Wednesday, January 20, 2016

finding your roots

For many years people have encouraged us to write our autobiography. We have resisted such suggestions on the assumption that anything we write will probably only cause more furor in the self-styled Wiccan/pagan "community". ‘Who will guard our self-appointed guardians?' indeed. If you read Wikipedia you'll find the idea generally accepted that Gerald Gardner founded the witch/Witch/Wiccan (choose one) community with the publication of "Witchcraft Today" in 1954 followed by "The Meaning of Witchcraft" in 1959. It is true that he mentioned WICA (sic, all caps, spelled with one c) in "Witchcraft Today". But throughout all his later work he referred to what he was doing as witchcraft with a lower-case w and to that witchcraft as a cult. We, on the other hand, have always believed that Witchcraft represents the race memory of an ancient religion or (more accurately) an immemorial spiritual path, with traces dating back eons before alphabets and before any named male deity/juju. We looked up the word cult in the dictionary, and found that (among other things) a cult has a male leader self-appointed and self-described as infallible. We Frosts popularized Wicca (note the upper-case W and the two c's) after a meeting in September 1968 between four (4) initiates at our home in Ferguson, Missouri. After that evening's long discussion, the group decided to use Wicca and Church of Wicca as the title of the new group. The problem with Wicca was that it is the male form of the noun, whereas the female form is Wicce. It seemed to some of us that the female form would be a better title. In that time of ascending feminism, the decision prompted no little to-ing and fro-ing. Interestingly, the men voted for Wicce; the women for Wicca. As a result of all this, we Frosts began to advertise the Church and School of Wicca--the very first correspondence course in Witchcraft. In Avant Garde magazine we advertised the course as well as a booklet: "Witchcraft, the Way to Serenity". To put everything into context, early developments looked like this: - "The God of the Witches" Margaret Murray 1931 - "Witchcraft Today" Gerald Gardner 1954 - "The Meaning of Witchcraft" Gerald Gardner 1959 - Gerald Gardner's graduation (often called "death") on February 12, 1964 - "Witchcraft the Way to Serenity" G and Y Frost November 1968 - Raymond Buckland's Museum of Witchcraft, opened in 1968 - The controversial "Witch's Bible" 1972 - The letter from Frosts to the IRS asking for tax-exempt status, dated September 1971, with the IRS Letter of Determination dated August 31, 1972. After publication of "The Witch's Bible" it was reviewed by Vicki Zastrow and Carl Weschcke. Weschcke convened a general Witchmeet to discuss it. As a result of that well-attended Witchmeet, we put some explanatory notes at the front of each chapter and republished it as "Good Witch's Bible". The interest in Witchcraft was so high that we went on to publish no less than 29 (twenty-nine) titles on subjects ranging in subject matter from popular to scholarly, from "The Magic Power of Witchcraft" to "Tantric Yoga". Though our books are not usually acknowledged in American works on Witchcraft and related topics, they have appeared in five (5) languages. Only in 2014 did someone notice the use of the word children in "Good Witch's Bible". We promptly revised the book to settle the flap. Only one sentence had to be changed. And so great was the outcry over that discovery that as of this writing, a sum total of nine (9) revised copies have been sold. Yet to such a peak did the furor on the Web and in the Community rise that we resolved to attend no further festivals. But we have now rethought that decision, and currently plan to attend certain festivals again, starting with Florida Pagan Gathering in May 2016. If it is your wish to set off another storm in a teacup, you are at liberty to do just that; however, we have now provided you with a set of real-world documented dates and deeds on which to hang your criticisms. see you at Fpg blessed be g&y

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Calling the directions

For many years the classic universal way to call the directions has relied on Hindu tradition. Documents show that the only place in the world where the traditional directions harmonize with reality is located in the Indian or the Pakistani Punjab. Today's set of directions is appropriate to where we are in West Virginia. We encourage you to use directions appropriate to where you find yourself on Mother Earth. Below Think of growing plants and the fact that the earth supports us all, both physically and with the food we eat. Brown. Female. East The rising sun. New beginnings. Green shoots. Youth and babies. Green. South The heat of the noonday sun. Emotions. Passion. Early adulthood. Red. West The setting sun. Dark blue as the night comes on. Death. North The white of snow. Wisdom. Above Pure white and palest yellow. The sky. Rain clouds: the rain that nurtures the earth. Male. Everywhere Clear spirit. The thing that motivates every living creature. Unknown and unimaginable, but pervading all the directions. Don't be afraid to change the calling of your directions. Use whatever feels right to you for the place you are in. Blessed Be

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Roots of Spirituality

Spirituality is one of those words that's easy to say but very difficult to define. What does it mean to you? Do you think you're spiritual? Does spirituality mean simply that you think there's Something beyond the mundane world where we live? Especially at this time of year when we're seeing beautiful pictures of autumn colors and quiet river scenes that give an uplift to what is today a very dreary crime-infested world, we urge you to get past the scenes of horror and to realize that beauty and spirituality still exist in nature? Can you get a similar uplifting spirituality from a book? --especially a book published in a time completely different from the world of today? No, we ourselves do not get any spiritual thoughts from the black books so beloved of millions of Abrahamic devotees. Does the idea of the wonderful interconnection of all people through the medium of electronics give a feeling of spiritual uplift, or a feeling of dreary resignation about the humanity of the world where we live and the future of that world? Surely spirituality is something beyond negativity. The chief place where we Frosts feel spiritual is at times like those when we see the moon over pine trees in the New River Gorge where we live. Perhaps there's a slight mist in the air. It is quiet, and all we can hear is the water going on its eternal course toward the sea, as part of the eternal cycle, to be returned to us as rain. So what turns us on to those feelings of wonder that we all sometimes get, at moments that are very difficult to preplan? I know that many can get an uplifting spiritual feeling when they listen to music, or when they see a group of ballerinas dancing in their perfect grace, and through many other moments. How then do we bring spirituality into our life? To start with, we must believe that we can find it. And it seems to us that the best place to look for it is in nature. Consider the sight of newborn deer in our local state park; as we mentioned, the sight of the moon, the sound of the water in the river. Be quietly contemplative, and you will open yourself to the wonders of the spiritual side of your being. Spirituality cannot be taught. Above all, it cannot be forced down your throat by some self-appointed spiritual leader who insists that his (or her) way is the only one acceptable. Bring your spirituality into balance with your mundane world by continually looking at nature's wonders. Breathe slowly. Find something to be grateful for. Be where you are. Blessed be G & Y

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Make love not war

ake Love not War The title of this blog is an old familiar bit of the nineteen-sixties with their marches in this or that cause, yet it's still worth coming to understand what it really means. The Abrahamic religions have set up a scenario which encourages hate but discourages deep friendships and any sense of adventure, using joyless rules confining any sexual activity to one pair of monogamous adult human couples of two genders, alone in the conventional bedroom, in missionary position, with the blinds drawn. Such sex is all well and good ... but ... remember that old thought? If it harm none, do what you will. How can people become real committed friends? You might say the common interests they share create a friendship, though probably only at a shallow level. Nobody gets harmed much. When a committed couple has a loving relationship, their brains actually change. What are called the mirroring centers become stronger and understanding between the individuals increases, so that they will do such things as finish each other's sentences and will have common interests. What if we were to follow the Tantric path and enjoy relationships with several people, and what if nobody got hurt? Obviously these deep relationships would preclude arguments and fights--that is, once the initial phase of artificial, culturally-inflicted jealousy is past. Take a step back and reflect. Such jealousy is cultural only: it's taught to us as an absolute given, not as a cultural option, never subjected to a rethink. Nobody ever says, "Hey! Wait a minute!" Because of assumptions taught to everyone who lives at the mercy of Abrahamic religions, we are not allowed to develop such deep, long-lasting relationships. Thus when a man or a woman sees another person that they'd like to be friends with, they're forbidden--culturally, mind you--to extend that friendship into the bedroom. In fact when they have such thoughts they dutifully feel guilty. If they do (as the common parlance has it) stray, it can have disastrous effects on family relations, and in fact on job situations. If we were honest enough to recognize that we're quite often attracted to someone apart from our recognized partner, then things would be entirely different. Most of the time the extracurricular friendship will not cause a permanent rift in a family relationship. (This assumes that both partners are playing by the same set of rules: that any research, let's say, is not one-sided.) The cost of separation and the loss of relationships with children are far too high for most sensible people to extend the situation into a long-term arrangement. Yes, this new partner may be exciting and attractive for several months, and of course it's especially exciting if one is straying and trying to avoid detection. Just like a new car, though, the novelty wears off and pretty soon the new relationship palls. But now boats are burned, and going back is not a possibility. Well, we're here to tell you--and we are both in our 80s--that permission to stray and honesty about having a new friend can be very rewarding; and if it's honest and aboveboard, it need not cause a disastrous disruption of lives. Think of it without its cultural labels. Who is harmed? And again: If it harm none ... We two have never been totally, officially monogamous, and we've been happily, productively together for almost fifty (50) years. We remind you one more time of a fact that you're forbidden to know: Sex is good for you.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Why Bomb Clinics

Why Bomb Women's Clinics? Some possible causes can be imputed to the woman-haters: 1. Male monotheistic jujus are impotent to carry out their own vicious woman-hating crusade. 2. Male monotheistic jujus aren't moving fast enough themselves to suit the bombers' perception of the holy thundered diktats. 3. The bombers hate and fear and envy women: women's power; their innate, unconscious,instinctive altruism; the high regard in which family members and others thus hold them. The bombers want the high regard without the nuisance of earning it. 4. The bombers feel themselves losing the millennia's worth of iron control they've held over women through brute strength. 5. The bombers' testosterone is running low. 6. Male bombers will never find themselves knocked up with nowhere to turn, so they don't have to care. Tra-la. 7. Female bombers have bought into the alpha-male attitude, signing on because it saves the trouble of thinking. And misery loves company. 8. The bombers can't keep their noses out of my crotch. 9. The bombers care nothing for this ravaged planet and the despoliation wrought on it by human activity, most especially the promiscuous reproduction of low-grade human beings. Witness the self-appointed mouthpieces of the jujus and the thunderings of said mouthpieces thundering despite all evidence to the contrary, "If you want to get to heaven, you'll never entertain the idea of contraception." (Can you say, "Quality, not quantity", guys ?) 10. If male persons want to be confident they will never be responsible for an unwanted pregnancy and never prompt any woman to want an abortion, they need only make an appointment at the nearest veterinarian's office for a half-hour procedure ensuring that they themselves will no longer be able to cause any further pregnancy. Yvonne

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Miscomceptions and the Malleus Maleficarum

The earliest appearance of night-flying, sabbat-attending "witches" is found in the Swiss canton of Valais in 1428 CE. The "confessions" of record resulted from extensive torture. Many women died under the torture by being literally torn apart on the rack. Now, though, the fanatics had a definition by which to judge women (and some men) as witches. In 1459 the city of Arras was the first peak of this new "knowledge" being applied wholesale to a city: Arras was brought almost to a standstill. The Parliament of Paris finally investigated the phenomenon and most of those who had been sentenced were officially rehabilitated. We may surmise that the fact mattered more to the survivors than to those who had perished. Most still in prison were released. In 1482 the new Pope, Innocent VIII (generally regarded as a person of very low moral character), appointed two monks, Krämer and Spengler, to write a work which could be used to ferret out witches. That work became the Malleus Maleficarum. The book dwelt heavily on the purported sexual habits of witches, who were supposedly able to cause both impotence and satyriasis. Krämer went back to his monastery and we don't hear of him again. Spengler was appointed accuser in a trial of a group of young women in Switzerland; but was dismissed because (again) he took an interest altogether too salacious in the sexual predilections he attributed to the accused. All the women were released. Every industry has its internal jargon. In the publishing trade the Malleus is today called a one-hander. Many copies of it were published through 1660; it was not, however, one of the books employed to murder women (and a few men) by defining them as witches. The Inquisition had at its disposal many books much better suited to the task. Probably chief among them was Bodin's Demonomania. In fact there were two inquisitor's handbooks: Bernard Gui's Practica officii inquisitoris heretice pravitatis (1324) and Nicholas Eymeric's Directorium Inquisitorum (1376). Both books remained in print until the late 1800s. The problem is that people who have not read the Malleus persist in ascribing to it things which it does not say. It is popularly mentioned by writers of fiction, especially those writers with apparently no valid, healthy knowledge of true relationships between men and women today. It is a woman-haters' manual--but it did not cause widespread deaths through its use as a witch-finders' handbook. It simply was not and did not. Titillating? Yes. Dangerous in the overblown imaginations of hard-breathing celibate clerics? Yes. Still, before quoting it we wish that people would take the time to read it (oh gasp), boring though it is. Honest scholarship has some merit even today. Blessed Be Gavin and Yvonne

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Dominance Versus Slavery

In forming the Church of Wicca almost a half-century ago, one of the guiding principles was that male and female affiliates would have an equal voice in its direction, and that in fact it would be more female-friendly than most existing self-styled places of ‘worship'. Yes, there existed groups like the Unitarian-Universalists who were more female-friendly than many Abrahamic groups; but it was our express intent to make sure that we were totally female-friendly. Many of the Abrahamics have within their ranks, and are supported by, female congregants; yet the basic assumption of male supremacy informs all their teaching and all their hierarchy. We are dismayed to think that males do not realize (or that they deny) the advantage of allowing females to have their say and to govern themselves. It looks to us as if even today--whether they can face the fact or not--men are totally afraid that they will be shut out from governing and from controlling their women ‘friends' (make that dupes). This whether they can even bring their attitude from the unconscious to a level where they can articulate it, let alone address it. Relationships should not depend on dominance--and yet the Abrahamic franchises constantly insist that females be subservient in every way to males. Even in today's culture of ostensible sexual freedom, one is always forced to ask why it is that men require subservience rather than honest partnerships. Living with someone who is subservient and has no will is far less rewarding than living with someone who is free and more than equal. Winning a race is no achievement if the person against whom you are racing is hobbled and denied any real chance to win. Indeed ... why not make it a joint trip? Ever since the time in ancient Greece when males arrogated the dominant position to themselves, women have been required to be subservient in every aspect of their lives. Jehovah and Allah, the great male archetypal gods, repeatedly require such subservience. Nobody really wins. Only in Arab countries are women's rights and liberty suppressed more than in the so-called ‘red' states of the United States where the negative effect of the Abrahamic churches is most notable. Allah (or his mouthpieces, the ayatollahs/imams/mullahs) approves the capture of hundreds of young women and their use as sex slaves. In a complementary move, Jehovah has apparently decreed the bombing of women's health facilities. At least, that's what his self-appointed mouthpieces have told us. Is this because these false-god figures are afraid of losing their power? Or is it because some of their priesthood and followers use them as an excuse to rationalize their various ongoing female-hating crusades? In France women gained equality way back after the Revolution. In most of the western world women gained a semblance of equality during and after World War II. Then, of course, factory owners were unwilling to give up their cheap female work force. But then, awkwardly, a number of women refused to go back to obeying Allah's and Jehovah's thundered commands. In this world the human race needs all the positive help it can get, whether it be in abating war or in encouraging new scientific discoveries. In this latter case, never has the work of women been so suppressed, denied, unrecognized. Only when men stand up for the womenfolk (and what a term that is!) have Nobel prizes been awarded to the women who did the work. A typical non-winner was Einstein's wife. She did all the research on photoelectricity--for which he received the Nobel; though he did at least give her the money if not the honor. If men were to get past our fear of female power, what other discoveries might be made? Is it by chance that Germany under Angela Merkel is the most prosperous country in the world and is accepting more refugees than any other? We need more of women's instinctive altruism and less of orders passed on to us by ancient priests and ministers who are only mouthing the same old threats unchanged since before the Inquisition of the Dark Ages--Jehovah and Allah and their vicious commands date from the Bronze Age. How stupid can we be? Even the Army, in graduating two women from the Ranger School, has finally recognized that we can't ignore 51 percent of the population. With the advent of the Pink Pill, the rules of the game are changing. Ladies will start demanding things which previously they were not supposed to want. We in at least one household plan to sit back and enjoy the fury (the terror?) of Jehovah's self-apppointed master's voice in the face of this new reality. Anger masks fear, after all.