I am currently trying to find a group with whom to interact and study in Charlotte, NC area and am having difficulty doing so. Could you help me?
The first (and probably most important) question you need to ask yourself, is “What exactly are you looking to study?” Because there are different resources that might be better than others, depending on what you are looking for. Without knowing any specifics, I’m going to gear my response towards Wicca and Eclectic Neo-Pagan Paths. If you are looking for something else, please reply and let me know, so I can provide those resources as well.
My first suggestion would be to check out the WitchVox site. They provide a place for various groups and organizations advertise, and it is divided up by city/state (there are drop down lists on the left side of the page). You can go to the North Carolina page, to see what is over in the Charlotte area. Which just looking at the page, seems that there are at least some good choices in your area.
The other thing to remember as well, is that sometimes you might have to travel a bit to find the right group, so if there isn’t something that fits in your local area, and it is something that you really feel strongly about, it might not hurt to widen your search a bit. I know people who travel several hours one way to meet with their covens, and others who fly across country. Clearly that’s not something that we all can afford to do (time or money-wise), but it’s something to consider.
From there it can take a bit of detective work, because even though something might say “traditional” or “Wicca”, etc… in many cases what that particular group defines that as can really vary, so you really have to ask a lot of questions, especially if being in a lineaged coven is important to you. If you are just looking for an eclectic group then, it’s just a matter of checking out profiles and finding one that seems to suit what you are looking for, and then contacting them for more information.
Groups that are open to new members should be willing to at least discuss basic information (even if the majority of their practices are oath-bound). If someone seems annoyed that you are asking questions, or they get defensive or evasive, then it’s probably a good idea to run quickly in the opposite direction. Listen to your own instincts – if something doesn’t seem right, the it probably isn’t.
If you are looking for a Traditional Wiccan coven, your next resource would be the Amber and Jet Yahoo list. While they have discontinued their “official” seekers list, it is still the best place to get more information on if a particular coven is properly lineaged. Not only that but their archives contain a wealth of information on Wicca, and if you have any questions on anything you can always ask, as there are a lot of wonderful members (consisting of both Elders, Seekers and other Initiates) who are more than willing to help.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask! 🙂