Weekly we get quite a few questions and inquiries from folks visiting our website and from people in the local St. Louis community. We have compiled a list of some of these questions below. We hope you take the time to read through this section and if you have any further questions please feel free to contact us. We will get back to you as soon as possible!
As Americans, we have no history of any form of paganism nor any indigenous culture except that of various North American Indians. Many people also have a difficult time identifying with older European, Asian, and African religions when there is an attempt to re-create them. We know so very little about the actual forms of worship of ancient times in these lands. We therefore draw upon the various old religions to create something new and uniquely North American – a new North American paganism: one based on Wiccan ethics, worship format, and celebration style.
The Coven is committed to public paganism and many of our members are very active in the St. Louis community.
That is not to say, however, that all individual members are public or choose to share their beliefs with everyone around them. We still live in a world where people fear that which they do not understand. It can make life difficult. There are simply too many people who hold deep hatred for anyone who is different.
Because, however, of our public image and our outreach, some of the walls are falling. Education is the best defense against intolerance. We believe that we are entitled to all of the rights, freedoms, and protections that is granted to all other religions in this country, and we claim those rights, freedoms, and protections as our own.
Currently Yarrow Coven holds a policy in which we will formally ask any prospective members to join us for a year and a day dedication. This is a way for our Coven family to get to know people and see how they fit our dynamics. A candidate must “fit” the coven and be able to get along with others.
After a year and a day is completed, Coven members then decide if each dedicant will be initiated. Everyone who asks to visit us for ritual for full moons or sabbats must be vouched for by a member who has first met the person in a neutral situation.
Currently, we are not seeking members at this time. However, If you are curious or interested in getting to know members in Yarrow there are plenty of opportunities each year to do so. A way to get involved with the community as a whole is to attend the St. Louis Pagan Picnic held in Tower Grove Park each year. Many of our members are integral members of the organizational committee.
We are always seeking out volunteers to help make the Picnic a success. Additionally, we hold a Mabon Festival annually in September complete with camping, workshops, rituals, singing, storytelling and good times celebrating Harvest Home.
In a word, yes. There are two types of minors: Coven children and non-coven children. Coven children are considered an integral part of our rituals and celebrations, however, not considered voting members of the Coven until after they reach maturity and only after a coming of age ritual and initiation into the coven. Non-coven children are another matter. It is our belief that children must respect the wishes of their parents when it comes to actively studying and participating in Pagan circles. We would ask the same of our children in return. Thus, any member seeking membership or inquiring with the Coven about study groups or open circles that is a minor, must have parental approval prior to any continued work with Yarrow.
Over the years, Yarrow Coven has come to realize the value of including coven children in our activities. There are, of course, holidays and other activities that are inappropriate for small children and we discourage their attendance. However, all children who have been raised as a pagan and whose parents are coven members can fully participate in our celebrations. Small children, rather than always being a distraction add an energy to ritual that is different from adult energy. They also see and feel things that we often take for granted. The question we ask ourselves is: “What kind of religion is it that would exclude its children?”
We do not currently sponsor any formal study groups open to the public at this time. Certain members occasionally conduct study groups on their own. Feel free to contact us and we can point you in the right direction, whether it be with one of our members or other groups holding such classes in the St. Louis area.