle, your elders, and your Tradition.

As you might expect from Wiccan High Priestesses, our primary religious vocabulary is Wiccan. But these notes are intended for Pagans of all Paths, and for anybody else who may find them useful. We hope that our Druid, Heathen, and Reconstructionist (and anybody else we may have missed) readers will not feel left out, and will make any translation that is necessary to suit their own Paths.

As usual with us, this is a work in progress. We hope to receive advice, corrections, inspirations, great ideas, criticisms and manifestos concerning this book from our colleagues in the Pagan clergy. Please let us know how you think these notes might be improved.

About the authors

Judy is High Priestess of Proteus Coven, a liberal Gardnerian Wiccan congregation located in the New York metropolitan area, and devoted Grandmother to several covens in that lineage. As a retired civil servant in the best Gardnerian tradition, she is now a full-time writer, teacher and priestess, also maintaining a small private counselling practice. Judy holds an M.S. degree in counselling from City University of New York, and she is chair-emerita of the Pastoral Counseling  program at Cherry Hill Seminary.

            Gwyneth commutes between the very westernmost West Coast and Massachusetts. She holds an advanced degree in an utterly unrelated field from an obscure provincial university. For fun, she edits religious texts, including little books like this.

            We are formerly married, and happily collaborated on workshops and writing projects such as this during our marriage. However, Anglo-American inconsistencies in spelling constantly plagued us, so you will find Americanisms and Anglicisms both within these pages.

These notes were originally created as handouts for an elders' workshop. As traditional elders, we are glad to offer this workshop as a free service to the Pagan community, under the sponsorship of any non-profit Pagan group, asking only that you cover our travel and other expenses.


Thanks are due to our colleagues who shared their wisdom with us: Susan for her comments on psychological issues and contra-indications, the late Isaac Bonewits for his Cult Danger Evaluation Frame, and to the Ladies Morvoren, Theos and Deirdre, who have been unstinting in their aid and counsel to us over the years.

We welcome any thoughts, responses, reactions and reflections from you. Please send those to Judy.


All authors, as identified in each article comprising these notes, retain copyright of their work. We claim right of authorship and copyright on our work only. The works of other authors have been quoted and excerpted in these notes with due permission, for purposes of private study and teaching, subject to the fair use provisions of Canadian and American copyright legislation. You may not incorporate these notes or portions thereof in a work for commercial sale or distribution via any means electronic or otherwise.

This notebook, like all the other notebooks in this series, are our free gift to the Pagan community. We hope you will pay this gift forward. Accordingly, you may use these notes only for not-for-profit purposes of teaching and study. You may freely distribute copies of these notes for such purposes, provided that the authors are clearly identified and that the text is not altered.

These notes may not be reproduced for commercial gain.

We would very much appreciate news about how you're using these notes, feedback, suggestions for improvement, etc. Please send your feedback to Judy.

Thank you! 


Opinions expressed within these notes are solely those of the authors and are not to be construed as being the opinions or positions of the organizations to which we belong, or any particular Tradition of our Craft.

May these words, and the manner of their sharing, bring good to many, harm to none, and glory to the Ancient Gods!

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    Last revision: February 9, 2012