I was accepted to speak at this year’s Real Witches Ball in Columbus OH and had agreed to do three workshops for them. This is a conversation I’ve been having over the course of several weeks with Solstice, their scheduling liaison.
Yesterday, a friend pointed out an entry at Jason Pitzl-Waters’ Wild Hunt blog. AJ Drew, the conference organizer and author of several books (including Wicca for Men, A Wiccan Bible, and Wicca for Couples) has had a long-lasting and very deep hatred of Gavin and Yvonne Frost, founders of the Church and School of Wicca and authors of The Good Witches’ Bible. At this year’s Ball, he plans to sacrifice the Frosts (in effigy) in a ritual setting.
This led me into a moment of moral/ethical confusion. Because, you see, I agree with Drew that the Frosts wrote a book that, in part, condones or even encourages the ritual sexual initiation of people who have not yet reached the age of adulthood (which I define as 18, along with many states). I have used this as an example of a predator within the pagan community (see my article on witchvox). I have never hesitated to speak up at appropriate times to warn people away from the Frosts, because I have never seen, nor heard, of them recanting their words.
But I also do not condone ritual sacrifice, and certainly not of living people, who are not present, have not given their permission, and a whole host of other ethical issues that I do NOT run afoul of. I’m not one to send negativity back, or to work harm against another. I’ll happily raise mirrored shields and let negativity return to it source , but I won’t direct it there.
Interestingly, this was a hot topic on a clergy list I belong to, with a lot of anger at those who seemed to ‘condone’ abusive behavior. As usual with this group we moved through what we thought others were saying and came to actually understand what was being said. What we came down to was: we do not know enough to take action. Not one of us (and this is a widespread group of people) know of anyone who has personally witnessed, or participated in, a ritual like the one the Frosts’ describe. That does not mean it does not/did not occur. But it does mean that it may be no more than smoke and mirrors (and a damn good publicity stunt).
This morning, I talked the situation through with my HP, and I realized that I could not, even by association be seen as supporting this ritual, and so I have withdrawn from the 2007 RWB. of course, since my name hasn’t even been added to the website, it’ll attract no notice, I’m sure. But even though it is a meaningless gesture in the larger picture, it is relevant for me and my personal community.
There, the email is sent.
I encourage readers to read Drew’s own words regarding this ritual, at his pagannation forum, and his blog page ‘DeFrost‘ and make up their own minds.