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Weekly Update: 10/16/2000

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: October 16th. 2000
Times Viewed: 5,924

October-Sights, Sounds and Soundbytes

Greetings everyone!

The things that ring out in the night are not always the telephone or anything else that has been made by the hands of men. Sometimes, as the season of the thinning of the veils draws closer, the cool dark night air stirs with a sound not often heard for these many years. Indeed for centuries, a certain faint silver tinkling has been lost in the roar of automobiles and the din of clattering television programs. Ears we have, but ears that can hear the deeper whispers of past and present and future tidings are rare indeed in this technological world.

And yet today in the world, there are those who once again will walk under a full pumpkin moon on a crisp fall night and hear the sounds of the Sidhe. Whether it be heard as the lilting music of awakening Faerie voices or simply as the haunting tease of countless tiny silver bells, the music drifts over the hills and valleys and time settles into stillness while the notes pass by. The stars shine brighter. The air becomes sharper. And those of us who still remember how to dance in the halo of the moonlight do not dance alone.

Photo credit: The picture to your upper right is from the personal altar of Robyn & Brahm (Website: http://tigerhaus.tripod.com/Brahms/ from Guthrie, Kentucky (USA). "The book in the photo is one of our new ones from our line at the bookworks, I had to have one too." Bless YOU Robyn & Brahm for sharing your magick with us all.

Over in Pagan Ireland, our friends Bev and Del of Castle Pook hear it, too. In their Samhaine newsletter, they write:

"In the world around us I see much that contrasts with the simple beauty of our own fortunate lives here at Pook.

As in Palestine the various factions of the children of the book hurl bullets and their own narrow truths at each other in an orgiastic sacrifice of destruction. The christians hovering on the edge of this dark reality, and yes, this makes me glad I'm pagan. My godheads have no need to make war, preferring it seems intrigue and mischief...

Living here under the mountains, surrounded by burgeoning nature where every breath tingles with the wild magic I cannot but feel blessed by fortunate circumstance." (visit the Pagan Ireland Home Page for more)

Things That Go Bump On The Web
For three days in October (Oct. 18-20), The Blair Witch Webfest will be weaving its way into your home computer. The Blair Witch WebFest is a live event that will feature live webcasts and chats and will connect you with the legends of sci-fi and horror as well as underground sources for the macabre. According to the site information, you will be able to "chat with the director and stars from the upcoming movie, "Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2". See live performances from soundtrack artists and explore the making of the Blair Witch Gathering of Developers PC Game trilogy with the original developers. Discover the history of Witchcraft and learn about Wicca from the witches who live amongst you."

We here at TWV have already received many emails of concern about this film. The name 'Book of Shadows', the fact that one actress plays a Wiccan and that the launch date purposely was scheduled for the Halloween season has raised many questions about how this film may impact the Pagan communities. We don't know. We haven't seen it as yet. The "Blair Witch Webfest' is going to feature a link to The Witches' Voice and use our 'FAQ's of Witchcraft' to offer folks a resource for more information about real Pagan beliefs and practices. We are neither endorsing nor promoting the film, but we are offering the resource materials just described in the hope of nipping in the bud some of the misinformation and unreal expectations that have come from other "Witchy' type films of the past. (More on this in our Pagan Perspectives column below.)

The webfest coordinators have assured us that message boards and chat rooms will be set up for your comments. Sharpen your pencils, Pagans, and get ready to take notes. Among the scheduled guests are Brad Kern, Executive Producer of Charmed, who "discusses how Charmed has fed the youth sensation of witchcraft" and Peter Filardi (Writer/Director, The Craft), who "discusses the making of The Craft and witches in film." Do YOU have something that you have always wanted to say to these folks? Yeah, we thought so! And here is YOUR chance. This is a rare opportunity in which to talk back to these Hollywood movie makers and let them hear how we feel about the films that use -and some might say, abuse- Pagan themes. Let's take full advantage of it.

The full schedule posted for BWII promises a lot of other interesting discussions and topics. An online Wiccan ceremony is planned for 8:00 PM Friday featuring Jody Cabot (High Priestess of the Cabot Tradition of Witchcraft) & Shawn Poirier (High Priest of the Salem Tradition of Witchcraft) and among the Hollywood types, there are a few Pagan experts and guests-such as TWV's own media coordinator, Peg Aloi. Over to you, Peg!

So How Did Peg get Mixed Up In This, Anyway?
"As some of you know by now, I will be appearing with many other guest panelists on the Blair Witch Webfest. In fact, I am the very second speaker on the program, after the film's director and co-writer, Joe Berlinger.

How did this happen? Well, a few months ago, a documentary film called Revelations: Paradise Lost 2 was released. Mr. Berlinger was one of the co-directors, along with Bruce Sinofsky. For an article on the film I was writing for a local paper. Once we were done talking about Revelations, I asked him how the new project was going. He told me a little bit and then he said, "Hey, Peg, I might want to run a few things by you at some point, some of this Wicca material in the script, and see what you think." (Click for the Complete Story)

Pagan Perspectives
WitchVox Question of the Week!

Last week Pagan Perspectives looked into Money and the Craft. Most of you stated that cash for service rendered-tarot readings, handfastings, classes in general magickal techniques-was quite acceptable. Words of caution on 'keeping a good conscience' and not falling into the trap of rendering such services JUST for the money were prevalent on the forum. Generally it seems that the old adage of not charging money for the passing on of the mysteries still garners strong support. A 'paid clergy' also met with the traditional resistance with many citing the view that we are "all Priests and Priestesses' before our Gods and have no need of an intercessor or mediating agent on a full time basis. Clergy services-handfastings, wiccanings, counseling and training- however are supported and greatly appreciated.

This week's Pagan Perspective question takes this one step further: What about the media and Hollywood making money off of interest in the Craft...

Hollywood Hype through movies such as "The Craft" and now the "Blair Witch" movies, and television shows such as "Charmed", "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer". "Freakylinks" and "Sabrina, The Teenage Witch," have all contributed to the rise of public interest in the Pagan paths and especially Witchcraft. If someone came to YOU after seeing "The Craft", "Charmed" or "Blair Witch," etc., what do YOU want them to know about real Witchcraft and Paganism? What would YOU-or do YOU- tell these folks?

Click to Post Your Opinion or to view the Responses of others



Cats of the Craft...

Truly Magical Creatures... We are Indeed under Their Spell.

Greetings Everyone,

There is only one rule for the cats around our house... "What ever they want, they get"! Witches, Wiccans and Pagans do love their kitties. This is a fact to anyone that "has a clue"... yet it is that time of year again folks, and part of the annual "Satanic Panic Scare " (thanks Isaac) is to protect (black) cats FROM us. Give me a break! Although belief in this myth is starting to wear thin (even in the remotest circles) it is once again "seasonal sensational news". So, here we are, once again, addressing this issue at the Voice (see link to Wren's article just below)

The Annual Halloween Scaredy Cat Ban
We are once again proud to send you to Wren's "Annual Halloween Scaredy Cat Ban" article. This piece has evolved over the past four Samhains and is a permanent addition to our Samhain Pages. Here is an excerpt...

"Are there people out there who really do abuse cats and other animals? Yes, there are, but they are not Witches or Wiccans. The 'mysterious cults' that are mentioned (but are never really identified) in news articles about Halloween cat-related horrors are actually following in the footsteps of Christian clerics rather than pagan practitioners if they are using or abusing the innocent cat in some sort of bizarre sacrificial ritual setting...

The larger professionally run animal shelters know that indeed it is not the Wiccans/Witches who are doing the abusing. Thanks to all of the concerned pagans who have written the shelters, the newspapers and town officials during 'scaredy cat' seasons past, we have gotten that point across rather well.

It is instead the "thrill seeker," the wanna-be "satanist"- ala-Hollywood -movie- scripts or the emotionally disturbed individual who perpetuates such crimes against animaldom. We join with the animal protection agents in the hope that the people who abuse cats and other animals will be caught and then prosecuted for their heinous and cruel acts." For the Complete article Visit the WitchVox Samhain Pages.

Also check out our Cats of Witchcraft pages. NEW last week PAGE 17 of the cats of the craft... Do these animals look abused to you?

Over the past four years and with your input we have built a strong Samhain section here at the Voice, and this year, we will continue to add to the cauldron. although the NeoPagan community is in the press on a year 'round basis, Samhain is still a strong time for both education and awareness. This year WitchVox will do its part to optimize this with our new "Reporters Info Kit"... Wren has compiled a powerful data page that includes; pointers to Wiccan, Witch and Pagan overviews, statistics, surveys, FAQ's and links to the community websites.

A Must Read...
Witchvox is honored to, once again, point you to Isaac Bonewits's powerful "The Real Origins of Halloween 3.3.1". He is encouraging others to do the same. This in-depth article is featured in our Samhain section for all to see. For more of Isaac's Magick, visit his website at www.neopagan.net Thank YOU Isaac for what you have done and continue to do.

Opportunities for Pagan Musicians
It sure looks like we are showing favoritism towards a wonderful Pagan band called Emerald Rose. In fact we are, they are not only 'the real thing' but serve the community quite well. This Band works hard and is the only band this year that has offered a selflessly written piece on Pagan music for us to share with the community.

This week we are honored to feature an article by Logan... Opportunities: marketing & promoting of your Pagan Music is a must read for all Pagan musical artists that could use some additional exposure.

"The Internet is probably the most advantageous but least used tools for the modern musician. Pagan artists are no exception, but the situation is rapidly improving. I have learned a good deal about Internet music by working with our Celtic/Pagan/Folk band, Emerald Rose. We are a group of pagan friends that play high energy music inspired by the magick and the Celtic tradition, fused with more than a fair share of rock and pop influence. Our songs appeal to folks in both the traditional Celtic and magickal traditions. We have had a great time bringing our music to the world via the Internet, and it is currently starting to pay off a bit, both in gigs and record sales and radio airplay. Here are some of the things we learned when organizing and promoting our band".

Also this week we are featuring a new press release by Emerald Rose (see the Witchvox Pagan Music Pages)

We do have plans to revamp this entire section in the weeks to come. Until then, check out the Witchvox Pagan Music Pages as well as our extensive listing of Pagan Musicians.

Community Essays for October NOW Up:

Adult Essays... (New this Week)
God in the Shadows?: This topic really hit a nerve! Though no one said "Yes, Wicca/Witchcraft/Paganism is a Goddess religion" everyone who responded felt that someone had certainly said that, somewhere along the way, and that the God has been getting short shrift. There are some interesting and thought-provoking viewpoints in this collection of essays, including questions about the sexuality of the gods. Who said the gods can't be homosexual or bisexual, anyway? (Uh, hey, not us! Really, we just asked a question! ;-) Check out the God in the Shadows essays... Page # 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10
Familiars: We asked about the Witch and their familiar, and we got, in response, a collection of essays both touching and funny. Don't miss them! Check out the Familiars essays... Page 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

TEEN Essays... (from Last Week)
God in the Shadows? We noted that modern-day Paganism has frequently been portrayed as a collection of "Goddess religions" and asked whether or not you felt the God had been downplayed in favor of the Goddess. As expected, this topic brought us varying, and occasionally controversial viewpoints, though all of our respondents agreed that the God was not getting equal time. Check out the God in the Shadows essays... Page ONE - TWO - THREE - FOUR
Familiars: We asked what you think a familiar is, and whether or not you have one. Night Tiger, one of our regulars in the teen essay section, dispels the notion that Witches have only cats as their familiars, and introduces us to her boxer, Duchess. Check out the Familiars essay

NOTE: We are looking for suggestions for next years Teen/Adult Essay topics... If YOU have some ideas email them to Diotima

Next month's topics are "Teenagers and The Craft" and "Mainstream or Mystery?". See below for more information on how to submit your essay! (We've moved up the due dates up so Diotima can take a vacation.) Wren and Fritz can't thank the beautiful Dio enough for the help that she has delivered to us. She has been a gift from the Goddess and we are honored to work with her. Bless YOU Dio.



A Record Week, Network Status, and MORE FAQs
(October 16th., 2000)

Greetings, It has been a trying week at this end mostly due to yet another huge increase in traffic here at TWV. Our site-wide "daily pages viewed" average jumped to a record 43,000 plus. This caused some problems.

Early this past week Witchvox.NET (Wren's Nest, WOTW, Pagan Perspectives & Pagan Links) bogged down due to an incredible increase in traffic. Many of you had to wait from 5 to 40 seconds just to see your state page OR timed out and never saw the page at all. This was a horrible situation from Monday - Wednesday and we were freaking out trying to find the problem. We DID nail down this problem by late Wednesday and things are back to normal. Other than during extreme peak moments, you should be ok. We apologize for the frustration that this caused so many of you early last week.

Last week's "Witchvox Myths dispelled" (see For the Record in the "about twv" section) generated much email ("I didn't know that", "Really?", "Thanks for clarifying" etc.). Apparently we HAVE been taking things for granted and this bulleted list DID help to clarify. We have made a mental note to both add to this page and feature it a few times a year.

As always, our goals are to create solutions that are both valuable and useful to the Pagan community. Both Witchvox.com and Witchvox.net are here for your news and networking needs. Use them with our love.

In your service.

Fritz Jung
Webcrafter - The Witches' Voice

Next Week at WitchVox...  Yet another round of Samhain Treats for one and for all.


Autumnmeet 2000 Just Two Weeks Away

Wren and I are honored to, once again, attend the Autumnmeet Festival in early November just north of Tampa, Florida. For a variety of reasons this will most likely be our last festival until 2002.

This will be our third time attending this festival and we couldn't be more thrilled. Wren and I are most excited to FINALLY meet our associate editor the magical and beautiful Diotima.

The Powerful line up for this year includes: Alexian & Seridina, Phyllis Curott, Harper Deluna, DreamTrybe, Fritz Jung, Diotima Mantineia, Madonna Moonhawk, Nybor & Elspeth of Haven, Greywolf & Briga O'Murchadha, The Raft, Orion Stormcrow, Trish Telesco, Wren Walker, Daniella Waterhawk and Don Waterhawk.

Note: If you can only get a way for a few days do know that day passes are available. For complete details visit the fabulously crafted Phoenix Festivals website. To get a "feel" for this festival visit our 3 page review and pictorial of Autumnmeet 1999.

In Closing...

During the month of October, you will probably hear some bad things said about Witches. You will probably also read some serious misinformation about Pagan beliefs. But as long as there are Pagans out there who still can hear the sounds of Faery bells drifting through the midnight air, we are going to be just fine.

In Your Service,

Wren Walker & Fritz Jung
The Witches' Voice
Year 2000 - October 16th.






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