Pagan Community Notes: New Alexandrian Library, Patrick McCollum, Damh the Bard, and more!

Jason Pitzl-Waters —  March 7, 2011 — 105 Comments

Pagan Community Notes is a companion to my usual Pagan News of Note, a series more focused on news originating from within the Pagan community. I want to reinforce the idea that what happens to and within our organizations, groups, and events is news, and news-worthy. My hope is that more individuals, especially those working within Pagan organizations, get into the habit of sharing their news with the world. So lets get started!

New Alexandrian Library Project Prepares to Break Ground: Yesterday in Georgetown, Delaware, building materials were unloaded for a dome kit that will form the New Alexandrian Library’s home. Overseen by the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, the NAL project hopes to create a library worthy of its namesake” focused on esoteric knowledge, mystical and the spiritual writings from many traditions, and thehistory of our magickal communities.”

Unloading building materials for The New Alexandrian Library.

“Today was a momentous step forwards towards the New Alexandrian Library Project breaking ground. By forklift and by hand, twelve dedicated volunteers unloaded a huge truck laden with building materials. The barn is full to the rafters and the field has several tall and tarped bundles. The trees have been marked for clearing in the woods where the library will stand and the general contractor will soon be taking over the bulk of the physical work. This dome is the first of a long term plan of five domes that will make up the New Alexandrian Library.”

A fundraising event connected to the official ground breaking ceremonies will be announced soon. In the meantime, an urgent appeal has been sent out to supporters to cover the cost of renting the forklift. If you’d like to donate to NAL, you can find contact information, here. You can also follow NAL’s progress at their Facebook page.

Updates on Patrick McCollum’s Thailand Trip: As I’ve mentioned previously, Pagan chaplain and activist Patrick McCollum has been traveling in Thailand at the invitation of Dhammakaya temple in the Pathumtani Province, where he will be honored as a World Inner Peace Ambassador, and share Pagan rituals and practices with local Buddhist practitioners. McCollum will then travel to the renowned temple at Borobudur on the Island of Java with Lama Gangchen Rinpoche, of the World Peace Foundation. At the Patrick McCollum Foundation website, Patrick has posted several updates about events from his journey, including doing ritual in the Khou Yi jungle.

“The sounds of the jungle at night are like nothing I’ve ever heard before. There are huge frogs croaking as loud as bass drums, and dozens of other smaller ones that sound like a chorus of children. Elephant’s screams pierce the night, and the sounds of large animal hunters seeking prey can be heard intermittently. My rational mind says I’m crazy for venturing out so, with tigers and poisonous snakes and who knows what? I have no weapons or any way to defend myself, and yet the moon guides me forward without fear. After about an hour I find a perfect clearing to do ritual. It’s circular and about 30 feet in diameter. I can see huge colorful flowers high in the trees and hanging vines everywhere filled with tropical fruits and spiny pods. I call the quarters and invoke the Goddess and find myself completely immersed. I did prayers for world peace and for human rights, everywhere, and I asked for blessings on my community.”

Patrick will no doubt be sharing further reflections about his trip with us when he returns. To keep track of Patrick’s journey be sure to follow the Patrick McCollum Foundation’s blog, and the Foundation’s Facebook page.

Damh the Bard is Ready For His Close-Up: Peg Aloi at The Witching Hour interviews producer-director Gary Andrews about his upcoming film The Spirit of Albion, a story inspired by the music of Damh the Bard.

“…the 3 main characters are young, modern people with the kind of problems that are very real today. One, Esther, is working in a high powered, pressured job with no real life outside of work and has reached breaking point. The second, Annie, is a damaged young woman who works in a job she hates (animal testing) and has taken refuge in drugs and casual sex rather than face her reality. Finally we have George, an anti war activist who is fighting the guilt that his soldier brother was killed in Afghanistan and the last time they spoke they had a fight about their life choices. All 3 of them, on the same day (Oct 31st) have a meeting with a stranger who turns out not to be what they first appear. Added into the mix is Annie’s brother, a Christian priest who is having doubts about his vocation. All of these characters are given a chance to see things a different way, through the filter of the Pagan perspective and all of them have a life-changing experience, although not everything turns out as you might expect!”

The film originated as a stage play, thematically structured around 10 Damh the Bard songs, and was recently performed at Witchfest International in November of 2010. Once complete, a direct-to-DVD release is planned. Updated will be posted to the official The Spirit of Albion site. As for Damh, a truly excellent human being and musician, he recently released a live CD, and has a new single coming out soon entitled “The Sons & Daughters (of Robin Hood)”.

When to Participate in Press Opportunities: Joseph Merlin Nichter, a volunteer minority faiths chaplain for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, discusses his recent participation in a local interfaith vigil, and the process he went through in deciding if that participation was a good idea.

“This past Wednesday I was contacted by an enthusiastic community organizer who was trying to manifest an interfaith prayer vigil ad hoc. He explained what he was trying to do and asked if I would be willing to speak publicly on the matter along side other religious community leaders. I told him I needed to conform my availability and would call him back shorty. I knew my availability, but didn’t want to make an ad hoc decision because there would be media coverage. I sought counsel before calling him back and agreeing to participate.”

Nichter references my recent participation in a panel at PantheaCon and the Charlie Sheen “warlock” media controversy to make the point that sometimes press attention isn’t what you want or need. However, in his case, it seemed to go well, and his speech is well worth the reading.

Christian Day and the Binding of Sheen: Speaking of the Charlie Sheen “warlock” issue, Salem Warlock Christian Day has posted a video of the ritual to “heal and bind Charlie Sheen.”

The ritual was covered by the press, both local, and national. As for the use of the term “warlock,” an issue that has sparked quite a bit of conversation lately, Day has issued a $1000.00 reward to anyone who can find source material “prior to 1950 that designates the word Warlock as someone who betrays a coven to the Witch hunters, or betrays a coven at all.” No doubt some scholars (amateur or otherwise) in need of some cash might want to take up his challenge.

Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn Expels Founder: The Second Order of the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn have voted to expel founder/leader Robert Zink due to a laundry list of charges that span from misusing his power to misappropriation of funds.

“It is come to the point where we of the Second Order have to take the unfortunate action of deposing former G.H. Frater P.D.R. (Robert Zink) of his highly influential position and expelling him from the Esoteric Order of the Golden Dawn. He received the grievances from the Adepti of the Second Order, but was still given a great deal of time and opportunity to reform his ways. In response to this, he persists to hold himself above accountability and has gone to great lengths to secure his own position through surreptitiously ensuring as much of the Order’s assets were under his sole control as possible.”

However, as Frater Barrabbas notes, it may not be possible to expel him due to the way the bylaws of the organization are written. So we may soon see two competing Esoteric Orders of the Golden Dawn. He notes that this is just another peril of creating (or joining) organizations that aren’t built on democratic principles and consensus-based decision making.

That’s all I have for now, have a great day!

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Jason Pitzl-Waters

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  • http://www.thehighwayhermit.com highway_hermit

    Yes, yes… a video of witches and a warlock handling (real?) human skulls and invoking the dead will go a long way to changing negative stereotypes of the occult community. *facepalm*

    • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

      Witches have been invoking the dead for thousands of years. It's a huge part of what we do. Weiser is publishing my book, The Witches Book of the Dead, in September, which explores the history of this connection in depth. Moreover, the skull was often used in magic and appears in the ancient Greek magical papyri in spells of spirit conjuration. Moreover, the Celts had the cult of the Head, and used skulls in religious rituals, well, before modern Wiccans gave them an Enya soundtrack. LOL

  • Pitch313

    Media Relations–The media intend to use you more than you can use them. And they, because they do it professionally every day, are very good at it. What's more, the archive is freely accessible and nearly all-inclusive. So little mistakes with or on the media will probably not fade away.

    These days, if I were dealing out media relations advice, I'd point out that preparation and presentation are crucial and that most Pagans don't really want to turn into an internet meme. So it pays to be quite careful before you enter the media's view, and even more careful while you are in that view.

    FWIW, I think that doing magic to change Charlie Sheen squanders effort and intention. Changing him changes not so much.

    "Warlock"–I don't know about pre-1950s usage of the word, but I suspect that early Neo-Pagan Craft Revivalists wanted a term for those who violates oaths.

    • Bookhousegal

      "The media,' , well, yeah, Pitch.

      As for the 'challenge,' that's just one of those putting up money to say 'I have a thousand dollars that says I get to phrase the question.' :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

        Not at all. I very clearly defined the nature of the question:

        1) Source must be prior to 1950.

        2) Source must refer to Warlock as a person who betrays a coven to the Witch hunters (or betrays a coven at all). In other words, that must be why they were called a Warlock. A poor Christian who is accused of being a Warlock and then, under torture, "betrays" other Witches (essentially calling out other poor Christians) wouldn't count because that person was called a Warlock before he caved under torture. That, and when women (such as Tituba of Salem) named the names of other "witches," they weren't suddenly called warlocks.

        3) You must provide the Source, page number and, if it is not available on Google books, you must provide an actual typed actual citation so I can see if I need to obtain the book somewhere.

        4) "oral tradition" and "my grandmother told me" are both disallowed.

        To say that a Warlock is one who betrayed his or her fellow Witches is simply without source material. Sure, accused Warlocks (males)would call out the names of other so-called Warlocks or Witches (since most were probably Christian) under torture, but so would Witches (females), and the word Warlock was not used to describe the process of betrayal. The accused warlock was called a warlock from the beginning and the accused Witch was not suddenly renamed to a warlock once she began naming others.

        While I don't believe such material exists, I am willing to be wrong and have money to put on it, but those criteria above must be met.

      • http://www.facebook.com/KveldulfThorsFreyrssonStormcloudWormwood Gary P Golden Jr

        "'I have a thousand dollars that says I get to phrase the question.' :) "

        exactly

  • http://www.facebook.com/EdAHubbard Ed Hubbard

    I really think the New Alexandrian Library is a great project, and it is so cool to see something physical being built.

    • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

      And may the Library truly prove worthy of its very worthy name. And may Pagandom prove worthy of such an endeavor. This kind of thing makes me feel optimistic!

    • Gareth

      In many ways McCollum and Day represent the diversity to be found in Paganism; the best and worst respectively. Unfortunately it's Day that gets wider attention. I have long held that the biggest threat to Paganism is not from Christians or other monotheists or sceptical academics or secular atheists but rather Pagans such as Day and He of the Red Bathrobe (must not speak his name lest he appear!). Speaking of bathrobes why do these people have such bad fashion sense. Did the have to sacrifice taste to gain the awesome magical powers they so obviously command? Seriously if Pagans are going to make embarrassing (for the rest of us) videos of themselves playing D&D performing a binding ritual over some ridiculous matter could you at least look good when doing it.

      • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

        Well, it's a shame you scoff at some Witches who wear ritual robes, capes, or other outlandish outfits. To understand this, you might look to anthropological research on shamans and other medicine people. There are reasons why these are more than just fashion choices. Ritual dress is just one of many ways to become a magnet to the spirit world, and draw both magical energy and the spirits to you. This is ancient. More recently, authors such as Laurie Cabot point out that the color black draws in light and psychic energy, which I've always found to be the most fascinating reason for Witches wearing black, well, besides the fact that it makes some of us look thinner.

  • http://xkcd.com/285 Eran Rathan

    Christian Day:
    “prior to 1950 that designates the word Warlock as someone who betrays a coven to the Witch hunters, or betrays a coven at all.”

    From http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=warloc
    "warlock
    O.E. wærloga "traitor, liar, enemy," from wær "faith, a compact" (cf. O.H.G. wara "truth," O.N. varar "solemn promise, vow;" see very; cf. also Varangian) + agent noun related to leogan "to lie" (see lie (v.1)). Original primary sense seems to have been "oath-breaker;" given special application to the devil (c.1000), but also used of giants and cannibals. Meaning "one in league with the devil" is recorded from c.1300. Ending in -ck and meaning "male equivalent of witch" (1560s) are from Scottish."

    Fail.

    Where's my $1000?

    • Bookhousegal

      I said it earlier: (quoting myself: ) " As for the 'challenge,' that's just one of those putting up money to say 'I have a thousand dollars that says I get to phrase the question.' " :)

      But, yes, in common usage, modernly and anciently, that's part of how that definition Mr. Day doesn't like came to mean such as it does.

      Don't expect a check any time soon, though: that money's an attempt to get people to look at the dollar sign while he frames a question just so. ;)

      • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

        Not exactly. As I said in my other post, there is this idea that exists in so many modern Wicca books that a Warlock is one who betrayed other Witches to Witch hunters. I'd like to see sources for that and I would actually pay for it. Mind you, I don't believe they exist, but I would SO pay if I were wrong. Proving that it had roots implying oathbreaker does not prove anything about covens or other Witches. if anything, the concurrent association of the roots of the word (and I say roots, because OED currently defines Warlock as male Witch) include Devil and other evil terms, implying that the Warlock was a person who betrayed the Church, not the coven. This is my point. Throwing me a thousand sources proving that the warlock betrayed the Church means nothing. I want to see betrayer of a coven of Witches. It gets tossed around so much, I think it should be backed up with scholarship if it's going to get tossed around.

        • http://xkcd.com/285 Eran Rathan

          Christian Day wrote:
          there is this idea that exists in so many modern Wicca books that a Warlock is one who betrayed other Witches to Witch hunters.

          Christian, I'd like to see your sources for this. Goose and gander and all that.

        • Leea

          Interesting, Christian. I had always understood that warlock meant Oathbreaker. Not-"betraying a coven to witch-hunters", In many circles, it didn't even have to be a man-for instance some would name Sirona Knight Warlock. It kinda feel to me like you are parsing this into pieces in an effort to attract media attention.

          Also, in reference to the first comment and your response…yep, skulls are used by lots of Pagans in ceremony. Thing is-the three of you are dressed to the hilt, overdone makeup…the video has no gravitas. It feels silly and over dramatic. Gets lots of vid hits, I suppose, but I have to agree with the first poster-you didn't help the greater community. Just my opinion, however…

    • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

      But where does that say "betrayed the coven to the Witch hunters or betrayed the coven at all?" That was, after all, the question. Since so many keep defining the word Warlock as someone who turns other Witches into the Witch hunters, I'd like to see the source. I mean that sincerely. I am willing to pay for it. I definitely care about my scholarship and have done a lot of research.

      Guidelines:

      1) Source must be prior to 1950.

      2) Source must refer to Warlock as a person who betrays a coven to the Witch hunters (or betrays a coven at all). In other words, that must be why they were called a Warlock. A poor Christian who is accused of being a Warlock and then, under torture, "betrays" other Witches (essentially calling out other poor Christians) wouldn't count because that person was called a Warlock before he caved under torture. That, and when women (such as Tituba of Salem) named the names of other "witches," they weren't suddenly called warlocks.

      3) You must provide the Source, page number and, if it is not available on Google books, you must provide an actual typed actual citation so I can see if I need to obtain the book somewhere.

      4) "oral tradition" and "my grandmother told me" are both disallowed.

      The first person who can prove this gets the grand. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

      This does not answer my question at all:

      1) Source must be prior to 1950.

      2) Source must refer to Warlock as a person who betrays a coven to the Witch hunters (or betrays a coven at all). In other words, that must be why they were called a Warlock. A poor Christian who is accused of being a Warlock and then, under torture, "betrays" other Witches (essentially calling out other poor Christians) wouldn't count because that person was called a Warlock before he caved under torture. That, and when women (such as Tituba of Salem) named the names of other "witches," they weren't suddenly called warlocks.

      3) You must provide the Source, page number and, if it is not available on Google books, you must provide an actual typed actual citation so I can see if I need to obtain the book somewhere.

      4) "oral tradition" and "my grandmother told me" are both disallowed.

      Where does this say betrayed the coven or was a traitor to the coven in any way? In fact, the phrase "one in league with the devil" would seem to imply that the so-called "enemy" was in fact a traitor to the Church.

      • http://xkcd.com/285 Eran Rathan

        William White, "Notes & Queries", Vol. 49, Pg. 396, dated 1874. Look, I've even included a link:
        http://books.google.com/books?id=a9UEAAAAYAAJ&amp

        see also, per reference:
        Bosworth's Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, Pg. 1157, dated 1882 (revised 1902, I think):

        "Waer-loga: one who is false to his covenants, a faithless, perfidious person."
        http://books.google.com/books?id=oXlii1KgDngC&amp

        "Oath-breaker", "betrayer", "traitor" all cover that pretty well, doncha think?

        • http://www.facebook.com/kkampmiller Kat Kampmiller

          Looks to me like you should be getting $1,000! Congrats! Though, from Christian's cheap demeanor and terrible outfits, I doubt he has $1,000 on hand. Maybe you guys can make a payment arrangement!

          • http://www.facebook.com/kkampmiller Kat Kampmiller

            Sorry, sorry. I'm mean, I know. Can't help it. It's just too easy. Like stealing shoes from a paraplegic.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

            I'll refrain from going tit for tat in insults with you, but it does make any sort of scholarly research feel rather pedestrian when you act this rude.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

            Believe me, Eran, you look like you know how to dig, so I'm all for giving you this money if it truly exists. Now, to be sure, I don't easily toss out offers like that if I think I'll lose. Frankly, I'm convinced that no such pre-1950 reference exists like the 9 modern ones I found below. I'm convinced of it, but I'm willing to have my mind changed.

            There is actually a secret research group for the word "warlock" on Facebook if anyone actually serious about researching the word wants in. There are a number of smart, collegiate style researchers on it and even a noted author of books on modern Witchcraft. If anyone jumps into that, I prefer that they be respectful and not devolve into personal attacks. Those of us on there are genuinely interested in the nature of the word.

            On that group, we have the full Oxford English Dictionary etymology. The earliest use of Warlock is 1023 CE. The Vardlokkur is circa 950 – 1003 CE, though OED doesn't accept it … yet. Nordic scholars do accept it so this just shows that OED is often an aggregate of accepted data. Yes, it is certainly the most sacrosanct but it does change as new scholarship becomes available and there is fascinating historical research into magic over the past two decades. Stephen A. Mitchell, in his 2011 book Witchcraft and Magic in the Nordic Middle Ages, outright refers to the vardlokkur and Icelandic/English dictionaries do the same.

            A number of Wiccan books correctly state that the Church called men Warlocks as a mean of identifying traitors not to the coven, but to the Church. But, and here's the smoking gun of it all, they did the same thing with "Witch." Isaac Bonewits argued for years that Witch was an insult word and he was probably right. Frankly, Pagan probably was too. It seems like something the Romans used the way some people use "white trash" today. So words change, are reclaimed, discarded, and the like. I LOVE the word warlock for its spirit-related roots in vardlokkur, the song of summoning the dead for wisdom. I'll continue to use it for that reason. But, because of the controversy, I'd also like to gain some more scholarly insight into the word and how it's come to have some of the meanings it has today, particularly this idea of betraying the coven.

          • http://xkcd.com/285 Eran Rathan

            Christian Day wrote:
            I'd also like to gain some more scholarly insight into the word and how it's come to have some of the meanings it has today, particularly this idea of betraying the coven.

            …because it means 'oath-breaker'?

            I mean, when you get down to it, the most sacred oath one can make is to one's gods, and to turn from that, to break an oath of that magnitude, must be truly terrifying.

          • http://www.facebook.com/kkampmiller Kat Kampmiller

            Any insult you could ever throw at me would mean nothing, because you're a joke. You, sir, are irrelevent. Something for the community to laugh at. Nobody with any merit would possibly take you seriously.

          • http://xkcd.com/285 Eran Rathan

            I'm not really expecting anything, in all honesty. Its more for the research exercise.

        • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

          Where does it state that he is betraying a COVEN of WITCHES. Are you actually interested in the "research exercise?" I actually am.

          On your first link, the Warlock is referred to being in compact with the devil, and Satan is referred to as the arch-warlock, which would imply that a Warlock is against Christianity. How does that sound like someone who betrays their coven to the Witch hunters to you? Wouldn't such a person be for Christianity?

          On your second link, in a Christian time period, the "covenant" refers to oaths broken in general and does not specify in any way, though I imagine that could include either contracts or perhaps the "everlasting covenant" of the church, though I'm inclined to believe it is contracts in general. However, the definition expands, again, to include "dwelling with the devil," again, implying being against Christianity.

          Where is this idea that the Warlock refers to betraying the coven to the Witch hunters or, short of that, betraying the coven at all. No coven is mentioned in any of these sources and "covenant" certainly does not mean the same thing.

          I refer back to item 2:

          2) Source must refer to Warlock as a person who betrays a coven to the Witch hunters (or betrays a coven at all). In other words, that must be why they were called a Warlock. A poor Christian who is accused of being a Warlock and then, under torture, "betrays" other Witches (essentially calling out other poor Christians) wouldn't count because that person was called a Warlock before he caved under torture. That, and when women (such as Tituba of Salem) named the names of other "witches," they weren't suddenly called warlocks.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

            Believe me, I will happily give the $1,000. Raven Grimassi heard me say this on the telephone and knows that I am a man of my word. I really want the scholarship sources if they exist. You haven't shown them. You've showed betraying covenants, which are contracts and not covens and, in a Christianized period, they certainly wouldn't have worried about anyone betraying a coven because to admit to being part of one would have meant death.

          • lysana

            And you're redefining the word to suit your campaign.

            *points, laughs, and walks away*

          • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

            Hardly. There are countless post-1970's Wicca books that say a Warlock is a betrayer of the coven. Someone started it and everyone followed and nobody bothered to check. Sorry to point out the elephant in the room, but that's the thing I like to point and laugh at. :)

          • http://xkcd.com/285 Eran Rathan

            Post some references, please.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

            Hi Eran,

            Here are just a few that I'm actually finding while I'm between radio shows. This is just a smattering and, again, I'm not sure where it begun, but once some of you take the black colored glasses off, you'll realize that I am sincerely interested in knowing because I am researching the word and I'm trying to figure out where this piece came from. I haven't checked all the dates, but it seems that most of these books are more recent than even the 1970's. Think of this $1,000 as a research grant if you can find a source for this use of the word Warlock. Who first used it? Where did it come from?

            When Someone You Love Is Wiccan http://books.google.com/books?id=5bHBdYCjReMC&amp

            The Complete Idiot's Guide to Wicca and Witchcraft http://books.google.com/books?id=ks6AvsrVCUoC&amp

            Wicca for Life: The Way of the Craft – From Birth to Summerland http://books.google.com/books?id=oJVo58KTVKkC&amp

            How to Become a Witch: The Path of Nature, Spirit & Magick http://books.google.com/books?id=_0hMWLuUuUAC&amp

            The Coven Leader's Handbook – 13 Lessons in Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca http://books.google.com/books?id=Q1Kb_tBteJoC&amp
            [this one is particularly odd, as the word Warlock appears in certain iterations of the Gardnerian Book of Shadows as a form of binding of the initiate to gain the sight. Elsewhere, it is "warricking"]

            A Wiccan Dictionary http://books.google.com/books?id=HQ0nV00oJIAC&amp

            Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard http://books.google.com/books?id=cMuQADen69UC&amp

            Covencraft: witchcraft for three or more By Amber K, Robin Wood http://books.google.com/books?id=iJrgXRkw0OQC&amp

          • http://xkcd.com/285 Eran Rathan

            OK, breaking this down:

            From the first entry: "Warlock comes from an ancient word that mean 'oath-breaker.' For this reason, some Witches teach that this word refers to a Witch who was expelled from a coven…"

            Second: "A warlock is someone who has broken an oath and because of that has been ostracised from the community."

            Third: "Warlock is from the old Scottish word warloga, meaning 'traitor' or 'deceiver'. It was a term applied during the burning times to one who turned in his fellow Witches to the authorities."
            (Buckland offers no citation of this)

            Fourth: "The term warlock is used by most witches only to mean a traitor or oathbreaker – especially one who has betrayed the coven…"
            (especially, but not solely)

            Fifth: "Warlock – a term coined in the Burning Times." (since this is blatantly false, I'm ignoring it)

            Sixth: "Warlock – a poisoner, an oathbreaker, an apostate Witch,"

            Seventh: "This old term of insult comes from Old English waer-loga: 'traitor' or 'liar'."

            Eight: "Warlock means 'oath-breaker'."

            I'll be very interested in this, but I've already found a number of references to c. 1200 CE (I'll freely admit though that Old English is not my forte, but I will see what I can come up with.)

          • http://xkcd.com/285 Eran Rathan

            Found one, to wit:
            "…setting forth the confession of 'ane warlock called Archibald Watt, alias Sole the paitlet, pointing out the way of his making covenant with the devil, as also many meetings since his covenant keeped with the devil, and other witches, in divers places.'"

            Domestic Annals of Scotland, Vol. II – From the Reformation to the Revolution, by Robert Chambers, pg. 195, dated 1858.

            – A clear reference to a warlock as one who betrayed other witches to a witch-finder, pre-1950.

            Link: http://books.google.com/books?id=H-MQAAAAYAAJ&amp

          • http://www.facebook.com/kkampmiller Kat Kampmiller

            Why bother? It's painfully obvious that this is just another publicity stunt. He will keep moving the goalpost just so nobody ever gets it. You could find something from 1593 that said, "Herr Klatte the warlock betrayed his group of witches." And Christian would come back with, "But it doesn't say WARLOCK!!!" There's no point in even taking this attention whore seriously enough to bother. He'll never pay up, or accept any evidence you could possibly supply, because he just wants to use the word "warlock" because it's "edgy" and garners him12 minutes of fame to associate with this Charlie Sheen fiasco. Was he even using this word before Sheen mentioned it?? I'd always heard of him referring to himself as a Witch. But then, I barely paid any attention.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

            But that does not answer the question I asked. *sigh*. I'm done here. A covenant with the devil implies that the one betrayed is the church. Why aren't you seeing that? Well, since this is in no way a scholarly discussion, I see no reason to continue it.

          • http://xkcd.com/285 Eran Rathan

            I must say that I am confused as to your confusion.

            1. Warlock means (and has meant) 'oath-breaker', 'traitor', and 'betrayer'.

            2. To Christians, all intelligent non-corporeal entities not explicitly associated with their god are devils or demons.

            3. Anyone practicing a religion other than Christianity, to the Christians, must therefor be 'in covenant with the devil' (from the above citation).

            4. The above citation mentions a specific warlock (and calls them such), who confessed to a witch-hunter about 'many meetings since his covenant [with] other witches…'

            Additionally, 'church' can mean "a place of public worship of a non-Christian religion.' or 'any non-Christian religious society, organization, or congregation' (from dictionary.com). So yes, a warlock is someone who has broken with his church – it is just that his church happens to be his coven.

            Words have a lot of power – if you feel the need to claim (or reclaim) the title 'oath-breaker', don't be surprised if few will trust you.

          • Marie Nikki

            .____. I don't know anymore…it sound like a joke to me.

          • Leea

            Another thought…You want to change the current meaning of Warlock to mean a male Witch, correct? Does it really MATTER to anyone when the word came to mean oathbreaker? Regardless if it came from the early middle ages or early 1970's, it's a word that serves a purpose-to brand and shame someone in our community that breaks a sacred trust. Looked at this way, the whole "lets find the real meaning" in just an exercise in mis-direction. Maybe a work like Wizard would be better?

          • http://xkcd.com/285 Eran Rathan

            Leea –

            The word originally meant 'oath-breaker' and 'traitor'. As far as it meaning 'a male witch', one would be inclined to place it from meaning 'one who has broken oath with the Church'.

          • Leea

            Well, yes Eran. My point was rather more about not caring WHEN the word took on it's current meaning, but why change the meaning of a word that serves it's community pretty well. I think the majority of us recognize that someone called Warlock has broken a trust. And forgive me if I'm wrong, but I thought Christian is the one that wants the word rebranded? Thanks for the reply though :)

          • Michael

            I'm currently studying linguistics in College, and a reoccurring theme is the change of word meanings over time, either in accordance or DESPITE their etymology. Our modern usage of the term "Warlock" as one who betrays her or his own coven is just a part of the modern evolution of the word. Whether this meaning has grounding in history or not is of relatively little importance if our entire community has a base understanding of its modern meaning.
            You can give lip service to reclaiming the word from its negative connotation as much as you want, but at the end of the day we have already reclaimed it. Modernly, it means a witch who betrays his or her coven. That is the meaning that we as a community have given it, despite its original use by the Church; thus, it is reclaimed. The end.

          • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

            Oddly, that argument makes me realize just how much more likely it is for me to be able to change the meaning of the word. That was, after all, the bet I made with my good friend Mr. Grimassi. He didn't think I could change it either, though he certainly respected my scholarship on the subject. I, on the other hand, believe that I can. :)

  • Baruch Dreamstalker

    On the theory that magick helps those who help themselves, finding Charlie Sheen a competent counselor could go a long way to achieving the ends of the rite. So more it be!

    Interesting that at least three participants were wearing pectoral crosses.

    • Bookhousegal

      Well, you know, Baruch, I didn't watch the video, or actually any of this general stunt, but as 'ends of the rite' go, it's actually possible that Mr. Sheen got just what he was asking for in his crazy warlock rant. Some crazy-sounding warlock help. :) Don't let the thousand-dollar question fool you, sometimes there's power in being wrong. Especially in Salem and Hollywood. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/kkampmiller Kat Kampmiller

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAH! The video!!! LOL!!! Seriously. Made. My. Day. Hilarious!

  • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

    Honestly, I'll give the grand if someone can provide this for real. Eran Rathan provided no source that implied that Warlock was a means of betraying other Witches or covens in any way. Betrayal in general, such as of verbal or written contracts, certainly wouldn't meet the test, since such contracts could exist by either practitioners of Witchcraft (who almost certainly would have interacted in secret in those times) and non-practitioners alike. And, just because "covenant" might sound like "coven" to some, they are hardly the same thing. By coven, I am obviously speaking of a group of Witches specifically and not any lie or deception. Moreover, every citation offered includes phrases such as "compact with the devil" and "dwelling with the devil." If Witches and warlocks were believed, at the time, to be in league with the devil, then the last thing these people would betray were other Witches. On the contrary, to pay homage to the so-called devil, whether that devil was Satan or simply a variation on the horned pagan gods, would imply that it is the Church that is being betrayed by the Warlock by his practice of Witchcraft.

    If all people can reply to these things with are comments about my clothes and paraplegics, this is hardly a scholarly exploration and certainly not interesting, so I'll leave you all to your insult fest. It's just not my bag. I'm actually interested in the information and to not have anyone on this thread capable of actually rising to this bar is just disappointing.

    Heading off, but again, here are the rules:

    1) Source must be prior to 1950.

    2) Source must refer to Warlock as a person who betrays a coven to the Witch hunters (or betrays a coven at all). In other words, that must be why they were called a Warlock. A poor Christian who is accused of being a Warlock and then, under torture, "betrays" other Witches (essentially calling out other poor Christians) wouldn't count because that person was called a Warlock before he caved under torture. That, and when women (such as Tituba of Salem) named the names of other "witches," they weren't suddenly called warlocks.

    3) You must provide the Source, page number and, if it is not available on Google books, you must provide an actual typed actual citation so I can see if I need to obtain the book somewhere.

    4) "oral tradition" and "my grandmother told me" are both disallowed.

    • Luis Abbadie

      When I read Jason saying "No doubt some scholars (amateur or otherwise) in need of some cash might want to take up his challenge", I immediately realized this was just my kind of challenge; unfortunately, I'm not to try to go for the prize since, frankly, I couldn't produce even a modern source stating such a thing! After about fifteen years of reading assorted Neo-Pagan books, I've seen "Warlock" interpreted as "oath-breaker" a zillion times, but this is the very first time I've ever seen it said to mean "betrayer of a coven". I've seen stated at various places that some Wiccans use "Pellar" in a somewhat similar sense, which in itself is IMHO regretfully wrong, since there are many serious witches and folk magicians who identify as pellars; but I'm surprised by how you mention there being many Wicca books ascribing such a meaning to "Warlock" -of course, I have read just a few authors, but having discussed this word with various people, I don't think I even know anybody who had heard of this until now! Is this a new trend of using that word, or have I been living in a cave? I suppose, given how Wiccan authors often repudiate the term "Warlock" for being "oath-breaker", they've merely applied such a sense to Wiccan oaths, since they're obviously the only ones they care about?

      While I agree that "Warlock" probably never meant such a thing, this reminds me of one time when a Jehovah's Witness visited me with an argument that they were not a "sect" because "sect" is derogative; I argued that "sect" merely denotes a group who shares a faith and is not derogatory, and when he saw he couldn't convince me otherwise, he stopped listening and went on anyway explaining why they were not a "sect" but a religion. My point is, if many of us can go through the messy Neo-Pagan world never encountering that concept of "Warlock", why fix what isn't broken? If a couple of your neighbors have that opinion and question you; challenge them, not the world, and leave the media out of it if being left alone as self-identified warlock is what you want, lest your concern may be misinterpreted as publicity-mongering! :-)

      (Still, in point 4, you discard oral tradition and that ever-popular granny knowledge, but hey! you say nothing of ancient grimoires one cannot show due to secrecy oaths… any minute now…)

      • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

        Hi Luis,

        Go to books.google.com. There are many modern Wiccan books that refer to a "Warlock" as a "traitor to the coven," or one who "betrays the coven to the Witch hunters. It's been a trend since the 1970's, but there's never really been a source for it and that's what I'm trying to find, really.

        Christian

      • Math

        Hmm … my feelings too.

        I have never come across the definition of "Warlock" as meaning "betrayer of a coven" either. How odd!

        As a Scot, I have always considered the word "Warlock" to be a Scots word indicating a male witch. Not being a Wiccan (I’m a pagan of a different hue) I don't read a lot of Wicca 101 books but I, too, think that the word has been given this meaning sometime in the last couple of decades in a pop. Wicca book somewhere, and other writers have repeated this assertion in their books with out much thought. While I guess that people in the pagan subculture can use “Warlock” in this meaning if they wish, on a personal level I have to confess to feeling a little culturally appropriated here. After all, why should people take a word from somebody else’s culture (i.e., mine) and assign a different meaning to it?

        Perhaps, rather than trying to accept Christian Day’s offer of a $1000 dollars to prove something that Christian knows full well to be untrue, we should be seeking the opinion of a professional etymologist. In the meantime, here is a pertinent link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A4123946.

        On a wider point: if introductory books written by pagan practitioners, such as the ones referenced by Christian elsewhere, sometimes lack this kind of authority then we should not be surprised if we have an uphill struggle to be taken seriously by the wider community at times (and being taken seriously is a big part of the response to Christian’s film). All the more reason, then, for projects such as the New Alexandrian Library rather than Christian’s cultural agitation, which, while gaining kudos for bringing attention to his agenda, could prove to cause more harm than good in the long term.

    • Bookhousegal

      I think the problem here, Christian, is you're trying to demand that a word doesn't mean what it means when it's used, then exclude any source that says, 'This is how we mean it. This is where it comes from.'

      It *did* mean 'oathbreaker,' it *did* get taken that way by the modern Pagan community, whose word you don't want to hear, and saying 'You're all wrong unless you prove something by the standards I want to use to claim what I say goes' doesn't *change* that.

      Reclaiming the word 'Witch' wasn't easy, either. This was also *done* to a certain extent. It doesn't mean plenty don't still use it negatively.

      If you want to use the word 'Warlock' for some pop-media purposes, saying 'The community doesn't count on this one,' *doesn't do anything toward saying you represent the Pagan community at *all.*

      Calling yourself that and Wicca-bashing also won't change the fact that, yes, if someone calls proudly himself a warlock, the first thought is 'poser,' *because* it wouldn't be anything to be so proud of if anyone *did* call them that.

      Media stunts like that *also* don't help your credibility in these matters and *sure* don't help the community.

      And if you want these Wiccans and Pagans in general to change the usage of this term, have you considered *asking* people to, instead of trying to browbeat them or throw money and media circuses around?

      Seems to me you were making some claims here not too long ago about what the community thinks of the word. I think the responses here and elsewhere may show those claims are not the case, no matter how you interpret 'acceptable sources.'

      Perhaps there's a difference between *representing* a community and 'claiming to command them.'

      Yaknow?

  • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

    Well, and it's probably fair that I should say I do not prefer the word Pagan to describe myself. When I've used it, it's been for ease of conversation, but, for many reasons, it's just not something I consider to be a label that applies to me anymore than Wicca does.

    • Chris Boydston-Taub

      You don't have to describe yourself as a Pagan, Christian. If you're not one, that's fine – but if you haven't noticed, you're here – and the blog author as well as the majority of readers who are commenting believe you're intentionally or unintentionally representing our way of life. They're just hoping you would stop making us look like nothing more than a Salem tourist attraction.

      BTW: You appeared here on a Phoenix, Arizona news station. The news anchors all had a nice laugh about it. So not only did you make us look stupid, you made your own campaign for "warlock" a laughable throw-away piece for our local press. That should really help the local press coverage of this year's upcoming Pagan Pride Day.

  • Ann

    It's disturbing and gross to see people cut down trees for a library.

    • http://egregores.blogspot.com/ Apuleius

      Where exactly do you think books come from in the first place?

      • http://xkcd.com/285 Eran Rathan

        Ann writes:
        It's disturbing and gross to see people cut down trees for a library.

        …as you write on a computer made out of petroleum and other hazardous materials, powered by coal burning plants, in your nice comfy suburban home which was farmland fifty years ago, and forest a hundred before that, which is built out of wood (probably NOT sustainably harvested), which is probably heated with oil…

        • Ann

          Good job turning the tables without addressing the original point. Are you capable of something other than deflecting blame?

          • http://xkcd.com/285 Eran Rathan

            I wasn't aware there was a point made in your statement, Ann.

          • Ann

            Maybe you will get it someday.

      • Ann

        Where exactly do you think global warming comes from? This project claims to have future generations in mind. [rolls eyes]

        • http://www.facebook.com/kkampmiller Kat Kampmiller

          Maybe you could write them and tell them to replant a tree somewhere else to offset the trees they cut down.

          • Ann

            Apparently some of their representative(s) read this blog. I think you just suggested that to them yourself.

        • http://xkcd.com/285 Eran Rathan

          Ann writes:
          Where exactly do you think global warming comes from?

          Industrialization, orbital precession, solar fluctuations, volcanic eruptions, urban heat-sinks altering weather patterns – really, there are a number of things that affect climate. But the base answer is we don't know – evidence at the moment points to human industrial output of CO2 into the atmosphere being a large factor (current levels are comparable to the late Jurassic, I believe), though it is very probable that the pattern of distribution of industrial/urban areas (in the form of weather-altering heat sinks) plays a large part, as well as solar and volcanic periodic instabilities.

    • Jaclyn Desiree Arceneaux

      Although the advent of practical electronic books frees us from many of the limitations and downsides of paper, we cannot lose sight of the fact that paper remains the most affordable and available writing material in the world, whereas e-books belong to the relatively privileged.

      Within the limits of sustainability, the need for paper fully justifies the harvesting of trees.

      • Bookhousegal

        There's a lot of less-than admirable purposes trees are put to, but books aren't one of them.

        For one thing, they don't depend on quite such perishable or deniable technology, especially if they aren't made with the chemical industry's processes.

        Books, in short, are rather difficult to hack or shut down. :)

        Nothing wrong with hemp fiber on that one, btw.

      • Ann

        I disagree but you are entitled to your opinion.

        • Jaclyn Desiree Arceneaux

          Well, what alternatives would you propose?

          • Ann

            I propose finding a site that does not require cutting down trees.

          • Jason Pitzl-Waters

            Did you even read the response in the comments from a New Alexandrian Library spokesperson?

            Quote:

            "The site selected for the NAL is covered mostly with scrub pine, which should not be the dominant tree in southern Delaware forests and are an unhealthy result of pulp wood logging done on the land in the 30s and 40s. It was carefully situated to make sure that the beautiful old oaks and hollies would remain undisturbed and will provide a backdrop to the Library. The necessary offerings to the land spirits and tree spirits were made, and the wood that is removed is being retained for use in both ritual and sweat lodge fires on the land. The Stewards of Seelie Court are very careful and concerned with the proper use and management of the resource of the land.

            The general contractor, who is pagan, is clearing the trees 'by hand,' i.e. they are being selected and cut down one at a time, instead of the quicker and more cost effective method of just bringing a bulldozer in and knocking everything down. "

            I would recommend scrolling down a bit and reading the entire thing.

          • Ann

            Yes, I read it. They are very good at justifying actions but I'm not buying it. I wasn't discussing them here, however. I was asked what alternatives I propose and I stated that I propose finding a site that does not require cutting down trees. Oops, too late.

          • Jason Pitzl-Waters

            Out of curiosity, how familiar are you with the ecosystem of the site they are building on? Do you live in the area? Have you surveyed it? Do you know how harmful their plan is, or are you simply opposed to cutting down any kind of tree, anywhere, for any reason? You seem very ready to condemn, and I want to know if you are doing so with real knowledge of their plan and the site, or if this a larger idealogical issue for you?

          • Ann

            "Out of curiosity, how familiar are you with the ecosystem of the site they are building on?"
            I have been there.
            "Do you live in the area?"
            Nearby.
            "Have you surveyed it? "
            No.
            "Do you know how harmful their plan is, or are you simply opposed to cutting down any kind of tree, anywhere, for any reason? "
            I am opposed to cutting down trees when it can be avoided.
            "You seem very ready to condemn, "
            They seem very ready to cut down trees.
            "and I want to know if you are doing so with real knowledge of their plan and the site, or if this a larger idealogical issue for you?"
            I do not have as much knowledge of their site as they do. I won't apologize for my ideologies.

          • Jaclyn Desiree Arceneaux

            In other words, you neither know nor care about the actual ecological impact of their actions; you are only interested in being preachy about "OMG save the trees!" because it makes you feel righteous.

          • Ann

            Your conclusions, not mine.

    • http://twitter.com/widdershins_cat @widdershins_cat

      I can think of no more honorable reason TO cut down trees.

      • Jaclyn Desiree Arceneaux

        Indeed. It's a real shame that zealots like Ann refuse to see that there's a huge difference between this and commercial logging operations.

    • cigfran

      Let's see.
      Library.
      Library. Hmm.
      What goes in a library?
      Books!
      Books… paper… yes.
      Trees!
      Books are made from trees!

      How disgusting that we cut down trees so that we can read!
      By all means, let's go back to clay tablets.

    • Michael Smith

      Ann

      You have stated that you have been to Seelie Court before and that you still live nearby. If so, then you have a wide variety of contact information for the Assembly, the Library, and the covens that are based here. Please feel free to contact me directly and I would be happy to arrange a tour of the site for you.

      I do want to thank you for encouraging us to outline for others the process by which the site was chosen, how it is being treated, and how we are managing the resources. This is good information for people to have.

      Blessed Be

  • Michael Smith

    Seelie Court, north of Georgetown, DE and the site of the New Alexandrian Library, is a 102-acre plot of land dedicated to the pagan and magickal paths. With the introduction of the Library to the three existing homes, ritual and coven circles, and sweat lodge area on the property, the cleared land is still less than 5 acres.

    The site selected for the NAL is covered mostly with scrub pine, which should not be the dominant tree in southern Delaware forests and are an unhealthy result of pulp wood logging done on the land in the 30s and 40s. It was carefully situated to make sure that the beautiful old oaks and hollies would remain undisturbed and will provide a backdrop to the Library. The necessary offerings to the land spirits and tree spirits were made, and the wood that is removed is being retained for use in both ritual and sweat lodge fires on the land. The Stewards of Seelie Court are very careful and concerned with the proper use and management of the resource of the land.

    The general contractor, who is pagan, is clearing the trees 'by hand,' i.e. they are being selected and cut down one at a time, instead of the quicker and more cost effective method of just bringing a bulldozer in and knocking everything down.

    Everything is being done is the most respectful and spiritual way possible so that not only the Library but the land and the homes will be for the benefit of future generations. The Assembly of the Sacred Wheel owns 1/3 of the property, and the remaining owners have interlocking wills such that when we are gone the Assembly will own and be the Steward of all of Seelie Court.

    • http://rootandrock.blogspot.com Scylla

      Absolutely inspiring to see such ethical land management. Have you been in contact with eco-villages or their ilk?
      Also, when your library is running, will you have and maintain a catalog and/or operate through inter-library exchange?

      • Michael Smith

        Actually, no. We have certainly read about and researched eco-villages and sustainable land management, and we are moving towards a variety of sustainable methods, such as solar. Of course, such things take time and resources and is a slow process. Much of our current attitude comes naturally from our Traditions concepts of the sacredness of the natural world and our relationship to the beings with which we share it.

        As for a catalog and inter-library exchange, we have several members and supporters who have degrees in Library Science and are advising/suggesting present and future facilities. We will be looking at a variety of catalog software systems based on their recommendations and the budget.

        We recognize the benefit to having such an exchange and do plan to execute it in the future. One of our hopes is that other esoteric library projects will come into being in the future with which we can have such an exchange. Of course we will also be looking at what is required to have such an exchange with existing academic and private libraries.

        • harmonyfb

          Of course we will also be looking at what is required to have such an exchange with existing academic and private libraries.

          Oh, I hope you do – at least with the less rare titles. I have a much larger personal esoteric/Pagan collection than the local libraries put together, and it's very frustrating to put in ILL after ILL request on titles only to be told, "no library has that".

    • http://twitter.com/widdershins_cat @widdershins_cat

      That's wonderful to see. As a librarian in training, part of me wonders if this will be done by the time I have my MLIS degree (ca. 2016)… ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/kkampmiller Kat Kampmiller

    Doh! Can't edit.. I mean he would say, "It doesn't say COVEN!"

    • Bookhousegal

      So he did. Round of 'told ya so's' on the house. :)

    • Zelda13

      The word Witch & Pagan (they were never miss used just ised in a negitive way) has been renews in a positive way. Why not Warlock.

  • http://witchdoctorjoe.blogspot.com/ WitchDoctorJoe

    In the latest printing of Aradia, Gospel of the Witches, published by The Witches Almanac: Christopher Penczack wrote “While we have the same vocabulary, we don’t have the same definitions to those words.” This will always be an obstacle of communication; however we in the Pagan community do have our own accepted vernacular, which is full of falsehoods and inconsistencies.
    If you Google “White handled knife” you will get “Boline” and visa versa. While these are two distinct and separate magical tools with different purposes, they have come to be known as the same, no doubt due to many new books on Wicca and internet sources.
    Regardless of documented historical facts or etymological accuracies, these words and their definitions have evolved and will continue to do so. Regardless of what Warlock meant in the past, it is now adopted and accepted vernacular by the larger Pagan community to indicate oath breaker, traitor, betrayer and all around bad Pagan.
    I cannot change the white handle knife vs. the boline, nor will Day change Warlock, I think that this event has only prompted our community to tighten its grip on the word.

    • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

      I guess we shall see. :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

      Also, Mr. Penczak himself, in one of his books (I believe Gay Witchcraft) correctly notes that the word Warlock was an epithet of the church, so that the oaths broken were also to the church and not to a coven.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Bengruagach Ben Gruagach

    I just wanted to add to the record of pre-1950s sources for equating "warlock" with "traitor". And I think this particular source is very likely how the definition came to be accepted by early Wiccans like Gardner and Valiente. The book is listed in Gerald Gardner's personal library inventory at http://newwiccanchurch.org/libsz.html

    Look for "Witchcraft and Black Magic" by Montague Summers (first published by H. Holt in 1946.) On page 18 he discusses the definition and origin of the word "warlock" along with other words related to witchcraft.

    You can see it on Google Books at http://books.google.ca/books?id=qZPSWkRinHMC&…

    While we're on the topic of likely sources for words adopted by modern Witches, I've long thought that Gardner (or someone he knew) latched onto the word Wicca thanks to the entry for "witchcraft" in Lewis Spence's popular "An Encyclopedia of Occultism" which was first published in 1920. It was in Gardner's book collection too.

    • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

      For the record, I never said that the word "oathbreaker" or "traitor" were not among the many etymological roots of warlock prior to 1950, just that they had nothing to do with betraying a coven, a claim that exists in dozens of modern Wicca books. If people are going to research my request, it will make it much easier to read what I'm asking for. The word warlock is more associated with "devil" for much of its history than it is traitor. The word is typically an epithet used by the Church to represent a liar or a devil or someone hostile to the Church. Prior to this, though, there are theories that the word is related to an older word representing a spirit song that summons the spirits of dead in a positive way for divination. This is something that Oxford English Dictionary does not yet accept but the Norse scholars seem to. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • Bookhousegal

    So, yeah, what they got going on here at New Alexandria Library, prefab Bucky-domes? Could be pretty cool. Hope it's put together right: for an archive you really don't want leaks or anything like that.

    Speaking of important, anyone got a forklift somewhere around Delaware? :)

    Patrick McCollum's having an interesting journey, meanwhile, too, I'm sure.

  • Michael Smith

    Actually, there are already two geodesic dome homes at Seelie Court, the property in Southern Delaware where the New Alexandrian Library is being built. So, we do have experience with these types of domes.

    Though the point about being careful with the media is well taken. If I were going to do that post about the fork lift rental again, it would read:

    "A special appeal! All donations made to the New Alexandrian Library today will go to defray the cost of the lull fork lift rental, which came to $721."

    When I saw that posted on the WH, I thought to myself 'don't write such things before morning coffee.' Fortunately, we know people who could operate such heavy machinery, unfortunately we know no one who actually owns one. From now on, the heavy lifting is on the contractor's shoulders.

  • Bookhousegal

    Sounds neat . (My real point was in no way a dig there: rather that what's happening there is a lot cooler than some publicity stunts about Charlie Sheen and skulls and stuff. Tell us about geodesic domes. Or the library. ;) )

    And, we'd been just talking about fundraising and volunteerism and helping each other out and stuff cooperatively (perhaps rather than paying money outside the community,) so I was just trying to speak of the practical. As opposed to the big-publicity thing. :)

    Though, in earnest I've actually got a little archiving-related scheme I'd like to try and help bring about, involving an image service for the Pagan Newswire Collective, which would benefit greatly from some redundancy in offline data storage at least, …hopefully some hardcopy, both given the relative unreliability of computer storage methods, these days, etc. .

    It sounds like your library would be a perfect sort of repository-point for a lot of such archives, if it comes together. Interested? I'm hoping to be in a position to start trying to pull a team together on this, sometime soon, :) Fraid I have no forklift money, but maybe some content to come. (I only say this here in the spirit of ….Better things we could all be doing. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/KveldulfThorsFreyrssonStormcloudWormwood Gary P Golden Jr

    "Actually, there are already two geodesic dome homes at Seelie Court, "

    which are freakin awesome BTW…..

    MIKE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Tea

    Wow, that video is hilarious. I don't think you could even make a parody of it more ludicrous than it actually is.

  • Michael Smith

    Oh, I did not take it as a dig. It is a valid point. In the 60s and 70s geodesic domes were a bit too counter-culture to be taken as a serious building system. But these days there are a number of companies using mature technologies to create beautiful structures. We build our in 2000 and absolutely love it.

    I have been pleased to see that more and more pagans no longer have the automatic bad reaction to any idea of infrastructure instead of relying on others to support our communities. It is exciting.

    I have put my email on this post, so send me a note off-list about your archive ideas. The idea of archives are definitely in line with the work of the Library.

  • Bookhousegal

    Actually, a lot of the problem with geodesics was the same as the problem with solar hot water: poor sealing materials and all. (So tell us, :) )

    My *ideas* run from 'Would you mind hanging on to this box of 'Donate Your Old Hard Drives, We're Gonna Put Em in a An Ammo Crate And Pray For The Best,' to whatever clever things the digital age can devise. :) Just mentioning it here to stir/gauge community interest. :)

    Frankly, if anyone else likes the idea enough to take the lead, my analog skills might be better spent poring through negatives anyway. :) This is kinda the point. You're building a *library* and someone who picks up a skull and says warlock gets more buzz for *his* bit of forklift money-you'll-never-see. :)

  • Jack Tyler

    Now that's a $1,000 challenge!

  • Jo

    I think Mr T wants his bling back.

  • Auntie Mame

    The skull is named Robert. HI-larious. I'd have gone with Bob, but maybe that's just me.

  • Michael Smith

    This particular system comes from this company:
    http://www.aidomes.com/

    We were concerned with the leakage problem, and experience shows that 99% of the issues arise from mis-installed skylights. We had a bit of trouble with that ourself and had to have it fixed. However, the plans call for no skylights, and the only natural light will come from windows on the second floor of this first stage (where there are no stacks) which will all have 'eyebrows' to shield them from the rain.

    We also discovered a paint-on roofing material which hardens to a flexible membrane. This material can be dyed, so we are going to engage some of our more creative types to plan a painting scheme for the exterior.

    And while this has nothing to do with the building itself, the Library will have an address on Enchanted Way.

    A lot of this information will be updated on our website soon. Unfortunately, we have a dearth of capable web designers in the ASW who have any free time. So, that is happening slowly (more slowly than I would like).

  • lysana

    If Christian Day is going to imitate James Randi, the least he could do is present a challenge with a higher bar to cross.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christianday Christian Day

    Really? So far, nobody has crossed it.

  • harmonyfb

    Yay, new library!! That news made me smile all day yesterday.

  • Bookhousegal

    Sounds cool. Direct Sun and archives don't go well together, anyway. :)

    Would be kind of neat if an oculus would work in right up top and center,

    Maybe you could rip off some of the movie 'Agora's set design elements for some things. I thought some of that looked pretty good, and all. But I can only imagine you've got some vision about these sorts of things. :)