The word “coven” (or “covan”) was originally a late medieval (c.1500) Scots word meaning a gathering of any kind, deriving from the Latin root word “convenire” (meaning to come together or to gather). The first recorded use of it being applied to witches, however, came much later, in the 1662 trial of Isobel Gowdie, which described a coven of thirteen members. Even then, the word remained largely unused in English until 1921, when Margaret Murray promoted the idea, now much disputed, that historically all witches across Europe met in groups of thirteen which they called “covens”.
The number of witches in a coven may vary, and any meeting of three or more can be considered a coven. Twenty is often considered a rule-of-thumb maximum, although covens of up to sixty are not unheard of. Some covens limit membership to thirteen, possibly in deference to Murray's theories, and possibly on the grounds that this is the maximum number which can be comfortably accommodated in the traditional 9-foot circle. However, some groups consider that a coven of as many as thirteen can lead to unwieldy group spiritual strength and an unfair burden on the leadership.
Some witches work in robes, some in modified street clothing, and a few go “skyclad” or naked. Some are “teaching covens” and are happy to take on newcomers; others prefer to keep to the current membership and aim to develop a closer family-type relationship. Some “open covens”, or those with an “inner circle” and “outer circle”, allow interested outsiders to get a taste of coven practice without committing themselves. Some witches are gender-segregated, although most are open to both sexes and often try to maintain a more or less even balance of male and female members.
Using magic to protect yourself can be a smart idea, and protection spells come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. There are various ways of "protecting yourself with witchcraft", or to remove negative influences from your life. How you approach it will depend on the situation. And as I will be repeating on other pages, do not rely on Magick alone if you are in serious danger. If you are ever truly threatened, stalked or harassed, you should always contact the police before relying on a "spell for protection".
To simply get someone out of your life, someone who may just be annoying or bothersome and not any real threat to you, a banishing spell is your easiest option. It causes no harm to the other person, and simply gives them a magickal push away. These are so popular, I've added a second page of more banishing spells and then even more Powerful Banishing Spells.
For something a little stronger, you can go with binding spells to prevent them from acting against you.
If the problem is more aggressive, and you think someone has cast a negative spell against you, then you would want to take a different approach. You can either try a curse breaking spell to counter-act any hex or Black Magick used against you. Or you can actually reverse the spell and send the negative energy right back to the person who sent it.
Here is an index of spells in this section:
Now, these are all examples of using protection spells against someone in particular. You can always do more general protection spells even when there is nothing specifically threatening going on. Or try a Wiccan protection spell.
Or if you prefer to add protection to your home rather than to your personal self, try some new home protection spells for a safe living space.
These are good to help keep you safe as well as to clean your environment of incoming negative energy. You can also try a milder cleansing spell or a personal purification spell for that.
Remember that just because a few unfortunate things may have happened to you recently, it doesn't mean you've been cursed or hexed. Bad Luck still exists, so don't go Casting Spells all over the place just because you stubbed your toe or lost your car keys.
The Dark Spirit of Christmas from Central Europe
Krampus is the devilish child-punishing companion of St. Nikolaus (Nicholas). On December 6th, Nicholas brings joy and presents to good children throughout Austria, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. The historical Saint Nicholas, commemorated and revered among many Christian religions, is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, pawnbrokers and students in various cities and countries around Europe. Nicholas had a reputation for secret gift-giving, such as putting coins in the shoes of those who left them out for him, a practice celebrated on his 6th December feast day. The evening before, “Krampusnacht,” Krampus visits the children, St. Nicholas’s sort of alter-ego, a fanged and horned figure who rises from the wilds to torment bad children. Beyond Europe, "Krampus parties" and parades now happen across the United States, and the figure has his own movie and comic book series.