If I were starting a Rosicrucian group …

… it would probably look a lot like the Hermetic Library Fellowship Program, or, rather, what that would be if more fully developed toward what I hope that project will become. And, I’ve been meaning to write more about my ideas and aspirations for the Fellowship Program, so I just might actually do this, even if it’s only in theory for the most part.

Recently, you may have noticed, Jeffrey Kupperman, of Journal of the Western Mystery Tradition, posted a series: “If I were to form a Rosicrucian Order …“, “Why I’m not Starting a Rosicrucian Order” and finally, even after he posted the image of a lamen suspiciously like something for such a thing, “I Did Not Start a Rosicrucian Society“. Likely inspired by this Anthony Silvia, of Gnosis NYC and the Talk Gnosis podcast, posted “I Am Not Forming an Open Source Order of Martinists …“.

Here’s my sense: Rosicrucianism as described in the source material is simply a group of people bonded together by a brief code to be of service to humanity and to develop and preserve certain esoteric knowledge. All of the oft associated structural and dogmatic cruft is either imported from the wider Western Esoteric Tradition during the 17th Century’s Rosicrucian Enlightenment, or accreted during the Victorian and Edwardian period of development by Freemasonry of the Rose Croix degree within Scottish Rite and SRIA/Golden Dawn style syncretic Hermeticism. The literary Rosicrucians of the Fama and Confessio are really quite simply organized without much of anything by way of necessary dogma.

Anyway, the whole highly-structured fraternal and/or teaching order thing has been done and done and occasionally “stick a fork in it” and, even, sometimes “can we bury it now because it is starting to smell.” Many still exist, so why start another one just like something already done? If you want to get involved in one of these, let me commend you to a few excellent organizations, about which I can personally vouch more or less, OTO [also], A∴A∴ [also], Golden Dawn [also, and] … and so on, YMMV. Keep your wits about you and do your own research.

Instead, I would focus on starting from the barest and most minimal interpretation sufficient and necessary. I would be inspired primarily by what the Fama and Confessio say about the Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, and some few later developments such as Joséphin Péladan’s Salon de la Rose-Croix; and, some few indirect inspirations like Benjamin Franklin’s Junto [also], Utne‘s Salons: The Joy of Conversation, my own dialogical work, and so forth. However, for me, the temptation to develop complicated and convoluted structures is strong and therefore something to strongly avoid.

 

Although I am trying to adhere closely to the simplicity demonstrated by the model of the literary evidence, I am clearly going to eject certain elements. For example, no one will need be German, a Crusader, or even Christian. Nor need one be directly connected to some lineage, order or other organization. Members will also not be required to conform to some such period customs like drinking warm, non-carbonated German beer from tankards made from lead-laced pewter.

If I were to start a Rosicrucian group … it would be a bit of salon, communitarian and egalitarian, for students and scholars, and very likely organized in support of the mission of the Hermetic Library. The group would occasionally meet in person, but connect frequently via modern communication tools and perhaps a private forum. Like a Junto, the group would be dedicated to inquiry and self-improvement; with members providing a weekly summary of some interesting developments to share with the group as well as offering longer form presentations quarterly. I imagine a small group of people, each dedicated to some particular theory and practice. Each would have a personal practice of some kind and they would be engaged in some project to present esoteric thought in service to the larger community, and I imagine that these presentations would be done through Open Access [also] repositories of articles collected in sub-sites for each fellow at the library and also made available via the blog and journal.

There would be no initiations or other accouterments of the Victorian esoteric or pseudo-masonic orders, but there could be shared rituals. I have in mind here the observation made by Ronald Hutton in The Triumph of the Moon: A History of Modern Pagan Witchcraft that without unifying dogma it is the shared rituals that maintain the neopagan community. There may be some shared rituals or practices to help group cohesion, synchronic and diachronic links between members and the collective, including some expressed when apart and some when gathered.

Membership in the group could follow this idea somewhat like the master and apprentice relationship between Jedi and Sith, including the idea that the apprentice only takes the place of the master upon that person’s death, though hopefully without the Sith’s Rule of Two custom of fragging! Within the literature, generation two doubles membership size to generation three, so there is a suggestion that at some time the ranks of the group could be allowed to double, or at least that is something to consider if it ever comes up that members have found a number of suitable potential members to justify growth. Or, instead of setting a rule about this, the group could simply welcome new fellows as they are welcomed to the library site, while helping that process with suggestions and outreach.

In spite of the rule about not being constrained to wear any particular habit, it’d be nice to have some kind of way to identify each other when necessary. Even if that were something similar to and as simple as the shock of red against one’s fashion adopted by Rêveurs, described in Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus. But, perhaps this would be a choice made in the moments when necessary, such as prior to any meeting.

 

The organizing principles of the literary Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross are enumerated in just six explicit rules, though there are within the literature other obvious organizing principles, such as that of each member maintaining and developing volumes within the order’s Philosophical Library. This last I would interpret as members participating in both theory and praxis around topics that suit them and their interests, and that they are involved in the preservation and presentation of that information; clearly suited to the overall mission of the Hermetic Library.

Translating the core six rules from the literature, I would propose the following for this new group:

1. That none of them should profess any other thing than to be a student and researcher, and to be involved in making their studies available in accord with the principles of Open Access;

2. None of them should be constrained to wear one certain kind of habit, but therein to follow their own custom and that of their country;

3. That every year, or some reasonable interval, the group should hold some gathering, to meet in person;

4. Members should cultivate relationships with other students and researchers who might be suitable for membership in the group if such openings become available, but in any case, who may interested in participating in the various projects at the library.

5. There should be some identifying insignia or symbol to represent the group, and members should make known their involvement in the group.

6. The group would maintain the privacy of members and their details, in accordance with the general principle of not revealing anything about another that they have not themselves made public; including personal details and details about their studies and research.

 

At this point, one might wonder what makes this specifically Rosicrucian, as opposed to simply a group of people engaged in and organized around esoteric study. To this I would simply elaborate that the group is inspired by the principles of human perfectibility through esoteric study and practice along the lines of the Rosy Cross formula of the Great Work, about which plenty more could be said. However, I think this notion is one that might need to be expressed explicitly for the group to be Rosicrucian. Although, it could also be left unexpressed, and the group could simply be inspired by the model provided by the literary Rosicrucians and this could instead simply be the Hermetic Library Fellowship Program more fully developed, much as the Invisible College and the Royal Society were inspired but not fully constrained by the notion of a network Rosicrucians.

 

Benjamin Franklin details his Junto project in his autobiography writing:

“I … form’d most of my ingenious acquaintance into a club of mutual improvement, which we called the Junto; we met on Friday evenings. The rules that I drew up required that every member, in his turn, should produce one or more queries on any point of Morals, Politics, or Natural Philosophy, to be discuss’d by the company; and once in three months produce and read an essay of his own writing, on any subject he pleased.

Our debates were to be under the direction of a president, and to be conducted in the sincere spirit of inquiry after truth, without fondness for dispute or desire of victory; and to prevent warmth, all expressions of positiveness in opinions, or direct contradiction, were after some time made contraband, and prohibited under small pecuniary penalties.” [via]

With this in mind, I would like to have a group of core people who are actively presenting information of interest not only to themselves, but also to the audience of the library. This means helping to develop content for the site, and related social media.

I also imagine that a group I formed would follow a few of the membership principles set out by Franklin for his Junto, in the form of some questions to which they might answer in particular ways:

1. Have you any particular disrespect to any present members? Answer. I have not.

2. Do you sincerely declare that you are dedicated to the Great Work in service to humanity? Answer. I do.

3. Do you think any person ought to be harmed in his body, name, or goods, for mere speculative opinions, or his external way of worship? Answer. No.

4. Do you support the Hermetic Library and will you endeavor support its mission yourself, and share information about and via the library to others? Answer. Yes.

The group might also generate a series of ongoing questions to guide their inquiries, and make those part of the set of customs for the group.

 

Inspired by Joséphin Péladan’s Salon de la Rose + Croix, ignoring for the most part his overall Mystic Order of the Rose + Croix movement, I would personally would enjoy this more if there were effort to promote esoteric arts and culture, and, like the original, developing actual Salon de la Rose + Croix events could be part of the praxis of the group.

Obviously, this is something that I try to do with the various participatory pools at the library (such as the audio, visual, video and arts and letters pools) as well as within the Anthology Project through the Hermetic Library Albums and Hermetic Library Journal. And, to no small extent, this is one of the motivations behind the idea of a Hermetic Library Reading Room, as it exists in my imagination and also on the library blog.

So, maybe I’m starting to import my other existing projects into this idea, which can and perhaps should remain separate.

 

T Polyphilus has the personal practice of writing something about each book he reads, as he says, “on the principle that if I have nothing to say about something, I can hardly justify the effort to read it in the first place.” I could imagine that it might be good for members of the group to also take up this practice, and that these reviews, like those by T Polyphilus, would be made available via the blog.

 

I recognize that there may be need for more structure to function, and I’d propose that the group keep track of the set of organizing principles, the necessary and sufficient structures, and also a set of customs, the agreed upon additional behaviours. Generally, for this discussion about organizing principles and customs I’m going to use terminology imported from Peter Suber’s Nomic. At the core, I would would begin at Nomic rule zero, that all participants must agree to the rules. Organizing principles would be Nomic immuntable rules. Customs would be Nomic mutable rules. The organizing principles and customs would all be subject to self-ammendment, but always subject to the necessary and sufficient cohesion of rule zero. I also propose an even more primary rule, which I’ll call rule i (imaginary unit), which represents the simple observation that all rules have a scope of real effect, beyond which they are meaningless, in other words rules which attempt to legislate delusions or absurdities are self-evidently meaningless and without need to attempt they be enforced. I see this last as a guard against the group trying to legislate overreach beyond its own self-governance.

 

Recognizing that so far I’ve talked about this idea being tied closely to the library, there’s two alternate directions one might take in modifying the idea: more or less meta. For a less meta alternative, the group might simply be something like a “Friends of the Library” organization; but it would seem a bit presumptuous of me to start my own friends group, and it might be a bit duplicative of the options I already provide for people to show support for the library in a variety of ways. A more meta alternative direction would be to understand that all the specific references to the Hermetic Library and related projects are my particular projects, but that a group could be formed for mutual support and improvement between like-minded site owners who have projects of their own, sites and blogs; a kind of association of project owners. This last reminds me of the point that there appears to be no particular organization or association around esoteric venues, an example of one such is my speculative Reading Room; but that there may be a lot of sense in having some way for people doing similar things, running or planning such venues, to communicate, share and support each other.

 

I’m sure there’s plenty more that could be written about this, but as a final note I think I’ll mention that one thought that has occurred to me is that others might create similar organizations as what I imagine. I’ve always had in mind that the work I do to post on the various social media platforms and so forth is really about trying to encourage people to engage with the materials on the site. So, I could imagine that there might be groups of people who form themselves around their own research and study related to the library. I can also imagine that groups like this might offer information about what they’ve been up to on some regular basis, such as monthly, and I might then post about these presentations and research so that they are available to others as well.

Obviously, there’s no real reason why groups of students would necessarily organize around the library and participate in this idea in particular, but, it’s a thought that came to me in a kind of daydream.

You wouldn’t hit a guy in a fluffy bunny costume would you?

It seems to me that the wider Pagan and Occult community has been using Wiccans as human shields. Nowadays it’s not “you wouldn’t hit a guy with glasses, would you?” it’s “you wouldn’t hit a guy in a fluffy bunny costume, would you?”

Somewhere mainstream culture has internalized the message that Paganism is equivalent to Wicca, and it seems like that might just be a matter of convenience that those Pagans in the mainstream have enjoyed the mistake. This is especially true whenever there’s some new ridiculous bit of hysteria which paints anything Pagan as Satanic or whatever epithet meant as a shortcut to thinking is applied within the time limit of a sound bite.

These days it seems to me that Wiccans are beards for not just dark Pagans but are being put into the line of fire for everyone in the wider community. Heck, Pagans are a varied and diverse group of strange bedfellows, so to speak; not to be so easily signified by a small sample.

(Maybe Pagans are an equivalent to the Anti-Federalists, a rabble rebellion collected together under a label for convenience because they’re allied in demanding to be heard, seeking personal rights and freedoms from the tyranny of conformity imposed by privilege and power and the mainstream. The joke that any two Pagans have 3 opinions is a kind of truism.)

 

Not too long ago there was an uproar over the dabbling done by O’Donnell in what she claimed was witchcraft. The general response I remember hearing from Pagans in the media was, “That’s ridiculous because whatever it was she was doing wasn’t real witchcraft! Witchcraft is all about fluffy bunnies!” That whole thing about the dabbling of O’Donnell as a witch seriously bothered me, and at the time I just didn’t mention it anywhere or to anyone; but I find myself thinking about it again.

Of course, the more recent and truly stupid insanity of the pedophiles in Wales that made the news is an example of what the community is really afraid of being linked to, characterized by and treated like. And, to be sure, in that case the acts of insane people have been used to colour the character of something they happen to be abusing in their implementation of the insane. I mean, they wore clothes and eat food too, so let’s all become nudists and breatharians in response to the implied and contagious evilness of clothing and food. The colocation of insanity or criminality with X does not make X insane or criminal. Insane pedophiles are insane pedophiles, and there’s nothing more that needs to be said than this tautology to demonstrate that their opinions on anything else is suspect. And yet, it seems like the logic of the media hype engine is the opposite: that somehow the opinion of insane pedophiles is suddenly the most authoritative on any topics about which they might be ranting than other more generally sane voices who might be trying to speak. I blame the media … and: Oh, the humanity!

However, beyond whatever distain I might have for the criminal and the insane and the liars out there, like Welsh pedophiles and politicians like O’Donnell; it’s the reaction from the wider Pagan community that bothered me about these things even more. The reaction from the community was essentially a broad and universal shock, shock I say, at being accused of anything resembling any unwholesome activity whatsoever, being accused of anything more suspicious than a fluffy bunny petting. It’s the Wiccan Wookie defense. Nothing to fear here, lookee cute bunny! Cute, 6-foot tall, very hairy bunny … with a crossbow; but, hey, it’s fluffy, so, you know, it’s a bunny! (For the life of me, it never occurred to me until just now that Wookies were actually Púca. Or, maybe highly evolved Snuffleupaguses … Snuffleupagi? Snuffleupagans! Pagan Furries FTW! Just, you know, wholesome and sane … *ahem*)

Okay, so here’s where the inane, weak, unsubtle thinkers are going to go off the deep end because I need to make a strong distinction between the baby and the bath water. Throughout I’m not suggesting a defense for heinous acts like pedophilia or politics, to which, if current events are any indication, criminal and insane people seem so attracted. I’m rather talking about the willingness of the Pagan community to jettison anything remotely dark or uncomfortable in order to avoid looking anything like that which might be confused with things criminal or insane. I’m not saying that real Pagans are into pedophilia or politics. Rather, I’m saying that the fact that there are pedophiles and politicians in the world is not a reason to reject the edgy parts of Paganism as if those parts didn’t exist. I’m saying that these two things are not the same, and are not related and should not be confused; and to the extent that they are confused, it should behoove everyone to help those intellectually challenged among the population to understand there is a difference. Or, at the least, it should be the intellectually challenged who should be identified as the problem, not the edgy pagans being falsely identified as something they are not by hysterical morons.

In understandably denying any connection whatsoever to ridiculous or heinous acts, the community feigns, with a straight face, the nigh incomprehensibility of engaging in anything which might require more than a G-rating. And that’s just disingenuous, because if anything the reality of Paganism is worthy of a solid R at the box office, or it’s just more New Age noise. Whether it’s a Gnostic Mass or a Great Rite, even symbolically, there’s something going on that someone somewhere would get uptight about. Moreover, once on the slippery slide away from truth, all other real and true expressions become suspect.

Look, here’s one thing: people kinda know when someone’s not being honest. They may not be able to prove it, but I think there’s some sense where people just generally know something’s not on the up and up. They may be motivated to suspend disbelief for some reason, but I think deep down people know even when really practiced liars lie. So, when Pagans go out in the world and pretend that there’s nothing edgy about Paganism, I think people’s internal alarms go off. I think it does more harm even in the successful denial than would the unsuccessful attempt to disabuse the morons about their faulty reasoning. It’s like speaking truth to power, one has to speak truth even when speaking truth itself is edgy and dangerous. (Mind you, I’m not counseling the kind of suicide in the face of overwhelming mobs against which even Martin Luther King Jr realized nonviolence would painfully fail; but that there’s need to stand up against irrationality and injustices and singling out.)

 

Also, while I’m talking about this, I should be clear that I really haven’t experienced anything that I myself would call evil. Even though, no doubt, there are some reactionary idiots somewhere who would even claim eating marshmallow Peeps™ is a form of pure EVIL™; and gods know I’ve enjoyed my share of brutally microwaved Peeps in my instant s’mores (Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Kyrie eleison!); I don’t really know from first hand experience that there’s any or a lot of what I might think of as evil action going on. (Frankly, I’ve experienced things far more likely to be characterized by an observer as dark or evil that had nothing soever to do with esoteric practices in any way than I have esoteric practices that might be characterized as such.) But, that doesn’t mean I think it’s not possible, or even likely, that somewhere there’s something going on. (I mean, who am I kidding? I was pretty much oblivious to the pervasive cocaine use in the bathrooms of my high school, so what do I know?) Throughout history, one person’s angel is another’s demon; but there seem to also be people doing various kinds of edge-seeking who are unfairly demonized. I’ve experienced a lot of edge-seeking and intentionally iconoclastic behaviour, but not really anything evil by any definition I’d use except in jest or intentional hyperbole. But, even still, I do recognize that there are true evils going on in the world. Again, I’m not defending true evil here, but rather defending edge-seeking work.

I can imagine that there are people engaged in activity they intentionally and seriously hope is evil and that I would consider calling evil. I also imagine that of these people there are a vanishingly small percentile who are contentious practitioners, where the rest are thrill-seekers of some kind or another seeking to do things that shock. In regard to those looking to shock, if it weren’t one thing it would be another; it’s the ends not the means that matter, or rather its not the method but the image. For the thrill-seekers, the trappings are just accidental.

Then, again, there’s also, I have no doubt, a subsection of those thrill-seekers who are desperately in need of professional help, who are engaged in activities due to mental imbalance; but moreover those people would be mentally imbalanced no matter what activity they were doing, so the specific activity is actually entirely irrelevant. Crazy people are crazy. Period. For these people it’s crazy turtles all the way down, and they’re all out of turtles.

 

One of the most recent documents added to the collection at The Hermetic Library is a story by Yeats called The Sorcerers. This purports to be a personal narrative of an encounter with some “dark” practices. Within the story, Yeats talks about those engaged in evil acts, and details some practices of animal sacrifice and communing with “evil powers”

“The sorcerer then took a black cock out of a basket, and cut its throat with one of the daggers, letting the blood fall into the large bowl. He opened a book and began an invocation, which was neither English nor Irish, and had a deep guttural sound.” [via]

Practically a scene straight from Maya Daren’s Divine Horsemen, but, you know, Irish.

 

Okay, I’m definitely not claiming that this story related by Yeats is fact. Who knows? He was a writer so he wrote, right? Whether the experience was true, partially true or fancy isn’t my point. It’s what got me thinking about this again, and why I ended up writing this. Here’s a story with animal sacrifice, and yet I found myself questioning the idea of posting that section of the story as a quote to the public forum of The Hermetic Library’s facebook page. I realized that there might be reactions from reactionaries. I ended up posting that very quote to the feed, in part because I was thinking along the lines in what I’m writing now. So far, there’s been a predictably juvenile response to the fact that the words “black cock” appear in the quote; but other than that I’ve not seen the reaction I thought might appear.

This self-editing seems pretty widespread. I know I’ve sometimes skipped over posting some interesting quote or another from a new document I’ve added to the library because of how it might be hysterically perceived, not just in the context of EVIL™, but in other ways by those reacting to a quote who mobilizing their righteous indignation without bothering to explore the context or complexity or, frankly, maybe even without reading the actual quote itself. People have gotten indignant about one quote or another and that usually says more about them than it does about any particular quote per se.

 

(Some of this is learned defensive behaviour, and it’s a reaction to how some pretty insistent people use quotes as a way to push particular agendas. So, some of the reactivity I’ve seen to quotes I’ve posted seems to be about assuming that I’m expressing a hidden agenda in my choice of quote. This is one of the insidiously damaging things that I see happening in the online community as a result of the behaviour of those who use quasi-contextual or at least heavily curated quotes as a maneuver to prove something or other else they want to force home. These quote pushers are not people interested in discussion, but are rather interested in using quotes to stop discussion; as appeals to authority mustered to silence those ideas that they don’t want to hear expressed or to force conversation in a particular way. Or at the least, they use quotes to convince themselves of the righteousness of their crusade. It’s about intent and motive, and those can be obfuscated by façades of reasonableness and tactical syntax.

There was one time, for example, that I posted something from a period piece by Crowley, and was accused of valourizing misogyny. My thought is that not posting anything that might be seen as mysogynistic would be to, in effect, white-wash over that, and would actually in the omission do more to valourize or at least normalize that as non-exceptional, as not worth mentioning. But, moreover, it is by posting and hopefully thereby talking about such things that a more accurate and broad perspective is formed, and a parallax is created between one expression of thought to another.

In another case, I posted a particular quote with a link to the source and someone responded saying, “Where did you get that idea?” Um, try clicking on the helpfully provided link to the source to find out, I thought, and read it yourself. But it was clear that the response was assuming that I necessarily by posting agreed with the statement and was pushing some kind of agenda. They were triggered and taking revenge in their response.

Really, this is the basic stuff of academia, people. I become increasingly convinced we don’t need universal service, but rather universal University. If only I had faith in the success of University to do the job … Hell, even at a place like Evergreen they could mostly only create a conducive environment, not ensure a result. There were still those who couldn’t, wouldn’t and didn’t. Woe to the hope for joy at a lesser institution!)

 

At last year’s Esoteric Book Conference, there were presented some images from the Richel-Eldermans Collection, which had been intentionally left out of the publication of The Occult Reliquary as a preemptive measure to avoid potential hysterical reactions those images might have caused even with context. And, notice, even here a fortiori I’m not going to describe the content of those images but leave that to the greek chorus of your imagination to describe, or, you know, take a trip to The Museum of Witchcraft to see them for yourself, you lucky you!

We seem as a broad group to have internalized a lesson about the need for secrecy in the face of potential witch-hunts of one kind or another. It’s not just the self-identified witches that need to be concerned about the public turning into a mob looking to burn someone, figuratively or literally.

But, at the same time, I think the existence of this cloak of cuddly white-light does a horrible disservice to ourselves. Not the least of which is the fact that any time the cloak is shown to be just that, there’s more chance of a more violent reaction by those predisposed to violent reactions in the first place.

Anyhow, I recognize that the overall need still for forestalling hysteria by keeping cloaks on some issues, but I also find myself lamenting the way that the white-lighters are both used as beards to form an ablative shield against the cultural bullies out there, but also are then used as whipping boys within the community as examples of scorn. That’s the kind of double standard that’s going to bite someone in the ass at some point because it’s a duplicitous deception as well as being cruel to the poor little bunnies.

The dirty truth about any truegeek cultures has always been that they are predisposed to eating their own young with viciousness and dark delight of shocking proportions. So, even if accusations of evil aren’t true in specific, they are true in some general tangential way. Geeks of any kind have historically been just plan mean to newbies, and that reveals a streak of nastiness that cannot be denied. In this case the young being eaten aren’t babies, but still there’s a kind of ritual sacrifice going on that’s more than even hazing.

(Oh, and, yes, I did just, with tough love, characterize pagans as geeks.)

As unfortunate as the bearding of Pagan culture might be, I think the community has to also recognize that it is both forcing the Wiccans into the fray all the while treating them, generally, as little children. It’s a children’s crusade against the mob. What I mean is the way that all these fluffy bunnies are the target of scorn and derision by the “serious” Pagan community but when push comes to shove, we seem to shove these same fluffy bunnies into the line of fire. The fluffy bunnies may be pawns in the game, but they’re our pawns; the fluffy bunnies are the first wave of integration between our sub-culture and mainstream culture, and we need them to be there as allies and emissaries. The fluffy bunnies represent the extent to which culture has changed, so I suggest that sacrificing them is tantamount to sacrificing progress.

Indeed, in another part of Yeats’ The Sorcerers:

“He would not tell me more, for he had, it appeared, taken a vow of secrecy.”

It really should be clear that secrecy has a manifold purpose in protecting people from people not just the secrets from people or people from secrets. So is it really so inconceivable that edgy things happen somewhere in the community? Is it really so hard to fess up and face up to the bullying? When it comes to edgy expression within the wide pagan community of experience, I think the Lady and Lord, while wearing rabbit-fur lined cloaks, doth protest too much.

It’s a disservice to the potential for culture change inherent in the counter cultural confrontation of both willful ignorance and self-righteous morality to raise the level of discourse around consensual practices which can and must be seen in distinct relief to the practices of insane and sick people. It’s a disservice to hide our naughty bits behind the fig leaves forced on us generically by the pervasive paternalistic judgments of Judeo-Christ-Islamic culture.

I mean, I know I’m not the only Pagan that yelled a figurative or, in my case, literal “Fuck Yeah!” at the scenes of gritty and realistic ancient Paganism in the HBO series ROME, amirite? Not all pagans are Wiccan, and neither are all witches Wiccan. The Wiccan rede is not universally subscribed to, and it is just incorrect to characterize all pagans as holders of that belief.

We’re an edgy lot; and should be out, loud and proud about that. Besides, it’s getting really itchy and hot in this fluffy bunny outfit.