Weekly Update: 12/3/2001|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: December 3rd. 2001
Times Viewed: 7,108
12/3/2001 Update Notes: This weeks update will feature a new piece by wren and some community news. Fritz is working on geting a new server and redesigning the site... Look for Witches of the World V.6.0 in Q1 2002. 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
Confessions of a News Junkie...
I confess. I am a news junkie. I am addicted and I am not seriously looking for any treatment. I don't remember exactly when it was that I finally took that fateful and deciding 'hit' that pushed me over the brink and transformed me from being just another casual news browser into a full-fledged news hound. But if there is a cure, I don't want it. I love all-things-news: the news media, the news pundits, the news television shows, the news Internet outlets and the news message boards. When I am not busy hating them, that is. And perhaps no one person sums up my love-hate relationship with the news and news people better than the resident provocateur of MSNBC'S 'Hardball' show, Chris Matthews.
I yell at Chris quite a bit. He is cocky. He interrupts. He is hard to pin down ideologically. A self-confessed Democrat, he has a Republican streak that he doesn't try to hide. Just when I think that Chris has finally come to his senses on an issue, he'll go in the other direction and piss me off all over again. I have sworn more than once to never, never, never watch his show. But then he'll say something so brilliant, so insightful and so damn.. well ... moving, that I find myself falling in 'like' with the guy all over again. Give Chris and me a day or two though and I can almost guarantee that I will be shouting at my poor innocent television screen once more. I wish that I knew more Gaelic swear words as I have just about worn out most of the English ones already.
But in a way, Chris Matthews also mirrors my own love for the news. Not just a love for the pundits and media outlets that I tend to agree with but also for those that I mostly think are totally and incurably mistaken. I read them all. And I find it odd that more folks- especially Pagan folks- don't do the same. I know people who will only watch Fox News or 'The O'Reilly Factor' because they 'don't want to hear any viewpoints that aren't what they believe in'. They actually said that. Bill Press of CNN's 'Crossfire' and author of a book called, 'Spin This!: All the Ways We Don't Tell the Truth', basically said that same thing to Bill O'Reilly last week. Bill O. replied, "Baloney!" Bill P. countered with, "No. Spin!" Good stuff that! And very, very American.
There has been a lot of talk -and a lot of spin- on that word of late: American. What is 'American" or un-American' anyway? There are thousands of little flags riding around in the windows of SUV's. Is that America? Many governmental policies being implemented are done so in secret these days in order to better 'keep us safe from the evil-doers.' Is this America? Is it saying the Pledge of Allegiance in schools or plastering up 'God Bless America' posters over, under and on top of anything of substance that is plasterable? Given the large numbers of people who believe in these things or are doing these things today, maybe it is. But to me, America is something very much like a Chris Matthews' show. You love it, you hate it, sometimes you adore it and sometimes you revile it; often you agree with it and just as often you swear at it. But you keep coming back for more because ultimately American democracy is the best program in the world.
On one of those days when I had sworn off of all things Matthews, I happened to flick by 'The Imus Show' (which I also quite regularly and redundantly declare that I will absolutely never watch.) and there was Chris. And he did it to me again. He gave what can only be described as a grand speech on what America and American democracy means. It was one of the most eloquent sets of words that I have ever heard come out of any media pundit's paid-for lips. But it was more than the words. There was this fierce light in his eyes and as his voice shook with the emotions that had put that light there, he got to me. Again. Because in those few brief moments of intensely impassioned honesty, I could see that whatever his politics, whatever his religious preference, whatever his ideology might be, Chris Matthews loves America:
"I think freedom is this country's greatest gift to the world. In the political arena, it's the ability of the American people to do what they're not supposed to.' and "When you think about it, we Americans are different. That word 'freedom' isn't just in our documents; it's in our cowboy souls."
Kind of makes me want to shout, "Yee-Haw" and watch reruns of 'Gunsmoke'. It's corny, I know. But it has been a while since I've seen that sort of love-light for America shining out from any politician's eyeballs while talking about what is and what isn't 'American'. Chris should set up some sort of workshop or something for our elected beltway boys and girls the next time he is in Washington.
We started what our regulars know as 'Wrens Nest' here at TWV pretty much by accident. I love the news and spend many hours a day watching and reading whatever I can get my remote control and keyboard on. It occurred to us that perhaps a few other people might like to read some of this stuff too. So we put up a page. We had no idea that the 'Nest' would become a regular stop for so many people, Pagan and non-Pagan alike. I am happy that it has and would like to thank everyone who so kindly continues to send me news clips and urls of interest. (BTW, if you want credit for the submission on the Nest, just let me know. I won't 'out' anyone without permission, but I do like to give credit where it is due.) As we develop our new and dynamic front page, you will soon see a 'news ticker' type thingie there with the latest headlines to make it even easier for you to get the latest scoops. BR>
My reason for following the news so closely is a simple one: You really have to know what is going on in a democracy. In a more repressive type of government, it doesn't matter so much. They say jump. You jump. Not complicated. But a democracy is full of voices and ideas and plots and plans. It isn't always easy to sort them out and it is even harder to figure out sometimes who has the better idea or plan. It's kinda messy. Often confusing. Frequently loud. Not always pretty. But that is the part of the process that works the best. Everyone has a shot at it. May the best plan win. But in order for that process to continue to be the best in the world, Americans have got to remain players in the game. Ignoring the news because it is confusing and messy or because it might upset your personal little applecart might just eventually mean that now both your apples and your cart are no longer yours to wheel about as you might wish. That 'knowledge is power' thing? It's a good thing. And it is a very good thing for insuring the freedoms that we now enjoy remain the freedoms that our children will know later.
Yep, to me American democracy really is a lot like a Chris Matthews' show. I'll scream at it on some days and I'll wipe away a tear of unadulterated patriotic pride over it on others. It makes me think. It makes me work for it. It forces me to examine my own ideas and ideals and to see how they stand up against the equally strong but opposing ideas and ideals of others. It makes me a better person. It makes me a stronger person. It's worth all of the fuss.
And I'll keep coming back to it day after day because American democracy is still the very best program in the world.
Walk in Love and Light,
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
December 3rd, 2001
This Weekend at Wren's Nest News... Wren is indeed rabib about keeping up with the news and since 1997 has posted over 3,600 news items related to religious freedom and the Pagan path. Visited nearly 3 MILLION times, Wren's nest is a bookmark for many. Just this past weekend:
Florida's Earliest Peoples Still Virtually Unknown Despite 'Mounds' of Clues Rediscovering the Yurt The Religious Narcissist 'Hunting' The Sacred Mistletoe Conservative Protestants Don't Like Interfaith Services One Bit Raymond Buckland: Modern Renaissance Man School Principal Rejects Parent's Church-State Violation Claim Concerning Potter Books Texas School Librarian Asked to Provide List of Witchcraft, Sorcery Books on the Shelves Tenn. School Board's Proposed Policy on Religious Materials Draws Criticism Holy McCarthyism, Batman! Ashcroft Wants To Free Up F.B.I. to Spy on U.S. Religious and Political Organizations Court Upholds Lexington, Ma. Ban on Nativity Scene in Town Square London Spiritualists Say US Just Missed Getting Bin Laden 'U.S. Capitol Is Not Revival Tent,' Says AU's Lynn Heyerdahl: Viking God Odin 'Might Have Been A Real King' George Harrison Dies
For the latest in Witch, Wiccan, Pagan news as well as just about anthing related to religious freedom... Visit 'Wrens Nest' on the Web.
Book Plans for Issac Bonewits...
Hot News Just In...
I thought you'd like to know that my eBook will be out in paper in a couple of weeks! For the Third Edition, I've rearranged the structure a bit and added a chapter on using music and poetry in Wiccan ritual. The eBook will stay Second Edition for a few months.
The title was changed because it's the first of three treebooks I'll be publishing this winter with Virtual Publishing Group Inc. , a Berkeley, CA company specializing in ebooks and POD (Print On Demand) treebooks. The titles will be:
Witchcraft: A Concise Guide
Druidism: A Concise Guide
Neopaganism: A Concise Guide
The first two are a blend of history, linguistics, ritual information, recommended reading, contacts info, and more. The third will have less history (we haven't been around that long and besides Margot did it better than I could) but a lot of polytheological discussion. All three are based on popular materials I've already written for my website, so while they are short books ("concise") they are packed with good stuff!
VPGI hopes to get the first treebook online at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com, as well as with Ingrahm and other treebook distributors, in time for Yule shopping! All three books will also be ebooks eventually, I believe.
|A Personal Note from Fritz & Wren: Isaac's Website provider just folded (this weekend) and he is quickly looking for a place that can offer him some free (or extremely cheap) hosting and fast. (update note: late Sunday Isaac signed up to drak.net and is back on the web at neopagan.net)|
A Pagan Web/community without quick access to Isaac's candor, depth, wit and wisdom is a shallower place indeed. We simply must find a way to get him back quickly.
Times are lean for this respected Pagan Elder (struggling financially and in a big way) and if YOU can spare some support we encourage you to send what you can to help him out (Donations can be made through his Pay Pal Account). We will keep you updated on this situation as we get more info.
The Nybor Tarot Deck -- Out next week...
30 Years in the Making
One of the community's most respected elders and incredible artists 'Nybor' has finally released his long awaited Tarot deck. Wren and I have the privilege to chat with Nybor a few weeks back and actually see this sensual and magickal deck. So without further ado we would like to share the following details to those of you that may be interested as well as help spread the word to Pagans that already have this deck on order.
Bio: Nybor has been creating artistic masterpieces for the past 59 years. He sold his first art at the age of six. He received his art training at the Minneapolis School of Art. After a stint in the U.S. Navy (1958-62) he worked in art studios in Minneapolis and New York as a commercial artist. As James Odbert (his other persona) he became well known for his science fiction art.
In 1985, when he walked away from the fast lane, Nybor not only began the drawing of the Tarot Deck (after some 15 years of research); he also develop his own unique style and techniques for other art. The art in the deck is his older, more graphic style.
Through the years, Nybor's work has won many awards, including "Artist of the Year" by the WPPA several years running. Most recently, his painting "Kiss of Ages" was Judges Choice at the Millenium Philcon World Science Fiction Convention in Philadelphia in September 2001. His works may be found in publications, art shows, galleries, festivals and many homes.
Through all the years Nybor has worked and dreamed of completing the Deck and Book. It is truly his life work.
A Testimonial... (one of many)
"I was delighted when I first saw the early images that were to evolve, oh so slowly, into Nybor's Tarot. Sexuality was, up to that point, the one major area of human life not directly depicted in the designs of Tarot decks."
"To the best of my knowledge, however, Nybor was the first to begin designing and executing a Tarot deck in which sexuality was a central theme; although exploitation of human sexuality is certainly a well-established theme in the advertising and entertainment industries."
"Most modern Tarot decks have merely redrawn the designs from the Smith-Waite deck, keeping most of the symbolism identical."
"Nybor's can be considered a "NeoTarot" deck in that he retains (albeit very loosely) the overall structure of the design but with very different pictures and meanings."
"For a divination deck to be useful, it must include a broad range of human experience, both positive and negative, within its theme. Previous Tarot and NeoTarot decks have shown plenty of violent and bloody scenes, all of which were more acceptable images in the West than any depiction of sexuality, healthy or unhealthy, has been until recently. "
Aside from the sensual/sexual aspects, there are others equally important. Because of Nybor's exceptional artistic talent, the cards are fine art, each one worthy of gallery hanging space... .Also to be noted are the complex and intricate ways in which the cards are related within the deck. This builds possibilities for new interpretations in the combinations of the cards."
"This is truly a watershed deck. Tarot will never be the same." -- Isaac Bonewits
Due Out Next Week...
Almost thirty years in the preparation, The Nybor Tarot Deck will be available on December 15, 2001. This is Nybor's major lifework. Not only the Art but also the Book, with it's philosophy, ethics, and new patterns are all original works by Nybor.
If you have reserved a Deck already or wish to order a Deck call (304) 788-6440, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or write us at 272 Spruce Drive, Keyser, WV 26726. For previous orders, you should have your receipt available or be prepared to identify your reservation by event and year. The price at the time you reserved your deck will be honored.
Of the Limited Edition of 500, only about 205 are still available. If you did not reserve a deck previously, the post-publication price is $300 each. Time payment plans can be discussed.
Photo credit: the incredible photo of Nybor was caputured by Bill Kilborn (3/26/2000)
Notes from a Pagan WebCrafter
Future Notes and thoughts on the 'Quiet One'...
Greetings Witches, Wiccans, Heathens, Pagans etc.
This edition of 'webnotes' will be brief. Life is crazy at this end with a mountain of new technologies to learn all in an effort to get back to evolving TWV. I will probably put this column on hold for a few weeks in a effort to squeeze out every minute I can find to shed some new skills.
I would like to pause for a movement and honor the life and spirit of George Harrison. His passing, this week, was a loss for so many 'round the world. George, single handedly inspired alternative spiritual awareness to the baby boomer generation (an amazing feat). Although, I didn't personally find this community until the mid-eighties, I did practice this path in my own way and I'd have to credit George for opening my mind to eastern philosophies and spiritually. -- Yes, "all things must pass" - George embraced this 'passage' and does know that he will be back. See ya soon my brother!
The Light Ahead...
This past week we finalized the acquisition of our very own dedicated server. After checking out over 170 companies that offer dedicated hosting and seeing how they fared on various webhosting list sites AND the ever-telling Usenet Chatter, we have found a new home, hot hardware and all at a wonderful price. In the next couple of weeks/months we will be moving both witchvox.net and witchvox.com to this new box.
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.
Stealing some time: In an effort to acquire the time I need to actually evolve Witchvox to the next level we have made the decision to process the Witches of the world updates every three days (instead of the 48 hour standard of the past 4 years). This will steal me back, two full nights a week.
In the next few weeks we will start noting some of the many plans we have for Witchvox 2002. Never forget that ideas are cheap (even good ones) it's finding the time to pull them off that really matters.
Have a safe and magickal week everyone,
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
December 3rd, 2001
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.
Essay Topics for Q1 and Q2 2002 Just announced!
- 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
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)
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.
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...
What Are Your Favorite Yule Traditions or Memories? -Well, that certainly got me in the mood for Yule! Hope that it did the same for you. Best go shopping now! -- View the Responses
This week, we ask the question:
What's News? Are you a news junkie? Do you watch or read the news on a regular basis? Why or why not? What are your favorite news programs and media sources? Do you think that the news is generally fair or is it biased? Are you getting the news that you want or do you think that the news is being spun, controlled or otherwise influenced by corporate interests or the government? What sort of news items would you like to see more of on Wren's Nest? Post YOUR Opinion or view the Responses of others.
|"If the dream is to endure, we must live it. If that means making a little noise, I say, that's all in a day's work."|
-- (Chris Matthews; Now, Let Me tell You What I Really Think).
May of the Love of the Great Ones be with you,
The WitchVox Staff
The Witches' Voice Inc.
December 3rd, 2001
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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