Weekly Update: 9/11/2000|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: September 11th. 2000
Times Viewed: 8,177
| Making Connections...|
Is there anything more annoying than attempting to load a page on your computer and getting that dreaded "404-Page Not Found' message? Well, obviously there is or Wren would quickly run out of material for her 'Bird Call of the Week' series! But you know what we mean. Wanting to find certain information or looking for other people who share your views used to be a complicated and time-consuming deal. Then along came the Internet, high-speed modems, cable connections and much of the new technology that our children and grandchildren will never remember being without. The computer age has been a boon to the re-emerging Pagan paths. Making connections is becoming simpler, easier and more accessible to more people all over the globe every day.
Three weeks ago Fritz said... "Honey, we FINALLY have the technology, I need to find time to rewrite our networking section" and like a man on a mission he has done just that!
|Witches of the World - Version 5.0 Released!|
Your Voice has never been clearer!
Today we are pleased to announce the launch of Witches of the World (WOTW) version 5.0. Launched early this morning, this long overdue, "dynamic" version of WOTW will take one of the busiest Pagan networking resources on the net to an exciting new level.
WOTW v5 is a rewrite from the ground up, utilizing a custom-written, dynamic table, lookup system. V5 gave us the opportunity to address many of things that have bugged us/you about the previous version (4.1).
Version 5 rendered hundreds of changes and many subtle, but powerful enhancements. A short list would include: Modular Design, spambot block for protecting your email, printable pages, faster loading, new modules (Military contacts, Region Websites & Local Freedom fighters), area selection rewrite (Greece, Poland, Argentina, Nunavut, Chile, Proper UK etc. etc.), bitchen' location flags, new streamlined forms, Covens/Groups by age group/new vs. established, detailed stats for your area, search by area, name, city, zipcode or by county, navigation bar, last/next update details and much, much more. We detail these and many others on the wotw v5 features page.
For close to three years Wren has listened to me cry about wanting to "host our databases LIVE"... With V5 we are finally doing just that. I dedicate the launch of v5 to Caroline, thank YOU for your inspiration and your help in getting this off the ground.
Is v5 all that it can be? Not by a long shot, we have hundreds of ideas for version 6.0, the good news is that we now HAVE the technology to make this dream a reality. So if you don't see it, do know that it IS coming in version 6.0. Also expect to see incremental changes in the weeks to come.
WOTW v5 was a labor of love and is our gift to the Pagan community. Use it with our Blessings!
Fritz Jung (WebCrafter - Witchvox)
September 11th., 2000
P.S. We are most interested in your feedback on V5's look, feel and functionality... Kindly email us your thoughts.
That's not to downplay the other more static venues that have served us well for centuries. The written word in book form is still a valuable way to disperse information. This week in the mail, we received a copy of Raven Grimassi's, "Encyclopedia of Wicca and Witchcraft". Sweetly dedicated to the memories of Stewart Farrar, Doreen Valiente, Scott Cunningham and old friend, Mel Fuller, the Encyclopedia presents a lot of basic information on Pagan terminology, belief systems, Pagan persons of note and Pagan traditions. At a hefty 437 pages plus networking pages and notes, this book covers a lot of territory in an easy-to-read fashion.
While flipping through the pages of the Encyclopedia, it occurred to us once again, that The Witches' Voice really needs a section that defines and describes the various Pagan Paths out there. Now, our policy here is that 'we write what we know and only what we know". We won't write about traditions other than our own. But we sure wish that YOU would! If you would like to write-or help to write- a section on YOUR Tradition-which should be an established, recognizable and working Tradition or tradition - just follow the same guidelines that we propose for the regular TWV essays and then send it on over to Dio. You can make this a coven project (a great assignment for those 'seconds working on their thirds') or an inter-group endeavor. Include some links to sites that reflect your Path, too. We get asked about the different Trads (trads) all of the time, but WE are not the final word on what your Tradition is or isn't-YOU are! Whether you are Wiccan, Witch, Strega, Asatru, Folk or Faery, we'd really appreciate it if you could help us out on this one!
A Request for Healing...
This just in: "Merry meet, This is slightly unusual for me, but I am writing to you at the witches voice for a little help. I have recently found out that my Grandad has got an anuerism on his Aorta (again). He under went major surgery a year ago to remove one in the same place. Would it be possible to put up a message to all our fellow witches to ask for some healing to being transmitted in my grandads direction?? I am a 20 year old solitary witch from Lancashire (UK), my family and myself will be giving healing as well and would be deeply greatful. I hope you can help in some way. Thank you and Blessed be. -- In Love, Light and Perfect Trust. -- Myrrdin
Adult Pagan Essays for September NOW UP!
- Solitary or Covener?: We had only one essay on this topic; from regular contributor Mark Sonowski. Mark is a solitary, and discusses the advantages to that path while giving some excellent insights into the reasons one might want to join a coven. Check out the Solitary essay...
- Tolerance: The dictionary took a beating in the essays on tolerance. Most folks weren't happy with the definitions they found, so they rewrote themand did a much better job, in our opinion! We also get a few first-hand looks at Pagan intolerance manifesting as homophobia and a "more Pagan than thou" attitude towards other Pagan paths. Finally, we are reminded that tolerance is just the beginning. As one author said: "Tolerance is just the first level of acceptance". Check out the Tolerance essays... Page One - Two - Three - Four - Five - Six - Seven - Eight - Nine
Thanks and bright blessings to all of you who take the time to share your thoughts with us through these essays! We at The Witches' Voice believe that the open exchange of ideas and opinions strengthens our community. Please be aware that the essays are posted as written and reflect the opinions of the authors, not necessarily he Witches' Voice.
Next month's topics are "God in the Shadows?" and "Familiars". If you'd like to contribute an essay, see details at the bottom of this page.
|There's Communication and Then There's Just Plain Shouting!|
"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men."-Matthew 6:5
"It must be tough being a Bible-based fundamentalist Christian. After all, if you take it literally the book is a study in contradictions, not to mention advocating a host of currently unfashionable ideas, such as selling your daughter into slavery (Exodus 21:7), slaughtering goats to expiate one's sins (Leviticus 16), and of course, that business about God creating the earth in 7 days. However, one would think that despite the difficulty of following all of the Bible's injunctions, the words of Jesus might merit some special attention from a Christian."
"But no..." as Diotima goes to explain in, We Pray Too: A Report From The Bible Belt, "They believe that not being able to broadcast their prayers over the loudspeaker at a football game is a violation of their First Amendment rights, and they were bound and determined to let the Supreme Court and everyone else know it."
Last week, we were talking about Pagan Pride and that movement continues to grow and expand across the nation. Maeven Eller of Betwixt & Between announced that a representative of the Wiccan faith has been invited to present the opening invocation at the next Dallas City Council meeting.
"Bryan Lankford, board member of Betwixt & Between, and High Priest of the McFarland Dianics, will invoke Goddess and the God before the meeting commences on Wednesday September 27th at 9:00am. The Dallas City Council calls upon the members of Thanks-Giving Square Foundation (http://www.thanksgiving.org/), an inner-faith organization, which provides a place of honor for the great American and world traditions, in which Betwixt & Between represents Wicca." The council meeting can be seen across the Dallas metroplex on local cable access programs and will be broadcast live on WRR-FM in Dallas, being heard live over the internet at http://www.broadcast.com.
A Rally For Thor! In response to the Christian "See You at the Flagpole" rally which takes place on the third Wednesday in September each year, Norse Pagans are calling on fellow Heathens/Folk and other young people to make the third Thursday of September-September 21st - a time to "Rally for Thor." "The Indiana Asatru Council is promoting this national event, and asks all of you to join in. We ask that all students in Indiana from the grade school to the college level, who follow the Norse religion to participate (And, any other pagan/heathen people)! Please contact us about this event if you need any future information. On the 21st of September everyone wear your red shirts and Thor's hammers to show your support for our religious beliefs. GrarUlfr Garth of the Indiana Asatru Council will hold a Thor Rally in Indianapolis. For information about the Indianapolis area rally, contact GrarUlfr Garth at email@example.com or telephone (317)-822-0959." A listing of other Heathen/Kindred groups can be found here courtesy of The Heathen Update.
Pagan Pride Continues To Grow! Dagonet Dewr, the Membership Director of the International Pagan Pride Project, reports: "Well, it looks like this year's Pagan Pride Day is going to continue our growth, though not as steep a curve as last year. Currently on the docket: 62 events, up 5 from last year's reporting events. More importantly, however, we have -press coverage-, including the Denver Post, LA Times, and NY Times lined up." Once again, to see if a Pagan Pride event is scheduled in your area, you can check out the listings in your TWV state page. If you think that you would like to host an event in your town, check out the International Pagan Pride website for tips, ideas and lots of other useful information. Anything that you do as a Pagan can be done with Pride!
The Pagan Pride Project is also pleased to announce that the We Still Work Magick Rally in Asheville, NC, on September 20 at 7pm, is now a part of Pagan Pride 2000. Set up as a response to a 'We Still Pray' rally at the football stadium of AC Reynolds High School in Asheville, "We Still Work Magick" will be a pagan rally in the same location, with speakers, prayer services, drumming, and of course a food drive to give thanks at the Autumn Equinox.
"Anyone who can attend this event in Eastern Kentucky, Eastern Tennessee, western Virginia, western North Carolina, or anywhere else for that matter is encouraged to do so to demonstrate that we, too, pray, and the issue of school prayer must take into account that we are a pluralistic, diverse nation."
More information on "We Still Work Magick" can be found at the Appalachian Pagan Forum website, http://www.angelfire.com/nb/appalachianpagan. The Local Coordinator for Asheville, the coordinator of We Still Work Magick, is Lady Ginger Strivelli, who can be reached at Lady_Ginger_S@gocubs.com. The Witches' Voice and AREN have both signed on as a corporate sponsors of this event.
WitchVox Question of the Week!
Last week your Pagan Perspectives took a look at the current selection of Pagan books and web sites. While we didn't get too many responses on that one-which is odd considering the number of times this topic comes up in chatrooms and on message boards-the general idea that we took away from this survey was that it really is a 'mixed bag' out there. Some good stuff (which most of you actually agreed upon!) and some not-so-good stuff. The request for 'Witchcraft 202' literature for Pagans also reoccurs again and again. Let's hope that some authors and publishers are peeking in here from time to time.
This week's Pagan Perspective question is...
What are YOU planning for Mabon-Autumn Equinox? Tell us how you celebrate the Autumn Equinox or Mabon. Share your rituals, recipes, poems or thoughts about this next Turn of the Wheel.
Click to Post Your Opinion or to view the Responses
Wren's Bird Call of The Week
br>Is a response to the self-righteous 'dee-dee-dee-da-da-dee-dee" coming from that rather large and ostentatious building in Rome. The Vatican puppeteers-you know the ones who have their hands up the back of the Pope's gold-trimmed robe-announced this week that all churches other than the Catholic Church are 'deficient' and that all non-Christian faiths and "other rituals, insofar as they follow from superstitions or other errors (cf. 1 Cor 10:20-21), constitute an obstacle to salvation." Furthermore, the Jesus Christ as defined by the Catholic Church- via the current Pope as the continuing reincarnation of Peter-is THE only way for the lost to be saved. And, of course, 'Tolerance' is once again vilified as a demon out to snatch the unwary Catholic Christian soul.
Shock and outrage and a flurry of responses came in from all religious quarters following this declaration of Catholicism's supremacy over all things Christian. Most Protestant churches after a little grumbling pretty much said, "Well, with a few little exceptions, we can live with that-especially the 'Jesus as the only way' thing. That part's way cool."
The Rabbi Gershon Johnson, Temple Beth Haverim in Agoura Hills, remarked, "I just want Christians to be good Christians," noting there is no pressure from Jews to convert anyone. "I don't understand why they don't want the same for us. I would much rather have a relationship with someone who believes that I'm not going to hell," he said.
Buddhists believe that many paths can lead to an experience with the Divine. "It's a matter of following the one that suits your values and life the best," said Aletha Watanabe of the Oxnard Buddhist Temple, pondering the motivation for those contending there is only one path. "I think it's a fear that someone else might have a better idea."
(Catholic Damage Control Mode On.) Paul Ford, a theologian at St. John's Seminary, rushed in to explain: "The problem is that the document was written for Catholic theologians and bishops. Ford said the mass audience that is trying to digest the statements is misconstruing nuances." (end/Catholic Damage Control Mode and see the entire article for yourself. )
Okay. So this is rather like a General's message being intercepted by the opposing forces who then ring in a justifiably irate phone call: "Excuse me, General Pope, but we just intercepted a message from you saying that you plan to exterminate our forces. I thought that we were negotiating in good faith here. What's up with THAT?"
"That? Oh never mind that", replies General Pope. "That message wasn't meant for you at all. That wasn't me telling you that I was planning to eliminate your forces. (Chuckle) That was just me telling my generals and staff that it was OKAY to go out and eliminate your forces. Two different things entirely. Nothing to worry about here."
Now Pagans certainly do have a right to still be upset over the Vatican's refusal to apologize for all of those 'inconveniences' of the past centuries of genocide, plundering and forced conversions of pagan and other faith populations. But on this matter of 'whose Church is the real Church' and what is 'the one true way to salvation', we can sit on the sidelines, order up a chili dog and pretty much enjoy the game. While we watch the righteous equivalent of billboard wars declaring "This Way To be Saved!" and "Our Church Is the Only Path to Salvation", we can at least offer to help keep score. "We are impartial", we declare, "We are simply removed and impartial observers in your little game."
"As Pagans, we don't have any personal stake in the outcome of "Who's on Heavenly First Base'. We don't care who saves the most souls. It has nothing to do with us. You see, we were never lost."
Major Festivals for August - More in This Week!
August 2k was another strong month for Pagan festivals. Thanks to some fine reporting we are honored to share with you two new reviews. Both events happened in the past few weeks and celebrate the magick that only be called the modern Pagan movement. We are also excited to present a review of Magic Mountain Music from this past June.
- New This Week! Summerset 2000 - The music was first rate. Starting with open mike on Friday night with such first time performers as Mike Murray, Rick Allen and Donna Lynn and still others... Throughout the night each bands set flowed seamlessly into the next bands set, with Mummer's Wren flowing into Rogues Cross until Wishing Chair knocked them dead with one hell of a rollicking set with more than a few kick ass jams.... (Full Review)
- The Caduceus Festival - Healing, Magick & Medicine - With the smell of the greenwood, hearty laughter, and the embracing of friends, both old and new, The Original Caduceus Festival kicked off it's millennial opening and 5th year on Friday August 25th. A beautiful new site selected for this year's festival in Monroe Twp. New Jersey, was a perfect backdrop for this healing festival come of age. Three days... (Full Review)
- Firedance 2000: A Magical Drum and Dance Celebration - The festival took place in the mountains near Santa Cruz, CA and was attended by approximately 300 drummers and dancers from all across the United States, as well as participants from Australia, Poland, Israel, and Canada. Experiential workshops on drumming, sacred dance, chanting, exploring sacred space, body art and community ritual were presented during the day. These prepared and encouraged... (Full Review)
and this just in for a festival from this past June...
- Magic Mountain Music - Before I begin this review let me say that I am a professional musician and reviews of my music have appeared in a magazine before. And although Magic Mountain is a Music festival, a focus on the performers is not my purpose here. Simply put, this festival is unlike any that I've ever attended. Now in its 5th year... (Full Review)
In Closing... Pagans generally believe that we are all connected to everyone and everything else, not only in and on this world, but also in the many worlds beyond our sight and our perceptions. "We were parted many thousands of lifetimes ago, yet we have never been separated even for a moment. We are facing each other all day long, yet we have never met."-(Zen Master Daito). 'Making connections' perhaps is simply learning to recognize the connections that are already there.
In Your Service,
Wren Walker & Fritz Jung
The Witches' Voice
Year 2000 - September 11th.
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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