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Witchvox Weekly Update for 12/6/1999

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: December 6th. 1999
Times Viewed: 4,863

Books: Do They Choose Them for YOUR Children?

or... Why they want you to be a Good Pony!

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

Allow me to start off this weeks update by quoting our good friend Bev Richardson from Castle Pook, Ireland. "Pagan is the default setting, everything else is an adaptation"... Interesting quote and one shared by the hundreds of thousands of us that have "reset" ourselves. This "realization" seems to pop up everywhere and the classic statement "I always knew I had a religion, I just never knew it had a name" rings out consistently in email we receive. So many are coming out to proclaim their root-level beliefs in Paganism. This is making those that would "keep us on our knees" very nervous. VERY Nervous! Why? Because they've invested much time and money into optimizing ways to adjust us. They've crafted books just for this purpose. My adjustment process was typical.

Books and the Young Seeker...

My Christian influences and "education" come from 7 years of parochial school and lots of books, selected especially for me. Yes, like many of you I too was "beaten by nuns as a small child" (Now THERE is a song waiting to be written). The Sisters didn't like my questions and made every effort to adjust my behavior to that of a "good and obedient Christian". My personal belief that people were good by default and that life starts in a pure state just didn't mesh with their concept of "original sin". It became clear that this just wasn't a match made in heaven.

Several years ago my mother decided to give (read: unload) my childhood accessories on me as a birthday present. Amongst the "yawner items" such as my baby shoes and 1950's raising your child books, were some items of interest. Notably my 1st grade reading/writing book. Since this was from a parochial school, the teaching method was skillfully mixed with the events of the bible. Wren and I were quite curious about this critical tool that started me reading and writing. They taught me many of the words I use to this day. We were shocked when we discovered the second word I ever wrote with my own hand (the first was my name). Of all the words they could have picked, they decided that the word "AGONY" was a good one. The third word was "OBEY"... and they worked this one into a sentence... "It is a good pony because it has learned to OBEY". Pretty frightening, eh folks?.

Every Day in School was the same: 15 minutes of prayers, 1 hour of religion class (guess which was the ONLY religion discussed), recess, 15 minutes of prayers, 2 hours of academics, 15 minutes of prayers, LUNCH, 30 minutes of prayers, 1 hour academics, 15 minutes of prayers, recess, 1 hour of academics, 15 minutes of prayers, and then they'd let us go back to MTV's REAL World. The only variation to this routine was on Friday afternoon. The Priest would show up, hang with the Sisters and then perform High Mass in the gym. The nuns had these nice little pads to kneel on, we sinners weren't so fortunate. Kneeling on a gymnasium floor for a 90 minute High Mass is one of the worst things you can do for your knees... Mine were damaged permanently from this weekly ritual and I choose to never kneel facing a basketball hoop again.

The above scenario would score very high on Isaac Bonewits's "Cult Awareness Frame v2.01 ". It was a true cult situation by anyone's definition. Do any of you remember the "Baltimore Catechism"? Those 100 and something call-and-response drills? I do remember how it starts.

    Q: Who made us?
    A: God made us (teacher: louder students!)

    Q: Why did he make us?
    A: Because HE loves us (teacher: louder students! HE can't hear you!)

Like most of you, I did survive and did eventually get the option to choose my own spiritual path.

My recollection is now 30 years old but my sense is that not much has changed. So, if you are presently incarcerated in a scenario similar to the one above, "have faith" because someday you too will get to choose. It is clear that the NeoPagan community (along with other non-Christian faiths) will fight for your freedom of religious choice.

The Harry Potter Controversy:

This week Wren pens her thoughts on one of "those school books"... The ones they don't want the children reading. Ironically, *they* had no problems with ANY of the Children's books where the Witches were Evil.

"Children often feel that they live in a foreign land inhabited by strangers who do odd things for unfathomable reasons. They hear parents talk about how much they hate going to Aunt Edna's for the holidays; yet each and every year they all pile in the car and head off for a day in which they presumably spend the entire time wishing that they were somewhere else."

Click HERE for the complete editorial.



Ask The Panel! An online Wiccan/Pagan advice column called Multicastings is getting ready to launch. Why "Multicastings"? Because instead of one columnist, there's a panel to assist and provide multiple opinions. Currently Multicastings is seeking letters--if you have something you'd like to ask, check out the guidelines and send a letter to multicastings@catalystpoint..org.



The Music of the Witch...

For Immediate Release: Four Winds Earth Chorus is pleased to announce the release of our first Recording, We Each Send A Voice: 5 Years of Celebration in Song, Chant & Rhythm * 1994-1999 available immediately direct from Four Winds and from local New York Area Craft and New Age shops and selected music stores shortly thereafter and online outlets in early '2000.

This recording celebrates our Survival and Success as a Volunteer Choral Cooperative. It is a compilation of our sound from 5 years of Choral Support of Ceremony and Ritual, Performance and Teaching and Bardic Circles. The CD and Tape features songs and chants from the Pagan, Native, African, World and Folk Traditions, Spoken Word pieces, and Hot Drumming! We have included many of our original works and several pagan "classics". - Kurt Talking Stone, Choral Director and the Members of Four Winds Earth Chorus... For more info surf to the Four Winds Earth Chorus web site.



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: Not All Christians Think Harry Is Evil A 'Captive' Audience Some Believe Lightning Strike Caused By Witchcraft Traditional Asheville Feels Invaded By Gays, Witches, Vegetarian New Agers Religious Leaders Ask S. Baptists To Reconsider Conversion Blitz A Bit Of Wreath History Witches Protest At WTO If You Read Harry Potter Backwards, Will You Hear Wiccan Chants? Prison Policy 'Crossed' First Amendment Rights Parliament Of World Religions Off To Nervous Start Theory About Harry-Fairy Tales Contain 'Magical Power' From TPAO-Starhawk Arrested At WTO Protest Monotheistic Religions Have Mixed Feelings About The Seasons Sha'lak'o-The Zuni Pueblo Winter Solstice Celebration Delayed No Ten Commandments In School? Then How About--
  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 Youth Speak Out!

  Pagan Teens: "I love" and "In A Past Life"  


The I Love topic inspired some beautiful reminiscences of how the authors discovered the magic love can bring to life, and how their experiences of love have changed them. The Christian mystic Teilhard de Chardin once said "Some day, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity we shall harness the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire." These young Pagans intuitively understand the extraordinary power of love, and would, I suspect, have given Teilhard hope that we might be nearing that day he envisioned. But then, we Pagans do know how to work with the elements! :-)

In A Past Life brought only one offering; a fascinating example of how open Pagans can be to a very different understanding of time, space and the possibilities of alternative universes. This is definitely not your usual past life story!

Many thanks to all who contributed an essay. Your voice does matter!

For a complete list of Future Teen Topics: Click HERE ... For Adult Topics: Click HERE


Wren and Fritz can't thank the beautiful Dio enough for the help that she has delivered to us by taking over and delivering the Monthly essays. She has been a gift from the Goddess and we are honored to work with her. Bless YOU Dio and welcome home.

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.



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 written 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.



In closing allow us to project that the children of this world get to experience books that offer many perspectives. Controlling their exposure has never worked and never will.

Always in your service,

Wren Walker & Fritz Jung
The Witches' Voice
Monday, December 6th., 1999 c.e.





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