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Witchvox Weekly Update for 11/29/1999

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: November 29th. 1999
Times Viewed: 4,425

Community Power... Who Holds it?

Why YOU are more powerful than you may know!

Welcome back everyone,

For many of us, this past weekend (in America) was a celebration with family and friends. A time to give thanks and share a meal. Like many of you, Wren and I spent Thanksgiving with our immediate family on Thursday and then with our Pagan friends over the weekend. The original story behind Thanksgiving is quite a bit different that what many of us think it is. (Check out Re-Discovering Pilgrim America for details). This perception vs. reality is worth noting. Why? Because things evolve and things change, this is a constant and something you can count on. Thanksgiving IS what WE want it to be.

The Neo-Pagan community is in a constant state of change. In fact, it is quite different than it was just 3 years ago. We no longer have to prove that we are a spiritual movement. Our sheer numbers and the consistency in our root-level beliefs are enough to render this a fact.

Over the past two decades, one of the few things that Pagans engaging in discussions about the future of the earth-based religions could reach agreement upon was the idea that any form of organization would have to come from the grass-roots up. The hierarchical 'top down' model held no appeal for most pagans. "Ah, but who or what would steer this movement up from the local communities?", someone would inevitably ask. The suspicious glances which often accompanied this question usually prompted a tactful change of conversational subject matter.

Yet that bothersome question about 'how will this all happen' continued to nag at our psyches. As it turns out, the nagging question probably kept us distracted long enough to stay out of the way when 'it' actually DID begin to happen.

I think the first time that a newspaper columnist or television anchor did a follow-up (and turned around) article based on the sheer number of Pagan email that they received following a negative piece, we were (let's be truthful here) shocked. Then it happened again... and again... and again. "It" was the spirit of a real Pagan community embodied and empowered by the many voices which make 'it' up.

Today Neo-Pagans are empowered and organized in a way that we did not foresee just a few years ago. And it DID happen from the grass-roots level up and it DID happen without a central leadership or established hierarchy leading the way. It happened because YOU did it. This was and is an organic movement by the community itself.

YOU wrote the letters and sent the email. YOU passed along the news clips, the announcements, the contact information. YOU got together in your small towns, big cities and in the Pagan forums to plan public events, workshops and outreach programs. YOU decided to stand up, speak out and in doing so, YOU inspired others to do the same. YOU are "It."

The ultimate test on the validity of any work is found in the work itself. It is either sound or it is not; it is either empowering, energizing, thought-provoking, spiritually uplifting and useful or it is just a bunch of dead leaf words blowing the wind.

The thousands of Neo-Pagan communities have set down deep roots. Let the winds blow. We will stand up just fine.



The Next Holiday of the Witch... YULE!
(On or about December 22)
Yule is the time of greatest darkness and the longest night of the year. The Winter Solstice had been associated with the birth of a "Divine King" long before the rise of Christianity. Since the Sun is considered to represent the Male Divinity in many Pagan Traditions, this time is celebrated as the "return of the Sun God" when He is reborn of the Goddess.
This week we ripped up our Yule pages and gave them their own "sub-chapter" in the holidays section. We also feature some thoughts we received in email from a Teenage Pagan who lives in Dublin, Ireland. His message was both positive and inspirational. Check out The Times They Are a Changing... To celebrate Yule '99, we again offer you a wonderful piece by Peg Aloi entitled You call it Christmas, We call it Yule Also check out Yule Essays 1997-1999.



The WitchVox surveys: What path do you Follow? What is the male/female percentage? How many of you are solitaires? Traditional? These are just a few of the questions asked in the WitchVox Community survey part #1. Our thanks go out to the 2,476 of you that filled out our new survey during its first 11 days. The first round results have been compiled and are posted... We will continue on with all of the surveys until the end of the year and do a final recalculation.

If you haven't participated... Please do so by clicking here. We will continue to collect data from this survey (and others) until the end of the year.



One Year Ago Today at WitchVox On this date, last year, we launched our "Covens and Groups" pages. Over the past 365 days thousands of you have joined many of these groups and many of you simply started your own. A piece of email (received today) is typical of so many that we receive... "Your site continues to swell the ranks of our coven with wonderful people". Thank YOU Valerie, we are both honored and thrilled to be a part of all of this. Thank you all for rendering "Covens and Groups" a valuable resource.

Note: The WitchVox "Covens and Groups" pages are a listing of local groups listed by city/town in our Witches of the World pages. As of this writing, WitchVox proudly lists 969 Covens and Groups from all over the world. This listing continues to grow at an impressive rate. Power to the people indeed!



Wren's Nest Gets a Make-Over
Since the advent of the new search engine for the Wren's Nest archives, it became apparent that Wren's Nest itself needed a bit of a facelift and a restructuring. This week we did just that. Click here. for Wren's Nest v3.0

Some of Last Week's Highlights: Magic vs Muggles and Misinformation A Prayer Feast For The New Millennium Christian Writer Looks Into The Wiccan World Fortune-Telling Ban Struck Down Gay Students Sue Over Club Denial Labbe-No One Will Win In The School Prayer Debate Book Review-Ronald Hutton's 'The Triumph of the Moon' Update-Miami Circle
  Updated Every day! Updates on Wren's Nest happen every day and in most cases several times a day, so remember to hit your reload button when you get there.



Pagan Federation - World Wide! Last week we featured a wonderful review of the Pagan Federations Annual Meeting in London. This week we received a lovely note of thanks from Diana Aventina (Pagan Federation National Coordinator for Belgium) with the following clarification... "The Pagan Federation is truly a worldwide organization that has hundreds of members that do not live in the United Kingdom. The Pagan Federation International has members in at least 15 different countries including all of the countries of Europe, as well as Scandinavia, South America, Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand South Africa, Israel and Hong Kong". Thank you Diana for helping us to clarify this to surfers that many not be familiar with the Pagan Federation world wide affiliates. Check out the The Pagan Federation (United Kingdom) web site for a complete listing.


Witch, Wiccan and Pagan F.A.Q.'s
Frequently Asked Questions about Witchcraft... Our FAQ page has been the number two hit page on this site since the day we went "on the air". It has become a powerful educational tool and was updated by Wren earlier this year. "The WitchVox FAQ's are offered to new seekers and the general public in an effort to dispel many of the myths of the Craft of the Wise. Witchcraft IS a legally recognized religion and has been since 1985. The ways of the Witch are defined in even more detail in various other pages on this Web site."

In the past few months some of you have translated it into several languages (thanks!). We now present this document in Spanish - Italian - Finnish and (NEW this week) now in Latvian.


WitchCraft
Basics


VoxSearch - A Hit with Vox Surfers
Last week we launched our site-wide "articles, essays and magical info" SEARCH engine and simply called it VoxSearch. This new search engine was designed to search through the 500 pages of articles and essays here at Witchvox and return some solid results. VoxSearch was not "borrowed, taken or adapted" it WAS writen from the ground up here in our office. It had to be in order to get the results we were looking for.

Thanks go out to those of you that wrote to express your "joy" at this new part of Witchvox. We must confess that part of the reason for doing VoxSearch was a selfish one, we simply needed a way to find data on WitchVox ourselves. We again, thank you for your patience with us, over the past year, while we took the time to do this right... Click here. for VoxSearch at the Voice.



Thanks go out this week to our friends from Ft. Myers, Florida and to the Velvet Hammer camp. They constantly remind us of how many wonderful people ARE out there in the NeoPagan community. They remind us how blessed we all are.

Always in your service,

Wren Walker & Fritz Jung
The Witches' Voice
Monday, November 29th., 1999 c.e.





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