- On October 18, 2007
- By Gavin & Yvonne Frost
responses to responses
As Yvonne holds her head and says, what have we spawned?, we offer something of a roundup of our responses … to responses .. to one or another of our rambling blogs. We roughed it out in the car on the way to do self-directed aquarobics, our geriatric effort to stay ahead of things if even a little.
You may all know we rae soon going on the road, so we’ll be away for about two weeks.
Let us address first the incoming comments that are the easiest to respond to which.
Pagan Temple: If we inadvertently flamed you, we apologize. We don’t profess to eb sophisticated in the ways of the Net (gasp). Just to show our ignorance, what specific book and burn do you have in mind?
We were glad to see mention of the Little Ice Age and the Black Death. Personally we think that Catholic efforts to reestablish authority in the years following the Black Death set the scene for most of the later burnings. During the plague the Church and its priests lost their authority because prayers and burning candles were so visibly ineffective.
Rhiannon, what’s your take on that? Thank you so much for your long piece on the law. It was fantastic and fascinating. How on earth did you put that much material on the blog? Is it a matter of seven fingers on each hand? Our mind is reeling.
Of course like Brehon law, most of the old law was passed down orally and codified by Christian monks only much later. The Welsh law, also relatively late, was at least put onto parchment at the White House on the River Taff — a law which “shall endure until a better be written.” So far as I can tell, neither the Brehon law nor the law of Hywel Dda included much in the way of judicial murder. The Welsh which I read many years ago in a Penguin (Pelican?) translation spent a lot of time on what should happen if the cat you bought didn’t perform catching mice, for instance, or in a case of rape, who got the testicles.
Anyway, as I remember it I found very few cases of judicial murder.
The odler we get, the more important history seems to become. We’re only sorry that we probably won’t have time to complete our own studies of it — as if such a thing were possible. The misinformation in history staggers the mind. Way too much of it is what Piggott calls history-as-wished-for. Every historian has an agenda; that comes as no surprise. Typical examples:
1. The claim that in the Burning Times most women who were burned were the community’s midwives. They weren’t. It was the lying-in maids or wet nurses, who were called in to prop up the new mother and the household when mother was weakened by childbirth and who knows what else. They didn’t know diddly, of course, about prenatal care, about nutrition, about hygiene adn sanitation, about anything. Why was the easiest target? The lying-in maid, of course. She was the stsranger in the house; she often had no one to act in her defense; she would have been the easiest to replace.
2. The claim that the “Malleus Maleficarum” was used to burn “witches”. Inquisitors had far better and more detailed texts, frequently updated form headquarters. Sso what was the Malleus? It was what the publishing industry calls today a one-hander for the monks and priests. Made literacy worth while.
3. The claim that Torquemada caused the burning of hundreds of “witches”. He didn’t. His record shows zero witches burned. He was after conversos who had slid bacward into Jewish religious practices.
4. The claim that the church provided sanctuary for those who could get into the building. It didn’t. Five thousand innocent people — well, guilty of speaking Oc — wre dragged out of the church in Beziers and killed because they spoke Oc, on the orders of the pope’s legate Arnaud Amaury. His is the line:
“Kill them all. God will know his own.”
The bodies were thrown down the hill from the church onto the road and into the river. We Frosts walked that hillside and wept.
We are also amazed continually that people have no conception whatever of the modern history of Wicca in the 20tha nd 21st centuries. Gerald Gardner did not invent Wicca. In fact there wree as many as a hundred covens running in the British Isles in the 1930s, according to Dame Sybil Leek’s feisty mother Louisa.
Childoffire, we don’t choose supporters. They choose to espouse or not to espouse our ideas. “Choosing supporters” makes Yvonne think of hiring mourners for a funeral.
The garden and canning: We normally freeze the snow peas and the bush beans (excuse the four-letter word) and can tomatoes and make salsa using the tomatoes and the chilis. (Note: not chiles or chillies or any other variant. The edible is chili; the nation is Chile. Chilly is a physical response to temperature. But let’s move on.) We’re drying the left-over peppers this year. Gavin will be doing a rant on this site on canning. He calls it bottling in his cunning British way.
Hey, guys adn gals — we think we have the beginnings of a good thing going here, but we have a problem; so help us, please.
When someone asks a question, if we can we will answer to the bests of our long experience and our very biased view of inner and outer worlds. If we are wrong, correct us with fact and references. Some of our answers will inevitably cause some to think we are flaming someone or some group. This seems to be especially true of the ladies, Goddess bless them. From the beginning we have had a partnership-path, equality bias. Please understand this. When we think it warranted, we always send querents to other groups that may well be more appropriate groups that suit their quest better than the Church and School of Wicca may do. We realize only too well that occasionally individuals choose to respond to our blogs and to the comments of othere readers in a deliberately negative and flaming way. That’s their problem. What if we ignore tham and get on with exchanging good information? We ourselves already feel enriched by the interest and scholarship of responders to this site.
Blessed be until anon. Gavin and Yvonne