About Oak GroveCoven
Oak Grove Coven is an established ritual group based in Auckland, New Zealand. Within our ceremonies and our lives we explore creative and experiential approaches to ritually working with the cycles of nature and attuning to the land in which we live.
We have been working together doing rituals for more than 25 years and have provided training and initiation to many people interested in following the seasonal and lunar cycles and exploring earth based spirituality. Many of our current members also share an interest in herb and tree lore, natural magic, Druidry, Shamanism, and conservation.
Our group has initiatory lineage from both the Gardnerian Tradition of Wicca and a Traditional English Witchcraft group from Sussex, England active in the 1960's called "the Covanent of the Oak". Gardnerian Wicca tends to be more 'earthy' in its ritual flavour compared to Alexandrian Wicca. We incorporate British and Celtic folk traditions and also aspects of the seasonal traditions of our own land (Aotearoa) into our rituals which gives our group its unique approach. These strands have been woven together over time into beautiful and meaningful rituals that are personal to Oak Grove Coven and the land in which we live..
We aim to have between seven and a maximum of thirteen members, ideally with a balance of men and women. We are not a women's only ritual group and value polarity and balance.
We are aware that people are often curious about who we are and what we do. As Wicca is a mystery tradition there are certain aspects that we do not divulge to the uninitiated, but we can provide answers to some commonly asked questions:
What kind of people join a Wiccan ritual group?
Witches! Wicked, wicked witches! - just kidding :) Actually, contrary to some widely held beliefs, most Wiccan groups, including our own, are made up of utterly ordinary people who share an interest in natural magic and earth based spirituality. Our members come from a range of professional backgrounds and we are far from the stereotypical "pagan" that dominates media portrayals.
What is the age range of members of Oak Grove?
Our current members are aged between approximately 20 and 50 years old. However, we have had, and welcome, members outside of this range..
Where are you located?
We are in the Auckland region, approximately 30 minutes from Central Auckland, bordering on the beautiful Waitakere Ranges. To maintain our privacy we do not give out our physical address to just anyone. Usually, when we first meet a candidate, we do so in a public place that is convenient to both parties in order for us and them to get to know each other. It may be helpful to know that we are located near several modes of transportation and our current members travel from all over Auckland (and beyond) with ease.
Does your group have a lineage?
Yes, our lineage is of the English Gardnerian Tradition of the Craft (in the Whitecroft and Andred lines descended from Eleanor Ray Bone).
We also have lineage from Covanentus Quercus (Covanent of the Oak), a ritual group of Celtic and British Folk Witchcraft, which worked in Sussex during the 1960's. Our group's philosophies and ceremonies derive from these two sources, which creates our unique approach.
Where do you meet / conduct rituals?
Where possible, our rituals and ceremonies are conducted outside in natural settings. (e.g., a cave, on a beach, in a forest) by firelight and to the sound of drumming and chanting, We enact simple rites to celebrate the seasons and the gift of life. If season and weather dictate the use of indoor ritual, usually this is in coven members homes. We also have a beautiful outdoor sanctuary space that is currently being especially designed for us to conduct our rituals in.
How often do you meet?
Initially, those who have been accepted into training meet once per month with a senior member of the Grove or for a study group which is primarily a chance to get to know each other..
Later, there is also the opportunity to attend occasional open seasonal celebrations that occur a couple of times per year - usually on a Saturday afternoon or evening . These are planned well in advance so plenty of notice is given.
After initiation members come together to celebrate the eight seasonal sabbats as well as the monthly full moon 'esbats'.
At times we may meet less often depending on the availability of grove members and their own personal commitments.