Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon (Beacon Press) 1979, pgs
106, 120, 130-131:
"A coven simply means a group of people who convene for religious
or magical or psychic purposes. Not all witches form covens...many scholars
would argue that the idea of covens was an invention of the Inquisition
that was later adopted by the revival. Among the Gardnerians and Alexandrian
Craft laws is one that states, 'Ye may not be a witch alone.' So, one
would think that at least there are no solitary Gardnerian or Alexandrian
Witches, but even that isn't true -- many Gardnerians and Alexandrians
have decided to function without covens. (In this religion there is an
exception to everything.)
...Decentralism and individualism in the Craft seem to overshadow any 'tradition'
or 'ritual'. One cannot begin to understand any coven without first understanding
this fundamental independence...
...Dianic covens worship the Goddess more or less monotheistically...the
female as Creatrix is primary. Dianics also see the Goddess symbolized
Mark Roberts tole me that Dianics are also pantheistic, since they recognize
the sacredness of all that exists. But, he said, 'The Goddess is the touchstone
to this planet and this life cycle...'
[quoting from C. A. Burland]: 'A great many modern witches feel that they
have brought back the ancient religion of pre-Christian times. In so far
as they have retained the love of nature and followed the festivals of
the turning sky they have an argument in their favor. Those were the
essentials of the ancient belief.
In this environment of growing threats to human existence there is a surge
towards the works of life. Hence the growth of witches of the old greenwood
type, the dancers of the gods. Nakedness, sex, song and dance are their
marks, and their hearts are mostly innocent and happy. The newly invented
groups have a validity which springs from the emotional needs which created
them. Often without any conscious planning they throw up from within themselves
echoes of ancient ceremonies...
Witchcraft is in its essence the worship of the powers of this world, terrible
or beautiful, but all in a circle under the turning sky above which is