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                             JOAN on the Witch Laws       8/22/81 
           
                  Note: These are the  comments of one  of the early members  of
          Proteus Coven on what we gave  her to read about ethics and  laws. All
          the material  she had is  still here,  although a good  deal has  been
          added since then, so I thought her comments would also be interesting.
                  Judy Harrow
           
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              Reaction to "Traditional" - i.e. essentially Gardnerian - format 
           
                  In many respects, as constricting as Catholocism without the 
          administrative  experience, intellectual prowess,  or verbal expertise
          of  Catholicism. If current researchers  are correct, what  we have is
          one man's  fantasy (with jumbled  and skewed sources)  made everyone's
          obligation. 

                          Maybedealtwith mosteffectively-especiallyas regardsthe
          reality of current practice and expectation - by juxtaposition with 
          Lady Ikandkhop's masterful irony. 
           
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                  Reaction  to Aporrheton 5 - [generally very good thinking, but
          still more traditional than my preference] 
           
                  ParagraphTwo: Good thinkingon nature ofGoddess -or any divini-
          ty. My agreement is reserved, uncertain, withheld. 
           
              Paragraph Three: Claims to have arrived at FIRMLY ("no bending") 
          UNDISPROVEN hypotheses. This arouses natural suspicion in me. I 
          disagree with some of his perceptions of FACTS. 
           
                  Idisagree violently withLaws 5 +6. Heterosexuality isa streng-
          th,  but  not an  essential.  POLARITY  OPERATES OUTSIDE  [or  INSIDE]
          BOUNDARIES  OF ANATOMICAL EQUIPMENT AND HORMONES.  AND THE CHARACTER -
          THE SACRED CHARACTER - OF THE WITCH IS WITHIN THE AT ONCE TRANSCENDANT
          AND DISCIPLINED SELF. 
           
              Law #7 is unnecessary. A silly bow to a misunderstood "Trad" law. 
           
                  Law #8 islargely true, but makes no allowancefor valid, honest
          (fair to  all),  and  necessary transitional  states  many  must  pass
          through. Also  sticks on "authority"  peg, which has  some necessity/-
          validity  but can easily  get out of  hand. I find  HONESTY + COURTESY
          better yardsticks. 
           
                  Law #9. True.But much of interpersonaltension (inevitable) can
          be  worked out  of  God/dess' love  and coven  support-with-discipline
          prevail. 
           


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                  Law #10. TheGreat Mysteries mustbe livedout. And, withoutusing
          Craft parlance,  if another needs  to hear  them, they  MUST BE  VERB-
          ALIZED.   TO DO LESS  IS HARM. i.e.,  it is to allow  another to drown
          when you're on shore and have a rope. 
                  But no missionary zeal! 
                  No proseletyzing!!! 
                  That for which others are unready is foolishness for them and 
                  foolishness  for the Witch. (It may also be subconscious power
          tripping.  See agreement in Law #13.) 
           
              Law #11 - I agree with paragraphs one and two. 
                          Paragraph3:saying thatonlythe HPsincarnatesthe Goddess
          is inappropriate  and - in my  firm opinion - NOT  FACTUAL. (note from
          Judy - as I interpret what he  says there, it's that only WOMEN incar-
          nate the  Goddess. I also disagree  with that, but it's  less bad than
          Joan's reading that he  limits it to the HPs only.) The Goddess is not
          bound by ceremonial elevations. She incarnates where and when She Damn
          Well Pleases! 
                          Re:"all initiations..."- etc.-Ritual iscrystallization
          of preexistent, potential, incipient reality and this actualization is
          not trivial. 
           
                  Law #12 - Goodcaution on limits (ill defined whereemotion runs
          high)  or  self-defense.  But assumption  rules  out  solo magic  (his
          previous  premise is  that  it isn't  Wiccan)  by corollary  of  group
          responsibility /  group danger to all  action.  "Return  to sender" is
          generally  agreed  as  rule-of-thumb  for defense.  Practice  has  not
          disproven.  This is a difficult area to define. Probably group consen-
          sus on this would help. 
                          Does"impossibility factor" negatedanger? How about the
          verbal escape clause sometimes used? 
                          Obviously,I'mless sureofboundarieson thisonethan onany
          other. 
           
              Law #13 - Good idea. Rather an ideal than a norm. 
           
              OMISSION: APORRHETON does not mention Balance or Polarity concept 
              except in male/female context. But these are valuable and central 
              concepts. 
           
                  I got the feeling this person is still ruled by fragments of 
              left-over fear. 
           
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                  Starhawk is GREAT. But many people will need more codification
          than she offers. 


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Next: Commentary by L.A. Hussey