Charleston, West Virginia

The Craft of the Wise: Yvonne Frost and Alison Jo Frost

First Recorded

September 14, 2018

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Yvonne Frost and her late husband Gavin Frost founded the School and Church of Wicca, a monotheistic spiritual path centered on an abstract and unknowable deity, in 1968. In this conversation, Yvonne joins her daughter Alison Jo Frost to discuss the history and impact of Wicca thought and practice in the United States.

This story was produced by David Dault at Sandburg Media, LLC.

This story is a part of the American Pilgrimage Project, a conversation series that invites Americans of diverse backgrounds to sit together and talk to each other one-to-one about the role their religious beliefs play at crucial moments in their lives. The interview was recorded by StoryCorps, a national nonprofit whose mission is to preserve and share humanity‚Äôs stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.

Yvonne Forst and Alison Jo Frost

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Transcript

Yvonne Frost: I was and am a recovering Baptist. I could not buy into any of the Abrahamic religions at all. And so, we set out to recreate the oldest spiritual path that we knew of, and that we still know of, Wicca, the craft of the wise. And we convinced the IRS that it was a valid spiritual path, even though it was not Abrahamic. And we lived it to the best of our ability for-

Alison Frost: 50 years.

Yvonne Frost:    ... Yeah. Plus or minus 50 years. We opened the first post office box in 1968. And we earned federal recognition in 1972 and have never looked back because the craft Wicca is a valid spiritual path that tends to heal lives.

Alison Frost: Deity is really important because deity is at the center of it all. Although Deity is unknowable. We can't describe deity, but we do want to remember that we have Deity at the center of it all as syncretic monotheists, meaning that you can celebrate lesser deities, but then they go and perform or communicate with a higher Deity that we cannot imagine because our brains are finite and the Deity is infinite. Right? Is that a pretty good understanding, right?

Yvonne Frost: Excellent. Excellent understanding.

Alison Frost: Thank goodness. 50 years of tutoring.

Yvonne Frost: We know that Deity exists, but we are not yet ready spiritually to know Deity personally. So instead of praying, for example, I meditate every night to open myself to what information may come from the other side, through my guide, my spiritual guide, a woman who was Canadian in her last incarnation. And she tries to guide me through my days as I lurch along. And I sometimes think she must have times when she drinks herself to sleep because of the capers I pull.

Alison Frost: Oh, so we, and I think you, really emphasizing that power through knowledge because people really mix up the idea of witches and Wicca and power. And they really turn that into something that's not very positive. And when I try to translate that for people and interpret it for them, I talk about self-empowerment.

Yvonne Frost: Right, right. People are so edgy about this stuff. And what they are doing is believing, buying into the stuff that was told against us in the sixteenth and seventeenth century, by the church that wanted to be the only game in town and was willing to do anything even up to the point of murdering people, so they could have control.

Alison Frost: Power doesn't mean that you have got a wand in your hand and you are doing something out of Harry Potter. It means that you are, getting some empowerment and you are understanding what's going on around you. Because sometimes when you meditate, you have a question that you ask your guide or your spiritual advisor, so that you maybe you go to sleep with this question in your mind, and you wake in the morning with a message, either from your dreams or some other way.

Yvonne Frost: Just make the most of every experience and get what understanding you can out of it. And yes, there be pain, but there's learning and growth as well. And be nice to people. The law of attraction says, what you put out is what you are going to get. And if I go around snapping and snarling, I am going to get snapping and snarling back and just unpleasant things. And I am going to make a bad impression. And I don't want to do that for the craft, and harm none, harm none. That's it.

Alison Frost: Harm none. Do what you will. Thank you, Mom.

Yvonne Frost: You've made it a pleasure.

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