A Reference List For Prospective Wiccan Novices (Part Two of Two Parts)

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Richard Ballard

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Copyright 2003 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
Issued approximately twenty-one days before each sabbat.
Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
with a <*> marker.

<*> Part One is contained in a concurrent copyrighted message
titled "A Reference List For Prospective Wiccan Novices
(Part One of Two Parts)". Helpful definitions were included
in earlier copyrighted messages entitled "Definitions For
Prospective Wiccan Novices (Part One/Two/Three/Four of
Four Parts)".

<*> IMO sexuality is an integral part of Paganism and Wicca.
On a monthly basis I provide copyrighted messages titled
"A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part One/Two of Two Parts)"
on this Internet newsgroup.

I recommend the following text *despite reservations*:

9) "Wicca for Men: A Handbook for Male Pagans Seeking A
Spiritual Path" by A. J. Drew
4 stars -- A Readable Text with a Misleading Title

Most Wiccan Traditions emphasize the Wiccan Goddess and
women's issues over the Wiccan God and men's issues. Author
A. J. Drew offers a Wiccan Tradition with better female/male
balance: the Tradition honors the Goddess and God equally,
and its rituals provide meaningful roles for women and men both.
Nevertheless, I believe this readable and informative text does
*not* live up to its title because Mr. Drew does *not* discuss
witchcraft and Wicca from a strictly male-oriented viewpoint.
"Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner" by Scott
Cunningham emphasizes ethics over dogma and suggests how
solitary worshippers can modify Wicca to fit their beliefs. I
believe that Mr. Cunningham's text is better suited for those
seeking a strictly male-oriented viewpoint of Wicca.

While the statement makes me uncomfortable, I must praise
A. J. Drew's candor. On page 154 Mr. Drew discusses self-
initiation into Creation's Covenant's Wiccan Tradition, and
states "This is not a decision you should take lightly. If
you were raised in a traditional Western religion, you are
about to throw away the religion of your parents and their
parents."

I am *not* a member of 'Creation's Covenant'.

I recommend the following text *despite reservations*:

10) "The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion
of the Great Goddess" by Starhawk
5 stars -- A Witchcraft Tradition and Political Manifesto

"The Spiral Dance..." relegates the Horned God and men to a
weak supporting role. *No-where* in the Twentieth Anniversary
Edition of "The Spiral Dance: ..." (original text plus two
appendices giving Tenth Anniversary comments and Twentieth
Anniversary comments, respectively) does Starhawk state that
she is a Wiccan. Starhawk states (pp. 6,16) that her Reclaiming
Tradition has roots in Victor and Cora Anderson's Faerie
Tradition. Nevertheless, this text is very well-written and
provides detailed insight into a non-Wiccan feminist Tradition
not available in other texts.

=====================================

My reviews of these texts appear on the Amazon.com
website. All of the reviews appear in one place. To
access these reviews:

A) Access "http://www.amazon.com" (no quotes);
B) Click on "Friends & Favorites";
C) Under the category "Search for Friends"
Enter "rjballard"
Click GO
D) Scroll to the bottom of this short webpage
E) Click "See all of Richard Ballard's reviews"
F) Scroll down this page (and successive pages)
to the reviews of interest.

=====================================

I specifically do *not* recommend:

11) "Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner"
by Scott Cunningham
3 stars -- A Disappointing Sequel

Scott Cunningham's excellent first text "Wicca: A Guide For
The Solitary Practitioner" defines a Tradition based upon belief
in the Wiccan Goddess and the Wiccan God, concern for the Earth,
social consciousness, and the right not to be dominated by others.
This Tradition is free and flexible, and Mr. Cunningham suggests
how solitary Wiccans can modify this Tradition to better suit
their individual philosophies and needs.

IMO the sequel "Living Wicca" ..." discourages solitary worship
in favor of Coven membership. IMO "Living Wicca: ..." systematically
removes the freedom and flexibility from the Tradition that Scott
Cunningham defined in "Wicca: ..." , leaving *no remaining advantage*
to the original (solitary worshipper oriented) Tradition and
suggesting that somebody who chooses to become a Wiccan would be
better served by joining a Coven. I do *not* support this attitude.
IMO people choosing to become Wiccans are best served by combining
solitary worship with Circle membership. (A Circle is a social group
that meets to discuss Craft-related issues but that does *not* include
the oath-bound information or the binding oaths of obedience included
in Wiccan Coven initiations.) Wiccan solitary worshippers joining
Circles do not sacrifice their personal autonomy through oaths of
obedience to a Coven High Priest/ess, and Circle membership offers
most of the social and discussion advantages of Coven membership.

***I can not overstress this issue.*** A Coven's High Priest/ess
has the right to squelch 'improper discussion'. As individuals grow
(and as different people assume the High Priest/ess's office),
keeping oathbound obedience to the Coven High Priest/ess's authority
might pose difficult and unanticipated problems. Liberal Coven
members might chafe under a conservative High Priest/ess's authority.
Conservative Coven members might chafe under a liberal
High Priest/ess's authority. Wo/men Coven members might chafe
under a particularly strong and chauvinistic High Priest/ess's
authority. And many Coven oaths include penalties for leaving
Coven membership.

In some Wiccan Traditions, the High Priest/ess designates couples
for each sabbat celebration (possibly including the coupling of
Wiccan parents' children). IMO this social whirl does not reinforce
romantic love or stable (biological) family relationships. Teaching
is teaching, but IMO this sabbat-related social whirl is wasteful.
Partners invest their time and energy in each other, but repeatedly
switching partners at each sabbat destroys earlier investments.

<*> And where is it written that a High Priest/ess's authority is
limited to Coven-specific matters? Where is it written that the
High Priest/ess can not intervene in Coven members' mundane concerns
such as housing and use of spare/guest bedrooms? I discuss housing
issues extensively in my earlier "Definitions for Prospective
Wiccan Novices (Part One/Two/Three/Four of Four Parts)"
copyrighted messages.

In addition, "Living Wicca: ..." was written late in
Scott Cunningham's life, probably during the last stages of his
terminal illness. IMO the writing styles of "Wicca: ..." and
"Living Wicca: ..." are *markedly different*. I must wonder if
ghost-writers (with their own opinions and agendas) co-authored
"Living Wicca: ..." ***without *** strong supervision from
Scott Cunningham.

I can *not* recommend "Living Wicca: ..." because its de facto
Coven-bound orientation runs counter to its title statement, and
because I believe that Wiccan solitary worshippers who participate
in Circles achieve most of the benefits that Covens offer without
sacrificing their personal autonomy through binding oaths of
obedience.

I am *not* a member of the 'Church of All Worlds'. I am *not*
a member of 'The Church of Satan'. I am *not* a member of
'The Temple of Set'.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

12) "To Ride A Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft"
by Silver RavenWolf
4 stars -- New Generation Witchcraft is *not* Wicca

I believe Ms. Thayer (Silver RavenWolf) utilizes Wiccan concepts
plus New Age concepts to define New Generation Witchcraft. The
result is not Wicca: A) Ms. Thayer provides (pp.14-15) a
definition of Wicca unlike any Wiccan definition that I have seen
elsewhere; B) I believe that Wicca, with its worship of both The
Wiccan Goddess and The Wiccan God, should be a gender-neutral
religion. Ms. Thayer's statements (pg 274) indicate that New
Generation Witchcraft is not gender-neutral; C) Most Wiccan
traditions follow The Rede. New Generation Witchcraft explicitly
ignores ethics (Chapter 21), and I believe that several of
Ms. Thayer's writings are contrary to The Rede.

My belief is that New Generation Witchcraft is attractively-
packaged New Age occultism, but it is not Wicca. New Generation
Witchcraft appears to be designed for a parent having difficulty:
the parent can form a family Coven, an exclusive Coven that
avoids outsiders to the detriment of the children's (and the
parents') social development.

I can *not* recommend New Generation Witchcraft to prospective
Wiccan novices or their families.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

13) "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft"
by Denise Zimmermann and Katherine A. Gleason
3 stars -- A nice Craft text with serious omissions

"The Guide ..." is very professionally produced. I believe its
primary audience is women in transition (e.g., discharged career
women, divorcees, empty-nesters and widows) who seek new motivation.
"The Guide ..." discusses a range of New Age topics and provides
a nice discussion about the Wiccan religion and witchcraft, but it
omits discussion of domineering, left-handed witchcraft. [E.g.,
some spells are punitive, some witches practice necromancy, and
some Coven initiations include (a-hem) secret rituals and (a-hem)
binding commitments.] I believe that "Wicca: A Guide For The
Solitary Practitioner" by Scott Cunningham plus "Inside A Witches'
Coven" by Edain McCoy provide a better and clearer introduction
for prospective Wiccan novices.

"The Guide ..." reads like professionally-prepared marketing
literature, but I can *not* recommend "The Guide ..." to
prospective Wiccan novices because of the omissions discussed
above.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

14) "True Magick: A Beginner's Guide" by Amber K
3 stars -- A Weak Introduction To Witchcraft

I believe this text is written in a style and level of detail
suited for middle-school-aged children. It is a broad shallow
overview of witchcraft. It contains serious errors (it equates
witchcraft and Wicca) and omits to differentiate between solitary
Wiccan worship and Wiccan Coven membership. It does not discuss
Coven social structure or binding initiation rituals -- serious
omissions in an introductory text.

I believe that middle-school-aged children would be better served
by discussing Scott Cunningham's "Wicca: A Guide For The
Solitary Practitioner" plus Edain McCoy's "Inside A Witches'
Coven" with their biological parents and/or legal guardians.

I can *not* recommend "True Magick: A Beginner's Guide" to
prospective Wiccan novices because of the errors and omissions
discussed above.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

15) "Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers,
and Other Pagans in America Today" by Margot Adler
4 stars -- A Paganism Survey Text Unsuited For Beginners

Margot Adler's "Drawing Down The Moon: ..." was originally
published in 1979. The Revised and Expanded Edition is
copyright 1986 with an 'Appendix III: Resources' added in 1997.
I believe that Paganism is a dynamic, very rapidly changing
culture. [For example satanism, a dominance attitude/philosophy
and a religion (***documented in 1969***) that some people include
under Paganism, is increasingly significant in 21st Century
United States society. Satanism is *not* discussed within
Ms. Adler's text.] Due to its age and omissions I consider
"Drawing Down the Moon: ..." an outdated historical description.
I believe that prospective Wiccan novices want current information
about modern Wicca and Paganism, *not* historical descriptions.

"Drawing Down The Moon: ..." is written like a sociological
survey text. I have read this lengthy text completely *twice*,
and I believe it is dry, difficult reading for a prospective
Wiccan novice. Unlike other Wiccan and witchcraft texts,
"Drawing Down The Moon: ..." does *not* include personal
experience descriptions. I believe that prospective Wiccan
novices want descriptions of *modern* Paganism and witchcraft.
I believe that "Inside A Witches' Coven" by Edain McCoy and
"The SABBATS: A New Approach to Living the Old Ways" by Edain
McCoy include better descriptions (including personal
experience descriptions) of modern Paganism and witchcraft.

I can *not* recommend "Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids,
Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today" to
prospective Wiccan novices for the reasons discussed above.

I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan or a satanist.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

16) "Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches,
Warlocks, & Covens" by Paul Huson
4 stars -- The History and Tools of Dark Magick

I believe Wicca is a magick user's religion celebrating human
fertility and the Earth's fertility -- a beneficient religion.
I believe that witchcraft is goal-oriented use of magick and
magickal tools with *no* ethical and *no* moral constraints --
potentially evil magick use that contradicts the Wiccan Rede
("An Ye harm none, do what Ye will"). I do *not* equate
witchcraft to Wicca.

"Mastering Witchcraft: ..." provides Paul Huson's historical
views of daemons (fallen angels). Mr. Huson attributes magick
to the Nephilim, the children of the 'sons of God' (Genesis 6:4)
who mated with the daughters of man. The Nephilim exist in other
cultures' histories -- e.g., the Norse Giants and the Greek Titans.
According to Mr. Huson the Nephilim perished during the Great
Flood, but their spirits survived due to their angelic nature.
Mr. Huson states that the Nephilim are able to reincarnate and
that ***all magickal knowledge is derived from them***.

Paul Huson's text makes me uncomfortable, but I must praise
Mr. Huson's candor. On page 6 Mr. Huson states "Whether you
believe the Christian bugaboos and fear to lose your soul in
return for the powers or, like us, consider the gamble well
spent, is up to you." Mr. Huson goes on to discuss the legal
consequences of intimidation (pp. 28 and 174), poison rings
(pg.44), adulterants for food, drink, and cigarettes (pp. 102
and 189), planetary (torment) spells for indifferent or
neglectful lovers (pp. 107-111), the Dumb Supper [a silent
supper communing with a dead spouse (and I believe punishing
a separated or divorced spouse)] (pp. 111-115), love dissolution
spells (pp. 125 and 189-190), binding the victim's soul or deep
mind (pg. 136), mandrake root and devil's weed (pg. 146), the
basis of vampire and werewolf legends (pg. 152), banishing
(pg. 169), exorcism fumigations (pg. 170), ligature (pp. 179-180),
bondage and sensory deprivation [the witch's bridle/cradle
(pg. 180) and hoodwinks (pg. 220)], and erection of a psychic
booby trap (pg. 185).

I believe that Mr. Huson's text "Mastering Witchcraft: ..." is
unfair and is antithetical to a magick-users' religion
celebrating the Earth's and human fertility. I believe this text
concentrates more on ****dominating/mastering people**** than
upon mastering witchcraft.

I can *not* recommend "Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide
for Witches, Warlocks, & Covens" to prospective Wiccan novices
for the reasons discussed above.

I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

17) "The Book Of The Law" by Aleister Crowley
3 stars -- An Interesting Presentation of Ethics

Aleister Crowley's "The Book Of The Law" is a seminal work
for some magickal disciplines and is much discussed among Wiccans,
but I do *not* recommend that prospective Wiccan novices study
"The Book Of The Law". I believe that "The Book Of The Law"
is *totally* unsuitable for novices due to its cryptic style.
I also believe that any novice attempting to read "The Book Of
The Law" would quickly give up in frustration.

Crowley's "The Book Of The Law" is cryptic reading until a person
discovers the key, but the nature of the key is controversial and
subject to (mis)interpretation. While scholars interpret the key
as a matter of faith, I believe that most Magickians interpret the
key differently based solely upon the language of 21st Century
popular culture. Also (in a manner analogous to Islamic tenets
concerning the Quran) "The Book Of The Law" warns *against* casual
study of "The Book Of The Law" by the unknowledgeable.

I believe that "The Book Of The Law" is *totally unsuitable* for
prospective Wiccan novices due to its cryptic nature, and due to
the fact that its warning against casual study makes it a topic
of *unknowledgeable speculation*.

I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

18) "MAGICK In Theory And Practice" by Aleister Crowley
4 stars -- Aleister Crowley Revealed

Aleister Crowley's "MAGICK In Theory And Practice" (MTP) is a
seminal work for some magickal disciplines and is much discussed
among Wiccans, but I do *not* recommend that prospective Wiccan
novices study MTP. I believe that MTP is *totally* unsuitable
for novices due to its cryptic style, and that any novice
attempting to read MTP would quickly give up in frustration.
[After having read many Wiccan texts and more than one year's
participation in Wiccan-related Internet newsgroups, I read MTP
twice taking copious notes before I felt that I understood
the text.]

Crowley's MTP discusses his ritual magick, but MTP is cryptically
written and subject to (mis)interpretation. Furthermore, there
is similarity between some rituals appearing in the "The Satanic
Rituals" by Anton LaVey (founder of 'The Church of Satan') and
rituals discussed within MTP. I believe that Anton LaVey was
*very* familiar with MTP.

I believe that "MAGICK In Theory And Practice" is *totally
unsuitable* for prospective Wiccan novices due to its cryptic
nature and its apparent similarity to satanic rituals. MTP is
valuable reading for scholars with sufficient knowledge to
differentiate between magick and satanism.

I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

19) "The Satanic Witch" by Anton Szandor LaVey
5 stars -- satanic witches prefer cleverness to magick

Anton LaVey is the founder of 'The Church of Satan'. In
"The Satanic Witch" Mr. LaVey discusses his lessons for satanic
witches. Mr. LaVey's witches are temptresses who have made pacts
with the devil and use clever sexual ploys to "cloud men's minds
and make simpering idiots out of them." Mr. LaVey dismisses a
Wiccan as somebody who "either is kidding herself or has much
to learn."

Mr. LaVey teaches his satanic witches to use bad faith ploys to
exploit men. Clever bad faith ploys might make a golden first
impression, but the gilt quickly wears thin -- satanic witches
do *not* have lasting relationships. And once the gilt fades,
the satanic witch moves to the next partner, and the next, and
the next. This constant whirling might create a constant revenue
stream for the satanic witch and her Coven, but it whirls her life
constantly. And in a downsizing United States domestic economy,
the opportunities for new partners will become fewer and meaner.
Where will the satanic witch find herself (and her children) when
the merry-go-round runs out of brass rings?

IMO honor and good faith are powerful magick that must be included
within Wiccan worship. Mr. LaVey teaches the opposite --
Mr. LaVey teaches the use of bad faith ploys to exploit men
partners. In teaching these bad faith ploys I believe that
Mr. LaVey is exploiting his own satanic witches. And in the
long run Mr. LaVey's satanic witches help nobody, including
themselves and their children. I can *not* recommend Mr. LaVey's
"The Satanic Witch" for these reasons.

I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

=====================================

I purposefully have not included any Internet website URLs
within my listed references. In the 21st Century many people
question the importance of textual references. That something
has been published indicates that a publisher has judged that
the content financially merits publication, and indicates that
a copy editor has (at a minimum) reviewed the content -- rough
indications of content quality control. While librarian
professional organizations apparently have citation rules for
Internet online academic journals, these journals typically
supplement and mirror the contents of paper professional
journals (archived by the Library of Congress). The websites
cited in the Pagan community are not archivally stable, revising
webpage content is as difficult as revising a form letter, and
a record of webpage content changes is *not* maintained for
later public scrutiny.

Some people question why I have not included their favorite
Wiccan historical texts within my reference list. I have addressed
this concern repeatedly. IMO *not committed* prospective Wiccan
novices are interested in current Wiccan practices, not arcane
historical texts. I have limited time for discretionary reading
and I have limited my current scope to those materials that I
believe *not committed* prospective Wiccan novices will find
most interesting -- that's fair.

Others are free to bring descriptions of arcane texts and
history to the Internet. I document my opinions based upon my
reading and upon activities hap pening in my locale. Others can
assemble descriptions of arcane Wiccan history texts of interest
to *committed* Wiccans and can provide those descriptions on the
Internet. I consider that task outside of my current scope --
I might reconsider in the future. In the mean time I do *not*
want to dilute my current efforts on behalf of *not committed*
prospective Wiccan novices and 'throw the baby out with
the bath water'.

Some people question the appropriateness of my providing *any*
comments concerning Wicca, witchcraft, Paganism or satanism. I
believe that detachment is valuable -- *not* having vested interests
can bring objectivity. In addition, I offer information -- ***my
information can be ignored with little effort***. I do *not* tell
people how to worship or practice magick in their circles or in
their own homes. And IMO a list of Wicca-related definitions based
upon my studying Wiccan-, Craft-, Pagan- and satanic-related texts
and participating in Wiccan-, craft- and Pagan-related Internet
newsgroups threatens no one.

*****End of Part Two*****

The comments contained herein are my opinions. This message
was not solicited by Amazon.com, any author, any artist, or their
agent(s), publisher(s), producer(s) or distributor(s).

I am *not* an Islamic or Judaic scholar.

I am *not* legally qualified to provide medical, psychological,
legal, financial or religious opinions, but I have discussed some
issues with my Attorney and have read extensively in these areas.
I have strong opinions.

I got no problems.
Other people got problems.
00: 21 _8 02 03/35 06 09

Richard Ballard MSEE CNA4 KD0AZ
--
Consultant specializing in computer networks, imaging & security
Listed as rjballard in "Friends & Favorites" at www.amazon.com
Last book review: "Combatting Cult Mind Control"
by Steven Hassan

Richard Ballard

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Dec 21, 2003, 12:05:22 PM12/21/03
to
Copyright 2003 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
New paragraphs begin with a <*> marker.

In article <20031202102056...@mb-m10.aol.com>,
rball...@aol.com (Richard Ballard) writes:

>Copyright 2003 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
>Issued approximately twenty-one days before each sabbat.
>Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
>with a <*> marker.
>
><*> Part One is contained in a concurrent copyrighted message
>titled "A Reference List For Prospective Wiccan Novices
>(Part One of Two Parts)". Helpful definitions were included
>in earlier copyrighted messages entitled "Definitions For
>Prospective Wiccan Novices (Part One/Two/Three/Four of
>Four Parts)".
>
><*> IMO sexuality is an integral part of Paganism and Wicca.
>On a monthly basis I provide copyrighted messages titled
>"A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part One/Two of Two Parts)"
>on this Internet newsgroup.

<snip>

<*> I specifically do *not* recommend:

<*> 20A) "The Satanic Bible" by Anton Szandor LaVey
2 stars -- The confusing bible of 'The Church of Satan'

and

<*> 20B) "The Satanic Rituals" by Anton Szandor LaVey
5 stars -- Mr. LaVey's most inflammatory book!

<*> Satanism is an increasingly prevalent social force in
21st Century popular culture and IMO is confusing. Publicly,
satanism manifests itself as a self-fulfillment philosophy
(similar to "Be all that you can be" or "To thine own self
be true"). Yet the scope of the rituals performed privately
by 'The Church of Satan' apparently covers topics seldom
discussed publicly.

<*> Anton LaVey's "The Satanic Bible" is the testament of
'The Church of Satan'. IMO the testament's goals include
recruitment, and IMO like all recruiting literature the
testament includes some (misleading, optimistic and confusing?)
marketing copy. IMO "The Satanic Bible" does _not_ provide
a clear picture of satanic philosophy.

<*> "The Satanic Bible" does include a chapter 'The Black Mass'
(IMO reminescent of H. P. Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror").
"The Satanic Bible" also contains a chapter 'Book of Leviathan'
with an essay 'The Raging Sea' (IMO reminescent of the
Christian New Testament's 'Book of Revelations'); and with
an essay 'The Enochian Language and the Enochian Keys'
discussing the nineteen keys to 'The gates of Hell'
(IMO reminescent of H. P. Lovecraft's/Ed Simon's
"Necronomicon"). IMO satanism's public face does _not_
reflect this material.

<*> Anton LaVey's "The Satanic Rituals" explicitly describes
rituals performed in 'The Church of Satan' -- "The Satanic Rituals"
IMO apparently is free of (misleading?) marketing copy. The
described rituals include use of human females on the altar during
communion. "The Satanic Rituals" includes a chapter 'The
Metaphysics of Lovecraft' with an essay 'The Call to Cthulhu' --
both references to H. P Lovecraft and his Cthulhu Mythos. And
based upon reading both texts, I detect similarities between
"The Satanic Rituals" and the earlier "MAGICK In Theory and
Practice" by Aleister Crowley.

<*> Personally I do _not_ recommend satanism, but satanic
philosophies are so prevalent in 21st Century popular culture
that IMO (arms' length) knowledge of satanism is worthwhile.
I cannot recommend "The Satanic Bible" and "The Satanic Rituals"
to (unschooled) prospective Wiccan novices, but I believe that
mature scholars should be aware of the texts' contents, stated
philosophy, and possible sources.

<*> 'The Church of Satan' is one satanic organization. There
are other satanic organizations whose popular press texts
I have not yet reviewed.

<*> I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

>I specifically do *not* recommend:
>

>21) "The Satanic Witch" by Anton Szandor LaVey

<snip>

Last book reviews: "Necronomicon" & "Necronomicon Spellbook"
by Ed Simon

Richard Ballard

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Dec 21, 2003, 1:25:21 PM12/21/03
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Copyright 2003 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
New paragraphs begin with a <*> marker.

In article <20031221120515...@mb-m14.aol.com>,
rball...@aol.com (Richard Ballard) writes:

<snip>

<*> 21) "The Devil's Notebook" by Anton Szandor LaVey
4 stars -- a unique collection of satanic essays

<*> This book is a clearly written collection of essays that
clarify the philosophies of Mr. LaVey, founder of 'The Church
of Satan'. IMO the three most noteworthy essays are
A) 'Nonconformity -- Satanism's Secret Weapon' which discusses
the satanist as master in a throng of weak willed slaves;
B) 'The Construction of Artificial Human Companions' -- keep
your mind open as you read the discussion of android joint
construction; and C) 'Misanthropia' -- which discusses the
psychology of satanists and their android companions (and
which IMO suggests a rereading of the first essay).

<*> Personally I do _not_ recommend satanism and I do _not_
recommend this book for (unschooled) prospective Wiccan novices,
but IMO scholars will find Mr. LaVey's essays illuminating.

<*> 'The Church of Satan' is one satanic organization. There
are other satanic organizations whose popular press texts
I have not yet reviewed.

<*> I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

>>I specifically do *not* recommend:
>>

>>22) "The Satanic Witch" by Anton Szandor LaVey

root

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Dec 22, 2003, 4:14:55 PM12/22/03
to
Nadolig Llawen, Richard.

golwg

Matthew

--
Sod the bridge, just jump over


Richard Ballard

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Dec 23, 2003, 7:44:34 PM12/23/03
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Copyright 2003 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
New paragraphs begin with a <*> marker.

In article <20031221132513...@mb-m17.aol.com>,
rball...@aol.com (Richard Ballard) writes:

>Copyright 2003 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
>New paragraphs begin with a <*> marker.

<snip>

><*> I specifically do *not* recommend:
>

><*> 21) "The Devil's Notebook" by Anton Szandor LaVey
> 4 stars -- a unique collection of satanic essays

<*> This book is a clearly written collection of essays that
clarify the philosophies of Mr. LaVey, founder of 'The Church
of Satan'. IMO the three most noteworthy essays are
A) 'Nonconformity -- Satanism's Secret Weapon' which discusses
the satanist as master in a throng of weak willed slaves;
B) 'The Construction of Artificial Human Companions' -- keep
your mind open as you read the discussion of android joint
construction; and C) 'Misanthropia' -- which discusses

satanic psychology (_not_ strengthening society's
'emotional vampires').

><*> Personally I do _not_ recommend satanism and I do _not_
>recommend this book for (unschooled) prospective Wiccan novices,
>but IMO scholars will find Mr. LaVey's essays illuminating.
>
><*> 'The Church of Satan' is one satanic organization. There
>are other satanic organizations whose popular press texts
>I have not yet reviewed.
>
><*> I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

<snip>

Richard Ballard

unread,
Jan 14, 2004, 11:32:12 AM1/14/04
to
Copyright 2003, 2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.

Issued approximately twenty-one days before each sabbat.
Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
with a <*> marker.

Part One is contained in a concurrent copyrighted message


titled "A Reference List For Prospective Wiccan Novices
(Part One of Two Parts)". Helpful definitions were included
in earlier copyrighted messages entitled "Definitions For
Prospective Wiccan Novices (Part One/Two/Three/Four of
Four Parts)".

IMO sexuality is an integral part of Paganism and Wicca.


On a monthly basis I provide copyrighted messages titled
"A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part One/Two of Two Parts)"
on this Internet newsgroup.

I recommend the following text *despite reservations*:

11) "The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion


of the Great Goddess" by Starhawk
5 stars -- A Witchcraft Tradition and Political Manifesto

"The Spiral Dance..." relegates the Horned God and men to a
weak supporting role. *No-where* in the Twentieth Anniversary
Edition of "The Spiral Dance: ..." (original text plus two
appendices giving Tenth Anniversary comments and Twentieth
Anniversary comments, respectively) does Starhawk state that
she is a Wiccan. Starhawk states (pp. 6,16) that her Reclaiming
Tradition has roots in Victor and Cora Anderson's Faerie
Tradition. Nevertheless, this text is very well-written and
provides detailed insight into a non-Wiccan feminist Tradition
not available in other texts.

=====================================

<*> My Amazon.com webpage links to my topical "Listmania Lists"
-- lists of texts and media items, with entries containing one-line
comments and links to each individual text and media item.
"A Reference List for Prospective Wiccan Novices" is included
within my Listmania Lists.

<*> To access my Amazon.com webpage:

A) Access "http://www.amazon.com" (no quotes);
B) Click on "Friends & Favorites";
C) Under the category "Search for Friends"
Enter "rjballard"
Click GO

D) Scroll to the "Listmania List" section.

=====================================

I specifically do *not* recommend:

12) "Living Wicca: A Further Guide for the Solitary Practitioner"

And where is it written that a High Priest/ess's authority is


limited to Coven-specific matters? Where is it written that the
High Priest/ess can not intervene in Coven members' mundane concerns
such as housing and use of spare/guest bedrooms? I discuss housing
issues extensively in my earlier "Definitions for Prospective
Wiccan Novices (Part One/Two/Three/Four of Four Parts)"
copyrighted messages.

In addition, "Living Wicca: ..." was written late in
Scott Cunningham's life, probably during the last stages of his
terminal illness. IMO the writing styles of "Wicca: ..." and
"Living Wicca: ..." are *markedly different*. I must wonder if
ghost-writers (with their own opinions and agendas) co-authored
"Living Wicca: ..." ***without *** strong supervision from
Scott Cunningham.

I can *not* recommend "Living Wicca: ..." because its de facto
Coven-bound orientation runs counter to its title statement, and
because I believe that Wiccan solitary worshippers who participate
in Circles achieve most of the benefits that Covens offer without
sacrificing their personal autonomy through binding oaths of
obedience.

I am *not* a member of the 'Church of All Worlds'. I am *not*
a member of 'The Church of Satan'. I am *not* a member of
'The Temple of Set'.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

13) "To Ride A Silver Broomstick: New Generation Witchcraft"


by Silver RavenWolf
4 stars -- New Generation Witchcraft is *not* Wicca

I believe Ms. Thayer (Silver RavenWolf) utilizes Wiccan concepts
plus New Age concepts to define New Generation Witchcraft. The
result is not Wicca: A) Ms. Thayer provides (pp.14-15) a
definition of Wicca unlike any Wiccan definition that I have seen
elsewhere; B) I believe that Wicca, with its worship of both The
Wiccan Goddess and The Wiccan God, should be a gender-neutral
religion. Ms. Thayer's statements (pg 274) indicate that New
Generation Witchcraft is not gender-neutral; C) Most Wiccan
traditions follow The Rede. New Generation Witchcraft explicitly
ignores ethics (Chapter 21), and I believe that several of
Ms. Thayer's writings are contrary to The Rede.

My belief is that New Generation Witchcraft is attractively-
packaged New Age occultism, but it is not Wicca. New Generation
Witchcraft appears to be designed for a parent having difficulty:
the parent can form a family Coven, an exclusive Coven that
avoids outsiders to the detriment of the children's (and the
parents') social development.

I can *not* recommend New Generation Witchcraft to prospective
Wiccan novices or their families.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

14) "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft"


by Denise Zimmermann and Katherine A. Gleason
3 stars -- A nice Craft text with serious omissions

"The Guide ..." is very professionally produced. I believe its
primary audience is women in transition (e.g., discharged career
women, divorcees, empty-nesters and widows) who seek new motivation.
"The Guide ..." discusses a range of New Age topics and provides
a nice discussion about the Wiccan religion and witchcraft, but it
omits discussion of domineering, left-handed witchcraft. [E.g.,
some spells are punitive, some witches practice necromancy, and
some Coven initiations include (a-hem) secret rituals and (a-hem)
binding commitments.] I believe that "Wicca: A Guide For The
Solitary Practitioner" by Scott Cunningham plus "Inside A Witches'
Coven" by Edain McCoy provide a better and clearer introduction
for prospective Wiccan novices.

"The Guide ..." reads like professionally-prepared marketing
literature, but I can *not* recommend "The Guide ..." to
prospective Wiccan novices because of the omissions discussed
above.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

15) "True Magick: A Beginner's Guide" by Amber K


3 stars -- A Weak Introduction To Witchcraft

I believe this text is written in a style and level of detail
suited for middle-school-aged children. It is a broad shallow
overview of witchcraft. It contains serious errors (it equates
witchcraft and Wicca) and omits to differentiate between solitary
Wiccan worship and Wiccan Coven membership. It does not discuss
Coven social structure or binding initiation rituals -- serious
omissions in an introductory text.

I believe that middle-school-aged children would be better served
by discussing Scott Cunningham's "Wicca: A Guide For The
Solitary Practitioner" plus Edain McCoy's "Inside A Witches'
Coven" with their biological parents and/or legal guardians.

I can *not* recommend "True Magick: A Beginner's Guide" to
prospective Wiccan novices because of the errors and omissions
discussed above.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

16) "Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers,

17) "Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches,

18) "The Book Of The Law" by Aleister Crowley


3 stars -- An Interesting Presentation of Ethics

Aleister Crowley's "The Book Of The Law" is a seminal work
for some magickal disciplines and is much discussed among Wiccans,
but I do *not* recommend that prospective Wiccan novices study
"The Book Of The Law". I believe that "The Book Of The Law"
is *totally* unsuitable for novices due to its cryptic style.
I also believe that any novice attempting to read "The Book Of
The Law" would quickly give up in frustration.

Crowley's "The Book Of The Law" is cryptic reading until a person
discovers the key, but the nature of the key is controversial and
subject to (mis)interpretation. While scholars interpret the key
as a matter of faith, I believe that most Magickians interpret the
key differently based solely upon the language of 21st Century
popular culture. Also (in a manner analogous to Islamic tenets
concerning the Quran) "The Book Of The Law" warns *against* casual
study of "The Book Of The Law" by the unknowledgeable.

I believe that "The Book Of The Law" is *totally unsuitable* for
prospective Wiccan novices due to its cryptic nature, and due to
the fact that its warning against casual study makes it a topic
of *unknowledgeable speculation*.

I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

19) "MAGICK In Theory And Practice" by Aleister Crowley


4 stars -- Aleister Crowley Revealed

<*> Aleister Crowley's "MAGICK In Theory And Practice" (MTP) is a


seminal work for some magickal disciplines and is much discussed

among Wiccans. I believe that MTP is *totally unsuitable* for
(unschooled) prospective Wiccan novices due to its cryptic nature,
and that any prospective Wiccan novice attempting to read MTP


would quickly give up in frustration. After having read many

Wiccan texts and after more than one year's participation in


Wiccan-related Internet newsgroups, I read MTP twice taking

copious notes before I felt that I understood the material.

<*> IMO MTP is valuable reading for mature scholars studying
Crowley's ritual magick and/or Anton LaVey's writings.
(IMO Anton LaVey was very familiar with Crowley's MTP.)

I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

<*> I specifically do *not* recommend:

<*> 20A) "The Satanic Bible" by Anton Szandor LaVey

2 stars -- The confusing bible of 'The Church of Satan'

and

<*> 20B) "The Satanic Rituals" by Anton Szandor LaVey
5 stars -- Mr. LaVey's most inflamatory book!

<*> Satanism is an increasingly prevalent social force in
21st Century popular culture and IMO is confusing. Publicly,
satanism manifests itself as a self-fulfillment philosophy
(similar to "Be all that you can be" or "To thine own self
be true"). Yet the scope of the rituals performed privately
by 'The Church of Satan' apparently covers topics seldom
discussed publicly.

<*> Anton LaVey's "The Satanic Bible" is the testament of
'The Church of Satan'. IMO the testament's goals include
recruitment, and IMO like all recruiting literature the
testament includes some (misleading, optimistic and confusing?)
marketing copy. IMO "The Satanic Bible" does _not_ provide
a clear picture of satanic philosophy.

<*> "The Satanic Bible" does include a chapter 'The Black Mass'
(IMO reminescent of H. P. Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror").
"The Satanic Bible" also contains a chapter 'Book of Leviathan'
with an essay 'The Raging Sea' (IMO reminescent of the
Christian New Testament's 'Book of Revelations'); and with
an essay 'The Enochian Language and the Enochian Keys'
discussing the nineteen keys to 'The gates of Hell'

(IMO reminescent of H. P. Lovecraft's / Ed Simon's


"Necronomicon"). IMO satanism's public face does _not_
reflect this material.

<*> Anton LaVey's "The Satanic Rituals" explicitly describes
rituals performed in 'The Church of Satan' -- "The Satanic Rituals"
IMO apparently is free of (misleading?) marketing copy. The
described rituals include use of human females on the altar during
communion. "The Satanic Rituals" includes a chapter 'The
Metaphysics of Lovecraft' with an essay 'The Call to Cthulhu' --
both references to H. P Lovecraft and his Cthulhu Mythos. And
based upon reading both texts, I detect similarities between
"The Satanic Rituals" and the earlier "MAGICK In Theory and

Practice" by Aleister Crowley (discussed previously).

<*> Personally I do _not_ recommend satanism, but satanic
philosophies are so prevalent in 21st Century popular culture
that IMO (arms' length) knowledge of satanism is worthwhile.
I cannot recommend "The Satanic Bible" and "The Satanic Rituals"
to (unschooled) prospective Wiccan novices, but I believe that
mature scholars should be aware of the texts' contents, stated
philosophy, and possible sources.

<*> 'The Church of Satan' is one satanic organization. There


are other satanic organizations whose popular press texts
I have not yet reviewed.

<*> I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

<*> I specifically do *not* recommend:

<*> 21) "The Devil's Notebook" by Anton Szandor LaVey
4 stars -- a unique collection of satanic essays

<*> This book is a clearly written collection of essays that
clarify the philosophies of Mr. LaVey, founder of 'The Church
of Satan'. IMO the three most noteworthy essays are:
A) 'Nonconformity -- Satanism's Secret Weapon' which discusses

the satanist as master in a throng of weak willed (wage?) slaves;


B) 'The Construction of Artificial Human Companions' -- keep
your mind open as you read the discussion of android joint

construction. (And keep in mind that humans control themselves,
while androids / automatons / artificial human beings are
controlled by (other) _real_ human beings) and

C) 'Misanthropia' -- which discusses satanic psychology
(_not_ strengthening society's 'emotional vampires').

<*> Personally I do _not_ recommend satanism and I do _not_
recommend this book for (unschooled) prospective Wiccan novices,
but IMO scholars will find Mr. LaVey's essays illuminating.

<*> 'The Church of Satan' is one satanic organization. There
are other satanic organizations whose popular press texts
I have not yet reviewed.

<*> I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

22) "The Satanic Witch" by Anton Szandor LaVey

=====================================

<*> I have made several comments concerning juvenile nutrition and
impoverished women's responsibility to raise their children. My
comments reflect my situation: I am a single man with no living
children and I do not want to argue feminist issues. But in my
locale, most often I observe impoverished children accompanied by
their mothers. This observation makes me believe that in 21st Century
United States society, the responsibility for raising impoverished
children most often falls upon their mothers.

<*> IMO the continued United States occupation of Iraq makes this
issue increasingly important. I believe that the United States
occupation of Iraq is a long-term police action that will continue
to heavily load the Armed Forces Reserve and the state National
Guard units, and that might reinitiate Selective Service drafting
of young men (including married men). I believe this long-term
police action will cause the breakup of many (military) families,
leaving many women "Separated or Divorced With Children" in a
downsized United States domestic economy offering few high-paying
jobs either to men or to women. Credit cards offer limited credit,
and home equity stretches only so far.

<*> Money spent rebuilding Iraq is not building new jobs, new
opportunities and better education in the United States. The
outsourcing of United States jobs to foreign countries (e.g.,
contract manufacturing to the Pacific Rim nations, and outsourcing
of computer programming and of telephone customer service jobs
to India with its quality education system and its significantly
lower cost-of-living) is very common in the currently downsizing
United States economy. (At the same time, the nation of Mexico
is a good neighbor that provides petroleum to the United States
in return for NAFTA jobs.)

<*> I believe that the true cost of the United States occupation
of Iraq will be paid in broken families, lost homes and several
generations of impoverished United States citizens.

*****End of Part Two*****

The comments contained herein are my opinions. This message
was not solicited by Amazon.com, any author, any artist, or their
agent(s), publisher(s), producer(s) or distributor(s).

I am *not* an Islamic or Judaic scholar.

I am *not* legally qualified to provide medical, psychological,
legal, financial or religious opinions, but I have discussed some
issues with my Attorney and have read extensively in these areas.
I have strong opinions.

I got no problems.
Other people got problems.
00: 21 _8 02 03/35 06 09

Richard Ballard MSEE CNA4 KD0AZ
--
Consultant specializing in computer networks, imaging & security
Listed as rjballard in "Friends & Favorites" at www.amazon.com

Richard Ballard

unread,
Jan 14, 2004, 1:57:08 PM1/14/04
to
Copyright 2003, 2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.

Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
with a <*> marker.

In article <20040114113146...@mb-m20.aol.com>,
rball...@aol.com (Richard Ballard) writes:

>Copyright 2003, 2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.


>Issued approximately twenty-one days before each sabbat.
>Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
>with a <*> marker.
>

>Part One is contained in a concurrent copyrighted message
>titled "A Reference List For Prospective Wiccan Novices
>(Part One of Two Parts)". Helpful definitions were included
>in earlier copyrighted messages entitled "Definitions For
>Prospective Wiccan Novices (Part One/Two/Three/Four of
>Four Parts)".
>

>IMO sexuality is an integral part of Paganism and Wicca.
>On a monthly basis I provide copyrighted messages titled
>"A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part One/Two of Two Parts)"
>on this Internet newsgroup.

<snip>

<*> IMO history often can be explained in terms of economics,
and similar economics brings similar societal responses. IMO
the United States today faces an economic situation similar to
the situation faced during the latter parts of former President
Lyndon B. Johnson's Administration. During President Johnson's
time, the United States economy had been drained by long
involvement in the Vietnam War. Today the United States economy
has been drained by involvement in Bosnia, in Afghanistan and
now in Iraq. At the same time, today the United States has greater
dependence upon foreign nations for energy and for manufactured
goods -- both economic weaknesses.

<*> My own personal political philosophy is capitalistic because
I believe in meritocracy. But people seek different political
solutions during troubled economic times. Already United States
citizens look to socialized medicine and to Canadian pharmaceuticals
in an effort to reduce their health care costs. And rapidly
increasing gasoline prices (my local television newscaster is
speculating about $3.00US per gallon gasoline this summer) will
_radically_ change some peoples' lifestyles for the worse. Marxism,
a set of political philosophies born from harsh economic conditions,
had vocal advocates during the Vietnam War era -- those Vietnam
protests were more than 'flower power'.

<*> IMO worsening economics during the United States occupation
of Iraq _will_ cause increased United States' citizenry interest in
Marxist political philosophies (particularly in college students).
This increased interest in Marxist political philosophy _will_ raise
concern in anti-terrorism and Homeland Security circles (been there,
seen that), and might raise civil liberties issues inside the
United States.

<*> I have referred to the United States' occupation of Iraq as
'a police action' (much as the United States' long involvement
in Korea often is called a police action). IMO the term
'police action' is appropriate for another reason. United States
involvement in Somalia and then in Bosnia were peacekeeping
missions. In these missions United States military forces performed
police functions and evolved techniques to militarily pacify/police
_entire countries_. The United States' occupation of Iraq began
with war but has evolved into a pacifying police action. The
techniques the United States military uses to pacify entire
countries continue to evolve in Iraq.

<*> If a United States citizenry interest resurgence in Marxist
political philosophies raises antiterrorism and Homeland Security
concerns, IMO United States Armed Forces might play a greater role
in quelling political protest within the United States than the
Armed Forces performed during the Vietnam War era (despite the
current existence of the Federal 'Posse Comitas Act').

*****End of Part Two*****

The comments contained herein are my opinions. This message
was not solicited by Amazon.com, any author, any artist, or their
agent(s), publisher(s), producer(s) or distributor(s).

I am *not* an Islamic or Judaic scholar.

I am *not* legally qualified to provide medical, psychological,
legal, financial or religious opinions, but I have discussed some
issues with my Attorney and have read extensively in these areas.
I have strong opinions.

I got no problems.
Other people got problems.
00: 21 _8 02 03/35 06 09

Richard Ballard MSEE CNA4 KD0AZ
--
Consultant specializing in computer networks, imaging & security
Listed as rjballard in "Friends & Favorites" at www.amazon.com

Richard Ballard

unread,
Jan 14, 2004, 7:06:13 PM1/14/04
to
Copyright 2003, 2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.

Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
with a <*> marker.

In article <20040114135659...@mb-m11.aol.com>,
rball...@aol.com (Richard Ballard) writes:

>Copyright 2003, 2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.


>Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
>with a <*> marker.
>

>In article <20040114113146...@mb-m20.aol.com>,
>rball...@aol.com (Richard Ballard) writes:
>

>>Copyright 2003, 2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.


>>Issued approximately twenty-one days before each sabbat.
>>Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
>>with a <*> marker.
>>

>>Part One is contained in a concurrent copyrighted message
>>titled "A Reference List For Prospective Wiccan Novices
>>(Part One of Two Parts)". Helpful definitions were included
>>in earlier copyrighted messages entitled "Definitions For
>>Prospective Wiccan Novices (Part One/Two/Three/Four of
>>Four Parts)".
>>

>>IMO sexuality is an integral part of Paganism and Wicca.
>>On a monthly basis I provide copyrighted messages titled
>>"A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part One/Two of Two Parts)"
>>on this Internet newsgroup.

<snip>

>><*> I have made several comments concerning juvenile nutrition and
>>impoverished women's responsibility to raise their children. My
>>comments reflect my situation: I am a single man with no living
>>children and I do not want to argue feminist issues. But in my
>>locale, most often I observe impoverished children accompanied by

>>their mothers. This observation makes me believe that in
>>21st Century United States society, the responsibility for

<*> IMO other factors that weaken the current United States
domestic economy are the emphasis on Homeland Security since
the tragic events of September 11, 2001; and the recent emphasis
on computer software security upgrades.

<*> Security does _not_ produce a salable service or product --
at its best, security facilitates "business and life as usual".
Since 9/11/2001 the United States has invested heavily in
Homeland Security activities. This Homeland Security investment
is necessary, but the investment does _not_ produce salable goods
or services. Instead the investment drains resources from
productive activities and weaken the United States domestic
economy.

<*> The "Year 2000 Computer Software Modifications" are analogous
to our current Homeland Security activities. The Year 2000 Computer
Software Modifications permitted computers and communications
to operate normally beyond January 1, 2000, but these modifications
did _not_ produce additional salable goods or services. The Year 2000
Computer Modifications cost approximately one percent of one year's
United States Gross National Product, resources drained from
productive activities.

<*> I do not know the (direct and indirect) costs of
Homeland security, but IMO Homeland Security activities
weaken the United States domestic economy in an analogous
(and continuing) manner. And many Homeland Security activities
are labor-intensive -- mechanized savings opportunities are minimal.

<*> The last five years also have featured a flood of Internet-based
attacks on computer software, and a flood of effort to counter
these attacks quickly and economically. IMO real progress has
been made in this area. Increasingly computer software security
upgrades are made automatically over the Internet, and the
increased mechanization is quick and economical. Computer
software security upgrades also are a continuing expense, but
their cost is being reduced by user education (e.g., avoid bad
Internet websites) and by increased mechanization.

<*> IMO, United States recent involvement in Bosnia, in Afghanistan
and Iraq, coupled with the expense of imported petroleum and
manufactured goods, continuing Homeland Security activities
and continuing computer software security upgrade activities has
burdened the United States domestic economy equivalent to the
economic burden the United States faced during the Vietnam War
at the end of former President Lyndon B. Johnson's Administration.

<*> Summarizing, many factors contribute to the current weak
United States domestic economy. A weak domestic economy produces
few new jobs, and produces poverty rather than affluence.
Impoverished people have fewer options, and impoverished
people seek political remedies. IMO the current weak United States
domestic economy could trigger protests similar to the Vietnam War
protests. In Iraq and elsewhere the United States military is
evolving techniques that might be used to suppress these protests.
Military and police using these techniques (including domestic
surveillance without Court-issued warrants) might restrict civil
liberties (including freedom of speech and freedom of worship)
through intimidation, entrapment, selective enforcement of
existing regulations and laws, anonymous defamation of
character and reputation, and chaotic implementation of
Murphy's Law.

*****End of Part Two*****

The comments contained herein are my opinions. This message
was not solicited by Amazon.com, any author, any artist, or their
agent(s), publisher(s), producer(s) or distributor(s).

I am *not* an Islamic or Judaic scholar.

I am *not* legally qualified to provide medical, psychological,
legal, financial or religious opinions, but I have discussed some
issues with my Attorney and have read extensively in these areas.
I have strong opinions.

I got no problems.
Other people got problems.
00: 21 _8 02 03/35 06 09

Richard Ballard MSEE CNA4 KD0AZ
--
Consultant specializing in computer networks, imaging & security
Listed as rjballard in "Friends & Favorites" at www.amazon.com

Richard Ballard

unread,
Mar 6, 2004, 3:28:00 PM3/6/04
to
Copyright 2003-2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.

Issued approximately twenty-one days before each sabbat.
Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
with a <*> marker.

Parts One and Three are contained in a concurrent copyrighted
messages titled "A Reference List For Prospective Wiccan Novices
(Part One/Three of Three Parts)". Helpful definitions were


included in earlier copyrighted messages entitled "Definitions

For Prospective Wiccan Novices (Part One/Two/Three/Four/Five
of Five Parts)".

IMO sexuality is an integral part of Paganism and Wicca.
On a monthly basis I provide copyrighted messages titled
"A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part One/Two of Two Parts)"
on this Internet newsgroup.

I recommend the following film *despite reservations*:

7) "Tattoo" starring Bruce Dern and Maude Adams
4 stars -- A flawed Creation story

"Tattoo" is *not* a story of Wicca or witchcraft, but some
Wiccan initiation rituals require that the initiate accept the
Coven's sigil tattoo before initiation. "Tattoo" is the story
of an obsessed tattoo artist who drugs and kidnaps a woman.
The woman awakens to find she has become the tattoo artist's
canvas and that the tattoo artist is consecrating her body with
tattoos -- the obsessed artist is creating his Goddess.

Being tattooed is a permanent and painful commitment.
"Tattoo" portrays creation of large exquisite pastel tattoos.
"Tattoo" does portray physical pain during tattooing, but
opaque body paint was used to simulate the pastel tattoos.
Most tattoos utilize dark colors that are easy to repair in
case of abrasion, flaking due to winter dryness, or sunburn
peeling -- pastel inks are difficult to patch successfully.
Tattooed skin requires care to maintain tattoo beauty. To
maintain her exquisite pastel tattoos' beauty, the woman
portrayed in "Tattoo" would be forced to become a hothouse
plant.

I recommend that any person interested in getting tattooed
read the two Frequently Asked Questions documents (FAQs)
provided periodically on the rec.arts.bodyart Internet newsgroup.
Reading these FAQs will answer many questions, and will help
interested persons ask informed questions when evaluating
tattoo artists and their facilities. I further recommend that
anyone being tattooed follow their tattoo artist's skin care
instructions.

I have no tattoos, but I know people who have extensive,
difficult-to-patch pastel tattoos. I know the care
these people take to keep their extensive pastel tattoos
looking attractive.

IMO the two rec.arts.bodyart FAQs are well-written
and informative. These FAQs stress the skin care
required to prevent damage to pastel tattoos, and
the FAQs stress health considerations required
during and after tattoo application.

I provide additional information concerning tattoos
and thermal branding of human skin later in this document.

I recommend the following film *despite reservations*:

8) "Skin Art" by director W. Blake Herron
3 stars -- Branded for slavery

"Skin Art" is *not* a story of Wicca or witchcraft. "Skin Art"
is the story of Southeast Asian women who are purchased and
imported to work in a local Oriental bordello. Prior to working
in the bordello each woman's entire back and shoulders are covered
with an ornate tattoo. The bordello's customers find the tattoos
stimulating, while the painful tattooing process is part of the
bordello's submissiveness training.

I include "Skin Art" in this list because of a personal
experience. I once attended a college repertory event at the
school year start. The audience included a young woman whose
head was shaved and whose scalp held a partially-completed
dragon tattoo in black outline. A woman might want to tattoo
a body part that is normally covered by clothing, but why hide
a tattoo where a future spouse was unlikely to discover it?
Unless the young woman intended to shave her scalp in perpetuity
I know only one justification: the young woman was an extortion
victim and the hidden tattoo was verification to be used in
extortion claims against the woman's future husband.

Consider the following excerpt from Psalm 23
(King David's Psalm):

"... Thou preparest a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
thou anointest my head with oil,
my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
for ever."

I am not a Biblical scholar, but I associate with Psalm 23
a Biblical injunction: "I shall not lie down with my enemies."
(i.e., "I will not submit.")

I am forced to assume that the abovementioned woman
with the scalp tattoo hoped to hide her tattoo from her
future husband. I also am forced to assume that some
person held either photographic or video records of the
woman with her scalp tattoo engaged in activities that
compromised her possibility for a good faith relationship
with her future husband. I hope that the woman found
candor in her heart.

[BTW, one reader stated that scalp tattooing works best
when the subject has been shaving his/her scalp for some
time -- apparently shaving toughens the scalp. To my
knowledge tattoo artists do *not* want a tough canvas.
In fact, I know cases where a particularly elaborate tattoo
was planned and the subject moisturized the skin area for
several weeks *prior* to receiving the tattoo. Moisturizing
makes the skin supple and gives the skin a uniform texture.

The same reader mentioned shaving over a tattoo. Much
of a tattoo's pigmentation is on the skin surface -- I can not
imagine risking damaging a tattoo by blade shaving over it.]

I recommend that individuals planning to get tattoos
follow their tattoo artist's care instructions both before
and after receiving a tattoo.

Branding by tattooing [less frequently by thermal branding]
sometimes occurs in the United States, but more often women are
bound by indebtness (e.g., car payments) and several hungry
children in a poor domestic economy. Cars are less useful
as gasoline prices rise significantly and people drive less.
And raising children costs more as food prices rise. Impoverished
women lose options as they struggle to feed their cars and their
children in an era of significantly increasing energy and
food prices.

Many tattoos are applied using saturated color (e.g.,
primarily dark black, but also dark red and dark blue)
inks exclusively. The advantage of using saturated
color inks is that should the tattooed area later become
damaged due to abrasion, skin dryness or sunburn,
the tattoo can be patched without 'color match' problems
-- e.g., dark black is dark black, etc.

When tattoos employing pastel colored inks are damaged,
the tattoo artist can encounter 'color match' problems
similar to the paint matching problems that auto body
shops encounter. ***Light-colored pastel inks are difficult
to exactly color match, particularly if the skin damage
changes the underlying skin's characteristics (e.g., as
the result of bad sunburn).***

Individuals receiving tattoos employing pastel-colored
inks must be especially careful that their tattoos do not
become damaged if they want to maintain the beauty of their
pastel-colored tattoos. *I have no tattoos*, but I know
people who have extensive, difficult-to-patch pastel tattoos.
I know the care these people take to keep their extensive
pastel tattoos looking attractive.

IMO the two rec.arts.bodyart FAQs are well-written
and informative. These FAQs stress the skin care
required to prevent damage to pastel tattoos, and
the FAQs stress health considerations required
during and after tattoo application.

In November 1998 I downloaded the "rec.arts.bodyart:
Alternative Bodyart FAQ" from the Ohio State FAQ website.
I do not know if the "rec.arts.bodyart: Alternative Bodyart
FAQ" still is available on the Internet. This FAQ discusses
thermal branding of human skin. ***The "rec.arts.bodyart:
Alternative Bodyart FAQ" is a very uncomfortable document.***

IMO the rationale for thermal branding of human skin (rather
than tattooing) are:

A) Rite of passage in some organizations and societies
B) Economical and fast alternative to group tattooing
C) No possibility of infection from a red hot branding iron
D) Once healed, thermal brands are free from the maintenance
problems associated with (pastel-colored) tattoos
E) Punishment and deterrent (For example, pain inflicted
as an example both to the affected individual and also to the
witnessing overall group. This ain't Nirvana, but it *is*
another way to enforce a binding oath of obedience. Some
people might prefer having a gun put to their head.)

I do *not* recommend the following two related texts:

9A) "Necronomicon" by Ed Simon
3 stars -- An Extension of H. P. Lovecraft's Work
9B) "Necronomicon Spellbook" by Ed Simon
2 stars -- Sumerian Magick Illustrated

The Necronomicon originally was discussed in H. P. Lovecraft's
Cthulhu Mythos. Author Ed Simon has extended this mythos
with his "Necronomicon" and "Necronomicon Spellbook". The
"Necronomicon" provides the testimony of the 'Mad Arab', a
sorcerer using the power of the Sumerian beneficent Elder Gods
to battle the followers of the Sumerian Ancient Ones -- the
bearers of Chaos. Simon describes how the Ancient Ones were
defeated and were banished behind The Gates, and The Gates then
were sealed with fifty magick spells. The Ancient Ones' followers
strive to free The Ancient Ones as they bedevil the Mad Arab, a
torment described in the "Necronomicon".

The "Necronomicon" describes the Sumerian system of magick,
a system that uses ritual sacrifice of human females. (E.g.,
"The Dunwich Horror" by H. P. Lovecraft.) This non-Wiccan system
of magick is said to have originated in Eighth Century A.D.
Damascus Syria, a region much discussed today. IMO the
"Necronomicon" is _not_ compatible with Wicca.

Furthermore, as _literature_ I prefer the systems of magick
discussed by Aleister Crowley (e.g., "MAGICK In Theory and
Practice") and discussed in the Christian New Testament's
"Book Of Revelations". The introductions to the "Necronomicon"
reference both of these systems of magick.

Alone, author Simon's accompanying "Necronomicon Spellbook"
does _not_ provide sufficient background to understand Sumerian
magick. IMO the chief use of the "Necronomicon Spellbook" is
providing glyph illustrations for tattoo artists.

I recommend the following text *despite reservations*:

10) "Wicca for Men: A Handbook for Male Pagans Seeking A


Spiritual Path" by A. J. Drew
4 stars -- A Readable Text with a Misleading Title

Most Wiccan Traditions emphasize the Wiccan Goddess and
women's issues over the Wiccan God and men's issues. Author
A. J. Drew offers a Wiccan Tradition with better female/male
balance: the Tradition honors the Goddess and God equally,
and its rituals provide meaningful roles for women and men both.
Nevertheless, I believe this readable and informative text does
*not* live up to its title because Mr. Drew does *not* discuss
witchcraft and Wicca from a strictly male-oriented viewpoint.

"Wicca: A Guide For The Solitary Practitioner" by Scott

Cunningham emphasizes ethics over dogma and suggests how
solitary worshippers can modify Wicca to fit their beliefs. I
believe that Mr. Cunningham's text is better suited for those
seeking a strictly male-oriented viewpoint of Wicca.

While the statement makes me uncomfortable, I must praise
A. J. Drew's candor. On page 154 Mr. Drew discusses self-
initiation into Creation's Covenant's Wiccan Tradition, and
states "This is not a decision you should take lightly. If
you were raised in a traditional Western religion, you are
about to throw away the religion of your parents and their
parents."

I am *not* a member of 'Creation's Covenant'.

I recommend the following text *despite reservations*:

11) "The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion
of the Great Goddess" by Starhawk
5 stars -- A Witchcraft Tradition and Political Manifesto

"The Spiral Dance..." relegates the Horned God and men to a
weak supporting role. *No-where* in the Twentieth Anniversary
Edition of "The Spiral Dance: ..." (original text plus two
appendices giving Tenth Anniversary comments and Twentieth
Anniversary comments, respectively) does Starhawk state that
she is a Wiccan. Starhawk states (pp. 6,16) that her Reclaiming
Tradition has roots in Victor and Cora Anderson's Faerie
Tradition. Nevertheless, this text is very well-written and
provides detailed insight into a non-Wiccan feminist Tradition
not available in other texts.

=====================================

My Amazon.com webpage links to my topical "Listmania Lists"


-- lists of texts and media items, with entries containing one-line
comments and links to each individual text and media item.
"A Reference List for Prospective Wiccan Novices" is included
within my Listmania Lists.

To access my Amazon.com webpage:

=====================================

Wiccan Novices (Part One/Two/Three/Four/Five of Five Parts)"
copyrighted messages.

*****End of Part Two*****

The comments contained herein are my opinions. This message
was not solicited by Amazon.com, any author, any artist, or their
agent(s), publisher(s), producer(s) or distributor(s).

I am *not* an Islamic or Judaic scholar.

I am *not* legally qualified to provide medical, psychological,
legal, financial or religious opinions, but I have discussed some
issues with my Attorney and have read extensively in these areas.
I have strong opinions.

I got no problems.
Other people got problems.
00: 21 _8 02 03/35 06 09

Richard Ballard MSEE CNA4 KD0AZ
--
Consultant specializing in computer networks, imaging & security
Listed as rjballard in "Friends & Favorites" at www.amazon.com

Last book review: "Guerrilla Television" by Michael Shamberg

Richard Ballard

unread,
Mar 6, 2004, 3:28:20 PM3/6/04
to
Copyright 2003-2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.

Issued approximately twenty-one days before each sabbat.
Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
with a <*> marker.

Parts One and Two are contained in a concurrent copyrighted
messages titled "A Reference List For Prospective Wiccan Novices
(Part One/Two of Three Parts)". Helpful definitions were


included in earlier copyrighted messages entitled "Definitions

For Prospective Wiccan Novices (Part One/Two/Three/Four/Five
of Five Parts)".

IMO sexuality is an integral part of Paganism and Wicca.
On a monthly basis I provide copyrighted messages titled
"A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part One/Two of Two Parts)"
on this Internet newsgroup.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

Aleister Crowley's "MAGICK In Theory And Practice" (MTP) is a


seminal work for some magickal disciplines and is much discussed
among Wiccans. I believe that MTP is *totally unsuitable* for
(unschooled) prospective Wiccan novices due to its cryptic nature,
and that any prospective Wiccan novice attempting to read MTP
would quickly give up in frustration. After having read many
Wiccan texts and after more than one year's participation in
Wiccan-related Internet newsgroups, I read MTP twice taking
copious notes before I felt that I understood the material.

IMO MTP is valuable reading for mature scholars studying


Crowley's ritual magick and/or Anton LaVey's writings.
(IMO Anton LaVey was very familiar with Crowley's MTP.)

I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

20A) "The Satanic Bible" by Anton Szandor LaVey


2 stars -- The confusing bible of 'The Church of Satan'

and

20B) "The Satanic Rituals" by Anton Szandor LaVey


5 stars -- Mr. LaVey's most inflamatory book!

Satanism is an increasingly prevalent social force in


21st Century popular culture and IMO is confusing. Publicly,
satanism manifests itself as a self-fulfillment philosophy
(similar to "Be all that you can be" or "To thine own self
be true"). Yet the scope of the rituals performed privately
by 'The Church of Satan' apparently covers topics seldom
discussed publicly.

Anton LaVey's "The Satanic Bible" is the testament of


'The Church of Satan'. IMO the testament's goals include
recruitment, and IMO like all recruiting literature the
testament includes some (misleading, optimistic and confusing?)
marketing copy. IMO "The Satanic Bible" does _not_ provide
a clear picture of satanic philosophy.

"The Satanic Bible" does include a chapter 'The Black Mass'


(IMO reminescent of H. P. Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror").
"The Satanic Bible" also contains a chapter 'Book of Leviathan'
with an essay 'The Raging Sea' (IMO reminescent of the
Christian New Testament's 'Book of Revelations'); and with
an essay 'The Enochian Language and the Enochian Keys'
discussing the nineteen keys to 'The gates of Hell'
(IMO reminescent of H. P. Lovecraft's / Ed Simon's
"Necronomicon"). IMO satanism's public face does _not_
reflect this material.

Anton LaVey's "The Satanic Rituals" explicitly describes


rituals performed in 'The Church of Satan' -- "The Satanic Rituals"
IMO apparently is free of (misleading?) marketing copy. The
described rituals include use of human females on the altar during
communion. "The Satanic Rituals" includes a chapter 'The
Metaphysics of Lovecraft' with an essay 'The Call to Cthulhu' --
both references to H. P Lovecraft and his Cthulhu Mythos. And
based upon reading both texts, I detect similarities between
"The Satanic Rituals" and the earlier "MAGICK In Theory and
Practice" by Aleister Crowley (discussed previously).

Personally I do _not_ recommend satanism, but satanic


philosophies are so prevalent in 21st Century popular culture
that IMO (arms' length) knowledge of satanism is worthwhile.
I cannot recommend "The Satanic Bible" and "The Satanic Rituals"
to (unschooled) prospective Wiccan novices, but I believe that
mature scholars should be aware of the texts' contents, stated
philosophy, and possible sources.

'The Church of Satan' is one satanic organization. There


are other satanic organizations whose popular press texts
I have not yet reviewed.

I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

21) "The Devil's Notebook" by Anton Szandor LaVey


4 stars -- a unique collection of satanic essays

This book is a clearly written collection of essays that


clarify the philosophies of Mr. LaVey, founder of 'The Church
of Satan'. IMO the three most noteworthy essays are:
A) 'Nonconformity -- Satanism's Secret Weapon' which discusses
the satanist as master in a throng of weak willed (wage?) slaves;
B) 'The Construction of Artificial Human Companions' -- keep
your mind open as you read the discussion of android joint
construction. (And keep in mind that humans control themselves,
while androids / automatons / artificial human beings are
controlled by (other) _real_ human beings) and
C) 'Misanthropia' -- which discusses satanic psychology
(_not_ strengthening society's 'emotional vampires').

Personally I do _not_ recommend satanism and I do _not_


recommend this book for (unschooled) prospective Wiccan novices,
but IMO scholars will find Mr. LaVey's essays illuminating.

'The Church of Satan' is one satanic organization. There


are other satanic organizations whose popular press texts
I have not yet reviewed.

I am *not* a Wiccan, a witch, a Pagan, or a satanist.

=====================================

<*> I deliberately have included very few Internet website URLs


within my listed references. In the 21st Century many people
question the importance of textual references. That something
has been published indicates that a publisher has judged that
the content financially merits publication, and indicates that
a copy editor has (at a minimum) reviewed the content -- rough
indications of content quality control. While librarian
professional organizations apparently have citation rules for
Internet online academic journals, these journals typically
supplement and mirror the contents of paper professional
journals (archived by the Library of Congress). The websites

cited on Usenet are archived, rewriting webpage is as easy as
revising a form letter, and a webpage content changes are *not*
recorded for later public scrutiny.

locale I often observe impoverished children accompanied by
their mothers. This continually repeated observation tells me
that in 21st Century United States society, impoverished mothers
often raise the children -- a predictable (and avoidable) social
issue.

*****End of Part Three*****

The comments contained herein are my opinions. This message
was not solicited by Amazon.com, any author, any artist, or their
agent(s), publisher(s), producer(s) or distributor(s).

I am *not* an Islamic or Judaic scholar.

I am *not* legally qualified to provide medical, psychological,
legal, financial or religious opinions, but I have discussed some
issues with my Attorney and have read extensively in these areas.
I have strong opinions.

I got no problems.
Other people got problems.
00: 21 _8 02 03/35 06 09

Richard Ballard MSEE CNA4 KD0AZ
--
Consultant specializing in computer networks, imaging & security
Listed as rjballard in "Friends & Favorites" at www.amazon.com

Aunty Kreist

unread,
Mar 6, 2004, 8:11:33 PM3/6/04
to
>Subject: A Reference List For Prospective Wiccan Novices (Part Three of Three
>Parts)
>From: rball...@aol.com (Richard Ballard)
>Date: 3/6/2004 3:28 PM Eastern Standard Time
>Message-id: <20040306152820...@mb-m01.aol.com>

Richard, you have spammed this group with well over a dozen of these posts now.
Will you please cut it the hell out?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

http://hometown.aol.com/auntykreist/myhomepage/profile.html

Richard Ballard

unread,
Apr 11, 2004, 3:53:22 PM4/11/04
to
Copyright 2003-2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
Issued approximately twenty-one days before each sabbat.
Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
with a <*> marker. [None this time in Part Three.]

and

=====================================

I deliberately have included very few Internet website URLs

I have made several comments concerning juvenile nutrition and


impoverished women's responsibility to raise their children. My
comments reflect my situation: I am a single man with no living
children and I do not want to argue feminist issues. But in my
locale I often observe impoverished children accompanied by
their mothers. This continually repeated observation tells me
that in 21st Century United States society, impoverished mothers
often raise the children -- a predictable (and avoidable) social
issue.

*****End of Part Three*****

The comments contained herein are my opinions. This message
was not solicited by Amazon.com, any author, any artist, or their
agent(s), publisher(s), producer(s) or distributor(s).

I am *not* an Islamic or Judaic scholar.

I am *not* legally qualified to provide medical, psychological,
legal, financial or religious opinions, but I have discussed some
issues with my Attorney and have read extensively in these areas.
I have strong opinions.

"All Rights Reserved"?
If I 'right' must I reserve?

Richard Ballard

unread,
Apr 11, 2004, 3:53:03 PM4/11/04
to
Copyright 2003-2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
Issued approximately twenty-one days before each sabbat.
Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
with a <*> marker. [None this time in Part Two.]

=====================================

=====================================

switching partners at each sabbat dilutes earlier investments.

*****End of Part Two*****

"All Rights Reserved"?


If I 'right' must I reserve?

I got no problems.

Richard Ballard

unread,
May 29, 2004, 3:56:01 AM5/29/04
to
Copyright 2003-2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
Issued approximately twenty-one days before each sabbat.
Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
with a <*> marker.

Parts One and Three are contained in a concurrent copyrighted

read the two Frequently Asked Questions messages (FAQs)


provided periodically on the rec.arts.bodyart Internet newsgroup.
Reading these FAQs will answer many questions, and will help
interested persons ask informed questions when evaluating
tattoo artists and their facilities. I further recommend that
anyone being tattooed follow their tattoo artist's skin care
instructions.

I have no tattoos, but I know people who have extensive,
difficult-to-patch pastel tattoos. I know the care
these people take to keep their extensive pastel tattoos

attractive.

IMO the two rec.arts.bodyart FAQs are well-written
and informative. These FAQs stress the skin care
required to prevent damage to pastel tattoos, and
the FAQs stress health considerations required
during and after tattoo application.

I provide additional information concerning tattoos

and thermal branding of human skin later in this message.

I am forced to assume that the scalp-tattooed woman hoped


to hide her tattoo from her future husband. I also am
forced to assume that some person held either photographic

or video records of the scalp-tattooed woman engaged in
activities that compromised her relationship with her future
husband(s). I hope the scalp-tattooed woman found candor in
her heart.

[BTW, one reader stated that scalp tattooing works best
when the subject has been shaving his/her scalp for some
time -- apparently shaving toughens the scalp. To my
knowledge tattoo artists do *not* want a tough canvas.
In fact, I know cases where a particularly elaborate tattoo
was planned and the subject moisturized the skin area for
several weeks *prior* to receiving the tattoo. Moisturizing
makes the skin supple and gives the skin a uniform texture.

The same reader mentioned shaving over a tattoo. Much
of a tattoo's pigmentation is on the skin surface -- I can not
imagine risking damaging a tattoo by blade shaving over it.]

I recommend that individuals planning to get tattoos
follow their tattoo artist's care instructions both before
and after receiving a tattoo.

Branding by tattooing [less frequently by thermal branding]
sometimes occurs in the United States, but more often women are

bound by indebtedness (e.g., car payments) and several hungry


children in a poor domestic economy. Cars are less useful
as gasoline prices rise significantly and people drive less.
And raising children costs more as food prices rise. Impoverished
women lose options as they struggle to feed their cars and their
children in an era of significantly increasing energy and
food prices.

Many tattoos are applied using saturated color (e.g.,
primarily dark black, but also dark red and dark blue)
inks exclusively. The advantage of using saturated
color inks is that should the tattooed area later become
damaged due to abrasion, skin dryness or sunburn,
the tattoo can be patched without 'color match' problems
-- e.g., dark black is dark black, etc.

When tattoos employing pastel colored inks are damaged,
the tattoo artist can encounter 'color match' problems
similar to the paint matching problems that auto body
shops encounter. ***Light-colored pastel inks are difficult
to exactly color match, particularly if the skin damage
changes the underlying skin's characteristics (e.g., as
the result of bad sunburn).***

Individuals receiving tattoos employing pastel-colored

inks must be especially careful not to damage their tattoos.


*I have no tattoos*, but I know people who have extensive,
difficult-to-patch pastel tattoos. I know the care these

people take to keep their extensive pastel tattoos attractive.

IMO the two rec.arts.bodyart FAQs are well-written
and informative. These FAQs stress the skin care
required to prevent damage to pastel tattoos, and
the FAQs stress health considerations required
during and after tattoo application.

In November 1998 I downloaded the "rec.arts.bodyart:
Alternative Bodyart FAQ" from the Ohio State FAQ website.
I do not know if the "rec.arts.bodyart: Alternative Bodyart
FAQ" still is available on the Internet. This FAQ discusses
thermal branding of human skin. ***The "rec.arts.bodyart:

Alternative Bodyart FAQ" is a very uncomfortable message.***

a system that uses ritual sacrifice of human females. ("The
Dunwich Horror" by H. P. Lovecraft contains another example of
human female ritual sacrifice.) This non-Wiccan system
of magick is said to have originated in Eighth Century AD
Damascus Syria. IMO the "Necronomicon" is _not_ compatible
with Wicca.

IMO Mr. Cunningham's text is better suited for those


seeking a strictly male-oriented viewpoint of Wicca.

While the statement makes me uncomfortable, I must praise
A. J. Drew's candor. On page 154 Mr. Drew discusses

self-initiation into Creation's Covenant's Wiccan Tradition,


and states "This is not a decision you should take lightly.
If you were raised in a traditional Western religion, you
are about to throw away the religion of your parents and
their parents."

I am *not* a member of 'Creation's Covenant'.

I recommend the following text *despite reservations*:

11) "The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion
of the Great Goddess" by Starhawk
5 stars -- A Witchcraft Tradition and Political Manifesto

"The Spiral Dance..." relegates the Horned God and men to a

weak supporting role. *Nowhere* in the Twentieth Anniversary


Edition of "The Spiral Dance: ..." (original text plus two
appendices giving Tenth Anniversary comments and Twentieth
Anniversary comments, respectively) does Starhawk state that
she is a Wiccan. Starhawk states (pp. 6,16) that her Reclaiming
Tradition has roots in Victor and Cora Anderson's Faerie
Tradition. Nevertheless, this text is very well-written and
provides detailed insight into a non-Wiccan feminist Tradition

not discussed elsewhere.

=====================================

=====================================

(and as different people assume the High Priest/ess' office),
keeping oathbound obedience to the Coven High Priest/ess' authority


might pose difficult and unanticipated problems. Liberal Coven

members might chafe under a conservative High Priest/ess' authority.


Conservative Coven members might chafe under a liberal

High Priest/ess' authority. Wo/men Coven members might chafe


under a particularly strong and chauvinistic High Priest/ess'

authority. And many Coven oaths include penalties for leaving
Coven membership.

<*> In some Wiccan Traditions, the High Priest/ess designates couples
for each sabbat celebration (including the coupling of Coven members'
children). IMO this wasteful social whirl does not build romantic love
or build enduring family relationships. Partners invest their time
and energy in each other, but repeatedly switching partners wastes
earlier investments.

Is a High Priest/ess' authority limited to Coven-specific matters?
***Can a High Priest/ess intervene in Coven members' mundane
issues such as housing and use of spare/guest bedrooms?***


I discuss housing issues extensively in my earlier

"Definitions for Prospective Wiccan Novices (Part Two of Five Parts)"
copyrighted message.

religion. Ms. Thayer's statements (pg. 274) indicate that New

prospective Wiccan novices because its omissions.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

15) "True Magick: A Beginner's Guide" by Amber K
3 stars -- A Weak Introduction To Witchcraft

I believe this text is written in a style and level of detail
suited for middle-school-aged children. It is a broad shallow
overview of witchcraft. It contains serious errors (it equates

witchcraft and Wicca) and omits to differentiate between Wiccan
solitary worship and Wiccan Coven membership. It does not discuss


Coven social structure or binding initiation rituals -- serious
omissions in an introductory text.

I believe that middle-school-aged children would be better served
by discussing Scott Cunningham's "Wicca: A Guide For The
Solitary Practitioner" plus Edain McCoy's "Inside A Witches'
Coven" with their biological parents and/or legal guardians.

I can *not* recommend "True Magick: A Beginner's Guide" to

prospective Wiccan novices because of the its errors and omissions.

Richard Ballard

unread,
May 29, 2004, 3:56:22 AM5/29/04
to
Copyright 2003-2004 by Richard J. Ballard -- All Rights Reserved.
Issued approximately twenty-one days before each sabbat.
Each issue's new and significantly changed paragraphs begin
with a <*> marker.

Parts One and Two are contained in a concurrent copyrighted


messages titled "A Reference List For Prospective Wiccan Novices
(Part One/Two of Three Parts)". Helpful definitions were
included in earlier copyrighted messages entitled "Definitions
For Prospective Wiccan Novices (Part One/Two/Three/Four/Five
of Five Parts)".

IMO sexuality is an integral part of Paganism and Wicca.
On a monthly basis I provide copyrighted messages titled
"A neo-Tantra Reference List (Part One/Two of Two Parts)"
on this Internet newsgroup.

I specifically do *not* recommend:

17) "Mastering Witchcraft: A Practical Guide for Witches,
Warlocks, & Covens" by Paul Huson
4 stars -- The History and Tools of Dark Magick

I believe Wicca is a magick user's religion celebrating human

fertility and the Earth's fertility -- a beneficent religion.

and

5 stars -- Mr. LaVey's most inflammatory book!

Satanism is an increasingly prevalent social force in
21st Century popular culture and IMO is confusing. Publicly,
satanism manifests itself as a self-fulfillment philosophy
(similar to "Be all that you can be" or "To thine own self

be true"). Yet some details of the rituals performed by
'The Church of Satan' are seldom discussed publicly.

Anton LaVey's "The Satanic Bible" is the testament of
'The Church of Satan'. IMO the testament's goals include
recruitment, and IMO like all recruiting literature the
testament includes some (misleading, optimistic and confusing?)
marketing copy. IMO "The Satanic Bible" does _not_ provide
a clear picture of satanic philosophy.

"The Satanic Bible" does include a chapter 'The Black Mass'

(IMO reminiscent of H. P. Lovecraft's "The Dunwich Horror").


"The Satanic Bible" also contains a chapter 'Book of Leviathan'

with an essay 'The Raging Sea' (IMO reminiscent of the


Christian New Testament's 'Book of Revelations'); and with
an essay 'The Enochian Language and the Enochian Keys'
discussing the nineteen keys to 'The gates of Hell'

(IMO reminiscent of H. P. Lovecraft's / Ed Simon's

=====================================

<*> I deliberately have included very few Internet website URLs


within my listed references. In the 21st Century many people
question the importance of textual references. That something
has been published indicates that a publisher has judged that
the content financially merits publication, and indicates that
a copy editor has (at a minimum) reviewed the content -- rough
indications of content quality control. While librarian
professional organizations apparently have citation rules for
Internet online academic journals, these journals typically
supplement and mirror the contents of paper professional

journals (archived by the Library of Congress). Few websites


cited on Usenet are archived, rewriting webpage is as easy as
revising a form letter, and a webpage content changes are
*not* recorded for later public scrutiny.

Some people question why I have not included their favorite
Wiccan historical texts within my reference list. I have addressed
this concern repeatedly. IMO *not committed* prospective Wiccan
novices are interested in current Wiccan practices, not arcane
historical texts. I have limited time for discretionary reading
and I have limited my current scope to those materials that I
believe *not committed* prospective Wiccan novices will find
most interesting -- that's fair.

Others are free to bring descriptions of arcane texts and

history to the Internet. I discuss my opinions based upon my

Richard Ballard

unread,
Jul 15, 2004, 10:02:32 AM7/15/04
to

and

=====================================

I deliberately include few Internet website URLs within