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










Weekly Update: 5/7/2001

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: May 7th. 2001
Times Viewed: 5,740

Staying Gold...

Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans,

"Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold." were the final words that Johnny, one of the main characters in S.E. Hinton's classic book The Outsiders, speaks to his best friend, Ponyboy. Johnny and Ponyboy were both born and raised in a social class known as 'the greasers' - a fact that was expected to both seal their fates and rule their futures. Yet within each of these young men was another person-a real person-who did not fit the stereotype of who the world thought that they were. Ponyboy loved reading and sunsets. Johnny had the heart of a hero and the soul of a poet. It is only through the often brutal and ultimately tragic events that unfold in the story that the reader comes to see the 'real' person beneath the tough exteriors forged by the boys' surroundings. (No matter what your age, if you have never read, "The Outsiders' before, pick up a copy.)

The struggle to be 'who we really are' is never an easy one. Circumstances, financial status, family dynamics and peer pressures may all gang up on the individual in an effort to mold and shape the personality into this thing or that thing. An artist brought up in a family of lawyers or doctors will have just as much of struggle to remain true to his/her personal Muse as would a disadvantaged child trying to rise about the squalor and lethargy that stares him/her in the face each and every day. Authenticity comes with a price - a price which one must be willing to pay. But the rewards that come from living a life in authentic awareness are beyond measure.

Regular readers know that Wren is an avid fan of the varied works of Abraham Harold Maslow. Maslow's theories of 'self-actualization' continue to have relevance-perhaps even increasing relevance-today. In 'Future Visions', Maslow writes:
"How much of your dignity and pride depend on concealment and secrecy? How would you feel if people could always read your mind and know what you were thinking all the time? Or, if they could physically see you at all times-naked, without privacy or concealment, in all your private and secret activities? The dignity and pride that would then remain are your only REAL dignity and pride.

In order to regain authentic dignity and pride, try not concealing, not relying on external signs of validation (uniforms, medals, a cap and gown, labels, social roles). Show yourself as ultimately naked and self-revealing. Show your secret scars, shames, and guilts. Do not let anyone force roles on you. That is, do not act the way that other people think that a doctor, minister, or teacher SHOULD act if it is not natural for you. Do not conceal your ignorance. Admit it."

Maslow's self-actualizers (which are found in large numbers within the Pagan communities) are willing to do the work that it takes to be 'real'. So if you don't happen to like -or pay the outrageous sums for- 'ren' clothes (which are sure to be back 'in' as soon as 'The Mists of Avalon' airs), wear your jeans if that is what you are comfortable in. If you would rather take some time to celebrate the Holidays alone, do so. Decline social invitations that are no longer meaningful to your life and spend the time doing something that is. But becoming self-actualizing or authentic is not just about saying 'no' to those things in your life that no longer work for you. It is also about learning to say 'yes' to the things that will.

Say 'yes' to calling in a quarter at the next ritual even if you are very, very nervous about it. Say 'yes' to reading new materials or alternative viewpoints. Say 'yes' to writing that article or essay and dare to put yourself -your real self- out there for the world to see and enjoy. Say 'yes' to something that stretches your imagination, expands your boundaries or makes you reach just a little further than you ever have reached before. The gift of the 'real' you is a gift that only you can give.

Maslow continues:" One might say that 'the individual does not have to be victorious to be accepted by the gods'. This statement makes the point very well about psychological success. It also intimates that there isn't a single monolithic hierarchy of success or failure in life, but that many hierarchies exist. Perhaps ultimately each human being is a hierarchy unto him or herself, because in the final analysis, one's task is to be oneself well."

Stay gold!

Photo credit: This beautiful altar shot came in just this morning from Lady Heather (web: countrycauldron.com/) from Lady Lake, Florida (USA)... "Here is a picture of my daily altar. I mainly use it for morning and evening devotions. It is proudly displayed in the heart of my home, the living room. I hope you include it in the wonderful pictures you place on your home page". Thanks Lady Heather for this inspirational image!


Teenage
Pagans

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May 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.

  • Are The Gods Real? (May 2001) Are The Gods Real? There's some interesting speculation in this group of essays; some believe firmly that the gods have an objective reality, others, that they are energies within us. Check them out here: Page 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

  • How Do I Tell My Parents?(May 2001) There's plenty of good—and funny—advice in these essays; for instance, the suggestion that someone with very conservative parents start slowly and... "Don't make any sudden movements. Like nervous animals, parents may bite." Hmmm... maybe you could get your parents to read these essays, too! Read these essays here: Page 1 - 2 - 3
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.

Gathering Stone Fight Rages On...
The latest news from Stuart Wilson

The electricscotland.com sez: "There has been a storm of protest about the decision of Stirling University to start construction work on a historic battle site hailed as the birthplace of the Scottish nation".

"The site is on the Airthrey estate where King Kenneth McAlpine defeated the Picts to create a unified Scotland in 834 AD; Historic Scotland thought the land was safe after they intervened to protect a 10 ft standing stone to commemorate the event. Stirling University stuck rigidly to regulations saying they could not disturb the ground within 15 metres of the stone, but are bulldozing all round it to create rugby pitches for the students".

"Despite pleas from historical groups and a campaign by George Reid, SNP MSP, and Deputy Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, the University is going ahead. When George visited the site last weekend, he said "Scotland's battlefields are a part of our heritage; I have already gone to the highest levels on this matter, but now we have to see what can be done in terms of preserving this battlefield to the best of our abilities. My main concern now is to see it treated as tastefully as possible within the environment". -- (Full article and powerful shots of the protest!)

To sign the Petition (and for the latest news): Visit the Gathering Stone Website.

Wren's Nest: 3,000 Posts and beyond...

Last week Wren posted post her 3,000th news clip thank You Wren, thank you from us all.

Highlights from the past 4 days include: Ralph Reed Wins Georgia GOP Post - Can't Get a Straight Answer On Faith-Based Money For Wiccans - Reclusive Kogi Tribesmen Leave Mountains To Speak For Mother Earth - The Hate Crime Bill In Texas Draws Supporters and Critics - HATE BILL STIRS EMOTIONS - Hiring Practices For Faith-Based Groups Receiving Federal Funds Endangers Bush's Initiative - They Got Us 'Right' Where They Want Us - Man Who Shot Five Wild Horses Last Year Charged - US Voted Out Of UN Human Rights Commission - Censorship Threatens Spirit of Ancient Alexandrina Library As Modern Centre Opens - Avatar Search Announces New Services, Programs.

Wren spends a great deal of time researching current news events that may be of interest or concern to Witches, Wiccans and Pagans. This page is a convenient way for the Witches' Voice to keep you updated on the latest news, commentaries and issues that affect our community.

If it relates to the NeoPagan community, chances are... You'll find it at Wren's Nest on the Web. If you are aware of a craft-related news clip, feel free to email Wren

  Updated Every day... Updates on Wren's Nest happen every day and in most cases several times a day.

Paul Tuitain Passes Over
by Jeannine Palardy (GeeCam43@hotmail.com)

On April 26th, 2001 my dear friend and soul brother Paul Tuitain passed into the arms of the Goddess in his sleep... He had been ill for many years with asthma and the related effects of the medications he had to take... My heart is so heavy I am very compelled to write about this wonderful pagan, priest and friend.

We met at the Pagan Spirit Gathering many years ago... When the Pagan movement was just gaining momentum... The ideas of big gatherings and Festivals was new... Paul and I were a part of the settling and growing of Circle and it is this relationship and our very personal friendship i remember the most... We would be up at all the fests late into the night, Him on security and I doing the Med tent... He kept me awake with his laughter, his stories and his deep insight into human emotion... We would stroll under the moonlight as he did his guard rounds arm in arm laughing and sometimes singing... We had our share of crisises but we handled them with a lot of help from everyone in the Circle family... And we survived... During the darkest days of my life he was there... At the end of the phone line, listening a shoulder when love eluded me once again he gave me hugs and told me over and over... "I know you can do it Lyra... I KNOW you can" (click HERE for more on Paul's Life and gift to us all)

Notes from a WebCrafter
Neo-Pagan Trivia, Rock Stars and Factoids!

Greetings to all,

Guilty pleasures is the premise of our Question of the Week and Goddess knows we all have them. I just love hearing the countless interesting stories from our community. What I enjoy most about attending festivals IS those 'round the fire chats. This is always an opportunity to learn about those dirty little secrets, trivia as well as other "Wow That's cool... I didn't know that" stories.

This past week, during one of our daily "porch chats", Wren and I realized that we are aware of numerous stories of interest about many in our community and as we were reminiscing, we decided that perhaps we should share some of them here.

Neo-Pagan Trivia: Starting this week I plan on sharing some of the countless stories and bits of trivia that have we have heard over the years as well as famous contacts/quotes, surprises, and some unknown Neo-Pagan history.

Janet Farrar... Even cooler than you may have thought!
One of my "really? how cool!" moments was when Wren and I spent an intimate Samhain in 1997, away from the public, with Janet Farrar and Gavin Bone. I had met Janet a few times over the years but had never spent some "quality time" with her. Janet has always impressed me with her frankness and honesty and that night I learned something quite fascinating about the young Janet Farrar of the 60's. Apparently she spent some time working for Dick James Music in London, England (in the days when Elton John and Bernie Taupin were staff songwriters). She had recently met Stewart and one day he rang her up at DJM to invite her to experience a night with some "Witches". According to Janet, Bernie Taupin had over-heard some of the conversation and "warned" Janet that perhaps going to this Witches Circle was a bad idea. Janet, of course, was intrigued with both Stewart and this invitation, she did decide to go and the rest is Neo-WitchCraft history.

As a fan/aficionado of 60's and 70's British Pop, I had a captivating conversation with Janet that night and it was one I'll always remember. No one tells a story better than Janet does! Thank you Janet for everything you've done for us all.

Pagan Factoids: I'll bet you didn't know that Ray Buckland likes to spend his spare time actually building planes and cars (Web Page) AND is a freak for Dixieland Jazz and Ragtime music (as well as a player)... Salem Elder Gypsy Ravish (White light Pentacles, Nu Aeon, Temple of Nine Wells - ATC, and the classic Witch CD "The Enchantress"), in the 70's was briefly married to pop singer Bobby Hebb. The same guy who had a big hit with a tune called "Sonny" (thank you for the sunshine on my face).

If you have a piece of interesting "way cool" trivia (that you can personally attest to) about a famous Witch, Wiccan or Pagan feel free to email it to us.

In other WitchVox related news this week...
  • Two New Categories added to VoxLinks: Eight days ago we broke out "Pagan Online Auctions" as a new category in our "Vox Links Pagan Search Engine". This past week we broke out two more... Pagan Art/Artists and Pagan Photography as well (Both were previously part of our Pagan Graphics category). Look for even more new categories in the weeks to come. To experience the magick and diversity of the amazing Pagan community online... visit VoxLinks Pagan Search today

  • Beltane at Boyd Hill May 4th: Yesterday, Wren and I had the honor of briefly attending the Florida Pagan Gathering in St. Pete, Florida. Sadly time didn't allow for us to "hang" (we had our own Beltane ritual to get to) but we did do a workshop and grabbed as many hugs as we could (hey Roger, quit being taller than me!). A short review of FPG Beltane, based on our short visit, is that it appeared to be a wonderful event, attended by hundreds with a spirit that was inspiring. We take this time and this space to thank the FPG staff for this 'get-a-way' and the inspiring morning in a beautiful location.

As always, YOUR suggestions are welcome, in fact this site has evolved FROM YOUR suggestions. Have a magickal week everyone!

In Your Service,


Fritz Jung (WebCrafter - Witchvox)
Monday, May 7th. 2001



Mid-Atlantic Pagan Alliance's Beltane 2001
April 26-29, 2001 (Lebanon State Forest, New Jersey, USA )

Review by Steven Repko Fab Fotos by Bonnie Repko

This week are honored to share a wonderful review of last weeks MAPA's Beltane Festival. Here is the teaser...

As motorists tour past the junction of Route 70 and 72 in New Jersey they are treated to a beautiful array of natural sights. Among the lust green pines of Lebanon State Forest you can observe cardinals nesting, the playful courtship of squirrels leaping from branch to branch and even more illusive; the red and white ribbons of a May pole.

Spring is here; It's the Mid-Atlantic Pagan Alliance's Beltane 2001, the pagan festival with a sense of humor. This playful array of comedy outlandish outfits and workshops is a welcome blessing after an unusually long winter season in the Northeast.

Traveling the twisting road that led to the site was a scene out of a haunted house ride, signs that read "Almost There" and "Don't Worry", I was half expecting to see the one that read "Haunted Forest KEEP OUT" at any moment...

(For the full review: Click HERE)



WitchVox Networking = 112,000 listings? NOT!

Anyone can build a large list on the net, the real challenge is to keep it clean and more importantly... useful. Here at TWV, we take this concept quite seriously. In, fact *if* we had never chosen to clean up our networking pages we would be offering you over 100,000 contacts/links. Trouble is (that after 4 years) greater than 65% of the listings would render "undeliverable email" and "404 site not found". What we have learned over the past four years (by doing complete email verifications of our listings) is that, in a THREE moon period of time, 12% of our listings are broken/history.

This past week we emailed out 7,000 requests for validation of our Events, Groups and Website listings. What we do is test the email, remind folks of what they have listed, offer them the option for removal and point them back to the forms if they need to modify their listings. This process not only cleans out the broken listings but also inspires many to update their listings. Here are the results...
  • Covens and Groups: Lots of modifications and updates for these local pages... Prior to the verification process, we had 2, 200 listings... After the process, we removed about 150 for bad email addys and another 60 via removal requests (Groups that never took off or that have disbanded)

  • Ongoing Events: At any given moment Witchvox features over 700 active Circles, Workshops and various local events. We developed a process years ago to automatically expire (from your view) dated events, the day after they happen. What we test is the ongoing events (monthly circles etc) to see that they still ARE happening. About 2/3rds of the listings are for ongoing events. This time we saw a much lower number in the request for removals (about 40), indicating that many of these ongoing events ARE sticking and becoming a tradition in many areas. ... Interesting!

  • Vox Links Pagan Search Engine: Until a year ago, I had a routine that simply "pinged" the URLs in our vast link section and removed the Pagan websites that rendered "404 ... site not found" results to our database program. We did this monthly and it was a breeze. What I found out is that sites like Geocites and the like DO NOT return 404's to our database, but simply display a real page with their promotion and advertising noting that the page you are seeking is history. Hence, many sites that seemed OK, via a server test, were gone. In May of 2,000 I decided to test the links via email verification and found out that 600 of our links were dead. For this reason we ONLY use email verify to test the listings. This past weeks results rendered 250 bad emails and 60 requests for removal.

NOTE: This coming week we will test 29, 111 personal Adult, Teen and Military listings. Any "user unknown" or "mail box full/over quota" responses we be promptly removed from the listings.

Here at TWV it has never been our desire to have large listings but to have USEFUL listings. Apparently many of you know this and the result is that Witchvox offers world contact listings that are both accurate and massive in count. It is our belief that this is one of the many reasons FOR the popularity of Witches of the World. You have built something amazing, we are honored to pull the weeds and trim the shrubs.

Pagan Perspectives
WitchVox Question of the Week!

Last week, we asked...

Who Are Your Gods? - They are as personal as the Pagans that revere Them. For some, there are the very individual Gods/Goddesses whom are called by Their Names. For others with a bent towards the Eastern religious philosophies, they are the Tao, the Infinite One or the Divine Self who resides in us all. Whoever They may be to you, the relationship has changed-and will continue to change-your lives, energized your thoughts and enriched your spirits. View the Responses.

This week, after the often deep emotions that the Beltane/Samhain season can evoke, we turn to some light-hearted 'therapy' and ask the question:

What is Your Guilty Little Secret? -'Fess Up! What are you hiding? Do you watch 'Survivor'? Do you even watch reruns of the ORIGINAL 'Survivor'? Still have your Barbie dolls-and still change their outfits once in a while? Collect stamps? Think David Cassidy of The Partridge Family is still the babe of the century? Tell everyone that you 'never really watch television', but you're really clocking in some impressive miles with the remote control every week? Hate Celtic music (gasp!) Have a crush on someone? Don't recycle your plastics? This is your chance to come clean and tell all. (In the interest of fair disclosure: Fritz has the DNA of a sugar ant. He has to have his bowl of ice cream with a chocolate chip cookie chaser every night and he only eats a vegetable about three times a year-and then only if it can be dipped in melted butter. Wren liked Duran Duran before it was cool to like Duran Duran. Of course, it has NEVER been cool to like Duran Duran, so this is a really brave confession on her part. There goes another carefully crafted reputation down the sacred well....) - Post YOUR Opinion or view the Responses of others.

In Closing...

"Family values is about lending a helping hand, not a swinging foot, to those who are down.. It is about security. It is about hope. And yes, it does involve preaching about morals. But we've had more than enough religion of division. Let's tone down on the fire and brimstone and pump up the compassion and support. Again, there is a positive way to do this. We should have figured that out long ago."-(James Carville; We're Right, They're Wrong).

In Your Service,

 

The Witches' Voice Inc.
Monday, May 7th., 2001






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