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OUR
STORY

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Learn more about how our coven is led and organized now

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Laying the Foundation

Tree of Knowledge Coven began in 2020 with three sisters sitting around a dining table. A conversation that started as a discussion about the various needs of Pagan community took a turn when one sister asked, "Do y'all want to start a coven?"

Friends, I really hate to disappoint anyone that is hoping for a more interesting tale of occult mysteries and sacred secrets. The truth is, our coven was born from the need to support those who are new to an Earth-based spiritual path and a desire to build a more welcoming local Pagan community. And so, we started laying the foundation for our coven.

 

Our goal was to help others who are wanting to explore Paganism by training an inner grove of Teachers to lead rituals, classes, and resources. We chose the title "Teacher" rather than other common options (High Priestesss, Leader, etc) because the purpose of our role was to serve the community rather than wield authority. This was also a more inclusive title because "Teacher" is applicable to all genders. After we had a clear vision of what our goals were, we created a Coven Compact stating what our policies are for the coven community. While our foundation was laid with the needs of the greater Pagan community in mind, we were knee-deep in the pandemic at the time. Rather than creating events in person, we focused our efforts on sharing resources online while having family holiday celebrations on the farm.

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Humble Beginnings

When Spring of 2021 rolled around, the world was still coping with COVID and the struggles of isolation. At this point, we weren't sure when or if we would be able to have public gatherings, but we wanted those who were newly exploring their spiritual path to have that connection to others like themselves. So, we brought the community to the people! We created a website with downloadable classes (one of which is still available here), shared helpful information and "behind the scenes" videos on TikTok, and created our Pagan Pen Pal Program to send letters and gifts to people that were wanting a more personal connection to like-minded people.

The P.O. Box address in the videos below is no longer being used.

Our new address is P.O. Box 1845 Columbus, IN 47202.

This was the year that we held our first official May Day as a coven. This was a deeply meaningful day for our family, and we were blessed to be able to celebrate it together. After fun competitions to determine the May King and Queen, we crowned our first May Queen, Windy Hash, and our first May King, Derrix. Our May pole isn't fancy, but it was build with love, and is still used to this day. Each year, we keep the previous year's ribbons and add a new layer of ribbon to it, combining the energies of those present with the love and memories of those who came before us.

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Connecting In Person

Slowly, the world began to open up again. The isolation of the pandemic had given many people time and space to reflect on their spiritual beliefs, and this created a wave of people seeking knowledge and community. During 2021, our coven began hosting Free Workshop Fridays, which were led by Brittany Phillips at Awoke, a metaphysical store in Columbus, IN that had recently reopened in a new location. This program supported an amazing local business while also providing resources and hands-on experiences for people who were new to their path. We are deeply grateful to our friends at Awoke who graciously welcomed us into their space and helped us to build a more welcoming and supportive community.

Along with weekly classes, we also began hosting our public holiday gatherings. Within a year, we went from a small coven of four to a growing community! We are honored and blessed that so many incredible people have decided to share their journeys with us. Thanks to the compassion and dedication of our members, our coven has been able to thrive and offer a spiritual family to others who are in need of support and connection.

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Growing Our Community

As time went on, our coven developed into more than a group that gathered for classes and holidays. We grew into a spiritual family that has celebrated handfastings, welcomed new babies, supported each other in illness and struggles, and cheered on the accomplishments of one another.

Not only did our bonds within the coven grow over time, but our fellowship with other spiritual communities did as well. In 2022, our coven joined Columbus Interfaith, an organization that brings spiritual and religious communities together to support each other and share in community projects (like Interfaith Peace Camp for children). We were also invited to host coven holidays at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbus, IN, which we are deeply grateful for. This has been a blessing to us, as it allows us to host gatherings during the coldest months in a safe, warm, and welcoming space. In Winter of  2022, we partnered with the UUCCI children's minister Adrienne Summerlot to co-host a Winter Solstice Celebration, which included our first children's performance: The Battle of the Oak King and Holly King. If you would like a copy of this play, you can download a copy here.

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Our Growing Needs

What began with a handful of people quickly grew to serve the needs of roughly a hundred Pagans locally and online. As the community grew and changed, so too did the structure of our coven. Many members of our community beside the founding Teachers stepped forward to organize food deliveries for struggling families, a fundraiser for a member facing eviction, organizing a free coven library, and so much more. It was evident that so many people were willing to go to great lengths to support the friends within our coven, not for praise or recognition, but because they deeply care about our community and its members.

At the Spring Equinox of 2023, our coven held a meeting where all were invited to make a decision on how the needs of our community should be met. At that meeting, it was decided that our coven community will be represented by a council of seven members, rather than the four founding Teachers. Each member has equal authority and equal say in voting, regardless of age or experience. This council will organize planning events and projects for the coven community for 6 months. A new council will be selected at the Spring and Fall Equinoxes during our Town Hall Meeting. Future council members will be nominated if they have volunteered or served the community in some way during the previous 6 months.

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Thank you for taking a moment to hear our stories and share in our journey!

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