Saturday, September 29, 2007

Questions, Questions, Questions

Look, Guys and Gals.
We may be psychic; we may be magicians. But we're human. We simply can't respond to all your questions one at a time. The new lecture-workshop that we are offering wherever we appear, entitled "Gavin and Yvonne Tell All", offers a forum to express your views and to ask those questions. What if someone much smarter with electronics than we are were to film a typical Q & A session and were to post it on (for example) youtube?
We ask that the questions and answers be posted in their entirety. To that end we will keep our own record of the session.
As you know, we conduct a correspondence school. Its tuition-paying students get preference in having their questions answered. Sometimes even they get short-changed, simply because of that four-letter word, Life, and its conflicting priorities.
We will try to answer a maximum of ten E questions per week when we are at home. They must be reasonable questions that are not ad hominem attacks, snide remarks, irrelevant queries about members of our extended family--or, for that matter, our opinions about other members of the pagan/Wiccan fraternity.
The most prevalent question recently has been, "Why did you write 'Good Witch's Bible'?"
We wrote it in response to complaints about "THE Witch's Bible", which was the very first handbook of the new religion of Wicca. We discussed and fine-tuned the revisions that became GWB with the 200-plus people who attended the Council of American Witches called by Carl Weschcke in Minneapolis in 1974. From that council came The Principles of Wiccan Belief, which we think many of you should read. These principles give a view of the then-community's opinion. Our recent book "The Bible of Sex Magic and Enlightenment" was written to reflect the actual practice in some covens in the community as we knew it at that time, not the pale, inhibited squabbling ghost it has now become. We strongly suggest that you also read our blog "Quotable Quotes" to see the many things we said that seem to have been overlooked.
Ask any of the oldsters. We had a vision. We didn't necessarily agree, any two with each other, but we shared the dream of freedom--of cutting each other some slack and developing enlightenment. Freedom from the narrow, artificial "family-values" box extrapolated and carried over intact from people's Christian backgrounds. Our vision aimed for
Humanity, life, and enlightenment
conflict, war, and destruction.

Responses to Your Questions

Greetings, Pagan Temple.
We apologize that we've taken so long to answer your thoughtful questions.
1. It is true : We live under a Vow of Poverty. We had a major meeting of minds with the IRS--months long--in the early days of the Church of Wicca. From that meeting emerged the definition of a church and the steps to forming a religious association contained in Appendix 2 of "Witch's Magical Handbook". We finally convinced the IRS that we kept no financial records. But when an organization keeps no financial records, how do its donors know they aren't being ripped off? The answer is the vow of poverty. We Frosts basically own nothing. If anything such as honorariums, book royalties, consultant fees comes to our hands, it all goes directly to the Church. No questions asked. The Church owns the cottage we live in. The Church owns the sheets on the bed, and the bed itself. In the real world, if we were to leave the Church, we'd have to walk away naked.
2. Media portrayals. We see inklings of change in the awareness of the media to our legal religious status. They're being more careful. When Disney brought out that unspeakable Hocus Pocus we made a determined effort to find a pit-bull lawyer who would take them on. No luck. We tried the federal authorities and the local North Carolina authorities. Still no luck. Fortunately many documentary channels and dear old Mother BBC are beginning to put together positive, objective programs. Big gratitude for that.
3. Wicker Man. It depends on which version of Wicker Man you view. Promoting the new version would be very foolish. It lost the whole point of the virgin sacrifice done so well in the first Woodward/Lee/Eklund version.
4. Advice to authors. After some thirty books published by mainstream houses, we have gone away from them to Outskirts Press ( ) . There we get to set our own royalties, and have more control over such things as cover art. Selling a pagan/Wiccan book today to the mainstream houses is difficult because, as in so many areas, pagan/Wiccans don't support their own kind by reviewing their books. Get out there and post positive reviews on all the major sites such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble--to good books.
5. Relations with Christians. Oh, what a phantasmagoria of problems this question raises! Yvonne, the recovering Baptist, shudders at the non-win package They'd foist off on unsuspecting dupes. Statistics quoted by Unitarian Universalists say that 40 percent of Americans have no spiritual path or religious affiliation and that this fact is the reason we're in such a morass nationally ... well, whether or not they're accurately linking cause and effect is a discussion for another day. Anyhow, we hope to attract those people, though we don't want them to bring along their Christian paradigm, consciously or unconsciously, of an exclusive ethnic monotheistic dominator-deity of hatred. If you haven't yet read it, I suggest you read our article Beware the Christo-Pagan-Wiccans on website It's ethical to reveal what we believe, but not ethical to insist that anyone else subscribe to it. And we've heard quite enough of the conventional claims.
6. For many years we've said that once there's a pagan/Wiccan pope, we'll have to find another place for our form of spirituality and enlightenment. Yes, in the early days when we began to build such a structure, we realized that it wasn't a path to freedom, so we went from 16 churches to one. So far as we know, no one who claims to be a Wiccan should be issuing franchises. We postulate that a principal cause of Witch wars in the community is that urge toward the meaningless drive for headcount and control. That's a spiritual path? Look at all the old-timers of our (Frost) generation. Do you see vast structures associated with their names? Today I worry more about the future of even such structures as Covenant of the Goddess or the Lady Liberty League. Both are doing great work, as are many others such as Reclaiming, but where are they going with opening pathways to enlightenment for their members?
7. Good grief! We're a church. We don't care what political philosophy you espouse. In fact under the Church's 501.c.(iii) we cannot legally care. It would be more relevant to ask whether you wear boxers or Y-fronts. They're simply separate dimensions of reality.
8. Growth and corruption. We're back to the old "Power corrupts." If the leaders seek power, that way disaster lies. (See Vow of Poverty above.)
9. Caligula and his horse. This viewpoint came from a History Channel special on the writers who wrote up the stories of the Roman emperors two or three hundred years after the fact for a yellow-press readership. The History Channel pointed out how much those people wanted to sell books (or should we say scrolls?). That Caligula ripped open his sister's abdomen to extract the fetus and that she died could be put in an entirely different way. Try this. Caesarean operations were well known. After all, they were named for Caesar. So she had a Caesarean. So she died. That doesn't sell scrolls--not gaspy enough. Saying that his horse would make a more intelligent senator than those presently in power? That might be just as appropriate today, when Yvonne's cat would probably do a better job than many of this nation's sorry politicians. Certainly he'd be more honest about it. Tiberius was both a miser and a republican. He delegated his power to the senate and did few public works (what today would be called infrastructure). Caliguna did all sorts of public works--built grain ships to feed the Roman populace, and spent all the money Tiberius had saved. He forced his will over the senate's objections. There were lots of other points in that documentary, and I'd dearly love to have a copy of it. It aired within the last two years.
10. Favorite god/goddess. First let us say that in discussions and writing we now are using a shorthand--god-ess--to designate deities. The Celtic way gives us a whole pantheon of god-esses, each with a specific purpose. We're lucky in that we also know of other powerful deity metaphors that we can use to improve our lives, either through self-realization or through what is generally called magic. Having a favorite one is a non-question. If you in fact worship a single named deity such as Jesus, you're not in a religion; you're in a cult.
Pagan Temple, dear, that's all for now. Blessed be those who think and challenge. G and Y


BDD you yourself told the community you were brain damaged, so nicknaming you BDD seemed appropriate. The question occurs:
Is this a scam so that you can use the legal ploy of diminished responsibility?
For more than a year you have claimed we Frosts are pedophiles, basing your claim on a few lines carefully exegesized from a book published forty years ago.
You have become fond of calling police departments and others, making these same claims and trying to get us imprisoned, presumably to further your book sales efforts.
We wonder why you haven't called the police department or the Sheriff's office or perhaps the DA in Hinton WV?
Thank you for putting to rest the community-wide rumor about your mythical older daughter and about the civil suits in your area. Since that was so easy for you, we are encouraged to do the same thing and make the following statements to the community:
1. I, Gavin Frost, have never had any sexual contact with a minor of either gender.
2. I, Yvonne Frost, have never had any sexual contact with a minor of either gender.
Our lawyers have grown annoyed with us for having these contacts with you, BDD. Thus this is the last time we will respond on the net to you. BYE. GY

oops We Goofed

The address information for the Witch's ball in Springfield should have been: or
Good to hear from all you old friends and new aquantances including our cuzins. We like plenty of raisins in our bran. Pagan Temple, please come. (a) We like vampires; (b) You can ask your questions in person. How about videoing the answers and putting them on youtube? We are working on your previous questions Honest.
More memories keep flashing in. Probably the biggest ever pagan/Wiccan gathering which we sponsored at the Shoreham Americana in Washington DC--2,000 plus. Casting a circle on network TV Sunday morning after drinking champagne with Sybil Leek and her mother, Al Manning and Brad steiger half the night, everyone feeling a lot of pain. Ah well we wuz young.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

We're Going to a Ball

We know that to many of you roots are important. Along with who did what to whom, when, where, and how, the lore of Craft roots seems to be part of an ever-changing mythhistory of early Wicca. So we're going to put this one up for grabs and for your comments.
In the early days of the Church of Wicca we participated annually in Samhain seminars around the nation. Each of them included a little costume ball. We have many wonderful memories of them, including Selena Fox's screech (during a song, actually) in Albuquerque that brought the hotel security running. The night that the lady got fed up with our amateur guitarist, walked up to him, took his instrument away, handed it to her husband, snapped "Tune it!", and proceeded to play a riff of classic Bach. And there was the night that Yvonne sang Solvejg's Song from Peer Gynt Suite, whose theme seemed so poignantly appropriate for Samhain, and a retired German opera singer stopped her and sang it as it deserves to be sung.
Anyway, we have run out of fingers and toes to count the number of Witches' balls held under the auspices of the Church of Wicca.
We're very pleased that the Greenleaf Coven of Springfield MO is carrying on the tradition. On the night of Friday October 26 we will attend the ball--our 35th--they've scheduled for the real lunar date, at the VFW (Post 3404) Hall, 1136 East Atlantic at National, in Sspringfield. The ball is free to those who really cannot make a donation. Otherwise a donation of $15 is appropriate. If you come driving up in a brand new SUV with the latest ipod in your fist, we expect you will make a larger donation, to show where your priorities really lie. For more information, see
On the Saturday morning, October 27, at around 10 o'clock or when we can open our eyes, the Church will hold its annual general meeting over brunch at the Cedars Restaurant. It turns out that only a few people have actual votes, but we will listen to any suggestion you make that will enhance the position of the Craft in this nation. This means that all you lovely Arkansawyers had better be good and show up--and you too, Katie, 'cause Jo won't be there to keep us in line. If you don't show, we could well take the bit between our teeth, and it might not be pretty. You never know your luck.
Blessed be those who walk the spiritual path called the Craft. GY

Monday, September 24, 2007

Plausible Evasions

Many of us in the real world find that the youtube political debates have been instructive. Which one, or how many, of those pushing, shoving political figures actually answered the tough questions--and which of them totally evaded the issue, trying to redirect the listener's attention to their own threadbare favorite cliches? We viewers are too often left with the feeling that the politicians didn't answer the question.
Mrs. Drew, we very much appreciate your recent avowal that your own three-year-old daughter has not had to get an injunction agains the individual calling himself A. J. Drew, now known and loved by many of us as the Brain-Damaged Dude (BDD). We had hoped that your response might squelch the rumors in the community; however, your answer--nice though it is --simply does not match the question.
It would surely be nice if you could squelch the strong rumor in the community that the BDD's older daughter got an injunction against him. Of course we would much prefer that the answer come from the BDD himself.
A search of court records from your area has turned up many, many cases in which an A. J. Drew figures as the defendant. This awkward fact occasions another question--in fact, two questions.
1. Is A. J. Drew the legal name of BDD? If not, can you give a waiting world his real legal name?
2. Are there other A. J. Drews living in your area? Do the many civil complaints against A. J. Drew apply to someone other than BDD?
We are not flaming you; we just want the record set straight and the rumors squelched.
Blessed be the community. Yours for truth, Gavin and Yvonne

Quotable Quotes

Here are some quotes we kind of like.
* The idea is not just to swallow a religion pill handed to you by an authority figure, but rather to try, to test, to probe, to investigate. We cannot emphasize too strongly that you should encourage in yourself that skepticism which you may have been told is wrong.
* If after conversation and discussions with outsiders you feel that some tenet of Wicca is not consonant with the true path, try a variation. Don't be so dogmatic in your beliefs that you insist only you are correct. This is tantamount to believing you are God.
* Don't blindly follow the methods we advocate, but when you make changes, make them with understanding. Beware of the destroyers.
* Divine knowledge is not borrowed from books. It must be realized in oneself. Scriptural texts cannot supersede reason. The principal books are doubly distilled : they come from a human prophet and have now been interpreted and translated.
We could simply challenge you to find the sources of these quotes, but today we're feeling amiable. So here are a couple more to give you a clue.
* No formal initiation into a group that practices the great rite should be done before the candidate attains the age of eighteen (18).
* Since very few females coming to initiation are virgin, the use of the phallus is usually dropped. This was included as part of Craft heritage in line with the age-old practice universal among preliterate societies. We would now recommend the use of condoms rather than IUDs for contraception and for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
* The Craft is not a police-state religion saying "Live on my terms or go to hell," but one in which freedom of expression is encouraged.
All of the above quotes come from "Good Witch's Bible".
Blessed be those who seek. Gavin and Yvonne

Thursday, September 13, 2007

.fanaticism masks doubt

A common bond binds fanatical reformers together.
* St. Augustine was a debauched ladies' man, almost dead from a series of social diseases. After his mother nursed him back to health, he found Jesus and became one of the most fanatical Christian reformers and woman-haters ever to have lived.
* Theodosia of Constantinople was a lady of the night and an exotic dancer when the Emperor fell for her. When she became Empress, she turned against people of her own class and convinced the Emperor to gather them together in the hippodrome. There they were all slaughtered. Apocryphally, she did not stop there: Every house of ill repute was burnt to the ground with its inhabitants closed inside.
* In recent times we have seen how fanatical fundamentalist Christian leaders have committed sins heinous in the eyes of their congregations--while preaching hellfire and damnation on parishioners who might themselgves stray onto those primorse-strewn pathways.
It seems that fanatical reformers are all drawn from the ranks of those who, before their conversion, were into the behaviors they later so vigorously suppressed or attacked.
* Drew, we would like to bring to your attention the widespread rumors about your daughter getting a restraining order against you. Can you please put these rumors to rest?

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Garden and Travel including Ohio

Just came in from the garden. It's getting to be a desert because our rainwater barrel is empty and, given our fixed income, our city water bill won't stand any increase. Somehow in this long drought we've been having the bugs have decided to flourish, eating everything green in sight. Now if we could train 'em to cut the lawn while we were away, that would be the one positive aspect to the situation.
We're traveling this month to Arkansas for Pagan Pride Days, first to Little Rock for the weekend of September 8/9, and then on to Fayetteville for the weekend of 15/16. Our thanks to the good people who have gone to much trouble to make this happen. Then back home for a short time before we venture out to Toledo, Ohio for October 19/20/21. Come and meet us and press the flesh, or discuss your differences with us.
We thought we'd leave our readers with some ideas to think about while we're running around. Try these on.
Fanaticism masks doubt.
I never taught a man archery who did not ultimately use me as his target.
Accusation is not evidence.
When men make a desolation, they call it peace.
You should know that these quotes are very old. It might be entertaining to look them up.
Blessed be.

new sexy books

If you enjoyed the movie Deep Water, you will surely enjoy our book "A Modern Grail Quest." It is an action/romantic/adventure story with explicit sex based on single-handed round-the-world yacht racing.
Quite a positive thing happened this week. Another new book is now available through and through Barnes & Noble ( For details of the book, go to our website