Aporrheton 5: The Laws of Magic (Revised), Part I

In the early 1970s I wrote a series of “Flying Scrolls” (as they were called in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn) for internal use in the New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn. I chose to call them Aporrhetons, because the Greeks separated the secrets of the Eleusinian Mysteries into two classes: the Arrheta “inexpressible,” which could be known only by experiencing them and which therefore needed no protection by a mere human law; and the Aporrheta, the “not to be spoken,” that whi … [Read more...]

Some New Pages for the Book of Shadows

These are some pages of original materials that I wrote for the NROOGD Book of Shadows back in the early 1970s. Seems like it might be neighborly to share them.  A Daily Litany for the Lady.  This was written at the request of Mathonwy and Idris in May 1971, to give a couple a way to use the Craft daily, aside from working a shortened version of our basic ritual. [Notice that this litany uses the original NROOGD correspondences.]1.  To be said at sunrise, or on rising in the morning.  Hol … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, VII: A Church for Witches

After the second Pagan Ecumenical Council meeting in June 1974, Gwydion and I continued to discuss the problem of how to organize a "church" for Witches, now that we had a reason not to have to include Pagans in general. In a way, it was like trying to set up an organization for anarchists—so that one could be the Anarch. There were already organizations whose members were individual Witches, but these were not meeting the need.Most Witches at that time clearly believed that one normally b … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, VI, The Second PEC

In discussing the first Pagan Ecumenical Council meeting afterward, Gwydion, Alison, I and several others realized that we had not arrived at a specific proposal for an organizational structure because, in fact, the Pagan groups represented at the meeting did not have enough common ground to define any goals or structures. The PEC had focused on Pagan religions, excluding the magical lodges, political associations, and metaphysical churches, yet we still differed on what we did, how we worked, … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, Part V, 1974-1975

Here begins what will become Volume IB or II of the finished book. As I mentioned, many important changes took place in 1973 within at least half a dozen different Traditions. As a result, the period 1974 to 1979, which I will now begin covering for the whole of the USA and parts of Canada, requires a new chapter. I’m starting with events in California in the mid-1970s, not because they were the only developments at that time, but they turned out to have national implications.Focusing first o … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: The Council of Earth Religions and the Green Egg Yellow Pages

[I apologize to my dedicated readers. It has been rough. I plan to resume posting something almost every day.]Tim Zell’s discussions with the groups he had visited in California in August 1972 established the basis for dividing the Council of Themis into two separate organizations; hence various groups formed the new Council of Earth Religions on August 31, 1972. COER represented a continuation of the effort to find a way to create a national networking organization for Pagan religions. The C … [Read more...]

There Is More than One Infinity

I have unfortunately seen some people argue that, “Since the Christian God is infinite, our Pagan Gods must be finite.” Um, no. I don’t want to be snarky, but that is just REALLY bad theology. One cause of this problem is the assumption that there is only one infinity and that Old Jehovah Nobodaddy has an exclusive claim on it. Again, no. There is more than one infinity. In fact, there are an infinity of infinities, of an infinity of different types.I know it doesn’t occur to many people, eve … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, Part III: The Council of Themis

 As described in previous blogs, the attempt to create an umbrella, church-like organization for Pagans was begun by Michael Kinghorn in Los Angeles in 1967. His work led to the creation of the Council of Themis, which, after being founded in 1969, acquired an international membership steadily until 1972. Rather than just list the members, I’ll discuss the important groupings. By 1972, according to various lists and announcements in Green Egg, the Council’s members included the fol … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: The Heartland in the Early 1970s

During the decade from the late 1960s to the late 1970s, at least half the Craft activity in America occurred in California or had direct ties to California, for reasons that might perhaps be transparent to sociologists. I will tell that story next, but first I need to cover developments in the Heartland, many of which tie into that story, especially since one comment has asked why I seem to be ignoring everything in between New York and California. I’m also hoping Orion Foxwood will be able to e … [Read more...]

A History of the Craft in America: California and Councils, 1967-1973, Part II

Here continues descriptions of the groups that were involved in the series of “council” meetings in California that led to the founding of the Covenant of the Goddess in 1975. Fred and Martha AdlerTwo figures little appreciated in Craft history are Fred and Martha Adler, who lived in Hawthorne, CA, and were two of the relatively few Witches who cooperated with Hans Holzer in the late 1960s. According to his Truth About Witchcraft, Martha, convinced she had been a Witch in a previous life … [Read more...]