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Weekly Update: 11/13/2000

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: November 13th. 2000
Times Viewed: 4,395

Living In A Banana Republic...

Greetings everyone!

Fait Accompli. We here at TWV have now done our sworn journalistic duty. Even though it is only inserted into a fragment rather than a grammatically correct full sentence, we think this effort adequately allows us to punch in the hole labeled, "Used the term 'banana republic' in at least one sentence this week". After making sure that the number did in fact line up with the hole- and barring any call for a recount- we feel quite confident that we have exercised our right to vote in "The-Word-or-Phrase-That-We-Hope-Never-To-Hear-Again" election. At last count, the word 'expedient' was running a close second. It's gonna be a "squeaker".

Living under the gaze of the world here in Florida while the election results are suspended in a not-all-that-surprising gridlock is very interesting. For some reason, we now feel the need to lower our blinds at night. Creepy. But since we are Pagans, we are also sensitive to the energies BEHIND the physical scrutiny. Creepier still. After doing a one-card spread using the William Blake deck over at Facade ("In the creative process: A time for "blind" absorption of data, for intense focus on research and documentation of the creative project being initiated.") and consulting the Magic 8-Ball ('The Magic 8-Ball is not amused. Ask again.'), it has become obvious that we as Floridians should take some responsibility for our own psychic well-being and therefore deflect some of those misguided thought-forms wandering across our border with the facts:
  • Florida is NOT a 'hotbed'. The temperature here last night was about 55 degrees. Not really all that 'hot'. We almost had to use a blanket.

  • Floridians DO know how to vote. It is just with five 24 hour-a-day Christian broadcasting channels down here, a few folks got confused when the name 'Satan' did not actually appear on any of the ballots.

  • Florida is at the 'epicenter.' There are no fault lines near Florida. We don't have earthquakes; we have hurricanes. Hurricanes happen when lots of hot air blow across our state.

  • And finally, "Chads" are those little paper bits left over after a voter punches the ballot for the candidate of his/her choice. There have been NO widespread incidents of men named 'Chad' being punched more than once. (This may change depending on how long the recounts take.)

While we DO take politics seriously-and this IS a momentous event in our nations; history-there comes a time when the minutia takes over and the 'big picture' loses its focus. As both party hitmen (and women) nit-pick, spin and cast aspersions on the other party's motives, it is often helpful to step back a bit and take a deep breath. Between seemingly opposing forces is a 'third thing' that Pagans and other magickal practitioners can sense.

Duality, as represented by the two firm pillars in politics and the doctrines of a predominately Christian society, creates a space in between, an archway, an opening, a portal, and a door. In magickal workings, when such a space is created, a new energy source may then be invited to enter. This deadlock of the old systems may actually turn out to be the womb that allows a 'third thing" to be born into the world's spiritual realm. Think about that the next time that you as a Pagan find yourself feeling frustrated that neither side can close that opening and collapse their chosen quantum probability. The Universe may have other ideas...and birth pains are the natural clue that point to the fact that 'something wonderful is about to happen'.

The shortcomings, indeed the very fallacy, of believing in systems (both political and spiritual) based upon the Western ideals of absolutes as expressed through the concept of duality-light vs. dark, good vs. evil-have been exposed in this election. Most Americans chose a candidate this term not because they themselves believed in the absolute of either platform, but as 'the lesser of two evils'. Did those who supported third party candidates get it right? Well, yes and no. Perhaps some of them did see this 'opening' between the pillars clearly and invoked a new political energy. Many others, we think, simply rejected duality as a system altogether. It is no huge surprise to find Pagans (no matter which way they ultimately voted) were very much interested in those 'third things'.

The old Pagan religions were based upon concepts that came not from Western thought, as we now know it, but from the East. Harmony with the spiritual forces in Nature- an understanding that Light is not the absolute Good just as Dark is not the absolute Evil-is the underlying theme of ancient Eastern religious thought. The snake is not evil because it eats the mouse; the man is not evil if he steals bread to feed his starving child. Neither is the Sun always good when it burns the crops nor the Moon bad because narcissistic humans stub their toes in the dim light. The light of day transitions into the darkness of night and back again into the dawn. Somewhere in all of these things lies the truth of a 'third thing'. And as Pagans, we understand this in ways that the Western-trained people do not.

What we shall do with this knowledge remains our challenge. What we could do with this knowledge is beyond the limitations of duality. Pagans may hold the 'swing vote' that will determine the future of our world. And maybe-at this very peculiar and precarious point in history- that is why we are here.

Creating A Space For Inspiration...

In fact, Rainbow had such an inspiration:

Merry Meet Everybody, I've come up with an idea to build a website of 21st Century Witches (or any Pagans, actually). I need some help, though. What I'd like to do is something along the lines of: Who are the Witches of the 21st Century?

They are teachers, lawyers, nurses, business owners, law enforcement officers and stay-at-home moms. (Show pictures of some of us, especially in work settings or uniforms, etc). They are parents and children, spouses and friends, neighbors and countrymen. (Show more pictures, away from work, couples okay.)

The idea is to show us as "normal", acceptable members of the community with everyday lives. What I need is for people to send (attach in email as a .jpeg or .gif) pictures of themselves and tell what they do for a living.

So how about it folks? Can those of you who have the technology take a few minutes to find a picture and send it to me? I'd like to see a whole bunch of us become a part of this project. It doesn't have to be a "mug shot" of your face, just as long as you're in it. For more information or to submit entries, email Rainbow at rainbow@pecos.net.

Reality Check and Future Thoughts

Earlier in the year we introduced an editorial section here at Witchvox loosely titled "Values, Ethics, Respect and Accountability" (V.E.R.A.). We never really did come up with a proper name for this section but it is based on the simple concept of 'correct and for the good of all'. The Witches' Voice has always maintained a strong ethical stance and consciously takes a hard line "attitude" in this area. This section has been "hit hard" and those that choose a strong ethical stance continue to email us with their enthusiastic support.

NEW This week: We are proud to feature two new pieces that are both thought provoking and nicely executed.

Freedom of Information and Supporting Pagan Creators 1.1 - by Isaac Bonewits
"I've often suggested that we could build or buy Neopagan temples in every city in the U.S. and Canada, if we simply collected one piece of silver jewelry from every Neopagan at every festival for a year. Yet, the very same people who "can't afford" to donate to a Neopagan temple or community center or other organization on a regular basis, have no problem buying fiction books, videos, comics, beer, pizza, jewelry, fancy ritual tools, robes, etc., etc. This is not a pattern unique to Neopaganism -- almost every nonprofit organization or movement tells the same tale. The general public, especially in the USA, has money for those things that bring comfort, pleasure and ego-gratification. Everything else has to wait in line and hope for the best." - Thank you Isaac for stirring this cauldron and do know that TWV plans to focus on these issues in the weeks to come". -- Full Article

Pondering Our Future by Misti Anslin Tucker
Writing as Americans are still awaiting the final resolution in the Presidential election, Misti looks at the potential impact that either candidate could have on the Pagan communities if elected. But beyond this, the focus then turns to what the Pagan communities may do in the future to impact-and guide-their own destiny.

Paganism is emerging as a strong and viable force for change. Much has been 'spun' urging this faction or that candidate to act in a certain way 'for the good of the country.' Perhaps it is also time for Pagans to set aside their personal differences to act for the good of the entire Pagan community. As Misti puts it: "Do we want to live in a country that acknowledges our right to live our lives and worship our Gods in the ways we see fit? Do we want them badly enough to put our admittedly important differences aside to work together in creating a demographic important enough to get the politicians' attention and to win explicit religious freedom for all of us?" -- Full Article

Over the next few weeks/months we will continue to feature other Pagan Webcrafters and community members and their thoughts on values, ethics, responsibility and accountability. Check out Notes from a WebCrafter.


Need a Distraction?
I don't know about you, but if I hear the phrase "the American people" one more time I am going to scream. The one thing we the people seem to have in common these days is a rather dazed expression, as if we had all been clocked over the head with a brick made of stale bubble gum.

Ah, for something to distract us from "you know what" (also known as "Florida, it's all your fault").

Libana - Releases New CD
Well, a new CD by a group well-loved by pagans for decades is sure to help soothe your frayed nerves and give you hope for the future. Libana, the women's vocal ensemble who helped make pagan "fireside chants" into pagan Top 40 the world over with their recordings "A Circle is Cast" and "Fire Within," and who have traveled the world to gather sacred women's songs on their recordings "Borderlands" and "Sojourns," have completed a trilogy of pagan and sacred song collections with "Night Passage."

This terrific CD is everything you expect from Libana: flawless harmonies from some of the most beautiful female voices on the planet. There are songs with poetry by Rumi or Scottish traditional blessings (including two songs whose texts were set to music in a group I used to perform with, Urban Myth, so this was a pleasant surprise), and original songs by Dale Zola and David Gay, as well as traditional songs from Sicily, West Africa and Sweden. There is a hauntingly beautiful new arrangement of "We All Come From the Goddess" which will surely make pagan listeners develop new appreciation for that old standard by Z. Budapest. (You can get this CD in your local music store, and for retailers, the distributors carrying it so far include Ladyslipper, New Leaf, Music Design, and Goldenrod).

Ellen Evert Hopman - Releases New Book!
Maybe you want a distraction you can share with your kids. There is a lovely new book from Inner Traditions by author Ellen Evert Hopman who has written a number of books on herbalism. This new one is designed specifically for children and is called "Walking the World in Wonder: A Children's Herbal." It is meant for children from ages 5-10 and has gorgeous color photography (by Steven Foster) and illustrations. It's a great resource for introducing kids, pagan or otherwise, to the beauty and significance of Nature and Her most useful plants. -- Peg Aloi

Pagan Perspectives
WitchVox Question of the Week!

11/13/2000 US Election Update!
Due to the incredible and unprecedented hoopla surrounding the U.S. Presidential election, we are once again devoting our Perspectives column to that issue and-also once again- apologizing to our non-U.S. readers for indulging in that obsession. (Feel free to comment on how the U.S. Presidential race is viewed in your country.) Many people-and not simply Pagans-seem to be stunned by the recent turn of events and so we feel that perhaps you would like a place in which to air your viewpoints, frustrations, concerns and perspectives about the battle for the White House. So, here we go...

A Question to YOU:
Did YOU vote? Which candidate did you vote for? How do you feel about the political wrangling going on right now in Florida? Will/Should either candidate concede for the good of the country-or should either/both fight it out until we all scream for mercy? How do you think either candidate, if declared the winner, will be able to bring the country together given the inference that the election results now point to an America that is almost equally divided into one camp or the other? And the BIG question-What, if any, impact will the final results have on the Pagan communities?

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

Reminder: The Witches' Voice -to reiterate the point once again- IS politically neutral. As an organization that carries 501(c)(3) status, we are required by law to refrain from endorsing, campaigning or lobbying for or against any one political candidate or party. We do read all of your politically oriented articles and comments. We do follow politics and politicians with a close eye on their platforms as they pertain to religious liberty and pagan civil rights. What we can't do-and wouldn't if we could (free will and all of that, you know) -is to tell YOU how to vote or who to vote for. We simply can't and won't go there. However, we can put up an open forum where you are free to voice your opinions. And so, we once again are calling up the spirits of the U.S. political banshees:




WitchCraft
Basics
Witch, Wiccan and Pagan F.A.Q.'s
Frequently Asked Questions about Witchcraft... Our FAQ page has been the number two hit page on this site since the day we went "on the air". It has become a powerful educational tool and was updated by Wren earlier this year. "The WitchVox FAQ's are offered to new seekers and the general public in an effort to dispel many of the myths of the Craft of the Wise. The ways of the Witch are defined in even more detail in various other pages on this Web site."

We now present this document in many languages including; Spanish - Italian - Finnish - Latvian - German - Dutch - Turkish - Portuguese and Polish. Our heartfelt thanks go out to the generous Pagans that have transcribed the Witchvox FAQ's.

Pagan Youth Speak Out!

  Pagan Teens Essays for November 2000  


  • Teenagers and the Craft This is the teen segment of a topic that the adults will weigh in on next week: Teenagers and the Craft. What is most striking about these essays is the level of maturity exhibited and the insight into the issues involved. Everyone who has, or will have a Pagan teenager in their life, in their coven, or even on an email list or in a chat room should read these essays to get a better understanding of what Pagan teenagers go through trying to find someone to teach them. Check out the Teenagers and the Craft essays... Page ONE - TWO - THREE - FOUR - FIVE - SIX

For a complete list of Future Teen Topics: Click HERE ... For Adult Topics: Click HERE


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

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.

Tragedy Strikes Two of Salem's Finest...

On October 30th, our very dear friends Michael and Therese Pendragon of Salem, Mass. were burned out of their apartment. They quite literally escaped with only the clothes upon their backs. The building exploded with a blast so severe that the foundation on the house next door was cracked. Had they been at home at the time of the incident, they would not have survived. Michael and Therese are well known in the Salem area and are two of the most incredibly gifted Pagans that Fritz and I have had the honor to know. Michael and Therese are the real deal. Their psychic talents have not only earned them a nation wide reputation and dedicated clientele, they have also been used to work for the good of the planet. We have been privileged to join in their magickal workings from time to time while we lived in the Salem area. Michael and Therese are the only people who Wren has ever let 'read' for her.

Along with all of their personal belongings and furniture, the Pendragons lost a lifetime collection of magickal tools, Michael's recording equipment and computer system and, most devastatingly of all, and the lives of their two beloved cats. In true Pagan fashion, the Pendragons are looking upon this as a door that opens up a new future, but the loss of their kitties has wounded their hearts deeply. As cat lovers ourselves, Fritz and Wren can only mourn with them.

If you would like send messages of comfort and support to the Pendragons or financial gifts of any amount to help them get back on their feet, you can do at: Michael and Therese Pendragon, P.O. Box 8174, Salem, Ma. 01970. I know that they will be very grateful.

In Closing...

The future is often determined by the voice of the majority when the minority does not speak up. As the pillars of political duality increasingly become incapable of representing the ideals and true will of the people, a space is being created for a 'third thing'. It is from this space-if we have the courage to step into it- that the Pagan voice will be heard.

In Your Service,

Wren Walker & Fritz Jung
The Witches' Voice
Year 2000 - November, 13th.






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