Weekly Update: 9/24/2001|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: September 24th. 2001
Times Viewed: 5,477
This Weeks update: In an attempt to regain some level of composure after the countless tragedies of the past 10 days, Witchvox offers community thoughts and news from the community. Yes, we are an American based Witch site, and as Americans we stand proudly with our brothers and sisters against hate in the name of any God. Religious fundamentalism in our world, our country and even in our community are a a receipe for disaster.
Getting Back To Normal...
The tragic events of the past two weeks still linger in our hearts and minds and spirits. The hunt for those responsible goes on throughout the world and somewhere in New York City dedicated fire and police and port authority personnel still sift through the rubble. The images and aftermath of September 11th will undoubtedly linger forever somewhere in our global psyche and be felt throughout our societies for a very, very long time. Everyone will always be able to recall just where they were and what they were doing at those historical moments.
But now, our community and national political leaders say, it is time for us to regain our composure, to go about our average day-to-day activities and to get back to normal. But just what IS this 'normal' exactly?
Is 'normal' a world where people of Arabian descent can be pulled from planes simply because they 'fit a profile' or are making the other passengers nervous? Maybe it is. As poll results quoted in a recent article in Salon.com indicate: "Sixty-one percent of the American people think that curbing terrorism will necessitate the average person giving up some civil liberties" and in another poll that "forty-nine percent think all Arabs, including U.S. citizens, should have to carry a special ID card." Is this the new profile of what "normal" looks like?
Maybe 'normal' now includes advertising dollar withdrawals from people like Bill Maher of 'Politically Incorrect' (which has now been taken off the air in many locations and faces possible cancellation) or the memos being passed around radio stations that 'recommend' songs such as John Lennon's 'Imagine' or U-2's 'Bloody Sunday' be removed from the playlist? As Dave Denver, operations manager for Clear Channel's Palm Beach stations said, "Right now, our posture here is to keep the flow of information continuing, to obviously support a high level of patriotism. It's very important to not give the terrorists what they wanted and make sure that we on the air continue with our business so everybody will feel good about living in America." After that news broke, they went on to 'explain' that " the list was created merely as a suggestion to program directors, not a mandate." Do corporate censors--I mean, suggestions-- on what will or will not be broadcast over the public airwaves really help us feel that everything is 'normal'? Maybe it does. In any case, it sure is a tried and true technique in good crowd control theory.
Is it 'normal' that so many secular and religious peoples, pundits and pulpits are distancing themselves from the likes of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson faster than Wal-Mart can sell out of American flags? Or is 'normal' the look of New York City as reflected on the weary faces of so many individuals from so many walks of life, ethnic backgrounds, religions or political parties as they continue to search, continue to hope and continue to work as one people? Is 'normal' to find yourself thinking at least once during each and every day, "Is it over yet?"
Is it 'normal' that while most of the people of the United States and a good chunk of the rest of the world were glued to CNN, Fox or any of the other news outlets that amongst all of the on-the-spot interviews, all of the memorial services held and all of the spiritual laymen and leaders who offered what comfort they could from the teachings of their own religions that there was not one Pagan, Pagan leader or Pagan-oriented word of insight or comfort in the bunch? Is it 'normal' to be as bothered or concerned about this lack of Pagan presence as the writer of this email and many of the folks who wrote down their feelings in last week's Pagan Perspectives forum obviously were?
For decades, Pagans have stated that they neither wanted nor needed any sort of national Pagan leadership. As the trauma of the last two weeks descended upon us however, some (And while we do have many wonderful, hardworking and dedicated local Pagan group and coven leaders all over the world, the majority of Pagans today remain- either by chance or by choice- solitary practitioners. They seem to want to know, "Who are MY leaders when I need one?") are now sensing that the lack of such a program was evident and that it may need to be looked at once again. As some Pagans have longed for a few words of comfort in this tragedy, so perhaps others, as they head out into the conflict or stand firmly here at home on the side of non-violent confrontation, may begin to look for some guidance, for some wisdom and for some Pagan spiritual perspective on just what that 'normal' thing might be. So as we here at TWV have received several forwarded copies of the email mentioned above (Our names are in it.) and have also seen the same topic reflected in the saddened comments on last week's board, we are bringing the questions posed therein out into the open in this week's Pagan Perspectives for you to comment on.
No matter which side of the national Pagan leadership question that we may be on, no matter which stance that we might hold on the causes and/our results of our current domestic instability, no matter how much we either support or oppose the world-wide military actions that are already underway, there is one thing that we all can agree upon: Pagans have a vested interest in freedom. The right to worship as we please, to assemble peacefully together, to speak up, speak out and speak openly for what we believe to be right is what has made the United States truly 'the land of the free.' In the days to come, Pagans- and indeed all Americans- will not only struggle with the thorny issues of civil liberties, domestic economics, global conflicts and religious expression amongst ourselves, but we shall also undoubtedly see these same issues reflected in various ways throughout the world.
For any nation, for any people staring at the choices that the United States faces today, these serious considerations would present a set of serious challenges. And for any nation, for any people, these serious challenges would set faction against faction, liberal against conservative, hawk against dove, civil liberties against national security and religious beliefs against secular power. And in any nation these confrontations surely would cause a quite a ruckus, stir up the smoldering passions of old resentments and generally strain the very fiber of national identity and the commitment to the ideals of 'liberty and justice for all.'
But this is not just any nation. This is America. We cut our teeth on this stuff. We can disagree on political policy, fight over religious dogmas and creeds, squabble over budgets, book bans and social morals and at the same time remain steadfast in our declaration that we are one people and one nation. For Americans- and for all people anywhere in the world who hold liberty dear- it is simply the normal procedure that we go through, the normal discomfort that we bear and the normal price that we are willing to pay in order to remain free.
Walk in Love and Light,
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, September 24th., 2001
Photo Credit: The photo above was captured three during the same evening that our cover photo was taken. Thanks go out to Wvox staff photographer Don "Two Eagles" Waterhawk (Web) for this powerful image. (location: Wendyl and Bill's ritual space in Ft. Meyers, Florida).
Victor H. Anderson
(5/21/1917 - 9/20/2001)
From K.C. Anton... "With great sadness and feeling I pass onto you the news that Grand Master of the Feri Tradition, Victor Anderson, passed away on September 20th at approximately 2:20 p.m., after a number of attempts to revive him en route to the hospital after an initial collapse. Cause is still unknown.
Our thoughts and love are with Victor as he travels the paths to the Apple Land. Just as prayers and thoughts are with Cora at this time of loss. Blessings to his House, his coven family and students.
The blessings of this poet and shaman will be on my heart, my mind, and my lips during this time of harvest celebration. May he share his path with others in the next life as he did in this one."
Berta Daniels offers... Victor Anderson was one of Starhawk and Gwydion Pendderwen's origanal teachers and one of the founders of the American Feri Tradition. For more info check out Tombo Studios or Witch Eye Magazine
The Witchvox Staff offers our sincerest regrets to the family, friends and countless Pagans whose lives have been touched by Victor. We are building a proper memorial page for Victor in our Pagan Passages section so if YOU hear of any other info on Victors passing or would like to write a memorial, kindly email us so that we can share it with all.
|Later this Week at the Witches' Voice: |
A special treat for us all!
We are very excited to announce that we will be featuring a daily journal of Pagan Pride in NYC penned by Logan Sullivan of the band Emerald Rose (see press release below). In case you have been living in a cave, Emerald Rose is a wonderful Pagan Band from North Georgia. They will be heading out tomorrow for both PP NYC and Ground Zero itself. It is clear that this will be a unique opportunity for us all to experience this trip vicarious through Logan's journal.
We thank Logan in advance for this offer. Witchvox is committed to getting these pages up on the days that Logan sends them over. There is also a good chance of pictures as well. Thank YOU Logan and ER for your belief in this community and for what you continue to do for us all.
Notes from a Pagan WebCrafter
National Pagan Leaders, Code Blue and Fundamentalism.
Greetings Witches, Wiccans and Pagans,
As we all continue to come to terms with September 11th's horrifying series of events, many are working hard on putting their lives back together. Life as we know it, or knew it, is over. This is a new beginning for so many in so many ways. The Witchvox staff, like most of you, had to struggle to maintain our composure over the past few weeks and this week we are making a serious effort to get back to what we do, for you and with you in this new America. Many things happened this past week and here is my take on a few of them...
"Nimda" Cripples the Net:
Most online surfers are, no doubt, familiar with Tuesday's attack by a 'worm' that exploited a security hole in the Microsoft Server 2000 OS, essentially rendering much of the net useless. Since 20% OF the internet servers are MS servers, this was devastating to just about all of us. 1/3rd of our traffic is hosted at Drak.net and Witchvox was unreachable by many for most of that day. Lhiannon and co. quickly fought this beast and Wren and I ourselves could finally pull up Witchvox late Wednesday. The other 2/3rds of our traffic is served here at our house and since Florida was one of the worst areas hit, we were VERY slow for most of the week. This was making us crazy, the blame was shared by our ISP 'Oasis' and 'Verizon'. We crabbed at them on a near hourly basis as the week came to a close. Things seem better, but we are tired of fighting with these people. We have another line almost ready and will move some sections over to www.witchvox.org in the next few days. NOTE: Neither the Drak.net (unix) or Witchvox.net (mac) servers were actually infected by this worm.
Where are the Pagan Leaders?
Over this past week ELists, chat boards and porch chats all over the America were a buzz about a bitter piece of email entitled "An open letter to the Pagan Leaders" (see copy). Typically we ignore posts that are heavy on pointing fingers and complaining yet are vacant of solutions, but in a round about way, this post opened up a broader subject... The difference between local and national leaders and the possible need for the latter.
Perhaps it IS time for National Pagan Leaders, perhaps it's not. ONLY you can decide. It's YOUR community.
The subject of "National Pagan Leaders" (AKA "B.N.P." or "Big Named Pagans") has been a hot topic for many a moon. The mantra of the past was that we don't need National Leaders, yet last weeks events motivated many to reconsider this and inspired some to complain that we don't have them and that we DO need them. This week we ask for YOUR OPINION on this issue via our Question of the Week.
So many questions... Do we need them? Who picks them? What would we need them to do? What are they doing to solicit YOUR opinion? Who represents the voice of the solitaires? (arguably the largest faction OF the community). Let there be no doubt about it, to be effective NPLs really do need to carry a mandate from the majority of the community itself.
If the majority of the community decides that they want National Pagan Leaders, these NPLs WILL need your support, both spiritually and financially. It costs money to send one of our leaders to interfaith meetings, it costs money to do a REAL press release (typically 400-800 bucks), it costs money to gather our national Pagan leaders on a regular basis.
So where were our leaders this past week? Locally, they were quietly doing what they always do, working up ways to support those in need, talking TO the local press, consoling those that were tramatised by last weeks events. AND I am sure that if they were near "ground zero" they were doing everything they could to help this horrible situation. (Starhawk WAS in NYC doing a public healing ritual)
It's worth noting that the Witches' Voice is contacted by the press on a regular basis (The "only on Samhain" myth perpetuated by many of our elders hasn't been a reality for a few years now) and it is our policy to send them to local groups and figure heads. In fact that IS what most reporters request. Perhaps someday this will change and in an effort of efficiency we will simply point them to a community supported group.
NOTE: In an effort to NOT influence this weeks question in any way, Wren and I will not offer our personal response to the "Open letter to the Pagan Leaders" on the forum until next week. We will do this because a) we were cited directly in the post and b) because so many of you have asked us to.
It IS worth noting that Wren and I aren't Pagan Leaders nor have we ever claimed to be. We are service people and always have been. It's our nature.
Killing in the Name of GOD:
This past week, Christian Coalition talking heads Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson all but blamed 30% of America for the tragedies of 911 (see the 11 news clips over at Wren's Nest). "They made this happen!" was their mantra. They meaning "pagans, abortionists, feminists, homosexuals, the American Civil Liberties Union and the People for the American Way". Jerry and Pat got hammered quickly buy Americans United, Gays, Pro-rights activists, Pagans, the ACLU and even the White House itself. Earlier this week, a "coalition of Pagan groups" paid for and delivered a press release denouncing these remarks as well.
Jerry's move to convince America that the Christian God is a vengeful entity mercifully failed. Much press noted that Jerry's statement as a perfect example of the dangers of religious fundamentalism and that is was NOT all that different from the rhetoric of Osama bin Laden himself. Pat Robertson claims that he didn't understand what Jerry was saying yet his response at the time of the discussion was... "I agree completely".
Neither Jerry or Pat have retracted their statements, yet they have begrudgingly apologized for offending the groups Jerry mentioned. It is clear that to even the casual observer that Jerry DID mean this and will no doubt use his fame to further this message to all God-fearing Christians as he has for years.
Here at TWV we believe that Christian Americans are smarter than Jerry gives them credit for. Jerry has always been about preaching fear an Hate. It's no secret that the Christian Coalition has been on the ropes, and thanks to Jerry this may very well be the crowning blow for them.
Fundamentalism isn't pretty in ANY spiritual path.
In closing, allow us to thank all of you that have come to the aid of the victims of the horrible tragedy of Sept. 11th, via personal gatherings, donations and by adopting your Pagan pride events to better serve this need.
Proudly in Your Service,
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, September 24th., 2001
PS: Witch hugs go out to April Patterson for sending along this background pattern. We plan on flirting with other backgrounds in the weeks to come.
Pagan Pride Day in Cincinnati
(Email From LdyMyztic received this week.)
Yesterday (9/16/2001) we held the 3rd Annual Cincinnati Pagan Pride Day... With attendance of over 165 persons.. Many vendors and people from the pagan community...
At the end of the day we did what is called the "Great Snake Dance" or "Salmander" This is a silent rite to honor the dead..
With over 40 people caring candles and 5 drummers leading the precession playing a nice heart beat rhythm. I watched as they flowed across a grassy field at the beginning of nigh fall.. The candles illuminated the area.. there was nothing to be heard but the heart beat of the drums as they slowly winded down the field..
The precession was suppose to end at the drum circle but instead the ended it right in front of me where I was standing... With many tears in my eyes of the beauty of this Rite, I sent out Blessings to those who have past on, their families and all those who have come together to try to rescue those who are still trapped.. I asked blessing for those who are about to go into war, to bring justice to those who caused such a great tragedy to our country..I asked blessing to those who are in need of healing as we morn the loss of so many...
Today I was sent a picture of this dance as it was captured by a digital camera... I wanted to send it to you... After the Dance was over many spoke about hearing and feeling the magick in the field.. others said they seen faeries flying about... Well, here is a picture to show the magick of the evening...
WEB: White Oak Tree Grove and Coven
Cincinnati's LC Pagan Pride Day
Blessed Mabon Everybody!...
In celebration of this weeks holiday we offer the following valuable information
- Mabon - Details (9/21/2001)
by Christina Aubin
The Autumnal Equinox, in the Northern Hemisphere, is the point at which the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator from north to south. The equinoxes, which lie at the intersections of the celestial equator and the ecliptic, are points moving in a westward direction along the celestial sphere. This is known as the precession of the equinoxes (first noted by Hipparchus around 120 B.C and explained in 1687 by Sir Isaac Newton). It takes 25, 800 years for the equinoxes to pass through all the constellations of the zodiac, meaning this occurs at a rate of 50.27 seconds of arc a year. Read the Full Article or surf the dozens of enlightening Mabon Links.
- Mabon and the Harvest in Modern Times (8/1/2001)
by Anita Stewart
As our days get slightly shorter than the nights we wave goodbye to Summer! There is a chill to the air in the morning and we are reminded of Fall and certain familiar scenes have the bright and warm colors of this Sabbat. When we see children going back to school and the big golden school buses and number 2 pencils, the multi-colored leaves, new brown shoes, we know we have come to Mabon, the Fall Equinox and the second of the Harvest Festivals. Read the Full Article.
Pagan Pride Events... Stronger than ever!
This week marks the wrap up of Pagan Pride 2001. This year many quickly modified thier events in the 11th hour to better reflect the recent historical changes here in America (see Wren's thoughts and our Mabon message over at Wren's Nest) TWV applauds vast number of local Pagans and Pagan groups that did the actual work to make this happen, be they official or unofficial events. For a tally of monies collected, tips on hosting a pp event and more... visit the PP international website at www.paganpride.org. For a list of Pagan Pride events for this week, visit our Pagan Pride Events Page
Adult Essays for September NOW Up!...
Being Pagan in a "Mundane" World September Special Features...
How can you be true to your Pagan Way in a world that seems to be determined to turn you into a mindless consumer? What methods can we use to counteract the 'noise' of the mundane world? Page 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5
Pagans and Abortion
This is a perennially divisive topic on the national political scene. We'd like to know how Pagans feel about the right of a woman to choose to terminate a pregnancy vs. the right of a fetus to be born. 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
America's Guardians - Who are the Guardians of America? Are they the same Guardians who were here when the Iroquois nation ruled? Are they the ones the immigrants from 1000 countries brought here? Or, (as I am more inclined to believe) are they something completely new, created like this country out of the values, beliefs and...
Author: Amanda Date Posted: 9/23/2001
Kuan Yin And The Year Of The Snake - Some Pagans may have seen this coming. Not me. I only knew that this was already one of the most difficult years of my life. It can't, I thought, get any worse then this. And then, horribly, and for all of us, it did. For me this...
Author: Sia Date Posted: 9/23/2001
YOUR Voice Wanted... The Witches' Voice is actively soliciting positive and inspiring editorials, articles and essays on a variety of topics of interest to the Pagan Teenager. PLEASE be sure to read our Editorial Submission Guidelines 2001 page before submitting an essay. We love to hear from Pagan Teens about Topics that you'd like to see covered. Simply Email Diotima with your suggestions.
Essay Topics for October for ALL Ages!
Beyond Wicca 101: We hear a lot of folks say they're tired of the "Wicca 101" approach that's found in so many books. So we'd like to hear what topics would be part of a book on "advanced" Wicca? What would you like the elders in our community to write about?
Magick for Personal Gain: Do you think magick/spells should be used for personal gain? What constitutes personal gain (e.g. love spells, money spells, healing spells, self-improvement spells...)
Young Pagan Essays due: 9/30 -- Adult Essays due: 10/7
| Pagan Perspectives|
WitchVox Question of the Week!
For the last two weeks, we dedicated the forum to the...
911 America Tragedy so that you could vent, plan and express your sorrow and/or rage over the terrorist attacks on the United States, Americans, British, Canadians and all the other citizens of all of the other countries who lost employees, loved ones, friends as a result. You poured out your hearts, consoled one another with poetry and prayers and expressed your deep felt convictions on where we should all go from here. -- View the Responses.
This week, we ask the question:
What About Those Pagan Leaders Again? As we mentioned in our homepage introduction, the question of who our 'Pagan Leaders' might be has again been raised. And perhaps that is a good thing as the world situation has changed and perhaps the views of Pagans on the topic have changed as well. We would request that those who continue to support the decades old view that Pagans do not need national leaders also then address the question of what should we do to comfort/represent our own at a national level in times of crisis seeing as most folks in the Pagan community are still solitaries.
We request that those who take the position that national leaders are (or may) be needed to represent the Pagan communities in times such as this also address the question of how these 'leaders' would be supported financially in order that they might afford to work full-time for the communities and/or take emergency/diplomatic trips to seats of political power to represent you.
And finally, just where would the national election for 'Pagan Leaders' be held? Without such an election, any national 'Pagan Leader' would by necessity have to be an 'appointed' one, wouldn't he/she? (Just who does the appointing has always been interesting.) This question is one of a 'national' Pagan leadership and the benefits and/or drawbacks of such. Local and community Pagan leaders/advocates/facilitators are already in place and generally do a wonderful job where they are.
Post YOUR Opinion or view the Responses of others.
A Spell Experiment From Isaac Bonewits
Osama bin Laden - Wanted for mass-murder: "I invite you to join me in an experiment in global spell casting: every night until the next full moon, do whatever form of ritual and/or prayer works best for you, for at least half an hour, while concentrating on this or another photo of him and these simple words: He shall be bound, he shall be found. Alive or dead, upon his head, Justice". (Permission to distribute widely is given).
Isaac releases: "A Call to Arms (or Treating the Disease)" version 1.4.1
"The attacks on the World Trade Center and Washington DC by Muslim Fundamentalists have crystallized a number of ideas that have been drifting around in my head for several years. This "911 call" wasn't just a wake up call about terrorism, it was a sign that the Culture War between Modernity and Fundamentalism has become irredeemably deadly. Though there are multiple non-religious motives behind Islamic terrorism, this essay will focus on the religious factors sanctifying and justifying mass murder"
For more from one of our best visit the Isaac Bonewits Home Page
Pagan Music Press Releases...
PRESS RELEASE 9/22/01:
New York City Pagan Pride Changes Location
In the aftermath of September 11, organizers of New York City's Pagan Pride Day have reluctantly announced a change for the location of the event.
The NYC Pagan Pride Day event has been moved to Washington Square Park.
The event is this coming Sat. Sept 29, from 11 am to 5 pm. Nothing else has been changed, but the location. Those wishing to attend the event can find information about the venue change at http://www.nyc-ppp.org/ . Organizers are requesting volunteers to help with set-up and clean-up as well as other vital tasks. Anyone that wishes to volunteer help may contact MoonTwin609@aol.com.
The focus of the event has changed as well. Healing from this crisis and sharing time and energy with our own people is a priority, but leaders also note that it is a time to move forward and keep our spirits strong. Celtic Pagan band Emerald Rose has decided to continue with plans for their New York / New Jersey tour, and will perform at NYC Pagan Pride Day, wherever it is held. They will be joined by Pagan musicians and artists Music for the Goddess and an open drum circle accompanied by Divine GaiaDance. The event will include a Healing and Protection Circle "To help begin the healing necessary and ask protection for all New Yorkers and Americans as we work through this difficult time. Open to all who want to participate. Stand, Breathe, Ground, Pray." The gathering will also feature vendors, workshops, speakers Deborah Ann Light and Lady Rhea, an artists' gallery and arts and crafts for children. Proceeds of the day will be donated to benefit the WTC victims and their families! For more info check out the work of this group of courageous magickal people at http://www.nyc-ppp.org/nyc_event/nyc_event.html.
PRESS RELEASE 9/10/01:
Elvendrums Finishing up "Gateway to Faerie"
The new CD is nearly done, and we're getting daily reports from the company doing the duplication and packaging. We're hoping to have it in time for our shows this coming weekend. For those of you on the Gateway list, expect to get an email from us soon with instructions on how to order your autographed copy.
CD Release Party Here's your first official notification of the upcoming CD Release extravaganza, an event so big and exciting that it will happen twice! We've scheduled two evening performances in the theater of the Westport Coffee House for November 16 and 17. We'll be performing songs from the new CD both nights, and plan to film for our new television commercial and music video on Saturday!! Come help us celebrate!
For more on this press release and others... visit the Pagan Music Press Pages
"If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom, and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too." - (W. Somerset Maugham).
In Your Service,
The Witches' Voice Inc.
Monday, September 24th., 2001
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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