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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.










Weekly Update: 2/12/2001

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: February 12th. 2001
Times Viewed: 5,860

Getting Back To Nature...

Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans,

Getting back to nature was just what Fritz and I did yesterday. We were honored to be invited to speak at the Southeastern Spirit Gathering in Paisley, Florida. Our gracious hosts, The Rowan Grove, told us that this campground was way 'out in the boonies' and they weren't kidding! Nestled in the rolling hills (Yes, we DO have some hills in Florida!) outside of Ocala, the site was encircled with old live oaks. Beneath the twisted limbs draped with curtains of hanging Spanish moss, we caught glimpses of brightly-colored tents nestled in the little natural groves. Pathways lined with tiki torches gave the entire campsite a look of a warmth and welcome that had little to do with the 80-degree temperature and much to do with the hospitality of the people.

We love the Pagan festivals because that is where we meet the Pagan people. Being in such surroundings reminds us that each email address that comes through TWV is more than just a set of letters arranged in a certain way that we can recognize as a name. There are people behind the name. Real people with hopes and desires, with problems and possibilities, with failings and with strengths. Each one unique. Each one precious. Each one a reason why we do what we do here at TWV. Getting back to nature for us is not simply about hugging trees (Although we do that, too!) or leaving the 'mundane' world behind for a few days. It is about getting back to the people, to our people, to the People of the Earth.

Getting back to nature...what an interesting phrase that is. We often think of people and nature as being two different things or even things that are in opposition to each other. As our current administration prepares Congressional hearings to open up the Alaskan wildlife refuges to oil and gas drilling, we find ourselves torn between the human need for energy to support our modern lifestyles and the equally human need to preserve certain things and places of beauty. Even though humans long ago became 'domesticated', there is still some element of our being that responds to 'wildness'. The energy crackling overhead in the thunderstorm, the crash of the waves hurling themselves against a rocky shore, the still portrait of an antlered stag framed against the falling snow...these things still speak to us in words that we can only half remember, but treasure nonetheless as something primordial and sacred.

Nature, raw and untamed, is a part of us just as surely as we are a part of Nature. How much of that Nature we will be willing to see broken and tamed and domesticated may say a lot about how we view our own human condition. Is our inherent streak of wildness a bane or a blessing? By bending Nature to our will and our own desires, are we also taming our magick our spirit and ourselves? The beauty that humans find in those very things that we do not-perhaps cannot-control are reminders that we, too- as a part of Nature-have our 'wild side'. There is an undeniable and powerful beauty in that as well.

So thank you to all of the hard-working members and friends of Rowan Grove for your welcome and for your support. As a 'first' festival, the event was a definite success. As a group of like-minded people, you have reminded us that this is what a real community can indeed be: very diverse human beings working together while retaining the spark of untamable and sacred wildness.

Photo credit: The image to your upper right was taken yesterday (2/10) at the SouthEast Spirit Gathering in Paisley, Florida and captures a taste of the magick of Druidess. The shot above and to your left is a sample of some of the Witches, Wiccans and Pagans that were in attendance... (Web: The Rowan Grove)



Pagan Trads at WitchVox - Two More UP!
Pagan Traditions at Witchvox has just completed its first moon cycyle on the 'net and has become a very popular section (viewed over 13,000 times to date). Big time community thanks go out to the traditions that have shared overviews of thier path. Look for more trad profiles in the weeks to come.

This week brings us two new tradition essays for our Traditions section: Traditional Druidry by John Michael Greer, and Ophidian Witchcraft by Tony Steele.

If you work within an established tradition, please consider writing something for us about it. We will accept more than one essay per tradition, so feel free to send us your own view, even if there are already other essays posted on your tradition. Please read the Editorial Guidelines page as well as the introduction on the Traditions page before sending your essay to Diotima

Pagans Speak Out!
Pagan Adult Essays for February 2001

  • Initiation:
    The validity of/need for initiation is a perennial topic in the Pagan community, so we asked your opinion on the subject again. (You can read previous essays on the subject in our September 1999 essays here.) Once again, the community's views on this topic seem to us to be quite well-balanced—no one who wrote in held any extreme views on the subject in either direction. Read these insightful essays here: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8

  • Magick, Healing and the Pagan Paths:
    We asked how the personal work you have done since embarking on a Pagan path has helped you heal. Three people wrote in with some inspiring stories: 1 - 2 - 3
Click for a complete list of Future Teen Topics and Future Adult Topics.


All Pagan Essays are coordinated by Witchvox Assoc. Editor 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.


PUC-PAC Announces The "I Am" Project

The Pagan Unity Campaign Political Action Committee (PUC PAC) this week announced the start of a new political awareness project for Americans who follow one of the many diverse religions of Paganism.

Broadly defined, Paganism is a life-affirming, positive, Earth-centric religion. Many in mainstream American culture wrongly believe that Paganism is associated with Satanism or devil worship. "We do not even believe in Satan. That is part of the Judeo-Christian faith", says Storm Bear Williams, Chief Political Strategist for the PUC PAC.

The I Am Project is an effort to introduce Pagans to their elected officials in local, state and federal governments. The Project works like this - Pagans from across the country get a postcard that has a picture of their city, favorite local museum or other local scene and write on the back; "I am a Pagan ____." The blank can be anything like Mother, Son, Veteran, Banker, Cook, Teacher, etc.

These cards will focus on various issues and will mailed at preset times throughout the year to your representatives in Congress. Visit the PUC-PAC web site for more on the I-AM Project .

Ohio Pagans Stand Up For Rights, Interfaith Alliance Stands Up For Pagans

Pagans in Ohio had a very busy week. In Moraine, Ohio, dozens of Witches, Wiccans and Pagans turned out to protest a ban on fortunetelling. Most citizens in the small community were surprised to learn that so many Pagans lived in the area at all. "I think they were a little bit astonished that we grouped together so fast on this topic, " said Crystal Mize, an office manager who is also a pagan high priestess and director of the Montgomery County chapter of Witches Against Religious Discrimination. According to the report in the Columbus Dispatch, after hearing objections that the ordinance was an unconstitutional restraint on religious freedom, council tabled it.

In other news, the Interfaith Alliance of Akron had to change tonight's scheduled ceremonial dinner after receiving objections about a Pagan musical group were raised by an Orthodox Church pastor. According to the article printed in Saturday's Akron Beacon Journal, musicians from the Church of Spiral Oak were booked to play at the event to be held in the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church to honor the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Greater Akron for the group's work fostering understanding and cooperation among people of diverse faith backgrounds.

Rev. Jerry Hall, the pastor at Annunciation, wrote a letter to the Alliance that forced the organization to find a replacement meeting place at the last minute. The letter said that if a musical group from the Church of Spiral Oak remained on the program, the Council could not have its dinner at Annunciation. It also said the musical group from the Orthodox community would not take part in a program that included the pagan group. "We have regulations that limit our participation with groups that would be involved with things like paganism, '' Hall said. ``If we allowed this event at our church, with their participation, it would send a message to the community of our acceptance. As Orthodox Christians, we cannot accept their tenets and we cannot send a message that it is OK. Well, it's not OK."

Okay...The Interfaith Alliance to their credit decided to scramble around and book an alternate venue rather than cancel the Pagan group's performance. Now THAT is faith in action! Kudos to the Akron Ohio Interfaith Alliance for living up to their name and their vision!

Bardic Circle Week #8   (2/12/2001)
Musicians Tell Their Stories.

Attention Pagan Musicians: In an effort to feature the participants of Bardic Circle at Witchvox "faster" we are increasing the number of artists featured per week to THREE. Also note that the stated "page views" on the bardic circle pages are updated every two weeks, this rings true of all pages on Witchvox.net. Finally, if you'd rather that we link your Bardic circle tune to your mp3 page so that you can maximize your "pay per play" income, email us and we will change the link. The reason we discouraged this initially was to present your tune, it's magick and it's story to the Pagan community free of mp3's advertising. (note: Witchvox is NOT in bed with mp3.com or their advertisers nor do we plan to be.) - Thank YOU for sharing your music with the Pagan community

On with the show...

Izolda:
We Kick off this weeks Bardic Circle at Witchvox with a tune by Izolda tune called "Homesick For A Memory "

"This song was inspired by a couple of different sources. First, my dear friend Amy said that she'd like to hear me sing something slow and Irish. And so I decided to write a slow song about Ireland. Ireland has always felt like my home; the only thing is that I've never actually been there. "

-- For the complete experience download... Homesick For A Memory



Terry Allan Hall
The second offering is a partial piece by Terry Allan Hall entitled "Of Reincarnation and Love"

"This song was written to be performed at a friend's wedding, and was inspired by a story I read about a couple who keep meeting (over the course of several incarnations), until they finally mutually realize that they truly are "soul-mates" and are supposed to be with one another. I wish I could recall the authoress' name, as she spun a wonderful tale!"

-- For the complete experience surf to Of Reincarnation and Love bardic circle page.



Lucien Desar:
As a bonus treat we also offer an instrumental by Lucien Desar called "What We Felt at Clonmacnoise ".

"On the day after our handfasting my wife and I decided to visit an old monastic site that was in the center of Ireland called "Clonmacnoise" It was extremely windy that day which extended our senses that this area where we were at was well traveled. Clonmacnoise was settled by Christian missionaries in @100CE and had been in existence for several hundred years. It was filled with tombstones of the hundreds of missionaries that lived on the grounds as well as ruins of old abbeys. Because the missionaries were such hard workers and very conservative in their spendings they had amassed a large fortune of gold that were developed into holy relics. Due to almost zero defense of their grounds they were raided frequently by visiting vikings. In one century alone they were raided over 30 times I believed with a complete destruction of everything on their grounds..."

-- For the complete experience download... What We Felt at Clonmacnoise

(Go to Bardic Circle Index)



Teenage
Pagans

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2001 and the Teenage Pagan: This past year saw a real rebirth for the teen section here at The Witches' Voice. Many new authors came forward with some powerful articles and essays. Big plans to grow and develop this section even more dramatically are in the stars. Check back here for the latest in articles from the Teen pagan point of view.


Cats of WitchCraft - Page 20 Now Up
In an effort to dispel one of the many myths about the craft, we began featuring pictures of Witch Cats back in '97 when we went online. Of late, we have been barraged with submissions... A plea for help last year resulted in some fine volunteer work by some fine Pagans. Out of that group came Daven who has faithfully and in a timely manner coordinated our last 6 Cats pages. Thank YOU Daven for treating us all with the latest... To gush over this new batch of cuties Click HERE.

Note: Last year our Cats of Witchcraft section was one of the most popular here at TWV. These pages average over 800 views a day.

Pagan Perspectives
WitchVox Question of the Week!

Last week, we asked, Where Are The Pagan Social Programs?--While most readers recognized the need for social or faith-based service programs to help the needy, many also responded that Pagans do need to sent up large programs on their own. Many Pagans already respond to requests in the local areas or give to other secular causes. Since Pagans do not proselytize, the need to have a Pagan label on a social program is simply not that great. View the Responses.

This week we ask the question:

Where Did You Get Your Magickal Name? The tradition of taking on a magickal name is an old one in many Pagan paths. Once used to protect themselves and their covenmates or to create equality among members, magickal names are now often individually chosen to reflect or project certain traits, pantheonic allegiances or just because it sounds cool. How did YOU get your magickal name? What is the story behind it, the meaning of it and the reason that it was either given to you or you chose it? Are 'magickal' names really all that magickal these days or are they simply just another 'screen name' to hide behind?-- Post YOUR Opinion or view the Responses of others



In Closing...

"Everything you do... continues... long after you've gone
truth is worth more than pride
truth cannot be denied
truth is worth more than pride."
(Neil Finn, "Truth" from "Try Whistling This").

In Your Service,

 

Wren Walker & Fritz Jung
The Witches' Voice
Year 2001 - February 12th.






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