Training expectations

By Kim Dent-Brown and Tracey Dent-Brown


(This is offered as a model  for discussion, not a fixed and final text. It is more or less what my coven gives to people asking for  preparatory training by a Gardnerian Wiccan coven towards possible first degree initiation. As a seeker, you can expect something broadly similar from most Gardnerian/Alexandrian covens with small individual differences. BB, Kim Dent-Brown.)


  • We are a Wiccan coven with a traceable line of initiation back to Gerald Gardner, and we offer training towards possible initiation with us
  • We will offer you our time, our hospitality, our knowledge, our experience and our honest feedback
  • If you ask, we will answer. If you challenge, we will respond. If you are looking for quick and easy answers or for spoon-feeding, you have come to the wrong place
  • If we think we see a problem, we will address it. Addressing a problem does not mean we don’t like you or want you; it means we want to know how you respond to challenges and whether you can learn and grow
  • If we do not think that Wicca, or this coven, is the right place for you, we will tell you and try to help you find another place where you might get the teaching you need
  • We will keep your study with us confidential and will never reveal to anyone outside the Craft that we have taught you
  • We will never ask you for favours in return for our teaching – financial, sexual, personal, domestic, or whatever
  • If you stay with the teaching to the end we will tell you when we have nothing more to teach, and will leave the decision about what happens next up to you


  • We assume that you are ready to grow, to change, to be stretched, to be honest, to try new experiences and to look within and tell us what you see
  • We expect you to keep to arrangements for meetings (or to do the socially acceptable thing and tell us in good time).  If we have a shared meal, we expect that you will bring a contribution
  • We expect you to keep your training with us confidential and not to tell all and sundry what you are doing and with whom. People very close to you and whom you can trust with a confidence are an exception to this
  • We expect you to do some things between meetings and to come back and report on how these have gone. If you have been unwilling or unable to do them, we expect you to have thought about why this was and discuss this with us
  • If you do not understand why we are asking you to do things, we expect you to ask us. We are not looking for uncritical obedience, but for intelligent engagement
  • Some of the things we ask of you may be strange, unfamiliar or challenging. Nothing we suggest is compulsory, but we ask you to trust us as far as you can and embrace the challenge. We will ask you to do nothing that we have not done ourselves
  • When we tell you that we have taught you as much as we can, we leave the next move to you. We will not offer you initiation, but if you ask for it we will decide and respond. Getting to the end of training does NOT automatically mean that we will say ‘yes’ if you ask.