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The Modern Pagan Movement Can Not Be Denied! |
Nice try Bob, but you are way too late!
Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans of the World.
As I settle in this morning with a hot cup of "jo" to craft our weekly update, I can't help but think how weak recent attacks against the Modern Pagan movement really are. We ARE unifying and we ARE getting organized. It seems that no matter where a fundamentalist attack comes from, our community has a strong local group willing to quickly help clarify who we are and what we do. It's all about momentum and our momentum is not about to wane very soon.
Bob Barr is quite famous in American culture. Most of us remember Bob from the "impeachment trials" of this past year. It seemed that every night he was on the air championing the religious right and doing his damnedest to "get Bill". A majority of the American People quickly got sick of this political "Witch Hunt"; mercifully this all ended (after 13 painful months) earlier this year.
1998 was a wonderful civics lesson for so many Americans, we learned who our congresswo/men are and what they are supposed to be doing. We also watched Bob Barr waste thousands of tax payer's dollars chasing a member of an opposing party on a ridiculous charge. 70% of us were angry that you wasted our time, Bob. Now, Rep. Barr wants all earth-based religious practices banned from the US military (See the latest info below on this page). Bob Barr has once again angered hundreds of thousands.
You Can't Stop This Bob!
Great Press -- Journalists all over the world are giving us some wonderful press. AND they are doing this all year 'round. We are no longer their Samhain curiosity but their neighbors and co-workers with something very interesting to say. The press IS becoming educated (and interested) about what we are and what we do.
'Net (working) -- The Internet has and will continue to be a powerful resource for us. The Modern Pagan embraced this new form of communication like no other spiritual path has. Current estimates: Close to 3,000 Pagan Web sites, all telling a similar story about who we are and what we do. The Pagan sites themselves are seeing ridiculous action from the seekers of the world. At present, the Witches' Voice on the Web renders one million pages viewed every 56.43 days.
Out of the Broom Closet -- The sun IS shining and the modern Pagan is coming out to their families and co-workers everywhere. Students are proudly wearing their pentacles in school and willing to fight for this right. This was not the case just a couple of years ago.
Festivals -- The sheer number of Pagan Festivals has doubled in this past year alone. Established festivals continue to explode in attendance. Last year's Heartland Festival (Kansas, USA) saw a little over 700 attendees, last week's Heartland fest clocked in at close to 1,100. Phoenixphyre's Autumnmeet Fest (Florida, USA) drew 450 this past November; their spring gathering drew 750. We are hearing reports like this from all over.
Covens and Groups -- another area of phenomenal growth. Here at TWV we finally structured a place for Covens and Groups listings and in just 5 months close to 1,000 groups have listed themselves. The number of daily submissions continues to increase dramatically. This is yet another example of organizing and empowering the local communities.
|Professionals? -- We have them all and in increasing numbers. Pagans come from all walks of life; we are as diverse in our spiritual paths as we are in our types of employment. AND according to a recent survey we are one of the most educated spiritual groups in the world today.|
Pagan Music -- New Pagan Musicians are entering the community on a near daily basis. Velvet Hammer just placed 4th in a Lilith Faire competition that included over 400 bands. Stylistically, Pagan Music is all over the place (thank the Goddess). Major artists such as XTC and Neil Finn are celebrating the Pagan way in the their lyrics.
Pagan Art -- Another area of incredible growth. We have many talented craftspeople, you see their work in your local shops, online and at festivals. Abby Willowroot's powerful "Goddess 2000 Project" (featuring the work of local artists around the globe) is gathering incredible momentum and will, no doubt, make a powerful statement right through the millennium.
Pagans In the Military -- I find it very interesting that the Pagans at Fort Hood that Bob Barr is so concerned about don't number just 10 or 12 but close to 150. It is also worth noting that they have community support behind them.
Organize? Unify? -- These two concepts have been hotly debated in the Pagan Community for quite some time. The question of whether we should organize or present a unified presence has become moot. It is becoming clear that we ARE getting organized and unifying at so many levels. It appears that this was never our decision to make.
You Can't Stop This Bob!
The above reality is just off the top of one Witches' head. There are so many more examples. If you don't think this is a "real" spiritual path Bob, take a quick surf to our Witches of the World sections. Email any of the folks listed there. Visit any of the thousands of wonderful Pagan web sites. Stop in at YOUR local circle. Ask the ACLU if they believe that we are a REAL spiritual path and more importantly if we are protected by the first amendment. Ask your friend Pat Robertson; just four months ago he stated "If we can wear crosses and the Jewish students can wear menorahs or the Star of David or what have you, then these people have to be allowed to wear their pentagram". It's all in the constitution Bob, it is a very simple concept and is taught to 5th graders.
Consider this, Bob; it is said that close to 90% of Born Again Christians make this decision BEFORE they turn 21. When asked in recent surveys, the number one desire of teenage girls is to become a Witch or Wiccan. I have come to realize that Bob Barr and his RRR buddies have little problem with who we are and what we do, their problem is fundamentally about what we are not... WE are NOT Christians.
Important Note: The above commentary is the opinion/observation of a single Witch, not all of the views above are shared by others in the Modern Pagan movement. All statistics mentioned ARE real and can be backed up.
Always in your service,
The Witches' Voice
June 7th., 1999 c.e.
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