This list is for those with an interest in magic, occultism, and/or pagan topics, associated topics in diverse fields such as art, anthropology, history, archaeology, and science, and who may appreciate a pro-active moderation style and a focus on well-written, intelligent discussion. Members of this list are expected to participate in the discussions. Subscribers are also expected to abide by list protocol, which includes:

  • No bandwidth wastage
  • No superfluous/copious fluff
  • No irrelevant "me too" type comments
  • No prolonged lurking except in exceptional circumstances
  • No claiming things as fact without evidence
  • No forwarding of needless tat
  • Making the effort to participate in an intelligent and thought-out manner
  • Using tolerable English

There is a 3 strikes and out policy. Warnings will be public. On the 4th infraction the perpetrator will be summarily unsubscribed.

Please consider carefully whether you really wish to join this list. We do not suffer fools gladly, and do not believe that tolerance necessitates the use of kid gloves.

Consider the following questions:

  • Are you easily offended?
  • Do you take all criticism personally?
  • Do you want only to lurk and watch?
  • Do you have difficulty comprehending the phrase "tolerable English"?
  • Is the phrase "bandwidth bandit" meaningless?
  • Do you believe that having a Great Aunt who once visited Dublin makes you a Celt?
  • Do you believe that all pagans believe in "An it harm none...."?
  • Do you believe that 9 million women were tortured and killed by the patriarchal murderers during the "Burning Times"?
  • Do you believe that all Christians are oppressors?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, go away. Go on, piss off. You will not like it here.

If, however, you know how to spell, have more than half a clue about how your email program works, are capable of intelligent discussion with people who may persistently disagree with you, are capable of debate without descending to personal attack when you run out of arguments, have an open mind and know that references can be valuable, then you will be very welcome.




Atropos FAQ



Who is the moderator?

The list is currently moderated by Sam Fleming. For more information about Sam, please refer to


Why start another list?

If you need to ask that you might not appreciate the list. The list is pro-actively moderated to have a high signal:noise ratio and to be a forum for expressing one's opinion without the need to pull punches. We aim for interesting, lively discussions and understand that friendly and tolerant does not equal fluffy and sycophantic.


So is it full of po-faced academics with no sense of humour?



Why atropos?

Do some reading. You can read, can't you? Work it out. Guess, even. Practise using your brain. You may even realise that there is no right answer.


What is likely to incur the moderator's wrath?

The following are actively discouraged:

  • Wasting bandwidth.
  • Avoidable inattention to spelling/grammar
  • Irrelevant commentary
  • Forwarding needless tat
  • Prolonged lurking (the list going through a quiet spell is not the same thing and is not treated as such)
  • Unjustified personal attacks
  • Claiming things as fact without evidence or back up (and then getting upset when someone jumps on you)
  • Assuming that other people must share your opinions in order for their opinions to be valid
  • Copious fluff
  • Cross posting
  • Spamming

There is a 3 strikes and out policy. This means you will receive 3 public warnings and on the 4th infraction you will be unsubbed. The exception is spamming (commercial advertisement), which will result in immediate unsubscription. The moderator's decision is final. If you don't like it, your options are list mutiny or unsubscription.


Is there an appeal process?

You can ask.


Can I resub?

If you have learned not to do whatever it was got you unsubbed in the first place. If you do resub, there will be no warning in the event of further infraction. You will be unsubscribed and banned.


So is it true there is a banned list?



Who is on it?

People who have demonstrated an inability to abide by list protocol.


How do I get off the banned list?

You don't. You and the list are obviously not suited to one another.


But I'm a tenth generation hereditary and could teach you so much!

Tough shit. Tell someone who cares.


Do I have to give my real name?

Are you ashamed to be associated with your opinions or with the list? We prefer to know to whom it is we are talking.


I come from Texas/Japan/Outer Mongolia/insert country here but I feel I'm a Celt. Can I join?



Why not?

If you have to ask you definitely can't.


I can write intelligently but I'm still getting to grips with my email package. Can I join?

Email programs are not that hard to master. You will be subject to the same warning system but we will advise - offlist. If you are having problems with your software, mail the moderator for help.


What's this about correct English?

There's a difference between idiosyncratic language use and sheer laziness, just as there is a difference between ignoring rules and not knowing what they are. If you do not understand that, don't join. This does not mean we discriminate against those who do not have English as their first language - only against those who are supposed to have English as their first language but appear to have gibberish instead.


So will I get unsubbed for spelling mistakes?

If you can't be bothered to learn to spell or use a dictionary, we probably won't like the rest of your posts either. If, however, you are merely suffering from the odd typo we won't hold it against you.


What is your lurking policy?

New subscribers have 2 weeks to get the feel of the list. After that they are expected to participate. Inactivity is strongly discouraged. As the list has quiet spells, the definition of lurking has been decided as 3 months or 5 separate threads of no posting. Continued lurking will result in unsubscription, unless there are extenuating circumstances. For this reason, the no mail/web only option available is generally not permitted, as this provokes a tendency towards failure to participate.


What if I don't know enough to take part in a discussion?

Do some research or start one in which you can take part.


I want to join but I'm scared of not being able to contribute. Are you really that nasty?

People can and have been unsubbed for not abiding by list policy. All we expect is that you put some thought into your posts. You do not have to be an academic with letters after your name to have a brain that is capable of thinking or be able to read. There is a difference between not taking part in a discussion because you cannot be bothered to actively participate and just want to read what other people say, and not taking part because you have nothing to say about that particular thread or have a crisis happening at work.


I think someone has been rude. What do I do?

Did you deserve it? Did you post something crass, stupid or unsubstantiated and claim it as absolute? Unjustified personal attacks will not be tolerated and the perpetrator will be publicly warned. Otherwise, deal with it or unsub.


What about flames?

If you post something sufficiently stupid to attract flame you probably deserve everything you get.


I don't think the moderator (or someone else) likes me. What do I do?

Live with it. The list is not moderated on the basis of personal likes and dislikes. It is moderated on the basis of ability to take part in the discussions and ability to abide by list protocol. It does not matter if someone likes or dislikes you or your opinions, as long as you can argue your case intelligently. If sufficient complaints are made about you or your behaviour by a sufficient number of people, the issue will be addressed. If someone appears to have a personal vendetta against you that is nothing to do with the debate, they will be strongly advised to take it elsewhere.


Why is everyone so mean?

They are not. They are forthright. If you don't like it, unsub.


I got sent this really funny email the other day and I'm sure people would like it...

Don't. Just don't.


Can I forward off-list?

Material posted on the list remains the exclusive copyright of the author unless stated otherwise. Using it elsewhere without permission is an unsubbing offence unless it is already entirely within the public domain.


Are there archives?

Yes. The archives are accessible by list members at You will have to log in using your password. A password will be sent to you when your subscription is approved, but you can change this if you wish using the link above. The archives are searchable, and are updated once a day. If you have just joined and think that the discussion you wish to start may have been done before, search the archives. Even if it has been done before, you are not precluded from starting it up again provided you bring a new angle to the debate.

For archives prior to 27th May 2004 you will have to visit the old list at Email the list owner and ask for a subscription.


I want to tell my friends about this list. Can I?

Of course you can, but they will have to abide by the same protocol. Make them read the FAQ. Twice. We will not tolerate crap just because the poster is a friend of one of the regulars.


I am going on holiday/moving house and don't want to overload my mailbox but don't want to unsubscribe. What do I do?

It is possible to suspend your subscription by setting your subscription type to web-only/no mail using the web interface. You will be able to catch up using the archives when you get back. Please let the list know you are going and how long you will be away. This is the only circumstance in which the web only/no mail setting is permitted.


I really don't have time to participate at the moment because I am having a nervous breakdown/my dog has died/I'm starting a new job. What do I do?

Let the moderator know you are currently unable to participate and, if you can, how long you estimate the situation will last. If it you don't fall foul of the lurking rule then you will not have to unsub. If you think you might be in danger of breaking the lurking rule, let the moderator know. If you feel it may be better for you to temporarily unsubscribe, your sub request will be automatically granted when you feel able to take part again.


I'm changing my email address. Do I have to resub?

No. Tell the moderator, and your address can be changed.


I have just discovered my 8 yr. old is subscribed to this list. How dare you?!

If your child could convince the moderator it was 21 or over then it is probably intelligent enough to take part. If you don't like it, deal with it, it's your child. We don't send people round to check that people are as old as they say they are.


How do I unsubscribe?

Either send a mail to

or you can unsubscribe from the list info page.


How do I join?

Send a mail to

atropos-join at ravenfamily dot org

or, use the list page at:

You will be sent a mail confirming that your request has been received. Make sure you understand the FAQ and the contents of the greeting message. It constitutes fair warning as to what you can expect from the list. If you have read the FAQ and still want to join, send an introductory message to the moderator at

atropos-owner at ravenfamily dot org

with the subject line "subscription request". Your message should include confirmation that you are 21 or over and some idea of the basis of your interest in the list. If this message is not received within 1 week of your subscription request your request will be automatically refused. You will not be chased. You will simply be refused membership. You will not receive messages from the list, nor will you be able to post, until your request has been approved.

The subscription request message requirement is waived for those who receive an invitation from the moderator.

You will have to provide a complete introduction to yourself for the rest of the list when you join. This must include your full name and a summary of your interests, but can be as long as you feel necessary without it becoming a complete autobiography. If you fail to provide this introduction within two weeks of joining you will be unsubscribed.


Are there any email commands I should know?

There is an autoresponder at:

atropos-request at ravenfamily dot org

Include 'info' in the body of the message to retrieve information about the list. Include 'help' in the body to receive a list of email commands. If your email programme appends a signature to your emails, put 'end' after the command (leaving a space).



If you have any further questions, please send a mail to the moderator.



This faq dated 30th May 2004. Changed to reflect move of list to ravenfamily server. Email addresses adjusted to reduce spam. Added defined lurking policy.





Back to the Ravenfamily front door