BlackTree Coven is a regionally based, non-Wiccan, initiatory tradition of sabbatic witchcraft. Formulated from the backgrounds of Tara Maguire and Chris Orapello, BlackTree combines backwoods and bayou folk magick, western esoteric ritual styling, and other influences into a unique blend of Traditional Witchcraft which grows from the genius loci roots of the (in)famous New Jersey Pine Barrens.
What we think.
- Every witch is a sovereign entity.
- In our view, witchcraft is not a religion it is a practice.
- Witchcraft is a multi-disciplinary path of personal sovereignty which combines history and lore, magick, divination, herbalism, hedge witchery, and necromancy.
- Magick is a force within nature and doesn’t contain or imply a moral code on its own or in and of itself.
- A successful coven is an exclusive family which carefully considers its members, petitioning for membership is welcome, but is not a guarantee of entry.
What we do.
- We offer a well rounded formal education in the diverse arts of witchcraft.
- We honor and venerate the genius loci and the ancestors.
- We observe the full and dark moons by a calendar of our own design and naming based upon regional observations and personal gnosis.
- We meet for magick, camaraderie, and personal exploration.
- We work clothed.
- We do a lot of reading.
- We offer experience in witchcraft within a safe working environment of like minds and friends.
What we DO NOT do.
- We DO NOT follow the common Eight-Spoke Wheel of the Year.
- We DO NOT consider the tradition to be a religion in an of itself.
- We DO NOT view ourselves as a fertility cult.
- We DO NOT cast circles or call quarters.
- We DO NOT utilize an inner/outer court coven structure.
- We DO NOT view ourselves as being Priests or Priestesses.
- We DO NOT honor, worship, or venerate any deities.
- We DO NOT view witchcraft as being a community faith tradition.
- We DO NOT think witchcraft is a religion.
Traditional Witchcraft refers to a personalized form of non-religious witchcraft, that is often based on historic magical practice or pre-modern forms of witchcraft which, to quote Michael Howard, gives the term its common ‘non-Gardnerian, non-Alexandrian, non-Wiccan’ implication.
Why do we say we are ‘non-Wiccan?’
In this day and age when a person claims to be a witch or to practice witchcraft, it is often assumed that they are Wiccan and that they practice Wicca. This conclusion is a very common occurrence so we openly state that we are non-Wiccan in order to address this notion directly. Doing so is not meant to sound condescending or to function as some kind of pejorative. Our practice is unlike those who practice Wicca or a Wiccan derived system and we want those who are interested in us to know this up front.
Who or what are our influences?
In no particular order, we are influenced by the work and writings of Robert Cochrane, Nigel Pennick, Nigel Jackson, Peter J. Carroll, Peter Grey, Phil Hine, Peter Paddon, Gemma Gary, Sarah Anne Lawless, Aleister Crowley, Doreen Valiente, Joe Wilson, Paul Huson, Isobel Gowdie, Andrew Chumbley, Kenneth Grant, and others along with witchcraft history, the grimoire tradition, folklore, cunning folk practices, and some western esotericism.
What are our goals and expectations?
- To learn, educate, and offer a unique and regional approach to modern Traditional Witchcraft.
- We DO NOT anticipate ever hosting open public rituals.
- We might offer a short public class series on Traditional Witchcraft as a precursor to what we do as witches and as a coven.
- Last but not least, the future is bright so one can never tell what’s in store!
Check out some of our blog posts under the category of BlackTree Coven.
If you would like to petition the coven for membership, please fill out and submit the form found on this page. Thank you.
If you’re local to southern NJ, be sure to check out our meet-up group!