Friday, September 25, 2009

Sexual Freedom, or, If you don't like it, you can't have any

The nature of spirit may be understood by a glance at its opposite, matter.
As the essence of matter is gravity, on the other hand we may affirm
that the essence of spirit is freedom. -- Georg Hegel (1770 - 1831)

Starting in the late 19th century, people all over the world began to search for a new religious freedom. They looked to nature, to the classical early cultures, and to the Orient for clues with which to form a new religious path. From that movement arose many of the great philosophers in the history of Wicca. This was the time loosely called the Enlightenment.
In the 20th century, whether it be Gardner in the New Forest, or Victor Anderson on the west coast of the United States, or Bertrand Russell, all were seeking freedom.
In the 1950s those early underground trickles became a flood--especially for the ladies, when the high-dose Pill was approved in 1957. Suddenly there was no penalty to having intimate relations with whom you liked. And we all took advantage of it.
It was the time of Hair on stage. The Canadian National Ballet permormed nude. In England the Lord Chamberlain even allowed nude figures actually to move on stage. Such breakthroughs were the mood of the time. Sexual encounters were free in a way that has now been lost. There was no hidden agenda. If a couple wanted to do it, they did, not expecting anything more than a pleasant interlude with smiles all round. Pantyhose replaced stockings and garter belts, making mini-skirts possible. Tight trousers of knit fabric left little to the imagination. Groups of consenting adults participated in open marriages. We often joke with some of the ladies whom we knew back then that it's a wonder the heads of their beds didn't collapse, given the number of notches carved on them. So you think basketball players and rap stars make out a lot? You missed it.
The coming of AIDS put a blanket on all that activity. The moralistic abrahamic faiths milked the hell out of that fact--not daring to acknowledge their envy. The "sin" of free sex was now linked with a horrible disease or death.
We miss the bad old days. People were much kinder and friendlier, and crime rates were lower, than today. People were too busy. Relations between covens were excellent. Of course we had our wrangles, but they were on serious matters of liturgy and content and optimum techniques for gaining enlightenment. We didn't scrabble in the garbage for ad hominem attacks on other members of the community. "Live and let live" was the general lens through which we viewed the world. One specific book publisher thought to benefit by breaking the atmosphere of friendship through "putting the Frosts on trial". It never came off, though; instead that meeting developed a saying " "I have the one and only true path -- for me!" Would that we could live by it today!
Somewhere in that dim and distant past of free-wheeling creativity Yvonne came up with an acronym for guidelines in sexual relations in that mindset : The word is DUPED.
No D isease
Not U nder contract as in a monogamous marriage
No unwanted P regnancy
No E xpectation of commitment
No implication of emotional D ebt

Neither party should be DUPED.

Additionally, we need to point out that the control paradigm--the eternal trinity--of the abrahamic faiths is
guilt, shame, and fear.
The sooner you can get past the idea that copulation is a sin and think of it more as a loving sacrament, the quicker you will be able to say "Up yours" when some moralistic churchman self-appointed guardian of the public virtue (virtue according to the terms he's been taught) says "You're immoral."
Optional is not mandatory, Reverend. Surely good, valid real-world morality (that is, ethics) teaches that kindness to each other is a first principle. Surely people would be better off to hear "If it harm none" than "Aha! Gotcha now!" Think of the charming film Chocolat.
You want to pass laws that make it illegal to (fill in the blank) ? Such an act would incorporate your religious belief and inflict what you've been taught into my behavior.* Hey! I'm a taxpayer too. You can tattle to your god and feel all righteous, but don't try to claim the moral high ground. Restriction is not freedom. Just get your nose out of my crotch and let me quietly go my way.
- - - - - - - - -
* Examples: same-sex marriage; stem-cell research, abortion, assisted death

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hot News

We're back--for a short time--after spending Mabon at the site called Heavenly Acres near Stanardsville VA. What a great celebration. The leader of the festival, Deb Striker, even though eight months pregnant, had a great organization and everything went off in real time rather than in eastern pagan time. Praise to every individual who supported her and helped to make this such an enriching experience.
We ourselves did seven presentations and workshops. Word must have gotten around : successive workshops were attended by more and more people. We owe special thank-yous : Catt, for feeding and looking after us so well; Deb's husband John for building the stage on which we enjoyed teaching Argentine tango and then watching such events as the fashion show and the dancers and bands.
We confidently expect this festival to grow, especially since it is one of the least expensive three-day observances in the nation. The site is aptly named : beautiful second-growth forest, with facilities here and there, and showers and toilets that actually worked. About 4 o'clock one morning Yvonne heard an owl rehearsing its riffs; and squirrels and other furred ones abound.
Now to other business. Tomorrow we expect to put one of our more thought-provoking essays on this site. Meantime here is some more scheduling news.

09 26 NRUUF's Nature Spirituality Alliance Day at the Southern Appalachian Folklife Center,
just a spit and a holler from West Virginia's Pipestem State Park in Summers County off Highway 20. 9 a.m. until sunset, for a donation at the gate.

10 9/10/11 Little Rock Arkansas

10 17 Fayetteville Arkansas Heart of the Ozarks Pagan Pride Day
Northshore Pavilion 10:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Lake Fayetteville Road, Fayetteville AR 72702

10 24/25/26 Springfield Missouri Greenleaf Coven's 31st Samhain Seminar
3 p.m. Friday through the weekend : speakers, readers, vendors, drumming on site

Lamplighter Inn
[mention Frosts or ORPA (Ozarks Regional Pagan Alliance) or Greenleaf]
1772 S Glenstone 417) 882-1113

We'll see you at one of these events. If you are a newby to the Craft, or if you just want to see the weirdos at play, or if the itch of curiosity just won't be quieted, drop in and see what it's all about. Yes, we're deviant, but not necessarily dangerous. And anyhow, you've seen normal (shudder). How will you ever know unless you see for yourself? In-person conversation is so infinitely more satisfactory than brief, hasty questions on the web.
Blessed be those who hold out for first-hand experiences. Gavin and Yvonne

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our Immediate Future

Again, we're back from visiting friends out of town, for a day at home to catch up on laundry and e-mail. We've just been to Erie PA for their Pagan Pride Day, a mind-blowing event. The spirit there and the sense of community were a joy to experience.
The trip was arranged by Reverend Badger and Cindy, to whom many thanks--more than we can express. We stayed in the home of Diana and Rich, to whom even more thanks. Their various cats and two dogs were kind enough not to complain even when we wore their fur thin.
While we were in the neighborhood, on the Friday we took the opportunity to lunch with Frank and Darlene Barney at Brushwood. Darlene was her usual feisty self, much to our pleasure; and Frank seemed stronger than when we had seen him in summer. Maybe it was the lower population density. Sending energy to Frank would be much appreciated--certainly by us Frosts. We confirmed our invitation to Sirius Rising next July; so you troops be there; you hear? See
At the Pagan Pride Day we gave three presentations. The one that seemed most popular was "99 Ways Good Witches Go Bad", based on our book "Good Witches Fly Smoothly". We offered some of our books for sale; interestingly, no one bought a "Good Witch's Bible" (the update of "The Witch's Bible"); so maybe nobody is interested any longer in what it really says ... as contrasted to what the web says it says, or maybe wants it to have said.
On the Sunday we had the great pleasure of giving a presentation at the Erie Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship after their annual Blending Water service. That service occurs at this time of year, when people returning from vacation and travel bring with them a little water from memorable places. Glastonbury was well represented, as were Northern Ireland and many other sites.
Our plans for the immediate future? They include the festival in Springfield MO, now set for October 30 at the
Lamplighter Inn (417) 882-1113
172 S. Glenstone Springfield
For reservations, mention
ORPA (Ozarks Regional Pagan Alliance) or
Anyhow, off we lurch. Until next time, blessed be all. Keep fresh batteries in your b**ls**t detector. Gavin and Yvonne

Monday, September 7, 2009

Syncretic Monotheism

One of the things that the pagan/Wiccan community seems to find disturbing about the School of Wicca (among so many other things) is the School's espousing the paradigm of a monotheistic, unknowable Ultimate Deity. Of course most of the community cannot be expected to be familiar with the fine esoteric distinctions essential to scholastic anthropology and philosophy; these are specialist fields.
If there is postulated an Ultimate Deity beyond being "known" by the left-brain intelligence, that instead is something beyond "Nothingness" and is indescribable, one that can be comprehended only through the right brain, one that is at an entirely different level, that is beyond our simple comprehension at this stage of our development, then people who believe in such an Ultimate Deity are ipso facto monotheists. They are what is defined as syncretic monotheists. Since the Ultimate Deity is incomprehensible, a deity of any type and any gender, described in any terms, is acceptable to a religion/spiritual path that espouses such a Deity construct.
The monotheism taught by the abrahamic religions is defined as ethnic monotheism with its exclusive "My way or die" mindset. In such a monotheism only one god--a definable god (or goddess, for that matter)--is permissible; nothing else. All other deities are beyond the pale and are labeled evil, illegal, or satanic.
The Church and School of Wicca teaches syncretic inclusive monotheism that allows all types of gods and goddesses to be part of your personal pantheon. These lower-level gods and goddesses are often thought of in anthropomorphic terms and are comprehensible to our finite left-brain minds: They're a lot like us, though maybe more powerful. These are subordinate deities, of course--stone gods, jungian archetypes, devas, elementals, "entities", jujus, thoughtforms, ethnic specialties of every stripe. Call 'em what you will, they are creations of the human mind. In other words, without human attention, they would never have existed and would cease to exist.
We urge you to expand your awareness, to look up the scholarly definitions from original sources, and to understand that the right-brain undefinable idea is just as real, just as valid, as that of the left brain. The two categories are simply in different dimensions.
Now. If we have not insulted you and your beliefs, raise your hand. We'll get to you just as quickly as we can.
Blessed be those who question. Gavin and Yvonne

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Who Founded Wicca?

Fact Wikipedia, Ronald Hutton ("The Triumph of the Moon"), and many others claim that
St. Gerald Gardner founded Wicca and some claim thta Raymond Buckland brought Wicca to New York.
Fact They are all wrong. Although Gerald Gardner did a great deal to publicize Witchcraft, in only one place in all his writings did he use the word wicca--and he was not referring to a spiritual path or to a religion.
Whee. Let's have a schism.
We well remember the occasion in 1968 CE when the Coven of Boskednan gathered after a circle, each with a glass of Beverage, to discuss whether the thing they were working on should be called Wicce or Wicca. The final agreement was that it should be Wicca (the male form of the noun). Thus in 1968 the Church and School of Wicca was born. The Church earned its Letter of Determination from the IRS on August 31, 1972.
Many people have contributed to the formation of Wicca.
Gerald Gardner popularized his form of Witchcraft and with the help of Doreen Valiente formed Gardnerian Witchcraft. Later--posthumously--at some time in the mists of history, someone declared that it had now become Gardnerian Wicca.
Raymond Buckland brought Gardnerian Witchcraft to New York in 1964. In 1966 he wrote "Witchcraft the Religion". In 1971 June Johns wrote "King of the Witches"; Stewart Farrar wrote "What Witches Do"; and Leo Martello held a "witch-in" in New York City's Central Park.
Our (Frosts') first use of the word Wicca to identify a spiritual path and a religion was welcomed and embraced by the community, especially the community's feminist side. Raymond Buckland formed Seax Wicca in 1973; in that same year Reclaiming Wicca, a Feri tradition, was born based loosely on the teachings of Victor and Cora Anderson.

It is amusing to see how Wicca has moved back in time. Indeed, one could now easily believe that there was an ancient Roman religion called Wicca and perhaps even one in Catal Huyuk in, say, 14,000 BCE. Of course there may well have been elements of the modern reconstruction in the thoughts of those earlier peoples. Certainly we find glimmers of them in old Tantra and in Jewish mysticism, particularly in the concepts of timelessness and oneness associated with Nirvana and the indescribable, unknowable Ein Sof. And goodness knows, there was a time before Pope Gregory dealt with the calendar, when people timed their festivals by the movement of heavenly bodies, not "on the first day of calendar month X."
We think it behooves self-appointed people who lecture, people who write, people who otherwise discuss this new vibrant spiritual path, to get their facts straight. If they can't be bothered, then their whole set of claims becomes equally suspect.
Historic sources, like the virgin, need to be immaculate.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Our Immediate Future - Frost Travels 2009

The following events and presentations are scheduled firm. If you want to meet the Frosts in person, if you'd like to see their fangs and their hairy palms for yourself, come to one or more of the events listed here. Final updates will be posted not on this website, but at the websites listed with each entry. Completing websites will appear here as they arrive on our own Incoming.

September 6 Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship(UU), Beckley WV 11:00 a.m.
"Toward Enlightenment"
September 12 Pagan Pride Day, Erie PA
10:30 until dark St. Nick's Grove, Erie PA
September 13 Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship, Erie
"Megalithic Monuments"
September 17 - 20 Mountain Mysteries Mabon, Stanardsville VA
September 26 Nature Spiritual Alliance Day, Appalachian South Folklife Center
Pipestem WV http://naturespirituality
October 9, 10, 11 Little Rock AR

October 17 ff Fayetteville AR

October 24 Springfield MO
Witches' Ball

PS PaTpl Thanks for your attention. You know who you are. Are you willing to divulge at least what state you reside in?