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Weekly Update: 11/26/2001

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: November 26th. 2001
Times Viewed: 4,138

11/26/2001 Update Notes: This weeks update contains announcements, several thought provoking articles, a slightly tweak in structure, some more personal reflections on Ron Parshley, and results from our recent 'cleansing ritual' of Witchvox.net. Also note that Witchvox has been capturing the history of the modern pagan movement for the past 5 years... Community News clips from 1997-2001 are available by surfing to our Weekly Archives - enjoy




The Household of Priests and Priestesses...

Twack! Twack! Thwack! Dad was outside chopping wood to feed the big cast iron stove that was the centerpiece of our country kitchen. Looking through the pantry window, I watched the balloon-puffs from his heated breathing rise up until they disappeared into the gray overcast winter sky. It was a very cold day even for early December in this part of New England. Eight inches of snow were already on the ground and more was forecast. As Dad headed back to the house, arms cradling the remains of the last of the elderly elm trees which had succumbed to disease a few years back, his boots made crunchy squeaking sounds that sounded strangely sharp in the gathering twilight. Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! went those boots as they shook off the clinging snow onto the porch and then with a burst of cold air and swirling white flakes, the door flew open and the Priest of the house entered the circle. Not that he looked very much like a Priest right then. Old red wool trousers were tucked into two pair of unmatched hunting socks that were still trimmed with clods of packed snow. His black and red plaid coat was zipped up to his chin- or rather where his chin would have been if it had not been buried under two scarves- and his old Navy days cap was pulled down to his eyebrows. Only his bright blue eyes shown in the small gap between wool and wool but they twinkled as he dropped the frozen wood into the box by the stove. And as he straightened back up to his full six-foot height, Dad was every inch what I have always considered to be a genuine Priest.

December is generally a busy month for most of us. Yule and Christmas are fast approaching here in the Northern Hemispheres and even as Nature's veins are slowing down, our own human activities are being revved up to an almost fevered pitch. There are menus to plan, mantels and trees to be adorned, cards to mail out, gifts to buy or make, packages to be wrapped, wish-lists to be scrutinized and bank accounts to be closely monitored. The malls are crowded with serious temptations and the kitchens are hot with cooling cookies and baking pies. There is the stress of finding just the right gift for all the special someone's on the list, coordinating plane schedules with visits to the post office and a sense of secrecy hangs over all as mysterious packages are nestled under beds or into closets. It is easy to get caught up in the glitz and the glamour of the season. Everywhere one sees fancy clothes in velvet and satin, crystal bowls for the golden eggnog and string upon string of twinkling lights to light every path.

Every home has its own seasonal traditions. Some families set up the tree on Thanksgiving while others wait until Yule or Christmas Eve. Some homes are crammed full of presents for weeks while others have their packages magically appear overnight as if delivered by some big red elf. However your family celebrates the holidays and whatever your family tradition might be, one thing remains the same: In your home, you are the Priest or the Priestess.

Do you think that a strange concept? Have you never thought of yourself as such before? But it is true. For what is a Priest or Priestess but one who brings the tidings of the Old Ones to the people? They are those who have the well being of the 'family' in minds always and they are the ones who offer up the spiritual substance by which the soul is fed and nurtured. It is the Priest and Priestess who sees clearly what needs to be done and how to do it. And it is they who both preserve and then ultimately pass on the sustaining traditions and rituals of the tribe, clan or family. No matter if you live in a one-room apartment, a college dorm or a twenty-room mansion, you are Priest or the Priestess of your home.

Have you ever entered a home and felt completely at ease and welcome right away? This is the domain of a Priest or Priestess who understands that it is more than chintz curtains or brocade draperies that make a home a sacred space. You might look around and try to determine just what it is that feels so good. Is it the comfiness of the plush couch or the soft background music? Perhaps it is in the subtle pine scent coming from the tree or reflected in the flickering glow from the candelabra on the table? Is it in the beautifully framed artwork or does it come from the hodgepodge collage of paper snowflakes hanging by the magnets on the refrigerator door? Maybe it is in these things. But it is only in these things if the Priest and/or Priestess of the house have so empowered them with their magick that these mere things have been drawn into their circle with such intention. A house, apartment or room can only become sacred space and a home when its Priest or Priestess gives it a heart.

I have known many such homes. Some are of family and some are of friends and some have even been of strangers. Some were small and crowded, some were huge and spacious but they have all had that one thing in common: a Priest and/or a Priestess lived there. Not all of these people thought of themselves that way. Some are Christian, some Native American and many are Pagan. And despite those often seemingly contradictory differences of belief, I feel at home in each and every one of these homes because they all have a good heart.

It doesn't matter how much money you have to spend on decorations or on gifts this year. The most simple of garlands and most practical of presents can be magickal if it comes from your heart. Priests and Priestesses know what the people want, but more importantly than that, they know what the people need. They don't just look at the obligatory lists of requests; they look into the spirit to find the perfect gift. And they do what they do, give what they give not from a sense of obligation. Certainly they have made a spiritual commitment to honor their Gods and their traditions for this and future generations. But the Priest and/or Priestess of a home do not merely go through the motions or follow an instruction manual from the past; they fulfill each task with so much spiritual energy and so many good intentions that even the simplest gift becomes a treasure and the most time-worn tradition becomes a new revelation.

This year as the Priest or Priestess of your home, wrap each gift with magickal intention. Think of the person for whom the gift is destined and add your good wishes for them into the box. Place a kiss within each knot that you tie. Put a smile into every bow and a gentle touch of comfort into every piece of tissue paper. Enclose a special memento of your good times together whether it is a small vial of beach sand from your last trip to the Keys or a sprig off of your own Yule/Christmas tree for a loved one who cannot be there to share it with you in person. Give your loved ones what they may be hesitant to ask for, but what they really need: yourself.

On that long-ago December twilight eve, my mother and grandmother were busy in the kitchen making the pies, capping the tops of the crabapple jelly in bright gingham circles and packaging up the homemade mittens for my cousins. If they had been asked what it was that they wanted right then, they probably would have said that they would like more time, more scotch tape and certainly in that particularly lean year, more money. And I wanted just about everything in the toy section of Sears' Wish Book. But what we got was none of those of things. What we got was more wood to keep the fires in the big old cast iron stove in the kitchen glowing a bright and cheery orange. What we got was the heat to bake the pies to a crusty golden brown and the warmth to melt the last of the stubborn clods of snow from the wool socks that now hung over the oven door. What we received was what the Priest of the house saw that we needed. When Dad returned to the kitchen, already tired from full day's work at the mill and with aching arms now heavy with freshly chopped wood, he gave us his heart.

Walk in Love and Light,

Wren Walker
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Nov. 26th, 2001

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Inspiring Articles by Magickal Pagans...

This week we had a bit of time to compile some strong articles, spanning a variety of topics, that have come in over the past two weeks.

The passion and talent laced throughout the modern Pagan community never ceases to amaze us... So, without futher ado, we proudly point you to the new and exciting pieces. We thank the authors for the time and caring that is, without falter, for the good of all.

Enjoy...
  • Why Home Schooling?
    Author: Lady Raya

    On November 8, 2001, I learned that my 15 year old son had been purchasing drugs inside his high school in suburban America for at least six months. I learned it because he told me. He told me because he thought I already knew. He thought I already knew because I saw his pupils dilated at dinner, and I calmly said, "Honey, you've been taking drugs." He assumed it was my psychic vision that told me, and he thought that meant there was no way around it, so he confessed.

    On November 9, I took him to school. Bravely. I didn't know what to do. My husband suggested military school, but my older son said, "What, so they can advance him to coke there?" Military school didn't sound like a good idea to me. I felt the terror.

    I turned to the Internet. I looked up home schooling. I found out that in the state of Maryland, where I live, I could pull him out of public school and home school him. If I home schooled him, and kept him with me or his father all the time, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, we could stand between him and drugs. It seemed the only appropriate action.... (Full Article)

  • Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center
    Author: Don Two Eagles Waterhawk

    Osiyo Fellow Humans, I sit here today (Thanksgiving), pondering a lesson that Grandfather has put before me. I sit here today wondering why the Creator has chosen for me, this particular species of creatures to become and belong to, the Human race. I sit here today, as the odor of cooking food surrounds me, wondering where I should begin my thanks and prayers, as a Human being. I sit here today, ready to eat what I am going to talk to you about, a Bird. (No..not Kokopelli, although that has crossed my mind a few times in the past), but of one that has been killed for me, and that I was going to eat. It is of its Tribe that I wish to talk about.

    The Walkers of the Sky Nation. It is about a Clan within this Tribe that is in trouble. It is about Walking in Balance with the heart of Gratitude, and it's Sister and Brother, Honor and Respect. It is about Sharing as Equals within the Wheel of Harmony. I sit and trust that I can speak well enough for those that cannot, our friends the Birds.... (Full Article)

  • Meteor Showers
    Author: Macha Nightmare

    Corby and I went up on Mt. Tamalpais last night to view the meteor showers. Wow! And Wow again!

    It's a long, windy, two-lane road up the mountain, with few places to pull off. There's a parking lot at the top, which was, as I anticipated, full to bursting. People were parked all over the place along the road. We finally found a place to park and got out and walked up the hill a bit. There isn't much in the way of places to walk, if you know this country at all. It's steep coastal hills of Franciscan Complex, shoved up there by the collision of the North American and Pacific tectonic plates. So one side of the road is steep upwards from where the road has been cut out of the rock, and the other is steep downwards... (Full Article)

  • Thoughts about Healing
    Author: Judy Harrow

    Somebody saw what I wrote about Ron on Witchvox and wrote me to ask if I could tell her more about healing. I think that just about anything you can learn from the written word is already available on-line and in books. The real learning comes not from telling but from showing, sharing and doing.

    Most of what I do is counseling, rather than physical healing. I put a bunch of materials about basic counseling theory and technique up on the Web at http://www.draknet.com/proteus/counselbook.html. Physical healing is different -- much more about the body, about touch and energy, than it is about words and insights and understandings. Harder to describe. Still, there are a few things that can be said. Much of this I learned from Ron. Some I learned from my own elders in lineage, one of whom was also a student of Larry LeShan's. Some I learned on my own. After so many years, it's hard to separate the sources... (Full Article)

  • High Flying Flags
    Author: Sia

    Like everyone else, Pagans are flying their various colors to show how they feel. Some Pagans are flying traditional American flags with pride. Flying the official U.S. flag is not a pro-war statement nor does this flag belong to any one political party. Many Pagans fly an American flag to remember the men and women who died on September 11th. Some do it as a way to celebrate the fact that they live in a free country; one that allows them the rights of free speech, freedom of religion and equal rights. Others fly the flag to honor a friend or relative currently serving in the military. www.milpagan.org/.

    Some Pagan feminists I know fly the U.S. flag as a statement to those in the U.S. and abroad would like to force us back into veils and keep us in our houses. These women might like the Gadsden naval flag, the one that showed a rattlesnake (goddess?) coiled in a spiral... (Full Article)

  • Sovereignity of Spirit
    Author: Robert Mark O. Lauzon

    We are often left with that unsatisfied hunger for the bigger picture beyond the dichotomy of life. Our search of self has been a transition from one skin to another where we try to fit all that we like inside and excluding all we do not like. For some reason or another, we change skin as often as we change our minds. Authors like Freud and C. G. Jung has referenced the conscious (or unconscious) mind in the colors of their own understanding while, modern thinkers like Ken Wilber has redefined it to map a new scale which he terms as 'transpersonal.' Furthering his stand, Wilber, also talks about 'boundaries' as contrasted to a philosophy he calls 'no boundaries.' It seems to stand in our present environment that we are trapped on our perceptions of political and social sovereignty while being forced to accept anew indicator of Spirit... (Full Article)

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.



Notes from a Pagan WebCrafter
Quik Notes...

Greetings Witches, Wiccans, Heathens, Pagans etc.

The past 4 days have been ones of relaxation for Wren and myself. We did the family turkey day on Thursday, Pagan turkey day on Friday and then attended a breath-taking handfasting yesterday. We are honored to crow about the glorious union of Tara and William and hope to bring you some pictures on next weeks update.

WOTW Clean Up: As promised, this past week we wrapped up the verification of the 33,441 personal listings over at Witchvox.net. We received 287 requests for removal and also removed the 2,877 email addys that rendered 'user unknown' or 'mailbox full' results.

We do this cleansing ritual every 90 days and this typically removes 8-11% of the listings. If your 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.

It is also worth noting that nearly a thousand Groups, Events and websites HAVE updated their listings at Witchvox during this cleansing ritual. Kindly surf to YOUR AREA PAGE (from the links to your left - on the sidebar) to experience the latest in YOUR Town.



Ending the Madness...

This past week Wren and I made the decision to look for our very own dedicated server. Frankly speaking, we can no longer take the frustration of our witchvox.net server going down, being too slow during peak times, and residing in our home (the lightening capital of North America). I have personally wasted over 100 hours in the past year fighting with the phone company and our local web host JUST to keep witchvox.net UP... NOTE: We have no complaints about the performance, pricing or stability of the witchvox.com server (Hosted at Draknet), which delivers about 1/3 of the page calls.

Although Witchvox has been database driven since mid 1997, it wasn't until mid 1999 that we put these data tables on the net live (to deliver dynamic content). The rage over this past year is a nice little shell laced with PHP code called 'PHPnuke'. Many sites, and many Pagan sites are grabbing this shell to render a nicely functional dynamic website (oddly most hide this reality). Feel free to join the fray by 'nuking' your site with this free software (link)... All you need is an web host provider that has the shareware PHP/MySQL installed. Although we just may 'flirt' with PHP in the short term, our long term structure will be based on LassoV running on RedHat Linux coupled with Filemaker Pro v5.5u.

Development at Witchvox HAS been stalled for over a year now, mostly due to the fact that the dynamic part (Witchvox.net) can't take anymore enhancements (read: database calls) based on the pipe (ADSL gold) connected to our apartment. That IS about to change. By migrating both of our domains to the same server we FINALLY open up the option to render a much more dynamic front end to the Witches' Voice.

This move should enable us to, finally, be proactive in marketing TWV. Fear of generating too much traffic does get old month after month. We project that we will offer you robust performance and dynamic links across all 3,753 pages here at TWV. We thank you for your patience over the past 18 months and promise you something both interesting and special as soon as Q1 2002. Have a safe and magickal week everyone,

Fritz Jung
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
November 26th, 2001



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

Earlier this month 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 11/16: A personal reflection by Carl McLaughlin.
Added 11/16: A personal reflection by Anita Stewart.
Added 11/16: A personal reflection by Elisabeth duLac.
Added 11/21: A personal reflection by Leigh and Fred Griffith.
Added 11/25: A personal reflection by Carol Anderson.
Added 11/25: A personal reflection by C. Eric Robbins.



Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

by Peg Aloi

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. - Full Review

Pagan Perspectives
WitchVox Question of the Week!

Last week, we asked the question...

Are You Wild About Harry? -Yep! Most of you are indeed wild about the boy wizard all right. Most loved the books simply for the story line and most like the movie for the same reason. The majority felt that Christian concerns were unfounded and over blown. No one is going to become a wizard or Witch simply by the osmosis of reading the books or watching the movie any more than the mere reading of the Bible or watching Chucky Heston in the Ten Commandments movie would make one a Christian. (Many Pagans have done both of those things. Sorry, Pat and Jerry. We're still Pagan!) As Dana Davis says, 'This is a beautifully constructed fable paying homage to Truth, Honor, Loyalty, and Love. What else could be more appropriate to teach children and to remind adults?" And just who is really going to have a problem with that? -- View the Responses

This week, we ask the question:

What Are Your Favorite Yule Traditions or Memories? What memories does the season of Yule invoke within you? What was your favorite one? What Yule traditions have been passed down to you and which ones will you hope to pass down in your family? What special celebrations, gift ideas or recipes would you like to share with us? As the Priest and/or Priestess of YOUR home, what energies or magick do you utilize to create your sacred space? Have others felt it when they have entered your home? Post YOUR Opinion or view the Responses of others.


In Closing...

"But if the while I think on thee, dear friend, All losses are restored and sorrows end."
-- (William Shakespeare).


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

The WitchVox Staff
The Witches' Voice Inc.
November 26th., 2001






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