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Witches' Coven In The U.K. Suffering Because Of Covid-19

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Religious and social gatherings are not the only things that have been interrupted by the pandemic. The Covid-19 restrictions and lockdown also mean that witches’ covens cannot meet in the U.K. where they are fairly abundant.

Recently, BBC got in touch with Karin Rainbird, a pagan prison cleric, who recently launched a Wiccan coven in Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taf. Rainbird shared her plight with BBC, opening up about the increased discomfort witches in the U.K. are facing due to the pandemic.

Rainbird had started her coven only a few months. Although it has seven members, Rainbird herself, is the only have to have been initiated into the coven so far. Rainbird says that the other witches from her coven need proper training, and that is not something they can do online.

"Wicca is not really something you can do online," she said. "Because we just started the coven, no-one is initiated yet apart from myself, so it's really the training period."

The initiation training involves doing the sabbaths [gathering to perform rites], attending workshops to practice casting the circle, and identifying herbs. None of the activities, however, can happen over the internet and witches need to meet in person to complete their training and get inducted into the coven.

Wales is currently in a 17-day "firebreak" lockdown with several non-essential services staying shut. This has disallowed the witches from Rainbird’s coven to meet in person, thus delaying their recruitment into the group.

In the UK, being a witch is far more common than what one would imagine. There were at least 85,000 in 2011 that identified with the neo-pagan movement, which is primarily represented by Wicca and witchcraft religions. Wicca, also termed Pagan Witchcraft, is a modern pagan religion and just one form of modern witchcraft. The witches practicing Wicca argue that media pasquinades of witches are misleading. While the media focuses on portraying witches as evil, neo-pagans debate that witchcraft is not supernatural or evil. Rather, it’s just a practice pertaining to spirituality and connection with the deity.

Source: BBC World