Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Witch Wars - Fire in the Craft

[Show all]

Views: 1,253,520

Year: 2000 ...

Witch Community Thoughts Page 17

Witch Community Thoughts Page 11

Witch Community Thoughts Page 16

Witch Community Thoughts Page 13

Witch Community Thoughts Page 15

Witch Community Thoughts Page 14

Witch Community Thoughts Page 12

Year: 1998 ...

INDEX: WitchWars (Fire in the Craft)

Witch Wars Splash Page

For the love of Sex

What is a Witch War?

A Field Guide to the Modern Pagan

Witch Community Thoughts Page 02

Witch Wars: For the love of Power

The Witches' Voice's Position

Do You See What I See?

Witch Wars: For the love of Money

Witch Community Thoughts Page 01

A Comunity Working on a Vaccine

What is Change and what is Changing?

Witch Community Thoughts Page 08

Witch Community Thoughts Page 07

Witch Community Thoughts Page 06

Witch Community Thoughts Page 03

Witch Community Thoughts Page 04

Witch Community Thoughts Page 05

Witch Community Thoughts Page 10

Witch Community Thoughts Page 09

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Article Specs

Article ID: 2102

VoxAcct: 3

Section: wars

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 8,059

Times Read: 66,782

For the love of Sex

Author: Peg Aloi [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: January 4th. 1998
Times Viewed: 66,782

One of the most empowering things about being a Witch is the relative freedom we enjoy regarding our sexuality. Modern Witches and Neo-Pagans are encouraged to express their sensual selves, and to be at complete ease with their bodies, whether this means dancing nude around bonfires, participating in skyclad rituals, performing sex magick with partners or alone, exploring the wonders of Tantric sex, breaking gender constraints as we develop our magical personalities, consuming aphrodisiac herbs or foods, and, for some, participating in polyamorous relationships.

Even while many of us may welcome and enjoy the relative sexual freedom of being part of a larger pagan community, we are all individuals and cannot be expected to agree on what is appropriate in any situation. There are bound to be conflicting opinions within our community, diverse as it is. And since sex is a very volatile topic, near (and dear!) to all of us--how can we agree on basic standards of sexual ethics and "morality" without sounding like hypocrites? And how can we address what we consider inappropriate behavior within our community?


THE PROBLEM: Sad but true, there are many "legends" of various high priests and priestesses, or other "magical teachers" or even so-called "elders" who have used sex in manipulative, inappropriate ways, simply as a way to control someone. Some groups practice "skyclad", some don't. Some feel that this is the ONLY way, others leave it up to the individual.

Okay, a few words about ritual nudity...

"Skyclad" means working in the nude. Some Witches believe it is an effective way to work because they think clothing impedes the flow of magical energy (although wearing loose robes with nothing underneath has virtually the same effect). Others think we should work magic "as the gods made us." The Charge of The Goddess, a chant used by many Gardnerian and Alexandrian Witches, even contains a line specifically dictating the appropriateness of nudity: "And come ye naked to the rite, in token that ye be truly free."

Even a favorite film of Pagans refers to it:

"Well, naturally! It's far too dangerous to jump
through the fire with your clothes on!

--Sargent Howie and Lord Summerisle, "The Wicker Man"

Say, for example, your coven has a habit of working ritual in the nude on hot summer nights (those attic temple rooms get pretty warm!), but for some reason you are not yet comfortable doing this. You should be able to say to your High Priestess or Priest: "I know it is customary for everyone to remove their robes but I feel uncomfortable with it; I would like to stay robed for this ritual."

There is no reason for anyone to compel you to change your mind, nor should you be made to feel uncomfortable about your choice. In time, as you become more comfortable with your covenmates, or with your own attitudes about nudity, you may change your mind...or not. The important thing here is to be able to build trust among people who work magic together. And ultimately nudity has very little to do with that. When there is not sufficient trust among coven members, that coven does not tend to keep its members very long. Sad to say, some Witches make careers moving from one coven to the next, either because they unwisely join groups too quickly without learning enough about them, or because they themselves create conflict wherever they go.

A Witch War can come about when seekers move from one type of group to another because of difficulties in communication, or simple differences in styles of working magic, or, sometimes, because of personality conflicts which arise out of power struggles or manipulation. So people leave groups with unresolved feelings of anger or frustration or hurt. They tell the tales. The rumors start and away we go!

One of the Number One reasons Witch Wars start is because of bad experiences with covens. There are so few covens out there that have kept the same members over the years; unfortunately so many Witches are so desperate to join a group that they will join up with any group willing to accept them, instead of waiting for the right one. And there are groups out there looking for naive, inexperienced newcomers who will blindly follow what they say, in order to make their leaders feel important or powerful.

Witch Wars as related to SEX:

THE TYPICAL VICTIM: Pagans and Witches who are just starting out on their path. Often these newcomers have no idea about what is considered appropriate sexual ethics in the Pagan community.

If you hear phrases like:

  1. It is part of your "initiation;"

  2. This is a necessary component of the ritual ("But this is the way we have always done it!" or "It's not a Wiccan ritual without the Great Rite!");

  3. Here is a way to "open yourself up" psychically or magically;

  4. Or a way to learn the deepest secrets of a certain magical tradition;

  5. Or a pre-requisite to learning from them ("I always have intimate relations with my students; it is necessary, in order to forge a magical connection!");

  6. Or a way to "become one of us" ("We think this is the best way to make you feel like you are really part of our coven/group")--Then think very hard and very long about getting involved with this coven/group.

THE ANTIDOTE: Ask before you enter the group's "mystery tradition.' If you have strong feelings about sex or nudity, one way or another, you need to find a group that will accomodate your own comfort zone. If you don't, you will end up feeling exploited, used or otherwise abused. As a result you will have nothing GOOD to say about this group and when you tell that tale of woe, you could start a local Witch War.

WHERE'S THE LIGHT?: Most groups are very ethical and caring about coveners' needs and personal boundaries. The best way to avoid sexually inappropriate behavior is simple: remember the key rule of behavior for Witches: Perfect Love and Perfect Trust.

If complete trust and caring exists among you and your working partner/s, then there is little chance that anything will occur that is harmful. But in every instance, it is important to keep the lines of communication open! Never allow anyone to do anything of a sexual or intimate nature that feels wrong. And just as your coveners should be willing to listen and respond to any of your concerns, it is also reasonable for them to expect YOU to listen to their explanations of why things are being done a certain way...perhaps when all the facts are out in the open, both sides will find themselves better-informed or at least more open to each others' views.

Those of us who are on the pagan path may well feel relief at not having to feel guilt or shame about our bodies or our desires, and may find profound joy in expressing that most sacred of pleasures in honor of the Lord and Lady within us all...However, many of us have experienced occasions where we may have felt our Goddess-given right to be a free and open sexual creature has been compromised or violated; sad to say, this happens far more often than we would like to believe, as certain clueless individuals attempt to take advantage of others.

American culture in particular is full of mixed messages about sex: the media barrages us with titillating images, yet the Moral Majority preaches abstinence. Many of us were raised during or after the so-called "Sexual Revolution" and this of course affected our beliefs and behavior; still more of us have had to contend with the horrible reality of AIDS, and the very serious issues of safe sexual practices, and rampant homophobia. In a world so full of intellectual contradictions about this very primal human urge, Witchcraft and Paganism can appear as a spiritual oasis where sexuality is not only accepted, but exalted. But just as sex is often used to wield power over others in society at large, it is also used to wield power in Pagan oriented situations.

The difference is, that in a magical or ritual setting, our physical and psychic boundaries are often vulnerable; and sexual abuse or manipulation can ultimately have damaging effects on us, if we don't know how to protect ourselves.

Peg Aloi
(with inspiration from Wren Walker and Fritz Jung)


Important Note:This article is presented by the author as a starting point for discussion on the issue. Each author has submitted his/her article independently and may or may not agree with all the viewpoints in the entire series.


Peg Aloi

Location: Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts

Other Articles: Peg Aloi has posted 99 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Peg Aloi... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

To send a private message to Peg Aloi ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2020 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.

Witches, Pagans
of The World

Search Articles

 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide

NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.

The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.

All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).