Weekly Update: 5/14/2001|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: May 14th. 2001
Times Viewed: 5,424
|The Love of Ordinary Things...|
Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans,
As Wren sipped her coffee and watched the early morning feeding frenzy taking place under the willow tree, she noticed how much the 'clientele' had changed over the last three years. Where the patrons to 'Wren's Delicatessen' were once just four squirrels and a couple of blue jays, there now was a motley and oftentimes unruly crowd elbowing (do birds even have elbows?) each other out of the way. While we still have squirrels (about 11 of them) and blue jays (6 or so) the main bird sect frequenting the joint these days are-and at last count there are 52 of them- the pigeons. Ordinary gray pigeons. Cooing in the gutters - outside our bedroom window - all day and at all hours of the night pigeons. 'Columba livia' - and a few 'Zenaidi macroura' (Mourning doves. They are technically pigeons too. Only prettier.)- which the book says are Rock Doves. They're Pigeons. And sipping from her coffee mug, looking down upon that sea of cooing and very ordinary birds, Wren just couldn't be more content.
Living in another house, in another time, in another city (and married to another man), Wren recalls another neighbor. This woman had a contraption in her back yard that would make most of today's maximum-security prisons look like a have-a-heart raccoon trap. It was a bird feeder. It was a bird feeder designed for attracting just the 'right' kind of birds if you get what Wren means. There were funnels on the pole. There was a trick door that slammed shut when a bird of too much heft or a marauding squirrel landed upon it. There were shiny whirl-a-jiggy things and some other stuff that Wren never could figure out the purpose of. And, of course, the thing just never seemed to work right.
Wren could tell that the thing never really did what it was supposed to do from the expression on her neighbor's face. The neighbor would come rushing out into her yard waving her arms at the squirrels that were thumbing one paw at the trick door while stuffing sunflower seeds between their smirking lips with the other. And there were pigeons. Lots and lots of pigeons. The neighbor was not happy. And sure enough, she'd soon be spied out in her yard opening up new boxes of what looked like trash can covers and even bigger funnels and is-that-a-rubber snake? Up they'd go. Wiping her hands and taking the boxes to the curb, Wren could almost hear her saying, "Well, THAT should take care of THAT!" Surely now she was prepared to receive only the 'right' kind of birds. And, of course, as we all learned from the movie, Jurassic Park, 'Life will find a way'-and they did. Wren doesn't know if the neighbor ever got enough of the 'right' kind of birds to offset all of that pent up frustration or the 'guaranteed to work' mail order catalog expenses. Judging from the scowl that the neighbor always had on her face, Wren doesn't think so. And that neighbor probably isn't the only person who has gotten so caught up in looking for the 'special' that she has forgotten how to love the ordinary.
When you think about it, it is mostly the ordinary things in life that really make us happy anyway. The sound of the doorknob turning that signals your loved one has returned home safely. The "Oh, baby! THAT sure smells good!' remark heard as he/she/they come wandering into the kitchen. The vibrating love purr of that fat cat on your lap (who is happily shedding fur into your computer mouse and you don't even care) or settling in with a big bowl of popcorn (or other salty snack treat of choice) for the resolution to that darned last season 'cliff-hanger' episode of Buffy that you have waited three months to see (And taking the phone off of the hook. And not feeling guilty about it.) are some of the ordinary things that make life so wonderful. And they happen every day. Not just once in a special while. Not just once in a not-often-enough while, here and there, hit or miss-- or just with certain 'special' people, events, lottery-ticket-dreams or Nobel Prize awards. Every day, these very ordinary things, people and events happen in our lives. And when we come to love the ordinary in the everyday, we truly can always find something to be happy about IN every day.
Wren likes ordinary things because they are the things that happen the most often. So most often, it is the ordinary things that she ends up writing about here. It's not that she doesn't also enjoy a snooty-written-for-academia thing now and again. She certainly does. It's just that she doesn't find as many snooty-writers-for-academia rooting around for safflower seeds under the willow tree as she does pigeons. Material is material. Writers are always looking for material to write about and those ordinary things are just so convenient in that way. They are everywhere and if we take the time to discover the beauty in them, we'll never run out of things to write about, think about or be happy about. Make no mistake; Wren is not about to turn down that million-dollar lottery check when it comes. But she's not about to forget to welcome all of the ordinary pigeons into her life either.
And when you add up all of the wonderfully quirky, mind expanding, material provoking, coffee-sipping moments in your very ordinary days- you may discover that something really 'special' visited the 'life-feeder' in your own back yard as well. Whatever it is, feed it.
Photo credits: The beautiful altar shot to your upper right came in this past week from Wander Moon Shadow (email: email@example.com) and is a powerful image taken at their Beltane event in the Ocala/Silver Springs area of Florida (USA). "I am sending these pictures for your consideration for your site. I took them during our small group's Beltane 2001 Ritual. The candle light shot is our favorite, it shows our feast and offering" -- Thanks Wander Moon Shadow for this inspirational image! - Fritz & Wren
Oodles of Beltane Photos: This past week we received a few dozen photos from Beltane celebrations all over the northern hemisphere. Sadly there are just too many to feature, but we will either hold them for next year or try to sneak a few in over the next couple of weeks. We take this opportunity to hank those of you that cared enough to send them over.
| 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.
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.
- 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 goodand funnyadvice 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
Next Week at WitchVox... May Adult Pagan Essays will be presented
| Carol Martin McIntosh Taken Quickly - Community Stunned!|
info via emails from Michelle Mullin & Peggy Olson
"Hello, I am Michelle Mullin, I wrote the initial information about the Next Millennium Bookstore here in Omaha. Unfortunately, I am now asked to write an obituary."
"Carol McIntosh, store manager of the Next Millennium Bookstore in Omaha, NE - and a beloved friend to many in the metaphysical community - was found murdered last Tuesday, May 8th. Her husband has confessed and is currently in police custody. She is survived by three beautiful daughters - and countless friends".
"A scholarship fund is being established in her memory!. If you are interested in contributing - please contact the Next Millennium Bookstore at (402) 393-1121. I will update when I have more information". - Michelle Mullin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"We here in the Omaha area sustained a serious blow this week. The manager of The Next Millennium and a good friend of many and mine was found murdered Tuesday night. Her husband is charged with the crime. Carol walked a tough path while here, but always had a smile and a cheery "Hi Lady!" when I saw her or talked to her on the phone. She had a ready smile for everyone". - Mada Rua (Peggy email@example.com)
The Witches' Voice offers our sincerest regrets to the family and friends of Carol Martin McIntosh and offer this website to any future communication that may be appropriate.
| NEW this Week!|
Cats of WitchCraft - Page 23 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 8 Cats pages. Thank YOU Daven for treating us all with the latest... To gush over this new batch of cuties Click HERE.
| Gender Resources (New Article in our Gay/Trans Pagan section)|
by nexy jo
"I am an enigma to most people, and even to myself at times. I am Wiccan, having been studying and practicing the religion for over two years, and I am also transgendered. I was born with a relatively normal male body, though in my mind, for as long as I can remember, I never felt quite comfortable in that social role, so my gender is often seen as female. I'm currently on hormone replacement therapy (HRT), which means I take a combination of drugs which block my body's production of testosterone, the hormone that makes one's body exhibit typical male attributes, along with estrogen, the hormone that makes one's body exhibit typical female attributes. I am in what's commonly referred to as "transition" -- changing my gender from male to female. Interestingly enough, I also consider myself to be in spiritual "transition", moving from my roots in Judaism, through no religious affiliations, to Wiccan -- though it's my own personal interpretation of Wicca. I am quite eclectic." -- Click HERE for the rest of this piece.
| Notes from a WebCrafter|
WOTW Clean Up Complete, Announcements, FREE Pagan Mp3 Tune, Sugar Ants and Rock Stars!
Greetings to all,
Revealing Your Guilty pleasures was last weeks Question of the Week here at TWV and the responses were most wonderful. It turns out Wren is NOT alone with her love for Duran Duran (rumor has it, the original line up may be reforming). Many Rock stars were mentioned and countless confessions came forth. With 4,000 plus page views it appears that this was our hottest question of the week to date.
Wren's comment about my having the "DNA of a Sugar Ant" was a bit odd and really didn't tell the whole story. What she neglected to mention is that I actually do feed the sugar ants outside at my day job. I have learned that by placing a daily offering of a "Reese's PB Cup" (or other sugar treats), to the side of their empire, I can quickly become "one of them" and respected in their community. I look at it this way; they DO out number us (humans) by thousands to one and *if/when* they ever DO take control, and force us to toil in their underground "sugar farms"... I want them to remember their "Unky Fritz".
Speaking of Pagans and Rock Stars: To your right, is a photo I took at the "Mountain Park Ballroom" in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1968. I had the pleasure of meeting this talented guitarist twice that summer, had a few brief/inspiring chats and got a couple of autographs... At the time of this photo he was filling in as "lead guitarist" for a famous British band. He had mentioned to me that he met a singer and was planning on starting a new band after the tour. Since this photo was taken in 1968, it's fun to note the "Indian garb" inspired by the Beatles that he is wearing. This talented songwriter/guitarist went on to become very famous, dabbled in the Occult and actually purchased a castle fromerly owned by Aleister Crowley. Can YOU name this famous Rock Musician?
In other WitchVox related news this week...
As always, YOUR suggestions and thoughts are welcome, in fact this site has evolved FROM YOUR suggestions. Have a magickal week everyone!
- 29, 147 Pagan Contacts Verified: This past Thursday and Friday we sent out email verification on all personal listings at the "Witches of the World" networking section here at TWV. We do this "cleansing ritual" every three moons. The results, this time, were typical: 29, 147 listings tested, 1, 826 came back as "user unknown/mail box full" and were removed, AND 291 of you requested that your listing be removed for various reasons. After 4 years of tweaking and fine-tuning this verification process, this clean up was the smoothest ever. 8 days ago we tested and cleaned up all of our Groups, Events, Links and Shops listings, rendering WOTW, not only the largest Pagan listing in the World but also the cleanest.
- Healing Requests, Initiations, Births, Deaths, Handfastings, Rides to festivals, Pets looking for homes, Pagan related calls to action etc. etc. Last month we launched a new module in our WOTW networking section to celebrate the afore mentioned announcements. If you have a proclamation or announcement of the afore mentioned kind, feel free to list it via our "Pagan Announcements Form". Your "notice" will be noted both on the announcements page for your area AND on your AREA HOME PAGE. Note: we are also considing doing a "national announcements" page for matters of a more global nature. Look for this soon.
- WitchVox Page Views - For the Record: We have had a surprising number of emails of late making us aware that the "page counters" on our pages are working/advancing. In fact we haven't had "dynamic" counters since 97. What we do is pull the daily traffic reports from Witchvox.net daily and populate our local databases (we've done this since day one) and paste in the "grand total" daily on our front door page (http://www.witchvox.com). Pages viewed noted on our .com domain are updated every few weeks. Our networking domain, witchvox.net which houses Wren's Nest, VoxLinks Pagan Search, Pagan perspectives and ALL of our networking pages is a semi dynamic situation. We grab the traffic stats for this section every week or so and populate our local databases with feed the lookups for those pages. When we grab the .net stats you WILL see a huge jump in our overall total on the Witchvox splash page (usually adding 200,000 or so to the total)... For those of you that are interested in additional details related to this unique and accurate approach feel free to send any of your questions to Fritz.
- Free Tune for May 2001: This week I offer, yet another tune to our free mp3 give-a-way of music from the Celtic Feast of the Dead Sessions. "CandleWick" is as about as strait forward as a Pagan Pop tune can get. To me it was a throw-a-way, yet to many it was a fave (who knew?). I dedicate this tune and the magick therein to the good Rev. Gypsy Ravish of Salem, Mass. for her support and inspiration during this project. Thank YOU Gypsy!
In Your Service,
Fritz Jung (WebCrafter - Witchvox)
Monday, May 14th. 2001
| Wendy Rule Adds New Mexico Gig to Rare Tour|
This week we learned (by seeing an event come through) that Fame Pagan Musician Wendy Rule would be doing a gig in New Mexico as part of her brief US tour (check the NM events page for details)... Two weeks ago we reported the following...
Incredible news for Florida Pagans (as well as Massachusetts, California & parts of Europe)... Famous Pagan Musician Wendy Rule will be doing a brief tour in May and June. Look for more info here at TWV on Wendy's tour in the weeks to come, but until then know what we know about an opportunity to experience her magick in a rare performance in Orlando, Florida! The Price? A measly 6 bucks (True! just 6 bucks!), we quote from our Florida Events page...
"Earth Tones Studios Artist Series presents Wendy Rule LIVE in Orlando, FL. Saturday June 2nd, 2001 at 3pm. The Australian Pagan Diva herself will be giving a small intimate concert in Orlando Florida at the SAKS Comedy Theater, 380 West Amelia St. For a map go to: http://www.sak.com/map.htm Only 198 seats available! Tickets are available only through Earth Tones Studios. Order your ticket now to reserve your seat!"
Visit the paganmusic.com for more info... For the latest info on Wendy Rule visit her powerful website apply titled www.wendyrule.com.
| Neo-Pagan Trivia...|
This past week, we received several emails offering kudos for our embracing the concept of Pagan Trivia. Our world societies are captivated with fame and stories of brushes with famous people are everywhere. I have been blessed to meet many famous folks in my life and I believe that I am less impressed by their fame than I am by their actual success stories. I love the biography channel and VH1's "Behind the Music". In fact, it doesn't matter to me whether I like the artist or not, I just love the stories.
Wren "Dates" AND "Has words" with Babylon 5 Cast: Last week we launched Pagan Trivia here at TWV and to my surprise, Wren herself was involved with a few members of Babylon 5 during her college years. Here is what she had to share...
"While attending the University of New Hampshire, Wren exchanged some rather nasty words with a guy in the theater arts department. It was over something really stupid, but they never spoke to each other again. That guy was Peter Jurasik who went on to play Ambassador Londo Mollari in the hit series, "Babylon 5". (Wren: Sorry, Peter. You were right.) Ed Trotta, the theater arts major that Wren was dating at the time guest starred on B5 as Lt. General O'Reilly in the episode, 'Point of No Return.' (Wren: Nice to see that Ed and Peter remained friends anyway.)" - Wren
Robert Moog - Pagan Autograph: I met Bob Moog (creator of the Moog Synthesizer) at a music trade show 4 years ago. He was a wonderful and "grandfatherly" kind a guy. Knowing that my good friend and Salem Witch brother Michael Pendragon (web) was a big fan, I just had to get an autograph. I hunted Bob down the following day and made my request. He asked me who I wanted it made out to, and I made a very specific request, to which he cheerfully complied... He signed it "To Michael, Blessed Be, Bob Moog". When I gave the autograph to Michael... he was "blown away". - Fritz
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.
- Donald Michael Kraig: Did you know that famous Pagan Author Donald Michael Kraig is not only a big fan of 70's Keyboard Rock but also a skilled player of the same? I have had several chats with Donald about this over the years and we have shared many stories. Donald was a big Moog Fan and I believe actually owned an ARP 2600 as well. I like DMK and wish we could hang out more often.
- Mike Nichols: Many of you know Mike Nichols (who will be appearing at Heartland this year) for his quintessential site The Witches' Sabbats, and as a true Craft elder. What few folks know is that Mike is also THE MAN on both, 60's obscure POP music AND the many relations it has to Witchcraft. If you ever wonder who did what related to US/British POP culture and Witchcraft, he is the one you ask, in fact if you get a chance to experience is workshop on this subject don't pass it up.
| Pagan Perspectives|
WitchVox Question of the Week!
Last week, we asked...
What is Your Guilty Little Secret? - Feel better now that you got THAT off your chest? It was even kinda fun. Being 'real' can be a whole lot of fun if we dare to be open and honest about who we are. Wren was happy to see some other 'Duran Duran' fans out there. (She definitely feels better having 'fessed up and all.) Now the weird thing is that a few days after this question was posted, Wren found an article reporting that (drum roll!) the original band members of 'Duran Duran' are getting back together for a twentieth anniversary tour! Magick? Well, Wren's not 'fessing up to that one! View the Responses.
This week, we ask the question:
What Makes You So Special? What do you think is special about you? We generally aren't conditioned to believe that it is okay to think well of ourselves. But the point could be made that if we can't see what is 'special' about ourselves then we are constantly at the mercy of other people's opinions. We all know that compliments come and compliments go. So do criticisms. Claiming your own specialness allows you to keep your equilibrium through both the good and bad reviews of your life, behavior, work, religion or whatever anyone else feels free to comment upon.
Do the people in your life see your specialness? Have you dared to be open enough to show them? Ask a friend or acquaintance what they think is 'special' about you. Did you both come up with the same answers? And if you have always wanted to tell someone else what you think is special about him or her, here's your chance to do it! - Post YOUR Opinion or view the Responses of others.
| In Closing... |
"In order to seek values, Man must consider himself worthy of enjoying them. In order to fight for his happiness, he must consider himself worthy of happiness."-(Nathaniel Branden; The Psychology of Self-Esteem).
In Your Service,
The Witches' Voice Inc.
Monday, May 14th., 2001
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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