Traditional covens (like ours) are structured hierarchically. The group is led by a High Priestess and a High Priest and comprised of an Initiate body in a three-tiered degree system: first degree, second degree, and third degree priests and priestesses. At each rank, the Initiate has specific responsibilities as well as the responsibility of continuing their own learning.
When you belong to a traditional coven you also belong to the lineage of that tradition. Through the Ritual of Initiation, you become a part of that lineage. Once someone is initiated they share in the rituals, lore, and history of the tradition. They become a full member of the group.
In traditional covens, initiation is when you become a Witch. This rite of passage isn’t only about membership or lineage but also having the practical knowledge of the Craft. By training in a traditional coven, you are learning from others with experience that comes from going through the same process.
The rite of initiation is a communal event. Initiation is not something you can simply read about, it is something you have to be properly prepared for. Once you are initiated you cannot go back.
The decision to initiate (or not) is a personal one. Initiation isn’t for everyone. Before deciding to petition for initiation you should do some deep soul searching. Know that once you decide that you wish to be initiated, the Universe will test your decision, but the journey is a wonderful one.