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I. Statement of Purpose and Beliefs

A.    Mission Statement:

Hands of Change is a coven dedicated to spiritual growth, empowerment, fostering spiritual community, as well as promoting healing change in ourselves, our larger community, and our world.

B.    Spiritual Growth:

To provide an environment, supported by our Principles and Practices, which develops spiritual growth in Hands of Change members and congregants through:

1.     Worship

We will provide public circles for the community to assist in aligning and balancing ourselves with the Wheel of the Year and the energies of the natural world.

2.     Education

We will create an education program to increase awareness and understanding of the Hands of Change traditions both within our community and in the world.

3.     Support

We will provide spiritual counseling and create an environment where our members and congregants sustain each other on the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual realms.

4.     Celebration

Members and congregants of Hands of Change are our family, friends and allies. As such, when we gather together, we do so in the spirit of love and trust that opens our hearts to deity and rejoices in the gift of community.

5.     Service

We believe that the Universe is a place of abundance and we seek to create balance in our world by giving service in equal measure to the gifts we receive from the Earth.

6.     Empowerment

To educate and nourish Hands of Change members to become leaders within the church and the community through equality in decision-making, support of members’ ideas and projects as guided by our Charter, and dedication to innovation and the free exchange of ideas.

7.     Spiritual Community

To create a center where people feel safe to worship, learn, receive support and create lasting bonds. This space will have a commitment to inclusiveness and will celebrate the diversity of ideas, ideologies, and experiences. Members will be encouraged to make this center their spiritual home. We believe that spiritual community begins within us. Thus, we carefully cultivate a feeling of family amongst our members and strive toward perfect love, perfect trust, and group mind.

8.     Healing Change

To be aware of the world around us and work towards the improvement of the situations of our less fortunate sisters and brothers. To understand the issues of importance in the pagan community and the world and work towards a safe, clean planet filled with love, understanding and abundance.

C.    Tradition:

1.     Hands of Change is an Eclectic Wiccan-Pagan tradition that celebrates and honors world customs as they relate to the seasons and our lives.

2.     We practice rites to attune ourselves with the natural rhythms of life forces marked by the phases of the Moon and the seasonal quarters and cross-quarters.

3.     We recognize our intelligence gives us a unique responsibility toward our environment. We seek to live in harmony with Nature.

4.     We believe all spiritual paths are equal in the eyes of the divine. We respect all spiritual seekers and paths.

5.     We believe that every faith is a road that leads the individual to their Higher Self and the Divine. We do not proselytize, but believe that each individual is unique and will find the path that will lead them to enlightenment.

6.     We do not discriminate against a person based on religion, race, sexual preference, gender or political view.

7.     We celebrate the different aspects of god and goddess as manifesting in all people in a non-gender specific fashion.

8.     We conceive of the Creative Power in the Universe as manifesting through polarity – as active, dynamic, and magnetic intuitive forces – which support each other.

9.     This same Creative Power lives in all people, and when balanced, manifests its self as an integrated force which creates a mature self-actualized person.

10.  We seek to control the forces within ourselves that make life possible in order to live wisely and well, without harm to others and in harmony with Nature. We use meditation and magick, as tools to enable us to see ourselves clearly and with compassion, so we may constantly strive to keep our intentions and ourselves centered and in balance with the World.

11.  We see religion, spirituality, magick, and wisdom-in-living as being united in the way one sees the world and interacts with it. We identify this worldview and philosophy of life as the Wiccan or Pagan Way.

12.  We acknowledge that a depth of power far greater than is apparent to the average person exists in the universe. Because it is far greater than ordinary, it is sometimes called “supernatural,” but we see it as lying within everyone’s potential.

13.  We recognize both outer and inner, or psychological worlds-sometimes known as the Spiritual World, the Collective Unconscious, etc. We neglect neither dimension for the other, seeing both as necessary for our fulfillment.

14.  We empower those who join us by giving them a voice in coven matters by using an agreement seeking process and encouraging a permeable hierarchy of leadership.

15.  We believe that by maximizing member participation in the decision making process we relate openly and continually improve communication skills. This enables every member to build upon the foundation of perfect love and perfect trust that is pivotal in our relationship with each other.

16.  We promote growth in our members by offering opportunities to lead rituals and teach classes.

17.  Our goal is to foster spiritual community through a policy of inclusion, which creates a diverse, powerful, and caring coven.

18.  We reach out to society through our actions and intentions to create healing change and a stronger, more viable pagan community.

D.    Beliefs:

1.     Consent and Autonomy:

If it harms none, do what you will.

2.     Karma: Honor all Life.

Whatever you do returns to you many fold.

3.     Balance: Seek balance in all things

Giving/taking, acceptance/action, protection/openness, self/other, thinking/feeling…

4.     Empowerment and Action:

We have the power to make positive change in our lives and the world around us.

5.     Humility and Tolerance:

We are all equal in the eyes of the divine. We must respect all spiritual seeking and paths.

6.     Community:

The coven is a family. We are bound to protect and support each other.

7.     Service:

What we take so must we give.

8.     Leadership:

Leaders should nurture the following qualities: belief, knowledge, ability, patience, leadership, tolerance, inner balance, and a loving nature.

II.    Membership

The body of membership has five levels of participation: A) Friends of Hands of Change , B) General Membership, C) HOC Initiate, D) Kore Membership, and E) Ordination.


A.    Friends of Hands of Change

HOC should establish an associated church program entitled “Friends of Hands of Change.” (FOHOC) This associated group would provide an opportunity for HOC congregants to be of greater service to the HOC community, as well as receive benefits from the closer relationship with the coven. Fees to join FOHOC shall start with an introductory rate of $45 annually for individuals, $75 annually for families, starting and renewing on January 1. Congregants who join in November of any given calendar year get two months free, with their regular membership beginning on Jan. 1 of the following year. A new committee will be established to define and determine further program standards and specifics, with the goal of implementation early in 2006.

B.    General Membership

1.     Benefits:

  1. Becoming a member of a growing spiritual “family.”
  2. Spiritual and personal growth derived from commitment, service, and membership in a supportive spiritual community.
  3. Opportunity to attend coven-only events, such as workshops and sweat lodges.
  4. Ability to have a voice in coven matters and to learn and participate in Agreement Seeking decision-making process.
  5. Training in writing and performing ritual.
  6. Opportunity to lead rituals and teach classes.
  7. Mentorship by a Coven Member at the request of the new member.
  8. Opportunity to learn in an experiential, safe environment from a diverse group of individuals.
  9. Opportunity to participate in “building” circle at Sabbat rituals.
  10. Assumed RSVP to Sabbats.
  11. Discount on certain classes and workshops (not including Sabbats and Full Moon Circles).

2.     Qualifications:

  1. A Year & a Day has passed from the Seeker’s first attendance at a HOC event.
  2. Seeker has attended six rituals of any type in any configuration, with the proviso that the six must contain at least one Full Moon and one Sabbat, either closed or open.
  3. Seeker has attended one invitation only event (i.e. Coven working, sweat lodge, new moon, etc.)
  4. Seeker must request membership in HOC.
  5. The Seeker agrees to abide by the Charter.
  6. Effective May 1, 2012, anyone who expresses desire to join HOC will be then required to participate in a Commitment Ceremony and agree to complete the set of 9 classes of the “Nine-fold Path” before being further considered for full HOC membership. These Committed Seekers would be invited to attend some private HOC events, as well as required to assist on the ritual teams for public events.
  7. Seeker must express interest in service to the Coven.
  8. Seeker must write a letter in which she or he explains why she or he wishes membership in the coven, what strengthens she or he brings with them and how she or he sees her or himself fitting into the group. They should fill out any questions/application, and be available to answer any questions members may have
  9. The Seeker must be accepted by the members of HOC by Agreement-Seeking process.
  10. The Seeker accepts the spiritual principles and practices as described in the Charter.
  11. After Dedication, the Seeker must sign the Hands of Change Book of Shadows to acknowledge acceptance of the below-listed responsibilities.
  12. After Dedication, the Seeker agrees to complete the Concensus class.
  13. Modifications to the requirements may be made in special cases due to the demands of medical, parental, work schedule, training schedules or commuting logistics. Such requests for modifications will examined on a case by case basis by Kore, who will present recommendations to general membership for voting.

3.     On-going Responsibilities

The new member accepts a greater level of commitment and responsibility for the coven, including:

  1. Taking a service role in the coven,
  2. Attending coven meetings,
  3. Attending coven events whenever possible
  4. Assisting with HOC required classes.
  5. Writing and/or performing “public” HOC ritual.
  6. The new member will complete the Agreement-seeking workshop as offered by HOC and commits to following Agreement-Seeking process.
  7. The new member consents to take leave of absence from or leave coven if unable to meet above requirements.

C.    HOC Initiate

1.     Benefits

  1. Allows the initiate to call her/himself and initiated Priest/ess of the craft in the HOC tradition.
  2. Allows the initiate to perform HOC FM and Sabbat rituals without a Kore member as Priest/ess. It is recommended that a Kore member be one of the clergy members for Grand Sabbats i.e. Pagan Picnic, etc.
  3. Allows the initiate to develop the intimate bonds of a trainer with new coven members.
  4. Provides a means for coven members to challenge their weaknesses in Wiccan knowledge.
  5. Provides a means for coven members to set and achieve personal spiritual goals which are acknowledged by the coven.
  6. Strengthens the coven members’ abilities
  7. to create and implement rituals.

2.     Qualifications

  1. The coven member must submit an essay/speech/interpretive dance on the topic of why she wants to become a HOC initiate, the strengths they will bring to the coven as such, and how the initiation will benefit them person-ally. This should be completed and given to the HOC Initiate Committee and the Kore member Coordinator prior to any interview.       The requirements for HOC Initiation are that before HOC Initiation, HOC members must:
  2. Have been a member of HOC for one year and a day;
  3. Have read the latest version of HOC’s charter, bylaws, Principles and Practices, and agree to abide by them;
  4. Have completed or tested out of the HOC Ninefold Path classes, Sabbat Orientation, and Consensus/Agreement- Seeking Decision-Making Process;
  5. Be willing to take an oath to honor and serve the Goddess and God within, in daily life and ritual; and to aid and defend sister and brothers of the Craft;
  6. Create a personal oath, declaring their spiritual and magickal goals;
  7. Work to develop and maintain strong, wise, caring relationships with each coven sister and brother; and to clearly communicate their needs, expectations, and resources to other coveners;
  8. Actively participate in coven activities, and take a fair share of responsibility for planning, organization, and leadership;
  9. Choose a Craft name to mark a new stage of spiritual growth and explain ritual the coven what they will manifest in their life thereby, and when and where it may be appropriately used ( Note: Magickal names may be changed later, as the individual’s work and needs change);
  10. Support the material needs of the coven through modest dues or financial contributions, donations of supplies, and/or time and energy toward coven projects;
  11. Arrange a suitable altar and space at home for doing personal ritual work;
  12. Create or obtain the basic tools of the Craft: athame / wand, chalice, fire candle, thurible, pentacle, and Book of Shadows;
  13. Read at least 3 books from the recommended list;
  14. In addition, before initiation, a HOC member may be required to demonstrate the following knowledge and skills:
    • Knowledge of and ability to perform the HOC Wiccan building ritual, cleanse an area, ward an area, cast a circle, call the quarters, and invoke Deity;
    • Knowledge of the basic correspondences to the quarters (the tools, colors, elements, etc.);
    • Knowledge and ability to perform the basics of energy work- including progressive physical relaxation, ability to center oneself emotionally, ground, meditate, enter a trance state, basic self-purification/cleansing, channel energy from the ambient field, or specifically from the lunar, solar, or earth sources, channel energy to a specific target or purpose, earth/ground excess energy;
    • Knowledge and understanding of the three fold law;
    • Knowledge of the basic God and Goddess names and mythology in at least one pantheon or tradition;
    • Knowledge of the names and meanings of the 8 Sabbats and HOC traditions associated with them;
    • Knowledge of the history and philosophy of HOC tradition Wicca;
    • Introductory knowledge of some form of the healing arts- e.g. herbology, massage, emergency medicine, reiki, crystal healing, etc. OR
    • Knowledge of and skill in one or more form of divination- tarot, I Ching, runes, astrology, pendulum, etc.;
    • Knowledge and an understanding of the Wiccan Rede, and the HOC Principles and Practices;
  15. The coven member will be interviewed by a delegate of the HOC Initiate Committee to discuss items that the above reviewers feel are important for the covener’s development as a HOC Initiate, and how to best fulfill items on the study list. All Kore members are considered members of the above committee as well as all HOC Initiates.
  16. The member seeking initiation is responsible for all follow-up needed to complete tasks on the list. All coveners, with their permission, may be used as resources; as well as outside sources.
  17. Once the member feels they have completed the self-study program they will meet with the aforementioned reviewer (s) again to discuss the results of their course of study. A successful completion of the course of study will result in an initiation presided over by available HOC Initiates and Kore members.

3.     On-going Responsibilities

  1. The initiate will assist in the training of new coven members in the creating and implementing of ritual.
  2. The initiate will lead full moons and Sabbats.
  3. The initiate will assist in the initiation of new HOC Initiates.
  4. The initiate will assist the coven as a Full Moon Advisor.

D.    Kore Apprenticeship

1.     Petitioning the Kore

Any coven member who feels called to serve on the Kore may petition the Kore to start the Kore Apprentice training. This can be done by approaching any Kore member who in turn will bring the matter before the rest of the Kore.

  1. If accepted, the Kore candidate must schedule the time and place for the Commencement Interview during which all active Kore members must be present.
  2. The commencement interview will allow the Kore to assign an appropriate mentor, and a course of study/self-improvement.
  3. In preparation for his or her interview with Kore, the Kore candidate will be asked to do some soul searching – considering her/his strengths and weaknesses, motivations, and potential contributions.
  4. After the interview, if the Kore Candidate wishes to proceed, he or she must serve as a Kore Apprentice for a minimum of one year and a day, dated from the time of her/his commencement interview.
  5. The period of apprenticeship is designed to:
    • Assist the Apprentice in her or his spiritual growth, preparing him/her for initiation
    • Familiarize the Apprentice with the work of the Kore
    • Familiarize the Kore with the Apprentice.

2.     Preparation for Commencement Interview

The following are to be completed prior to the interview:

  1. The coven member must be an active member for 1 year.
  2. Candidates for Kore initiation first go through the HOC Priest self-training and initiation before commencing Kore training.
  3. Lead ritual with at least 4 different Kore members or at least 4 rituals with Kore members if there are less than 4 active members in Kore.
  4. Read carefully the above explanation of Kore Apprenticeship, and the list of Kore Expectations and Responsibilities.
  5. Read carefully the HOC charter and bylaws, as well as recent additions to them. Make sure you are in agreement with them before you proceed.
  6. Consider carefully the list of questions for Kore candidacy. See the Kore Membership Coordinator for this list. This should be completed and given to Kore Members prior to the interview.
  7. Obtain a copy of your natal chart. Study this chart or consult with the Coven Astrologer, or some other astrologer, to discern your strengths and weaknesses, and your spiritual path as depicted on this chart. The chart and analysis should be completed and given to Kore Members prior to the interview.
  8. Prepare an essay/ speech / interpretative dance on the topic of why She or He wants to join and what she or he is bringing to Kore. This should be completed and given to Kore Members prior to the interview

3.     During the Apprentice period, the Kore Apprentice will be asked to:

  1. Work with his/her assigned Kore mentor to improve him/herself spiritually and prepare for initiation into priesthood.
  2. Deepen his/her capacity for service through holding a coven job and/or working with a Kore member on a specific project.
  3. Lead at least three HOC Sabbat or Full Moon Rituals.
  4. Teach at least two HOC required classes, and one class of her/his own creation.
  5. Prepare and lead at least one coven working with the Coven Workings Coordinator or another Kore member.
  6. Read at least two books and/or selections from the Coven recommended reading list, and any additional readings assigned by your mentor.
  7. Participate (as a non-blocking member) in 2 of the last 4 Kore meetings at the end of her/his term of apprenticeship.

4.     Apprenticeship Review:

At the end of the apprenticeship period, the Apprentice will set up a second interview with the Kore to review his/her progress.

  1. This interview will allow Kore to determine the success of the apprenticeship.
  2. The Kore will then either prepare for the Apprentice’s initiation into Kore or ask the Apprentice to extend his/her period of Apprenticeship.
  3. Extension of Apprenticeship will not be considered lightly; it will be used only when it is decided that further work by the Apprentice is necessary before s/he will be a productive member of Kore.

5.     Initiation –

At the end of the apprentice training, the Kore Apprentice will participate in a Ritual Initiation by Ordeal.

E.    Kore Membership

Besides being the HOC Initiation into Priesthood, Kore membership is a position of responsibility and service. Kore members commit themselves to furthering their own spiritual growth, that of the coven and its members, and the community/planet at large.

1.     Benefits of Kore Membership

  1. Opportunity to serve Spirit through the coven by accepting a greater responsibility for the coven.
  2. Have a greater role in shaping the direction that the coven is heading.
  3. Have the opportunity of mentoring a Kore apprentice.
  4. Initiation as a HOC Priest or Priestess
  5. Take the first step toward Ordination in the state of New Jersey.
  6. Bonding and spiritual growth from working closely and frequently with a small spiritually-focused and committed group.
  7. Opportunity to learn and participate in Consensus decision-making process.

2.     General Commitments

  1. Time: Expect to average about 8-10 hours per month on HOC/Kore duties (not including event attendance).
  2. Communication:
    • Maintain communications with HOC and Kore members – in person as well as through phone and email. Keep us updated on your progress both in your spiritual growth, and in the duties and tasks you are performing for the group.
    • Strive towards ever improving your abilities to make decisions by consensus and agreement-seeking in group.
    • Strive always towards clear and honest communication.
    • When you have a concern, frustration, or issue with the group, another person in the group, or a group policy, check first with yourself to see if your own emotional “baggage” is the cause. Then discuss it with appropriate persons. Do not allow concerns, frustrations, or “issues” to pile up. This will hinder your ability to make clear decisions, the group’s ability to come to consensus, and your own spiritual growth.
  3. Decision-Making:
    • Abide by all HOC and Kore decisions, bylaws, and charter.
    • Bring any concerns you have with these decisions and policies to Kore.
    • Do not air your concerns in public or in the coven before consulting with Kore.
    • It is important for the coven that Kore maintain a united front in leadership. Remember that all decisions are made by consensus, so check in with your fellow Kore members prior to advising HOC members or the congregation on issues.
  4. Responsibility:
    • Perform your HOC and Kore duties in a timely and consistent fashion.
    • If you cannot perform your HOC or Kore Duties for a period of time, let Kore know and ask for assistance and/or ask to go on Sabbatical.
    • If you find you cannot maintain your duties over a longer period of time, please ask to step down from active Kore membership.
  5. Mentoring
    • Strive to continue on your path of spiritual growth, that you may, by example, encourage others to do so.
    • Conduct yourself publicly (at HOC and other pagan events) as a coven leader. Remember, others may judge the coven by your example. Respect the HOC Principles and Practices at all times.
    • As a group leader, be prepared to listen to Seeker, HOC member, and Kore frustrations, ideas, and concerns about and with the group, and seek to deal with them as appropriate.
    • Be prepared to serve as a spiritual mentor informally for HOC members and formally for Kore apprentices.
    • Assist with coven workings. When you see something that should be addressed in a coven working – either for coven training or ritual – bring it up to the Coven Working Coordinator.
  6. Rituals & Classes
    • Attend as many HOC Full Moon and Sabbat rituals as possible.
    • Sign up in advance and lead or advise (and be altar attendant or summoner/guardian) for about 2 Sabbats and 2-4 Full Moon circles each wheel.
    • When you are not signed up to assist or lead a HOC FM or Sabbat ritual, ask the ritual leaders prior to the of the ritual, if they need assistance in the logistics of the ritual, such as setting up, tearing down, or assigning/performing ritual roles.
    • Create and lead a Sabbat or Full Moon Circle at a moment’s notice if no one is assigned or if the designated Priest/esses cannot perform their duties.
    • Teach 1 required, standardized HOC class/workshop of the Nine-Fold Path: Consensus/Agreement Seeking each turning of the wheel as needed, as well as 1 advanced or more specific classes you originate.
  7. Decision-Making and Organization
    • Attend all Kore meetings (monthly), relevant committee meetings (as necessary), HOC meetings (twice a year), and Kore retreats (once a year).
    • Attend as many HOC functions as possible.
    • In conjunction with other Kore members: create the HOC meeting agenda twice a year; oversee all aspects of the coven; create HOC tradition, theology, and policies; plan initiations of future Kore members; supervise coven members and Kore apprentices in their coven jobs, and be available to over-see, write, plan, lead, listen, meet, uplift, and communicate in other ways, as needed.
    • Adopt a crucial role in the group. Each Kore member, like each coven member, has at least one coven job as well as taking a major role in a variety of projects. Here are some examples of jobs and projects that Kore members have performed: Kore secretary, organizing a coven or Kore retreat, organizing a coven event or series of events such as the Pagan Picnic or the drumming circles, filing incorporation paperwork, organizing coven membership and Sabbat attendee materials, supervising the search for a larger Sabbat space; creating and supervising HOC email lists, coordinating coven workings. Don’t be afraid to take initiative! If you have an idea bring it up to the Kore. If you don’t yet have an idea please offer to help with our many already existing projects.
    • Maintain organized files of coven decision making. You will quickly collect a good deal of paper and bytes!

F.    Clergy

1.     Benefits of Clergy

a)     Recognized as a Minister by the State Government.

b)    Able to perform weddings, handfastings, and other functions reserved for state recognized clergy.

c)     Represent HOC to other religious groups.

d)      Represent HOC to governmental groups.

2.     Qualifications of Clergy

a)     Be an active member of Kore for a minimum of one year.

b)    Effectively perform public ritual

c)     Effectively head committees

d)    Effectively counsel coven members.

e)     Effectively mentor coven members.

f)        Effectively work with other spiritual groups in the community.

3.     Ongoing responsibility of Clergy

a)     Remain active in Kore Concerns and Coven activities.

b)    Accurately represent the Consensus of the Coven to other Spiritual Groups.

c)     Accurately represent the Consensus of the Coven to Governmental Groups.

d)    Provide counseling for participants of rites of passage ceremonies overseen by that ordained priest or priestess.

e)    Provide pagan clergy and counseling for the spiritual community at large.

III.   Sabbaticals

Unlike many covens, Hands of Change offers its members the option of taking a sabbatical when they discover themselves in a place where they are in need of taking time off to deal with spiritual, emotional, mental, or physical issues. These may range from mundane issues such as a job which requires you to put in extra overtime, returning to school, or more serious matters such as an ailing family member or medical situation. The sabbatical offers the member extra time to take care of any issues they have and to reserve their time and energies towards getting to a place where they can return to the group.


When going on sabbatical the member understands that they are to focus their energies towards regaining balance in their lives. They need to inform the coven as to the level of support they need so the coven can offer assistance or direct the member towards a source of help.   Being on sabbatical requires focus and energy, so the covener is excused from energy raising work and administrative duties depending on the degree of Sabbatical they need to take. A sabbatical is a serious commitment to regaining balance in your life and should not be taken lightly or gone into without forethought. It is recommended that the covener not cut himself off from the group, but retain communication so they may receive the support they need during the process. If a covener feels that they need to go into seclusion from the group, they need to contact all coven members and inform of this and why it is important to them.


Towards the end of their sabbatical, the covener should contact the Membership Chair and inform him/her on how his/her sabbatical is going and if he/she needs an extension. Once he/she has returned he/she needs to contact all coven members as to his/her return.


A coven member has the responsibility to inform the Coven Membership Chair if he/she needs to go on sabbatical. If a HOC member is unable to attend coven events (ritual, class, workshop, or meeting) or perform his/her service role in 3 months and has not contacted the Coven Crier in 2 months, the Coven Membership Chair shall contact the member about his/her intentions. If he or she is unable to participate in coven events, he or she will have the option of taking a sabbatical or leaving the group and taking on status of Sabbat attendee. The length and type of sabbatical will be determined at that time.


If the coven member does not respond to the Coven Membership Chair’s inquiry in one (1) month, the Chair will send the member a certified letter asking about his/her intentions. If the member fails to contact the Chair in one (1) month after the letter has been sent, it will be assumed that the member has other priorities that he/she needs to devote his/her energies to in lieu of membership. A closure ritual will be performed at that time.


A.    Types of sabbaticals are working and non-working.


  1. Working Sabbatical:
    1. Benefits: While on a working sabbatical, the coven member…
1)                             Is excused from all coven events (rituals, classes, workshops, some service roles, events, and meetings).
2)                             Is relieved of the responsibility of having a voice in coven matters (may attend meetings as an observer).
3)                             May attend coven-only rituals, workshops and events.
4)                            Is not taken into consideration when determining quorum.

  1. Responsibilities: While on a working sabbatical, the coven member…
1)                             Must contact the coven by e-mail, or phone for those not on e-mail, to inform members why they are going on sabbatical and when they will be returning.
5)                             Must inform members how often and by what means they would like to be contacted.
6)                             Must stay in contact with the membership chair to give them updates on how their sabbatical is going.
7)                                          Must contact members about their needs which members can assist them with


  1. During sabbatical.
1)                             Will perform the service role of their choice.
8)                            May build circle with the coven if able to do so.


  1. Non-working Sabbatical:
    1. Benefits: While on a non-working sabbatical, the coven member…
2)       Is excused from all coven events (rituals, classes, workshops, service roles, and meetings).
3)       Will retain status of Sabbat attendee (may attend rituals).
4)       Is excused from participating in high energy coven only ritual and workshops so he/she may utilize this/her own energies for healing him/herself and attending to his/her own personal life.
5)       Is relieved of the responsibility of building circle with the coven (building is high energy magick).
6)       Is relieved of the responsibility of having a voice in coven matters (is not taken into consideration when determining quorum).
  1. Responsibilities: While on a non-working sabbatical, the coven member…
7)       Must contact the coven by e-mail, or phone for those not on e-mail, to inform members why he/she is going on sabbatical and when he/she will be returning.
8)       Must inform members how often and by what means he/she would like to be contacted.
9)       Must stay in contact with the membership chair to give them updates on how his/her sabbatical is going.
10)    Must contact members about their needs which members can assist him/her with during sabbatical.
11)    May attend coven only events socially.
12)    May attend workshops open to the public.


B.    Returning from a Sabbatical

In order for a member on sabbatical to return from that sabbatical, s/he must agree with the following:

1)       Her/his brothers and sisters have assumed the responsibility of running the coven on his/her behalf and have chosen wisely in their decision-making. Therefore, choosing to return from sabbatical implies that s/he is in agreement with any changes that have occurred in her/his absence. However, as any member, that member has a right to offer a change as new business.
2)       When a coven member wishes to return from sabbatical, the coven must be in agreement that this is in the best interest of the coven for the person to return at that time.
3)      When a Kore member wishes to return from sabbatical, Kore must be in Consensus that it is in the best interest of the coven that s/he remains a Kore member.


IV.    Administration and Operation

A.    General Organization

  1. Hands of Change is a non-profit organization recognized by the state of New Jersey as a church.
  2. All donations made to Hands of Change are tax-deductible.

B.    Decision Making

  1. If you are unable to respond to email let the Coven Crier know so she can notify the
  2. Disputes are settled with reason, agreement-seeking process, and Justice. If agreement cannot be reached, one person or side should leave the Coven.
  3. Kore is the decision-making body of the coven. It determines the policy of the coven. It brings any issue before the general membership that needs to be discussed by the general membership.
  4. If a HOC member has an issue with a decision made by Kore, she or he is to bring the matter to the attention of a Kore Member. This Kore Member will present the issue to the Kore at the next Kore meeting.

C.    HOC Business Meeting.

  1. Kore will have a meeting prior to HOC Business meetings to decide what needs to be put on the agenda for the Coven to discuss.
  2. If HOC members wish to add to the agenda, they must get the approval of a Kore member prior to it being added. This should be done 1 week prior to a HOC meeting so that Kore can be prepared to comment.
  3. At each HOC meeting, a ritual for the signing of the Book of Shadows will be held for new members, as needed.
  4. HOC meetings are run on an Agreement-Seeking decision making basis.
  5. To hold a HOC meeting, a quorum must be reached of 51% of the active coven members. This excludes all HOC members on sabbatical.
  6. All HOC members should RSVP to the Coven Crier at least 1 week prior to the meeting, or as soon as possible. The Coven Crier will notify all attendees if the meeting has to be canceled.
  7. Accountability: Committee reports will be a time for people to report on the progress of the work they agreed to do at the prior business meeting.

D.    Kore Business Meeting.

  1. Kore will meet on a monthly basis or as close to that as possible, to conduct the business of the Coven.
  2. Once a meeting date has been selected that all Kore Members agree to, attendance is mandatory.
  3. Kore Members should get agenda items to the Kore Scribe as soon as possible prior to the meeting.
  4. Kore meetings are run by Consensus Decision-making process.
  5. Kore will seek balance at meetings by including at least one of the following: education, spiritual/ magical work, or bonding activity.

V.    Rituals

A.    Types of Rituals

In order to attract more potential HOC members, as well as to encourage our magical community to become more adept, we adopt the following policies:

  1. Effective January 1, 2012, HOC will sponsor several types of ritual events: (1) private events (2) semi-private events, (3) public rituals, (4) public classes, and (5) public class combined with ritual. Private events will be for HOC members only (unless a coven-wide exception is made).
  2. HOC will conduct some private moon rituals focused on healing or other magical work.
  3. HOC will provide a standard ritual to minimize time needed to create new ones

B.    General Ritual Guidelines

  1. You must do ritual with a partner. No one does ritual by him/ herself. This way someone can take over if the member should become ill, or otherwise be unable to act as clergy.
  2. The Priest or Priestess will announce the date and time of each ritual and will inform everyone how to prepare for and what to bring to it at least 2 weeks prior to the ritual. They are responsible for the online posting. If there is a change in plans for ritual, alert the online posting ASAP. If you are not able to perform ritual for some reason, alert the person you are doing ritual with ASAP.
  3. Anyone can perform the body of the ritual. However, the priest/esses have the authority to oversee activities that take place in the body of the ritual and to supervise them as needed.
  4. The priest/esses are in charge of the main points of ritual.
    1. The challenge and anointing people
    2. Raising energies and bringing them down
    3. Supervising any activities that go on in circle.
    4. Great rite
    5. They reserve the right to hand off these to others if they see fit.
    6. If they decide to have other people write quarters they should be assigned and checked ahead of time to make sure they are appropriate.
  5. Ritual should be planned in advance.
  6. The coven crier must be notified of when ritual is to be held and what is to be brought to it at least 2 weeks prior to circle.
  7. All that come to the circle — congregants, tools, and space — should be cleansed and purified.
  8. Coven arrival time-

For Sabbats: clergy should arrive 1 hour prior to ritual; coven members 1 half hour prior to ritual. In case of emergency, if you’re late and you’re clergy, call the location so they can set up without you.

C.    Ritual Roles

  1. Goddess Priest/ess: Goddess Representative. This person must be in tune with his/her feminine {magnetic, intuitive} side. They co-lead ritual with the God Priest/ess. The altar is this person’s domain- they activate it.
  2. God Priest/ess: God Representative. This person must be in touch with his/her masculine {dynamic, active} side. They co-lead ritual with the Goddess Priest/ess. The bale fire is this person’s domain, and keeping the fire candle lit on the altar is his/her responsibility.
  3. Altar Attendant: Is responsible for:
    1. Watching the altar
    2. Making sure the candles and incense don’t go out.
    3. Hands out things and collects them for the Goddess Priest/ess.
    4. Helps set up altar before ritual and pack it away afterwards.
    5. May be designated as the Understudy for the Goddess Priestess.
  4. Summoner/Gatekeeper: Is responsible for:
    1. Helping the God Priest/ess build the balefire and set up torches and groom circle.
    2. Gathers and leads people to circle after meditation
    3. Keeps the bale fire lit during ritual
    4. Alerts God Priest/ess if fire candle goes out during ritual.
    5. May be designated as the understudy for the God Priest/ess
    6. Helps pack up altar and circle items after circle.
  5. Welcomer: Responsible for:
    1. Giving people directions when they get there.
    2. Directs set-up and where everything goes.
    3. Makes sure donation money is collected and given to priest/ess.
    4. Get everyone together at the beginning of ritual for priest/esses
    5. Helps put ritual items away
    6. Can be chosen from congregation on day of ritual
  6. Full Moon Ritual Advisor: Being a full moon advisor gives the member a chance to enhance his/her teaching and leadership skills. It is an excellent time to bond with another coven member, and empower thim/her to write and lead ritual effectively.

a.     Qualification:

Must be a Kore Member or a HOC Initiate who is active or on working sabbatical.

b.    Responsible for:

1)     Reviewing public rituals in advance and advising clergy of any areas that may benefit from reworking.
2)     To act as vibes watcher in circle and lend a hand if asked or needed.
3)    To provide feedback after the ritual about what worked and what did not to help the clergy grow as ritual leaders.
  1. Lesser Clergy training program. Each HOC member may ask one candidate for membership if they would like to train for an AA, Summoner, or Gatekeeper at open rituals. If the candidate agrees, the HOC member shall let the other members know who that candidate is.
  2. Former HOC members and allies will continue to be invited to be “guest” ritualists at HOC rituals. This policy will be reviewed annually at the last business meeting of the calendar year.

D.    Full Moon Circles

1.                     Full Moon Circles are open to the public.
2.                     Full Moon Circles are held on the date closest to the Full moon that space can be secured. If space cannot be secured on the date of the full moon, if possible it should be held in the waxing stage of the moon.
3.                     Coven members should be writing the ritual. However they have the ability to ask qualified congregants (congregants who have written and performed open ritual) to assist in the process.
4.                     Two coven members must be involved with the preparation and facilitation of a Full Moon Circle. A Kore Member will be assigned to review and advise on the ritual.
5.                     The first Full Moon Circle a HOC member performs as Priest or Priestess must be with a Kore Member or a HOC Priest.
6.                     The general format to be followed in preparing a full moon ritual is outlined in Appendix A1.
7.                     A Welcomer should be assigned to help keep the Priest and Priestess free of distraction during the time prior to the ritual starting. This person will also act as Gatekeeper.
8.                     All participants at a Full Moon Circle are expected to abide by the laws of building circle (appendix B) and the HOC Principles and Practices.
9.                     A donation is requested of attendees to help defray the cost of space and supplies.
10.                  Intention of Full Moon – To help people come into contact with their sense of spirituality and empowerment, and to help them open their third eye. It is a teaching circle, which celebrates the wheel of the year.
11.                  The Rules of Circle Building will be read before congregants go into meditation. See Addendum I., “Rules of Circle Building”

E.    Sabbats

1.   Sabbat rituals are held on the 8 holidays: Samhain, Yule, Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lammas, and Mabon
2.   New members will be dedicated to HOC during a Sabbat ritual. The clergy who dedicate a new HOC member are the Priest, Priestess, Altar Attendant/Guardian, and the Summoner. After the dedication is completed, the new HOC member goes around the circle receiving the congratulations of the other coven members.
3.   Open Sabbats are for all respectful worshippers. Semi private Sabbats are open to HOC members and Sabbat attendees only.   Closed Sabbats are open to HOC members and, if previously decided on, their guests.
4.   Only Coven members are allowed to bring guests to Sabbat, and this is done with the full agreement of all other coven members. The coven member bringing a guest must be able to vouch for the behavior of the guest and is required to orientate the guest.
5.   Effective May 1, 2012, a seeker who desires to attain “Sabbat Attendee” status with HOC must attend 3 HOC public ritual events, as well as complete any three (3) classes of HOC’s new “Nine-fold Path” introductory training program. This replaces the old three-class introductory requirement (Wicca 101, 102, and Sabbat Orientation).
6.   All Sabbat attendees must observe the RSVP policy, which is as follows:
a.     It will be necessary for all who plan to attend a Sabbat to RSVP two weeks in advance of the ritual date, by either phone or e-mail to the Attendance Coordinator. Coven members will be given an assumed RSVP but should call if they cannot attend. This is to allow the people planning the ritual to know how many attendees to prepare for.
b.    If a person has not RSVP’d by the two-week cut-off time, he/she can still call the designated person. If there is still room for them to attend, the designated person can tell them that they will be allowed to attend. However, if the ritual is full, then the designated person will ask them to wait until the next Sabbat.
7.   Everyone attending a Sabbat is expected to honor the laws of circle building and to follow the HOC Principles and Practices.
8.   The Coven Crier will announce the date and time of each Sabbat and will inform everyone how to prepare for and what to bring to the Sabbat.
9.   Sabbat rituals are generally held outdoors unless weather is inclement.
10.                  A cash donation is requested of all attendees to defray the cost of the fire permit and supplies.
11.                  Sabbat ritual usually involves a love offering from the attendees to be given to the community at large, i.e. canned goods for a food bank.
12.                  When arriving at the Sabbat space, each person should check in with the Welcomer and the Kitchen Witch to get instructions for where to put things and where to go.
13.                  Everyone attending the Sabbat ritual should avoid distracting the Priest and Priestess prior to the ritual.
14.                  A Kore Member must be actively involved with each Sabbat ritual as the Priest or Priestess.
15.                  The Sabbat ritual for Samhain should involve Kore Members and apprentices, and HOC Priests in the four positions.
16.                  The format for the Sabbat ritual is provided to all new members.
17.                  Policy on Minors: Any full moon attendee between the ages of 13-17: Any full moon attendee who is between the ages of 13 and 17 who wishes to attend a Sabbat and has met the requirements must submit to Kore a permission slip signed by their parent or guardian with their names and addresses, etc. A Kore member will then contact their parent or guardian and receive verbal permission as well. Minors will be encouraged to bring their parents to full moon circles. See Addendum II. Permission Slip for Hands of Change Coven Sabbats.

F.    Child Policy

1.     General policy:

At any event, the parent/responsible party is primarily responsible for the welfare of the children they have brought to the event. They are responsible for watching the child. At times Hands of Change may subcontract out with a child care worker to provide overseeing at certain times during events. The parent/responsible party will understand that they are still responsible for the welfare of their charge and will be asked to leave the event they are participating in at the time to attend to their charge if there is an issue with their charge.

2.     Child Care at Adult-focused Rituals – Semi-private and Coven-only

a.                                   The coven will hire a child care provider on the Saturday evenings of semi-private and coven-only sabbats and workings, at the cost of $50 per event, paid for by coven funds and donations collected at each event, $10 per child. This will allow coven members to all be present at higher energy magical workings to strengthen our egregore and group mind. Parents will be responsible to obtain childcare for longer coven events, such as sweat lodges and the retreat. Childcare will not be provided for children with special needs at this time, as we do not have the resources or insurance to support such an endeavor. The coven Childcare Coordinator will locate a child care provider using a list to be compiled of approved sitters. A minimum of $50- for the event would be paid to the sitter if fewer than 5 children were to attend, the difference to come out of coven funds. Child care will start at the opening time for the event. There will be no adjustments in money for those who come late. Parents will be expected to pay $10 for each child who requires watching.
b.                                                    If a parent chooses not to pay for child care, the parent is responsible for the child’s welfare. They must either provide childcare of their own (co-op care) or watch the child themselves. In any event, the parent is primarily responsible for the welfare of the child and will be responsible for watching the child or locating the individual providing child care if the child is not attended.

3.     All Day events:

a.                                   Each parent will be required to register his/her child and the said child to be given an arm band with the names of their parents written on it. Parents are responsible for their children under 10 years old at all times.
b.                                  A parents’ Meet-Up would be scheduled for early in the day. If a parent wants to make an arrangement with another parent for Co-op child care, that is entirely that parent’s responsibility and the coven will not be involved in arranging Co-op child care for liability reasons
c.                                   All children under the age of 11 must attend events with their guardian. They must be registered with the reception table at the event and wear an armband marked with their name, guardians’ names, and any allergies or medical conditions. The child’s guardian is primarily responsible for the welfare of his/her child. If a child between the ages of 0-10 is discovered unattended at a HOC event, the guardian will be reminded of this policy, and will be asked to leave the event if the child is discovered unattended again. An unattended child is a child who is: (1) Not registered with the event, or (2) found without adult supervision.

4.     Religious Education

For open adult-oriented rituals and full moon circles all coven members will take turns providing a religious education class for the non-disruptive children of parents who attend the ritual. Coven members who are parents can assist non-parents in preparing for their turn at teaching children in a way that will make it a good experience for all involved. Among Silver Ravenwolf, online witch schools and The Compassionate Classroom (an NVC manual for teachers); the materials for such a track are abundant.

5.     Child Friendly Events – Fire circles and family-friendly events, such as the Pagan Picnic, Ostara egg hunt, and Samhain kids’ activities, will continue to be places where children are welcome to attend and participate.

6.     Should clergy choose to present a child friendly ritual, they will read and adhere to the guidelines in Addendum IV Creating child friendly/tolerant rituals.

G.    Coven Workings

9.     Coven workings are for coven members only. This is a time for us to grow together as a spiritual family.
10.  Although attendance is not mandatory, it is highly recommended to attend as many as possible to promote the solidarity of the coven.

H.    Miscellaneous Rituals

11.  Sweat Lodges
12.  Public Rituals
13.  Pagan Picnic
14.  Drumming circles
15.  Rites of Passage: Ordained clergy may perform rituals including handfastings, wiccanings and funerary services.
a.     Clergy members may charge a fee for a handfasting or commitment ceremony with ½ of fees collected to be given to coven according to the guidelines agreed upon annually by the Kore.
b.    If a particular clergy member is asked to do the ritual, s/he may; otherwise the clergy members will rotate this responsibility.
c.   Before performing a handfasting or commitment ceremony, the clergy shall discuss with the couple the ramifications and spiritual meaning of such a joining.

VI.   Finances

A.    Coven income

Coven income shall include donations, fundraising activities, and interest from banking accounts, if any, established by the Coven.

B.    Minor expenses

Minor expenses (less than $25), shall be disbursed at the discretion of the Treasurer.

C.    Major expenses

Major expenses shall be disbursed at the approval of Kore.

D.    Reporting

The Treasurer shall make a monthly report on all income and expenditures. This will be presented at the Kore meeting with a summary report presented semiannually at the HOC business meetings

E.    Filing of Forms

All required forms and reports should be filed with the state and federal government as required to maintain the church’s legal status.

VII. Privacy of Members

A.    Confidential Information

The names, addresses, telephone numbers, and other information relating to individual members shall be considered confidential and may not be disclosed to non-members without the permission of that individual.

B.    Disclosure of information

Disclosure of confidential information may, at the discretion of the Kore, be considered a violation of the Guidelines for Appropriate Behavior and grounds for expulsion from membership.

VIII.           Revising the By-Laws

A.    Recommendation and approval

Changing an existing by-law will be done at the recommendation of the Kore and the approval of the coven.

B.    Adding new policies

Adding new policies will be done at the discretion of the Kore.


IX.   Addendums:

A.    Addendum I Rules of Circle Building

The circle is the temple of the Divine. It bridges the vast gulf which lies between the worlds of people and the domain of the Elder Gods. All who enter therein shall set aside everything except their love and understanding of the Lord and Lady. When we come to circle, we should cast off the concerns of the mundane world–for all who enter here, enter in perfect love and perfect trust. The spiral of energy we create moves deosil or clockwise as it grows and widdershins or counterclockwise as it diminishes. Therefore, we move sunwise to build

energy and moonwise to bring energy down. The circle, which is really a sphere half above and half below the ground on which we stand, is sacred space. As such, we ask that you remain within its bounds until it has been opened. Look to the Priestess and the Priest for guidance in the circle and to their helper, the Gatekeeper. If you should need to leave the circle, he/skhe can help you to do so safely.

When we are in sacred space, our words and our intentions take on a weight and depth of meaning they might not have in the mundane world. Thus, take care, for what we promise in circle, the universe will expect from us.

B.    Addendum II Permission Slip for Hands of Change

Coven Sabbat



I, ___________________________ understand and give my permission for

_________________________________, to attend the Hands of Change’s religious ceremonies and classes. I understand that Hands of Change is a spiritual group which honors the earth and the passing of the seasons. They are dedicated to fostering spiritual growth in themselves, the community and the world. I understand I am welcome at their functions and may contact Kore members to discuss any questions I may have.




Parent name



Parent signature






city, state, zip code



phone number



C.  Addendum III Ritual Opening Statement


“Welcome to today’s / tonight’s Hands of Change ritual observance of ___________.

Here are a few “housekeeping” points at the outset: please turn off all cell phones, or at least set to “silent” mode, if you need to maintain emergency contact. Also, please help us defray costs (room and supplies) by making a $5 donation in [e.g., the basket on the back table]. If you can help out more than that, GREAT!, but we just ask you to do what you can, according to your situation.

We’re happy and proud to share public ritual with this Community, both to celebrate and to provide some open training opportunities to serious seekers. Hands of Change mainly observes public Full Moons and selected Sabbats, but we also celebrate privately – on a limited basis – with HOC members and serious seekers who have attended our full series of 3 classes.

If you’d like opportunities to attend more training and private HOC events – or if you just want to be kept informed – please sign up on our sign-in sheets at [e.g., the back table]. We strongly encourage everyone to check our coven web site – – for the latest scheduling of HOC’s public events and classes, as well as to familiarize yourself with our coven Mission and Statement of Purpose in detail.

Anyone interested in Hands of Change membership should talk to any current HOC member.


When NOT reading entire Mission Statement at events add the following to the above Ritual Opening Statement:   Help us in achieving our Mission: to facilitate healing change in ourselves, our Community, and in the world.”



D.  Addendum IV Creating child friendly/tolerant rituals.


We encourage ritual creators to come up with special ways for children to participate in rituals and hope to plan rituals around children and events in their lives, such as a coming-of-age ritual for children who have completed their Kids’ Track training and decide to continue on this path.

The Elements of Types of Rituals, and Kids’ and Parents’ Needs

a)     Kids’ needs:

1)     Safety
2)     Inclusiveness
3)     Stimulation
4)     Fun
5)     Simple, short, explanations
6)     Activities which are concurrent with their developmental age
7)     Events that end prior to their bedtime (8PM)
8)     Ideally, events that occur when their energies are high (day time)
9)     Space to run around in
10)  The ability to not participate if needed

b)    Parents’ needs:

1)     Ability to participate without worrying about kids bothering other people
2)     Knowing their kids are safe so they can concentrate
3)     Time to share sacred space with their kids
4)     Assistance in introducing kids to religion
5)    Punctuality, especially if they are paying a sitter

c)     Some elements of a child tolerant ritual: (These can also be used in either adult or child-friendly rituals)

1)     Uses your senses (taste, touch, seeing, smells, hearing) i.e., eating food, anointing, drumming, displaying art or looking at the stars, smudging or passing around something to smell, songs, chants and playing an instrument.
2)     Uses the physical to demonstrate the spiritual (looking into a mirror, smudging, Great Rite, lighting candles)
3)     Uses movement to express spirituality (drum circles, sacred dance and movement, passing something around)
4)     Can be “project” oriented. Creating something, to be finished there or to be used at home (collage or drawing a picture, Tori No Ichi)
5)     Uses imagination: drama, dress-up, energy work (the dream catcher circle, the pantomime circle, the muses circle)
6)     Outward meditation through chanting, ohming, passing energy, walking, spinning
7)     Making ritual into a game
8)     Involving the children in the ritual
9)     Centering the ritual around the children
10)  Using child themed activities (i.e., Mary Poppins, etc.)
11)  Short and simple activities to capture short attention spans
12)  Using music
13)  Concrete and brief explanations of what you are going to do and what it symbolizes
14)  Explaining what the elements of circle and the altar are
15)  Ritual when their energies are peak (daytime)

d)    Some elements of an adult ritual, not appropriate for children:

1)     Quiet/inward/internal components not utilizing the physical plane such as meditation and cerebral high energy work.
2)     Rite of passage through ordeal such as an initiation with trials, age related rites.
3)     Scary content such as sudden loud noises, heightened suspense, surprise elements that might startle, aggressive or sacrificial acts (scourging, wrestling, anything involving bloodletting, etc.)
4)      Extreme sexual content such as overtly sexually oriented rituals, skyclad events.


ADDENDUM E Alcohol Policy

  1. In order to ensure a safe place for all coveners and congregants to worship, and as it is not possible to determine the status of alcohol tolerance of individual members of the general public, no alcohol of any kind is to be permitted at any open public event including Full Moons, Sabbats, or special events. This policy shall be communicated in he announcements which go out online to advertise said public events using the notations “Alcohol-free event” or similar wording. Should an attendee or covener bring alcohol to the event, he/she will be requested by the Gatekeeper/Summoner to leave it in his/her car and neither drink it nor offer it to others at the event. Should he/she refuse to honor that request, he/she will be required to leave the premises.
  2. Alcohol in moderation will be permitted at coven only and semi-private events on a limited basis at the discretion of the presiding clergy and shall be communicated clearly in the announcement online of said event.
  3. At no time and at no event will underage drinking of any alcohol be permitted.
  4. At no official HOC event will excessive drinking by anyone be tolerated.
  5. If three coveners agree that someone has imbibed too much alcohol at an official HOC private or semi-private event, we would take the following steps:
  6. take their keys, and if a covener volunteers, drive the person home or have him/her sleep at the location and
  7. inform the person that he/she is banned from the next three coven events after which he/she may return to participation
    1. If he/she becomes seriously intoxicated at a second event, he/she is banned from coven events until he/she participates in professional alcohol abuse counseling

If he/she gets treatment and returns, and then repeats the behavior a third time, he/she will be barred from HOC events permanently





















Addendum F Approval Process For Guests at Hands of Change Closed Events


Context: While we honor inclusion for our public events, we also value the group cohesion that develops and strengthens from celebrating select events privately. The levels of closed HOC events include: semi-private (which includes conveners, as well as qualified seekers and students and other grandfathered individuals), coven family (which includes coveners as well as their spouses, children, and other devoted partners), and coven only (which includes only HOC coven members). Out of respect for each other as covenmates, we allow members occasionally to sponsor a special guest to share the celebration with the coven by attending a closed event. Out of that same sense of respect, we honor the need for a prior coven consensus to exist to allow any guest to share magick at a closed HOC event.


Purpose: This protocol promotes the expeditious review and approval of guests at closed HO events, while continuing to honor consensus decision-making.


Process: Any HOC member desiring to sponsor a guest at a closed HOC event should complete the appropriate steps, as follows:

  1. Determine who is on the ritual team for that closed event, then consult with one of that team about the appropriateness of guests at that event. Share information about your guest, as needed.
  2. At any coven business meeting, request agenda space to consider approval for your guest. This will be put to onsensus vote of those attending the meeting.
  3. If a meeting is not conveniently scheduled, however, then the sponsor must seek 100 percent consensus approval through direct polling of all members. The following time restrictions apply:
  1. The sponsor will make notification to all members as to the name of guest and event under consideration, as well as any other explanation desired, not later than two weeks prior to the event date.
  2. The sponsor will notify all members by meeting, calling, or messaging, in order to gain each positive “yes” vote, or a “stand aside.” These notification should allow the sponsor to address any issues of concern to the complete satisfaction of any polled member.
  1. After 100 percent polling is attained, the sponsor will then send a “blanket” e-mail message to the coven stating that the guest has been approved by consensus, not later than 7 days prior to the event date.

Process Summarized:

Day 1 – at least 14 days prior to a closed HOC event

Day 1 – Sponsor notifies 100 per cent of the coven by meeting, telephone call, e-maill, and/or texting

Days 1-3 – Coven members complete responses to the sponsor

Days 1-6 – Sponsor completes follow up communication with objectors and non-responders

Day 7 (or earlier) – Sponsor announces by e-mail (and any other method) approval of guest to all coven membership

Day 15 – The day of the target closed HOC event

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