Witchvox Weekly Update for 6/7/1999|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: June 7th. 1999
Times Viewed: 4,062
| Greetings one and all.|
Wren I just returned from a fabulous weekend with our good friends the Waterhawks and Wade and Dianne of PhoenixPhyre. A wonderful and relaxing experience in Don and Daniella's new home. Playing hooky always puts us behind but usually can catch up quite fast. Tonight we just updated the 500 plus Witches of the World Pages, archived Wren's nest, tackled critical email and Wren "upped" the latest news onto the 'Nest. The latest news of course doesn't stop with our mini-vaca, and there were indeed some interesting developments.
MPN To Host Prayer Circle in DC: Join the Military Pagan Network in support of continued religious freedom in the military. Because of Rep. Barr's harassment, we will be holding an eclectic Wiccan circle. All are welcome to join us in circle or in prayer. Business attire, ritual robes, or festive garb are encouraged. The media will be invited to attend. Monday, June 28, 1999, 7p.m. at the West Lawn of the Jefferson Memorial (to the left of the memorial as you face the Tidal Basin) Email: Coordiator@milpagan.org Telephone: 410-740-0561 Website: http://www.milpagan.org/
For the Record: No "Religion" Questions On Year 2000 Census. TWV has received numerous emails concerning the Year 2000 Census that will be conducted here in the United States. Specifically, about the "religion" question. There are no questions asked about religious preference on the census form at all. Why? See Wren's Nest for the Details
"Congress shall make NO law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."
Speaking of those that conveniently ignore the above quote... The Bob Barr issue has created expected curiosity about the Modern Pagan and from what we are hearing, the Pagan Web (in general) is getting hammered with hits by those curious about the Modern Pagan movement. Several Pagan Webcrafters emailed us to state just this. Last week was WitchVox's busiest week ever.
Thanks to YOU... Velvet Hammer now ranks #3 in the Lilith Faire Contest.
- Abby WillowRoot, Wren and Melanie Silver will be on Telepathic Radio Tonight (6/14/99): This show will cover various subjects of which the most important are 'Rep. Bob Barr and his Campaign Against Wiccans/Pagans in the Military' and a special update on the 'Goddess 2000 Project.' Telepathic Radio can be heard Monday nights at 9:00 PM CDT on the air in the Chicagoland area, on WCEV 1450 AM and on the Net at Http://www.I.am/Telepathic.
- (just in from Phoenix) I was listening to the Art Bell show last night, and they announced that tonight 6/14/99 Mon/Tue: "Lady Ambermaeve" Representative of the "Covenant of the Goddess" , is going to be on the show. I wanted to see if you would post this news up for everyone to listen to the show. His Website is Http://www.www.artbell.com , and you can listen to the entire show via the internet and the REAL G2 player. From what I heard last night the discussion topic is going to be about Wicca and the military.
STRIKE THAT! As of this evening (6/14/99) VH Now ranks #1 on this contest!!! Also check out their press release in our Pagan Music Pages.
| Witches Speak Out! - Your Voice does Indeed Matter!|
The WitchVox Essay Series: 12 new essays from Witches, Wiccans and Pagans from around the world. The essay listings below are very powerful and thought provoking. - This months editing of ALL of the WitchVox essays was done by our wonderful new friend Diotima. Thank YOU to all of you that contributed.
- Diversity, Unity and the Inevitable Conflicts (June '99)
One of the top debate topics amongst pagans-can we get it together at some level and work toward a common goal? Can anyone or any group -elected, voted upon, assumed or self-appointed-speak for us? Why? Why not? Have any insights that may help us to understand the conflicts which surround diverse beliefs and community formation? If you are in a group of very diverse beliefs and it works, we all want to know how you did it! Pages... One Two Three Four Five Six
- Rites of Passage: Handfastings by Ayala Blakewolf (June '99)
Young Pagan Essays...
- Addictions (June '99)
How do you feel about drug, tobacco and alcohol use-or abuse- by teens? Do you think pagan teens hold different views on this? Would the "harm none" ethic of some pagan paths influence your choices? Do others have a preconceived notion of what your views on the subject may be because you are pagan Are they right? Article # ONE TWO THREE FOUR FIVE
- Diversity, Unity and the Inevitable Conflicts by Paige De Benedittis (June '99)
This Sunday: A night with Janet & Stewart Farrar and Gavin Bone. Scheduled for the 20th of June, at 5:00 PM VRT Time in a virtual reality world called PAGANII in the ActiveWorlds Universe. The well known authors and Practitioners of the Craft will venture forth in Virtual Reality and appear for an hour long question and answer session about the subject of Witchcraft, past, present and future. Surf to the PAGANII Web Site for details on how to experience this chat.
Tomorrow night: We should be able to get the numerous essays from both the Young and not so young Pagans for the month of June up on the site. This is possible thanks to the prep and editing work done ny Diotima.
Always in your service,
The Witches' Voice
June 14th., 1999 c.e.
| TWV Response To "Hardball" Segment On Military Witches|
Thursday, June 10, 1999
The Witches' Voice, Inc.
P.O. Box 4924
Clearwater, FL 33758-4924
Web site: http://www.witchvox.com
June 10th, 1999
Attention: Chris Matthews
Subject: Hardball Segment-Military Witchcraft
It was with considerable interest that The Witches Voice staff watched your Wednesday evening segment on Witches in the military services. Interest however turned into dismay as the tone of your show became apparent. The token inclusion of the "other side of the issue"- as represented by the Texas ACLU -did little to offset the obviously biased rhetoric of Mr. Barr or the insensitivity demonstrated by host Chris Matthews. No actual practicing pagan-military personnel or otherwise-was included in the discussion. So therefore Chris Matthews did not actually have to look a Witch or Wiccan in the eye as he guffawed over that person"s sincere beliefs and heartfelt faith.
That"s not playing "hardball"; that"s a sucker punch.
In the modern American democracy-built upon such illuminated documents as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights- religious "heretics" simply do not exist under the law. That ignorant men such as Bob Barr still go hunting for heretics and attacking Witches is simply ridiculous. That intelligent men such as Chris Matthews still find such "Witch hunts" acceptable is truly frightening.
In this country, all are guaranteed the right to the free exercise of any religion without harassment, intimidation or threats to their personal safety and emotional well being. The dark days of defining someone as being either good or evil based upon the religious beliefs that they hold should be a thing of the past.
Even for Witches? "Unbelievable", says Chris Matthews. Wink, wink.
The Witches in the military are willing to put their lives on the line to guarantee that right to religious freedom and all other American liberties.
The Witches in the military will defend the integrity of the United States for Mr. Barr and Mr. Matthews even as these same men ridicule their deeply held and sincere religious beliefs.
No wonder Chris Matthews wouldn"t even look one of them in the eye
Rev. Wren Walker
The Witches' Voice, Inc.
See Wren's Nest for contct information for this show.
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.
Next Week: A new series of Community Essays and Articles
WitchVox News NOT related to Bob Barr:
Wren and I are honored to thank Diotima from the Washington D.C. area for her continued help in editing many of the WitchVox pages for punctuation and sentence structure. You can thank her for some smooth reading here at the Voice. Look for more from Diotima here at the Voice in the immediate future.
Facts about Dixie: Dixie is one of our cats. Her picture and "email address" were up on our intro page for the 5 days we were away at the Heartland festival. Dixie received over 100 pieces of email and was disrespectfully added to two Spam lists. Dixie considers "unsolicited email (Spam)" - Evil!.... We agree!
Jane's Latest just Came In!: The Witches' Voice is once again honored to feature the latest installment of the fine reporting and gathering work of Jane from Maine. Jane is a Witch and journalist who lives in Maine with four cats (black, of course). Feel free to send clippings, reports, updates, criticism and lavish praise to Jane, P.O. Box 64, Portland, ME 04112, or by simply E-Mailing her. Thank YOU Jane for the work YOU do.
Festival Reviews: Whenever we present a new festival review like the one we did on Heartland this past week, we always get questions about why only we write the reviews. The answer is simple; with rare exception, only we seem to write them. We welcome reviews of any Pagan Festival. If you attend a festival YOU CAN send us a review. We do ask that your review is done on a timely basis (immediately after the event itself). Feel free to email us pictures along with your review but make sure that ALL of the folks in the photos are OK with having their faces posted here. Although we do prefer that they are done by attendees, festival staff can write them as long as they are balanced and don't look like an advertisement.
Music that Inspired TWV this week: Audio has been down in our office for the past 5 weeks due to a complete restructuring. This week our 5 disc CD changer is back working its magic. Loaded and loved are fabulous new releases by Velvet Hammer, Elvendrums and Neil Finn. We also grooved on the latest by Chris Bingham and Craig Olsen (two wonderful and separate Pagan artists from Washington State).
Today marks the one year anniversary of my marriage to the beautiful and brilliant Wren. She is truly my gift from the Goddess... I love you honey!
And maybe, just maybe, "Bob" won't be on our TV tonight.
These are indeed exciting times! Spirit is God and Goddess, Lord and Lady, you and I.
Always in your service,
The Witches' Voice
June 7th., 1999 c.e.
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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