JOAN on the Witch Laws 8/22/81
Note: These are the comments of one of the early members of
Proteus Coven on what we gave her to read about ethics and laws. All
the material she had is still here, although a good deal has been
added since then, so I thought her comments would also be interesting.
Reaction to "Traditional" - i.e. essentially Gardnerian - format
In many respects, as constricting as Catholocism without the
administrative experience, intellectual prowess, or verbal expertise
of Catholicism. If current researchers are correct, what we have is
one man's fantasy (with jumbled and skewed sources) made everyone's
Maybedealtwith mosteffectively-especiallyas regardsthe
reality of current practice and expectation - by juxtaposition with
Lady Ikandkhop's masterful irony.
Reaction to Aporrheton 5 - [generally very good thinking, but
still more traditional than my preference]
ParagraphTwo: Good thinkingon nature ofGoddess -or any divini-
ty. My agreement is reserved, uncertain, withheld.
Paragraph Three: Claims to have arrived at FIRMLY ("no bending")
UNDISPROVEN hypotheses. This arouses natural suspicion in me. I
disagree with some of his perceptions of FACTS.
Idisagree violently withLaws 5 +6. Heterosexuality isa streng-
th, but not an essential. POLARITY OPERATES OUTSIDE [or INSIDE]
BOUNDARIES OF ANATOMICAL EQUIPMENT AND HORMONES. AND THE CHARACTER -
THE SACRED CHARACTER - OF THE WITCH IS WITHIN THE AT ONCE TRANSCENDANT
AND DISCIPLINED SELF.
Law #7 is unnecessary. A silly bow to a misunderstood "Trad" law.
Law #8 islargely true, but makes no allowancefor valid, honest
(fair to all), and necessary transitional states many must pass
through. Also sticks on "authority" peg, which has some necessity/-
validity but can easily get out of hand. I find HONESTY + COURTESY
Law #9. True.But much of interpersonaltension (inevitable) can
be worked out of God/dess' love and coven support-with-discipline
Law #10. TheGreat Mysteries mustbe livedout. And, withoutusing
Craft parlance, if another needs to hear them, they MUST BE VERB-
ALIZED. TO DO LESS IS HARM. i.e., it is to allow another to drown
when you're on shore and have a rope.
But no missionary zeal!
That for which others are unready is foolishness for them and
foolishness for the Witch. (It may also be subconscious power
tripping. See agreement in Law #13.)
Law #11 - I agree with paragraphs one and two.
Paragraph3:saying thatonlythe HPsincarnatesthe Goddess
is inappropriate and - in my firm opinion - NOT FACTUAL. (note from
Judy - as I interpret what he says there, it's that only WOMEN incar-
nate the Goddess. I also disagree with that, but it's less bad than
Joan's reading that he limits it to the HPs only.) The Goddess is not
bound by ceremonial elevations. She incarnates where and when She Damn
Re:"all initiations..."- etc.-Ritual iscrystallization
of preexistent, potential, incipient reality and this actualization is
Law #12 - Goodcaution on limits (ill defined whereemotion runs
high) or self-defense. But assumption rules out solo magic (his
previous premise is that it isn't Wiccan) by corollary of group
responsibility / group danger to all action. "Return to sender" is
generally agreed as rule-of-thumb for defense. Practice has not
disproven. This is a difficult area to define. Probably group consen-
sus on this would help.
Does"impossibility factor" negatedanger? How about the
verbal escape clause sometimes used?
Obviously,I'mless sureofboundarieson thisonethan onany
Law #13 - Good idea. Rather an ideal than a norm.
OMISSION: APORRHETON does not mention Balance or Polarity concept
except in male/female context. But these are valuable and central
I got the feeling this person is still ruled by fragments of
Starhawk is GREAT. But many people will need more codification
than she offers.
Next: Commentary by L.A. Hussey