finding your roots

For many years people have encouraged us to write our autobiography. We have resisted such suggestions on the assumption that anything we write will probably only cause more furor in the self-styled Wiccan/pagan “community”. ‘Who will guard our self-appointed guardians?’ indeed.

If you read Wikipedia you’ll find the idea generally accepted that Gerald Gardner founded the witch/Witch/Wiccan (choose one) community with the publication of “Witchcraft Today” in 1954 followed by “The Meaning of Witchcraft” in 1959. It is true that he mentioned WICA (sic, all caps, spelled with one c) in “Witchcraft Today”. But throughout all his later work he referred to what he was doing as witchcraft with a lower-case w and to that witchcraft as a cult. We, on the other hand, have always believed that Witchcraft represents the race memory of an ancient religion or (more accurately) an immemorial spiritual path, with traces dating back eons before alphabets and before any named male deity/juju. We looked up the word cult in the dictionary, and found that (among other things) a cult has a male leader self-appointed and self-described as infallible.

We Frosts popularized Wicca (note the upper-case W and the two c’s) after a meeting in September 1968 between four (4) initiates at our home in Ferguson, Missouri. After that evening’s long discussion, the group decided to use Wicca and Church of Wicca as the title of the new group. The problem with Wicca was that it is the male form of the noun, whereas the female form is Wicce. It seemed to some of us that the female form would be a better title. In that time of ascending feminism, the decision prompted no little to-ing and fro-ing. Interestingly, the men voted for Wicce; the women for Wicca.

As a result of all this, we Frosts began to advertise the Church and School of Wicca–the very first correspondence course in Witchcraft. In Avant Garde magazine we advertised the course
as well as a booklet: “Witchcraft, the Way to Serenity”. To put everything into context, early developments looked like this:
– “The God of the Witches” Margaret Murray 1931
– “Witchcraft Today” Gerald Gardner 1954
– “The Meaning of Witchcraft” Gerald Gardner 1959
– Gerald Gardner’s graduation (often called “death”) on February 12, 1964
– “Witchcraft the Way to Serenity” G and Y Frost November 1968
– Raymond Buckland’s Museum of Witchcraft, opened in 1968
– The controversial “Witch’s Bible” 1972
– The letter from Frosts to the IRS asking for tax-exempt status, dated September 1971, with the IRS Letter of Determination dated August 31, 1972.

After publication of “The Witch’s Bible” it was reviewed by Vicki Zastrow and Carl Weschcke. Weschcke convened a general Witchmeet to discuss it. As a result of that well-attended Witchmeet, we put some explanatory notes at the front of each chapter and republished it as “Good Witch’s Bible”. The interest in Witchcraft was so high that we went on to publish no less than 29 (twenty-nine) titles on subjects ranging in subject matter from popular to scholarly, from “The Magic Power of Witchcraft” to “Tantric Yoga”. Though our books are not usually acknowledged in American works on Witchcraft and related topics, they have appeared in five (5) languages.

Only in 2014 did someone notice the use of the word children in “Good Witch’s Bible”. We promptly revised the book to settle the flap. Only one sentence had to be changed. And so great was the outcry over that discovery that as of this writing, a sum total of nine (9) revised copies have been sold. Yet to such a peak did the furor on the Web and in the Community rise that we resolved to attend no further festivals. But we have now rethought that decision, and currently plan to attend certain festivals again, starting with Florida Pagan Gathering in May 2016. If it is your wish to set off another storm in a teacup, you are at liberty to do just that; however, we have now provided you with a set of real-world documented dates and deeds on which to hang your criticisms.

see you at Fpg blessed be g&y

  1. Avatar
    iggy| January 21, 2016 |

    Knowing your roots is important, learning to be Wicca to find them may be necessary for those fortunate few. Get yourself a mentor that has the experience and philosophy that Gavin and Yvonne has or get some quality books to start learning from until you can get a mentor. Here is one I was reading a review about; http://clipperreviews.com/beginning-wicca/

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    Alison Frost| January 21, 2016 |

    Please post these detailed thoughts to your blog page. it is not necessary to have them here.Thank you.Gavin and Yvonne are not reading this.

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    Alison Frost| January 21, 2016 |

    ThirdEye, Please also refrain from making personal attacks within your comments and cursing. They undermine your message. Both Lars and I have private lives because we have seen how devoting your life to the "Pagan Community" can leave a person with nothing but poverty. i like for my children to be able to eat and have some comfort in their lives and I do not wish to be supported by a religious community. Travelling to festivals is exhausting and is not partiularly helpful to attend to a 40-hour workweek afterwards.

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    Edward Midgett| January 21, 2016 |

    Tribul! is my Wiccan name,and I don't reveal my magical name to just anyone but from reading up on you I believe that I can entrust it to you both!
    So Mote It Be!
    Blessed Be!And remember that in these eight words:
    " And ye harm none,do as ye will! "
    " May the Lord and Lady,bless the both of you in whatever you all try to-do in life!!! "

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    Ray| January 21, 2016 |

    Are you still coming to FPG for Beltane if so will you be presenting any workshops?

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    subrosa1120| January 21, 2016 |

    I’m new to wicca can you help?

  7. Bronwyn Frost
    Bronwyn Frost| January 21, 2016 |

    After a thorough investigation of our site, you may find something here you like. If not, I would recommend looking at amazon for reading lists of books to help you get started.

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