yezida (yezida) wrote,
yezida
yezida

Clay Feet part 3

Clay Feet part 3


The Frosts are old school. In a few ways, they remind me of Victor Anderson. And even though people may disagree with their take on it, they have a deep love of the Craft. Gavin also has a strong anti-Christian bias which comes out in the podcast, and I overheard Yvonne talking of "that dirty Gregory" meaning Pope Gregory of Gregorian calendar fame. You know, the one many of us currently use. They also don't seem to like to explain themselves. Victor was this way too, never wanting to tell whether he got this idea from Margaret Murray or that one from his own spiritual explorations. We had to figure it out on our own, or take everything at his word. He was also a trickster teacher. I don't know if the Frosts are or not, as I have not studied them very well.

There is also the outsider status they seem to promulgate. In the podcast, you will hear Yvonne speak of "locking our shields" though I am not sure against what or whom. I can respect this, given where they have come from and the trials they must have faced over the years. I also don't think it is the reality most of us live with these days, as Paganism has become one of the fastest growing religions in the US and Australia and even Christians are marketing videotapes with breathing exercises. We may still be discriminated against, but in many other ways, the culture war has been won.

All of this maundering is simply me trying to put together the complex picture of these people who have taught thousands and remained on the very fringes of Paganism for all these years because so many just don't want to deal with them. Some people no longer even know who they are, yet others go to hear them speak at festivals. The only reason I am writing about them now was I happened to be at a festival with them and then decided to invite them onto the panel.

I am struggling with the Frosts. Struggling because it would be too easy to do as others have which is to demonize them or relegate them to the "sweet old couple." They are something far more varied than either of these. Some people want to sweep them under a rug, but I do not think they should be ignored.

Why? We need to figure out our theolog(ies). We need to know where we stand on sex. Many of us would still rather just suppress it like the overculture teaches us, because abuse may happen otherwise, or we may need to deal with our own demons. I say that abuse happens because of the suppression. Our demons grow stronger the more we constrict around our fears. Abuse happens when we don't deal with our own sexuality, and we don't teach our children about their own. And abuse sometimes just happens. And if nothing else, we end up prey to the media that uses degraded sexuality to attempt to coerce us into buying more things out of insecurity. And we are made to feel badly about our glorious bodies because we do not have airbrushed thighs and six-pack abs.

Many of us would rather just suppress sex in favor of the cleaned up phrase of "life force" because we don't want to deal with our own complex emotions around pleasure, and sexual wounding, and emotional pain, and vulnerability and the very real, potent power that tapping into love, lust, sex and life force brings. Sex is not just genital pleasure, but it is not just the trees rooting into earth, either. It is all of this, and more. Our orgasms sing along with the stars in the sky. We are all part of the processes of creation, destruction, and rebuilding.

If sex is sacred, we need to figure out how that translates and is reflected in our own lives, and in how we pass on that teaching.

And this is why, Gavin and Yvonne, as two people who have taught many others, I wish you would explain. Or I wish you would retract. Or I wish you would apologize. We could use discerning words from you instead of simply a shut down or blustering defense, or the insistence that those who disagree with you are "plastic".

Gavin, when you brought up AJ Drew on the panel, you said you stand by what you wrote 30 years ago, and this troubles me as much as his plan to ritually sacrifice your images did. It is why I mumbled a sleep-deprived non-sequitur about consent in there somewhere - because I had no desire to derail the panel into an off topic shouting match about sexual ethics. Though come to think of it, that might have been entertaining. But shouting matches are not what I'm about. I would rather engage in dialog. But I do not know if you are interested. Are you? I asked you two about your controversial nature over dinner because I was hoping to hear something in your own words, but felt like things got a bit cagey. So I'll ask a couple more questions now:

What do you really think, today, about the sexual education of children? Is sex between adolescents with adults really the best way they should learn these mysteries? How did you teach your own daughter to appreciate the powers of sex, love, and Nature?

I know what I hope your answers are. I hope you will say that those words written almost 40 years ago were a thought experiment that you have since rethought. That children should be taught their bodies are sacred, should be talked with about sexuality, pleasure, and reproduction in various age appropriate ways, and then left to sexual exploration with others of their own age group, with parents around to answer still more questions when the time does arrive. Oh, and that heterosexuality is not the only sacred option.

And how about the rest of my readers? What do you think about your own relationship to sex? To magic? To life force? To our process? To mistakes? To feet of clay? To your own regrets? To the sacred? To teaching our children?

Thanks for bearing with me, and reading to the end of this long, three part post. We need to embrace the challenges that face us. There is, as always, a lot more that could and perhaps should, be said. There is a lot of conversation to be had about leadership, holding teachers accountable, and about sex, theology, and training in general. Hopefully we have a long time to help each other figure some of it out.

Blessed be.



[late edit: I should mention that recent editions of this book now have a brief introduction to the chapter in question in which it is stated: "No formal initiation into a group that practices the great rite should be done before the candidate attains the age of eighteen." However, as an author myself, I feel that a thorough explanation of why they would have included initiatory instructions for pubescent youths in their book in the first place would have been merited. Or, as an author, I would have stricken these pages from later editions of my book. To have done neither feels less than responsible to their students and readers. My apologies for not mentioning this before, but because of the layout of the book, I completely missed this brief introduction upon first reading.]
Subscribe

  • Reminder of new blog

    Hello all, Just a reminder that my blog is now here: http://www.thorncoyle.com/musings/ I have about 10 posts up at that location! You can…

  • Rss announcement

    Hello folks, I'm moving my blog to Wordpress. I'll still check LJ for other people's posts, but don't want to have to paste from one system to…

  • Be Still, Then Move with Life

    The solution of the problem of life is life itself. Life is not attained by reason and analysis, but first of all by living. - Thomas Merton How…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 68 comments
Previous
← Ctrl ← Alt
Next
Ctrl → Alt →
Previous
← Ctrl ← Alt
Next
Ctrl → Alt →

  • Reminder of new blog

    Hello all, Just a reminder that my blog is now here: http://www.thorncoyle.com/musings/ I have about 10 posts up at that location! You can…

  • Rss announcement

    Hello folks, I'm moving my blog to Wordpress. I'll still check LJ for other people's posts, but don't want to have to paste from one system to…

  • Be Still, Then Move with Life

    The solution of the problem of life is life itself. Life is not attained by reason and analysis, but first of all by living. - Thomas Merton How…