Frequently Asked Questions

When was the coven formed?
We came together as a study group in 1985, and birthed ourselves as a coven for Brigid/Imbolc 1986.

What is your tradition?
Whatever we perceive it to be. We each have our own tradition and we bring all our skills and perceptions of the universe together when we priestess. We are based on the premise that we are a coven of solitaries who agree to disagree.

Who taught you how to be witches?
Does anyone really teach one how to be a witch? Some of us are self- or group- taught. Some of us started in a more traditional coven structure. Some of us remember how to practice from past and future lives.

What does your name mean?
The Mother Mountain part of our name refers to a mountain ridge we could see from a place we hung out in the town of Sierra Madre. The Aerie part of our name refers to a nest and a safe place to grow.

How is COMMA different than other covens?
We do not have a high priestess, so the fate of the group is not centered on the charisma of a particular leader.

When/where are your rituals?
We celebrate the sabbats and some of the lunars at the covenstead in Pasadena, California.

Can I come to a COMMA event?
If you are a woman and have an open mind and are ready to play/ experiment/ theorize/ and think, you may come to our workshops or our open rituals. We need to know you before we will invite you to one of our sabbats.

What do you do in a COMMA ritual?
Whatever our rotating priestesses think is appropriate to the meaning of the celebration. And that usually involves meditation, a creative or cathartic activity, energy sharing, energy raising, and joy.

What do you wear to a ritual?
Clothes. Festive attire. Jewelry.

Do you ever do it skyclad?
Rarely. Tried it once in the early days. We found that it was uncomfortable, too cold, and we had no place to keep our car keys.

How old are the witches in COMMA?
In this plane, most of us were born in the 1950’s; some as late as the mid-60’s. Some of us are very old souls and some of us are babes in the woods.

How does a person become a COMMA member?
First of all, you don’t have to be a member of COMMA to hang out with us. And right now, we’re not looking for new members (but you can still hang out with us). But let’s say you’ve hung out with us for a while and now want to marry us and we’re ready for new members. By mutual attraction and admiration, you and we decide you should become an apprentice. As an apprentice, you test out all the responsibilities of being a priestess and whether you can stand us under those circumstance. We test you for comfort, fit, skills, dedication, devotion, and patience. After a year of this, all current priestesses get together and decide whether we should invite you to become a permanent member of the group. Because we want to make sure you can stand us (and vice-versa) for a long-term commitment, the entire process, from first meeting us to initiating as a priestess, could take 5-6 years.

Can teens come to your events and rituals?
If you are a young woman under 18, and seriously interested in Wicca, you may come to our open events with your parents’ permission. Your mom can come, too, if she’s interested in what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. If you are mature enough to enjoy our company and and we enjoy your company, you may come to our open rituals.

Can men come to your rituals?
No. The rest of our mundane lives tend to be dominated with male energy, and we wish to create a woman-only spiritual space.

What are you, a bunch of man-hating lesbians?
Some of us are lesbians, and are indifferent to men. None of us is manhating.

Do you welcome straight or bi women in your group?
Of course. We are all sisters.

Do you welcome MTF Transsexuals in your group?
Pre-op, definitely not. Post-op, depends on your energy. If you are a post-op MTF transsexual you may come to our open events. If your energy feels right, you and we will all know it. And vice-versa.

Do you welcome FTM Transsexuals in your group?
If we knew you pre-op, maybe. It depends on your energy.

How do you honor the God without men?
We are an Eclectic group with Dianic origins, and don’t call the God in circle.

How do you honor the Goddess without the God?
Very well, thank you. We are women honoring the feminine divine within ourselves. Coven members are free to honor the male principle in their own personal rituals.

How can you honor nature without doing the Wild Thing?
There is more to honoring nature than doing the Great Rite. We use art, song, dance, poetry, and other creative expressions instead of sex.

Do you believe in ghosts?
Having witnessed them in circle among other places, yes. We do.

What is magick?
Exerting physical and mental will to effect a change on a spiritual, physical or mental plane.