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Weekly Update: 4/16/2001

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: April 16th. 2001
Times Viewed: 5,260

Home is Where the Spirit Is...

Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans,

It's official: Springtide has arrived in Florida. We don't go by the calendar here; we go by the ducks. The mallards flew in this week and 'coincidentally' they arrived on the same day that the U.S. crewmen and women arrived home from their 11-day detainment in China. The instinct and desire to return home drives many creatures in nature's realm to cross enormous distances and face many trials in their journeys back to their point of origin. Humankind often thinks that they-that we-are above such 'animal' compulsions, that we are the masters of our own destiny and free of the instinctual bonds that govern the behaviors of many of the 'lesser' creatures of the Earth. Are we just kidding ourselves?

"Home" can mean many more things to humans today than just the geographical place of our birth. We are a mobile society. In the past too, humans were on the move. Nomadic tribes spread humankind across the continents and encompassed the globe with trade and migratory routes. Yet, wherever these ancient nomads went, they brought their cultural beliefs with them. Religion met religion everywhere in the vast spaces of time and culture encountered culture. These encounters could either be friendly-with elements of both becoming intertwined and adopted by the people-or they could be violent-where one culture completely dominated and wiped out the other. One thing remains though: unlike our own take-it-as-it-comes mallards, wherever Humankind goes, he/she changes the landscape and alters the environment to suit him/herself. Volumes could be written on whether one thinks that this is a good or a bad thing.

The Homelands and the longing for a sense of belonging drive many Pagans today to search out their family ties to lands and cultures that they personally may never have known. On the North American continent, this is a particularly poignant desire. The history in North America is a short one for all save the native indigenous people whom the new cultures displaced. Much to our regret these days, the mostly white explorers and settlers of 500 years ago set about destroying the rich, ancient history of these lands in order to superimpose their own. Today, we long for a more continuous ancestral history and because of the impunity of those early North American invaders, we cannot easily find it within the history of this continent itself. So, Americans, in particular, have turned their eyes towards the 'old countries' in their search for a pedigree.

In the shadow of recent world wars and especially the ever present memory of the rise of Nazism, the concept of nationalism is often met with discomfort. National pride or patriotism can easily turn into despotism and intolerance. While we must all be ever on guard against such terrors, still the longing for ancestral homelands in the spiritual sense is something that we as Pagans are drawn to these days. As we seek to define ourselves-and finding little present in our adopted countries that we can claim as our 'own'-it is only natural that we would turn our thoughts and minds toward the lands where our ancestors did once roam. As long as we keep in mind that we are indeed residents of a 'new' country, there is certainly no reason to not embrace a revised or reconstructed spiritual or cultural belief system as a link to those ancestors whose own travels brought us to where we are today. "Home" is not only a physical address, but also a cultural and spiritual place where we can feel welcome; a place where we belong.

The mallards obviously feel that they belong in our little patch of water. They are North American birds for sure. But this flock are also Florida birds, and more specifically, they are the 'mallards-who-return-to-the-little-pond-behind-our-apartment birds. Likewise, we Pagans may be Americans (or Australians, New Zealanders, Canadians, etc.), but we can also be spiritually or culturally Celts or Asatruar or Norse or Voudon as well without conflict. Home may very well be 'where the heart is'.

Our wish for you is this: No matter where you roam-physically, emotionally, spiritually-may you always be able to find your way home.

Photo credit: The Maypole shot to your upper right came to us last year from Susan Lockwood of Rose Hill, Ohio (web: goldenseal_@hotmail.com). Thanks Susan!... NOTE: We are looking for group shots from THIS years Beltane celebrations, if you capture a good one of your group, send it in so that we can share its magick with the community.



Carol Snyder is Featured Speaker at A.U. Meeting
4/14/2001 Tarpon Springs, Florida USA
Reported by Darragh Nagle

Mrs. Carol Snyder is the member of the Citrus Board of Education who became the center of a religious controversy over what religious activities are appropriate for public school students at the public school, and the diversity of prayer invocations at the board meetings. She was the speaker today before a meeting of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Sun Coast Chapter, at the Tarpon Springs public library.

Mrs. Snyder described how she ran successfully for Member of the School Board in November 2000, and after being elected she attended her first meeting on November 14th. During that meeting she suggested that the public be allowed to speak during the meetings, where they might have valuable input on the business at hand, rather than limiting public comment to a period at the beginning of the meeting. She also suggested that public comment be allowed before and after the meeting, that the meeting should have and agenda, and, that the invocation prayers that were addressed to "Jesus Christ" might be more appropriate if they were addressed to "God Almighty." Mrs. Snyder describes herself as a Christian, but is quick to point out that it should not matter what a person's beliefs are in the context of school board meetings. (Full Article)

Tradition Profiles at Witchvox
(Viewed 36, 605 Times)

A Powerful Resource Gets Stronger

This week, we are blessed to share TWO more new Pagan tradition profiles with the community.

Universal Eclectic Wicca Tradition by Melissa Molnar
"Universal Eclectic Wicca is a Tradition of Wicca that embraces a personal exploration into one's own religious paradigm, yet provides structure through the "Five Points of Wiccan Belief." "Eclectic" because we make room for growth, flexibility, and change by allowing members to utilize any source they find useful. Wicca must be eclectic, taking from all of its members, in order to prevent stagnation. We welcome new ideas while maintaining the old ones, because eclecticism and evolution are unavoidable. "Universal" because our beliefs encompass everything, and everything is encompassed by our beliefs. Wicca is universal because it can be used by all, and anything can be used in Wicca. The only limits to our religious universality are the Five Points of Wiccan Belief. All of these things make us Universal Eclectic Wiccans.". (Full Profile)

Storyteller Wicca Tradition by Dagonet Dewr
"The central group of the Storyteller Wicca tradition, Thalia Clan, was founded on Beltaine 1992 CE at a campout at Burr Oak State Park in Gloucester, Ohio. At the time, the group was merely a place for celebration of friendship, family, and a mutual interest in Paganism and the occult. However, within three years Thalia Clan was a fully functional Neo-Pagan group following a distinctive ritual framework and practice. Centered out of Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, the group and tradition has mostly remained in the area, although individual Initiates of the Clan have moved to other locations within the United States.". (Full Profile)

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 others 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.


Associate Editor - Witches' Voice
April 14th., 2001


You Call it May Day, We call it Beltane
by Peg Aloi

"Somewhere, I must have learned about May Baskets. I think my favorite third grade teacher mentioned them briefly in Social Studies class (she often talked about holidays and their origins), and then I wanted to find out more about this wacky custom. I was a precocious reader as a kid so it may have been almost anywhere: the Encyclopedia Britannica, Woman's Day magazine, maybe even Playboy. I don't recall where, but I know once I learned about the custom of giving them to someone special, I was determined to make one and leave it in secret for my favorite third-grade teacher, Miss V".

"I took a small box (about half the size of a shoebox) and glued lavender construction paper to it. I also fashioned a handle out of the same paper, gluing it to both sides. I cut out flower petals shapes in different colors and glued those on, too. Very tasteful, I thought. I cut some daffodils and lilacs from the yard, and put them inside. I had already asked my aunt if she could drive me over to her house, having cleverly looked up her address in the phone book earlier. (Now, these days we would call such behavior something less innocent than childlike admiration; we might call it, oh, stalking). As we drove up with the basket to my teacher's house, at around 6 pm, I found myself thinking, "Gee, what if she sees me?" I got out of the car, ran on tiptoe (as if that would make me less visible) and put it on her porch. As I turned, the front door opened".

"As luck would have it, I was busted: by Miss V. herself! She saw me, then the basket, and figured it out. She smiled and thanked me and said it was very sweet of me. I was mortified that she found me out. But then the next day in school, she made me a card with flowers on it. The front said "Thank you" and the inside said "for delighting my day with a May Basket." So I got to put that card on my desk like a little teacher's pet. Of course, I did not think that at the time; at the time I was simply very proud. And realized if I had not gotten "busted" she might never know who brought the May Basket, and I'd have my secret, but only that. This way, maybe the other kids would think of making May Baskets for someone: a teacher, a parent or grandparent. Of course, all I knew was I made something cool and gave it to someone special". (Full Article)


Breakdowns, Auctions, and Pagan Pro Services Takes off!

Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans,

What was intended to be a "light weekly update" here at TWV never actually happened. It seems that no matter what we do to 'cut back' on these weekly updates, there is just too much critical info to ignore. So without further ado, allow me to jump right in to some site/web related notes.

Professional Skills & Services -- Looks HOT:
Last week we launched two new sections for our networking pages, Pagan Services and Pagan Announcements. Services promises to quickly be a VERY powerful community resource with 30 submissions on its first day. As promised the Pagan Professional listings are NOW ACTIVE and integrated into your networking pages. I found the submissions both interesting and surprising. A Braillist? this is wonderful. In about a month we will set up national search functions for this new section, reason being, this community has some amazing talent that until now has not been properly featured or celebrated. On a related note, the new announcements module will not be fully functional for a few weeks, or until it acquires more than a few listings.

To list your locally based skill or service, surf to our Local Services Form.

Isaac Polishes Up Some Classics: Over the past few weeks, Isaac Bonewits has tweaked up several of his key 'net writings including; Defining Pagan Leadership, What Neopagans Believe, The Advanced Bonewits' Cult Danger Evaluation Frame, The Patterns of Wiccan Ritual and Freedom of Information and Supporting Pagan Creators (to name a few). To check out these updates and more, surf to Isaac's Web site at www.neopagan.net

Pagan Auctions Online: Last week we did a mini-feature on one of the newer ways for Pagans to make money. This feature rendered a 27 pieces of email containing many interesting comments. Some of you reminded us of the Pagan Auction sites that we missed. In fact we never stated that the ones we noted were the only ones... a simple search in our VoxLinks Pagan Search Engine reveals 22 Pagan sites that are doing auctions (just do a search for "auction" on the left side bar). On an interesting note; many of you (both retailers and customers) expressed some interesting concerns about Pagan Auctions. Next week we plan to address a few of these issues. Until then keep those Pagan Auctions comments coming in. Your voice matters at TWV.

Details PLEASE: Last week I noted that "March 2001 rendered a record number of submissions to our networking pages. New/Modified submissions clocked in at 9, 590". Surprisingly, we received several pieces of email that asked about how this number broke down... Since most of this site has always been meticulously tracked and detailed, it is easy for us to "drill down" for details. Of the 9, 590 new/modified submissions last month: 3390 Personal Listings (80% new), 677 Events (66% new), 912 Covens/Groups (47% new), 865 Web Links (71% new), 545 Local Shops (61% new). Changes to personal listings broke down as follows: 506 email updates, 378 location changes, 1021 personal profile updates, 303 url updates, 673 Name changes. There were 320 requests for removal.

DO check out YOUR Area Page for new and updated data. NOTE: We faithfully update the WOTW pages every 48 hours.

Extreme Coolness Event of the week:

Pagan Prom
Renton, WA
Sponsored by: Sweet Sprit Candles
Key Contact: Christopher Bingham (naked@gaiaconsort.com)

Event Details: Come and dance to celebrate Beltane Eve! It's a fundraiser for Gaia Consort's forthcoming CD, Secret Voices.

Imagine the prom you'd have attended if they'd offered one for YOU. Think: Pentacle promise rings. Barefoot or high heels. Silk, Velvet or Leathers... Smoke free and alcohol free... A silly fake bonfire. Bowls of condoms and lube. Magickal tools as prizes.... Stretch limos disgorging Pagans in costume. Instead of jealous fist fights over dates, the prom queen goes home with the winner AND the runner up.... Maybe EVERYONE is the Prom Queen - now's your chance... Get your picture taken, make it what you want it to be.... The Pagan Prom. And what better time to have a pagan prom on the Saturday closest to Beltane Eve?!

This is an age 15 or above event.

Event Location 55 Williams Ave South -- Renton, WA

Email: naked@gaiaconsort.com
Website: http://www.gaiaconsort.com/order.html


Specifics

What: Pagans Night Out

When: 4/28/2001

Time: 6pm - 11pm

What to Bring: Dress up or down, dancin shoes, full garb, your choice!

Price/Donation: 15$ in advance, $17.00 at the door

Wvox Stats

Vox Id: 11506

Posted: 4/13/2001

Days Listed: 3


To check out what's happening in YOUR TOWN visit our WOTW Events pages.

YES! That really IS a skeleton with his hand on a TV remote unit: - New Mp3 Tune
In an effort to keep up with my promise of offering one free tune a month, this week I am proud to offer a tune entitled "The Color of Magick". For the story of this tune and access to the mp3 file, surf to its "Celtic Feast of the Dead" CD give-a-way page in our Pagan music section.

In closing, allow me to thank all of you who have helped to make the Witchvox networking section an incredible resource for us all. Most importantly, I am honored, once again to thank the Witchvox Sponsors for helping to defray the cost of software and connection charges here at TWV. Without their unselfish support, and actually putting their money where their mouth is, the Witches' Voice on the Web would have died years ago. Bless YOU big time.


Webcrafter - The Witches' Voice
(April 16th., 2001)

Photo credit: The image to your upper right of yours truly was taken at PhoenixPhyre Festival last month by WitchVox staff Photographer Don "Two Eagles" Waterhawk (web: waterhawkcreations.com). Thanks Unky Don.


April Adult Pagan Essays Now UP!

This month's essays illustrate once again how much thought and consideration Pagans put into their religious practices. Thanks to all of these authors for taking the time to share their thoughts and ideas with the community!
  • Tools: There are some great insights and innovative ideas here on the uses of tools and just what a tool is/does. Read them here: Page ONE - TWO - THREE - FOUR - FIVE

  • Pagans and the Environment: Been feeling as though your lifestyle could use a few adjustments in honor of Earth Day? Then read these essays for some excellent suggestions and inspiration. Find out why right here: One and Two

NOTE: Do You have suggestions for Adult/Teen Essay topics... If so Email them to: Diotima


Teenage
Pagans

2
0
0
1
April Teenage Pagan Essays Now UP!
As we enter the 21st. century, one thing is clear, Pagan Youth will lead the way. They are embracing this spiritual path with a passion and conviction like we have never seen before. We are honored to feature the wonderful Teen Essays written by our Young Pagans.

  • Tools: (April 2001)This month we asked what tools you use, why you use them, and what their appropriate use is. You replied with good advice and magical happenings...read all about it here: Page 1 - 2 - 3 - 4

  • Paganism and the Environment: We also asked for your thoughts on where Paganism and the environmental movement intersect. Two of you responded with passionate pleas for Pagans to pay more attention to the state of the environment. Read these essays here: Page 1 - 2

  • Traditions: Also, we thought we didn't get any teen essays last month, but it turns out there was one that had gotten lost in cyberspace (or possibly in Dio's computer!). So we belatedly present (with thanks to Rhea Foxfyre for her patience and understanding) this essay on Traditions
Other Young Pagan Resources at TWV: WitchVox Teen Essays MAIN Index - Young Pagans in YOUR Town (6, 758 listed) - Young Pagan Covens and Groups (307 listed) - F.A.Q.'s of the WitchVox Teen Section - Teen Article Submission Topics! Make YOUR Voice Heard! - Teen Pagan Web Sites (267 sites listed!) - Click HERE to submit YOUR Teen Pagan Site.

Pagan Perspectives
WitchVox Question of the Week!

Last week, we asked...

Should the United States Apologize to China Over The Spy Plane Incident? - Some said yes and some said no. As the situation went on, some began to think that we already had apologized- with all those 'regrets' and the 'very sorry' comments-and certainly China lost no time in reporting that the U.S. had indeed bent the knee. Happily the crewmen are home and the next round of negotiations is set to begin. It ain't over by a long shot. View the Responses.

This week, we ask the question:

What's On Your Altar? - What is on your altar, disir stone, hearth or horg? What tools do you have and which ones-be honest!- do you actually USE? Does your altar/stone/hearth/horg change with the seasons or is it a permanent set-up? Is your altar/stone/hearth/ horg a meeting place or honoring place for the Old Ones/Ancestors/Gods/Goddesses or is it a place to work magick-or both? What does the altar, stone, hearth/horg mean or represent to YOU? - Post YOUR Opinion or view the Responses of others.

Altar Photo: The image to your upper right was sent in this past week by Jessica (Email: gekko@nycap.rr.com). She sez "...This is a picture of my altar, which is dedicated to Bast. Surrounding the wooden cat in the center are pyramids of lapis, labradorite, fluorite, aventurine, and cobalt blue glass. At the cat's feet are smaller pyramids of amethyst and malachite. Beneath the labradorite pyramid is a Tarot deck in a pouch. The front corners are marked by fluorite obelisks, and to either side of the statue are Egyptian style necklaces, one an ankh with cats, the other with scarabs"... Bless You Jessica!.



In Closing...

"In this new ecological age of developing world community and interfaith dialogue, the world religions face what is perhaps the greatest challenge that they have ever encountered. Each is inspired by a unique vision of the divine and has a distinct cultural identity. At the same time, each perceives the divine as the source of unity and peace. The challenge is to preserve their religious and cultural uniqueness without letting it operate as a cause of narrow and divisiveness sectarianism that contradicts the vision of divine unity and peace...Insofar as the world's religions are faithful to their purist visions of divine harmony and take to heart the ecological idea of global interdependence, they will be able to help the human race at this critical moment in the evolution of its consciousness."-(Steven C. Rockefeller; Spirit and Nature)

In Your Service,

 

The Witches' Voice Inc.
Monday, April 16th., 2001






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