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Witchvox Weekly Update for 12/14/1998

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: December 14th. 1998
Times Viewed: 4,113

Wearing A Pentacle at Lincoln High = Indefinite Suspension
The Lincoln High School Issue continues...

This has been a HOT issue in the Pagan community over this past week (check out our daily coverage at either Lincoln High or Wren's Nest) and one that has yet to be resolved. Students of Lincoln High, we are behind you in your right to practice your religion of choice.

The Witches' Voice incourages all concerned Witches, Wiccans and Pagans to cast YOUR voteand add YOUR comments at: a HREF="http://data.detnews.com:8081/poll/survey.hbs?topic=Pentagrams">Detroit News Feedback Forum

The short version...

Is Your Religion "Unacceptable"? It is if you are pagan and go to Lincoln Park High School in Michigan. The latest student code addition states that Witches and pagans are not allowed nor can anyone wear a pentagram. Reason? It's disruptive. Penalty? Indefinite suspension. Unconstitutional? Too bad. The policy stands.

LINCOLN PARK -- Metro Detroit witches are calling a letter sent to high school parents discriminatory and uninformed. After being told by his staff that they've seen an "increase in gang and or cult activity," Lincoln Park High School principal Tom Kolka drafted a list of groups the district considers "inappropriate" in the school.

James Hopkins, a board of education member.said, "We have a dress code, and I don't care if it's my own son, our policy is our policy. We never said that anyone had to stop practicing their religion or stop wearing the cross, pentagram or Star of David." (Wren: Just stop while in school?)

"We are no more to the right or left on this issue. We are straight up the middle and the rule applies to everybody. So there is not discrimination. But we can not tolerate students dressing in attire that distracts others from learning." (Wren: And a pentacle is "distracting" how? Or rather to whom? Anything can become a "distraction' to a bigot, I guess...)-FULL TEXT: Witches Stew Over Dress Code.

For more information on this HOT issue Click here.


(Luna graphic by
Steven Craig Hickman)
The Witchvox Essay Series:
This week we are proud to present 9 brand new essays from Witches, Wiccans and Pagans from around the world. We would love to experience your work. Check out our Editorial Submission Guidelines page for a submission guidelines and topic list and other details.

In the Teen Section:
In the Words from Pagans Section:
In the Pagan Holidays Section:
Rasputin... Now in the Arms of the Goddess...
Just in From Rev. Mary (12/14/98)

Today I lost a friend...for whatever reason, he chose to end his life, a life I was blessed to be a part of in some small way for just a little while.

His name was Sean Kelley, but to those of us who frequent the Michigan Renaissance Festival he was known as Rasputin. He was only 27 years old, and one of the most honest people I had ever met...at least as far as he told me deep truths about himself. He was never truly pleased with who he was, even his pseudonym was adapted from someone else. He never understood why people loved his music, he knew that vocals were never his strong point, but it was the heart he put into it. He was known for his rowdy pub songs, but he truly loved to sing beautiful ballads. He told me that his proudest moment was when he sang to an audience of only 5 people, and he performed "She Moved Thro the Fair". When he was done, an older gentleman in front of him had tears in his eyes. Being able to speak through music was something he lived for, because he had a difficult time speaking in words. So, to Sean, or Rasputin as he would want me to call him... May Our Lovely Lady enfold you with the warmth you craved in this life, and may you return home to the place you loved so well...Walk free and happy in the Summerlands until we meet again. Farewell, my friend, and Blessed Be.

All of your true friends from Sanctuary of the Sacred Grove, the Michigan Renaissance Festival, and O'Mara's Pub---You will be missed.

The Next Holiday of the Witch...
(On or about December 22)
Yule is the time of greatest darkness and the longest night of the year. The Winter Solstice had been associated with the birth of a "Divine King" long before the rise of Christianity. Since the Sun is considered to represent the Male Divinity in many Pagan Traditions, this time is celebrated as the "return of the Sun God" where He is reborn of the Goddess.
To celebrate Yule '98, we offer you a wonderful piece by Peg Aloi entitled "You call it Christmas, We call it Yule"

Also check out 3 Powerful Yule Essays for 1998 in our Pagan Holiday's section.


Winter Solstice
"Yule"
The HOT new listing of Covens and Groups at the Voice!
100 Groups and Covens listed in the first Week!!!


Although the net has dramatically changed the way the modern Pagan communicates it just can't hold a candle to the one on one or group dynamic. TWV exists to support and celebrate the local covens, groups, and shops. The need to connect and learn with others is a driving force in our community. Two weeks ago we kicked off this listing and much to our surprise 203 Groups and Covens have signed up... These new listings are now tightly integrated into our "Witches of the World" pages... This is happening because you asked for it.

203 Covens & Groups have already submitted their info... Surf to the new any of our State/Prov/Country pages to check out Groups and Covens in your area.

List YOUR Group or Coven by surfing over to our Covens & Groups Submission Form. Your listing will be up the next day.

Group Related Pages:: Over at Texas Pagan Awareness Online... Lhiannon has just put up a wonderful page on approaching Groups or Teachers... Check it out at TPAO. New in our Teens Section... Check out Phoenix's valuable new article called "Forming a Pagan Student Group"


We have received many emails about hate sites here at TWV over the years. And we have tried many methods of addressing them. We wrote them letters. (The replies we did receive-which were few-contained just more of the same anti-Pagan rhetoric.)

We put up a "hate site" listing- thinking that exposure of their agendas may be a workable plan. When these sites started listing THEMSELVES on the page, we reconsidered. (Attention is what they want from us. I'm all for making them work a little harder to get it.) -

For the entire featured article Click here.

Major cleansing ritual in progress, here at the Voice!

13,000 links/contacts/events HAVE been verified this week...

Update 12/13/98: We are thrilled that so many of you have decided to help build the powerful networking pages of TWV. Bless you for bringing this community together. Keeping our networking section accurate is another story all together (and one that is long overdue here at TWV). It is our renewed mission to have the cleanest Pagan links and contacts pages on the Web. With a good portion of the Pagan web now close to 4 years old, it is our estimate that close to 20% of the links on most pagan pages (including TWV) are history. This problem is getting worse and making so many of us crazy.

  • Witches' of the World Contact Names In the past week we have sent out our "WitchVox Global Email for Yule" to 9,465 folks that are listed on our State/Prov/Country pages. All "undeliverables" will be removed from our Witches' of the World Pages this week. We expect a 15-20% undeliverable return. (update: 7:00pm est... 9645 emails have been sent and 16.8% came back undeliverable!)

  • Pagan Links at the Voice last Week (12/5/98) we emailed 1747 WebSites to ask for verification of their listed data, to encourage updates and to kill those with dead email addresses, 90% of these have been already been modified or verified and 140 have been removed due to returned mail. A total cleanup is projected for later today.

  • Circles, Gatherings, Workshops and Events Last week we sent out Global Emails to verify all of our listings of "ongoing events". The TWV Events section is now clean and any discontinued "ongoing" events have been removed.

  • WHERE Did My listing go? If your listing is gone from our State/Prov/Country contacts, Events or Pagan Links pages, it is solely due to the fact that we sent you an email and got a "undeliverable address" response. Your listing is NOT gone but simply put on hold in our database until we hear from you. If this IS the case, kindly email us and make us aware of your new email address (with a reference to your listing). Do know that we can turn you back on with a click of the mouse.

  • YOUR Listing? To submit, update, remove or change your listing, Click HERE

  • To check out what is happening in your area click on any of the following links: Witches, Wiccans, Pagans or Circles, Events, Festivals or WitchVOX Pagan Links

The entire 347 page Witches of the World and Links sections are driven by a custom written Database System that has evolved over the past couple of years. Our WOTW pages are updated every 48 hours and are constantly being fine-tuned for accuracy... Check to see what's happening in YOUR state, province, or country today!
B>Givers, Takers and the Pagan Web... - A Rant from Celeste
"Many don't realize they are even doing it and some just don't care, but the sad truth is a lot of web crafters are getting mighty tired of seeing copyright graphics or pages from their site being swiped and showing up on someone else's. Worse is the attitude some take when they are asked by the creators to remove or credit them for their work. Has this happened to me? Many times and I was unwittingly guilty of it myself. "

For the entire article surf to A Witches' Cauldron

The Ethical laws are simple:
  1. Ask the Artist for Permission
  2. Properly credit the Artist on your page
  3. Don't load the image from their server


Also Check out... Givers, Takers and the Pagan Web Part I and Part II


Wren's Nest... Where the Action is !

Wren has spent a great deal of time researching current news events that may be of interest or concern to Witches, Wiccans and Pagans. This page will be a quick and convenient way for the Witches' Voice to keep you updated on the latest news, commentaries and issues that effect our community. If it relates to the modern Wiccan community, chances are... You'll find it a Wren's Nest on the Web. If you are aware of a craft-related news clip, feel free to email Wren.

  Updated just about every day.. Updates from Wren happen just about every day and in many cases several times a day, so remember to hit your reload button when you get there.

Frequently Asked Question's
(about the Witches' Voice).


Although we work hard to cover all popular questions we receive in email by creating pages on this site, many of the same questions just keep coming in. This box will be used to answer the most asked questions of the Witches' Voice.
Q: Why don't you list spells on your site?

A: We believe that a spell can only come from within each individual Witch or Wiccan. (Some do not use spells at all.) Spells are as individual as you are. It is YOUR wish and YOUR projection that makes the magic happen. Since most Witches and many Wiccans do not believe that they need an intermediary to talk to their Gods for them, they are also uncomfortable putting their voice into YOUR spell. It is a matter of believing in personal responsibility and being very careful where they direct their energies. Some believe that they will share in the karmic results of the spell-good or bad. There are guidelines on "how" to construct a spell in many Pagan books and WebSites, but a spell is usually too personal for the 'one size fits all" approach. There ARE some circumstances where a spell may be shared. There are group projections that covens may do for a specific situation or by request from someone that they know well. Some traditional folk-type Witches will construct spells upon request as part of their local community function. If you need to construct a spell, but are not sure how to do it, you can check the resources listed here on the website. The "gimme a spell" approach will, however, often get you the "If you need to ask for a spell, you are probably not ready to do one." answer. No one can have -or should have- the ability to make your dreams and hopes come true for you. That is your job and your personal responsibility as a Witch.



Earlier This Moon Cycle at the Witches' Voice....
Manx Pagan Determined To Make Tree Stand... His Last Stand!
(From Bev Richardson, Castle Pook, Ireland)

This young Manx Pagan has been protesting the destruction of this small, but beautiful piece of woodland (for a car-park). He's now stepped-up his protest to a full fast, as of the 22nd of November. He's taking water, but no food, and living in a plastic-sheet covered platform 30' up an ash-tree. With barely room to turn around, and none to stand, he intends to fast until the 9th of December, the date of the planning review. If the planning review fails, then he shall remain, and starve with his tree. (photo of Derek by Bev Richardson)

More than anything, he needs love, support, and letters!!

The Manx post office are delivering mail to him at: Derek (White Seagull) The Tree-house, Silverdale Glen, Malew, Isle of Mann.

This dedicated and fearless young warrior, who is doing this alone deserves the love and care of the whole pagan community. This thing that he's doing.... is a part of each and every one of us, and by touching, and being touched by this proud and generous spirit, we are all enriched. Please, if you can, find the time to write and tell him that you care.

    12/5/98 Update from Bev "We've had a couple of lovely phone calls off him. Last evening, as he settled down for the night, and this morning, when he was out doing his morning walk. It's a delight to hear him tell of the beauty that is touching his life as his own spirituality grows and is fed by the spirit of this place that he serves and the love and care shown him by people all over the world. He is slightly concerned that people are seeing 'him', rather than 'the trees' and he did ask us to make this point.

    The local Authority, who should be dealing with this business are Malew Parish Commissioners, and they in fact Refused Planning Permission both to fell the trees and to build the car-park, only to be over-ruled by the Department of Forestry & Fisheries. (The dept. of the Isle of Mann Government that deals with the Manx Glens) So if you wish to email them your disapproval they can be reached at daff@gov.im

    Malew Commissioners can be sent letters of support (snail-mail) to Malew Commissioners, Ballasalla, Isle of Mann. (UK)

For up to the minute info on this story... Surf directly to Hag's Bed



Stewart Farrar is Resting Comfortably!

Thank the Goddess! The community got a quite the shock this week when Gavin Bone and Janet Farrar emailed us and others, with the news of Stewart's possible stroke. According to Gavin, Stuart was unsteady on his feet in the morning and by the evening he had started to loose control of his right leg and arm. Stewart was admitted to Our Lady of Lourdres hospital, Drogheda, Monday afternoon.

On 11/21/98 Gavin revealed: "Stewart saw the Doctors yesterday. Stewart has indeed had a mild stroke in the area of the Brain known as the Pons. This controls co-ordination and balance which explains his symptoms; he has power in his limbs but is just unable to co-ordinate properly. He will be having physiotherapy over the next week or so to teach him to walk again."

Then on 11/22/98 : We had a lovely chat with Janet on the phone and Stewart is still in the hospital but quite antsy about leaving. He will need to stay on a few more days for physical therapy and is expected home later this week. We will keep you updated with any changes as they become available. Also check out the Farrar's Home Page. (photo of Stewart courtesy of SoThisFilms website)

Good News from Gavin on 11/28/98 : "Stewart came home today. He's still a bit unsteady on his feet but is using his walking frame. He's also getting use to re-using the Computer again. Thank you all for giving Stewart and us support during this time. It has been appreciated. This will be the last circular on Stewart regarding his health."

Stewart's incredible writing has moved so many of us for so many years... Join us in projecting for some quick healing for one of the true elders of the Craft. We love you Stewart! - Wren, Fritz and Peg.



"I am doing a report on Witchcraft and don't know where to start... Can you help"? Wren has handled literally hundreds of pieces of email like this via her listing of suggestions and links.... She has indeed built some powerful links and info over the past couple of years. This week we are proud to FINALLY point you to a page that addresses this need. Surf to " Doing A School Report On Witchcraft" Page for what we now offer. (Wren Note: This is also a useful resource for anyone that is looking for info on Witches, Wiccans and Pagans.)



"Where can I find information on xxx"? It's always ironic when someone emails us, tells us how much they love the site and then proceeds to ask about something that we already have available. It had become clear that our SiteMap had grown "long in the tooth" and was not doing its job. About three weeks ago we took on a total rewrite of our SiteMap to make it fast, easy to navigate and to make it as intuitive as possible.

With a page count of over 600, TWV can be a beast to get a complete profile on. This week we put more time into our SiteMap in order to set up the "auto flagging" of new pages, a look and feel polish and added tighter integration and automation by coupling it with our numerous database systems. To experience the complete offerings of the Witches' Voice online, visit The WitchVox Site Map v4.2 today.



Autumn Meet '98 This Past weekend Wren and I were invited to attend a local gathering just north of here in Land of Lakes, Florida. What we experienced was some near perfect energy, breathtaking weather and the love of many old and new friends.

Check out our review of Autumn Meet '98 for just some of our thoughts and lots of groovy pictures. Bless you Wade and Dianne for what you are doing for the Florida community!

Also check out our other 1998 Festival reviews... Heartland Stones Rising Gaea Goddess Festival Castle Pook - Ireland Sirius Rising and Starwood

The 8 Holidays of the Witch!: This section has long begged to be a chapter of its own. This week we broke out all of our Pagan Holidays pages, polished them up and created a new chapter here at the Voice... Visit our Pagan Holidays Page for the latest in what we are doing to define, explain and celebrate the holidays of the Witch. Although this chapter will continue to build and offer valuable community info, we'd be amiss to not take this opportunity and send you over to Mike Nichols incredible Witches' Sabbats Website - We love you Mike!



Sleep Well beautiful Willowsong... Safely in the Arms of the Goddess

Willowsong, our dear friend and sister, passed over the western shores November 6, 1998. She was a gentle and bright spirit who shall be sorely missed by her family and friends. We offer our condolences and love to all who shall find this world a little more lonely now that she has left it.

Willowsong will never be forgotten here at TWV and our thoughts are now added permanently to our Pagan Passages Page. Sleep Well beautiful Willowsong.



Some Quik Additions: New info and pages are constantly going up in the background here at TWV. The struggle, is finding the time to list and celebrate them here on the home page. Check out a two powerful new essays over in the Teen Section, and check out the latest addition of Maurice's fabulous Samhain Edition of The Coventry Call. Also this month we proudly present 3 new submissions from Witches, Wiccans and Pagans from around the world. November's topic is Pagan Humor. We would love to hear from you! Check out our UPDATED Editorial Submission Guidelines page for a "how to" and topics list.



Witches' Voice vs. RC5-64 cracks the top 1000!

What is Witches' Voice vs. RC5-64? It's the meeting of two projects-- supporters of The Witches' Voice joining together to form a team on The Bovine RC5 Project, working to make encryption stronger and hopefully raise some money for The Witches' Voice.

Oh. How does it work? The total possible number of keys (68,719,476,736) has been broken down into blocks. Now, what you do is download a client and run it on your system. It goes out to RC5, and downloads a number of blocks (this is set by you) and starts applying the keys to a section of the code. Once it's done, it uploads the tested blocks and downloads more. With tens or hundreds of thousands of computers across the world running this client, you've got the largest code-cracking network in existence.

Okay, what do I do? Go to Click HERE to check out FAQ's on this interesting challenge. (Wren and Fritz are honored to thank our friend and sponsor Cather "Catalyst" Steincamp for spearheading this opportunity for the entire Witch, Wiccan and Pagan community.)






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