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

Weekly Update: 11/19/2001

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: November 19th. 2001
Times Viewed: 6,096

Update Notes: Much technical difficulties these past few days..., including Wren's Nest and your entire networking section is DOWN due to problems with our local phone company. We fought to get this back most of the weekend to no avail.

UPDATE 11/19: IS back UP.

The update was a scramble but includes some powerful pieces by Peg and Wren as well as two wonderful new profiles in our Traditions section. Since this week is all about Harry Potter we will lead off with Peg's latest version of Witch Cinema.

Never Again... and Never Before

Witch Cinema for November by Peg Aloi

There is some sad news to report at the beginning of this month's column. Anthony Shaffer, playwright and screenwriter (Sleuth, Frenzy, Death on the Nile, and The Wicker Man) and twin brother of playwright Peter Shaffer (Equus, Amadeus), died on November 6th at the age of 75 after a brief illness. Pagans familiar with The Wicker Man know that Shaffer's sly, literate screenplay about a Christian police officer investigating the report of a missing child in an odd pagan community in the remote islands of Scotland, offered mystery and magic that reached audiences across genres: horror, mystery, and musical. The Sunday Times wrote in their obituary:

"A film dear to his heart for its exploitation of sinister scariness was the cult classic The Wicker Man (1973), for which he wrote the screenplay. This highly effective tale of diabolical possession, starring Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland and Christopher Lee, was directed by Robin Hardy and made use of ravishing Scottish Highland settings as the backdrop for its supernatural goings-on."

Shaffer's collaboration with director Robin Hardy yielded one of the most enduring cult classics of all time. The recent DVD release includes a fascinating documentary detailing the strange occurrences which marked the making of this film, and its success against all odds. Ironically, several weeks before Shaffer's death, news of a big-budget Hollywood remake was announced, written and directed by Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men, Nurse Betty) and starring Nic Cage. It was well-known that Shaffer was bitter for years because of the lack of creative ownership he had maintained over his property, and he publicly declared his disapproval over the remake. Shaffer was also involved in creating a stage musical based on the film, which was rumored to open in Canada in the next year. It is not known at this time if that project will go forward.

Rest well, Mr. Shaffer. And thank you for your art and vision which have inspired so many.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

The other bit of news this month hardly needs to be announced. The film version of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone opened to record-breaking audience attendance and ticket sales, setting box office records in the first few hours. Fans of the series of books (and they are many; the book has been translated into dozens of languages and has sold millions of copies worldwide, among children and adults) have been abuzz for months wondering if the magic of the books could possibly be translated to the big screen.

Film adaptations of magical books are often disappointing; the human imagination crafts images and emotions from words on a page in ways that speak to us individually. For one artist (or creative team helmed by one singular vision) to interpret that work of literature is a recipe for disappointment by its very design. Think of the film versions of Dune, or Interview with the Vampire, or The Witches of Eastwick, or The Shining, or The Mists of Avalon, or Practical Magic: all are good films or mini-series in their own right (well, maybe not The Witches of Eastwick). But readers can point to many examples of plot elements left out of or changed from the film versions (Morgause murders Viviane? Huh? And why does Gillian become possessed by the ghost of her lover?), unfortunate casting choices (Tom Cruise as the androgynous Lestat? Glamorous, twiggy Cher as the overweight, earthy Alexandra?) or simple omission of key visual or magical elements (the topiary that comes to life on the grounds of the Overlook) so important to a story's success.

A book as richly detailed as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (originally titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone but apparently "dumbed down" for American audiences; I am in the process of ordering UK editions for myself) could not possibly be replicated in all its wonder and intricacy... or could it? Director Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Mrs. Doubtfire) who became interested in the project as a result of his young daughter's insistence he read the book, has said he often asked for her input and she watched many of the daily rushes and offered her opinion on how scenes were shot. "I'm not saying I based any major editing decisions (on her comments, " he said in Katie Couric's interview, but he admitted her encyclopedic knowledge of the book's trivia was useful to him, as well as her very strong feelings about how certain things should be portrayed.

WARNING: From This Point On...
This Review Will Contain Spoilers. Ye Have Been Warned.

I am not going to go over the basic plot elements because for the most part the film is remarkably faithful to the book, in terms of chronology and important plot points. I'm offering my commentary on the acting, special effects and the film as a whole, because in adapting a book like this those elements seem the most significant. As critic John Leonard said in his review, "Hollywood didn't spoil War and Peace, " and there are times when the silver city gets things right. I am happy to report that this is one of the most engaging, magical and entertaining films I have seen in a very long time, and that the movie's faithfulness to Rowling's book is about as thorough as one could reasonably expect from Hollywood.

Of course one of the most crucial aspects of a successful film adaptation is characterization, and the first key to success is effective casting. There is such an impressive roster of actors in this film (among England's finest, and I for one appreciate the Englishness of this film's sensibility) that it would be hard to go wrong. From the amazing newcomers Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson as Harry, Ron and Hermione, to veterans like Richard Harris as Professor Dumbledore, Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall, Robbie Coltrane as Hagrid, Zoe Wannamaker as Madame Hooch, and Fiona Shaw as Aunt Petunia, it is hard to imagine a finer array of actors to make this story come to life. Also, John Cleese has a hilarious cameo as a certain nearly-headless ghost.

Of course we expect fine things from the likes of Harris, Smith, Coltrane and Shaw. (I got to interview Fiona Shaw during a publicity tour last year for the film The Last September; one of my favorite actresses and a delightful woman, I was delighted when I heard she would play this juicy role, and she does not disappoint: her Aunt Petunia is as full of spite, jealousy and cowardice as Rowling's portrayal of her). But it is the unselfconscious, utterly convincing performances from our three young friends of the House of Gryffindor that leave an indelible impression. Daniel Radcliffe is perfect as Harry, with his Paul McCartney hair and big blue eyes. At first beaten down by his horrid muggle aunt and uncle and their odious son Dudley, shocked at the arrival of the owls and Hagrid when he is whisked away to Hogwarts, then gradually growing to understand his unique gifts and fame, every one of these transformations of his character is subtle and believable.

I confess I fell in love with Rupert Grint's Ron Weasley: an inexperienced actor determined to get this part, Grint's winning the role over hundreds of other actors is a childlike fantasy come true. He makes the most of his opportunity, portraying Ron as a likeable, self-deprecating boy eager to make friends but careful not to reveal too much. His embarrassment over his humble upbringing, his repulsion/fascination response to Hermione, and his immediate fondness for Harry, all are clearly based in the actor's own fondness for the book and his naturalness for the big screen (his quick wit and sparkling humor with Katie Couric on the TV special were a reminder that using American child actors for these roles would have been a big mistake). I particularly love the scene where the two friends meet, on the Hogwarts Express. It is slightly different from the book. When the sweets cart comes around to their compartment, Ron sheepishly holds up a bag of squashed sandwiches and declines to buy anything. Harry, his pockets bulging with Gringott's gold, says without hesitation "We'll take the lot" and Ron explains all the strange, magical candies to him, since Harry, up until now, has never had any money to buy treats of any kind for himself-Ron instinctively understands Harry's generosity is not showing off but genuine kindness. This is later exhibited when the boys first meet Draco Malfoy, a bleached blonde little smartass, eager to make friends with the famous Harry Potter, but who cruelly teases Ron ("Red hair and hand-me-down robes, must be a Weasley"). He arrogantly informs Harry he should be careful not to hang out with the "wrong sort" and extends his hand, which Harry refuses, saying he can tell who the wrong sort are for himself, thanks. Alliances are drawn instantly, and while the history of the rivalry between Gryffindor and Slytherin is not as detailed as it is in the book (one wonders why Harry keeps saying "Not Slytherin" again and again as the Sorting Hat-a slouchy leathery face with a "been there done that" demeanor--prepares to place him in his chosen house), the dislike between Draco and Harry is understood as being in the scheme of things.

As is the chemistry between bossy bookworm Hermione Granger (Emma Watson, who says she is nothing like Hermione in real life and "hates her, " gives a stunning performance) and Ron and Harry. They are like a 19th century Mod Squad, all giving of their best as they unravel the mysterious happenings around them; Hermione's studiousness pays off and saves their lives more than once; Ron's devotion to his friends and Harry's courage get them through various death-defying scrapes.

One can't review this film without mentioning the amazing special effects. Obviously the story is full of magical moments and impossibilities, and to describe every single effect would take pages. I also noted that the effects seem inspired by and drawn from many different schools of special-effects wizardry. I am not sure if this was intentional or not. My favorite by far was: the owls! The scenes where the letters from Hogwarts arrive at 4 Privet Drive, accompanied by hundreds of owls, and the owls delivering mail in the dining hall at Hogwarts, are spectacular. Diagon Alley is even more magical than Rowlings' description: a Dickensian corner of secret London, the cobblestoned streets lined with shops full of magical items and the shoppers a mind-spinning array of colorfully-attired children and parents and wizards and witches. The instantaneous appearance of food on the tables at dinner, shot from above, is beautiful, with candles suspended high in the air overhead. The students and teachers alike are all served a bounteous feats of candy at Hallowe'en with floating Jack o' lanterns replacing the candles. I was not overly fond of the portrayal of the Quidditch match: it looked and felt too much like Jedi fighters in Star Wars, the boys and girls zipping around on their brooms moving way too fast to be much more than a blur. The various creatures were a mixed bag: the goblins were first rate, like the finest Jim Henson creations. I also loved the unicorn and centaur, shown in the blue-lit Dark Forest. Norbert, the baby Norwegian Ridgeback dragon, was perfect. The huge troll that attacks Hermione is great: a grey-skinned, pin-headed oaf right out of Brian Froud's fairy books. I have to say, Fluffy, the three-headed dog clearly based on Cerberos, demon guardian of the gates of hell, was disappointing, since he was so obviously computer-generated. And Voldemort, who lives parasitically on the back of Quirrel's head, looks a lot like the walking zombie-like beings in The Mummy. Perhaps one of the most impressive special effects is ingenious because of its low-tech ingenuity: Harry's cloak of invisibility. We are shown Harry's point of view from beneath the cloak, and it is nothing more than the actor wearing a diaphanous piece of fabric painted with magical symbols like the heavy velvet cloak he put on earlier. This was a clever and effective way to allow us to see and feel what it was like to wear that garment. Speaking of costumes, they were exactly as I pictured them. Maggie Smith wears a green velvet mantle with subtle Celtic and occult designs; hmm, I wonder if the spring fashion shows will feature clothes inspired by this film's odd combination of luxurious magical robes and proper English public school attire? They're saying the scarlet and gold striped scarf (Gryffindor's colors) will be THE fashion accessory to get hold of this winter...

I was struck again and again at the myriad magical lessons inherent in this story and their application to modern witchcraft and magical practice. Some of the best scenes and lines that speak to this were unfortunately left out, as when Hermione says, "This isn't magic, it's logic. A lot of the greatest wizards haven't got an ounce of logic." We see what happens when young wizards and witches don't study their herblore carefully. We see how easy it is to be fooled by glamour, and how easy it is to want to be fooled indefinitely. We see how foolish it can be to set off boldly in the face of the unknown. We hear the fear and hatred in the voices of muggles when they refer to their own flesh and blood as "freaks." We see that love is the greatest virtue a magician can have. We see that true magic is not about spells and potions and brooms and amulets, but about friendship and bravery and courage and truth.

It needs to be said that the Religious Right is not at all happy with the popularity of this film. Here is just one example of the sort of things being said: (Link)

But I think the book's runaway success is more significant; children the world over have discovered Harry Potter, and have grown to love these incredible stories. They have left their video games and mindless cartoons and uncreative modes of play behind, at least for the moment, and are finding joy in reading. Books. Literature. Who'd have thought it possible? They are learning that study and effort and good old-fashioned strength of character can help them solve a whole world of problems. If that is not magic, what is?

Peg Aloi
Media Coordinator - The Witches' Voice
Nov. 19th, 2001
Email: [Staff Page Link]

Pagan Perspectives
WitchVox Question of the Week!

Last week, we asked the question...

What Is Music? -Music is important to many Pagans. Some feel the power in the melodies themselves; others hear in the words messages of hope or encouragement or of just simple joy and release. "Music, above all, is an international language that we can all understand," says Gwydion Canu Bleidd and with that, we would wholeheartedly concur. -- View the Responses

This week, we ask the question:

Are You Wild About Harry? Have you seen the movie? What did you think of it? Do you think that the movie will bring more people into Paganism or to the study of real magic(k)? Do you think that this is a good thing or not? Do you think that the witchcraft and magic and spells as depicted in the movie accurately (though exaggerated) reflect the basic premises of Witchcraft and magick and spellwork as we know it? What do think a good response would be to both those who want to 'do it like Harry' and to those who believe that Pottermania is anti-Christian or enticing children into the 'world of the occult'? Post YOUR Opinion or view the Responses of others.

Pinning It Down...
By Wren

This won't be the most popular column that I have ever written. Nor the most upbeat. Nor the most politically correct. Some of my regular readers might be disappointed in that and almost certainly a few of my friends are going to be pissed off. (One of the reasons that I really like to write about ducks and fish: They don't usually send me nasty emails.) But I am a writer and the topics that are most apt to get my keyboard tapping come from my observations of the world around us. Two seemingly unrelated incidents of this past week have my typing fingers all itchy and so I guess that you might consider these words as my personal mental scratch marks.

I am confused. (Hardly the first time; probably won't be the last.) I am confused over this whole 'Harry Potter' movie thing. No, not the movie itself, but the general Pagan reaction to the movie. As I understand it, the movie stays pretty close to the story as told in the first Potter book. When the big discussions over the Potter books were taking place- when the charges from certain Christian fundamentalist groups centered on the Harry Potter books as Pagan indoctrination materials designed to suck innocent children into the 'dangerous' world of the occult- almost to a Witch and Wiccan, Pagans said, "No way. It's only a series of books. Nicely written fantasy books, of course, but not really Witchcraft as most of us practice it and certainly not Wicca. Those people have it all wrong."

Since the movie came out (even before the movie came out in some cases) however, almost to a Witch or Wiccan, Pagans interviewed by the media have said, "Well, yes. It is exaggerated, of course, but these are pretty much the tools and techniques that we use and what we believe. This will be a great boost for the Craft and, if it doesn't actually bring more people into Paganism (and we think that it will), at least it will make folks more aware of what we do." Huh? I guess that makes 'those people' somewhat right after all. Let the sucking of innocents begin!

Of course, we have only heard from those Pagans interviewed and perhaps there is a vast right-wing conspiracy to only print the comments of those whose opinions substantiate what the Christian far-right is saying about the books and the movie. As a conspiracy theory, this would make a great deal of sense. Already one school class trip to see the Potter film has been cancelled, what with Witchcraft being a religion and all, due to church-state separation concerns. Does this fall into the 'be careful what you ask for, you might just get it' category? In any case, if the legal system holds the premise that Witchcraft (as practiced by some and differentiated from secular witchcraft as practiced by others) is indeed a religion and then Pagans come forward to state that the "witchcraft" in the Potter books is indeed 'Witchcraft', it would not be too much of a stretch to see more of this church-state argument being used to get the books out of school classrooms in the future. (If you were not interviewed, you will still have your chance to speak and for your thoughts to be counted as this issue will be our Pagan Perspectives topic this week.)

But I don't want to forget to bring in the other incident that also happened last week, so I'll do that now. Actually, it was one incident in two parts. Fritz and Peg and I attended a local Pagan festival gathering last week. Throughout that week, the myth of Persephone was played out in small vignettes here and there with the culmination of the 'play' to take place on Saturday night. We never made it to the ritual. My neck vertebrate went out and we left early. (Looking back, I doubt that this was coincidental.) In any case, we weren't there for the entire play out, but we did attend the meeting before the ritual. In this meeting, various Voudon practitioners explained that they were going to draw a number of ritual designs and that the circle dancing after the main ritual would empower those designs for specific magickal purposes. I thought that they handled the explanation well and that would be that. Ah, not so. At the Sunday community meeting, much was made of the effects of the Voudon magickal workings and how several perceived these as a violation or disrespect to those who were uncertain, unclear or unhappy with the inclusion of the Voudon energies. In short, some thought that their magickal bubble had been burst. More on this later.

Part two of the incident revolves around a dear Brother of ours-also in attendance at the festival- who is a Vietnam veteran. Ah, yes! Last Sunday was indeed the true date of Veteran's Day (although most probably celebrated it on the more conveniently day-off of Monday). It seems that our dear Brother waited all day on Sunday for the Pagan community still at the festival to honor the vets in some way or to at least acknowledge the day to him and other vets in attendance. That didn't happen. And he was pretty saddened about it. And he posted his sadness on the festival e-mail list. Now one could say that he should have mentioned it himself if he wanted to see the Pagan community do something. If he had, say those who are responding to this incident on the list, something would have been done. And it almost assuredly would have. But I don't think that this was our Brother's point. And so another bubble goes pop! More on this later, too.

What does the two-part incident at the festival and the premiere of the Harry Potter movie have to do with one another? I wasn't quite sure when they both presented themselves to me in my meditations about this week's column. But a glimmer of a thread presented itself and so here I in turn, present it to you: It is really all about bubbles.

We all have some bubbles in our lives. Many of them are real. We may have the bubble of a close and loving family or circle of supportive friends; we may have the bubble of good health or hearty energy; we may have the bubble of a spiritual path or religion that we share with others of like-mind. Americans have the bubble of freedom of religion, the bubble of liberty and justice under a Constitution that still works after 200 plus years. These are real bubbles and they are real bubbles most of the time. We count on them to remain real bubbles. But sometimes bubbles break through neglect or unkindness or ignorance. Sometimes bubbles break when smacked by abusive behavior or when they are rent apart by others who come intending to do deliberate and intentional harm. And sometimes, we burst these bubbles ourselves because they no longer fit who we are now. We decide that we simply have to get out. Bubbles, despite all of their potential problems are still very popular though because when you are in one, well.. it tends to be a very manageable and well-defined space. It's comfortable. And therein lies the ultimate problem. When one is inside a happy bubble, one will do just about anything to avoid the guy spotted coming down the street and carrying a pin. Even if that 'guy' is yourself.

The world of Harry Potter, the 'place' of Hogwart's School of Wizardry and Witchcraft is a bubble. It is a bubble for Harry as he struggles to get by in the mundane world of 'Muggles'. In the beginning of book two, we find that he can't wait for summer to be over and to get back there. Part of the appeal of the Harry Potter mythos (and the Potter books can truthfully be described as a new and powerful modern-day myth) is that there EXISTS at all such a place apart from this mundane world where one can work out one's problems and flex one's talents. You can leave the 'real' world and all its troubles (and troublesome people) behind to enter into this new bubble-place. It is also rather tempting to many of those who are struggling with internal Pagan social issues to want to believe that if WE indeed had one place like Hogwart's- and just one place- where EVERYONE went to learn magic(k) then we would be more cohesive, learned and perhaps more 'legitimate' somehow. And while Muggles are reading the books or watching the movie, they can live in this bubble, too. But it is not a bubble that travels well.

On the trip between the Harry Potter world and this world, there is probably going to be some popping involved. And so it is with us when we as Pagans travel between this world and the Otherworld. Sometimes a bubble will make it, sometimes it won't. It's a tough journey. It is a hard stance to maintain, this 'between the worlds' stuff. But that is our job description: to walk between the worlds and bring back insight, power, strength and knowledge to the people. Even if it is hard. Especially when it is hard. When no one else will do it. When no one else can do it. When sometimes we have to go it alone. When a new bubble needs to be created. When we have the need of a good sharp pin.

Because there are false bubbles in the world, too. Since the events of September 11th, a lot of new temporary bubbles have been formed as people look for a safe and comforting place to rest in for a time. The world of magic as depicted in the Harry Potter books and movie offers such a place and as long as folks realize that this bubble is based upon fantasy that is not a bad thing. We could use a break. The same could be said for the Pagan 'community' bubble or the Pagan festival bubble. Many of us have the need to get together, to just be together in these trying days. But it is one thing to want to be together to help each other heal or just to socialize and it is quite another thing to expect that once we DO get together that everything will be just hunky-dory perfect. The first is a real bubble built upon real intentions, the second but a bubble with a very thin skin indeed. Witchcraft and/or magic(k) will not solve all of our personal problems nor will it solve all of the problems of the world. Witchcraft, magic(k) or Paganism is not an escape from the 'real'world, but the addition of even more layers of reality to our Universe. It is not less work to learn magic(k) and Witchcraft or to follow a Pagan path or religion; it is MORE work because now we are juggling the energies of two worlds instead of just one. And anyone who enters through this gate and does not clearly see that this is so is in for some very serious bubble-popping experiences.

This week Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. We all have much to be thankful for. We have some very real, very wonderful and very powerful bubbles of family and of friends and of freedoms to celebrate and cherish. We usually remember to offer thanks for these people, these gifts, and these blessings as we sit around our tables on that day. And I will, too. But I also plan to offer a word or two of thanks for pins this year. There is nothing quite like them when it comes to figuring out just what is real.

Wren Walker
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Nov. 19th, 2001

New this week...
The Gwyddonic Order & Elijan Wicca
(Viewed 132,183 Times)
A Powerful Resource Gets Stronger

Once again, we are blessed to share two NEW Tradition profiles with the community... Here are some excerpts and links to the full profiles

The Gwyddonic Order (by Mairwen y Gwydd)

The Gwyddonic Order was founded at Lughnassad 1998 when Mairwen y Gwydd separated her group (The College of the Blue Butterfly) from Trefn Gwyddoniad, an American-Welsh Tradition based in Northern California. The Gwyddoniad is Welsh-Celtic spiritual tradition, philosophy and metaphysics. Our philosophical foundation is Oneness: "Everything is the One, and the One is the All", meaning that no-thing and no-one is more or less the One than any-thing or any-one else.

We are Craft practitioners who follow ancient teachings, certainly, but we are not Wiccans and do not call ourselves Witches. In The Gwyddonic Order a male is a "gwyddon" [gwih-thon], and a female is a "gwiddon" [gwie-thon]. A Third Degree Gwyddon is considered a High Priest. A Student may discontinue his formal studies when he reaches the Level of High Priest of the Craft, if he so wishes. At this point, the Priest is able to form his own College. Or, he may choose to continue his studies and become a Master of the Craft. -- Click for the Full Profile

Elijan Wicca (by Lord Galt)

Over many centuries, the practices of folklore witchcraft (wise women and healers) were well established in villages throughout Europe. The imposition of state-mandated Christianity greatly impacted the outward form of religious practice, but left the inner faith of these healers unchanged. From the Black Forest hexenmeisters of Germany, a group of families emigrated to the lands which are now called Romania, near Transylvania. They were promised land by Kaiser Wilhelm, in return for settling these lands. These farming families continued their folk traditions, glazed with an outward veneer of Christianity. On their walls, they hung a rosary, for the neighbors to see. In their hearts, they continued to practice the faith of their ancestors. As time went on, they mingled their faith with the practices of Romanian healers. In the early 1900's, they emigrated to America, where they settled in Pennsylvania, and became part of the community which came to be known as the Pennsylvania Dutch.

This new American land offered many opportunities. They set about the task of assimilating into the culture. One of these assimilating tactics was to blend in and cause no trouble among their neighbors. They dutifully dressed up on Sundays to attend the local Christian church. Their attitudes and belief systems, however, remained unaffected by church attendance. They knew in their hearts what they believed about God, and it was this faith, with its attendant magickal practice, which they passed on to their children. -- Click for the 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.

Diotima Mantineia
Associate Editor - Witches' Voice
November 19th., 2001

Ron Parshley
(11/17/43 - 11/12/01)

This past week we received the following sad news from Lady Donia Clear Spring... "It is with a heavy heart that I pass along this news. Ron Parshley, also known as Lord Sylvanus, has passed to the Summerland this week. Ron hosted a radio show in the northeast for years and was openly pagan when the word as we know it was still being defined. He was active with P.A.N. in this area and a recognized Elder of our community for many years". (more details)

The Witchvox staff offers our most sincere condolences to all those that Ron had touched over the years. We quickly set up a Memorial for Ron Parshley, to capture timely information and we encourage all that knew him to send in their thoughts and stories.

Added 11/15: A personal reflection by Judy Harrow.
Added 11/16: A personal reflection by Dian Firebearer Mueller.
Added 11/17: A personal reflection by Carl McLaughlin.

Essay Topics for Q1 and Q2 2002 Just announced!

This past week Diotima has finalized and posted the Adult and Young Pagan Essay Topics for the first 6 months of 2002.

For A listing of Adult Pagan Topics Go Here
For A listing of Young Pagan Topics Go Here

Bless YOU Dio for the consistant and dedicated work that you do for us all.

Coming this January...

"Witch Crafts: 101 Projects for Creative Pagans"
by Willow Polson

"Every project in this book has a useful and sacred purpose, but this book isn't the usual grimoire of wands, charms, and "kitchen witchery." Included are crafts appropriate for all skill levels and ideas for crafters searching for more complex projects. Here are techniques for transforming readily available materials like wood, clay, wax, glass, and fabric into creations of devotion and beauty. And each step of the process can be charged with magical intent, so that every stroke of the brush, stitch of the needle, and turn of the potter's wheel becomes and act of reverence and ritual."

Release Date: January 2002, Citadel Press, ISBN: 080652247X, Appx. 200 pages, Paperbound

For more information visit Willow's Web site at

Notes from a Pagan WebCrafter
Quik Notes...

Greetings Witches, Wiccans, Heathens, Pagans etc.

This weeks notes will be brief so that I can finish up the weekly update. Much is happening at this end these days and I will detail that on next week's update.

It has been a weekend of frustration with 16 hours invested in trying to get back up. As I write this we just heard that the 'Phone Company' has discovered a 'bad card' so that gets us a bit closer but we are still not back up. Do know that it is our main mission to get the networking section of Witchvox back on line. Thank you for your patience during this glitch...

WOTW Clean Up: As promised, this past week we began verifying the email addresses of the 44,000 listings over at the WOTW (Witches of the World) pages. So far we have processed Groups, Links, Shops, Events and Skills/services. Any undeliverable or 'mail box full' responses have been purged from the WOTW. The beast, the 33,000 personal listings are being cued up as I write this. By mid week All listings at WOTW will be verified as working.

We do this cleansing ritual every 90 days and typically remove 8-11% of the listings. If you listing has been removed it is only because we got a bounce on your email. Feel free to resubmit a new listing with a workable email address.

A New Structure for In the next two weeks we will be doing a restructuring of WOTW by updating the OS (Mac OSX 10.1.1) webserver (Apache), middleware (Lasso 5) and backend databases (a combo of Filemaker 5.5 and Mysql). We will be moving the current set up over to temporary box as to not interrupt service as we put things together.

Much more on all of this real soon.... Have a safe and magickal week everyone,

Fritz Jung
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Nov. 19th, 2001BR>

In Closing...

"Sometimes I lie awake at night and ask "Why me?" Then a voice answers, "Nothing personal; your name just happened to come up."
- (Charlie Brown via Charles Schultz)."

May of the Love of the Great Ones be with you,

The WitchVox Staff
The Witches' Voice Inc.
Nov. 19th, 2001


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