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Witchvox Weekly Update

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Witchvox Weekly Update for 12/20/1999

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: December 20th. 1999
Times Viewed: 4,549

Wassail! 'To Your Health'

Greetings Sisters and Brothers,

On the Winter Solstice (Summer Solstice down under), we greet and gather once again with our friends and our families. As we ponder the selection of each precious gift, we recall fun times with the people that we love. Childhood memories of candy canes, mysterious packages and twinkling lights merge with the spicy smells of gingerbread cookies and baking fruit pies.

Hearty shouts of "Happy Yule!" greet us wherever Pagans enjoy and share the joys of the season. Parties and Circles find us enveloped in the scent of fir trees and pine boughs, entranced by flickering candlelit altars and embraced by warm hearts and cheery smiles.

We at The Witches' Voice would like to extend to you all-our sponsors, our supporters, our friends and our family-the Blessings of the Season. May your Hearths Burn Warm, May your Spirits Be Merry and May The Time of The Returning Light Fill Your Hearts With Love.

As we enjoy the Warmth of our Yule Log, dear friends, we shall indeed be thinking of you...

We are thinking of you as we cross the threshold of the y2k mark. We are VERY excited at the countless changes we have planned for WitchVox 2k.

As you wrap that last present and tie that final bow, remember that YOU are a gift to your friends, your family and to your community. All of the information-from the essays and articles to the legal references and networking sections-exist because of YOU. Together we have served the Pagan community well-and we look forward to the Light of another wonderful year!

Honored to be in your service,

Wren Walker & Fritz Jung
The Witches' Voice
Yule 1999 c.e.

Major Site Reconstruction!
As you sniff around WitchVox this week you will notice that hundreds of pages have changed, are cleaner, more accurate and in many cases brighter. WitchVox is in the final stage of a total reconstruction. This work is a major repositioning for the future of this site. Thanks to a of couple generous Pagans, our goal to host our networking pages LIVE may be achieved as early as February 2000. What will this mean to you? To the tens thousands of you that use our networking section annually, it will mean live submissions and live edits to your existing information, a more robust look and feel, AND the unleashing of some incredible new technology.

Several of you have reported some glitches this past week. I can't thank you enough for this help. With a current page count of 1,663, Witchvox is simply too big for one little Witch to audit. So do us a big favor and if you notice anything out of whack (broken images, non loading pages or anything that looks weird), kindly email us with the page URL and a brief description.

Year 2,000 and the NeoPagan
The year 2,000 is significant to the modern Pagan, right?  NOT!  Y2k and Paganism have as much in common as Ricky Martin and Vienna Boys Choir. To some folks it's the end of all existence (although this crowd is "adjusting" their story in the 11th hour), to others it's Jesus' 2,000 birthday. To us, it's simply a number, and one that (technologically speaking) we must be ready to calculate. WitchVox is a Macintosh site, hence we've been y2k ready since 1984. Our databases have been y2k savvy for years. (For reliable year 2000 info, Check Out: http://www.ecis.com/~alizard/y2k.html)

From a spiritual point of view y2k means nothing of significance to the NeoPagan. It's just another turn of the Wheel. Socially though, it's another story all together. The common clock for the modern Western society IS based on this number and for those of us that *enjoy* change, NOT being '19 anything!' will be a welcomed change.

This week we feature a hard look at the joy of the season and a refusal to bow down to the popular religious aspect of Y2k. Our good friend, Bev Richardson of Castle Pook, Ireland offers a well written rant on this very subject.

"...what is it we are celebrating? (or not, as the case may be!) I refuse to participate in a celebration of 2000 years of spiritual bullying, coercion, torture, rape, murder, social and religious genocide... (shall I continue? no, I think the list is long enough...) that represent the organized face of christian religion. The native people whose cultures were destroyed to further the power politics and hunger for wealth of the Christian nations..."

For more of this story, check out: 125,000 Years is Not a Millennium!.

Your Words and lots of Them!
As of this morning a quick re-calculation rendered an interesting statistic. I was curious as to how many words have been submitted to Witchvox, so I totaled out the essays, articles, information and community comments pages (didn't count the chat room we had for 9 months) and was shocked to see the results... 2,019,916! Over 2 million words from Witches, Wiccans and Pagans? Oh My! This begs the question, "How do you target this data for subjects that YOU are interested in"? As of last month we finally have a proper answer... Hit the WitchVox search engines. This week we built our 5 search engines into the footers of every one of our 1663 pages. Don't let their "low profile" fool you, they are very powerful and with a simple search you can find, people, articles, Pagan Websites and much much more... Give Vox Search a ride today!

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YULE: Mixing Your Gatherings
Is trying to keep up with your Pagan traditions as well as the family gatherings at this time of year starting to get you down? So...just how much time do you have to relax and appreciate the season after your coven/community Yule celebrations, your family holiday obligations, and maybe an office party thrown in the mix? Not much, we bet.

You might want to think a bit about how to change that. Laura Foye does in her essay Simplicity. Her own situation illustrates what is probably a typically Pagan dilemma—a creative person pulled many different ways during an ecumenical holiday season. She examines what's worthwhile and what's not and makes some good points about unrealistic expectations. So take a moment to read her essay and give some thought to how you can simplify your Solstice season.

WebMaster's Note: As with many sections of Witchvox, our Holidays Pages have been completely restructured and tweaked up. Visit them for a celebration of the 8 Holidays of the Witch, Wiccan and Pagan.

Witches Speak Out! - Your Voice does Indeed Matter!

  WitchVox Year 2000 Essay Topics NOW Up!  


The Witches' Voice is actively soliciting editorials and essays on a variety of topics on interest to both Pagan and mainstream audiences. Diotima has put together the essay/article topics for the first 6 months of year 2000. For the complete listing and our editorial guidelines, follow the links at the bottom of this box.

Young Pagans Section:

January 2000: (hey, we made it! ;-)
    Publication Date: January 9th
    Submission Deadline: January 2nd

    Topic: Karma
    Do you believe in Karma? Why or why not? If you do believe in it, how do you think it works? Are there "Lords of Karma"? Or is it solely your responsibility to 'balance the books'?
    Topic: Times of Crisis
    How does your religion help you cope during times of crisis in the family? Is it difficult for you to relate to your family during these times because they don't understand your religion? Are there place or people outside your family that you rely upon to offer advice to you during these times?

February 2000:
    Publication Date: February 6th
    Submission Deadline: January 30th

    Topic: Out of the Broom Closet
    Let's hear your story. If you've come out of the broom closet, was it as bad as you had feared? Better? Worse? If you haven't, do you plan to in the near future? Why or why not?
    Topic: Whatcha Readin'?
    What books have helped you to learn about Paganism? Was it a book that got you interested in the first place? Have you ever been 'caught' reading a book on Witchcraft in school by your friends or your teachers? What happened?
"Adults" Section:

January 2000:
    Publication Date: January 16th
    Submission Deadline: January 9th

    Topic: Karma
    Do you believe in Karma? Why or why not? If you do believe in it, how do you think it works? Are there "Lords of Karma"? Or is it solely your responsibility to 'balance the books'?
    Topic: Times of Crisis
    How does your religion help you cope during times of crisis in the family? Is it difficult for you to relate to your family during these times because they don't understand your religion? Are there place or people outside your family that you rely upon to offer advice to you during these times?

February 2000:
    Publication Date: February 13th
    Submission Deadline: February 6th

    Topic: Out of the Broom Closet
    Let's hear your story. If you've come out of the broom closet, was it as bad as you had feared? Better? Worse? If you haven't, do you plan to in the near future? Why or why not?
    Topic: Prayer
    Do you pray? How do you think your prayers are similar to/different from more mainstream religions like Christianity? Do you call them "prayers", "magic", or something else?


For Our Year 2000 list of Teen Topics: Click HERE ... For Adult Topics: Click HERE


Questioning Pagans... and the W.T.O.
Last week we featured an open letter from famous Pagan author Starhawk, detailing her W.T.O. (World Trade Organization) protest experience two weeks ago in Seattle. The news groups and email lists have been abuzz about just what the W.T.O. means to the modern Pagan. Although, the W.T.O. meeting was not a Pagan situation directly, it does effect us and our future.

This week we received numerous posts on this subject and the "open letter" we posted from Starhawk. The theme of these posts questioned the right of blocking free assembly. WitchVox has a history of featuring all community voices (famous or not), hence this week we offer: An Open Letter From the Temple of Pneuma.

December 22nd: An Amazing View of The Moon!

For the Past 8 days we have been passing along info from the Farmer's Almanac that is apparently not quite correct... Turns out this WILL be a special moon but NOT the brightest in 133 years (Even the Wall Street Journal got taken in with the hype and ran a page one story about the "phenomenon" last week under the subhead: "Big, Bright and Close to Earth. It Could Well Play Tricks Not Seen in Many a Moon.")

From "Sky and Telescope" Magazine

"Suddenly a lot of people are asking this question: Will the full Moon of December 22, 1999, be the brightest full Moon in 133 years? They're asking, apparently, because of an article from the Old Farmer's Almanac that is being widely circulated by e-mail.

According to Roger W. Sinnott, associate editor of SKY & TELESCOPE magazine, the answer is unequivocal: No! It is true that there is a most unusual coincidence of events this year.

As S&T contributing editor Fred Schaaf points out in the December 1999 issue of SKY & TELESCOPE, "The Moon reaches its very closest point all year on the morning of December 22nd. That's only a few hours after the December solstice and a few hours before full Moon. Ocean tides will be exceptionally high and low that day. But to have these three events -- lunar perigee (the Moon's closest approach to Earth during its monthly orbit), solstice, and full Moon -- occur on nearly the same day is not especially rare. The situation was rather similar in December 1991 and December 1980.

For the complete article surf to Sky and Telescope Online. Thank YOU Ariadne Luna for helping us to render this info "correct and for the good of all" Also check out the NASA link






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