In 2014 a group of four individuals came together, each of them already an initiate of one or more Western Magic Traditions. Encompassing the Hermetic, Druidic, Alexandrian Wicca, Chaos Magic, and Luciferian Traditions, but drawn together with a single desire to explore the Cochrane’s Craft tradition.
These four individuals formed a Coven and started to sample the mysteries of this tradition. The decision was made early on to work together for a period of at least two seasons before accepting anyone who was not already an experienced witch into the coven. There was the expectation that miscalculations might be made, and that it would be safer for the more experienced to make them. It would also allow time to structure the coven, scout ritual sites, and craft ritual items.
In 2015 with work progressing, the coven was starting to spend money as a group on ritual equipment and media services. In previous covens, the only expenditure had been the odd pound or two on candles and incense. The covens being already well established and their ritual equipment in place. The Internet had also not been as relevant in the previous century.
Initial it was suggested that the Coven itself put rules in place to handle any expenses, and that would be that. However a number of decisions changed that. In the end there was a need for a legal framework to answer a number of questions, which included those listed below.
- If a member of the coven purchased an item, or entered into a contract on the covens behalf, what guarantee did they have of receiving any monies previously agreed upon?
- If Internet costs were offset by providing Internet Services to those outside of the coven, and these services were abused, by the sending of spam, the plagiarizing of material, breaking of copyright law, making libelous allegations etc. Who is liable? Does any liability reside with the person who signed the service agreement with our own Internet Service provider, and had nothing to do with the illegal activity?
- If a legal framework was put in place centered on the coven. Would the need to enter into a legal agreement with the coven prevent people from joining the coven?
- If a person was not a member of the coven, or a follower of another tradition. Do we really want the coven to enter into a formal relationship with them? Do they really want to ‘join’ the coven if only in a legal sense? Just to work alongside us.
The solution to this was the Cochrane Institute. The desire was to produce a framework which would encourage co-operation without erecting any barriers to it.
- People can join the coven, chip in the odd pound for expenses, and not have to sign anything, or have anything to do with the Institute, and so retain their privacy as they do not have to reveal their legal identity.
- We can enter into agreements with people from other traditions, without them having to become involved with, or enter into an agreement with a coven that follows a religion that is not their own.
- We can sponsor projects for as long or as short was we wish. Providing support, while allowing the stake holders of the project to retain their autonomy.
Thus the Cochrane Institute came into being on the 14th November 2016, and a ritual blessing performed upon the endeavor under the light of a super moon.
Looking to the Future
The current legal framework is structured in such a way as to facilitate an easy tradition to an incorporated non-profit organisation if that is required at a later date.