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Internet Book of Shadows, (Various Authors), [1999], at

           From: L.A. HUSSEY
           Subj: THE LAWS
           I  am disturbed and disappointed.   "The Christians  are our enemies."
           "They  will torture you to make you talk about the Craft."  "Lie about
           the Craft." "Covens splitting up makes for bad feelings."
           What  depressing  garbage.   This  is the  20th  century, and  this is
           America,  this is not Inquisition days.   The more we keep secret, the
           more the ignorant will assume that  we have horrible secrets to  keep.
           The true secrets of the Gods cannot be given away, because they cannot
           be  spoken -- they are beyond  all language.  And  as for bad feelings
           when  covens break  up, maybe  that is  how it is  where you  are, but
           around here,  there is rejoicing when one coven becomes two.  Seems to
           me like  my best  possible response  to your "Laws"  is the  following
           BURNING TIMES
           The songs are sung to rouse our  anger of martyred Witches gone to the
           But what is served by  righteous singing, if all we do is  stew in our
           Nine million dead in four hundred years;
           More in that time simply died of disease.
           Why do we dwell on long past dead
           When we are alive in times like these?
           Rise up, Witches, throw off your masks
           And cease crying guilt for ancient crimes.
           Earth and all Her children need us
           For ALL face now the Burning Times.
           In  the face  of that hostile  power, how  did the  old knowledge stay
           How have we  still a  Craft to practise?   Our ancestors  knew how  to
           fight and survive!
           How do we honour our blessed dead?
           Slavery threatens us all but few.
           We must teach their cunning ways --
           EVERYONE needs the skills they knew!
           Rise up, Witches, gather your strength,
           And let your power spread and climb;
           Earth and all Her children need us
           For ALL face now the Burning Times.
           I will not  cast off Science's works -- Witches all forces to Will can
           I'll not accuse for war and waste some patriarchy of faceless men.
           Men do not cast the only votes;
           Women alone do not demonstrate.
           Rather than shut out half the race,
           Who if not we will change that state?
           I will not blame a Father's Church -- blame and guilt are their tools,
           not mine,
           And  even in  the shuls and  churches, allies  there will  I seek, and
           I will not answer hate with fear,
           Nor with a smug, cheek-turning love.
           I will not answer hate with rage;
           By strength alone will I not be moved!
           I will not  hide in my sacred  grove -- the  fact'ries and cities  yet
           ring me about;
           I  will not climb my ivory tower --  the real world exists tho' I shut
           it out.
           I will not work for Church nor State
           Who serve themselves while they serve us lies,
           Nor only for my Witchen kin,
           But for the family of all alive!
           So if rebellion means to fight a State lost sight of why it was built,
           If heresy's to reject a Church that rules with force or fear or guilt,
           Then let us all be rebels proud,
           And shameless heretics by creed --
           A tyrant's hand subjects the Earth,
           More heretic rebels are what She needs!
           Did  it ever occur to the writers  of your antique laws that the Craft
           might actually  be WELCOMED by a  great number of people?   That there
           might actually be more of us than of those who wish us ill?   That the
           only reason those who fear  us are so active nowadays is  because they
           see us becoming  more and more welcomed  by more people?  As  I say in
           another song, "When folk in sorrow  turn away/ From paths that lead to
           misery/ And seek  new ways  for wholeness' sake/  Then waiting,  ready
           shall we be."
           All I can say is, I'm Goddess-glad I'm not in your tradition.
           Leigh Ann
           To  this I  would add  only  one more  admonishment, based  on my  own
           experience: It is  as important not to take oneself,  one's power, and
           one's  Craft too  seriously as  it is  not to  take them  too lightly.
           Moderation in all things, including moderation.  And remember that all
           acts of love and pleasure are the rites of
           the Goddess, and this includes HAVING FUN.
           B*B Leigh Ann

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