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Gavin and Yvonne Frost

(1930- )  -  (1931- ) 

 

Written and compiled by George Knowles  

After the old English Witchcraft Act of 1735 was repealed in 1951, a new and contemporary movement of witchcraft in various forms and traditions began to emerge and spread throughout the U.K. instigated by the likes of Gerald Gardner (Gardnerian), Alex Sanders (Alexandrian) and Robert Cochrane (Clan of Tubal Cain).  In 1962, Raymond Buckland an Englishman living in America and a protégé of Gerald Gardner, exported the Gardnerian tradition to America and formed the first Gardnerian coven in New York in 1963.  Since then contemporary witchcraft spread quickly around the United States as other prominent leaders began to write about and form their own traditions.

 

Two of America’s most enduring leaders emerged in the early 1970’s.  Gavin and Yvonne Frost are openly professed Witches, authors of more than 22 books and monographs including the best seller:  The Witch’s Bible’ (Nash Publishing, Los Angeles 1972) rewritten as the 'The Good Witch's Bible' (Parker Publishing, New Jersey 1976), and Co-founders of the first legally recognized School and Church of Wicca in America.

 

 

Gavin Frost

 

Gavin Frost was born in 1930 in Aldridge, England, where his hard-drinking Welsh grandfather had built the family’s galvanizing and canning business.  On a wooded ridge just outside of Aldridge he also built a home for each of his children where they all lived together in a tight-knit family group, helping and working together in the family business.  After his grandfather passed away in 1936, Gavin was enrolled in a boarding school to start his education.  Holidays were spent in Wales, a part of England steeped in mythology, folklore and witchcraft, and it was here that Gavin’s interest in ancient religion began.

 

During the war years 1939–45, the families canning business thrived, supplying much needed canned rations to aid the war effort.  Granny’s kitchen garden also helped to stave off the privation caused by food rationing, by canning and storing foods to help them through difficult times and shortages.

 

At school Gavin had excelled in mathematics and physics, and in 1949 was enrolled into King’s College at the University of London to further his studies.  There he joined an informal group under the influence of T. C. Lethbridge, the author of ‘Witches:  Investigating an Ancient Religion’ (Routledge & Kegan Paul, London 1962), a laboratory assistant at the time, Lethbridge was interested in magic, the occult and sacred stone sites.  In 1951 after the witchcraft act had finally been repealed, the group decided to seek initiation.  They sought the help of a previous student of the university, now a pursuivant to the Duke of Norfolk, the heraldic head of England, who had joined a coven in Penzance.  After receiving instruction the initiation was carried out at the stone circle site in Boskednan, Cornwall.  As part of the initiation ritual, initiates received a mark cut into their wrists. 

 

 

Boskednan Stone Circle in Cornwall.

 

 Also known as the Nine Maidens, the circle was mostly in ruins until the authorities under took its restoration in the summer of 2004.  It’s isolated location on desolate moorland make it very attractive.  There were probably twenty-two stones making up the original circle, but only six are still erect and most of those in the north are missing.  They average about 1.2m (4 feet) in height, although the broken one at the north was over six feet when it was standing.

 

 

Boskednan Stone Circle in Cornwall.

 

The circle was restored after recent renovation work during the summer of 2004.

In 1952, Gavin graduated from King’s College London with honors, gaining a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics, and after completing his post doctoral thesis with the Department of Atomic Energy in Cumbria, he received a Doctorate in Physics & Mathematics which launched him into a long and successful career in the aerospace industry.  While in Cumbria, Gavin met and fell in love with Dorothy Whitford and together they moved to Hatfield near London where Gavin had taken up a research position with the de Havilland Aircraft Corporation.  Gavin and Dorothy were married in January 1953.

 

Gavin’s research for de Havilland involved investigating the effects of long wave infrared radiation on missiles.  As much of the missiles testing took place at night on Salisbury Plain, this left him time during the day to investigate the ancient monoliths of Stonehenge and the people who built them, furthering his interest in ancient peoples and the origins of the Old Religion.

 

 

Stonehenge 

Gavin’s next position was with Canadair in Montreal, were initially he was to work on the Canadian missile program but instead he joined their Training and Simulation group, a position that allowed him to travel around the world.  One trip took him to Chile were he had the opportunity to spend four days in a remote village exploring their religious belief’s and experiencing first-hand the powers of healing as practised by their shamans. 

After moving to California, Gavin next began work as the senior project engineer working on the military F-104 radar systems, another position that allowed him to travel.  On one a trip to Milan, Italy he was able to do some research into the truths and fiction that surrounds Charles G. Leland’s ‘Aradia: Gospel of the Witches’.

All his traveling and long hours at work was beginning to affect his marriage and family life, which by now included two children, a son and daughter.  In an attempt to ease his load and spend more quality time with them, he accepted a new position as a Company representative in Europe, and in 1966 moved his family to Munich, Germany.  While his hours at work were still high, what free time he had he failed to spend with his family.  Instead he became fascinated in the subject of German sorcery.  He joined a group of Zauberer’s (Zauberer - German for magician, sorcerer, wizard) operating in der Bayrischen Naehe just south of Munich and began studying for initiation.  After a grueling test of personal endurance, part of the initiation ritual, he qualified to receive and don their Saffron Robe. 

Returning to California in 1968, his marriage to Dorothy began to deteriorate.  While in German, Gavin had started to write his first book entitled: ‘Pagans of Stonehenge’ and on his return to California, asked one of the companies secretaries Yvonne Wilson to type and edit it.  It soon became apparent that they shared a mutual liking as well as similar interests in religion and spirituality; it wasn’t long before they became lovers and together studied psychic development with a spiritualist teacher.  Yvonne also studied for and was initiated into a Celtic tradition.  In 1969, Gavin and Dorothy divorced, which was less than amicable, and he and Yvonne moved to St. Louis, Missouri, there to start a new life and pursue the craft together. 

 

Yvonne Frost 

Yvonne Frost (nee Wilson) was born in 1931 in Los Angeles during the early years of the depression that was sweeping across America.  Just a few years earlier, her Baptist family and a large number of relatives had moved from the poverty stricken areas of the Cumberland Gap in Kentucky, only to suffer the privations of the depression in Los Angeles.  From her early childhood as the eldest of four children, she quickly learned two valuable lessons in life, frugality and economy, “never expect what you cannot have in life, but embrace with joy every experience that enriches your life”.  This was an approach to life she never out grew. 

Struggling through her teen years, Yvonne had a hard time coming to terms with her Baptist up bringing; she never seemed to fit in, and so began to question her Baptist faith.  She then began an extensive study of comparative religions in search of something more compatible.  She claims her family history includes two lines of witches that go back for generations, one to the Cumberland Gap in Kentucky, and the other to the Clan Gunn of Scotland.

In 1950, Yvonne married for the first time to a military man, a marriage that lasted 10 years, part of which time when stationed in Germany, she went and lived there with him.  After the end of their marriage in 1960, and with a need to better support herself, Yvonne started a course in Secretary Skills at Fullerton Junior College in Orange County, California.  Graduating in 1962 with an A.A. degree, she started a career as a secretary working for a major aerospace company in Anaheim, California. 

At that time Yvonne was still exploring alternative paths of spirituality.  First she tried Buddhism, but found it too passive to meet her spiritual needs.  She then became involved with Spiritualism and attended a number of séances.  Her spirit guide she claims was Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace (who together with Darwin, had developed the first theory of evolution).

In 1968, after his return from Germany, Yvonne first met Gavin Frost in the Halls of their mutual employer.  Gavin turn out to be the boss of her own boss, and asked her to type and edit a book he was writing ‘Pagans of Stonehenge’.  In doing so, Yvonne could see that some elements of witchcraft overlapped with her beliefs in spiritualism.  Given similar interests and a mutual liking they soon became lovers, and together studied psychic development with a spiritualist teacher.  Yvonne also studied for and was initiated into a Celtic tradition.  After Gavin’s divorce to Dorothy in 1969, they moved together to St. Louis, Missouri, there to start a new life and pursue the craft together.

    

The Church and School of Wicca 

In St. Louis, Gavin took up a position as an international sales manager, which again involved much travelling around the world and time away from home.  After one such trip to Australia, his return flight on the 24th July was rescheduled so that the passengers could witness the re-entry of the Apollo space module containing Neil Armstrong, Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Michael Allen Collins, the first astronauts to step out on the noon.  Gavin was naturally excited and couldn’t wait to tell Yvonne about it hoping to surprise her with the news.

 

However Yvonne was unperturbed by his news, for she had news and a surprise for him, calmly she told him that:  “My water broke this morning”.  Gavin was ecstatic as he witnessed Yvonne giving birth to a new baby daughter, they named her ‘Bronwyn’.  Gavin and Yvonne were married in 1970.

 

In between trips Gavin and Yvonne co-authored the first draft of ‘The Witch’s Bible’, but couldn’t find a publisher for it.  Undeterred, while Gavin was away, Yvonne spent her time alone nursing Bronwyn and reorganizing the book into a series of lectures, these they used for a correspondence course, and the School of Wicca was born.  They advertised the School in magazines all around the United States and soon gained a regular following of students.

 

Gavin and Yvonne spent the next couple of years banging heads with bureaucracy and particularly the IRS as they sought legal recognition for the School as a Church and a non-profit organization.  In order to meet their requirements they had to define the philosophy of the church in keeping with the philosophies of other religions.  This they did by symbolising the five points of the pentagram within a circle:

 

(1)  The Wiccan Rede – “If it harm none, do what you will”

 

(2)  Power through knowledge

 

(3)  The Law of Attraction and Threefold Return

 

(4)  Harmony with the Universe

 

(5)  Reincarnation

 

(6)  The circle representing Spirit and Deity

 

Satisfied the IRS issued the Church of Wicca with a “Letter of Determination” on the 31st August 1972, making it the first legally recognised Wicca Church in America.  It also helped to redefine witchcraft as a bona-fide religion entitled to all the same benefits and representation as all other religions.  Since then fifteen other Church of Wicca facilities were chartered across the United States.

 

In 1972, Gavin gave up his highfalutin life style and together with Yvonne; they took a vow of poverty and committed themselves to the full-time activities of the School and Church, while living and teaching the craft as they perceive it.  They spent the next couple of years in Missouri restoring old buildings and raising pigs, and then in 1975 moved on to New Bern in North California were they lived for some twenty years.  During which time they were active members of the North Carolina Prison Chaplains’ Commission and among other books, wrote the ‘State of Oregon Prisoner’s Handbook for Wicca’.

 

In 1980 they retired from active leadership of the Church but retained control of the School through which they continue to teach.  Over time they have developed some eight different correspondence courses on such subjects as:  Astrology, Celtic Witchcraft, Psychic Development, Tantric Yoga, Healing and Herbs among others, these are continually updated to include new trends and wisdom.  Through the school they have published America’s longest lasting Wiccan periodical called ‘Survival’, which today is edited by their daughter Bronwyn.  In 1996, Gavin and Yvonne moved to their present location in Hinton, West Virginia.

 

Over the years the Frost’s have always been open about their beliefs and despite much criticism from within the craft and without, have steadfastly followed their own path.  Together they have appeared on national T.V. including: the ‘Phil Donahue Show’, ‘PM Magazine’ and Tom Snyder’s ‘Tomorrow Show’, as well as in hundreds of local T.V. and Radio shows, newspaper and magazine articles across the country.  As sought after public speakers they have travelled up and down the United States, during which times they have been shot at and encountered numerous hostile demonstrations against them.  On two occasions they have even had bombs planted in the hotels where they staying at.  I had to wonder why??

 

After further research, I have found that their original printing of the The Witch’s Bible’ (Nash Publishing, Los Angeles 1972), a book now difficult to get hold of, contained some extremely disturbing practices concerning the initiation of the 'Wicca Child' (i.e. children as young as ten years old).   Indeed I find it quite astonishing that two such intelligent and worldly wise people would literarily try to commit suicide?  Bare in mind they wrote this book in 1972, at the height of the so called "permissive society" (the sexual revolution of the 1960's), still, it is easy to see that what they wrote would be offensive to most people.  Even today in 2006, many people reading it now would find it equally offensive.  The 'The Witch's Bible' was re-issued as 'The Good Witch's Bible' (Parker Publishing, New Jersey 1976).

 

Of their life together Yvonne can be quoted as saying:  "We have made our life's mission the teaching of those who seek help and healing.  We are fulfilled that by teaching them, they have been able to make their own lives and the lives of their loved ones more comfortable.  That knowledge makes all those years of struggling and developing our Craft awareness, well worth while".

 

End.

 

 

Sources:

Encyclopedia of Wicca & Witchcraft  - By Raven Grimassi  

The Encyclopedia of Witches &Witchcraft  - By Rosemary Ellen Guiley

The Encyclopedia of Modern Witchcraft and Neo-paganism - By Shelley Rabinovitch

The Witch Book - The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca, and Neo-paganism  -  By Raymond Buckland

The Witch’s Bible  -  By Gavin and Yvonne Frost

Plus many websites too many to mention.

 

First published on the 04th March 2007, 18:22:05 © George Knowles

Best wishes and Blessed Be

 

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About me:

 

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Wicca & Witchcraft

 

Wicca/Witchcraft /  What is WiccaWhat is Magick

 

 

Traditional Writings:

 

 Wiccan RedeCharge of the GoddessCharge of the God  /  The Three-Fold Law (includes The Law of Power and The Four Powers of the Magus) /  The Witches ChantThe Witches CreedDescent of the GoddessDrawing Down the MoonThe Great Rite InvocationInvocation of the Horned GodThe 13 Principles of Wiccan Belief /  The Witches Rede of ChivalryA Pledge to Pagan Spirituality

 

Correspondence Tables:

 

IncenseCandlesColoursMagickal DaysStones and GemsElements and Elementals

 

Traditions:

 

Traditions Part 1  -  Alexandrian Wicca /  Aquarian Tabernacle Church (ATC) /  Ár Ndraíocht Féin (ADF) /  Blue Star Wicca /  British Traditional (Druidic Witchcraft) /  Celtic Wicca /  Ceremonial Magic /  Chaos Magic /  Church and School of Wicca /  Circle Sanctuary /  Covenant of the Goddess (COG) /  Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) /  Cyber Wicca /  Dianic Wicca /  Eclectic Wicca /  Feri Wicca /

 

Traditions Part 2 Gardnerian Wicca /  Georgian Tradition /  Henge of Keltria /  Hereditary Witchcraft /  Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn (H.O.G.D.) /  Kitchen Witch (Hedge Witch) /  Minoan Brotherhood and Minoan Sisterhood Tradition /  Nordic Paganism /  Pagan Federation /  Pectic-Wita /  Seax-Wica /  Shamanism /  Solitary /  Strega /  Sylvan Tradition /  Vodoun or Voodoo /  Witches League of Public Awareness (WLPA) /

 

Other things of interest:

 

Gods and Goddesses (Greek Mythology)Esbats & Full MoonsLinks to Personal Friends & ResourcesWicca/Witchcraft ResourcesWhat's a spell?Circle Casting and Sacred Space /  Pentagram - PentacleMarks of a WitchThe Witches PowerThe Witches HatAn esoteric guide to visiting LondonSatanismPow-wowThe Unitarian Universalist Association /  Numerology:  Part 1  /  Part 2 Part 3A history of the Malleus Maleficarum:  includes:  Pope Innocent VIII  /  The papal Bull  /   The Malleus Maleficarum  /  An extract from the Malleus Maleficarum  /  The letter of approbation  /  Johann Nider’s Formicarius  /  Jacob Sprenger  /  Heinrich Kramer  /  Stefano Infessura  /  Montague Summers  /  The Waldenses  /  The Albigenses  /  The Hussites /  The Sun DanceShielding (Occult and Psychic Protection) /  The History of ThanksgivingI have a Dream, the 1963 speach by civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King /  Auras by Graham Furnell - Part 1 and Part 2 /

 

Sabbats and Rituals:

 

Sabbats in History and Mythology /  Samhain (October 31st)  /  Yule (December 21st)  /  Imbolc (February 2nd)  /  Ostara (March 21st)  /  Beltane (April 30th)  /  Litha (June 21st)  /  Lughnasadh (August 1st)  /  Mabon (September 21st)

 

Rituals contributed by Crone:  Samhain / YuleImbolcOstara /  BeltaneLithaLammasMabon

 

Tools:

 

Tools of a Witch  /  The Besom (Broom) /  Poppets and DollsPendulums / Cauldron MagickMirror Gazing

 

Animals:

 

Animals in Witchcraft (The Witches Familiar) /  AntelopeBatsCrowFoxFrog and ToadsGoat / HoneybeeKangarooLionOwlPhoenixRabbits and HaresRavenRobin RedbreastSheep SpiderSquirrelSwansWild Boar /  Wolf /  Serpent /  Pig /  Stag /  Horse /  Mouse /  Cat

 

Trees:

 

In Worship of Trees - Myths, Lore and the Celtic Tree Calendar.  For descriptions and correspondences of the thirteen sacred trees of Wicca/Witchcraft see the following:  Birch /  Rowan / Ash /  Alder /  Willow /  Hawthorn /  Oak /  Holly /  Hazel /  Vine /  Ivy /  Reed /  ElderAlso see:  The Willow Tree (Folk Music)

 

Sacred Sites:

 

Mystical Sacred Sites  -  Stonehenge /  Glastonbury Tor /  Malta - The Hypogeum of Hal Saflieni /  Avebury /  Cerne Abbas - The Chalk Giant /  Ireland - Newgrange /

 

Rocks and Stones:

 

Stones - History, Myths and Lore

 

 Articles contributed by Patricia Jean Martin:   / Apophyllite  / Amber AmethystAquamarineAragoniteAventurineBlack TourmalineBloodstoneCalciteCarnelianCelestiteCitrineChrysanthemum StoneDiamond  /  Emerald / FluoriteGarnet /  Hematite Herkimer DiamondLabradoriteLapis LazuliMalachiteMoonstoneObsidianOpalPyriteQuartz (Rock Crystal)Rose QuartzRubySeleniteSeraphinite  /  Silver and GoldSmoky QuartzSodaliteSunstoneThundereggTree AgateZebra Marble

 

Wisdom:

 

Knowledge vs Wisdom by Ardriana Cahill I Talk to the TreesAwakeningThe Witch in YouA Tale of the Woods

 

Articles and Stories about Witchcraft:

 

Murder by WitchcraftThe Fairy Witch of ClonmelA Battleship, U-boat, and a WitchThe Troll-Tear (A story for Children)Goody Hawkins - The Wise Goodwife /  The Story of Jack-O-LanternThe Murder of the Hammersmith Ghost Josephine Gray (The Infamous Black Widow) /  The Two Brothers - Light and Dark

 

Old Masters of Academia:

 

Pliny the ElderHesiodPythagoras

 

Biographies

 

Witches, Pagans and other associated People

(Ancient, Past and Present)

 

Remembered at Samhain

(Departed Pagan Pioneers, Founders, Elders and Others)

 

Abramelin the MageAgrippaAidan A. KellyAlbertus Magnus “Albert the Great”Aleister Crowley “The Great Beast” Alex Sanders "the King of the Witches” Alison HarlowAmber KAnna Franklin /  Anodea JudithAnton Szandor LaVey  / Arnold CrowtherArthur Edward Waite Austin Osman SpareBiddy EarlyBridget ClearyCarl Llewellyn WeschckeCecil Hugh WilliamsonCharles Godfrey LelandCharles Walton /  Christina Oakley Harrington /  Damh the Bard (Dave Smith) /   Dion FortuneDolores Aschroft-NowickiDorothy MorrisonDoreen ValienteEdward FitchEleanor Ray Bone “Matriarch of British Witchcraft” /  Dr. John Dee and Edward KellyDr. Leo Louis Martello /  Eliphas LeviErnest Thompson Seton /  Ernest Westlake and the Order of Woodcraft Chivalry /  Fiona Horne /  Friedrich von SpeeFrancis Barrett /  Gerald B. GardnerGavin and Yvonne Frost and the School and Church of Wicca /  Gwydion PendderwenHans Holzer /  Helen DuncanHerman Slater "Horrible Herman" /  Israel RegardieJames "Cunning" MurrellJanet Farrar & Gavin BoneJessie Wicker Bell “Lady Sheba” / John Belham-Payne John George Hohman /  John GerardJohn Gordon Hargrave (the White Fox) /  John Michael Greer /  John ScoreJohannes Junius the Burgomaster of Bamberg /  Joseph John Campbell /  Karl von EckartshausenLaurie Cabot "the Official Witch of Salem" /  Lewis Spence /  Margaret Alice MurrayMargot AdlerMarie Laveau the " Voodoo Queen of New Orleans" /  Marion WeinsteinMatthew Hopkins “The Witch-Finder General”Max Ehrmann and the Desiderata /  Monique Wilson the “Queen of the WitchesMontague SummersNicholas CulpeperNicholas RemyM. R. SellersMrs. Grieve "A Modern Herbal" /  Oberon and Morning Glory Zell-RavenheartOld Dorothy ClutterbuckOld George Pickingill /   Paddy SladePamela Colman-SmithParacelsusPatricia CrowtherPatricia Monaghan /  Patricia “Trish” TelescoPhilip Emmons Isaac Bonewits Philip HeseltonRaymond BucklandReginald ScotRobert CochraneRobert ‘von Ranke’ Graves and "The White Goddess" /  Rudolf Steiner /  Rosaleen Norton “The Witch of Kings Cross” /  Ross Nichols and The Order of Bards, Ovates & DruidsSabrina - The Ink WitchScott CunninghamSelena FoxSilver Ravenwolf /  Sir Francis DashwoodSir James George FrazerS.L. MacGregor Mathers and the “Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn” /  StarhawkStewart FarrarSybil LeekTed AndrewsThe Mather Family - includes: Richard Mather, Increase Mather, Cotton Mather /  Thomas AdyVera Chapman /  Victor Henry AndersonVivianne CrowleyWalter Brown GibsonWilliam Butler YeatsZsuzsanna Budapest

 

 

Many of the above biographies are brief and far from complete.  If you know about any of these individuals and can help with aditional information, please cantact me privately at my email address below.  Many thanks for reading  :-)

 

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