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Witchvox Weekly Update for 5/31/1999

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: May 31st. 1999
Times Viewed: 6,443

A Weekend of Healing & Magic!
Changed forever? You bet we are!

Wren and I just returned from this incredible festival filled with both light and love. We have come to realize that J.D. and Terry and the Heartland staff have become an important part of the Witches' Voice. They offer us an escape, a chance to recharge and most importantly a chance to look into the eyes of this wonderful community. Bless YOU for this!

As I write this, Wren is composing our review of this wonderful weekend. Personally, I was both honored and thrilled to meet and spend some quality time with Mick & Silver, Maya Heath, Mike Nichols, Lady Circe, Lord Orion Foxwood, Scott, Eddie, Jason and SO many others.

Fab Photos: Most of the images on this Website have been captured with our 8 year old video camera. BAD NEWS: Upon our arrival at Heartland it was quickly obvious that our video cam was broken. A GIFT FROM THE GODDESS: Out of nowhere, Patrick Chambers offered us the use of his lover's (the beautiful Selene Rati) camera. Not just a camera, mind you, but an incredible digital camera. The beautiful images on our splash page, on this page, and on our 2 page Heartland review happened because of them. Bless you Patrick and Selene for lending us this magical tool for the weekend.

Check out our TWO PAGE review of Heartland 99.

Help out Velvet Hammer... and cast YOUR Vote. One of our own is in a contest for a chance to play at the Lilith Fair in Chicago at the World Music Center main stage. Their entry is the song, "COME DOWN". If you love VH as much as we do, all you have to do is go to Click on Page #4 and hunt down 'COME DOWN' by Velvet Hammer. If it's not on page #4 you may have to do a bit of sniffing around until you find it. And YES do feel free to check out the tune first, you will see that they do the modern Pagan community proud. We love you Ginger, Linda, Nighthawk and Tawney

Who are the people on this page? The photo just above is of Ginger (keyboards/vocals/writing Velvet Hammer and magical creature) and Amanda (famous at WitchVox for the cauldron dance picture of last year's Heartland) and Wren Walker of the Witches' Voice. This image is an outtake of this weeks cover page shot taken in front of the Velvet Hammer Cabin. The photo to your left is of Fritz and Amanda on Saturday night at Heartland '99. The sinister looking creature below is Georgia Republican Bob Barr. He doesn't like Witches and doesn't want them to pratice their religion on Military bases.

Taking five days off always puts us behind. With the current level of activity at WitchVox we are presently VERY behind. We do have a proud history of answering 99% of the email we receive, this is becoming an impossibility! Even though it was clear that we'd be away for 5 days, we received close to 700 pieces of personal email. This issue forces us to address our needs for help and we will be communicating this to you over the next couple of weeks. We apologize in advance for the delay in responding to those of you that have written.

How did Dixie do? Pretty well actually! WitchVox DID stay online while we were gone. Other than that, she didn't answer a single piece of email, WAS very "inconvenienced" by all of this and projects that this doesn't happen again (it will!). She DID enjoy being on the cover of WitchVox! and the extra pampering she got upon our return.

Spirit is God and Goddess, Lord and Lady, you and I. Bless you JD, Terri and the Heartland staff for wonderful gift you have given us. We can't thank YOU enough!

Always in your service.

Wren Walker & Fritz Jung
The Witches' Voice
June 1st., 1999 c.e.

6/4/99 UPDATE: Barr Tries Stealth Amendment To Outlaw Wicca On Military Bases

Bob Barr Tries To Add Anti-wiccan Amendment Onto To Defense Spending Bill
Amendments tabled.

Barbells, no witches proposed for Defense-By Philippe Shepnick, The Hill

The $290 billion defense bill allowed lawmakers to fund Stealth bombers and tanks, but for Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.), it also meant a chance to keep witches and peyote out of the barracks and bunkers.

Barr's two amendments to the defense appropriations bill would outlaw the practice of Wicca -- a form of witchcraft that worships nature -- and the use of the hallucinogenic drug, peyote, on military bases.

Barr's amendments have been at least temporarily shelved, and the FY 2000 Department of Defense (DOD) bill is in limbo after being pulled Thursday.

But the riders are an example of what some criticize as unnecessary legislative intervention in the nitty-gritty details of a broader bill. Often that intervention takes the form of "pork" which some say involves excessive spending, but others say is being responsive to constituent needs.

In contrast, Barr's provisions banning the practice of Wicca and the use of peyote are not designed to help any particular constituent.

He warned that allowing the practice of Wicca religion, a form of witchcraft that dates back to pre-Christian Europe, "sets us down a slippery slope," and added, "The notion that military officers are allowed to practice witchcraft is unbecoming."

Barr saw no constitutional obstacles. He noted that the courts have recognized there are different rules of behavior in military life than in civilian life. Political activity is not allowed on bases, he said.

Barr was unimpressed by the fact that some bases, such as Fort Hood in Texas, have allowed the practice of Wicca for three years without any problems. "I perceive it as a problem," he said. "I have not talked with [the DOD] about it - they may just think it's great. Therein lies part of the problem. We're placing people in command of these installations who either agree with this or feel powerless to stop it."

That's also what prompted Barr to introduce the peyote amendment. He said the DOD is crafting language that would allow the drug to be used for religious purposes. The drug is used in some American Indian religions.

(NOTE: The above article is not on-line at The Hill. The following was received from The Hill editor: "I am responding to your inquiry about the article on Wiccan. We did have
one. It was inside the paper and was not on our Web site. In the very near future, our Web site will be more complete. In the meantime, following is the story."-- This information was forwarded to us by the MAGICKAL CAULDRON staff and Lady Galadriel, ( national membership officer of Covenant of the Goddess.)


SELENA FOX of LADY LIBERTY LEAGUE reports the following:

"I just got off the telephone from a staffer from Rep. Tammy Baldwin's office.

The anti-Witch amendment is dead. It was shelved due to not being germane to the bill to which it was attached. She told me it is not presently part of the Bill even in a tentative way.

I still think that it would be good for Wiccans and others Pagans communicate with their elected representatives regarding religious freedom issues pertaining to Wiccans in the US Military in case Barr tries something else." (NOTE: LLL is trying to locate the text of these amendments. Visit the LLL site for continuing updates.)

WREN CHIRPS IN: Good point, Selena! Please consider sending your Senators and Representatives a letter asking them to continue to support religious freedom for all. Contrary to Bob Barr's statement, this isn't about "political activity" on military bases--this is about the freedom to worship as you please, whenever and most importantly WHEREVER you please.It is your right.Help protect it.








List of Congressional officials and websites by state: ELECTRONIC ACTIVIST

Witches Confront Barr At Town Meeting

WITCHES BREW UP PROTEST FOR BARR MEETING-By Steve Visser, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Rep. Bob Barr preached to the choir at a town meeting Saturday, but he still contended with a chorus of witches in between the "amens" that favored banning Wiccan religion on military bases.

The Georgia Republican fielded questions from Witches, Christians and other constituents in a packed room at a Cobb County library in Marietta. Barr criticized the commander of Fort Hood this month for allowing a Wiccan rite on the Texas Army base.

Barr told the crowd of 120 that Wicca threatened to erode military discipline--a fear not uttered publicly by military commanders--and the First Amendment needed to take a back seat to that concern.

Barr would leave it to elected leaders to decide which religions could be practiced in the military, he said, adding that it wasn't unreasonable to ban Wicca services on a military base while permitting worship by Christians, Jews and Muslims. FULL STORY: BARR

RELATED NEWS ITEM: The Magickal Cauldron Report

Elected Officials Will Determine Which Faiths Can Be Practiced on Military Bases-The Magickal Cauldron

Saturday, May 29th, at the Marietta Main Branch Library, approximately 40-50 Wiccans and Pagans attended Rep. Bob Barr's Town Hall meeting. We were hard to see, for the majority of us dressed in our "Sunday best" and blended in quite nicely; well, except for our WPEA, First Amendment, and "Wicca is an Olde Time Religion" buttons!

Rep. Barr opened the meeting by handing the floor over to a Pastor, (not sure of the name), and a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance were begun.
Noticeably, (at least to me), when we got to the line, " nation, under god", there were quite a few " nation, under gods"! You can well imagine that the already tensioned atmosphere got a wee bit tighter.

Finally, and I do mean FINALLY!, Barr began to take questions. He immediately called upon Lady AmberMaeve Szymanski, (my High Priestess!!), CoG National Public Information Officer, High Priestess of the Grove of the Winged Scarab, and a rather innocent looking constituent--that is, until she began to make her statement.-FULL STORY AND PIX: BARR TOWN MEETING REPORT

For more on the Bob Barr issue, surf to our... Bob Barr Page or the fabulous coverage over at TPAO and check in at Wren's Nest for the latest.

Related Post, Links and Rants
Some Highlights...

Last Week's Highlights...

  • Spring Mysteries Festival -- This week feature a wonderful review of ATC's SMF festival by Blackcat.
  • Witchvox Pagan Links section 100% Clean -- As we mentioned this past week, we have a wonderful new tool for pinging URLs directly from our databases. We are proud to say that 2,281 Pagan Website links are good and 136 were dead (and now removed). We will verify all new URLs when submitted and globally audit the rest on a bi-weekly basis. Over the next several weeks we will build this technology into our Covens, events and people sections.
  • Farrar's Second Video -- A review by Marc Sosnowski. "Whether you are new to the Craft, or have been around for years, you can still learn and appreciate some of our heritage, and future from this tape. Revealing the inner secrets of Witchcraft has never been easy. But, here it is done with great aplomb."


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