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










Weekly Update: 9/10/2001

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: September 10th. 2001
Times Viewed: 5,875



 Week of: Sept. 10th.-17th. 2001 Next Holiday: Mabon/Ostara Year: 5  Week: 242  Moon: 61 

This Page White? Didn't mean to shock the regular surfers of Witchvox. We are, in fact "just playing"... Playing with new graphic ideas and working on a more printable version of your weekly update page.

Your Vote: The most requested change in our recent "what if you ran the voice" question was to kill the black pages. This week we received two requests to keep this page black... SO, we ask the question? Would you like to see this page with a white (light color) background (kinda like this) or should it go back to black? Simply email us with your vote by typing in White or Black in SUBJECT LINE of the email. Voting starts 9/9 at 8pm (EST) and goes for a week.

Voting Results So Far: as of 9/11 at 7:02am: Black=120 White=116






When Nature Bites You on the...
by Wren Walker

Well, at least this time, the bite was on her ankle. It was still pretty nasty and Wren was entirely 'unamused' as she fumed her way back up the stairs. Flopping down on the chair, she rubbed the spot vigorously. "Fire ants," she muttered to no deity in particular, "Who amongst You thought that fire ants were a good idea again?" By tomorrow her ankle would swell to three times its normal size. Wren was not a happy nature-loving Witch right now at all. And in fact she would be quite willing to smack anyone who proposed an alternative philosophy with a very big clue-by-four. (One preferably covered with fire ants.) Sure, she knows that Nature can be kind or cruel, but that look in her eye lets everyone within glaring distance know that this is definitely not the time to bring that up. (Leave her alone for a while, folks. Wren never could hold a grudge for very long and she'll get over it soon enough.)

Okay, she's over it. Several applications of ammonia and tea tree oil later, Wren is back on her naturally philosophical track. Really not that big of a deal. Not like a shark attack or anything. There has been a big media buzz about those lately though, haven't there? What's up with that?

Man's perceptions of Nature have undergone radical metamorphosis over the centuries. While many of early man/womankind's ideas about the natural world were purely situational (Finding cave to live in: good. Finding cave to live in already inhabited by snarling gigantic bear: bad.), as societies and cultures developed so did the attending societal and cultural notions about the wild places which marked the boundaries beyond which man/woman had not yet passed. In the times of old when there were more wild places than inhabited ones, everyone more or less lived on the fringe of such places. There was also an abundance of large animals still in existence and living in the forests and so it was not unusual that as the dark night without streetlights approached, strange rustlings and heavy footfalls could be heard coming from the mysterious wood. Disembodied eyes sometimes would be seen glowing from the branches and eerie calls would be heard echoing across the sky. Sometimes livestock would simply disappear into the darkness never to be seen again. It was not difficult for these early peoples to imagine that ghosts and bean-sidhe and all sorts of hobgoblins made their homes in such forbidding places. Humans were not welcome here. For if mythology serves us well as a partial 'historical' recounting of such beliefs, then the world's books tell of these early notions of the wild places in great abundance. "Be careful out there," they say. "or the (insert the bogeyman/woman of your particular area) will git ya!" The animals that men hunted could be dangerous and the hunting itself was often a perilous exercise. Successful hunters therefore were held in high esteem.

Fast Forward to Ancient Greece. Three deities which figure prominently in the nature and hunting motifs in Ancient Greece were Apollo, his sister, Artemis, and Dionysis. Apollo's association with nature and hunting was lost early on in the stories with Artemis taking on some of Apollo's attributes. Artemis was known for her virginity, for her killing arrows and as the protectress of the wild beasts and forests. The ambiguity of the Artemis archetype is not accidental. Before she was 'gentled' by the Romans as Diana, Artemis both persecuted the animals with her 'arrows of anguish' and protected them from other hunters. In the myths of Orion the Giant, when Orion declared that he would slaughter every living beast in the forest, he is quickly dispatched by one of Artemis' arrows. Actaeon, who comes upon and spies the goddess at her bath, is turned into a stag and rent apart by his own hunting hounds. While no gentle being as far as the earliest Greek myths are concerned, Artemis still embodies a view of the natural world at that time: Artemis is the pure and virginal force, uncorrupted by man or god, who keeps nature in check, provides a balance of natural forces and alternately culls and coddles nature and its animal inhabitants.

Continued... 

Photo Credit: This weeks stunning anchor photo is from the uber-talented J.K. Williams this past week at the Olympic National Park in Washington State (USA). To experience more of Jays recent nature shots visit one of his many web gallaries... Thanks Jay!




Critical Docs Added to Witchvox White Pages...
Pagans, the law and the victories

Paganism and the Law by Dana D. Eilers, J.D.

The source for religious freedom is the United States Constitution and specifically, the First Amendment which states simply: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The opening clause of the First Amendment is commonly known as the "Freedom of Religion" clause or the "Establishment" clause. By operation of the Fourteenth Amendment, the First Amendment is binding upon the states; however, most state constitutions have a similar phrase somewhere within them. So, an action which is in violation of the federal constitution will usually be a violation of the state constitution, as well, thus giving a potential litigant dual causes of action: one in federal law and one in state law... -   (Full Article )

Hurston v. Henderson, 2001 WL 65204 by Dana D. Eilers, J.D.

This is an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case filed by a U.S. postal worker against the Postmaster General of the United States Postal Service Agency (Midwest Area). It was issued January 19, 2001. the case was brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. sec. 2000e, et seq., and Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, 29 U.S.C. sec. 791, et seq. Mr. Hurston essentially alleged that he was harrassed at work due to his religion, Wicca, and because of his physical handicap, which was a hearing loss.

This case was handled entirely within the confines of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and it is not a federal court case. This means that Mr. Hurston appropriately and timely utilized his administrative remedies before resorting to the filing a federal court case... - (Full Article )

Fighting for Your Beliefs and Winning by Redhawk

I was not a Witch during the time of my marriage with him, I found the Goddess through my present husband. I did not encourage my daughter to be of any religious belief, but allowed her to go to Christian churches with friends & family, but she would also practice rituals with me if mood suited her.

My ex-husband after re-marriage decided I should be paying for half of the transportation costs of our daughter to visit him. He also told me I was to take her to Christian church. When I explained that there was not a 1000 mile distance between us, that he was responsible for those costs, he informed me he would drop her child support back to the original $100.00. I explained to him that our daughter's religious beliefs would be one of her choosing not ours. I also explained that since he had brought up the amount of child support that it was maybe time we reevaluated what was a proper amount. She was getting older & he had recieved 2 promotions since we had agreed to upping it to $225.00... - (Full Article )




An IBM SCSI Drive TREAT for Witchvox?
Incredible... This week when Wren hit the PO box for the Witches' Voice Inc. there was a wonderful surprise. Someone had sent us a brand new SCUSI hard drive (not one of those pesky IDE drives that die in 2 years)... Our heartfelt thanks go out to a "married solitary couple" from Arizona. Not sure that these wonderful folks want their name mentioned BUT Wren and I and the Witchvox staff would like to thank D & M for their generosity. We can indeed use this and will. BTW: Wren and I are a "married solitary couple" too.



It's Pagan Pride Season!
Over the next couple of weeks many of our community will be celebrating their Pagan Pride via public rituals, parades and various events. Witchvox has listed PPD events since our first incarnation back in 1996 and this year another record number OF Pagan Pride Events have been submitted. Most events take place on the next THREE weekends. For up to the minute listings and details, hit the Witchvox Pagan Pride Day listing or simply check into YOUR area Events Page

For a list of official PPD groups, and some powerful tips on how to make your PPD event a success, visit the Pagan Pride Website.



Fote's Purple Ribbon Campaign - Buzzin the Community!
"The Purple Ribbon Campaign has been created through Fellowship of the Earth to show solidarity of kindred spirits. "Fight the Fear" is the slogan chosen to represent the Purple Ribbons. Like many ribbon campaigns, this is a way for us to outwardly show our support for religious tolerance and the freedom to believe in our own paths. Pagans, Wiccans, Shamans, Native Americans and so many more of the various Earth Religions are misunderstood by most people with mainstream Christian backgrounds. We believe that it is fear that fuels the fires of misunderstanding and intolerance. In order to fight the fear people have of others beliefs, we have adapted this ribbon campaign as our way of promoting respect and tolerance of all belief and non-belief systems. We all are on different paths with the same goal. None is more sacred than another and none should be discounted as being fraudulent or misguided. Every person has their own personal connection to their spirituality, but regardless of what or who we call Goddess or God everyone should be able to worship in their own way without persecution". For more info and how you can participate visit the fote.org website and click on the 'Fight the Fear'.



NEW this Week!
Cats of WitchCraft - Pages 28 & 29 Now UP

Thanks to the hard work of Daven we are honored to, once again, bring you two new pages full of pix of Witch Cats.

It is clear that the reason for putting this section up back in 1996 (to dispell the Witch/Cat myth to the masses) has been fulfilled. Although we haven't finally decided, we are considering wrapping this section up and putting an end to future submissions. We don't plan on taking it down. Why? Because it is just too damn popular. I ran some totals earlier this week and the cats pages of Witchvox have been visited 473,000 times. Incredible! The traffic is steady and averages about 20,000 visits a month. Wren and I would like to thank Daven for his dedication and timeliness in essentially putting together the last 13 cats pages. This is hard work that we didn't have to do. If YOU have enjoyed the Cats pages at TWV, you can thank Daven for making it possible. Daven has a wonderful personal Website at www.davensjournal.com.

To gush over this new batch of cuties... Click for Page 28 or Page 29.

Who is that Kittie? pictured to your right is Toulouse "He has been doing rituals with our family for 6 years.  He is always there to protect us from any negative or unwanted influences". ~Victoria Broyles



Notes from a Pagan WebCrafter
Past, Present and Future...

Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans,

Must be that time of the year! Over the past few weeks we have gone into reconstruction mode, our wheels are turning, we are mapping out ways to find the time to get back to some long overdue changes here at Witchvox.

Ironically it was exactly one year ago that we launched version 5.0 of Witches of the World. (see Witchvox Weekly update 9/11/2000 for details). Due to financial, technical and time limitations, R & D here at TWV has stalled big time. Sadly this is one of my fave areas to put time into. Daily maintenance here at TWV can be all consuming and it's time to step back, do some serious rethinking of who we are, what we are doing and more importantly where we are going. Your thoughts of this past week have, as always, inspired us in a big way.

This week I had planned on focusing on the other suggestions that many of you offered two weeks ago when we asked "What if YOU ran the Witches' Voice?"... I will touch on more of them later in this article. My mission of the moment is to free up time for some serious R & D. in the weeks to come...

Our Dilemmas and our Opportunities...

The Past: A year ago at this time, we released version 5 of WOTW. That dramatic rewrite was a smashing success and essentially quadrupled the traffic at witchvox.net. WOTW, by itself, is responsible for 2/3 of our traffic and generates 1 million "pages viewed" on a monthly basis. As a database programmer I was thrilled to see it take off and had hundreds of enhancement ideas. This joy was quickly squashed by the fact that we hit the wall as far as what we could deliver with our server shortly after version 5 went up. So much coolness never happened.

WOTW is a Mac based webstar/lasso/filemaker solution. The two weak links are; Filemaker is not multi-threaded and the up-speed of our pipe that delivers these pages to you averages 'round 350 mps (ADSL Gold). It's all we can afford, it's what we have to work with.

What is MOST frustrating is that all plans for a dynamic front end of Witchvox STILL haven't happened. I have been as patient as I can waiting for tools related to my skill set to be delivered. I am running out of patience

Article Continued...
(includes Our thoughts on
YOUR suggestions)


Next Week: Septenber Adult Essays, another new FREE mp3 gift, and much much more...


Young
Pagan
Essays
For

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1
September 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.
  • We Are Everywhere...Or Are We? #1 - When I first started the Paganism path I thought I was the only one. I figured that all the Pagans were holed up somewhere in Montana or Kentucky, you know—Deliverance country. Somewhere so out of the way they had the freedom to be as wacky as they want. When I moved to... Author: Rayalyn

  • We Are Everywhere...Or Are We? #2 - This year has been a very strange one for me. Especially as I have just turned 16, the pinnacle of teen-dom. Here in Scotland now I can get married, have sex, leave school, join the armed services and most importantly buy lottery tickets!!! What a lot to do in one year. I am going to be a very busy girl... Author: Silver StarSinger

  • Pagans and Abortion #1 - I can tell it's a dream. It's not totally real, and everything's a little blurry. Something inside me says to itself: 'Oh, it's a dream'. With that in mind, I watch the people in front of me. We are on a subway, in New York City. I am standing up, holding onto one of those pole things. There is a... Author: Marjorie Corbman

  • Pagans and Abortion #2 - So do what you will be the challenge So be it in love that harms none For this is the only commandment Of magick of old be it done! Doreen Valiente, Wiccan Creed Only one moral tenet exists for Wicca, Harm None, the basis of the Wiccan Rede. The simplicity of the Rede embodies so much of the Craft's structure... Author: Marian C
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.

TWV Essay Topics: 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


Pagan Perspectives
WitchVox Question of the Week!

Last week, we asked the question:

If You Were Stranded Alone On A Deserted Island?
...you would be pretty well entertained, it seems. From boy/girlfriends and pets (Hardly fits the 'alone' part of the question, folks, but if ya simply can't imagine life without 'em, then who are we to argue?) to favorite books and CDs (run on batteries, of course!), we all have our favorites. Pens and paper, the better to write our best-selling book about our experiences, was the number one answer. Our personal favorites were those who think that being stranded alone on a deserted island for a weeks sounded like a real GOOD thing! -- View the Responses.

This week, we ask the question:

What Are Your Plans For Fall? (Or Spring for those in the Southern Hemisphere.)
Whether you celebrate Pagan holidays such as Mabon and Samhain (Ostara/Beltaine) or not, everyone recognizes the changing of the seasons in some way. From the mundane (Finally gonna clean out that closet?) to the magic(k)al (Oh, those special rituals!), tell us your plans. You can post decorating tips, seasonal poetry, holiday rituals (New Pagans are always interested in these!), recipes (Lots of requests for those, too!), ritual preparations and/or garb or anything else that you think might help other Pagans to get in the mood!

Post YOUR Opinion or view the View Responses of others.




In Closing...

"So pure and impure are not two separate genera but two varieties of the same genus that includes all sacred things. There are two sorts of sacred, lucky and unlucky; and not only is there no radical discontinuity between the two opposite forms, but the same object can pass from one to the other without changing its nature. The impure is made from the pure and vise versa. The possibility of such transformations constitutes the ambiguity of the sacred."- (Emile Durkheim; The Elementary Forms of Religious Life).

In Your Service,

WitchVox Staff
The Witches' Voice Inc.
Monday, September 10th., 2001






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