Saturday, October 1, 2011

Subject Excruciating Pain in the New River Gorge

Here's the latest update on Gavin's health situation as of October 1 2011: the latest episode in an ongoing adventure with a steep learning curve.
We apologize to readers of our blog as well as to students of the School for delays in communication. Gavin's back decided that it needed more work, and made us aware of that decision in no uncertain terms. After three weeks of intensive testing, including X-rays, sedimentation tests, and an MRI, we have learned that a deep-seated infection began at the time of his surgery in early May and has been simmering ever since: first silently, then only too emphatically.
Having started in May, the thing has progressed into the actual vertebrae that were first damaged so very long ago. After the outpatient tests, Gavin was re-admitted to the hospital in Princeton, West Virginia, where they used a hammer and chisel to take bone samples from the area of infection to culture and identify the specific creature at the bottom of it all. At the same time they introduced a bypass tube into the upper arm so that antibiotics can be administered directly into the bloodstream. He is making daily visits to Summers County's hospital at 8:15 a.m. for an hour or two to receive intravenous addition of curative solutions.
Until the villain is identified, then, the experts are treating for the two most popular creatures in this field: staphylococcus and streptococcus. Once they have identified the exact disease and thus the best antibiotic to address it, he will continue treatments for the next six weeks, followed by a new series of tests.
Meantime controlling the pain with appropriate painkiller(s) presents yet another challenge. In the course of this aspect of it, unsuspected allergies have manifested just to make things more interesting.
We are doing what we can to keep the School running, and student dues and membership end dates will be fine-tuned in light of the delays occasioned at this end. Please understand, though: It's going to be slow. Knowing what is actually causing the pain has been a great relief.
Keep us in your thoughts, and please send healing energy if you see fit. Thanks.

Blessed be. GY

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Legal Molestation of Children

We use this title deliberately because there has been the usual upsurge of innuendo and pointless discussion of "The Witch's Bible". A few people baselessly claim that the book encourages child abuse. It clearly does not.

However, the United States government subsidizes and supports legal child abuse with our tax dollars. In 2007 CE in Prince George's County, Maryland, the school board decided that they would enforce the 100 percent vaccination program that would allow them to get more federal dollars. The school board issued summonses to the parents of 2,300 children who had not had all the seventeen (17) immunizations alleged to be vital to child health and safety. The summonses were delivered in the usual militaristic way by the sheriff's department, commanding the kids and their parents to show up at a central school location so that the kids could be duly vaccinated ... or to appear in court and to suffer unspecified consequences--including jail time and being expelled from school. Effectively this meant that the kids in question were forcibly vaccinated under the glare of gun-toting sheriff's deputies who doubtless wore all their clanking, polished symbols of power, along with de-personalizing sunglasses. This caused lasting trauma to the children and a new and powerful reason to hate the police.

Now we need to look at the known--the proven--effects of vaccination. It has been proven time and time again that such vaccinations cause autism. In the last ten years, according to the Department of Health and Human services, the occurrence of autism in this nation's children has quadrupled. By 2032 it is projected that all male children in the United States who are vaccinated will be autistic. During the Reagan administration public law 99/660 was passed protecting Big Pharma from the results downstream of poisonous vaccinations. You cannot sue Big Pharma if a vaccination legally required happens to cause autism, disability, or death in your child. That is the law.

The Amish population have gotten a blanket exception to the vaccination/immunization program on religious grounds. In the Amish population, there has not been a case of polio or smallpox in thirty (30) years, and the Amish children have little or no autism. What we are wondering is whether or not Wiccans can come together to save their children from the results of vaccination, by getting our own religious exception to the law. Such an exception could be worded in such a way that if parents wanted their children to be vaccinated, they could be. Parents and their kids would have a choice instead of being coerced. As any thinking parent should know, though, these mandatory vaccinations are dangerous and are purposeless.

Can we Wiccans come together as a group to fight this real menace to our children? Wouldn't it be great if we all worked together for once? Reflect on what is at stake. Ask the parent of an autistic child how that parent's life differs from yours. How would you like to live with a child whose body is present but whose mind is missing?

The public law mentioned above sets up a special office of masters to judge whether or not a child has been damaged by a vaccination. To date it has paid out over $2 billion in compensation --from tax money, not from Big Pharma.

We need a title for this effort. What about
                                             Wiccans against Forcible Immunization--WAFI?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

State Your Complaint

First let us apologize for not keeping everyone up to date with our blogs. Trips to the hospital, doctor visits, and three half-day physical therapy sessions a week--as well as trying to keep the School current--have kept us busy. Gavin is doing better but still having a lot of pain; we do not know whether a third back surgery will be required.

Locust plagues occur predictably every seventeen years. In a similar fashion, though perhaps a little less regularly, in an event that has become almost a ritual, the Christo-pseudo-Wiccans get up in arms about "The Witch's Bible" (republished as "Good Witch's Bible") with rumors of unarticulated complaints. People just attack us and our work because of some vague discomfort we're alleged to be causing them. So now, as the Walrus said to the Carpenter, it's time to talk of many things: of shoes and ships and sealing-wax ... and of natural endorphines.

Since earliest times it has been known that orgasm while under the influence of psychedelic substances creates the possibility of visiting Nirvana. In the ancient Hindu Tantric tradition this was accomplished by drinking something called soma--honey mead with psychedelic additives-- and then having multiple orgasms while ascending a path made by combining opposite-natured gods and goddesses. Under Indira Gandhi the Indian government sponsored a college's efforts to reconstruct this very ancient knowledge that probably dated from earlier than 20,000 BCE.

Gavin was allowed to attend that college in the Indian Punjab. As a result of his experiences in the time he spent there, we wrote "Tantric Yoga", published in 1989 CE by Samuel Weiser. The book contains adequate instruction on how to climb the path to Nirvana and how to enter the secret chakra. It includes information necessary to bring you safely down again to the earth plane. The final day of raising the kundalini serpent requires multiple orgasms, one every 2 hours and 4 minutes, for a total of eight.

Every time we have tested the path, it has worked. Only in the 1990s, when Professor Candace Pert wrote "Molecules of Emotion", did we realize in objective scientific terms what was actually happening. Her work was further enhanced by the discovery of the ligands that entered the opiate receptors at the cellular level. These ligands, actually a naturally occurring form of morphine, were called endorphines. The more endorphines you have in your bloodstream, the stronger will be your chance of reaching dramatically altered states of consciousness.

Of course endorphines can be raised in many ways. Punishment such as being whipped raises the level of endorphines. An early work of Gerald Gardner's included sex and whipping in the third-degree initiation. An easier and more pleasant way to raise endorphines is to eat dark chocolate and drink red wine. Endorphines are also raised by bodily stress such as is experienced in a sweat lodge. So this is the first aspect of sex magic that is scientifically proven to change your state of consciousness.

In our books we have scrupulously avoided encouraging the use of psychedelics. Such use is illegal and thus would bring you into conflict with the Wiccan principal guideline: "If it harm none, do what you will." The revelation that Professor Pert's work gave to the world showed why ancient covens had all done sex magic. And not only covens: In early Rome the reports of early Christian sex-magical practices are well documented.

A second aspect which has not been so widely explored is the level of adrenalin which occurs during any form of excitement. The higher the excitement, the more energy seems to be raised. One way to raise the level of excitement is the promise of sexual release after a short spell of celibacy (perhaps three days). It has also been found that changing partners dramatically increases the amount that a group can raise. Many years ago in festivals (first in Minneapolis and then in Connecticut) we had volunteers of mixed genders work both toward Nirvana and in healing. The rates of success were truly dramatic. All this information is easily available to the researcher in our book "Bible of Sex Magic and Enlightenment" published in 2007 CE.

Now if we switch back to the infamous "Good Witch's Bible"--written before the knowledge of endorphines and other methods of raising them was known--we Frosts described and recommended a Tantric method.

If a coven is going to practice sex magic regularly with changing partners, then obviously during initiation partners should be changed. We admit that there may be some confusion about the initiations. We did state quite clearly in "Good Witch's Bible" that no one under the age of eighteen (18) should be initiated; now we want to add that the coven's most recent initiate of the appropriate gender should be the one to initiate the incoming neophyte. This approach obviates any power play by a senior priest or priestess in the form of grabbing all the newbies--all the fresh meat--for him/herself.

We Frosts have frequently been criticized as well for not answering questions. All your questions can be answered if you simply read the books on the subject that we have published; the most recent is "The Bible of Sex Magic and Enlightenment." The book contains 300 pages, so it should be obvious that your questions cannot be answered in a tweet or a facebook paragraph. Further we want to say this: If you can't be bothered to read the published material before you ask your questions or start your carping, you cannot expect and do not deserve a coherent answer.

We have a question of our own for people unhappy about us Frosts and about our work:

What is the title of the most recent work you have published in the interest of promoting Wicca, instead of tearing down its founders and denigrating the book on which the court decision recognizing Wicca as a religion was founded?

Monday, August 1, 2011


From the dawn of written history, from the time of Zoroaster and Ahura Mazda in the district called variously Mesopotamia, Persia, and Iran, through the Bogomils, through the Cathars, through today's religions, especially those that adopt a rigid mindset with no room for slack of any kind, the unfailing symptom is this: Leaders urge the idea of either/or: Either Behavior A is good, or it's bad. Either it's black, or it's white. There is nothing in between.

Our recent blog on Othering versus Togethering got some of you really going. We'd like to continue in this vein for a little longer, today applying the concept specifically to the religious or spiritual plane of experience.

Many of the early sects were dualists in that they thought of the spiritual world as wholly good and the materialistic earthplane world as wholly evil (sound familiar?). The Cathars*, whose religion was violently suppressed in southern France, were perhaps extremists in this regard: they would not eat anything that was the result of copulation, because copulation involved the physical body. Even such things as milk and cheese were off their diet plan. Further, they denied that Jesus ever was born in the flesh, because flesh was evil: He was only a spiritual being. Thus they were, if you like, a 12th-century forerunner of a vegan's vegan.

At that time the all-powerful church was reaping the benefits of what is called the Medieval Warm Period (when farm products exceeded the needs of the populations, and churchmen of the day took advantage of the surpluses to live in corruption and luxury). Cathars striving for purity presented a visible reminder that the way of poverty and asceticism was more Christlike and less self-indulgent than the decadent path of the Christian church of that day; consequently they had to be eradicated.

This is an extreme illustration of othering. The Cathars were a good people trying sincerely to live by their beliefs, yet they were killed by the thousand because they believed in dualism and strove to live more humbly, as they imagined Jesus had lived.

Why was it impossible for people to meet halfway? In a Monty Python feature, inside Castle Perilous Michael Palin's character begs, "Can't I have just a little peril?" If the Cathars had been willing to bend their rules just a little bit and the churchmen of the day had been willing to forgo some portion of their great greed, somewhere between there could have been common ground and people would not have had to be tortured and killed ... though it was always done in a pious way, of course, "for the good of your soul". (Lady, deliver us from centralized power!)

Today the Taliban's following of strict religious rules is an example of those who cannot adjust by even so much as a gnat's eyelash. And consequently we have world war. As St. Jimmy Buffett might say, "Lighten up."

As we Frosts drive around our little sphere in West Virginia, we see sprouting on increasing numbers of lawns little signs resembling those signs that appear during political campaigns. Instead of doing a fanfare for a candidate, though, today's signs display something called Ten Commandments. Yvonne can't resist composing her own Eleventh Commandment, worded to this effect:

You run yours, and I'll run mine.

The same principle might well be applied to good effect in such cases as assisted suicide, gay marriage, abortion, stem-cell research ... you get the idea. Optional is not mandatory.

* Cf Greek catharsis: a purification.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


It looks as if othering is becoming the most popular sport in the world. "Othering"? It's the art and practice of emphasizing differences between people, groups, nations ... you name it, to create artificial barriers and manufactured hatred: "They're not like us! They're the others!" Shylock protested othering in "Merchant of Venice". Dean Jonathan Swift described it in terms of Big-Endians and Little-Endians. Sam Keen described it in "Faces of the Enemy". Teofilo Ruiz described it in "The Terror of History" offered through Great Courses from The Learning Company.

Sometimes othering is done by governments as a pretext to declare war and grab the oil or other resources of another nation. Sometimes it's an attempt to pull people together into a larger and larger group of haters so that the in-group can get more contributions and a bigger head-count, and can raise political capital (look no further than Washington DC).

Othering causes a great deal of pain and hurt. Families get broken up; and those who were loved are suddenly found to be ... other: untouchable, unspeakable creatures whose unclean shadow must not fall on the righteous sanctified ones.

One example: something presented as an ostensibly light-hearted book, "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus". Personally we think it's great that women are different from men. This world would be a very boring and much less entertaining place if the genders were not different--if they didn't dovetail so beautifully--at least, when left to their own devices without manipulation by someone with an axe to grind. If there is conflict between genders, might it not be inflicted by the culture? Too, too often we disregard the culture in which we live and ignore its assumptions, thinking no more about it than a fish thinks about the water through which it swims.

But when such othering is taken to extremes, it can become destructive. We Frosts have many Christian friends, and by the way we have Muslim friends and Buddhist friends here and there; friends of different racial backgrounds; we're blessed with a whole boatload of assorted friends. The diversities among them are an enriching influence in our lives. Discussions with them, perhaps over a Beverage, can be pretty entertaining--but it doesn't occur to us to think of them as others. We think of them instead as friends whom we would be sad indeed to lose. The one very good thing about such inventions as Facebook is that they bring people together. Yet even here we see almost violent attacks against people with opinions that vary only in the slightest degree.

Some people don't seem to realize how much trouble the poor of the world are in. Time and again we've heard people say, "They're poor because they don't want to work" or "They're just lazy." It may be true that a handful of people don't want to work and are lazy; but that is no reason to put the whole category (stereotype) into some sort of quarantine or (as they say in England) send them to Coventry, where no one even bothers to talk to them about their problems and possible solutions.

Recently a Unitarian Universalist attendee at Summer Institute called another person "poor white trash". Let's bring back the Inquisition and get rid of people with this type of attitude from among us. Or are we just othering at a different level? Gavin grew up in a class-conscious society--but, at least as he remembers it, no one would thus have insulted a poor woman with many children doing her best.

And while we're on the subject, let's stop listening to those people who say "He's a devil-worshipper" or on the other hand, "She's a fundamentalist Christian who's already had 13 kids". Can we not for a few minutes think of the positive benefits of togethering as contrasted with knee-jerk thinking about the negatives associated with othering?

Instead of othering, then, why don't we think about all the things we have in common?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

"Earth-Based" Religions?

Last Sunday at the Unitarian-Universalist fellowship in Beckley, the presenter talked about earth-based religions. In the discussion that followed, someone suggested that "earth-based" was not necessarily a good label or an accurate one for Wicca and for other self-styled pagan or alternative groups.

We know now that pagan comes from the label in Latin for a division--a political ward or a district--of Rome. Thus we can say that, in the loosest sense, pagan does indeed equate to land. The question is, though, whether the spirituality of the Community's current religious revival is genuinely earth-based. Yes, of course you'll find many groups who are ecologically aware, doing all those good things that help conserve the planet; but are they earth-based?

When you look at the spiritual side of their belief system, you will find that most of them have quite advanced ideas about God/Goddess and about Self and the First Cause.

The more the physicists try to explain the purported Big Bang and the time before its purported occurrence, the more inextricably they tangle themselves in their own underwear.

If E = Mc2, then energy is everything; the solid wall you look at isn't really solid; it is just a bunch of energy units that seems to us to be solid. If energy is everything, then perhaps we can equate it to God/Goddess ... or perhaps not.

"Earth-based" certainly does not fully describe our spirituality. Sure, we're eco-conscious; but we're also spiritual-conscious and conscious of the movement of the planets and stars in our universe. They're a good excuse for pleasant get-togethers. But there's more.

So what the Community needs is a new descriptor for our spiritual path or religion.

How about some suggestions?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Reflections from Hospital

Being in hospital and being immobilized gives time for meditation and contemplation.
Sometimes we tend to get away from the realities of real life and of pain. The first thing I want to say is that living in a small town with a cottage hospital and larger hospitals within easy driving distance is amazing. The interconnection of people--friends of friends, if you will--is just beyond belief in this environment. The man who drove me (Gavin) in ambulance to the hospital is also one of the lifeguards at the state-park pool that we regularly visit for our self-directed aquarobics. My regular physician's niece plays in the jazz quintet that my neurosurgeon runs. The head of the local physical therapy group has a daughter who plays in band class with our grandson, the reigning saxophone king of southern West Virginia. We can discuss with our doctors their problems, not just our own. One of these doctors is counting his fifth year of being free of cancer. It's a wonderful, caring relationship. The other day one of the physicians was, as the saying is in these parts, "covered up" with patients. Because of the pain in Gavin's back, we elected to leave rather than wait. That doctor phoned to see how desperate was Gavin's need; later he looked in on Gavin's physical therapist during an actual session, so that he didn't have to drive way out to the doctor's office a second time.

These caring relationships exist despite the fact that they all know we are Witches ... and they are not; indeed, many if not most of them are fundamentalist Christians.

It gives one pause to think that these very caring people have been brought up in a religion which we tend to denigrate. I believe that because of my experience I will be more gentle in my future criticism.

Of course neighborliness comes into play as well; here we should mention one very busy forensic-psychologist friend of ours who took the trouble twice to drive for over an hour with large pots of soup involving chicken and rice and with fresh vegetables from his garden. Thank you, Randy.
Even this experience of rather drastric measures and of healing has a good side.

School Update

We are pleased to announce that last week we signed up the 40-thousandth student of the School. It has been a long road that started in early 1969. In blazing that entirely new trail we made many decisions. The chief one, that seems to have frustrated many students, is that we were not in the instant-gratification business. To complete the course in Basic Witchcraft requires persistence and the use of the the good old U.S. Postal Service--what has come to be called snail-mail. We thought long and hard about going electronic and decided against it. The completion of most of the course's lectures required the reading of outside books and we felt that a slow and steady progress was better so that people could obtain a more thorough understanding of Wicca. The ideas in the basic course are radically different from (a) the Christian matrix in which most westerners have been brought up and from (b) the gossamer-wings thinking and the blue balls of fire that the alternative community apparently expected from us.
        This month the School chartered its 17th church: Mystic Moon Church of Wicca near Jacksonville, Florida.

Again the policy of the Church was diametrically contrasted with that of many organizations in the Community. We did not wish to build a pyramid of churches reporting to a central authority; that's been done. So all charters issued by the Church of Wicca bear an explicit expiration date that allowed them time to get their own independent charters and federal recognition.

As the popularity of Wicca has grown, and the amount of information on the internet and in books has logarithmically increased, so the number of enrollments in the School has decreased; and with the decrease the number of staff has also diminished. Hence currently we are back almost at the beginning with Gavin and Yvonne handling most of the mail, printing, and the rest. With the multitude of courses now offered through the School, this is a complex task. We are pleased to note that the mail still flows through rapidly; but certain things, such as the website, are in need of updating. We apologize for that. We will get to it eventually. Meantime, have no doubt that the School will continue serving those who want an in-depth study of Wicca as a religion and as a spiritual path.

Blessed be all seekers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


The Arab uprisings in search of freedom have had us considering the whole concept of freedom. I (Gavin) may be in a unique situation, having visited most of the nations currently in turmoil. For many years I worked as sales rep in the field of electronic devices with military applications, with quite a high security clearance, and in that assignment traveled most of the world outside the then Soviet bloc. Of course I lived largely in a western bubble, isolated from the general population--but being an inquisitive sort, I frequently got into the various bazaars, temples, and marketplaces and talked to any local person who had any English, or sometimes (as in Japan) with an interpreter.

The interesting thing was that nobody seemed to be oppressed--or for that matter, poorly clothed or fed. I had seen more what we would call ragamuffins in markets in England than I did in (for instance) Libya. (Ragamuffins are those kids who are poorly dressed and are begging at every turn. Think Oliver Twist.) Yes, the beggars in Egypt and Iran were more prevalent, but they were a happy-go-lucky lot. They didn't really need the money that they were begging for, and would go away laughing if you set them a problem in getting the money and they failed. I suspect that it's those same kids who are now getting shot in the streets in their quest for that will-o'-the-wisp, freedom.

In the United States we think that we are free. Certainly we hear the claim repeated often enough. And yet we follow a pretty rigid set of laws so that the traffic flows smoothly--and we (city-dwellers at least) huddle in our houses at night for fear of going out and getting mugged or shot. You think that last thought is an exaggeration? Oh, no. There's a story I am fond of telling of an elderly lady who annually goes to Madrid and wanders around in the middle of the night. She usually gets lost, and the police have to take her back to her hotel.

"Why do you wander like that, Señora?"

"Because I can't do it at home."

Yet Spain has one of the most visible police presences in Europe in its Guardia Civil. But you can go to parades; you can walk about at night and not even think about having your camera stolen or your pocket picked.

In England now almost every street has its surveillance cameras and pattern-recognition software is in continuous use. There is no main road without cameras at its intersections.

In the United States we think that because we get the occasional chance to vote we control our destiny. What utter blindness. If we control our destiny, how come the laws make it ever easier for businesses such as Big Oil and Big Pharma to rip us off--with a happy smile and a few more billion dollars going to the fat cats?

Why don't we revolt? What is it that keeps us drugged into passive tolerance? This nation has more people starving and lacking medical assistance than the entire population of Iraq or Yemen. Why are they in revolt and we're not?

You may think this is a weird blog--and it is. But recall the words from Aradia:

Ye shall all be freed from slavery,

And so ye shall be free in everything;

And as the sign that ye are truly free,

Ye shall be naked in your rites, both men

And women also; this shall last until

The last of your oppressors shall be dead.

Are you free?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Health update, early June

Again greetings, everyone.
Gavin has now entered the stage of long recovery. Although the leg muscles seem strong enough, they are not yet fully obeying commands that travel along the nerve paths. The neurosurgeon tells us this is fairly standard, and that things will very gradually improve ... not quite the American dream of everything coming true at the snap of a finger or at the press of a button on a keyboard. Action figures we ain't.
At this stage "very gradually" means three sessions of physical therapy a week and we hope early next week to get Gavin into the pool at Pipestem State Park to resume the self-directed aquarobics we've been doing for so long. I (Yvonne) have to say that our health would be far lower on the scale than it is if our life had not included very frequent aquarobics.
Meantime we are not traveling, although we hope to go to our local coffee shop on Saturday evening and maybe even to Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (40 minutes away in Beckley) on Sunday morning 06 11 (though that looks less likely right now in light of the persistent heat wave).
The current prognosis is: almost normal in three months, fully normal in about a year--provided Gavin keeps up his commendably determined regime of exercise. The pain is just about under control, but it still takes a bunch of narcotics and electrical stimulation. If you talk to him, you may get some weird answers--but you're used to that anyhow. Thank you all again for all the healing energy you've sent. At times it becomes very palpable in the house.

Onward and upward (sigh). Blessed be all. GY

Saturday, June 4, 2011

When Will We Learn?

Words from Yvonne-
This spring and summer we're witnessing natural disaster piling on natural disaster world-wide. Sendai/earthquake/tsunami/nuclear fatalities; the Mississippi and its tributaries behaving in ways inconvenient to human beings; tornadoes deleting acres upon thousands of acres, shanties and mansions alike, with scrap lumber and sheetrock in fragments as far as the eye can see. Here in Hinton we wonder whether it's all our own fault, whether it's the wrath of "God" (woo-hoo), or whether maybe it's the natural way nature behaves.

Humans stubbornly build structures in areas prone to earthquakes that can sustain some level of quake. As has been clearly shown, though, the standards given lip service have not been tough enough, certainly not in Japan.*

Similrly, we build houses alleged to be "hurricane-proof". Again: woo-hoo. Whose blame is greater? The designer's, the builder's, or the sucker's who buys them? The hottest hurricane-proofing gimmick today is (get this) itty-bitty precious little metal straps purported to hold the roof rafters to the upright members so the roof won't blow off. That would be laughable if it weren't so pathetic. And of course we build square box houses close together so that the wind can funnel between them and suck the walls out in what physicists call the Venturi effect. The rectangular box shape so ubiquitous in houses is old, though. It's traditional--what everybody is used to seeing. It's convenient. The furniture fits it.

Of course the wind loves a flat surface to push against! The Little Pig's house gets blown down again by the Big Bad Wolf, just like in the bedtime story ... but it's real.

We still make such houses of nominal 2 x 4s (which have shrunk over the years to 1 3/4 x 3 1/2--if you're lucky). We cover that with sheets of board made from scrap wood and glue--and we expect it all to stand up. When North American culture switched from timber-frame construction to 2-x-4 construction, house designers and builders contemptuously (but accurately) called the 2-x-4 mode a balloon frame because it was so lightweight and flimsy.

Many years ago Bucky Fuller decided that a dome was a better, stronger, more sustainable shape than a rectangular balloon frame of 2-x-4s and pressed wood--but a dome is inconvenient to build. The carpenters, poor dears, have to figure some odd angles: for example, 72 degrees instead of 90 degrees; and the furniture doesn't fit right. Oh gasp. There is a shape, though, documented as tracing back at least to the days when Norsemen told tales of Valhalla, that stands up in the fiercest gale. It is easy and inexpensive to construct, and it contains the furniture very well indeed; it is called a quonset hut.

Quonset huts dating from World War II (that happened in the 1940s, children) are still found all across the Pacific islands. After monsoons and typhoons and hurricanes have swept those islands clear of all else, the huts still stand. They're rusty, but they are still serviceable. No, you can't stack them into fashionable condo towers or into beehives, but we can't imagine that people enjoy living in hives or in fragile multi-story structures that in the end are tall matchboxes. Nor can such structures be accurately described as healthful, let alone safe. A magazine called Southern Living ran an interesting feature on page 100 of its issue dated May 2009. A couple bought a quonset hut in situ with a footprint 25 feet by 48 feet, and refitted it to be their home. The photos tell the story; ask your librarian, or see their piece at Another way in: southernhomeawards-quonsethuttransformation. One of these titles or a variant on it will show you the piece.

Such structures may not conform to current building codes or zoning restrictions or historic-building decrees from city planners or county commissioners or historic societies. If that's the case, what a shame. The last we heard (though we've seldom seen this principle exercised), laws that got passed could likewise get unpassed. It isn't the buildings that need changing; it's the codes. How difficult is that to grasp? And if you lose your home in a tornado because you built it to comply with the fiat of some historic commission or county council, try going to that body to get funding for replacement of your dwelling.

How much would it be worth to you to have a home that withstood tornadoes and cyclones and earthquakes? Haven't we seen enough destruction and grief and loss to reexamine our assumptions? What is tradition worth?

Many years ago an episode of Star Trek had the crew seeking a source of some radioactive element that was obtainable only from nuclear stations. Mr. Data suggested how to find such a station: "Look along any tectonic fault line. That's where the stations are all located; that or at least on the seacoast."

It can't happen here. It can't happen here. It can't happen here ... is the mantra. Well, it can and it probably will ... if it hasn't already. To protect yourself and your family, think about where you live. Think about the building you live in. Make appropriate changes. That is known as rational behavior.

It is true that recently this continent has been experiencing storms with a frequency and number statistically above normal. That may be traceable to humans' continual burning of fossil fuels, which burning raises the temperature of the planet on two counts: the actual heat generated and the resultant greenhouse effect--pollutants retaining heat that, left alone, would escape into space.

Climatologists now tell us that we're actually lucky (read: living on borrowed time), because the pollution in the atmosphere causes dimming that holds temperatures down, preventing the full effect of the sun's rays coming to earth. Apparently without such dimming, most land presently arable would be arid and desert-like. Then the population would be drastically reduced through starvation, and the planet would re-correct itself: With lower population, there would be diminished burning of fossil fuels and the planet would cool again.

Malthus was right:

Over and over again human populations reproduce themselves

to levels unsustainable by the planet's resources.

Look around you.

The real question, then, is this: Are we doing anything about it? The real answer is: No.

- - - - - - - - -

*See Wall Street Journal of May 10 2011 page D-7 on designing for earthquake areas.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Gavin Progress Report, Late May

Greetings, everyone.

In late April the initial surgery on Gavin's spine corrected a stenosis and removed some fragments of a broken disk. That surgery revealed that the dura (the membrane enclosing the spinal cord) was badly damaged. The damage was duly repaired in a procedure that essentially ended up lasting three (3) hours. He seemed to be recovering from it all right--but now the broken disk protruded on the other side of the spinal column so his left leg became paralyzed.
After another MRI and an emergency operation on May 18, the left side was corrected. This second procedure went very well, taking only about 20 minutes, in contrast with the 3-hour first one.
He spent close to two weeks in a rehab hospital, where they made sure everything could be exercised. The pain varies now between horrendous and excruciating, so he is on heavy medication and not necessarily with it all the time. We are discouraging visits and calls from anyone except close family members. The prognosis is that in a couple of months the pain will diminish and he will gradually regain full mobility.

This means that we have had to cancel all our summer traveling and teaching commitments.We will sadly miss seeing you troops.

Yvonne has had to learn all those logistical support functions from a cold start. The School of Wicca is necessarily on hold. We hope we'll be able to do some work, but we can't promise very much.
Your healing energy is very welcome, of course. Maybe next year everything will get back on schedule again and we'll see your happy smiling faces.

That's all for now. We appreciate e-mails; but don't expect replies.

Occasional updates will appear on this site as matters progress.

Blessed be all.

Yvonne writes:

There are those who travel to Lourdes seeking a miracle. There are those who travel to Macchu Picchu expecting same; to Lhasa; to Fujiyama; to Beaupré; to Loreto ... pick your favorite spot. We Frosts experienced our miracle in Princeton, West Virginia, at the hands of Gavin's neurosurgeon, the entire staff of Princeton Community Hospital, and the people at HealthSouth (the rehab center). If we can get their consent, we will reveal their names to people who inquire via this blog site.

I cannot praise highly enough every blessed one of the individuals who touched our lives with their skills, their patience, their compassion. Who would prefer a big city to what we've known here?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Lack-of-Progress Report

Yesterday, May 9, Gavin had a discussion with his neurosurgeon. The doctor handed down a decree that we Frosts had both dreaded but had been unwilling to face: Doctor G. wanted Gavin grounded: a minimum of walking, a minimum of traveling in a car, and a minimum of meeting people. Gavin had been counting on having such restrictions lifted.
Troops, this means for starters that we will not be able to attend the Blue Ridge Beltane Festival. We're heartbroken because we had been immensely looking forward to the event. We don't know what the future holds. (Maybe that's a good thing, owing to the merciful nature of the Guides. If we knew ... ) We still hope we'll be going to Michigan Pagan Fest outside Detroit, scheduled for the end of this month, as well as to Sirius Rising and SummerFest in New York State, though we have no written guarantee. Either way, we'll keep this site updated as we learn firm information.
Many of you have offered healing energy, and we accept such energy gratefully. A couple of people have been surprised when Gavin said, "Don't send energy for pain relief; stay with the healing energy." Why his declining? Pain indicates that there is a problem; relief is just a band-aid temporarily covering up the signals of a Situation and encouraging the sufferer to do rash behaviors. So Gavin prefers to stay with the pain. When it goes away, then he can feel confident that everything has been healed.
We're heeding Doctor G.'s skilled, trained counsel, and heeding it gratefully. What do we get in these capers? One chance. That's it. No second-guessing, no rehearsals, no winding Time backward. We'd be stupid and obstinate beyond the English language to express if we disregarded skilled advice, put our heads down, and set out to prove something. Instead we'll leave that to the people who suffer from testosterone poisoning.
That's all for today. Again, thanks much for your kind words and for the energies you're sending to us.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Progress Report on Gavin's Health

It's a week today since Gavin's surgery, that turned out to be more severe than any of us had expected. The recovery process feels quite slow ... though in our adrenaline-saturated culture, anything longer than instant is grounds for fidgeting. He is not allowed anything that might cause severe vibration or shock in the back, because the repair to the damaged dura will take time to heal properly. He can hobble around the house, though; and with the current cocktail of medications the pain can be controlled. Today's shower was a happy milestone. Also, we're feeling optimistic because the equinoctial storms seem to be subsiding at last and the weather is warming up.
Since we are now in hold mode and the jungle outside where a garden used to be is forbidden, as are travel and even meeting with groups of people, we're having to work on our long-delayed new book project. This may elicit groans from the community, but the work might contain a few new and different thoughts.
We're most happy with our neurosurgeon; without his swift and very delicate action, Gavin would probably be in a wheelchair instead of making a nuisance of himself. Your continued healing efforts will be appreciated. In a couple of weeks we expect to be on a reduced regimen of medications that will mean Gavin's immune system will be fully functional again and he can meet people..
That's all for now. Thank you all again. Progress continues, and the weeds are growing.

Blessed be all.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

An Update on Gavin's Health

Greetings, guys and gals. This hasty message is to thank you for all the wishes and healing energy that you've sent to Gavin. It must be working, because he's already getting ornery again.
Some of you have asked to come and visit. Not only is he strictly limited in travel--no riding in a car for a month--but he is restricted in meeting people because the cocktail of drugs he's taking has temporarily compromised his immune system. The one thing we don't want him to get is flu or anything like that, that would cause him to cough and break open the very delicate stitching in his spine. What an age we live in ...
Afterthought: He also is forbidden to lift any weight more than five (5) pounds. Not even a gallon of wine, Incredible. Booze is off limits too! But the tradeoffs don't bear thinking about.
We'd love to see you. We're happy to talk by phone or e-mail, but that's about it for now.
From the festival point of view, we've had to cancel FPG; but as things stand currently, we're still planning to make it to the Blue Ridge Beltane observance. And of course up to Detroit and to Sirius Rising and SummerFest ... all on tiptoe, of course.

Thank you again, every one of you, for all good wishes and healing energy.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Update on Gavin's Health, April 22 2011 CE

Hello, tout le monde.
     Some of you know by now that Gavin underwent spinal surgery on April 20. The MRI findings had led us all to believe that it would be a fairly simple and straightforward operation. Unfortunately it turned out to be more complicated than anyone expected, even our brilliant neurosurgeon (Life, Health, Prosperity, as they used to wish Pharaoh). Apparently a low-down disk had been out of alignment for some long period of time and had been rubbing against the dura, the casing (that may resemble a membrane, tissue-thin) of the spinal cord. The fluid contained in the dura surrounds and floats the main nerve bundle. Actually the misaligned disk had partially shredded the dura; so the dura itself had to be reconstructed during the operation.*
     Thus Gavin was actually on the table for 2 ½ hours; whereas the procedure would normally have been expected to take half an hour. Further, it meant that he had to stay in hospital an extra day. At 80 years old, a single extra day isn't all that bad ... compared to some of the cases we saw while we were trotting up and down hospital hallways.
    So now a problem crops up. To wit: Gavin is forbidden to ride in vehicles, let alone drive them, for the next four weeks. After that time, we're just trying to keep our expectations loose and to assume nothing. This means that the Frosts will not be able to attend even simple events such as our accustomed weekly Unitarian-Universalist meetings, only 40 miles away. Events more distant, such as Florida Pagan Gathering (one of our favorite annual events), have also got to be cancelled, much to our disappointment and regret--purely on a selfish level. Since we're going to be confined to the house, we may post a few extra blogs or something, or even get the next book under way.
    Don't worry. This event is not contagious. You'll have your own challenges to face as those ol' sands of time pour through the bottleneck. But if you feel like mentioning our names to your Friends in Management, we'll be grateful to you and to Them for thinking in our behalf.

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* All the above is Yvonne's attempt to describe medical matters of which she has the scantest knowledge and understanding.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A New Definition of Wicca

People keep asking, so here we go again. In Appendix 2 of our Solitary Wiccan's Bible we tried yet again to define of Witchcraft (Wicca). Here it is for your comment and development.
In trying to define a religion or a spiritual path, it is instructive to look first at other religions. Note: Under ‘religion' here as a courtesy we include various personality cults such as Christianity along with real religions that are ways of spirituality. Let us see, then, whether we can find the underlying essence, the message or whatever, of a few world religions.
1. Christianity - Christianity is a religion "of the book". Various interpretations of the book in its myriad translations result in various sects; so Christianity is an approach to the sacred through the written teachings of one sacred book and one avatar. Its purpose may be summed up as a religion of sacrifice which leads to salvation. The sacrifices expected of its followers are many and varied, from the giving of money to the church to living unnatural life styles.
A religion of salvation through sacrifice
2. Judaism - Judaism too is a religion based on the book. Here the book contains a great deal of civil law. The religion teaches its adherents to live safely in an unsafe world; therefore it has many different laws of behavior and diet, many restrictions, and many rituals that bring strength to the family and to the kin.
A religion of learning salvation through civitas (civilized behavior)
3. Islam - The message of Islam may be the simplest and the most stark of any of the major religions. It is simply that if one submits to Allah, one receives salvation. The very name of the religion means "submission to god". The tribal culture in which it flourishes is of the desert and of the stark reality of nature as a threat to life. A religion of salvation through absolute submission
4. Taoism - This religion--which some say is not a religion--relies on the balancing of opposites. It tries to get its adherents into harmony with the primal nature of things. It differs from Confucianism in this way: Confucianists try to use reason and learning as a guide; whereas a Taoist guides himself by intuition. Thus the Tao instructs people to be humble and accept life as it comes to them.
A religion of salvation through harmony
5. Witchcraft (Wicca) - The great thrust of the Craft is that it encourages spiritual development in all people they intuitively feel is right for them. On its social side the Craft teaches connection with nature and the idea that one should progress through harming no one. That leads to a very simple definition: an ethical path that encourages its members to progress in their own way and in their own time to greater spiritual understanding.
A path of spiritual growth through learning and ethical exploration
6. Hinduism -
This is the oldest and largest religion (by temple or church attendance) in the world. It relies on the idea that what you do in this lifetime affects what you will become in your next incarnation: an idea known as transmigration. The aim of many of its adherents is to live in such a way that they will get off the wheel of continuous reincarnation (samsara).
A religion of salvation through right living.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Addenda to several ongoing topics:

1. We want to thank everybody for the healing energy they've been sending to Gavin, and to give an update on things. Gavin's problem is associated with a stenosis in his spinal column. We suspect that this challenge traces back to a day years ago when he fell off a steel boat we were building in Pamlico County, North Carolina. Apparently that fall has pinched the motor nerves that control the muscles for walking. The neurosurgeon believes that the nerve pathways, which run through the plexus in the hip, will retrain themselves--that is, learn new pathways--provided Gavin walks every day.
There is a little pain, but it is easily controllable; and there is no weakness in the muscles themselves. It's just that they don't work right.
We don't want to blow all this out of proportion, but (again) we do appreciate all the healing that people have been sending us.
2. We are now scheduled to go to the Blue Ridge Beltane observance May 13 through 15, in Greenville VA. See for details. It looks like being a great festival. Not far away geographically, in the autumn we are going to
3. Mountain Mabon Mysteries September 16 through 18, outside Stanardsville VA (north of Charlottesville). See or

So what about the visits we posted earlier on this site? That information, those plans, remain valid. Choose a date and a site that fit your life, and drop in to press the flesh; it's your chance to see our fangs and our hairy palms yourself.
4. More later. It's sunny today, and it almost looks as if winter is over. Dare we put away our Dr. Dentons* for the season?
* For younger folk, these are one-piece jammies of flannel in which the feet are all of a piece with the legs and the drop-seat body. So fetching ... and so provocative. d#%n.

Thursday, April 7, 2011


Cultural anthropologists generally agree that religions go through three distinct stages of development. As Max Weber wrote in "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism", these are the stages:
1. Visionary - Someone has a vision of a better explanation of all that is; through charismatic leadership he promotes that path. Many other people with similar thoughts join, each usually following slightly different visions. Squabbling and argument and schisms ensue. If the visions are strong enough, a movement develops and moves to Stage 2.
2. Festival - The groups hold festival-style meetings offering a lot of attractive freedoms. The main freedom is that of thought, but other freedoms from socially accepted behavior are encouraged. Yes, even the Christians were sexual, excessively and immoderately--free enough that they shocked the Romans--to such an extent that men and women were not allowed to worship in the same building. In following centuries, though, they must have managed to get over it ...
3. Institutional - Here the movement grows up and becomes accepted by the general population. It loses its freedoms. Now its new leaders--who are usually in it for power, not for the original vision--insist on political correctness.
Frost musings:
Centralized power - The next step in the inexorable progression is the setting-up of positions or "offices". The set of offices has titles and hierarchal structures such as ministers, bishops, archbishops, and so on, who are charged with keeping the doctrine "pure". What is a church without an organization chart, anyhow? The word for bishop, episcopos--one who oversees or who takes the overview--indicates that clear sight was held to be necessary. Then, instead of a person deciding what was or was not orthodox, the office fulfilled the function. Centralized power--that's the key.
Since time immemorial earth-centered religions have had many charismatic leaders. As founders of Wicca in the late 1960s, we dare to count ourselves among modern charismatics, perhaps comparable (shudder) to many others in the frothy time of new ideas and paths that most or all movements undergo. Many of those ideas and paths were modeled on ancient ways. We all had a clarity of vision and an energy which the movement may be losing. It seems clear that the Community is now at Stage 2, Festival, moving away from Freedom. Since the Church of Wicca is a "church", we probably should have expected it. The question becomes: Are we going to follow the rest of Weber's narrative, eventually, inexorably morphing into a massive institutionalized monolith?
We Frosts see signs of it, and we will fight it by encouraging independent forward-thinking charismatic movements. At the same time, since many of you seem to want the movement to grow, we must face the fact that a large percentage of the Community would like it if the movement did become institutionalized ... though of course promoting their own particular favorite path over the promotion of other paths, and probably with themselves as leaders, fostering power that grows ever more centralized.
As the pagan/Wiccan community expands, it will inevitably follow the examples from history. That's the assumption. But at the same time, the Community must keep its independent autonomous forward thinkers.
The point surely is this: If the Community criticizes its leaders into obscurity instead of listening to the vision, we are doomed. Progress will take a back seat to control, and growth will be judged by how big and fancy we build our campgrounds and temples.
Personally, I (Gavin) like the Hindu attitude: You toe the line through the early years of life, but in old age you're allowed to venture into any spiritual path you like. Thus when people who are, for instance, hard-working householders kick at the religious orthodoxy, they are told simply, "Wait. You will have your turn at changing the rules."
So what is the Community to do? Must it too set up a religious hierarchy with a basic orthodoxy (decreed by who knows whom?? the loudest? the richest? the meanest?) allowing for free thought in some areas but requiring that a majority of people adhere to the official line on certain basic precepts or axioms? It's no use hoping it won't happen, because it will. If we don't learn the lesson of history, we will all fail.
The bottom line, perhaps: If you don't like the thoughts articulated above, start your own letterhead. If you just sit and piss and moan, nobody can get anything done. It will all sink of its own weight and, like the worm Ouroboros, eat its own tail.
So surely our first basic axiom must be that taken from the charge to the Goddess. Here it is as it was first uttered, before it got politically correct--that is, before it got smooth below the waist:
To show that ye are free,
ye shall be naked in your rites
and afterward make the game of love.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Evolution, the Bible, the Zohar, and Our Own Thoughts

How strongly do you believe in evolution? If you think about it, the chair you're probably sitting on evolved from a flat rock or a log that was conveniently placed for some neanderthal bottom to rest on.
One of the perennial questions is: What was the First Cause of this amazing multiverse in which we exist? Physicists and mathematicians have gone back in time to amazingly near that point that we've been trained to call the "Big Bang". Of course the so-called Big Bang theory depends on (a) a bunch of esoteric math and on (b) believing that light is both a particle and a wave form, needing only the Higgs Condensate (something as yet undiscovered) to travel through empty space.
How did the monstrosity called M-theory develop from six or seven string theories? Every time the string theory du jour was proven wrong, it got changed. That's neat. It's kind of like your computer programs getting ever more complicated to overcome goofs by the programmers (apologies to Apple).
To our way of thinking a purported scientific hypothesis or theory should predict the unknown, not be adjusted to fit, it's neither a hypothesis nor a theory if it doesn't work and if it needs changing every few weeks. Come on, people!
Have you ever thought that Adam might have been something like an amoeba? If the great Juju made something in Its own image--something which contained both male and female--maybe the great Juju itself was an amoeba. Though of course the great Juju evolved from it's own beginings into something with which to keep children and gullible adults in line. Okay, so did these very complex theories develop from something like 1 + 1? I'm not sure an amoeba can do even that addition.
You're all supposed to be good meditators. Let's go on an imaginary trip. Meditate on the railway line that runs dead straight for 700 miles, curving only for the curvature of the earth, across Australia's Nullarbor Plain. At its western end there stands upright across the very railroad line an extremely complex domino. This domino represents the multiverse as it is now. As we start there and travel ever so slightly eastward in our meditative state, there is a domino quite close to the first which is barely less complex, (yesteryear's multiverse). The further eastward we move, the less complex and the smaller become the dominoes until at the far eastern point (because we all know that everything must start in the east) there is a domino you can hardly see with a microscope. You can see how the dominoes evolved from this ultra-small, completely elementary and simple transparent wisp. (There is no mathematics in the wisp.)
So along comes a big-booted hairy-chested outbacker in a safari hat and kicks over the wisp. The resulting cascade effect represents evolution. From almost nothingness we evolve into the horror we see around us today ... and into the good stuff too. There are many side branches to the track across the Plain. If you pursue them, you will find that some of them have branches on branches and others fall into ravines, never to be seen again; and yet others rejoin the track further down toward its western end.
You don't need us to tell you that the branches represent all those false starts and stops that have occurred in the course of the evolution of the multiverse.
So what does our metaphor tell you?
"God" could have been an amoeba or even something smaller and more rudimentary: perhaps something as fleeting as a thought. If God is so rudimentary, It clearly cannot interfere in our life today. It cannot be an interventionist deity. Of course this may be why God, when "He" came into the Garden of Eden, couldn't find Adam, let alone Eve, and had to clothe them in skin before they could enjoy sex and populate the world.
Notice skin, not skins. The problem of plurals in translating from the Aramaic is well known: When it was convenient, the translators made nouns singular--whereas in other places the nouns arbitrarily came out plural. And remember that the word for God, HaShem, also translates officially as The Name or The Names. Today we your authors have used the word God with a capital G to mean some form of First Cause or Ultimate Deity--a duo-gender concept--as is our amoeba.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Four Worlds

In the five worlds of the Kabbalah the four-worlds concept is easy to understand. The fifth world is generally accepted to be the concealed world of the Spiritual Creation. In the work of life it is good always to remember the four.
1. The physical
2. The mental
3. The emotional
4. The spiritual
Let's consider the work of a personal friend of ours who makes musical instruments--such as harps and dulcimers--from recycled wood.
The physical work, perhaps the reprocessing of, say, a piece of salvaged cedar into the soundboard of a guitar, is obvious.
The mental effort--visualizing the result of measuring, planing, cutting, forming, etc, to get the pieces perfect--is extensive and comes only after long discipline and practice.
Emotion comes in as the pieces go lovingly together and the strings are first tuned. Then some friend takes the instrument and makes it live. At the beautiful sound, the emotion is so heavy that it sometimes reduces Bob to tears.
So where does the spiritual come in?
Bob listens to that inner voice that tells him in the first place to move out of his comfort zone and make a musical instrument. Then he continues on that path, often giving up other pleasant pastimes such as eating, to finish the job. He is driven by his inner spiritual voice.
Yes, we know we're simplifying.
In all the millions of words written on spiritual development, we've found very few that consider the concept of the four aspects of the Work. We Frosts have come to believe that anything undertaken using only one of the four will not lead to a genuinely satisfying end.
Today everyone seems to concentrates on the physical; yet in even such a mundane pursuit as simply beating out a dent in the fender of a car--even this--can call for all the four aspects of the Work your soul/spirit is here to do. If the worker is a trained metal-basher, he has learned to make the physical movements required: to bash the metal not too hard and not too soft to achieve an ideal result. If a recalcitrant dent causes him problems, he will need to maintain an emotional calm. He can achieve such a calm through mental control, just through past knowledge that losing his temper will not lead to a better result. His mental effort may be almost automatic, but it is still there, especially when it comes to, for instance, mixing the color necessary to achieve a perfect match with adjoining undamaged parts.
You may not think there is much of a spiritual aspect in work such as this; but do you not think that when he admires a perfect result he feels a little spiritual uplift?
Now how about circle work?
Casting a complete Church of Wicca triple circle is a chore. Crawling around (often nude) on the floor or in a field is outside the physical comfort zone of many people. It takes mental effort to get the sizes right and the signs aligned. Preparing for the circle with the requisite fasting and celibacy, even making the tools and robes: It all takes mental and physical effort.
As we enter the sacred space of the Circle, emotions run high, especially if there is a neophyte to be initiated. Then they are pushed higher with the sealing of the Circle and perhaps dancing and chanting. At the interlude, everything becomes grounded so that we can move into the spiritual phase of meditation and astral travel. When everything is over and we restore ourselves with a feast, many of us feel empty and washed out. Thus we sleep soundly, knowing that we have operated in all four worlds--and maybe even touched the fifth.
What we are saying here is this: All too often the fact of the four aspects of the Work is overlooked. And very few people seem to teach that, if you want a fulfilling experience, you need to work with all four aspects in everything you do.
The Kabbalah is not the only place where this belief in four aspects appears. An intriguing thought comes through popular crime novels based on beliefs of this continent's First Nations, as made available to us by author Tony Hillerman. He shares with us the idea of a one-legged Sacred Buffalo. That is what life is like today, emphasizing only the physical aspect of activities, especially entertainment, instead of a stable four aspects. A one-legged buffalo--a world that excessively emphasizes one aspect of four--cannot long endure without crashing.
Why don't you try moving out of your comfort zone and entering the four worlds?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


To all those who inquired,

Gavin is experiencing a disk problem in his lower back. So far the neurologist's injections have not helped, so it looks as if a replacement disk will be in order at some time in the near future. This means that he has some pain, which is controllable. More importantly, though, at the present he cannot dance, though he can still teach dance.
This gets us, then, to upcoming festivals to which we have been invited.

Date           Event                                                                                                     Website
03 20        Ostara                                                                                
3 p.m. - 5:30 520 Kanawha Blvd, Charleston WV: Unitarian Universalist church
04 02 Book signing 1 p.m. The Book Worm 1057 E. Main St, Radford VA
                                                                                                             Suzanne Chrysalis on facebook
05 05 - 05 08 Florida Pagan Gathering                                                                  
                       Ocala National Forest
05 27 - 05 30 Michigan Pagan Fest                                                              Belleville, MI: Wayne County Fairground
07 11 - 07 17 Sirius Rising                                                                            
Brushwood near Sherman NY
07 18 - 07 24 SummerFest                                                                            
Brushwood near Sherman NY
07 27 - 08 01 Kaleidoscope Gathering                                            
Raven's Knoll    50 miles west of Ottawa in Ontario Canada
09 16 - 09 18 Mabon Mountain Mysteries                                         
Heavenly Acres Campground, Stanardsville, VA

Troops out west, we're sorry; it looks as if we won't be making it this year. Nor will we be carrying a vast variety of books to festivals. Watch this site for updates of a happier tone.
About the School of Wicca
Yes, the Church and School is still teaching its courses and signing people up. No, we have not updated the website. The only way to sign up today is to download the application form from the website and send it with check or money order to the School via snail-mail. For a variety of reasons, the School is not handling credit-card transactions.
Faithful students and friends already know full well not to expect prompt replies to their e-mails. The volume of such messages incoming is simply too great for us to reply this minute to that e-mail. We do a lot of humility here in Hinton.
Of course students come first; but the students too know that we do not teach by e-mail. After trying out the net, we believe that the good old USPS allows more time for contemplation and for meditation on the themes and ideas than the instant turnaround of the e-mail system.
You must find your own answers through meditation and not be satisfied with the shallow answers, the glib one-liners, and the blue balls of fire you may get from other sources such as occult books and on the web. Craft precepts are radically different from the sick, twisted ideas in this western culture; thus they need time and re-reading and pondering to sink in to any meaningful depth in your mind.
Yes, we're old-fashioned. But to offset that you have the fact that the School has had some 60,000 students internationally and that it has been around for a very long time ... so deal with it.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


 Forgiveness is often touted as a solid and positive plank in the otherwise often negative platform of Christianity. To our jaundiced view, though, it is one of the most negative (and in some ways despicable) elements of an often dangerous and negative set of teachings.
We all know and recognize most of those teachings. The ironic thing is that in this nation's "red" states--where fundamentalist Christianity may be at its densest--such patterns as repeat pregnancies among unmarried teens are at their highest. You see, the girls often find Jesus; at least they profess to find him when they learn they're pregnant. Then they're forgiven. And then, of course, once they're washed in the blood of the lamb, they can go out and "sin" again ... all on the tax dollars that you, and we, work so hard to pay.
Some questions occur.
1. Who decided that sex between consenting people was a "sin"? A search of their black book reveals no prohibition against copulation between consenting people who are not otherwise under contract.
2. Are we to believe in parthenogenesis, or are we to trust the word of a smart Jewish girl who found herself in trouble? Was Jesus simply a bastard, born out of wedlock?
We would probably all agree that it's not nice to cause death and mayhem; however, in the American justice system oftentimes death sentences are commuted and even paroles granted to those who claim with gasping to have "found Jesus", especially if the gaspers make noises signifying remorse. The forgiveness gene is switched on--and now that same criminal can go out and kill with impunity.
Can there be a little bit of forgiveness, or is that like being a little bit pregnant? Where do we draw the line? Doesn't that same old black book call for an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth? Or is this just another anomaly? --just another of those squirming non sequiturs: "But that's different!"?
Given a book purportedly written by "God" "himself" (note: him, never her) of which no word can be changed, Yvonne's persistent question nags: Which god? I've got a list of gods reaching from here to the intersection. "God" is the conventional translation of HaShem, which means "The Name". Remember what the Zohar says: "No created intelligence can know the name, so call It what you will. My god does too wear lipstick occasionally."*
How do such guidelines as "forgive your enemy" and "turn the other cheek" sit with Celts--and for that matter, with Jews? These two groups among many others reflect, "If you turn the other cheek, you are likely to get clobbered again."
That's all for now. You know we're weird and deviant; so don't expect us to forgive if you insult us. We're like the traditional Yorkshireman who has been said to carry a stone of insult in his pocket until he sees the opportunity to use it on the insulter. Just once in a while when things get beyond tolerable, we're not above doing something ... educational. And we encourage you: If you're not angry now, get angry. Aren't you paying attention?
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* The book God Wears Lipstick is free from the Kabbalist Center

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

To Heal or Not to Heal: That Is the Question

Psychic power exists. One of its popular uses is in healing. We Frosts believe that in most cases the body heals itself, but that psychic power somehow affects the mind, which controls such things as the hypothalamus, the pituitary, and the adrenals to cure the body.
In new-age, Wiccan, and pagan discussion groups, you will often hear discussions on the ethics of healing: "They need their disease to complete their learning cycle on this plane of existence," someone claims; "and if you cure them, they'll have to come back and do it again." We don't look at it that way. We think you should do everything you possibly can to help human beings, animals, and plants. If someone does have a repulsive disease and you cure it and they immediately get another equally loathsome disease, then you know that you are addressing the surface symptom and not the cause of the disease; you know you'll have to delve further and help them adjust their thinking if the real cause is to be addressed. Illness can be a very effective manipulative device; who or what is the patient manipulating, and why?
If you saw someone slip on an icy sidewalk, fall down, and break their leg, would you call for help, or would you leave them lying there? Of course there is the current non-involvement fad to overcome, but we believe that most people would seek to help.
If you had an extra hamburger and a panhandler asked you for it, would you give it to him? We hope your answers is "Yes".
Almost everything you do interferes with the life of other people. You spend money on something, someone makes a little profit, someone gets some pay; people's lives are affected. You squash a mosquito, it doesn't suck someone else's blood; it doesn't pass on a disease.
A drowning child can't ask for help, but you give it. You resuscitate her. So why wait to get someone's consent before you attempt a healing? (Never mind what What's-his-name did on the shore of the Sea of Galilee!) Why not quietly do an anonymous psychic healing? That's far better and far less dangerous to your karma than if you go in and say, "I can heal that". To be super-safe, take Yvonne's approach: Volunteer energy in behalf of the patient, but don't specify what body part it be directed to. Make your bottom line, "Let the will of the Elder Ones be done."
If you live and breathe in this world, you are part of it. When you think about doing a healing, think about it in simplistic terms, not in terms of long-range karmic debt and spiritual growth. The more you practice healing, the more adept you will become at it and the more light you will bring into the world.
Personally, I think that many self-styled psychic healers are so unsure of their craft that they will use any pretext not to try healing. When the drowning child is pulled fom the lake, she cannot ask that you do CPR. (By the way, any self-styled healer who doesn't know how to do CPR is surely worth less than doodoo.)
Recently at one of the great campout conventions, a child stepped on a piece of glass but told no one. The wound became infected. One of the ‘healers' attending took her to her tent, and piled crystals on the injury. When I saw the foot, I saw the telltale thin red lines running up the leg, the sure symptom of blood poisoning. I rushed her to the nearest emergency room. They managed to save her foot and probably her life.
If you're not sure--absolutely positive--of what you are doing, don't offer to help. If you want to help, do it privately and anonymously. Nobody's karma will be involved. If you want to be a healer, put your money where your mouth is. High on your priority list put an EMT course or a nursing course.
I know that these ideas will go against the grain of many. Let me leave you with this thought: When St. Jerry Falwell refused to heal at a gigantic meeting in Argentina, the locals ran him out of town.
As always, we invite your comments. We are not trying to offend anyone or scorn their tradition, so please be constructive. Our hope is that we may all arrive at a shared understanding of what we are doing. If you know a better way and can articulate the reasons behind it, please share that better way with the community.

Blessed be. GY

Friday, January 28, 2011

Missing an old friend

During this holiday season, as in the season of 2009, we received a post card from an old colleague and co-conspirator. I'll call him just Frank so we don't out him in case he can't afford to be outed. Anyhow, in 2009 he mailed us from somewhere in Ohio; in 2010 it came from the greater Chicago area. We welcomed those messages so full of meaningful bulletins. The drawback? He showed no return address whatever.

Hey, Frank, where are you? We'd love to resume auld acquaintance--not in New Bern but from here in Hinton. Do please let us know a return address so we can pester you as of old, won't you? Old friends can be cherished friends.

So for now, blessed be. Know that we are eager to exchange updates. GY

Thursday, January 27, 2011

History (not as wished for)

Reference blog titled "To Every Thing There Is a Season, and a Time to Every Purpose under the Heaven"

Source Science of Metaphysical and Occult Philosophy --
We urge everyone to read John R. deLorez' blog referenced above. de Lorez has given us a survey of where the thing loosely called "the community" finds itself today. As he points out, the community has become (to use a courteous euphemism) eclectic.
As often happens, there are two sides to the coin. The good side is that everyone is enjoying themselves without too much mental effort. The bad side--in our curmudgeonly opinion--is this: A lot of people are skimming some kind of surface without realizing the harm they can do to themselves and to others when they play Witchy-Poo. To put all this into perspective, we ourselves often give a presentation we call "99 Ways Good Witches Go Bad" based on our book "Good Witches Fly Smoothly."
Gavin received his training in England from an old-line coven in Cornwall. It took a small group of neophytes almost two (2) years of quite rigorous training to qualify for initiation. That training required attendance at various lectures both in London and in the provinces, given by noted figures in many fields, as well as other assignments fine-tuned to each student personally.
The quality of those lectures was amazing. Some were held at the British Psychical Research Society's quarters; some were at colleges and universities. He cannot remember any that were held in someone's living room. Thus he witnessed from the get-go the value of learning from people who had been specialists for years in their respective fields.
In the United States in 1968, when we first founded the Church and School of Wicca, there was a high level of genuine interest in exploring a spiritual path. We rapidly went from zero to an international student body of 2,000 enrolled in the School's correspondence course. About 70 percent of them dropped out when they found that we expected them not only to read a lot of obscure books, but also to do experiments. The books were so difficult to obtain that we imported many from Europe and started a School lending library from which students could borrow the texts we recommended.
As the years have passed, fewer and fewer students are willing even to read the required texts. So we simplified the course by allowing two tracks: one for those who sought to earn initiation, one for general information. Today about 70 percent of the students do only the general-information sections--that is,with the notable exception of foreign students and American inmates. They still want to learn everything they can. In the United States the instant-gratification phenomenon has (at least in our curmudgeonly opinion) ruined what had been a good thing with a high level of esoteric scholarship.
Today every self-respecting bookstore has a shelf of easy-read paperbacks explaining multifarious "Wiccan" "traditions" and how-to books on the occult, often from authors who have had maybe one minor spiritual experience. This means that many good people never do much experimentation and rarely dig deeper. In working with groups at our presentations, we are repeatedly dismayed when attendees simply don't know even the most axiomatic of basic procedures and guidelines.
When we founded the School of Wicca, we made a conscious decision that Wicca was for everyone and thus should be, if you will, hidden in plain sight. The Craft should not be the sole property of a self-appointed aristocracy of occult "leaders". That meant we advertised in widely-read media ranging from Cosmo magazine to the National Enquirer.  We summarized our thoughts on this topic in the last lecture of our correspondence course, that became the nucleus of Chapter 12 in our infamous book "The Witch's Bible". That chapter is essentially a rant. It asks, "Whom can you believe? Surely not the people who make a profit from having you kowtow to their almighty will." The rant included priests/clergy paid by one conventional church or another; it included physicians paid by Big Pharma to push new products; it included publishers; it included many other people who, though they purport to be sincere, in fact make a profit from keeping you in the dark and by using "innerspeak", the jargon of the inner circle, to maintain their precious us-over-you situation.
For all of recorded history, there have been persons who manipulated others by claiming, "I know something you don't know" and "You're not ready to know that yet." The ploy works on the second-grade playground, and it works all too well in the field of spiritual/magical/occult pursuits.
Based on this statement, any thoughtful person can see immediately that people should be very suspicious of our words; and we told seekers that the only person whom you can trust is yourself. Then we quoted Mohandas Gandhi:
"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 person and have now been interpreted and translated."
So you might think that we immediately condemned ourselves and our thinking. In response as our defense we have to say that
(1) our work is not just our work but also the work of over 40,000 students and
(2) the School has never made a profit and
(3) indeed we live under a vow of poverty.
Recently we have been encouraged when people whom we meet on the festival circuit ask for some of our older presentations. Those seekers are highly interested in such topics as Hinduism, the Sephiroth, multifaceted meditation, and astral travel. Perhaps more people will continue with their eclectic path but will add time for experimentation and having their own epiphanies without longing for whiz-bangs and blue balls of fire, or for thumb games.
Regrettably another phenomenon has seemed to overtaken part of the community. It can be variously described as smooth-below-the-waist or Christo-paganism. We see it in people who have failed to distinguish between reality on the one hand and on the other hand the cultural assumptions in which so many are trapped.
In time past much of the community followed the old ways and had great success with astral travel and with sex magic (the use of natural energy to affect future events); though now, of course, to be politically correct we should call that force "gender-difference" energy--and even this term doesn't work for our GLBT friends. Ay de mi! Sorry, troops.
This current trend has gone way too far. Currently many Wiccans are so smooth below the waist--so politically correct--that they have changed even the Charge to the Goddess, removing politically incorrect phrases such as "Ye shall be naked in your rites and ye shall make the game of love."
How often do Yvonne and I have to sit in lectures which are quite frankly trash? Those self-important utterances include such blatant falsehoods as these two:
(1) Jules Michelet's book "La Sorciere" was titled "The Sorcerer" and
(2) Wicca was founded by Gerald Gardner and i am a member of the oldest Wiccan group founded in 1975.
Because of our objections to these most glaring of the "mistakes", many people decided "those Frosts" are dangerous and should never be invited back.
                                                     There's no market for truth.
As Yvonne and I sit here in our living room dictating these thoughts, without even standing up we can look around and see hundreds of books, ranging from shelves of dictionaries, to philosophy, to maps ancient and modern, to a whole shelf of our own books. None are trash. All are dog-eared from continuous use. Unless there comes an upsurge in scholarly and experimental work, then the community has lost it. Do we want that to happen? Or are you willing to ditch the yellow-press books and the woohoo internet sites, and listen and try things?
We have hopes. We are seeing some small groups around the country who will listen and will strive; but they're few and far between. In fact we two can successfully do more experiments with Christians, in their church basement meetings which are alternatives to the official service, than we can with many self-styled pagans. What a sad state of affairs.

Monday, January 24, 2011

You Too Can Make a Difference

Did you know that the American industrial complex regards the mountains of eastern Kentucky and southwestern West Virginia as just an inconvenience, a nuisance? We've all heard about mountain-top removal, and most of us have seen the moonscape photos of the land after its rape.
It's not only the coal companies who have that attitude. Last year we Frosts visited Logan in the center of the moonscape. We found that Walmart had calmly removed a mountain and filled in a valley for a new store. If anyone downwind from the site had raised any objection, we certainly had not heard about it. Why should a tyrannosaurus rex bother about a ladybug, anyway? Just squash it and get on with things.
The arrogant raping of the mountains is poignantly illustrated most recently by the attitude and activities of Arch Coal Company. Arch gained a permit form the Corps of Engineers to take over 2,000 acres of mountain top (what they call the overburden) and dump it into several handy streams. Various groups in West Virginia, notably the Highlands Conservancy, had been protesting such action since their formation in 1965. In more than 50 cases the EPA had negotiated with coal companies to ameliorate the damage that they were causing; but this time the coal company (again arrogantly) refused to change their plans by so much as a comma. The EPA finally got enough cojones to cancel the permit.
This was to be the largest mountain-top removal mine ever permitted, involving as it did the burial of miles of high-quality stream under a minimum of 110 million cubic yards of waste. The waste would have poisoned not only the remaining water downstream; the poison would have gone all the way down to the Mississippi River and eventually out into the Gulf, resulting in large areas where no fish swim and no birds sing. It's enough waste to bury downtown Washington thirty feet deep--There's an idea.
Once in a genuinely Zen moment, late on a sunny morning, we had the privilege of watching a mother pelican floating maybe ten feet out from a pleasure beach. The hatchling that sat on her back frequently hopped off under her prompting to dive and catch some version of a mini-fish just below the surface. As we watched, she coached it several times through the skills it was developing to support itself as it matured into autonomy. We wished them both well: simple creatures of Nature, doing what they were designed to do, harming nobody but three or four of the millions of fish in the school.
The coal companies are already protesting (quelle surprise!) to this effect: "You will lose 250 jobs!" Yeah, and how many lives will we save? Charleston on the water downstream is already popularly known as Cancer Gulch.
Coal companies have such little regard for human life that they are the highest eradicator of it in the mining industries. They have such a clamp on governmental agencies that they routinely ignore mine safety regulations, resulting in such catastrophes as the one of Massey's last April at Upper Big Branch. Eventually that one meant 29 fatalities. Each of the individuals lost had an extended family, had responsibilities, had lives that would have gone on. The official death toll was 29; but the loss and grief extended far, far beyond that stark number, and will not diminish for decades.
Arch Coal claimed that West Virginia will forgo $250 million in investment. Of course the industrialists will weep into their champagne about the billions of dollars in profits that they stand to lose from the sale of the coal--which at the present time is at its highest price in history. Of course little or nothing of these profits will flow to West Virginians except perhaps as political bribes.
The companies will also weep into the laps of the congressmen whom they've bought fair and square. The companies will foot the bill for government/congressional/agency employee tours to far-away places (maybe Australia in Australia's summer which is our winter) "to see how coal mines work there"--and by the way, just peripherally influencing the outcome of this vote or that. It's all insultingly transparent. This is what our tax dollars are paying for.
Just now, we taxpayers have in Congress two opposing factions. One faction wants to castrate the EPA and take away its veto powers; another wants to stop mountain-top removal. The EPA has clearly shown that mining companies willing to work with the agency can redesign their operations to make them more sustainable, and can eliminate most of the impact on streams--while at the same time they increase production.
The fight is not over yet, and we should remember such people as the late Judy Bonds, whose voice has now been stilled. And we should gratefully congratulate the Highlands Conservancy and thank them in the way most of us know best: send them a (tax-deductible) donation: An e-mail of thanks should also go to the EPA: It won't take you a moment, but it will add to their file of interested protesters for the future battle in the courts and in Congress.
You can make a difference. This arrogance has got to stop. It was bad enough when James Watt, once Secretary of the Interior, said, "Don't worry about global warming. The second coming is at hand."
By the way--this is kind of a PS--burning raw coal causes vast areas of pollution, causes mercury poisoning with its accompanying birth defects, and causes acid rain. That's old news. But coal producers have known since the 1700s how to prevent these problems. It's called coking: heating coal in closed containers, tapping off the fumes, turning them into various chemical products--useful products--and using the clean-burning by-product--the coke--as fuel. Additionally we know how to capture the flue gases from a coal-burning generator, pipe them back through the flame, and reburn them, making the furnace more efficient and removing the pollutants. We can even burn the coal underground if we really have to, and leave the mountains essentially alone.
Wake up, people out there. You know how to do it.
We wrote this blog after listening to the rant of one knowledgable person. Thank you, Marilyn.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


     Start with a fanfare of trumpets, or perhaps with the opening bars of "Send In the Clowns", to herald the invention of EnviroChicken, now replacing EnviroPig in the news headlines.
This GM chicken supposedly cannot get avian flu--yet, we are again told, its meat and eggs are "indistinguishable" from that of real/natural/traditional/unimproved chickens. Again, let us echo Michael Pollan's finding*: Chickens raised semi-wild on open pasture rarely get diseased; whereas those kept in close confinement on factory farms do have problems.
     The question now arises: How long will it be before we have EnviroBaby? Surely in a lab somewhere--though of course not in the United States--someone is genetically modifying the human genome so that the baby will be ... will be ... you name it. Taller, a future NBA star? More brainy, a future super-Einstein? Courageous, fodder for the military? A little girl succulent to see, to win pageants and live out the dreams of the frustrated "mother"? A boy (if a boy is what's on the order form) born pre-circumcised? Of course all such babies will be immune to every loathly disease currently known (emphasize currently).
    Maybe Hitler just didn't know enough to get it right; otherwise we would all be his version of Aryans--blue-eyed blonds.
      How long will it be before would-be parents demand the latest modification in their child? How does this differ from the computer age, where it is but a short step from latest-and-best to obsolescence?
   We can imagine some white-coated scientist somewhere getting it "right". Then the question will be: Should he or she be allowed to continue down that path?
- - - - - - - - -
* Pollan, Michael Omnivore's Dilemma

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Gasper du Jour

     Today's gasper centers around the question of the consequences of meddling with animal genetics. The Enviropig has its genes manipulated, we are told, by the addition of a mouse gene and a piece of E.coli bacteria. The amended pig is able to convert more of the phosphorus* in its unnatural grain-only feed so that it doesn't have to be fed extra phosphorus when kept in a confined environment. Thus, we are told, its feces don't smell bad and don't put extra phosphorus into the groundwater from the huge containment ponds--the ‘lagoons'--that are an essential part of the environment at pig-factory farms.
    The meat is said to be indistinguishable from real pork. We've heard that before:
                 "Genetically modified soy and corn are indistinguishable from the ‘real' grains."
    Awkwardly, tests have shown that they are not. In a case in point, GM soy fed to mother rats resulted in a 10 percent reduction in brain size in the babies. Even U.S. chain restaurants such as Taco Bell and McDonald's refused to use GM corn in their products, so it is either shipped overseas or used as animal fodder. (See rats above.)
     For three years spent on a steep learning curve, we Frosts kept hogs, on open pasture. Their feces don't smell that bad. Their feces don't contain high concentrtions of phosphorus. So the only purpose of the Enviropig is to make pig factory farms tolerable to individuals who find themselves downwind from the farms.
                                                  In my head I hear a squealing of brakes.
What if, just for the novelty of it, we started at the right end of things and stopped twisting our hankies about shortages of food and water and habitable land, about conflicts over international and ethnic boundaries?       
    What if we put all that on hold while we thought instead about limiting human reproduction? What if we addressed the real cause of the destruction of the planet: blind, purposeless overpopulation? What if for once we were to emphasize quality--not quantity--in breeding more like ourselves? There's radical novelty if ever I've heard it.
    Stop the mad, insane, self-destructive pace of reproduction. If China can do it by imperial command, decreeing flatly, "this is how it will be", even a gentler method might work. And in the case of world populations, even something is better than nothing.
I mean it.
    And a further thought: What if government agencies were to say, "If you're too feeble or too disabled or too indolent to support yourself, okay, we'll give you welfare--up to two children ... though Goddess knows why we should. More than two kids? Tough. Feed 'em yourself. It's not the taxpayers' problem." Might we not then see a change in population curves?

* Phosphorus does several things, we are told: It prompts the growth of algae, encouraging death of fish from anoxic conditions. It degrades the quality of water in the world's aquifers.