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Witchvox Weekly Update for 9/13/1999

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: September 13th. 1999
Times Viewed: 5,879

Freak Out Your Town with Kindness
It's the last thing they expect and it works.

We have a 'drive-up' window of sorts here at TWV. Truth be told, it is really more of a 'crawl-up' window. Every morning the local squirrels climb the limb of the oak tree outside the office and place their order for peanuts to go.

The usual routine finds Wren heading down the steps with a bunch of peanuts in one hand and a plastic bag of tuna fish in the other. The peanuts are then hand-delivered into the waiting paws of the 'customers' with the busy bushy tails. And the tuna fish? Well, a rather cranky Great Snowy Egret always arrives ready to complain about the general lack of service if tuna is not available on the menu, so we go forth prepared. Of late, we have a a pair of storks who also seem to like to start the day off with a good breakfast and have joined the line forming at the pond's edge. (Note to Wren: Buy more tuna).

What the neighbors think of this local critter food-delivery service, we have no actual idea. We would guess that most find it odd or quirky--maybe even weird--but essentially harmless. Since the service is environmentally sound--the peanut husks become the compost and the tuna goes into making more egrets and storks (both threatened species here in Florida)--perhaps simply a good head-shaking is all the reaction that really occurs from behind the window panes. Besides, who can fault someone for caring about Nature and peacefully doing a good deed or two on Her behalf?

The same probably goes for our neighbors across the way. Our altar is in front of a shared window view and is visible both to them and to any other apartment complex residents who happen to look up as they walk along the corridor. If anyone even bothers to wonder about the perpetually flickering light at least they have not called the fire department.

We always have a candle burning. Upon our altar, we daily place the healing requests that we receive from the Pagan communities. The thought occurred to us this week, that since all of your best wishes and energies so helped Fritz during his recent heart problems, that others may wish to either help--or request help--in this area as well. So we are planning to add a "healing circle' section to TWV soon. The details are still being worked out, but it may be formatted like the other networking sections so that you can place and update requests yourself. If you think this is a nice idea, let us know.

The Official Kick Off...

A few weeks back we did a mini-survey on your thoughts on Pagan Spam. Close to 2,000 of you have responded (as of this writing). This week we kick off a series of surveys in order to get a better feel for the who, what and why of the community. Our approach will be two snapshots on each survey; #1 the results and comments from the first week the survey was introduced and then a second compiling of the data in January of 2000.

Flashback to WitchVox 1997: We did an extensive set of community surveys in 1997 entitled "A Quest for Unity" and the results were most enlightening. We are no longer asking if unity is possible, it did happen and it happened organically, We simply had no choice. Today the modern Pagan community consists of a tight and quick responding network of diverse groups. Since 1997 the community has grown and changed dramatically. It makes sense to not only reinstate these surveys but to rewrite them to suit this ever-changing community

In past few weeks many of you have offer your suggestions on what you'd like to ask the community and many of these questions will be added to surveys over the next few months.

This week we kick things off with questions about who YOU are... Your thoughts on rituals and working with groups.

Click Here to participate in the WitchVox Community Survey...

NOTE: WitchVox encourages all to surf over to the CoG Web Site to be counted on their Pagan census.

Pagan Pride Day Events Everywhere THIS WEEK!

Cecylyna & Dagonet Brightsword have done an incredible job with this project. At present they have cities and towns in 33 states participating. In their own words...

"Pagan Pride Day is a celebration of PRIDE in whom we reverence and how we celebrate our spirituality! International Pagan communities are planning events, picnics, walks and more to help promote understanding and tolerance among all religions and to share our abundance with others. Media kits, suggestions for planning a Pagan Pride Day event and support available on the International Pagan Pride Day " Witchvox, a page of scheduled Pagan Pride Events, but for the complete listing do hit the Pagan Pride Main Site to get the latest info and listings.

Diotima Presents the Sept 99 Essays This week's essays include 5 on the topic of "Initiation" which seem to demonstrate an encouraging open-minded attitude toward the subject. The general tone is one of "if the deep personal work was done, and the Gods were involved, then you are initiated".

Healing Art' brought two essays, both of which affirmed that the Craft is certainly a healing path, and magickal healing--as an adjunct to medical care--is worth studying.

And if the 2 teen 'School Daze' essays received are any indication, teen Pagans are doing a great job educating their peers about Witchcraft and Paganism, and are courageous enough to stand up for what they believe in. The future Elders are indeed out there.

Festival Review: Summerset 1999 This week we received a wonderful review of this festival from Michael M. Surf over and check out his thoughts on Cauduceus 1999 .

Goodbye Hit Box... Thanks for the Memories

Thanks to you (give yourselves a hand) for the most of this year Witchvox held the number one position on the top 1000 religions page at Hit Box. Simply by entering WitchVox via our front page you made this happen. It turns out the only reason we weren't #1 for a period before that was due to "cheating" by two Christian sites. We liked HitBox for its powerful site statistics; they told us where our surfers were coming from (next week we will list these sites and thank them again). Hit Box automatically measured the unique surfers coming in to the root level page This was a fair measure.

Last month HitBox changed the rules. In order to "compete" (and to dramatically increase THEIR hits) you were encouraged add their logo and code to your other hot pages (that folks may have bookmarked). We added their logo to this page and to Wren's Nest. This quickly added another 1,000 uniques to our "total". Since most of WitchVox is database driven we could do the same to our network pages (800 of them) to better "compete" and drive our total up dramatically. We could also do the same to our 600 content pages. Problem is, this would make WitchVox a pretty ugly site and make it look like we cared more about HitBox than you. That's not going to happen.

This week "new complaints" made our leaving HitBox an easy decision to make. Several of you emailed us complaining that you've had problems loading our front page BECAUSE of the HitBox code. Some quick research revealed that if (while using Netscape) the HitBox code experienced a timeout our front page would not load at all. I saw this for myself but only when using Netscape. 25% of those surfing the net use Netscape. Many of you also complained about the "cookies" that HitBox generates and were surprised to see them coming from Wren's Nest. Another recent reality was that being number #1 at HitBox doesn't send many surfers TO the site.

Bottom line... It's goodbye HitBox. Although we will miss their fab stats, we won't miss their advertising, new pop out window to when exiting their main page or the crippling of the load of our front page. We DO recommend the HitBox statistics package for a way to better understand who is visiting your site. It is the most beautiful and powerful we have seen.

Your email to us inspired this decision... This IS your site and once again... Your Voice rendered change.

It's time to feed our furry 'customers' here. It is not unusual to find the squirrels waiting right outside of our door. Of the ten identical doors in the building, the squirrels know which one the 'good stuff' comes out of. Whether it evolves from the seemingly small neighborhood acts of kindness and caring or the peaceful counter-protests like last week in Texas or this month's public Pagan Pride events, we believe that there will come a time when people who pass by a Pagan's door will know that something good lives behind it, too.

Walk in Light and Love,

Wren Walker
The Witches' Voice
September 13th., 1999 c.e.


Witchvox Central

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