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Witchvox Weekly Update for 9/6/1999

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: September 6th. 1999
Times Viewed: 7,879

Texas Pagans Rule!
Mid Week update (and YES it's 9/9/99)

Texas may be second to California in sheer numbers of Pagans but from our observations of past several years they are clearly number one is spirit, aggressiveness and action. The big news this past Labor day was the (now famous) Reverend Harvey's "March Against Wickedness". (The first report came to us from our good friend Charlie Denny and can be seen at Wren's Nest). In a powerful piece of work Kit O'Connell over at TPAO has executed an incredible feature on this event entitled "How 200 Pagans and their friends (many Christians) faced off against one bigot (and his flock) and emerged victorious"... We quote:

"This site is a chronicle of an amazing event that took place on Labor Day, 1999. A fire-and-brimstone Baptist preacher decided to go on the warpath to oppose the religious rights of Wiccans (or "Pagans") -- nature-worshiping white witches -- in the state of Texas. He planned a march against a Pagan-owned metaphysical store called the New Age Connection in Copperas Cove, outside of Killeen.

This preacher, the Reverend Jack Harvey, had the potential to be a very dangerous man. He spoke very strongly about wanting witches dead, and even asked his parishioners to come armed to Sunday service, "in case a warlock tries to grab one of our kids." So this could have been a violent situation. But the call went out, and Pagans arrived in droves. Far from being a bad time for witches, it was instead one of the most positive, joyful, and magical experiences of this author's young life.

As long time fans of the community work done by TPAO (with both Lhiannon and Kit) the Witches' Voice is once again honored to point you to Texas Pagan Awareness Online's feature on this event. The magic of many Texas Pagans is present via essays, news articles and many powerful pictures.

The WitchVox Staff would also like to take this opportunity to thank the many Texas Pagans that got together for this historical event. You have made this community proud. May the Great Ones Bless You ALL.

A Week of Transition and Critical Change.

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

How do we know that Autumn has arrived in Florida? The signs of change are perhaps more subtle here than in other areas of the country, but they are there if you know where to look. Mallard ducks began to return to the backyard pond yesterday. Even as they settled into the duckweed beds, the wild parrots were flocking up and getting ready to head a bit further south. The days are noticeably shorter and we hear less splashing in the pool since the older kids have returned to school. This is a hiatus time. We heed Mother Earth's cue and spend some moments sitting on the porch and reflecting on change. While Fritz and I are sipping coffee and munching on bagels, the kitties take a luxurious roll in the catnip. As they wander off to sleep the afternoon away, in the distance we can hear the long rumblings of seasonal thunderstorms drifting off the coast.

Fritz and I would like to once again thank all of you for your healing and loving messages. Although your Witchvox webmaster has encountered some complications -such as intense fatigue and lingering pain-we both know that your wonderful energies have sustained him far better than any medicines ever could. We appreciate your patience as Fritz continues to recuperate and we hope to be back up to normal speed within the next few weeks.

The two big news items of the past week were the passing of Doreen Valiente (See the obituary at Children of Artemis site and the anti-Witchcraft (Wickedness) March scheduled for today in Texas. The Rev. Jack Harvey, pastor of the 200-member Tabernacle Independent Baptist Church in Killeen, plans a protest march starting at 10 a.m. Labor Day in front of a Killeen mall. He hopes to draw 50 to 100 demonstrators.

"We'll also have picket signs against alcohol and homosexuality," Harvey said. "But especially we'll be emphasizing that God hates witchcraft."

The local pagan communities plan to counter with a peaceful gathering of their own. Some late-breaking information on Harvey's activities can be found at The Texas Pagan Awareness site and we will keep you updated here with the latest news about this and other issues of interest on Wren's Nest.

Thanks to the many fans and supporters of the Nest who send in article links and news clips, we are able to bring you the latest news from around the world. The Nest is YOUR community news center on-line and we simply could not keep it as fresh and current without all of you 'pagan reporters and news hounds' out there helping track these stories down. Thank you!

Expanded Witchvox Events: The WitchVox events pages have proven to be a wonderful community resource with over 2,000 NeoPagan Circles, workshops, Festivals etc listed over the past 2.5 years. Submissions for this section continue to increase and the need to redefine it pops up again and again. This week we did a break out of 4 new sub pages... Pagan Pride Day Events, Goddess 2,000 Events and Samhain '99 Events from our Major Pagan Festivals page. This gives stronger focus to these type of events and some much needed relief to the festivals page.

Net Stat of the Week:

    Banner Ads? Do You click on them? Not according to a survey published this month in Yahoo Magazine. In the September issue they state "A piddling 0.5 (1/2 of 1 percent) of surfers polled click on banner ads". (source: netfindings).

    For numerous reasons we've never had any desire to plaster WitchVox with banner ads, or start a "banner exchange" program. But less than 1 percent? Really? Although neither Wren nor myself click on them we would have easily guessed close to 5-10%. Wren sez that she has screened them out and just doesn't *see* them anymore.

    A WitchVox Calculation: The only clickable "AD" that we can *measure* here at Witchvox is the Avatar "cool links banner" on our splash page. It's been there for 2.5 years and was added to our Pagan links pages this past month. Last month the prominently displayed Avatar banner was VIEWED 150,620 times... It was clicked on 1,429 times. That would = 0.948745 percent (almost 1 percent).

    Dispite all the hype, hussle, sales techniques and magic put into the creation of banners (image and copy) and no matter how prominently they are placed... The masses just aren't clicking. We will have to add this question to a future WitchVox Pagan survey. Maybe the Pagan Community does click on banner ads... maybe not.

Powerful Coven/Group Shots Wanted Since day one the Witches' Voice has featured many of the beautiful faces of our community. If you have a fabulous shot of your coven or group feel free to email it to us. We'd love to celebrate your magic. We also ask that you include the names (left to right), make sure the folks in the photo are cool with being on the Voice and include the URL of your Coven/Groups Website (if you have one).

Pagan Spam Survey Community Comments NOW up
A community with *strong opinions*? Nah <grin> The NeoPagan community has never been shy about expressing itself and express you did on our recent Pagan Spam Survey. This week we put up over 300 thoughts (out of 700 comments and taken randomly) on this issue. The comments fell into two categories; GENERAL Spam and PAGAN spam (specifically). We have broken them out as such and put Comments about "Pagan" Spam on a separate page from the general comments.

Future survey structure will be; a quick one week snap shop of community thoughts and then a collection of submissions until 12/31/99. At that point we will do a final recalc of all of the surveys.

Festival Review: Cauduceus 1999 This week we recived a wonderful review of this festival from Steven and Bonnie Repko. Surf over and check out their thoughts on Cauduceus 1999 .

  • Good Friends... This weekend we had a wonderful visit by our friends Wade and Dianne (organizers of the PhoenixPhyre and AutumnMeet festivals here in central Florida). We are proud to say that thanks to them and their hospitality we have had the opportunity to meet many of Floridian brothers and sisters. The big news on the Festival scene here in Florida is that Velvet Hammer WILL be performing at AutumnMeet this November. This is first time opportunity for Florida Pagans to experience this incredible and magical band from Austin Texas. Due to the popularity of our "daily coverage" of this past PhoenixPhyre Wren and I will be, once again, reporting to you daily from Autumnmeet. We are also working hard to get our Media coordinator Peg Aloi down here to join us. Look for more info on this festival in the weeks to come.

Soon we'll all be busy planning our local Samhain events and celebrations or bustling about with media interviews and dealing with the usual publicity of the season. The time between now and the Fall Equinox (Mabon) can be a wonderful opportunity to gather your thoughts before the typical Samhain season blitz begins.

Take a few moments during this fleeting portal between the seasons to savor the lush beauty of your garden in full bloom or to gaze upon the purple, pink and indigo fan that spreads out from the horizon at sunset. Curl up with your favorite human or pet and read a good book or simply doze off and dream in your comfiest chair while the last of the summer breezes drifts through your window. Transitions are a part of Life, so why not savor them for the insights that they can provide? We experience something anew during each moment that we are truly aware and fully alive.

The mallards have come and soon the parrots will be gone. One cycle ends as another begins. Sitting on our porch watching the cats doze in the sunlight, Fritz and I have found both comfort and promise in that. We hope that you find it, too.

Walk in Light and Love,

Wren Walker
The Witches' Voice
September 7th., 1999 c.e.


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