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Weekly Update: 7/16/2001

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: July 16th. 2001
Times Viewed: 5,168

Learning How To Fly...

Wren had no idea that a crowd was gathering behind her back. She was busy spreading the breadcrumbs along the shoreline for the turtles and watching the tiniest fishies flit about in the clear water of the Little Pond. Straightening up and flexing her not-quite-awake-yet back muscles, she marveled as the pink reflection of the sunrise was painted upon the pond's smooth surface. Early morning in Florida is the coolest part of a July day and Wren- like all of the other critters who visit the Little Pond Breakfast Bar- likes to finish up her outdoor business before the sun turns the landscape setting up to 'broil'. Grabbing her bag of tidbits, she pivoted back to face the small hill behind her and that's when she noticed the crowd. Well, it was hard to miss since it consisted of about 40 laughing gulls.

Wren simply had to laugh. There they were- all bright eyes and dark sleet heads and white puffy chests- concentrating on her every move with rapt attention and a sort of compressed energy. It was as if they were a professional orchestra just awaiting the signal of the conductor's baton striking the dais in order to begin to play. Wren wouldn't have been too surprised at that point if she had seen a violin or a trumpet suddenly emerge from under a slate-gray wing. Since that didn't happen though, she decided it was probably a good time to dispense the treats in their direction.

Now watching seagulls scramble for treats is quite a show. As the breadcrumbs hit the ground, a great cry of ha-ha-ha-ha-HAH goes up- they aren't called 'laughing' gulls by accident- and the grass disappears under a flurry of fluttering wings and heaving bodies. If gulls had elbows, there'd sure be a lot of sore ribs out there in birdland tonight. To be fair, Wren sends the pellets first in one direction and then the other. That way, those running at the back of the gull-herd on the first breadcrumb volley get a chance to be up front for next one. But there are some gulls- not many but a few- who take a different approach to obtaining their breakfast. Why this is, Wren can't be completely certain, but she feels it has to do with experience, practice and-well, with wisdom.

When new seekers first begin to explore Pagan ways and beliefs, they are much like Wren's little feathered breakfast orchestra. Like the gaggle of gulls, new Pagans spot all of those tantalizing books and tools and other sources of information- and they want to follow them all. It usually doesn't take too long before they are lost in the flurry of circle-casting techniques and 'Wiccan-Witch-Pagan' definitions and whatever the latest flavor-of-the-week new book may be. First they go one way looking for something solid to believe in. Then they go the other way. They may start out all gung-ho for the 'good of all' and then a few months later decide to 'explore their dark side'. And they continue to keeping running up and down the proverbial information shoreline looking for the next, latest and most exciting magickal tidbit. They get confused. They get lost in the crowd. Occasionally, they even get run over by the rest of the herd which is still running up and down, back and forth, here and there in the search for that tidbit of special knowledge. Pretty soon, they may even begin to believe that all this hustle is normal. It's how a Pagan acts. It's what we do. And so if this is how it is, then they set their elbows on stun and start flailing away along with everyone else.

But there are some that are different. Like the laughing gulls, these are the ones who learn from experience, practice what they have learned and so become wise. Some of the gulls that Wren sees every morning don't run with the pack. Instead of scrambling for the tidbits that hit the ground, they gracefully hover about a foot over and around her head. And as she tosses the breadcrumbs out, they are right there to receive them. Looking straight into their shining and intelligent eyes, Wren is in awe of their focused concentration and skill. Seemingly without effort, they float and all the while those bright eyes never leave her hands. At the first sign of any bread-flicking motion, they make the appropriate flight pattern adjustments and the crumbs almost magically appear in their bills. There is no wasted motion, no excess expenditure of energy. Every movement, however slight, is an artform of precision. And their 'magick' always works. The elegance of such execution of control and focus would be the envy-and perhaps should be the envy-of any budding magickal practitioner.

The formula is a simple one: First, discover the Source and then get as close to that Source as one can. Concentrate upon and discern what one really needs or wants. Develop the skills and disciplines in order to execute the steps necessary to attain that goal. Don't be distracted by what the 'crowd' is doing. Get off one's perch (or butt) and actually take to the air- in other words, practice, practice, practice. And never take your eyes off of the goal.

Such discipline does not come easily nor does it happen overnight. But it can be developed and must be developed if one is really interested in attaining any sort of spiritual or magickal 'success'. Every week or so, a few- a very few- laughing gulls leave the herd and begin to emulate the 'different' ones. They aren't all that good at it at first, but they do learn- and they don't seem to ever go back to the frenzied chaotic activities of the as-yet-unenlightened.

More and more Pagans of late are finding their Source- whether they call it God/Goddess or the Universe or The Ancestors or the One- and are drawing close to and from that Source. And from that eternal Source, they are learning what skills and disciplines are needed in order that they might continue to grow and mature and become wise on their spiritual journey. They remain focused and are no longer running after every new Pagan-flavored fad that comes along-and they are practicing their Craft with more and more success. Pagans are indeed learning how to fly.

And there is coming a day when all of the world shall look upon these people- these Pagans who possess such elegance, such dedicated discipline and such soaring beauty in their ways- with awe and wonder. And then maybe some of them will also want to learn how to fly.

Walk in Love and Light,

Wren Walker
The Witches' Voice Inc.

Seagull Shots: ... These Shots were captured this very morning during part of Wren's daily ritual of feeding the countless critters that grace us with their presence. NOTE: The Seagulls are are a new addition to the daily feeding. (photos by Fritz Jung)

THE GUARDIANS.TV
(dedicated to protecting our children and by doing so protecting our future)

Robert Keating is Pagan and a man on a mission. This past week we received the following

"It seemed as though everywhere I looked there was an article or TV program about child abuse or abduction and it would tear at my heart. I cannot understand how someone can harm an innocent child.

I see now that the Pagan Communities around the country are the answer. Each of us has a talent that can be used to develop this site and help with this problem. When a child is reported on the site each group can include an incantation in their circles for protection and recovery of the missing child. Can you imagine a collective psychic effort of all pagans to locate and protect a missing or abused child? Every individual and each group can contribute something to the development and maintenance of this site.

I see the site not only as a place to place notices and create a database of missing children but to be a resource listing of State by State Organizations who deal with these problems and their contact information. If a parent or Police department in one city places a call to action on the site, everyone can react. I would like to see resources on the site for parents and guardians to use to help recognize symptoms of abuse and people and places that they can get help.

There can also be a place with resources for people who abuse or have these tendencies to get help. This needs Pagans to donate time, talent and commitment. We can make a difference". -- Robert Keating,

For more information detailing Robert's plan and HOW YOU CAN HELP... surf to http://theguardians.tv

Summer Storm Slams Brushwood
Witchvox "Employee of the Week" delivers again!

Ok..., We don't actually HAVE employees, nor do we really have an "employee of the week" award (all Witchvox staff work for free). BUT if we did, it would have to go to our good friend and Witchvox Media Coordinator Peg Aloi. Prior to this past weeks update, Peg emailed us her "pre-review" of Mists of Avalon (featured below) FROM a Kinko's, in the middle of NY state, on her way (a 10 hour ride from where she lives) to the Sirius Rising fest (www.brushwood.com) so that we could get it up in time. We were impressed to say the least... THEN she contacted us this past Wednesday FROM Brushwood, in Sherman, NY., detailing damage from the nasty "near tornado force" winds that hit the camp the night before (see Wren's Nest Article #3242).

The storm was a vicious one. It's wrath rendered a few concussions (everyone is ok, but a few are banged up), Pagan community's most famous bird "Kokopelli" (Don and Daniella's Macha pictured to your right) lost a handful of feathers and many a merchants wares were tossed all over the place.

Brushwood is currently hosting the "Sirius Rising" gathering as a prelude to the big non-Pagan gathering that is attended mostly BY Pagans called Starwood (confused yet?).

Stop the Update! Peg just called us (Sat night/8:00 pm) from the fest site... Everyone IS safe and sound, the merchants/community quickly started helping those with merchandise loss from the storm. AND the memorial for ADAM did go up in Babylon Heights.

The staff of the Witches' Voice projects for calm and peaceful weather for the attendees of the Starwood festival (scheduled to start tomorrow).

Good show Peg!

Tradition Profiles at Witchvox
(Viewed 67,655 Times)

A Powerful Resource Gets Stronger

This week, we are blessed to share yet another Pagan tradition profile with the community... The Thelema Tradition by Magdalene Meretrix (with gracious assistance from the Reverend Rob and David R. Jones).

"In April of 1904 an astonishing event changed the life of Aleister Crowley: poet, mystic and Golden Dawn occultist. While he and his wife, Rose, were vacationing in Egypt a mysterious entity initiated contact with the couple. First the voice moved Rose to lead Crowley to the funerary stele of an ancient Egyptian priest named Ankh-af-na-Khonsu. Later Crowley heard the voice over the course of three days. The voice, which belonged to a divine entity, commanded Crowley to transcribe his words, culminating in a piece of writing called Liber AL vel Legis, sub figura CCXX, or The Book of the Law".

"Although Crowley resisted much of the teaching of The Book of the Law for many years, ultimately he accepted the role it assigned to him as Prophet of the New Aeon. The entire process is described in detail in Crowley's Equinox of the Gods and Book 4, Part 4. The Book of the Law is short - only 220 verses in length - but packed full of poetic, cryptic passages filled with Egyptian and apocalyptic Christian symbolism as well as strings of letters and numbers which appear to be an unsolved code..." (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
July 16th., 2001


The Witchvox Preview

by Peg Aloi

The long-awaited mini-series of the longtime best-selling novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley will premiere on TNT July 15th and 16th. Our full review will appear next week (we don't want to spoil you before then!) but, just to get your appetites whetted, I will offer some of my first impressions of the mini-series, which I viewed this past week.

First some background: Bradley's novel, if you have not read it, is an ambitious and beautifully-wrought epic, the retelling of the Arthurian saga from the point of view of the women behind the throne: Morgaine (Morgan le Fay, Arthur's half-sister), Viviane (the Lady of the Lake in Avalon, the magical land which exists just beyond the obscuring mists near Glastonbury), Igraine (Arthur's mother by Uther Pendragon, Morgaine's mother by the Duke of Cornwall) and Gwenhwyfar (Arthur's wife and, in this version, a pious Christian who dislikes his allegiance to the Old Religion). This novel, which is really a trilogy in one book, is a feminist, historically-detailed, mythically-rich, magically-faceted story that has been very much a part of the literary canon of modern Witches and pagans. A "prequel" entitled Lady of Avalon delves more closely into the world of the priestesses of Avalon: the magical isle which lies between the worlds, shrouded in mist and accessible only to those who have been magically initiated into the old ways.

If you have not read either of these books, I am here to tell you that you must: there is nothing more to say on the subject. (the book is being re-released in a special edition to coincide with the mini-series premiere)... (Full Preview).

Pagan Net - Community News
In case you hadn't heard

Green Egg Calls is Quits: "Dear readers, subscribers, contributing artists, writers, poets, assistants, volunteers and supporters, The past few months have been an extremely difficult time for Green Egg magazine and its editor, Maerian Morris and publisher, Jeanne Koelle".

"Over the past several issues, the pages of Green Egg have addressed the sorts of challenges and difficult demands placed upon us and the magazine. We have not been able as yet to muster the support necessary to publish the next issue of Green Egg. Because of this, we recently decided it was necessary to suspend publication. The Board of Directors of the Church of All Worlds, at this time the sole owners of Green Egg, have decided to expand upon that decision by halting all operations of Green Egg Magazine" (Full Statement).

WitchesWeb.com = Gonzo: Sometime last month, long time Pagan site and commerical venture the Witches' Web/Shop disappeared. Simply vanished without a trace.

Guide to Organizing Summits Now Online: "Many people have expressed interest in the Pagan Summit concept and want more information on how to organize one of their own. We have published the The "Guide to Organizing and Hosting Summits", is now available online. If you are interested in hosting events which focus on coalition-building and problem-solving, see the Guide for information on how to do it effectively. - Cairril Adaire, Pagan Summit organizer and National Coordinator, Pagan Educational Network, Inc.

AvatarSearch Closes Auction Site: "In an attempt to help us, many people within our community donated to a fund in an attempt to help save our service. The single most suggestion was that we start an Auction Service. So, I took the contributions we had received and purchased a rather expensive auction system...

Sadly, over the past months we have not seen the sales turn-around that we had hoped (and had been predicted by so many users). Because of this, it would have cost us more to provide this as a "charge" service than as a free service.... In addition to not helping to provide the needs funds which the service needs the auctions have proven to be very labor intensive in terms of supporting member disagreements, specifically buyer and seller disagreements.

Because of this, I have no choice but to announce that AvatarSearch Community Auctions will be closing" - Tina Coutu. (Full Statement).

Pagan Pride Project and Goddess 2000 Join Forces: Details can be found at Wren's Nest (article #3251). For local events related to these two groups visit the Witchvox Event Page for YOUR area.

Adult Pagan Essays for JULY now up
    What is an Elder
    We hear the term "elder" a lot in the Pagan community, but we aren't really sure what it means.Of course, we know just who to ask! Tell us what you think makes an elder an elder...is it age? The number of years spent in the religion? Initiations? Education? Contributions to the community? All of the above, or maybe some things we haven't thought of? Here were some essays that we received on this topic: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

    Acceptance: It's Getting Better All the Time
    In the past decade, we've seen an enormous change in the level of public awareness of our religion. Mention Paganism or Wicca these days, and most people will at least understand that you are talking about a modern religion. There is still plenty of misunderstanding and discrimination, but it's getting better all the time. We see a lot more understanding and acceptance out there, and we'd like to hear your stories of how your religious path has been accepted by family, friends or the larger community. Page 1 - 2 - 3

TWV Essay Topics NOW UP!: Diotima has JUST POSTED the essay topics for the rest of 2001... Choose: Teen or Adult


Young
Pagan
Essays
For

2
0
0
1
JULY 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.

  • Acceptance: It's Getting Better All the Time...
    In the past decade, we've seen an enormous change in the level of public awareness of our religion. Mention Paganism or Wicca these days, and most people will at least understand that you are talking about a modern religion. There is still plenty of misunderstanding and discrimination, but it's getting better all the time. We see a lot more understanding and acceptance these days, and we'd like to hear your stories of how your religious path has been accepted by family, friends or the larger community. Read these powerful essays here: Page One - Two - Three - Four - Five

  • What's an Elder?
    We hear the term "elder" a lot in the Pagan community, but we aren't really sure what it means. Of course, we know just who to ask for a definition! :-) Tell us what you think makes an elder an elder: Is it age? The number of years spent in the religion? Initiations? Education? Contributions to the community? All of the above, or maybe some things we haven't thought of? Page One.
Other Young Pagan Resources at TWV: WitchVox Teen Essays MAIN Index - Young Pagans in YOUR Town (6,638 listed) - Young Pagan Covens and Groups (310 listed) - F.A.Q.'s of the WitchVox Teen Section - Teen Article Submission Topics! Make YOUR Voice Heard! - Teen Pagan Web Sites (242 sites listed!) - Click HERE to submit YOUR Teen Pagan Site.
NEW this Week!
Cats of WitchCraft - Page 25 Now Up YES another New Batch

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 12 Cats pages. Thank YOU Daven for treating us all with the latest... To gush over this new batch of cuties Click HERE.
Pagan Perspectives
WitchVox Question of the Week!

Last week, we asked...

Ending Religious Discrimination-What's It Gonna Take? - More than what we are doing now is what one respondent said. Just what that 'more' might be seems to be the real question that most respondents were mulling over. Certainly most Pagans are willing to face the reality that not everyone will accept us, but just being 'left alone' has some appeal in that area of conflict. Favorite Quotes: "In short, if we wish to be treated a specific way by those outside of Paganism, we had best start treating others that way, both inside and outside of the family. Changes begin at home."- (Asherfox) and "People can often recognize someone with a solid grasp of the reality of a situation. People can often recognize a flaming bigoted idiot. Always attempt to display a greater understanding, a better grasp of reality, and a more enlightened view than anyone attempting to spread disrespect for your religion. There are enough people in the world spouting rhetoric about their one true way, it is a great contrast to find someone who understands that there is no one true way, merely the way we choose for ourselves."- (Chris). -- View the Responses.

This week, we ask the question:

What's Your Magickal Focus? -What is YOUR magickal specialty? Herbalism? Healing Magick? Directing Energies? Invoking the Nature Spirits? How did you come to choose/decide to develop this area of expertise? How long did you have to practice and study before you felt reasonably proficient in your magickal focal-work area? Did you have a natural talent for this to begin with or did you decide to study this particular area of magick for another reason? What advice for developing skills or expertise would give to someone who is considering entering into your particular magickal focus-work area? What are the 'neglected' areas of magickal Work-you know, the not so glamorous service-oriented stuff that is really needed, but for some reason or another, not too many Pagans are motivated to develop or are interested in studying? Post YOUR Opinion or view the Responses of others.

In Closing...

"The nature of spiritual authority thus depends on how we conceive of Divinity. Pagans see Divine teachings and lessons in the cycles of life and death, the phases of the sun and moon, the forces of nature, and indeed potentially in all experience, because that is at least one place where Divinity IS. For us, 'sacred text' surrounds us, waiting to be read." - (Gus DiZerega, Ph.D.; Pagans and Christians: The Personal Spiritual Experience).

In Your Service,

 

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






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