Weekly Update: 5/21/2001|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: May 21st. 2001
Times Viewed: 6,191
|Life With Mikey...|
Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans,
On the third day of trying to introduce the little pond bluegills to the floating fish food pellets, a little spell seemed to be in order. Previously, Wren was simply tossing the bread for the seagulls over the water and the gulls and terns were happily swooping and diving down to scoff up their tidbits. But do you know what is faster than a diving gull? Hundreds of hungry little pond bluegill fishies, that's what. Within a very short time, the fishies learned where the morning meal could be found and the seagulls just couldn't keep up with them. So, Wren invested in some special designed-for-pond-fishies-food. Trouble was, the pond-fishies didn't know what the heck that stuff was and wouldn't touch it. So Wren -being a simple Witch- went for the simple spell: "Hey, Fishies! Let's get Mikey!"
Most people will recognize "Mikey" as that chubby-faced little skeptic on the 'Life' cereal commercial who- in the words of his two older siblings- 'hates everything'. Filmed in 1972 and still one of the most popular commercials of all time, "a recent survey showed that 70 percent of adults could identify with the Life Cereal ad from just a brief description". So Wren figured that if she could just win over the fish-Mikey, the rest would follow. And sure enough, there was indeed a Mikey-fish in there who-while he probably was well-known for remaining a bit stand-offish about new things floating on the little pond- nibbled a bit of special designed-for-pond-fishies-food and then began to gobble it down. 'Hey! He likes it!" went all the other little pond-fishies and Wren's problem was solved.
You may not have a Mikey-fish in your own little pond, but you probably DO have a Mikey in your family, in your circle of friends, in your life somewhere. The Mikeys of the world are the ones who seem to have been born with their arms folded in the crossed position. They are the people in your life who when you tell them that you are embracing Paganism adopt that 'wait-and-see' attitude about how THAT will all turn out. If you don't grow horns; if your eyes don't blaze with red fire; if you don't start spontaneously chanting in Enochian (unless you happen to be fluent in Enochian and actually know what you're chanting about) and if you don't go completely mad, they may- MAY- come to accept your choice over time. But living with a Mikey in the meantime has its challenges.
Mikeys can be a good thing. A little healthy skepticism can keep one from going so far off the wall that one ends up being of no practical use to anyone-including oneself. Taking another look at our chubby little cereal Mikey, we can see that he has obviously been munching on something before the bowl of Life was pushed in his direction. Maybe he sneaks down to the fridge at night and gorges on asparagus. So he really doesn't hate EVERYTHING. And most skeptics don't disbelief everything about you and your religious preferences either. They are just reluctant to fully embrace the 'new you' until they are ready.
Mikeys can however be more than merely skeptical; they can be dogmatic. You'll probably run up against one or two of those in your Pagan travels as well. They resist anything new being added to Paganism. They not only resist changes, they ridicule and abuse those who are willing to see/try things in ways different from their 'one true' way. For whatever reason-whether it be the fear of trying something new on one's own or the sheer overpowering personality of some of these folks- people do tend to look to the Mikeys of the world for--what? Approval? Permission? Validation? Like the cereal Mikey's brothers, if your Pagan Mikey 'likes it', it must be okay. Well, maybe it is and maybe it isn't, but shouldn't that be YOUR choice to make?
Waiting for the skeptical Mikey's to come around or for the dogmatic Mikey's to approve of your choices means that you will probably do a lot of hungry sitting in front of a bowl full of something that you are not quite sure of. Why not just pick up that spoon and give it a taste? You may like it-and you may not. But it is you who must decide that for yourself. Dare to try something new even if no one else that you know has ever tried it before. Dare to embrace change that is, after all, an integral essence of Nature Herself. Take a chance and pick up that spoon and dig in.
And so when your personal skeptical Mikey or your Pagan dogmatic Mikey sees you so obviously happy and well-fed and thriving on your new diet, what can they possibly end up saying but, "He/She likes it! Hey, Mikey!" Perhaps it is no coincidence that both the cereal and that ever-changing, ever-experimenting ability to birth new ways of being are both called 'Life'... Try It!
The Witches' Voice Inc.
Luna Photo: was taken a few weeks back at Beltane 2001 at Cauldron Farm by Iarwain -- (email: firstname.lastname@example.org). Do check out the numerous photos from this celebration at http://iarwain.mortis.org/beltane2001/ ... Thanks Iarwain for this inspirational image! - Fritz & Wren
|May Adult Pagan Essays Now UP!|
New this week...
Are The Gods Real? This question clearly hit a nerve, bringing us a dozen varied and interesting responses. Read them here: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12
The Seminal Books of Paganism and Wicca: Get ready to break your book budget....these reviews of the key books in Paganism will probably send you scurrying to the bookstore to fill the holes in your library. In one of the essays (#4) Trish Telesco has given us a Pagan author's view of the current state of Pagan writing, and reminds us that authors and publishers listen to us; our voicesand our pocketbookscount. With that in mind, when you make that trip to the bookstore, please patronize your local Pagan-owned store! Read the essays here: Page 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
NOTE: Do You have suggestions for Adult/Teen Essay topics? If so Email them to: Diotima
| May Teenage Pagan Essays!|
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
| PRESS RELEASE 5/14/2001:|
Emerald Rose Recording New CD, Releases New MP3
Magickal folk-rockers Emerald Rose have begun work on their next CD. The Pagan Celtic band has been enjoying critical acclaim and commercial success for their 2000 release "Bending Tradition", which includes the driving Goddess-chant, "Freya, Shakti". The band will be working in their newly developed home studios, and fans can expect a few surprises on the next cd. The band plans to include an interesting mix of original songs and reworkings of some classics from the Celtic tradition. To learn the latest news, check out the band's website at www.emeraldrose.com
To celebrate the album's success, the band has released another song from "Bending Tradition" to www.mp3.com . "Red Haired Mary" is a bawdy tale from the Celtic tradition, rearranged in a contemporary style. It is the whimsical tale of the dangers of dating a beautiful redhead. Listen to the song for free at www.mp3.com/emeraldrose . This will be the last release of songs from "Bending Tradition".
The band has received numerous accolades for their work, and "Freya, Shakti" has become a classic among many women's spirituality groups, especially in the Southeast. The Huntsville (Alabama) Feminist Chorus presented a choral arrangement of the chant in their spring concert performances. The chant/song, which has spent over six months in the Top Ten of www.mp3.com's Spiritual Pop charts, has also drawn the attention of pagan and new age media writers. The band will be featured in an article on Goddess Music to appear in the summer issue of New Age Retailer magazine. The group was interviewed by Green Egg writer Blackthorne for an article to be presented in an upcoming issue, and the album will be reviewed in future issues of Pangaia and Out of the Shadows magazines.
In addition to good press, the band has also enjoyed some commercial success. They recently celebrated a high mark - over 82,000 downloads of their music on mp3.com! The massive exposure has provided the band with some great opportunities as well. Emerald Rose is proud to announce that their music can now be found at www.serpentinemusic.com , the largest supplier of pagan music on the web.
To view the entire press release visit the Witchvox Music Press Pages.
| Notes from a WebCrafter|
Countless Site Tweaks, "Secret Voices", Healing Requests, Neil Finn and another "Jimi Story"
Greetings to all,
Last week in this column, I featured a picture of a famous rock star. To my surprise, dozens of you emailed us with not only the answer to the question, but also to note that you are serious fans as well. Some wonderful email chats ensued; photos and stories were exchanged. I thank you all, here and now, for a wonderful walk down memory lane... THE famous rock star? The talented songwriter/guitarist- who went on to become very famous, dabbled in the Occult and actually purchased a house once owned by Aleister Crowley- was none other than James Patrick Page (led Zep, Plant/Page, Firm, Yardbirds, and recently with the Black Crowes).
I never realized just how many "trad rock" fans that we have right here in the Pagan community. The overall response from the email was a simple plea to... Post More! Although surprised that this IS of so much interest, I am thrilled to share a few more "rock moments" from the Jung archives. This week, I present another "Jimi Shot" that I took "all those years ago"...
The Story: In the spring of 1968, along with a couple of friends, we went to the Bushnell Theater (Hartford, Ct. USA) to catch a glimpse of "rock God" Jimi Hendrix (circa: "Axis Bold as Love") hours before the actual gig. To make a long story short, out of nowhere, we were invited to "meet Jimi" and were brought onstage during sound check.
Historical Note: In 1968, major tours were crude by today's standards... There was typically ONE road manger who set up a small p.a. and then there was the band. No sound guys, no road crew, no monitors. When we met Jimi, the only folks in the entire hall were Jimi, Noel and Mitch, road manager Eric Barrett and two lady friends.
We had the privilege of hanging out while the band tested the gear and screwed around. I took a few pixs, begged an autograph and actually got to chat with Jimi for about 15 minutes. He was soft spoken and clearly a gentle spirit. Was Jimi Pagan? It is my belief that he was! Just listen to some of his lyrics. To say that meeting him was a "thrill of a lifetime" would be an understatement. Jimi Hendrix passed over 30 years ago at the tender young age of 28. His magick will never be forgotten.
New Zealand's Prize Tunesmith Drives Witchvox!
This week was a wonderful one for Wren and I. Our absolute fave singer/songwriter is New Zealand's own, "Neil Finn" (formerly of Split Enz & Crowded House) and Neil (finally!) released a long awaited CD a few months ago called "One Nil"... We have waited patiently for this disc to hit North America, but we have learned that Neil doesn't even have a distribution deal here. We ordered it as an import from Amazon.com and it arrived yesterday. What an potent and mind-blowing collection of tunes! This week's update IS driven by the music of Neil Finn. NZ Pagans have the best of so many things. Worth noting, "One Nil" has held a top position on the charts "down under" for the past few months.
Christopher Bingham and Sue Tinney Finish Up "Secret Voices"
A very lucky Witch I am... This past week, I had the thrill of previewing 3 tunes from the soon to be released CD by Gaia Consort titled "Secret Voices". Three very solid and interesting pieces were on this personal sampler and I am honored to have the opportunity to share my initial thoughts here...
The first tune, Cry Freedom, starts off with a piano intro that feeds the tune beautifully, harmonies are VERY strong and it is a great tune to "get to know". -- The second tune, "Secret of the Rain" kicks off with a smooth grove by Chris followed by a sassy B3 lick (Fritz just loves B3's in music and obviously Chris does as well) Great Lyrics, Great tune -- Beltaine Fires is a fabulous composition and captures the spirit of the holiday beautifully! This tune starts off with some hot acoustic guitar licks by Mr. Bingham, evolves quickly to some inspiring harmony vocals and then surprisingly launches into a burning instrumental with an EVEN stronger vocal chorus (great BG vox in this section). Yet another surprise is the ending. They turn on the steam and build to a wonderful climax (Oh! Beltaine Fires... I get it!). I was actually waiting for this section to fall apart (it didn't), but was rooting for something tight. I should have known better. The ending came together perfectly and it was delivered with conviction. I am STILL whistling this tune's melody as I write this note. Damn you, Bingham!
Sonically the tunes were awesome and the mixes were wonderfully executed. Incredibly, this duo just keeps getting better at both recording and at the fine art of crafting Pagan tunes. No throw-a-ways here... In fact, I don't recall ever hearing anything even close to "filler" from this Duo. Pagan music has come along way from the boorish Am/Em Renaissance(ish) drivel of the past decades to the magically crafted Pagan tunes of today. Leading the way are acts like Gaia Consort. "Secret Voices" is scheduled to be release this fall. We love you Sue and Chris, and although my own chances of evolving as a Pagan tunesmith ended with my commitment to doing Witchvox back in '95, I WILL live vicariously through YOUR music. Your muse makes us smile; You make us believe. Thank YOU!
For more on Chris, Sue and friends, visit the Gaia Consort home page and/or experience their Bardic Circle Performance right here at Witchvox!
In other WitchVox related news...
As always, YOUR suggestions and thoughtsare welcome, in fact this site has evolved FROM YOUR suggestions. Have a magickal week everyone!
- Speed Challenges at WOTW: Things ran much smoother over at the "Witches of the World" networking section this past week, mostly due to our optimizing some of the code. Peek traffic times still rendered slow load times (Witchvox.net delivers 1.1 million page requests/4.3 million "hits" every month) but we are still holding out hope that the middleware we use (Lasso) will have their full featured MYSQL version out soon. This will dramatically speed up WOTW and we will be crowing about it when it is in place.
- Tweakage 'round the site Pages here at WitchVox are polished, tweaked and updated on a near daily basis and have been for years. Many things you are used to may have changed since your last visit... This past week, we updated the footers of all of our pages by punching up a few chapters and adding some new info. We hunted down some old pages that are still being called and mapped them to the new ones. We redid the sponsor pages at WOTW to better celebrate those rare folks that support us financially. We also polished up several sections of WOTW.
- 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 considering doing a "national announcements" page for matters of a more global nature. Look for this soon.
- CFOTD: Not to be Sold: Back in December Wren and I made the decision to give-a-way my 1996 CD "CFOTD", to date we have presented 8 tunes and they have been listened to just shy of 10,000 times. Please note that, for several reasons, I have no intention of re-releasing this CD. Before the give-a-way this disc was never promoted here at TWV (due to an obvious conflict of interest), it was only noted in my personal profile on our meet the staff page. To me it would be unethical to offer CFOTD for free and then (thanks to the TWV promotion) turn around and sell it again. That said, I couldn't thank the hundreds of you that have emailed us with your kind words about this project enough. You have reminded me that music can move people and can be a spiritual experience. Look for more tunes from the CFOTD sessions in the weeks/months to come.
In Your Service,
Fritz Jung (WebCrafter - Witchvox)
Monday, May 21st. 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.
| Pagan Commercial Ventures -- An Explosion of Growth|
Over the past year, we have noticed a dramatic increase in the number of Pagan commercial ventures submitted to our VoxLinks Pagan Search Engine. Since I personally process all the listings, I couldn't help but notice this trend... Yet for months the question had been haunting me... Just how big IS this trend? Because this has been gnawing at me, I had to "run the numbers" (I live to analyze data). Since we save just about everything, it was off to a back up from last year at this time. Not quite a full year profile, but close enough.
What this profile does NOT include is local festivals, events, workshops or physical pagan shops (local event listings are up 67% over last year and actual local shop listings are up 12%). What this profile does include is all the listings in our VoxLinks Pagan Search Engine. Last year commercial listings held 24% of the total, this year they are at 34% and climbing.
What is interesting to note is the substantial softening of personal/non-commercial listings and the dramatic increase in Commercial listings. NOTE: In this profile we aren't counting personal sites that are doing an Amazon affiliate program AS a commercial site (although technically they are). It is worth noting that NOT being profitable doesn't make you a 'not for profit site'. The trend towards commercialism in the Pagan Community is actually more dramatic than I thought.
Since 1995: We can say with confidence that we have noticed and annual doubling of Pagan commercial sites on the web over the past 6 years. It's also worth noting that only a tiny fraction of these listings are actually making any real money. We highly encourage you to keep your money in the Pagan community by supporting Pagan commercial operations when you can. Buy your books from the Pagan shops.
* Other Ventures: This number includes; Auction sites, website hosting, web design, commercial healing, pagan travel, astrology, personal pages submitted as "commercial", some graphic sites and other miscellaneous ventures.
Variables: To paint the most accurate picture, one must always note any known variables... In fact, over the past year we have been more aggressive about cleaning up our links pages. A year ago we were simply testing the urls. About 6 months ago we realized that geo-cities and others don't return a "404 error" when sites are gone, they redirect to one of their promo pages. We made the decision to do email verification instead. To our surprise hundreds of sites were dead. We made email verification the procedure for testing links and we do this "ritual", faithfully, every 90 days. Point being; had we not adopted this procedure, we would still be listing close to 600 links that would be dead. Variable I: The 2000 totals are more than likely overstated by about 11%, rendering a higher differences in both the change and percent columns. Variable II: We have noticed a marked increase in removal requests from Personal Pagan sites that have been up for years and are now shutting down . Variable III: We have also noticed that many non-commercial community sites of the past are now commercial ventures.
For The Record: The Witches' Voice IS a non-commercial site and accepts NO compensation or "free" gifts from any vendors, shops or services with any implied obligation (This doesn't include Home-made cookies or Truffles). This enables us to promote products and services that we deem of interest to the Pagan community. We are not in anyone's back pocket nor do we have any desire to be. WitchVox is solely funded by sponsors! If you like what WitchVox offers, surf to your Area page and THANK your local sponsors, they pay for much of what you see here at TWV.
| Pagan Perspectives|
WitchVox Question of the Week!
Last week, we asked...
What Makes You So Special? - That was a tough one, eh? Seeing our own gifts is hard enough for most of us. Acknowledging them to ourselves is the first step towards using these gifts. Admitting them out loud however tends to make us feel some sort of requirement to actually then DO something with them rather than just think about what we could do--IF ONLY...And it is often not some external force that keeps us from realizing our potential, but rather it is the inner training that we have received in our lives which declares that power is a thing to be mistrusted. Until we learn where our personal power lies and accept it as a positive force, we will remain stuck right where we are. View the Responses.
This week, we ask the question:
Is There An Energy Crisis? -The United States and the Bush Administration last week announced its new energy policy. Citing that an energy crisis exists, it proposes loosening environmental guidelines, drilling in the Alaska Wildness Preserve and allowing the federal government to take private lands by immanent domain for power or gas/oil lines. Do you think that a real energy crisis exists? Or do you think that the big oil/gas/electric business interests have somehow colluded to misinform the public in order to increase profits while having fewer restrictions placed upon the way that they do business? Would YOU like to see a power plant on the corner of your street if it meant lower energy prices? Do you think that some places such as federal parks and wilderness areas should be off-limits to energy exploration or exploitation? Would YOU pay higher energy costs to help preserve these places? Do you-or would you be willing- to conserve energy or use alternative forms if they were accessible and affordable? Just whose 'energy crisis' IS this anyway? (And if you have a favorite conservation/alternative energy/green activist resource that you would like to share, feel free to direct our readers over to it.) - Post YOUR Opinion or view the Responses of others.
| In Closing... |
"We sometimes fall into the delusion that power is elsewhere, that it belongs to a different group, that we are unable to find access to it. Nothing could be further from the truth. The universe oozes with power, waiting for anyone who wishes to embrace it. But because the powers of cosmic dynamics are invisible, we need to remind ourselves of their universal presence. Who reminds us? The rivers, plains, galaxies, hurricanes, lightning branches, and all our living companions." - (Brian Swimme; The Universe is a Green Dragon).
In Your Service,
The Witches' Voice Inc.
Monday, May 21st., 2001
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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