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Weekly Update: 5/8/2000

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: May 8th. 2000
Times Viewed: 4,892

Getting Together, Getting Along...

Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans,

It's Pagan Festival Season once again! Not that there seems to be a time of the year anymore when pagans aren't finding some reason to gather together. From the large organized pagan festivals to the Pagan Pride Day picnics to the seasonal Holiday public and private rituals, pagans are connecting all over the world like never before.

TWV's main habitat is, of course, the Internet. But even we chained-to-the-computer folks like to get out once in a while and dig our toes in the earth and stroll barefoot in the grass. (Scratch, scratch... Anyone know any good 'appease the red ants' spells?) This weekend, Fritz and I spent some time at the Flordia Pagan Gathering hosted by those wonderful folks of The Church of the Iron Oak (Thank YOU Roger and Friends). The Boyd Hill Nature Park in South St. Petersburg is simply gorgeous and features 245 acres of unspoiled hardwood hammocks, nature trails and lakeshore. The camping area is spread out nicely so that little pagan compounds were nestled here and there surprising us at each curve of the trail with coven banners and smiling faces all aglow.

We finally had the opportunity to meet Pete Pathfinder of Aquarian Tabernacle Church. ATC recently announced that it's Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary has been cleared by the Degree Authorization Agency of the Washington State Higher Education Coordinating Board to offer classes resulting in the granting of theological studies degrees including Associate of Ministry, Bachelor of Ministry, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Divinity at its Index, Washington campus. The thrust of the seminary is toward the professionalization of Wiccan clergy, to prepare students for service to their communities as skilled and competent ministers of their faith. While it is principally focused on the ATC Wiccan tradition, it is open to students following other Pagan and Wiccan traditions. For more information on the ATC Seminary program, contact the school by writing Woolston-Steen Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 409, Index, WA 98256-0409, phoning the ATC at (360) 793-1945 during normal business hours Pacific time zone, or sending E-mail to Seminary@AquaTabCh.org or visit the ATC web site.

And speaking of colleges, just a reminder that the deadline for pagan students to apply for The Blessed Bee Pagan Scholarship is June 1, 2000. Students should be following some type of Pagan/Neo-Pagan spiritual path, such as (but not exclusively), Wicca, Witchcraft, Druidism, Asatruar, Shamanism, Native American Spirituality, Stregheria, Voodoun, Santeria, etc. It is open to students belonging to a group, coven, clan etc., as well as those whose spiritual path is a solitary one. The student should be actively involved in some type of community service and should maintain at least a C average (or its equivalent) in school. Students applying for The Blessed Bee Pagan Scholarship should be able to show financial need for college/trade school.

Pagan Festivals Are For The People

At FPG, Fritz ran into his old buddy and fellow computer guru, Author - Donald Michael Kraig. While those two 'geeked out', I wandered Merchant's Row and bought some herbs from the hospitable shop keeps of the 'Otter and Trout Trading Company'. Kim and Eric will be traveling to some other pagan festivals this year and if you get a chance to browse their great selection of wildcrafted and organic herbs, I know that you won't leave their tent without finding something that you simply must have.

Another 'must have' for both those of you who have never been to a pagan festival before (or for those who have but always want to know more about them) is the information that Trish Telesco offers this week to our regular TWV readers. In Dancing the Fires: A Primer for Attending Neo-pagan Gatherings, Festivals, and Events, Trish formats her first in this series in a simple FAQ format

"Festival season is blossoming like the earth itself, and the number of gatherings and events around the world is growing likewise. So this is the perfect time to examine some basic helps and hints that will make everyone's festival more enjoyable. While this series is intended mostly for people who have not attended many events, it's a good idea for everyone to read this information over. Sometimes we get jaded or apathetic, overlook little niceties, and land ourselves in a political heap of trouble as a result. By remaining aware and informed a lot of problems can be avoided. To start this series, we'll go over a few of the FAQ's that come to festival coordinators and speakers alike."

Check out Part One of this New Series Gatherings: the FAQ's in our powerful and ever growing NeoPagan Festivals section.

Now That You Know More About What To Expect, We Hope To Meet YOU At A Pagan Festival This Year!

Fritz and Wren will be heading out to The Heartland Spiritual Alliance Pagan Festival later this month. If you plan to be there, please seek us out and introduce yourself. We love to meet cyberpagans face to face. There'll be hugs all around you can be sure. There are no strangers at a pagan fest, just like-minded brothers and sisters that you haven't met yet! Check out the TWV reviews of festivals past to see what you've been missing and then and look for the festival and gathering events scheduled for the year 2000.

Our Teens Talk About Violence In School-There Is Nothing Festive About It

Our beloved TWV essay editor, Dio writes:

"We were blessed with a diverse collection of essays on School Violence this month. From Goths defending their culture against the media's inaccurate portrayal of the Columbine shooters as Goths, to young women who were physically attacked in school because of their Pagan beliefs, we are hearing about the gamut of what is going on in schools now, a year after Columbine, and how the current focus on violence in the schools tends to make life much more difficult for Pagan teens, or anyone who is viewed as "different". Young Pagans seem to have a special understanding of the issues raised by violence in the schools. Five of them have written powerful essays that should be required reading for Pagan parents (or parents of a Pagan) and school administrators"... Check out the School Violence essays... Page ONE - TWO - THREE - FOUR - FIVE

Witch Wars Continue To Spawn Controvery and Comment.

We have finally put up another six months worth of community comments on the Witch War subject. Many pagans wrote about their own hard thump upside the head and others offered suggestions on how to avoid that proverbial 2x4 by asking questions and keeping one's spiritual eyes open. Within these comments, we can feel the pain and the disillusionment. But there is also hope here as some share how the experience shaped their character and strengthened their faith. New Comments: #11 - 12 - #13 - 14 - 15 - 16 - 17

In closing, as pagans around the world gather at festivals and in schools, the issues that concern society at large are often the same issues that pagans face and contend with in their own communities. As our friend, Steven Craig Hickman so wisely states:

"Times of crisis focus and awaken a community's awareness of its central vision of life. It is during such moments of crisis that the integral and inherent truths that shape, guide, and center the life-cycle of that community's vision take on a dramaturgical quality within the minds of its adherents and followers. We are living in such a time."

We are also living in a time of unprecedented connectiveness. Communicating with each other, we can discover and develop our vision for the future. Working with each other, we will bring that vision to the world.

'Til next week.

Wren Walker
The Witches' Voice
Year 2000 - May 8th.





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