Monday, May 26, 2014
The word mythhistory is used for narratives that may be myth but that have a grounding in factual real history. Some women were burnt at the stake as witches; true enough. The myth comes with the numbers. In Wicca there are many myths. Some rely on actual historical facts, but many are fabricated: what Yvonne calls history-as-wished-for. Perhaps chief among these pieces of mythhistory is the burning of nine million people as witches. Under the influence of feminist Wicca, the number morphed into nine million women. Many people were murdered by the Christian establishment over a considerable length of time in its drive for centralized power. The Christians have said that nine million from a population of probably less than fifty million would have been missed. That's a specious argument, though, when we think of a period of at least two hundred years when the murders occurred. We do know this much: An appeal was written to King James pleading for a cessation of the murders because "there is only one female left in the town and she is three years old". Similarly we know that the production of lace almost ceased because of the killing of the lace makers. So who knows how many Witches and "heretics" died? No one can be sure. One is too many. Remember: the vast majority were labeled heretics, not Witches, by the official centralized (Christian) power of the day; and many were hanged, not burnt. That's just another hair-splitting quibble, though: dead is dead. Burning at the stake is a persistent common image; whereas many were roasted on a grill, and their roasted body parts tossed to the cheering crowd. In a similar mythhistory vein: who was actually burnt? The little old lady herbalist living in a cottage in the woods? The midwife? No, the most common victim was the wetnurse or lying-in maid who minded the newborn infants of the gentry. In a time when absolutely nothing was known about hygiene, nutrition, or sanitation, she was blamed for the death of the child in her care. Another common victim was the landowner or the person of wealth whose relatives conspired to get at the land or the money. A modern myth that seems to be morphing into historical "fact" is the allegation that Gerald Gardner invented Wicca. In all Gerald's writings, he used the word Wicca only once--and even on that occasion he did not mean it to define a spiritual or religious path. Unless his spirit rose from the grave, he couldn't have done it anyway; because Wicca was first used by the Frosts in 1968 and Gerald died in 1964. The word was also used by Martello in NewYork in 1968. Gardner did a lot to popularize Witchcraft, and we admire him for his work. We are also pleased that some who travel the Gardnerian path now call themselves Gardnerian Wicca. Remember that unless we get our facts right, the scholastic establishment will continue to scoff at our efforts to gain credibility and spiritual freedom for all. Let's show some integrity, boys and girls. Fair enough? BB all Gavin and Yvonne
Friday, May 16, 2014
As a result of the recent furor over Good Witch's Bible we have decided to offer a new course. For some time we've had on the shelf videos of various leaders in the alternative/pagan community talking about all sorts of subjects. Those subjects range widely: Margot Adler talks, mostly about her childhood experiences; Janet and Stewart Farrar and Gavin Bone talk about the pagan/Wiccan path; Professor Skip Clark talks about the mythhistory of Witchcraft and Wicca; St. Isaac does one of his flow-of-consciousness rants. So we're putting together what we call the video course. There will be a standard twelve (written) lectures and an introduction, but each lecture and the introduction itself will be accompanied by a DVD. It will be the most complete Wiccan course ever offered or completed. If you're interested, we'll be limiting enrollment until the fine details are sorted out. To get in at the beginning, then, write (as ever) to the Church at PO Box 297, Hinton WV 25951.
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Greetings, The recent discussion/panel at FPG about the attacks on the Frosts and the non validity of various accusations showed a relatively clear split in the self-styled Community. From here the split appears to us to be between the current leadership of Covenant of the Goddess (CoG) and everybody else. Thinking about it, it may be that the split started in Minneapolis in the early 1970s over the nature of the Ultimate (Unknowable) Deity. We believe that it is now time (indeed, overdue) to attempt a healing of the split. Such a standoff as this one does not help the Community grow and thrive. Therefore we of the Church of Wicca offer to meet with representatives/spokespersons of CoG in private at a major festival to see whether we can at least clearly define any differences and, if we can't agree, agree to disagree on certain points and then to go our ways. Here is a further thought on the same topic: We Frosts have already rewritten Chapter 4 of Good Witch's Bible. We feel that even this rewrite may not be enough, so we are going to rewrite the whole book. Therefore we ask those (CoG people or anyone else) who have problems with any part of the book to write to us with your thoughts and suggestions through the School: School of Wicca PO Box 297 Hinton, WV 25951 with their proposed improvements. Please note: We do not expect the rewritten book to be all apple pie and ice cream. We will retain as much of the vigor and spice as we can. If all parties behave like intelligent, articulate adults, we can look upon this recent airing of opinions as a starting point of a new reïnvigorated Community. We strongly believe that honest discussion of differences is good for the growth of our spiritual path; but that ad hominem attacks should be outlawed. Blessed be all