The muse came and sat with me a few times these last weeks, and as a result I now have several (paying even!) projects completed.

The first is another participation in an anthology, this time on Wealth Magic. The cheerful Taylor Ellwood (prolific author extraordinaire and editor at Immanion Press) is putting this one together and I’m pleased with my contribution.

Actually, I’m always pleased with my writing, even when it gets rejected.

As well,  I have two articles that will appear in an upcoming Herbal Almanac (from Llewellyn) and another two in that publisher’s Witches Companion (which was once the Wicca Almanac). Yay for me!

And before I forget, If . . . Journal published an article by me in issue #105 (Cyber Spirituality) about finding a teacher online. I believe you can read it here. This, btw, is a great little monthly journal with a variety of articles and viewpoints.

There’s been a lot of name-calling, just-this-side-of-slander/libel (I can’t remember which is in print and which is verbal, and given the current state of confusion about what constitutes verbal and written when posting on a blog, I’m going to leave it as it is), and general ill-will.

All of the authors who were to present at the RWB have withdrawn and so the event has become “AJ’s Ball.” In a community where it can be very difficult to find solidarity, this is an impressive show of support — for NOT condoning magick with a negative purpose. Let me be clear: this is not support of the Frosts, it is a condemnation of ritual sacrifice of two people (or their ‘followers’) who have not agreed to be the sacrifice.

I’m not much of one for physical sacrifice in a ritual setting. I’ve burned paper, buried stones, poured out water . . . but the only time I sacrificed blood was my own, for a private ritual, and I’ve only ever used poppets for healing. Perhaps the burning of effigies is common to ‘football games and high school rallies’ (as AJ has stated) but I’ve never seen it. And I’m not sure I would have stayed if I had.

Using violence to change the way things are is often a way to become a terrorist. I’m Irish, and I’ve always supported the withdrawal of the English from Northern Ireland.  But I have never supported the IRA’s terrorist tactics against ordinary people. I see the need for the warrior, the sad necessity of occasionally going to war — but wars need to be fought only between warriors, and not include their kin, their homes, or the innocents.

Solstice, one of the moderators on the paganantion boards, and a main person in the ritual (now called the sacrifice to caring) contacted me and discussed the ritual with me. I am oathbound not to reveal any details, but what she told me differs GREATLY from the original statements, and intentions, of AJ Drew.  The evolving ritual focuses less on individuals and more on harmful actions, for one thing.

So much so, that I offered suggestions for clarity, and may even join the planning committee. (They are discussing it.) This is not a ‘done deal’ but a furtherance of a healing of this community. As a priestess, if I can do so, I must.

It may all come to naught, but I am bound by my oaths to try and trust in the  God/dess that it will all come out for the best.

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.