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Weekly Update: 6/26/2000

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: June 26th. 2000
Times Viewed: 6,178

The Supreme Court Rulez!

This week the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a very important decision on the issue of prayer at a public school event. In the opinion on 'Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe' offered by the majority, the Court stated:

"School sponsorship of a religious message is impermissible because it sends the ancillary message to members of the audience who are nonadherents 'that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message to adherents that they are insiders, favored members of the political community."

To say that this ruling set off a firestorm of controversy and commentary would an understatement. The press releases were filing through the newswires faster than sugar ants zeroing in on a Twinkie. Most pagans and other minority religions are breathing a sigh of relief. The religious fundamentalist 'powers that wannabe' have been pushing for more religion (insert the name of the religion of THEIR choice here) and prayers (ditto here) in all public places -the Ten Commandments in courtroom and school rooms, 'In God We Trust' posters in state government offices, the yearly creche displays, etc-but no issue is paraded about so vehemently as the campaign to 'get god back in the classroom".

This week, the Supreme Court said, 'No!" They not only said, No!", they said it with a tone of peevishness that seems to indicate they are just plain sick and tired of ruling over and over again on this issue just for the enlightenment of those few folks who just don't seem to want to hear what the S.Ct. is saying. And those same hard-of-hearing 'powers that wannabe' are now threatening to take over the Supreme Court for 'their side' in the next election.

Yes, you are right about that-Supreme Court Justices are not elected by the people. They are appointed by the residing President of the United States. Beginning to get a glint of where they are planning to go with this? Yeah, so are we.

Finally! A Real Reason To Vote This November is Wren's latest rant. Somebody is going to be sitting in the White House come January and that somebody-excuse me, that President Somebody-will hold the keys to the Supreme Court's 'Justices Only' washroom. So if you are still looking for the reason that may be important enough for you to pull out a voter registration card on, this may be the one. Far beyond November, the ripples of the upcoming elections will be felt throughout the land.

Click HERE to check out Wren's Latest Rant.

Pagan attorney, Dana Eilers has written up a short analysis of this judgement focusing on the issues that would be of most interest to pagans.

As a non-profit educational organization, TWV cannot endorse any particular political candidate for office, nor would we try to tell you who to vote for even if we legally could. Your vote, your decision. But we can-and do-urge you to register to vote in the upcoming elections and to look into the various candidate's and political platform's stances on religious freedom. The wall that separates church and state-which has adequately protected and preserved religious liberty for ALL religions (and the choice of no religion) for over 200 years- is under heavy fire from religious fundamentalists. Your vote can become another brick in that wall-strengthening and reinforcing the First Amendment freedoms upon which this country was founded.

TWV will continue to bring you more information on the voting process in the months to come. You can also surf over to the Pagans Vote web site for links and information. Who you decide to vote for is your business, but please DO vote.

Next Week - New Festival Reviews:  Pagan Security Tips from Pros and Several New Treats


Doreen Valiente.com Coming this Fall!

On September 1st a new free website will be launched to mark the first anniversary of the passing of Doreen Valiente, the world renowned English witch. Doreen is generally regarded as one of the most influential practitioner's of the Craft to date. Using her skills as a poet and author, Doreen produced a wealth of material on witchcraft, most notably the book Witchcraft for Tomorrow, and Liber Umbrarum, The Book of Shadows.

The site will include as never seen before, her astonishing array of artifacts, poems, photos and diaries which, are the largest private collection of witchcraft memorabilia in the world. Including photographs of the original 'Book of Shadows' plus, many objects belonging to Gerald Gardner and Dorothy Clutterbuck of the New Forest Coven. Video tributes from close friends and associates of Doreen will enhance this unique online exhibition.

Doreen Valiente.com has been created by a Brighton based company Hexagon Hoopix, on behalf of the Centre for Pagan Studies and goes online at one minute past midnight on 1st of September 2000.

The Witches' Voice will offer updates on this new site in both July and August and will be featuring some interesting pre-launch images.



Here Come Da Justice -
Well, maybe she's not quite a judge as yet, but this week the Alternative Religions Educational Network (AREN) is pleased to announce that their resident Attorney, Bonnie-Ann Brill Keagy, has been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States of America. "To the best of our knowledge Ms. Keagy is one of the first Witches to be admitted to practice in front of this Court." Ms. Keagy has a wealth of experience in cases involving Pagan Rights as well as standard law practice, focusing primarily in criminal defense and Family Law. A Press Release can be found on the AREN web site. Congratulations, Becca!!



Justice and Equality For The Earth
Environmental issues are closely tied to economic and sociological factors as more development, growth and populations come into contact with each other. As earth-based religionists, we understand that everything is connected to everything else. By working to improve any one link in the web, the entire fabric can be made stronger. Carrie from the Earth Charter Initiative sent us over some information on this very important global project:

After eight years of deliberation with more than 100,000 people in 51 countries, 25 global leaders in environment, business, politics, religion and education announced on March 14, 2000, a comprehensive document of new global ethical guidelines known as the Earth Charter. The document creates an unprecedented ethical and moral framework to guide the conduct and behavior of people and nations to each other and the Earth.

The first four guiding principles of the Earth Charter are to:
  • Respect Earth and life in all its diversity;
  • Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion and love;
  • Build democratic societies that are just, sustainable, participatory and peaceful; and
  • Secure Earth's bounty and beauty for present and future generations.

A survey on the new Earth Charter document was created to encourage broad public participation and input into the review process. Statistical results of all surveys received so far will be made available to you after you submit your survey. The source of all input and individual comments will be kept confidential. You may even submit your survey anonymously.



Important Notice
June 2000

Severe Weather Alert at WitchVox II.

It's "Lightning Season" here in Tampa Bay, Florida.

The WitchVox.net Server (Witch, Wiccan and Pagan contacts, Teen contacts, Circles and Events, Local Shop listings, Covens and Groups, 4,000 Pagan links and Wren's Nest) is located in our home here in Tampa Bay and this is a very dangerous time of year. We live in the lightning capital of the USA (an amazing place to watch the Mother in action) and consistently see thousands of lightning strikes this time of year. Expect to see WitchVox.net SHUT DOWN for an hour or so nightly. We simply can't risk any direct strike on this gear.

We will post a Severe Weather Alert on the front door of WitchVox (http://www.witchvox.com) when we do this. - Thank YOU in advance for your understanding. - Fritz Jung (WebCrafter WitchVox)




Military Chaplain's Handbook - The Story
We receive this info from our our good friend A.lizard (http://www.ecis.com/~alizard/)... "I have a new page with Historical information on The _Overview and Guide for Wiccans in the Military from the Chaplain's Handbook". B*B, A.Lizard -- Here is a sample...

"Merry Meet. I have seen your request on a couple of lists, and it has also been forwarded to me by several individuals. Since you didn't mention the focus of the library, I am assuming it is pagan-oriented. I am attaching a copy of Overview and Guide for Wiccans in the Military, 3rd edition, which is the reference document currently used by the DoD Armed Forces Chaplains Board (AFCB) concerning matters involving the practice of Wicca by military members."

More info can be found at the following link: A.Lizard

ONE Year Ago This Week At WitchVox...
(Ironically Relevant Today!)

"I don't think that Witchcraft is a Religion".
(Texas Gov. George. W. Bush)

Politically speaking this was another very busy week. Republican presidential candidate and Governor of Texas, George W. Bush, stated that he believed that Witchcraft wasn't a religion, hence not worthy of being treated as such in the military. Even by conservative estimates, close to a million U.S. Witches, Wiccans & Pagans would strongly disagree. Get this George, we are not only a religion but we are also voters, and vote we will.

Texas Pagans (who never do anything small) were both insulted and furious by their Governor's statement! Surf to Texas Pagan Awareness Online or Wren's Nest for continuing coverage on this issue. The times they ARE a changing, YOUR local Pagan awareness campaigns ARE working. We are waxing NOT waning. For the absolute latest on World-Wide Pagan political issues... Visit Wren's Nest on the Web

Contact information for Governor Bush to respond to his comments against Wicca: Snail Mail: Governor George W. Bush, Office of the Governor, PO Box 12428, Austin, Texas 78711-2428. Fax: 512-463-1849. Governor's Switchboard: 512-463-2000. Online E-Mail Response Form Address: http://www.governor.state.tx.us/email.html



US Pagans Gear up to Vote their Conscience: Y2K will render many changes and a major US election is one of them. Many Pagans ARE politically aware. Thanks to recent "cheap shots" by the sinister element of Religious Right (mercifully a tiny minority - that is apparently on a mission of Hate), many Pagans have become quite aware of the impact of "choosing" whom they desire to represent them in the House, Senate, White House and local governmental positions. That said, one of our most respected allies, Charlayne Elizabeth Denney, has put together a Pagan Vote campaign that promises to push hard on this issue and the fact that YOU can make a difference. Wren and I are both registered voters and will be casting our vote this coming year. For more info surf to the Pagans Vote Website (image above right). Also know that AREN is doing some work on this at their web site (image above center). The WLPA took a stab at this a last year as well. ... Visit their Bless the Vote campaign. YOU really can make a difference.



Are You a Pagan Homesteader?
Do you do fertility charms over your garden, or your goats? Do you live in a rural area, on land unspoiled by urban sprawl? Do you live the cycle of life like our ancestors did, getting a good chunk of your food from the earth, at the mercy of the weather and the wild things? Do you see your homesteading lifestyle as a sacred pagan path?

If so, we want to interview you. We're pagan homesteaders ourselves - Raven Kaldera runs Cauldron Farm in central Massachusetts and Tchippakkan runs Four Oaks Farm in southern New Hampshire. We're writing a book entitled "Sacred Soil: Pagan Homesteading" and we need to talk to other pagan homesteaders in other parts of the country. These would be email interviews, and we would not print your real name or town unless you prefer it that way. It's important to us that the mostly urban and suburban pagan community knows that we are still here; that the neo-pagan movement has not become completely urbanized. It's also important to us to let those who are considering such a lifestyle know about the risks, pains, and heart-warming joys of our chosen paths.

Please email us at cauldron@dellmail.com if you're interested, and we'll send you the interview questions. Blessed be, and may your land flourish with fertility. Raven Kaldera, Cauldron Farm Tchipakkan, Four Oaks Farm



Jay Strikes Again
One of favorite image crafters has just added some new work to his already fabulous gallery of spirituality. "The new gallery (#10, if you're counting) is my biggest roll-out yet: 11 new and 4 slightly used pieces of digital art. Changes include:
  • improved menu and navigation
  • links page restored at last! (after, what, 2 years?)
  • new FREE backgrounds, buttons, bars and icons....
If you haven't visited in a while, this is the one you've waited for! First major update since September '99. http://www.greenshadows.com will get you there. Hope you enjoy the trip. As you stroll the gallery may I offer you a glass of champagne? Okay, take the whole bottle. Chocolate? Little black fish eggs on toast points? :-b Jay

BIG TIME NOTE: Alternate Realities in Art and Thought deserves major credit for its consistent celebration of Pagan Artwork and Imaging for the past 3 years... WitchVox is once again proud to point you to this incredible site. (We love you Serge!)



In closing, we would like to thank our many pagan friends, family members, sponsors and associates for their dedication to pagan causes, their willingness to become involved and most of all for their continuing inspiration. This past Saturday, we stopped in at the "Fires at Solstice' pagan gathering. As we strolled around the site, we paused often to chat, laugh and muse with friends both old and new. It was once again brought home to us why we do what we do here: Pagans are some of the kindest, most intelligent and spiritually attuned people that grace the face of Mother Earth. We are honored to walk among you.

Our heartfelt thanks go out to the many of you that believe in, contribute to and continue to support this mission in your own heartfelt ways...You ARE the Witches' Voice.

In Your Service,

Wren Walker & Fritz Jung
The Witches' Voice
Year 2000 - June 26th.






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