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a small wooded area or plantation
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

A term equivalent in many ways to the word "coven," and used by various Pagans.

In the early 1960s in America, there were few visible Witchcraft covens, which made it difficult for many people who were drawn to the religion to actually make contact and become initiated. In 1967, Ed Fitch (a member of the original Gardnerian coven in New York that was started in 1964 by Rosemary and Raymond Buckland) authored The Pagan Way to serve as an "Outer Court" system through which anyone could become involved in Paganism. With the book, they could perform rituals and follow the cycle of the Wiccan year until they were really taken into an actual Wiccan coven. The groups under this system were originally termed "Groves."

Fitch based his idea of an Outer Court on a concept put forward by Dion For- tune in her novels. Fitch's writings later developed into a whole "Grimoire of Shadows" that was adopted as a true Wiccan path by many groups that were, at the time, using the term coven as a group name. The word Grove has come to be used by a wide variety of neo-Pagans today, both as a group name and in reference to a meeting place or temple.

The Witch Book: The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism © 2002 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.