Weekly Update: 9/25/2000|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: September 25th. 2000
Times Viewed: 6,368
| It All Happens Locally...|
Fritz and I took a little time out this weekend for some R & R. Because we are never really 'off duty'; these little trips almost always turn into 'Relaxation and Research'. We can't help but look at everything through Pagan eyes. That's what we have been blessed with. Friday night, we attended two celebrations that were combination birthday parties and Equinox gatherings. Just two little pockets of Pagans enjoying the cycles of Life, it might seem that these events wouldn't hold much significance to anyone except to those who were in attendance. They probably wouldn't except for one mind-boggling fact: These little 'local' Pagan events are happening every day and in every town and city across the world. We are indeed everywhere!
As we sat on Terra and William's open patio listening to Pagan friends and night sounds and gentle laughter, it was suddenly as if I could hear the friends and night sounds and gentle laughter coming from all of the little simple gatherings of Pagans across the world. A microcosm moment of the macrocosm that is the Pagan community. Anyone who has taken up meditation as a technique can possibly relate to this in some way. I recall the first time that something similar to this happen to me.
Now I am not a particularly sophisticated 'meditator' just as I am not a particularly sophisticated kind of Witch. I gravitate toward the simple and the practical. (If it isn't useful, I don't pursue it.) So it is not surprising that I was meditating on that simple and practical mantra "Om" when I heard it. Joining in with my own simple chant, I suddenly was aware that I heard thousands of voices that seemed to be coming down through all of the ages-all of the voices that had ever intoned that one simple word blending and building in unison. It was one of the most incredibly beautiful things that I have ever experienced. And that is the closest that I can come to describing either that moment or the one on Terra and William's patio.
From there, we went over to Bill and Wendel's house. The Bailey home was filled with Pagans (They ARE everywhere!) and yet more food and fun. We have never felt ill at ease in a Pagan home. We always feel secure and welcome even if we don't know anyone there. Strangers don't remain strangers for too long in our circles. Hugs and laughter, warmth and feathers soon turn previously unmet folks into friends. Now THAT'S magick! Home is where the heart is and, for us, that heart and home is wherever the Pagans are.
Photo credit: The picture to your upper right is of Cynthea Lee Rose and is from the "We Still Work Magick Rally in Asheville, NC. on 9/20/2000. ".
It All Begins At The Local Level!
It's been very dry in western North Carolina recently, so the rain that began the weekend before the We Still Work Magic rally was welcome. But when it kept raining through the early part of the week, I became a bit concerned about what kind of weather we might have on Wednesday, the day of the rally.
I needn't have worried, of course. The day dawned clear, and the Weather Channel promised it would stay that way at least through midnight. On the Appalachian Pagan Alliance email list, we hadn't heard from Ginger, Beth, or any of the other organizers in over 24 hoursa sure sign they were really busy. It had been only a little over three weeks since Ginger had written the letter requesting the Reynolds High School stadium for the rally, and the organizers of the event had been keeping their brooms at warp speed ever since.
The school had acceded to the APA's request for the stadiumthe same one that had been the focus of the We Still Pray event back in Augustbut they had insisted on giving us the exact same contract as the WSP group, despite the fact that we expected only a tiny fraction of the number that had attended that rally.
However, with the help of Witches Against Religious Discrimination (WARD), Alternative Religions Educational Network (AREN), The Witches' Voice and numerous individuals, the cost of the stadium, insurance and 15 police officers had been covered and the event scheduled. Then, five days before, Ginger was informed that the powers-that-be felt it necessary to have the police in place an hour before the rally was scheduled to begin, and that the cost of security would now be almost double what we had originally been quoted.
If they expected us to go away with that announcement, they were certainly disappointed. The call went out on the Vox that Sunday, and by the night of the rally, through the generosity of both individuals and organizations, enough money had been raised to cover the additional costs, and the rally was on. (We Witches are kind of hard to get rid of once we've set our minds to something.) -- Continued at We Worked Magick.
Photo credit: The picture to your upper right is of Diotima and Gryphon Rosemead (the h.s. teacher) -- with a lovely view of the mountains and is also from the "We Still Work Magick Rally" in Asheville, Nc. on 9/20/2000. ".
Stay tuned to Wren's Nest for all of the latest news articles about Pagan Pride events and other items of interest to the Pagan communities. If YOU have some pictures of YOUR Pagan Pride event, festival, open circle or family Pagan gathering, do consider writing up a little article about it and send them in. We love to feature those smiling, happy Pagan faces on TWV!
And Then It Builds from There! The Pagan Polls Are Open: "The American Atheists have been concerned with religious factions pushing to reintroduce a church/state hegemony,' writes Lowell McFarland. Because of charges by Christian zealots against the Harry Potter books, specifically in a case in Florida where a library was issuing 'Witchcraft certificates' to children who read the books, they had questions about the books and Pagan relativity. American Atheists thus created this poll and invite all, especially Pagans, to both take the poll and participate in the opinion forum. The poll, Harry Potter, Witchcraft and the First Amendment closes on Wednesday, Sept. 27th. (Note: Lowell has an opinion piece posted in the poll sidebar detailing some of the Pagan perspectives concerning the Harry Potter controversy.)
Merry Meet, Heilsa, Well Met, Greetings & Welcome to the Pagan Roll-Call 2000 project. The purpose of this project is to gather as many Pagan names as possible along with state and age info which is then going to be passed on to all the Senators and Congressmen in our nation's capitol, Washington DC. The reason is simpleto let OUR government know that we have a voice and that we care about the future of this country.
We spend so much time fighting the advances of those who deem it their responsibility to control the future of this nation's rights and in so doing our rights as well. This project gives you a voice, a voice that will be heard by every Senator and Congressmen in Washington.
Our goal is to bring the Pagan community together, via the signatures gathered by this site. Then we'll take those signatures and send them, along with a cover letter explaining who we are and why we are doing this, to every Senator and Congressmen. This is a way to let them hear us and to recognize we are not some obscure group that can be pushed to the side or overlooked. It is a way to let them realize that we VOTE as well, and these votes should not be overlooked.
Some say that bringing Pagans together is like herding cats? Then why not be like cats and form a pride! The Roll-Call will continue at least through November Elections and if reactions are good then till the end of the year 2000.
And just a reminder that the COG POLL is still on-going, so if you haven't filled this one out yet, surf on over to the Covenant of The Goddess and read the most recent tabulated results.
WitchVox Question of the Week!
Last week Pagan Perspectives asked questions about spellwork and ethics. We received a variety of opinions from many different Pagan paths. Personal responsibility was a big consideration in forming your opinions and code of ethical behavior. This seems to bear out the theory that Pagans rely more on an internal moral and ethical code rather than an external book or set of 'do's and don'ts'. Inner codes demonstrate a high level of maturity as one is not doing something for a reward or not doing something in fear of punishment, but rather one is setting a course through Life guided by one's own moral internal compass.
This week's Pagan Perspective question is more than a mere source of irritation...
Misconceptions About Witches, Wiccans and Pagans still exist despite decades of educational and outreach work. What are the common misconceptions that you still encounter in books, on the net or in the media about Witches, Wiccans and Pagans? Have they changed over the years? What can we do about those religious zealots who out-and-out lie about our practices and beliefs? How do YOU respond to some of the ridiculous 'myths' that you might see or hear about modern Witchcraft and/or Pagan beliefs?
Click to Post Your Opinion or to view the Responses
Requests for Healing...Continue To Come In
The Bill Bailey that we mentioned previously on this page is the very same Bill who, some of you may recall, was severely burned in a gasoline flash fire a couple of months ago. To our delight, Bill has made a truly miraculous recovery. He would like to thank all of you who sent him healing energy and best wishes. Not only did he himself feel the waves of healing come in, but he said that everyone in the hospital remarked that they felt 'something' happening as well. He will have virtually no scarring from his ordeal (his skin looks as smooth and healthy as a baby's) and what could have been a tragedy turned into a blessing.
Don't tell Bill Bailey that Pagan healing prayers, spells and energy work don't work. He knows, his friends and family know, his doctors know, and we know that they do. Perhaps Bill's story will help someone else believe that a miracle is possible for them or their loved ones as well.
This just in today:From Steve Coslett -On Thursday, Sep 14, I received a telephone call from the local VA Clinic where I get my primary medical care and they told me they needed to see me ... well, to make a long story short, I was informed that some of the film of my chest that had been taken recently had shown what appears to be a tumor and they were going to be arranging for a CT Scan. The next day, Friday, I went to the clinic, where the "vampire" proceeded to remove a lot of blood out of a little hole in my arm and put it in little glass tubes with my name. I was told that my CT Scan appt was on 29 Sep 00 (my mother's birthday, of all days) and I will spend most of the day in the VA Hospital in Amarillo, TX. I think what I am saying is that I can't do this alone and would appreciate all of the spirit help that is available.
Last two weeks: "Wren and Fritz-I stumbled across your website on my fiancˇe's bookmarks, and after seeing the several requests for healing felt compelled to write. My fiancˇe has a genetic disease, which in simple terms converts muscle and connective tissue into bone. This is a progressive disease, and as of yet there are no cures or treatment, only chemical painkillers that can only take the edge off the pain. Although normally the disease is active in short bursts with long dormant periods, she has been in an active disease state for the past three and a half years, with no sign of relief. As if chronic pain, loss of movement (literally being turned into a bony statue), and side effects of high dose opiates aren't enough, she was recently diagnosed with a 5cm ovarian cyst, which is possibly cancerous, and a 8 mm kidney stone.
Due to the genetic disease, surgery is very risky (any trauma to the body causes bone to form, and surgery is trauma). That much invasive surgery could very likely kill her, which I can't stand the thought of. Losing her would be like ripping off a part of me; our lives are so intertwined. She is a very bright, positive, caring person, still focusing on others who need help instead of dwelling on her illness. I don't know if its politically 'ok' for me (a Catholic) to be asking the pagan community (my fiancˇe' is Wiccan) for prayer and healing, but any help at all would be appreciated -- "modern medicine" doesn't have a solution for her, maybe the answer lies down another path.
For more info on her genetic disease, called Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, visit www.ifopa.org . To email me/Angel, email us at email@example.com .
Update: I am a close friend of the young woman who you featured this week in your "Calls for Healing" section. My coven and I are very thankful for the attention brought to her condition and the healing that will result from it. Heather and I are planned a ritual for Thursday night to help gather all of the loving and healing energy and put it to use. She really could use it at this point...I've been through a lot with her...hospital overnights to keep vigil against interns who don't understand the special needs her condition creates, doctors giving her x long to live, medicines that are more likely to kill a horse than stop her pain, watching her hair fall out and grow back when meds change. Her current complications are making things worse again...and she's such a wonderful person; it hurts to watch this progress. I'm incredibly grateful for the hope you've given to me, to her, to our friends, and to Fred (the 'fiance' who wrote). Blessed Be, and thank you a thousand thousand times for your work for the community.-Brandarwyn & the Silver Grove Coven.
"I would appreciate any healing for my husband Charles. He is extremely dear to me. We found out Tuesday from a bone scan report that there are 2 small suspicious spots on a rib that touches the lung biopsy area. I believe this is the cancer source the doctors previously couldn't find. Charles suffers only from a day or so of mild nausea and extreme tiredness. He's still struggling to gain back the 20 pounds he lost but looks good, except for rapidly thinning hair. To add insult to injury, his low immune system has coughed up a bad case of psoriasis (or however you spell that stuff). Actually, he is doing amazingly good for a man that the doctor said by all past experiences should have died the first week of July. We are proceeding as if there is no other way to go except get well. Thank you so very much for your thoughts and prayers on our behalf". -- Blessings, D. J. Conway
Note: If you would like to send your best wishes to Charles and D.J., simply send your email to Wren and she will forward them on.
"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 aneurysm 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 granddad's 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 grateful. I hope you can help in some way. Thank you and Blessed be. -- In Love, Light and Perfect Trust. -- Myrrdin
|IMG align=right border=0 SRC="http://www.witchvox.com/links/links_images/unity2_150wh.gif"> Witches of the World - Version 5.0|
VoxLinks V5.0 is NOW Up.
Greetings! Our update "theme" this week is celebrating the community where it REALLY happens, and that is at (of course) the local level. Witchvox, in essence, IS about supplying tools to network, enhance, and promote all positive activity AT the local level.
13 days ago we launched v5 of our networking pages. Activity of this already busy section has sky-rocketed in both use and submissions. WOTW is presently delivering over 10,000 pages worth of contact info to the Pagan community on a daily basis.
This past week we launched the new version of our Pagan Links/Search Engine (you guessed it... version 5.0). This one was a bit more of a pain in the buttski to write but we are proud to say that it IS up and functioning quite well. Next on the agenda we plan on re-writing the backend for our site-wide articles/homepage archive search... Incorporated with this re-write will be a new site map for all 2,700 of our pages. Look for this later this week.
Attn: United Kingdom Pagans: The UK Pages in our WOTW section have always been busy ones (in fact they rank #3). Although we DID try to "get it right" with the release of v.5., it has been brought to our attention that some listings for England are really listings for Wales or Scotland. We did our best to flesh this out for the release BUT we live to render these listings correct. SO, if you see towns listed for England that belong to other parts of the UK PLEASE email us. If YOUR UK listing is wrong, do us a big favor and resubmit it. Also, we are looking for proper flags for Scotland and Wales... Look for them soon.
WitchVox.net & Lightning: The Witchvox.NET pages (WOTW, Wren's Nest, Links and Pagan Perspectives) are served from our server located in our tiny apartment. We live in the Tampa Bay area of Florida which IS the lightning capitol of America. SO, it you can't get to our networking pages it is probably due to a bitchen' T&L storm. This typically lasts no more than an hour BUT we simply must disengage ALL cables from the outside world to protect our computers and your data. In contrast, WitchVox.com is hosted by Drak.net on a leased Unix box located out in Nevada (where they used to test nuclear bombs) and rarely goes down due to the jillions of dollars worth of protection at that facility. SO, if you can't get to our networking pages, check out witchvox.com for a notice of why.
This month several wonderful Pagan networking sites have been substantially updated (A.J.'s awesome I Am A Witch DOT Com and Atho's powerful Omphalos just to name a couple) or are simply back (Pagan Profiles) after a long absence. For additional networking sources, surf to our extensive Pagan Links pages (check out Search Sites).
As always, our goals are to create solutions that are both valuable and useful to the Pagan community. WOTW v.5 is only the beginning of our push to better support Pagans at the local level. Once we get these new structures in place we can start having some fun. Our numerous future plans include adding more and more resources (read: power) to Pagans at the local level.
Thank YOU for what you are doing AT the local level. Cyberspace is simply a quick communication tool, NOT the end all. Support the unification efforts by your brothers and sisters in your area.
Have a glorious week everyone,
Fritz Jung (WebCrafter - Witchvox)
September 25th., 2000
Image Credit: WitchVox would like to thank the beautiful Ari for creating the "quest for unity" image for us a few years back. For more of Ari's pixel magick visit www.dreamroads.com
Wren's Bird Call of The Week...
is a 'cluck-cluck-cluck' at the ignorant and sensationalized nonsense that continues to perpetuate the 'Samhain, Lord of The Dead' superstition. According to Halloween's Hallowed History at the 'Spencer's Gifts' web site:
"October 31st was a day to be feared by the Celtic people who lived more than 2,000 years ago in what is now England, Ireland and France. For them, October 31st was the festival of Samhain. It marked the death of the old year, the end of the harvest, and the beginning of the new year. It was their New Year's eve.
Why all the fear? Because it was believed that during the evening of this harvest festival the Lord of the Dead, Samhain, would allow the dead to return home to earth for a few hours."
Yeah, right. First of all, we have no idea how the Pagan festival of Samhain was actually observed 2,000 years ago. If Spencer Gifts is in possession of some as yet unpublished translation of a Celtic ancient text on this subject, I do hope that they will share it with the proper archaeological and anthropological authorities!
We do know that 'Samhain' means 'summer's end', that it was the end of the harvest season and that some sort of festival took place at that time. 'Samhain' is not a proper name and, while there are various deities associated with the Otherworld, there is no one-deity-fits-all "Lord of the Dead" by this or any other name. There are threads of lore that connect this time with a 'thinning of the veil' between the worlds (as also takes place at Beltaine) and that communication with the departed Ancestors and other spirits was attempted through various forms of divination.
But wait, it gets even more bizarre!
"Bonfires, in honor of the sun god, were built to keep these spirits away. The masked and costumed people would gather around the bonfires dancing, singing, and even jumping over the flames. Those who didn't jump high enough were burned in the flames and offered as a human sacrifice."
Well, I guess if we were to attempt to jump over the top of an active volcano and fail, we could be said to be a sacrifice to Pele` as well. Geez, one slip of the foot and now we have an entire cult of human sacrifice going on.
Anyway, I could go on and on, but this 'Samhain, Lord of the Dead' thing is something that pops up every Samhain season. If you would like to help set Spencer Gifts straight, you can check out The Witches' Voice Samhain articles , Halloween: Myths, Monsters and Devils and Samhain by Mike Nichols for more information. The contact information for "Spencer Gifts is: firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll free at 1-877-2UNISHOP (877-286-4746).
Oh, by the way, if you refuse to accept the Spencer Gifts 'cookie', you will locked out of their web site. I have my 'cookies' programmed so that I can either accept or refuse one. I 'declined' their little cookie monster and received the message:" No cookie. To access this site your browser must be accepting cookies."
I do as a general rule accept cookies from the media news sites. It's a fair exchange of information. They have the news items that I want to read (and perhaps pass along on the Nest) and so I will give them the traffic information that they may use to better conduct their news business. I do not accept any advertising cookies from these same sites.
For me, it's the principle of the thing. I don't have to show my I.D. when I want to walk in and browse a Spencer's Gifts store and I don't think that I should have to produce any identification to browse their web site either.
Of course, this doesn't really matter all that much now since I don't plan to enter either one again.
Pagan Pride is building. From the local individuals, families, groups and covens to the larger Pagan associations and organizations, Pagans are getting their message across. We are many, we are strong, we are here for the long haul and we are not-repeat NOT- going to remain silent any longer. We are proud of who we are and what we believe in. We have heart and the Earth is our home, too.
In Your Service,
Wren Walker & Fritz Jung
The Witches' Voice
Year 2000 - September 25th.
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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