I once told a student that Perfect Love and Perfect Trust is when you stand in a circle with a bunch of people, blind-folded and naked, and you know that one of them has a knife… but you trust that not one of them will hurt you. But this is only a portion of what the phrase Perfect Love and Perfect Trust means in the Craft.
No matter where you go or what you do, people will lie to you. They will lie either to make themselves look better in your eyes or to serve some sort of agenda. Regardless of their personal rationale, this is not someone you should trust… in a circle… blind-folded and naked… with a knife.
Too often we want our friend back, so we are willing to turn a blind eye to their betrayal and their further deceptive patterns. However, this often and usually bites us in the bum time and again. Then we spend too much time either being angry at them for their betrayal or tearing ourselves down for our stupidity in trusting them again.
What does this do to a coven? It makes it hard to connect energetically and inserts a negative vibration in the energy of at least two of the people in the coven, which can weaken what would otherwise be amazing energy work. In a working coven, you must be able to completely allow yourself to be open to the energy of those you are with. (This is not to say the energy working will not be successful, it just won’t be as powerful as it could be.)
“But, Lady Kaltem, people can change!” Of course they can. Witches do it every single day. However, once someone betrays your trust, how do you ever trust them again? By watching their future patterns for years. Did you catch that? Years. That’s how long it takes to gain someone’s complete trust back. Can you imagine standing naked in a circle*, blind-folded or not, with someone you do not trust for years?
This is the 21st century, and many witches are still in the broom closet. This makes Perfect Trust more important than ever. It is so difficult to find a coven that you resonate with energetically, and one lie—no matter the “size” or the reason—can destroy the Trust of the coven and thereby the flow of energy during a group working.
* Please note: The Knotted Ash Tradition does not maintain a standard of skyclad practice. Our members are free to practice as they wish in their own homes, but as a whole, we require that all participants in our group rituals be clothed.