Creating Your Coven - The Power of Friendship

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Posted on January 12, 2021

“Female friendships that work are relationships in which women help each other belong to themselves.” ~ Louise Bernikovs

I love this quote so very much, especially because I cherish the female friendships that I have been able to build over the past couple of years. These friendships have been a crucial part in my self-development. For a very long time, I did not put a lot of weight into friendships, because they never felt deep enough to be able to trust in them -- and this was in large part due to the fact that I didn’t have a very deep relationship with myself, yet. I hadn’t taken the journey inward to learn about my shadow and I was still holding on to my façade that would only show others what I was willing to reveal. I wasn’t showing up authentically and therefore wasn’t able to relate deeply.

As humans and energetic beings, we are hardwired to need connection with others. However, it is in this delicate dance with others, in external relationships, no matter how fleeting the encounter, in which we learn about our relationship to self – if we are open to that type of self-development. Relationships teach us about how we pursue meeting our own needs and how we resolve conflict with the self and others -- we can become more conscious through the spiritual lessons of relationships.

The type of relationships and / or friendships that can be healing however, require a level of deep connection -- first with the self and then with others. It is impossible to fully understand our own identity in relation to that of others or in relation to a group until we can allow the authentic expression of all parts of ourselves, even the parts that are scary to share or feel unlovable. Clearly, it takes time to befriend our own shadow and to learn to live in authentic expression of all those parts. It is a continuous journey and it is not surprising to me that the closer I get to befriending myself, the deeper my friendships are becoming.

The beauty of what happens when we accept our own complexities, is that it allows us to accommodate differences with others while simultaneously allowing us the ability to see ourselves in union with them. This is true, non-judgmental acceptance and witnessing – a basis for deep healing connection. Ultimately, bringing us back to the universal teaching that we are all part of one (spiritual) community, more similar than different. 

Obviously, we don’t build these types of deeply connected friendships with everyone and it requires a level of discernment to know who deserves access to your most wounded and flawed parts. Accommodating differences is paramount but even more important is our ability to discern how external relationships are affecting our own power. Always be sure to ask yourself whether a relationship is drawing power from you or if you are drawing power from the relationship. If you are compromising yourself in any way to maintain a relationship, then you are likely not in your full power. A friend of mine beautifully reminds herself of this dynamic by envisioning healthy relationships as an infinity symbol - a mutual and constant relationship of giving and receiving, talking and listening, asserting and surrendering -- reciprocal, safe, and empowering. 

But there will be those relationships that are soul connections which turn into deep meaningful friendships --- that is our coven. It is made up of others who have heeded the call and are on their own journey. Our coven has an understanding and the perspective of what it means to go through this human experience. They accept our truth, no matter where we are on our journey, and allow us a safe space to grow. They understand that we all evolve at a different pace and that everyone has their own set of challenges to overcome in this lifetime. Our coven doesn’t try to fix us but calls us on our B.S. and asks us to step up to our potential; holds space for our growth and our desires, celebrates our wins, and cheers us on.

Our coven is made up of those friendships that we consciously choose and show up for. There is research that actually points to the fact that friendships -- the relationships we consciously choose -- become even more important for our health and happiness as we age, even more than our family relationships. This is because our coven knows us, sees us, and understands us for who we are in this given moment and holds space for who we are becoming -- not blinded by the perceptions of who you were (when you were a child) or who you were ought to be (in a family structure).

That is what it is all about. We won’t always have the same experiences, traumas or triggers. We won’t always have the same belief system, upbringing or conditioning. We won’t all awaken at the same time. We are all on our own unique healing path back to ourselves and we will meet people along the journey that are our teachers, healers, lovers, and friends. Although friendships can be harder to maintain over a lifetime, our soul families aren’t just biological, but a collection of souls that we meet along the journey that teach us, love us, and help us get closer to our true self. That is the beauty and magic of our coven.

At this point, you may be asking yourself if you have those deep healing connections in your circle, who should belong in your coven or how to create it?  There are only two things you need to do to figure out who belongs in your coven:  

  1. Become more truthful and authentic about who you are and be courageous enough to share yourself with others
  2. Be discerning and use your conscious awareness about who gets to have access to you in that way. 

Said differently, what matters is that whoever you choose to have as part of your coven can accept you for who you are today and can allow you to grow and hold space for who you are becoming without judgement; but will also call you out if you aren’t being true to your authentic self.