To Register as Clergy in the Commonwealth of Virginia

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, any clergy looking to perform a legal wedding must first register with a Clerk of the Court. This is a once-in-a-lifetime requirement, and registration in one county is valid all over Virginia.

This is different from Florida which has a 400 year history as a haven for fleeing Seminoles, French, Spanish, British loyalists, escaped slaves, poachers and rum runners. For centuries in Florida minority leaders have been unwilling to identify themselves inside any government building.

I perform handfastings in Florida using my Covenant of the Goddess credentials, but I attend events in Virginia too, and I wanted to be ready.

So it was that I strode into the basement of the Montgomery County Court House and found the Clerk’s office inside what looked like a bank vault. I informed the two nice ladies there that I had come to register as clergy. They said, “Fine, we do that here,” pulled out a form, and asked for my ordination credentials.

They were momentarily puzzled by the CoG certificate, but then we moved on to the first blank on their form: “Name.” I gave them my mundane name, because that was what they wanted. Next came “Title.” I choose “Reverend” because I was there to fit into the system and not look weird. I know other CoG Elders who use reverend for the same reason. For “Affiliation,” I put “Covenant of the Goddess.” This was gentler than “Witch,” and more to the point.

I asked if I got a receipt and they said no, but they would confirm my registration to anyone who asked. In the Craft, I know what it means to be vouched for. Then they asked if I married people outside my community and, if so, would I like to leave some business cards with them. It seems that there was only one person in town who married the unchurched, and he could charge anything he wants.

The ladies were quite pleasant, and I thanked them but admitted I was rarely in the area. As I drove out of town, past the white steeples of Christiansburg, Virginia, I mused that they had registered (perhaps) their first witch, and that I had missed an opportunity for evangelism.



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