Weekly Update: 9/3/2001|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: September 3rd. 2001
Times Viewed: 6,095
| Shopping Around...|
Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans,
The quiet weekday mornings and early afternoons have returned. The kids are (finally!) back in school. While it is still a little too hot and humid in this part of Florida as yet to really enjoy a regular morning 'porch conference' out on the deck, Wren and Fritz know that now that September has arrived, the cooler weather can't be too far behind. There are even sweaters showing up in the department stores. Hanging next to the racks of swimsuits and cargo shorts, they seem to be about the only visible marker around here that a change of seasons is immanent.
On one trip to the local discount retailer for some craft paint however, a clamor of raised voices drew Wren's attention to the reenactment of another autumnal ritual. As cyclical and predictable as the changing of the leaves in New England, this same ceremony is repeated year after year. Beyond the traditional gestures themselves, the language of the ceremony often can become quite as colorful as the fall leaves on those Vermont maples. The rising whine that assaulted Wren's ears told her that this year's ritual was evolving no differently than many of its predecessors had. 'The Selection of the School Clothes Ceremony' was fully in progress.
Greeted with both anticipation and dread by all of the participants, the annual pilgrimage to the fitting rooms can rival any blindfolded mystery school initiation experience. Emerging from the private cubicle, the young 'initiate' comes under critical scrutiny and must ultimately concede his/her personal will, choice and future development over to the established norms and processes of the group tradition. School dress codes and parental preferences collide here with youngsters' innate desire to fit in with the group while still maintaining a certain degree of individuality. How tolerant either the school system is of deviations from the established order or how much the parental wallet is willing to sacrifice to appease the need for the initiate's desire for personal freedom and self-expression varies greatly from 'tradition' to 'tradition'. That there is almost always a battle of wills over 'what is acceptable, prudent or required' is to be expected.
As the youngsters emerge from the fitting rooms, it is not hard to recognize which outfits that they themselves prefer. One young boy dragging his feet and sulking petulantly obviously feels out of step with his peers dressed as he is in a crisp white shirt and navy cotton slacks while the girl in the next booth fairly floats out from behind the drape in her cropped top and beaded bottom, low-on-the hip jeans. The scene repeats over and over again as youthful exuberance and exacerbation encounter the boundaries of the acceptable, the norm, and the required traditional trappings. Sometimes there are small concessions, but by-and-large, the establishment is going to prevail. All of this might sound quite discouraging if it were not for the fact that there is another step in this annual Falltide rite which does offer the initiate a space in which to more fully express him or herself as an individual. Let's step over to the stationary aisle for a moment.
Crayons and markers and pencils, oh my! Bookbags and knapsacks and binders in every color of the rainbow flood the eager initiate's eyes and tantalize with the sparkling possibilities. There are gel pens in metallic hues and lunch boxes with the teen celebrity of the month and stacks and stacks of notebooks in various thicknesses and cover designs as far as the eye can see. And the watchful guardians of our initiates seem to relax a bit here as their charges browse the selections and then toss their choices into the cart. It seems that after the tedious, but necessary adherence to the rules has been upheld, everyone welcomes a bit of creative wildness.
Pagan 'initiates' often have similar experiences as they begin to learn the 'norms' of the many traditions and belief systems that make up the Neo-pagan, Earth-religionist and other Pagan/Heathen/occult 'schools'. There are certain requirements to be met in many of them, fixed and regulated steps to follow in others and almost all have their own terminology, preferences and accepted 'ways'. Even solitary practitioners or eclectics have taken their guidance from one or more of the established systems as a baseline for their personal belief systems. As an initiate 'tries on' a particular tradition/belief system/practice for 'fit', they often run into that tradition's parental units whose job it is to guide, steer and sometimes say 'no' to a particular individual desire. Pagan 'dress codes' (the 'norms' of that Tradition/Path) vary widely. Some Pagan Paths or Traditions are quite strict and things are done in a certain way. Others are more laissez-faire and are flexible about 'rules'. Most are somewhere in the middle, but even Solitaries can encounter some 'judgement calls' out there if they self-identify as following any certain known Path/Tradition. What the initiate is permitted to 'wear' and how much input he or she will have in that choice may be the final determining factors in whether a student decides to go further into any particular line of training. This is also the point at which many an established Tradition/tradition will decide whether to take on that student or not. A 'good fit' IS important and so is the struggle between conventions and self-expression that often arise in this process.
Ah, but then there is the spiritual stationary department! Here are the tools that inspire and encourage creativity and the freedom to think and dream beyond the boundaries of traditions and governance. Pick up a brush, a pen, and a crayon and only imagination, dexterity and desire rule what comes from these. When one creates, doodles or scribbles for the sheer pleasure of it, it can free the spirit to delve into here-to-fore uncharted waters. A wise teacher, like a wise parent, will balance discipline with creative freedom. The wise initiate, like the wise child, will buckle down to the work and then use the new knowledge in creative ways.
For all of the new traditions and paths have come from older established ones. All of the great teachers and initiators of these new paths began by coloring outside of the lines and boundaries and 'norms' as set down by the parent group. Over time however, the dedicates of the 'new' tradition or path extend the lines and boundaries to enclose the teacher's original creative burst. This now becomes the 'new' accepted 'norm' or established form. And so it goes.
Because every once in a while, just when the newest 'old' tradition begins to get just a little too comfortable, just a little too rigid or just a little too hostile towards individual creativity and free expression, someone else will pick up a spiritual crayon and begin to color outside of those lines.
So sure, go ahead and try on that sensible spiritual wardrobe to see if it fits. Then truly and enthusiastically dedicate yourself to your chosen Path or Tradition and do the work required. Respect your Elders and Teachers. Honor the 'norms' and traditions and rules and guidelines of the Path or Tradition that you have chosen.
But every once in a while stop by the spiritual stationary aisle and toss some of those creativity inspiring crayons or metallic pens into your life-cart. And every once in a while dare to color a little outside of those lines...
Walk in Love and Light,
The Witches' Voice Inc.
| Tradition Profiles at Witchvox|
(Viewed 87,130 Times)
A Powerful Resource Gets Stronger
This week, we are blessed to share yet another Pagan tradition profile with the community... The Minoan Tradition by Sabazius 3*, Minos of StarDove Coven (based on research by himself, Hesperus 2*, Server of StarDove Coven and Hyakinthos 1*, Kouros of StarDove Coven with assistance from Lady Lady Venus 3* and Lady Emerald Zar 3* of the Minoan Sisterhood and countless other Elders of the Minoan Tradition).
"The Minoan Tradition is a Triple-Branched Tree in the Garden of the Great Goddess and Her Divine Son. It was founded on the work of Eddie Buczynski, founder of the NY Welsh Tradition and the Wica Tradition; Carol Bulzone, of Enchantments in New York; and Lady Rhea, of Magickal Realms in the Bronx. All three of the founding Minoan Elders were also Elders in various branches of Traditional Witchcraft who wanted a place of peace and celebration for Gay and Lesbian Witches. The Minoan Tradition has three branches represented in the Minoan Brotherhood, the Minoan Sisterhood, and the Cult of the Double Axe/Cult of Rhea". (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
September 1st., 2001
| The Original Caduceus Festival 2001|
(August 24th to the 24th, 2001)
Review by Steven and Bonnie Repko
For the past two weeks my kids have been bouncing off the walls in a ritual usually reserved for their birthdays and the Yuletide season. Considering that no presents are due for at least four months and even "Halloween" is two months away, you have to begin to wonder what they are waiting for. Well, they were literally counting down the days to The Original Caduceus Festival.
This multi traditional healing festival has really become a hit with the 5-15 crowd, as our truck pulled in to Carroll's Garden Lake in Monroe Twp. they were already scoping out their friends from last year and eyeing the lake of course.
Many of the young people had already volunteered for duties throughout the weekend and even though they were a bit smaller than everyone else, they pulled a full share of work. This year Annalee Rose or "the Rose Diva" as she is commonly known, played a major role as she assisted Colleen in the festival organization along with 'batt. -- complete review.
Kansas City Pagan Pride Day 2001
(August 25th, 2001)
Review by Raven Spirit
What can be said but WOW.... what a day! I will admit we were a bit nervous as Thursday and Friday both brought storms. When we do this there is no backup plan, it is on Rain or Shine.
Waking up on Saturday and heading to the Lake the weather was beautiful. It was like the Mother smiled and gave us the sun as we honored her and those in the community that needed some help.
We had some different activities this year. Goddess 2000 came and set up a both so we could see and enjoy the talents of local artist and writers. I will say I was jealous as I can make a damn good stick figure but I was seeing some of the most beautiful work ever. The artist took their media and poured their souls over the canvas or paper.
We also had a children's craft table this year, which served 30 - 40 kids. Here they made Gods Eyes and rattles and colored pages. We had balloon animals for a while as well. Shamus and Saffron did a wonderful job with the kids this year.....as did Pam who did to many Face Painting to count (in fact she was so worn out we had to beg her to stop) all of this went on while Moyra was reading Tarot lending her energies for the effort. -- complete review.
Next Week: August Adult Essays, another new FREE mp3 gift, and much much more...
TWV Essay Topics NOW UP!: Diotima has POSTED the essay topics for the rest of 2001... Choose: Teen or Adult
|The Smell of Smoke in the Air...|
The Wicker Man... Now out on DVD!
(New edition of Peg's "Witch Cinema" Series)
Your favorite media witch loves autumn: the colors, the smells, the hugeness of the sky, the shifting of the light as days narrow, the crunch of leaves underfoot, the taste of fresh cider donuts, wrapping up in wooly sweaters and shawls, that inescapable slow march towards winter, and through the cycle of death and dormancy to rebirth. Ah, life in New England! We have seasons and weather here, folks, believe it! I know my dear friends Fritz and Wren don't miss the snow, but I kinda suspect they miss the colors and perfumes of autumn...
As autumn approaches the very air around us changes: drier, cooler, and scented with that indescribable mixture of ripening fruits, decaying leaves, and, perhaps most luscious of all, autumn bonfires! I don't know about you, but the word "bonfire" for me is almost always capable of reminding me of one of my favorite cult films of all time: The Wicker Man .
As mentioned in my last column, The Wicker Man DVD release has been eagerly awaited by many pagans and horror film fans for months! I am happy to say the release is now available in several forms (VHS, both "theatrical" and "extended" versions, and DVD, including a deluxe wooden-boxed set with two postcards of vintage movie posters and two versions of the film: the 88 minute "theatrical" release and the "extended" version which is 99 minutes long). Your local video store can order it for you, or you can purchase it online from its distributor.
The extra goodies included... Click for the Full Feature
| Notes from a WebCrafter|
Feedback: 6db boost at 1k or 3db cut at 6k?
Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans,
This past week we asked "What if YOU ran the Witches' Voice?"... The responses were both refreshing and interesting. Our thanks go out to those of you that offered words of kindness and encouragement. This was NOT the reason we did this, but we do appreciate the honest feedback that many of you offered.
Sadly, time doesn't allow me to detail our thoughts on ALL of the issues that were brought up but do know we just DID read your comments and take them all to heart. Allow me take a moment to share some of our thoughts on a few of the more popular comments. Next week I hope to find the time to touch on some others.
Witchvox Content: One of the most popular myths about TWV is that we pick and choose our content based on what we agree with personally or to take care of our friends. This couldn't be further from the truth... In fact in 5 years of doing this, we've rejected maybe 6 articles and 3 photos... and that was because they were either attacking others in the community, blatant advertising or irrelevant images... for 5 years we have all but begged for fresh content... What YOU see on TWV is 99.9% of what has been submitted in the past 5 years.
True we do have structure and 'guidelines' and we are not interested in posting a fleeting 2 paragraph opinion as an essay... But we are actually quite flexible in this area. So, how do you get featured on TWV? Send us something. How do you get a picture of YOUR group on our front page? Send us one.
Black Pages: Several you mentioned your dislike for Black background pages... As someone that has worked with black pages for almost 6 years, I couldn't agree more. It is worth noting that over the past 18 months we HAVE converted (or introduced) 3,121 pages TO white backgrounds leaving 498 black pages. This does take time folks. I believe that this myth is perpetuated by the fact that our busiest pages (splash and home) are black... This too shall change in the near future. I am pretty sure we will leave the Cats and WitchWars pages black for the long run, but you never know.
Promotion: A few of you noted that you "turn on" Pagan friends to TWV and are surprised that they have never hear of TWV. We hear this all of the time. Site-Promotion has NEVER been our strength. When we launched the site back in early '97 a friend (Lady Alexcia) submitted TWV to a dozen search engines and that's been about it. Although we ask that folks whom we list in our links section give us the courtesy of a reciprocal link, about 1 in ten actually bother. Many tell us we should be more aggressive in marketing TWV, but with an hourly average of over 2,000 actual pages viewed we seem to have plenty of traffic and in fact we really can't afford more.
Less USA based Features: Sorry to reiterate, but we ARE the mercy of what IS sent in (see "Witchvox Content" just above)... Two groups in the UK have sent over fest reviews and some wonderful trad info... but that's about it. Witchvox will be more international when you help us make it that way. We have designed it to be from day one. A couple of observations... The UK is our second busiest area page in our networking section. Many of our essays could come from anywhere in the world, there is no way to really know. BUT yes, we'd love to offer up timely and critical international news and info from all over the planet. In fact, this week we offer a fest review from the UK.
Views, Hits and Visits: What can I say, I analyze just about everything. We learned early on that OUR opinion of what is interesting may not be the same as others. Perception and reality were often quite different. Witchvox was/is built on what YOU find most interesting, has been for 5 years and will continue to be.
On the web there the best way to measure 'depth of interest" is with traffic stats. In a world of spin... "The Biggest, the best, the real thing etc etc..." I wanna see the traffic stats, in fact SO do the advertisers. Over promised traffic stats and disappointing 'click thrus' are the reason that many advertisers pull their funding. A key factor in the .com disaster of 2000. If I surf the web and hit a site that was 'establish' in 1997 and only has 3,357 visitors, I have either stumbled on a rare find or, most likely, hit something that isn't all that interesting, or never changes, hence all one shot visits. The Press uses this measure big time and will just about always note it. Witchvox is a celebration of the NeoPagan community and we are proud to show its traffic to the world.
In the weeks to come we will be revamping the front end of Witchvox. The reason it isn't already based on white pages, is a simple one, I haven't been able to create a bitchen' masthead on a white background for our highest profile pages. I am NOT an artist and this is a struggle for me. We do plan on soliciting "proper designers" in the near future to help us rendering something appropriate and powerful.
Next Week: Our thoughts as related to your suggestions on message boards, PHPnuke/dynamic content, the option to comment on community articles/essays, Cats/Familiars, our 'hand picked staff', Witchvox a 'Wicca' site (huh?), picture gallery, navigating 44 Sections/3,614 Pages, future technology plans for TWV and much much more.
In closing allow me to once again thank you all for your constructive criticism of Witchvox. Even the cheap shots were noted.
Proudly in Your Service,
Monday, September 3rd. 2001
| PRESS RELEASE 8/30/2001:|
Emerald Rose, Music for the Goddess to Play NYC Pagan Pride Day
Celtic Pagan band Emerald Rose and pagan musicians Music for the Goddess will be featured entertainment for the New York City's first Pagan Pride Day. The event will be held at Battery Park on September 29th from 11am - 5 pm, with a rain date of September 30. There will also be vendors, an artists gallery, a harvest circle and an open circle drum ensemble, accompanied by Divine GaiaDance. Details of the day's events can be found at www.nyc-ppp.org/nyc_event/nyc_event.html. Volunteers are needed for all phases of the event and can sign up by contacting organizer MoonTwin at MoonTwin609@aol.com.
Emerald Rose will be appearing at Pagan Pride Day as part of their upcoming New York/New Jersey tour, from October 27 - October 6. The tour will see the band performing in some of NYC's best intimate music venues and will include a live webcast from Paddy Reilly's Music Bar in Manhattan, to be broadcast at 9 pm on October 2 on www.celtictv.com. They will also be playing a special concert at "The Lion's Den", one of Greenwich Village's finest music venues on October 3rd at 7:30 pm. For a full Emerald Rose tour schedule, check the "Gigs" link at www.emeraldrose.com. -- To view the entire press release visit the Witchvox Music Press Pages.
| Spirituality Survey Number 1|
now UP at the Spirit, Mind and Body pages
The survey is a part of an independent research project pertaining to spiritual beliefs and the psychological and sociological aspects, and effects, of those beliefs; it's also being used to gather data for part of a manuscript. A goal of this research is to study how religious dogma, as well as a lack of religious dogma, influences relationships with, and additudes towards, other people and other creatures. -- To paticipate in this survey ... Click HERE
| Speaking of Pagan Authors...|
Dottye Anderson and James Blake Get Handfasted
Port Richey, Florida (USA) July 28th. 2001
Wiccan author Dottye Anderson and her beloved partner James Blake were handfasted on Saturday, July 28th, amidst the oils, incenses and other goodies at Stone Circle Metaphysical Center in Port Richey, FL. Lady Urania wrote and performed the ceremony, with Jim and Wynette assisting. Dottye wore a silver robe to honor the Goddess, and Jim wore a gold robe to honor the God. Jim and Dottye plan to move to their homestead, DragonStar Grove, a dedicated Pagan sanctuary in progress sometime before Samhain."
Dottye's First Book: Hailing Aradia: A Wiccan Book of Shadows... A reviewer writes: "This new work by a new author gives some fresh insights into the religion and practice of Wicca. Clear, concise, well researched opinions, ideas and insights will intrigue and delight the reader, from the seeker of information to the intermediate Practitioner. Ms. Anderson has put together a collection of rites, rituals, correspondences and spells, with a different perspective than the run-of-the-mill genre publications that are so abundant on bookshelves today. Her unique perspective, derived from many years of her practice along with a fresh delivery of this information, makes this a wonderful read as well as a nice reference. The price is very reasonable at $8.95 and a portion of the proceeds from this book go to benefit a Florida Pagan Sanctuary, a nice touch for a newly published offer."
Copies of Dotty's Book can be purchased from Dottye directly, and from Merlin's in Tampa; Stone Circle and So Mote It Be in New Port Richey (all in Florida, USA)
The Latest From Trish Telesco - Now Shipping!
Labrinth Walking: Patterns of Power...
"Labrinths, Mazes and Mandalas reflect important spiritual lessons that can easily be applied by any spiritual seeker on any path. You can learn the secret of your inner labryinth, discover how to walk a maze to manifest goals, and how to use mandalas for personal or planetry wholeness in the pages of this book. This tome is, in effect, a prayer for focus, spiritual intimacy, and fulfillment for every person reading it".
Visit the Trish Telesco Home Page for more on this book as well as info on her other 40 plus releases.
| Pagan Perspectives|
WitchVox Question of the Week!
Last week, we asked the question:
What if YOU Ran the Witches' Voice - What Would YOU change? - The responses were plentiful, mostly kind and quite enlightening. This weeks "notes from a webcrafter" features comments on many of the more popular suggestions and concerns - For 55 community thoughts, feel free to view the Responses.
This week, we ask the question:
If You Were Stranded Alone On A Deserted Island... - and- while all of your immediate needs for food, water, shelter, fire were being met- you faced the reality that you would not be rescued for several weeks, what ten (10) items would you like to have with you in order to pass the time or save your sanity? - Post YOUR Ten Items or view the Responses of others.
| Goddess Moth Spotted in Connecticut! |
This just in from Zap Pooka (firstname.lastname@example.org)
"This was just too good to keep to myself. The attached photo is of a moth that we found on our porch upon arriving home on the night of August 4, 2001 (in East Hartland, Connecticut). The pattern on its back somewhat resembles the Nile River Goddess. What was even more interesting was that there was a full moon that night!"
"I thought that it would be nice to share it. I mean, what the heck! Christians are always seeing images of Jesus in rust patterns on water towers or of the Virgin Mary in knots of trees (that one happened around here recently). So, why not we Pagans as well?"
We agree... this is a wonderful shot! Thanks for sharing this with us all. - TWV staff
| In Closing... |
"Our ideal for a society, in other words, is not that it should be a perfectly static organization, founded in the time of our ancestors and to remain unchanging through all time. It is rather a process moving toward a fulfillment of as yet unrealized possibilities; and in this living process each is to be an initiating yet cooperating center. We have, consequently, the comparatively complex problem in educating our young of training them not simply to assume uncritically the patterns of the past, but to recognize and cultivate their own creative possibilities..." - (Joseph Campbell; Myths to Live By).
In Your Service,
The Witches' Voice Inc.
Monday, September 3rd., 2001
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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