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Witchvox Weekly Update

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Witchvox Weekly Update for 7/26/1999

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: July 26th. 1999
Times Viewed: 5,462

Midweek UPDATE: Remember when Bob Barr said that he would "try again"?

A proposed amendment to Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2000 (H.R. 2561) offered by Mr. Barr of Georgia last week reads:

"Amendment No. 1.-None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to provide assistance to the practice of witchcraft or Wicca, as defined by the encyclopedia of American Religious, on any Military installation or vessel".

The Barr amendment didn't get included in the final approved version of the bill. Whether it will be an issue later as the House and Senate bring the appropriations bill into conference remains unknown.

What IS known is that Barr will continue his attack against pagan religions.

This information has had many buzzing for the past 24 hours and thanks to Tara Miller we offer some powerful thoughts as well as explanations on how this is proceeding... Visit Bob Tries to Sneak One In for details.

C.O.G. Kicks of Pagan Census: The first one out of the gate (that we are aware of) with a y2k census that INCLUDES questions about religion is the Covenant of the Goddess Organization. Those of you that have visited the CoG site in the past few months have, no doubt, noticed a dramatic facelift that is nothing short of stunning. The new CoG Webweaver is one talented entity and has crafted much magic with CoGweb 2.0. WitchVox encourages all to surf over to the CoG Web Site to be counted on this census.

    Related Note #1: There has been email circulating for about two months asking pagans to remember to state PAGAN, Witch or Wiccan on the National census... This *would* be a good idea IF there were any questions about religion. Truth is, there won't be and hasn't been since the 50's. If you see this email go around please help and clarify this critical detail to those that send it.

    Related Note #2: As promised, WitchVox will be repeating our Quest for Unity Surveys of 97 (See QFU archives for the results) in the next couple of months. They will be a total rewrite and contain 6 separate surveys to help get a better idea of what the community is, and is thinking as we approach the millennium.

This weeks Feature:

It All Happens Locally...

Witchcraft, Wicca and NeoPaganism continue on a growth curve that brings in the curious on an minute by minute basis. Stirring the Cauldron of awareness are Bob Barr, George W. Bush, Blair Witch and various other high profile media "events" or statements. Sure this IS (typically) "clueless" information but our community is poised to right the wrong and clarify the facts both quickly and consistently. We can thank the World Wide Web for this. The Internet's impact on increasing awareness of who we are and what we do is nothing short of astounding. The "Pagan Web" presently offers over 3,000 sites that range from a couple of pages to thousands of pages each. WitchVox has always been proud to point you to what can only be called the Pagan Net.

Although the Net is a powerful awareness tool, the real spirit of the NeoPagan movement is best realized at the local level. That curious co-worker, the boss, the town council, the local police ARE becoming aware and not thanks to the Net but from the awareness work done by local groups, solitaires and Festival Organizers. To Wren and me this has always been the key, the Net is simply a reinforcement of our fundamental beliefs.

Examples are not hard to find. Just yesterday we heard from the folks at Rowan Grove. Just yesterday they had a wonderful feature in a large local paper. The image (above and to your right) of Druydess (HPS Rowan Grove) and Thiatsii (HP Rowan Grove) is typical of what HAS been happening in the local newspapers of America, Canada and around the world. These days the press is very interested in us and the Orlando Sentinel featured Rowan Grove's statements (see the article on the Rowan Grove site) related to what a NeoPagan is and does. This article reached 10's of thousands in greater Orlando area. They are out there and they are doing the work. Druydess and Thiatsii we salute you for your efforts! We are also proud to point you to the other wonderful Covens and groups in the Orlando area. Visit our Florida C&G Page for more a listing.

Every week we get mail, email and phone calls telling us or showing us the latest local coverage. This is always exciting! Everyone of these articles has some powerful positive impact. For almost three years now this community has been on a major awareness roll and the days of Samhain (only) stories are quickly waning. Sure, there will always be a "bump" at Samhain but the questions are starting to change... It used to be "Are YOU a REAL Witch?", these days its more like "How does Halloween relate to the NeoPagan?"

Locally, Pagans are doing some wonderful things and have been for over 20 years. The significant difference is that these days there are so many more doing this and they are doing this everywhere.

What are they doing? Reminding (legally if necessary) the local officials and schools that there are many more religions in their town than just one. Having public circles in the park, local festivals, workshops and helping within the community itself. Many local Pagans do this from the heart and quite often with a wonderful and understanding sense of humor. The reality is that our awareness work will continue through the millennium. Last month when George W. Bush made the statement "I don't think it's a real religion", it was clear that he really didn't know. He does now, Texas Pagans "educated" George and his staff quite quickly.

Wren and I have worked to evolve our Witches of the World pages for over three years now. We will continue to do everything in our power to help network and celebrate the local communities, their groups, events, shops and people. To us they are the Witches' Voice.

Explosive Rewrite of the WitchVox Links Pages: As we alluded to this past week, our Pagan links section is just coming out of a major rewrite. We put another 35 hours of coding and restructuring into this section and the "shell" is looking good and acting smart. Our thanks go out to the many of you that helped us debug this upgrade.

If you haven't been over there do check it out, We have added 16 new categories and have moved hundreds of listings into them. If YOUR Web Site already listed on the WitchVox links pages you may want to see if you are categorized properly. If not visit the WitchVox Websites Submissions Form to render your listing "correct and for the good of all".

Search Engines that Fall Short: This Saturday I spent an aggressive 12 hours playing with and analyzing the latest in Cgi based web site search engines (8 of them). WitchVox is clearly in need of a proper one and it seems that every few months I go back and check out the latest. We have some very powerful databases that run most of what we do here, they can do just about anything we want and we are very demanding of them. ALL of the Cgi based search engines came up a 1/2 mile short of our hopes, dreams and future plans... We do know of a way to host our databases live and release their power to the masses but this involves buying a static IP from "Road Runner" at a cost of 340 buckaroos per month. DSL is about half that but even 150 is a "no can do" with our typical balance. Again, we continue to wait for an affordable, high speed static IP connection. Never the less, do look for a WitchVox search engine with limited power in the near future.

Witches Speak Out! - Your Voice does Indeed Matter!

  The Witches' Voice Wants More of Your Voice in AUGUST!  

The Witches' Voice is actively soliciting editorials and essays on a variety of topics on interest to both Pagan and mainstream audiences. Wren and Diotima have put together the essay/article topics for the remainder of the year (see links below). These essays will appear on our "Words From Witches" page, and will be rotated on a periodic basis. The following is A List of Editorial Topics for August '99:

Young Pagans Section:
August 1999:
Publication Date: August 14th
Submission Deadline: August 6th

Topic: Magickal Mysteries
Where do you get your information? How do you know that what you have heard or read is true? Do you question information or just accept it because someone wrote it in a book? What happens when you find conflicting information? Do you get confused and wish sometimes that there was just one way to do things?
Topic: Maturity vs. Age
Is there a certain age that should be the standard for magickal training? Should 'maturity level' be considered? What about the ramifications if your parents do not agree with your choices? Are you just destined to live in frustration until you are 18? Is that fair?

"Adults" Section:
August 1999:
Publication Date: August 14th
Submission Deadline: August 6th

Topic: Our Magickal Roots
What is magick, and how do you think it works? Is it a form of prayer that leads to the intercession of higher beings to create change, or does the change occur through as yet undiscovered natural law that is put in motion by your focused thought? Or is it simply a change that occurs within you?
Topic: Who's The Boss?
Many pagan paths were once predominated by females. Now the ratio of men and women seems to be about equal in some traditions. How do you balance the power, the responsibilities and the practice to accommodate and honor both sexes? What about same sex groups?

For a complete NEW list of Teen Topics: Click HERE ... For Adult Topics: Click HERE
Two New Essays: Although we didn't have an official call for essays this month we are always willing to consider anything that comes in. This month we got two. Check out "Don't Just Stand There" by Natalie Gardner in our Young Pagan section and "A Witch Alone" by Mark Waddell in our Gay Pagan section.

WitchVox Foriegn languages Update: The Goddess has sent several volunteers our way to help convert some of our more critical pages to German, Spanish, French and Italian. Our old friend Jorinx is "on it" and has just sent us a German version of the WitchVox Splash page. Thanks to Leonardo Murillo we now offer our FAQ's of WitchCraft in Spanish. Allow us to thank these givers for the efforts they have done and are taking on.

From a broader perspective it was a pretty uneventful week and a (much needed) break from the recent attacks against our beliefs and the passing of some wonderful brothers and sisters of the craft. History tells us that these breaks are rare and that we are in a constant state of change. We do have some wonderful things stirring in the cauldron at this end so look for some surprises ahead. Have a safe and magickal week everyone.

Always in your service.

Wren Walker & Fritz Jung
The Witches' Voice
July 26th., 1999 c.e.


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