Weekly Update: 7/31/2000|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: July 31st. 2000
Times Viewed: 5,738
| We Call Them Like We See Them... |
Pagans, Politics and Programming
it was bound to happen sooner or later. The political silly season is now upon us. The Witches' Voice is politically neutral in electoral matters. We do however comment on statements by candidates, issues brought forward by legislators and proposed bills that may affect pagan religious and civil rights. It won't be our fault if your favorite candidate says something horrible about Witches, Witchcraft or minority rights. We just report it. We'll also be more than happy to mention any good news for pagans from the campaigns. No sacred cow should be considered untippable here at TWV if it strolls into the political barnyard and so, that being cleared up, we can now move on to...
Web Note: Yes! Those really are our voter registration cards to your right. Our address has been removed for security reasons and YES! I really did marry a younger man.
The Political Conventions kick off this week. C-SPAN will cover them all beginning with the Republican Convention July 31-August 3, 2000. If you don't catch them live, C-SPAN will have the on-line videos of the goings-on available as well as discussion forums and a schedule of other events and protests surrounding the conventions. For you anti-heroes (The ones who tend to root for the X-Men and Spiderman), MTV is hosting their Choose or Lose campaign coverage beginning Sunday. Satire lovers won't want to miss a minute of the Shadow Conventions. Al Franken and Arianna Huffington (literally in bed together) reporting on the conventions with plenty of guest comedians, satirists and just plain regular Joes and Janes--Does it get any more ironic than that?
If you are pagan and plan to vote this November, you might just want to scoot on over to the Alternative Religions Educational Network to pick up your free I'm Pagan and I Vote banner.
Another stop along the campaign trail that we recommend is the Pagans Vote web-site with its links to the home pages of the various political parties, commentaries on various issues and other handy yankee-doodle-dandy information. Like TWV, Pagans Vote is politically neutral and presents the information so that YOU can decide who best represents you and your interests.
We do encourage you to get out and vote!
| Little Witch and The Christian -- 10,422 Pages Viewed in Two Weeks!|
(part III now up!)
Speaking of Sequels... Many regular Witchvox visitors may recall a story that we featured here early last year called, The Little Witch. This piece was VERY popular and to date has been read some 32,016 times!
John has since penned a follow-up story starring the same endearing and outspoken main character. This time, we find the Little Witch attending a wedding. Realizing that she knows few people at the celebration and left sitting alone at one of the tables, our Little Witch begins to wish for "something" to happen that would be "pleasant and interesting and maybe even lively".
(Teaser ahead!) Be careful what you wish for... you just might get it! What the Little Witch does with what she 'gets' is the subject of a five-part series called, Little Witch and The Christian (click for Part I - Part II and Part III).
Web Note: This special feature is part of our new printable Basics of the Craft section.
| Bad Call...|
In Denver, Colorado this week, some pagans learned that their city council had passed-without fan fare and allegedly without public comment-a new anti-fortune-telling ordinance. We received several letters along these lines:
"Just wanted to let you know that several of our Metaphysical stores in the city and county of Denver have had both uniformed and plainclothes police officers enter their stores, and inform them that it is illegal to read Tarot for money in Denver unless they are ordained ministers." They are citing this statute:"
"Sec. 38-100.--Fortune telling. It shall be unlawful for any person to ask or receive any compensation, gratuity or reward for practicing fortune telling, palmistry or clairvoyance; provided, however, that the provisions of this section as it relates to clairvoyance shall not be applicable to bona fide participation in religious worship of any legally constituted religious body which has been exempted by the United States Treasury Department under the Internal Revenue Code from paying federal income tax. (Code 1950, ¤ 841.8)"
Similar anti-fortune telling laws have been -and still are- being used against pagans in many states. Many involve a fine, more are merely used as a form of intimidation and most laws of this type are simply ignored. In North Carolina, the The Cosmic Lemniscate and Church of The Earth, N.C. fought a similar law and here in Florida, a body piercing establishment is fighting something similar. "Telling the future is protected speech under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution according to Cruisin & Co. Inc.'s attorney, David A. Wasserman of Wasserman & Walters in Winter Park, Florida. "This law (in Florida) is an unconstitutional content-based prohibition citywide on palm reading and fortune telling, he said."
Anytime you or I make plans for tomorrow, we are in effect 'telling the future' and if someone should then offer us 'a penny for our thoughts' about those plans, well...
If some of the local area individuals or groups are planning to take on this Denver ordinance, let us here at TWV know about it and we'll be happy to help you keep everyone informed on the case. It's time to retire these archaic laws once and for all.
The past week, we received a very nice treat from our friend, Todd. (thanks my brother - Email firstname.lastname@example.org). Todd's High Priest Rev.Jason J. Blodgett-McDeavitt, Rev. Cynthia S. Blodgett-McDeavitt and the members of the Order of The Red Grail worked their magic at the state capitol in Nebraska (see photo to your right and on our splash page).
On June 24th, Nebraska pagans got together for Earth Religions Awareness Day 2000. A very well done video chronicled all of the statements, rituals, events and festivities surrounding the event and really brought us in on the action. The Nebraska ERAD came about in response to Gov. Mike Johanns' decision in 1999 -after declaring a "March For Jesus Day'- that while he would sign similar proclamations supporting major religions such as Judaism and Hinduism, he would definitely NOT "sign a proclamation that recognizes witchcraft." Not to be deterred, The Order of the Red Grail sprang into action and proclaimed-or reclaimed- the time of the Summer Solstice as an Earth Day worthy of special consideration and proceeded to hold a public pagan ritual in the Nebraska Capitol Building. Following this moving ritual, a crowd gathered in a local park where speakers from various religions spoke, a drumming circle took shape and various musical acts performed. Rounding off the successful event was an evening of heady tunes from our good friends in The Raft and DreamTrybe. Thank you, Jason and all of the members in the Order of the Red Grail, for inspiring us with your determination and sense of purpose and for sending us the video for the TWV library.
Wren's Nest Goes to Version 5.1
Over the Past several weeks we have listened to your thoughts and suggestions on the design and "feel" of Wren's Nest and happy to say that we have found the time to implement the most requested ones. This weekend we released version of 5.1 of this community service.
The following changes have been rendered...
- When you hit the main page (http://www.witchvox.com/xwrensnest.html) you will see the 7 most recent articles (up from the previous 5) with a link to the other articles from the past 7 days following. (No more hitting the "today" or "This week" buttons)
- Counts of articles posted today, this week and this moon cycle (the past 28 days) have been added to the main nest page. (There is a tiny glitch with this but we are working on)
- Searches are now more intelligent and highlight (in deep red) the words you searched for within the actual results. YES the big time search engines do this but we are all home grown so thank you for your patience while we were figuring out how to do this.
- Kindly note that we have many other "features" (including interactive ones) waiting in the wings and will get to them as time allows.
Witch Hugs go out from the both of us to the many of you that have sent over articles of interest! Wren does stay on top of the major news feeds but Pagan related articles DO happen at the local level as well.
She will post Pagan news and alerts if they can be substantiated. We have learned to be very careful in this area, so if there is a hot Pagan news story that you don't see here, it is either because we are checking it out or it is a hoax.
The 'Nest is for the Pagan community so, as always, your feedback is welcome. Email Nest related thoughts to yours truly. -- Fritz Jung (WebCrafter - The Witches' Voice)
Calling Outside The U.S....
We were chatting a bit with Jonathon, one of the coordinators for the upcoming Doreen Valiente web site (valiente.com), the other day and Jon remarked that pagans in the U.S. probably have no idea how lucky that we are here. The right to religious freedom in the U.S. has constitutional protection and -while it is true that we must constantly guard, protect and fight for that right- it IS a right that the government clearly declares that we have. This isn't the case in many other countries and in places like the U.K. making the case for pagan equality is a lot more complicated and difficult than it is here.
One of the most prominent organizations involved in the pagan rights issues in the U.K. is The Pagan Federation. The Pagan Federation was founded in 1971 to provide information on Paganism and to counter misconceptions about the religion. The Pagan Federation works for the rights of Pagans to worship freely and without censure. It has also succeeded in having Paganism recognized as a valid religion by the Home Office, the Scottish Office, and a growing number of organizations affiliated to the Inter Faith Network UK. The PF is a predominantly European organization, however they are now able to offer a service to persons resident in the USA as well as to existing members. The new national coordinator for Pagan Federation International (USA) is Michael Thorn who can be contacted at: Mthorn@aol.com.
Wren's Bird Call of The Week
is a distinct honk of utter disbelief directed at the once respectable organization known as the United Nations.
More than 1,000 religious leaders have been invited to attend a Millennium World Peace Summit at the United Nations next month, but NOT the Dalai Lama. It seems that while the Tibetan Buddhist leader, IS a religious leader respected and admired the world over for his spiritual views on non-violence and tolerance for others, his inclusion in the Peace Summit may -are you ready for this? - upset the Chinese. ''China would object vehemently to his presence here because they consider Tibet their territory and the Dalai Lama challenges that,'' said U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard.
If the Dalai Lama, one the most highly revered spiritual leaders of this century AND a 1989 Nobel Peace Prize recipient (for Goddess sake!) can be black-balled because our newest bestest trading buddy, China, might get 'upset', then the inmates have truly taken over the asylum. It's just plain crazy-as-a-loon politics. If those religious extremists in our government and on our television sets-you know, the very ones who are always blowing Gabriel's horn in our faces- do not rise up to protest this travesty, then we all will know just how much it takes to make them forget all about their holier-than-thou ponyride crusade to make the world a better place.
"It is natural and just for nations, peoples and individuals to demand respect for their rights and freedoms and to struggle to end repression, racism, economic exploitation, military occupation, and various forms of colonialism and alien domination. Governments should actively support such demands instead of only paying lip service to them." -(His Holiness the Dalai Lama, (UNESCO) Meeting, Paris, February 1999)
Paying lip service to that 90% of a cash windfall-not to mention the millions of potential converts- that doing business with China may bring their way could be considered well worth the 10% tithe it may take to get the god of the religiously extreme politicians to look the other way on this one.
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Summer Cleansing Ritual... WitchVox Links
This past week we pinged and verified all 4,500 of the Pagan Websites posted in our links section. 127 of them were dead links and have been removed.
Note: In the past few weeks we have added of several NEW categories... Due to increased listings it only made sense to pull out and feature: Healing, Free Email, Free Hosting, Druidic, Dianic, Military, IRC and Pagan Wholesale sites.
WitchVox is just one of an estimated 6,000 plus sites on the Pagan web and we are indeed proud to be a part of this. Since Day one we have been sending you off this site via most of our 2,000 pages. It has been most exciting to watch our community grow and to witness the profound effect the World Wide Web has had on us all. The WitchVox Links Pages were launched on Feb. 2nd, 1997 (the same day we launched this site) and have generated almost a million actual page views. Here you will find one of the most extensive, diverse and complete Pagan web site listings on the 'Net.
This critical part of WitchVox is in a constant state of evolution and is always changing to meet the desires of the community. To your left/right we present the 47 chapters of our links section.
Join us in celebrating the magic of what can only be called the Pagan Web.
Fritz Jung - Webcrafter
The Witches' Voice
Pagan Net Radio
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Faiths and Beliefs
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| A Call For Healing...|
Don and Daniella WaterHawk and Wade Berlin informed us late this past week that a mutual friend, Bill Bailey, was severely burned in a fire-related accident and was in the hospital. A call for prayer went out and yesterday we received the following news:
How amazing the power of prayer and healing energy is. The day that we wrote the first email to you all, Bill was in very serious condition. Worst case was that he might have lost his arm. Day of his surgery was still uncertain at what the doctors would find. The problem was that for a burn like this, the doctors can not tell how serious the injury because the burn is still burning for 24 hours.
At 9 PM on Wednesday, Wendyl and Bill tell us that a wave of energy past through that hospital. Not only they feeling it, but Wendyl's brother, doctors and nurses. I am sure that other patients felt it as well. They both started crying with the love that they both felt from our glorious community.
Friday morning, Bill went into surgery and the doctors were amazed at what they found, considering the type of burn that it was. Bill did not need skin grafting even though it went into his muscle. When all was done, the doctors said that they were impressed with the outcome and with their newfound faith in the power of prayer; they told Wendyl that Bill would heal better at home and they released him. They will be staying at Wendyl's mom's place through August. Bill needs several treatments and constant doctors care. This is the time that he still needs our work. The processes will be painful and there is still room for complications, but it looks very good for him. He has lost all of his facial hair which saved his face and nose from burning. There is something to be said about beards. :)
Both Wendyl and Bill are very grateful for the love and energy you all sent their way. When Wendyl called us last night, I could hear Bill Bailey in the background sounding very emotional when he said thank you to you all. If anyone wants to send a card or something to them you can send it to:
Bill Bailey c/o Jennifer Phipps
Niagra on the Lake
From Don and I, we want to Thank You as well. We have seen a lot within our community, good and bad. When it comes down to it, we all stand together as one. There are not many folks that could say that in our world. Many Blessings to you all.
Four Winds and Dream Gently,
Daniella and Don WaterHawk
In closing...a lot of issues will be working their way through the political systems in the coming months and plenty of issues are always a topic of conversation within the pagan communities themselves. Thanks to the Internet, we can all become informed and involved and have a voice in the process of determining the future direction of both the country and our own religious paths. YOU are an important element in both of these areas. Get involved, get informed, speak your mind and vote your conscience. It's YOUR right. Protect it. Claim it. Use it.
As always, 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 - July 31st.
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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