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Witchvox Weekly Update

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










Weekly Update: 2/4/2002

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: February 4th. 2002
Times Viewed: 4,116

What the Groundhog Didn't Say...

It's kind of cute in a weird sort of way. The whole Groundhog Day thing, I mean. Here in the United States woodchucks get more press coverage than Noam Chomsky. On the second day of February, the official 'chucks' (named Phil and the General) perform the time-honored ritual on cue. Well, on 'poke' anyway. Prodded from behind, at the preset time they come waddling out - blinking and groggy- from their pens to meet the applause of on-lookers. Then it happens. By some magickal or natural ability known only to those who follow the Groundhog Prognosticators Tradition, they decide the weather fate for an entire nation. Will the U.S. get six more weeks of winter or an early spring? Only they know and we, it seems, are at their mercy. So as one of those 'alert citizens' who is supposed to be keeping my eyes and ears open, I feel that it is my civic duty here to ask, "What's up with that?" Okay, the chubby-chuck performance itself seems innocent enough, but that is obviously just a cover for the GPT group. There are some decidedly subversive un-American activities going on behind those twitchy whiskers.

Well, think about it. That one or two guys can make this decision without any input from U.S. citizens just doesn't seem right, does it? They aren't even human, for the Gods sake! Gasp! But they do live underground in caves and burrows, now don't they? Shouldn't John Ashcroft be investigating this fundamentalist groundhog conspiracy? Be smokin' 'em out of their holes and all that? Sure, that may be considered by some loony-liberal animal rights people or the AGLU (American Groundhog Liberties Union) to be 'rodent profiling', but we are at war, dammit! (That's satire, by the way. I love loony-liberals.) It's called 'Homeland Security' and we'll never have it while thousands of these terra-hogs are free to burrow about the American countryside undetected. They may even be passing along their propaganda to our children's' guinea pigs and hamsters for all that we know. Imagine...a subversive cult member living right in little Timmy's or Megan's very bedroom! We can only hope that the FBI has listening devices planted somewhere in the Habitrail kit and is writing all of this stuff down.

Call off the Congressional investigation. Well, this particular investigation anyway. We know that groundhogs have no influence over the weather. It is all a mere fable, a bit of folklore, that we enjoy 'believing' in. It's harmless fun. A little seasonal marker on the dreary calendar to get us from one holiday to another. Groundhogs have no ability to change the weather or anything else. They hold no power other than that which we 'grant' to them once a year. And that is why woodchucks get more press coverage in the United States than people like Noam Chomsky do. No woodchuck has ever come out from his pen and said, "The main purpose of secrecy is to just make sure that the general population here doesn't know what's going on." If he did say anything like that, you can be assured that this would be the last Groundhog Day that he would ever see. If groundhogs had power, they would not be on television revealing the secrets of power. They would be sitting in Congress or in the boardrooms of the corporations figuring out ways to both hold on to that power for themselves and how to attain even more of it. And all, preferably, without letting the public know anything about what is going on.

There is always a lot of 'power talk' going around. In the mainstream media, there is the most recent news about the 'war on terra'. Then there are the alleged abuses of power and influence wielded by the Enron and Anderson Accounting firm executives complete with finger-pointings and paper shredding. There is news on government files which must remain secret for federal 'security' reasons and business files that a lot of folks hope remain secret for federal penitentiary reasons.

There is an unwritten and largely unconsciously held rule in that 'power shared is power lost'. And in a way, it is true. If someone knows something of importance that you don't know, they may indeed have more 'power' than you do in certain situations. The fact that you want this knowledge, this power, and are willing to put yourself under someone's tutelage to achieve or learn it, does give the person with the knowledge a power over you. Sometimes-hopefully most of the time- this is a benign situation and everyone benefits from the exchange. Everyone at the end of the process emerges on an equal footing. But power, unrestrained by altruism, is a greedy son-of-a-bitch. And it doesn't play well with others. That is why 'Power' has such a bad reputation. It has a dreadful, exploitive and often bloody history.

I confess that it always makes me nervous when I hear other Pagans talk about not being willing to freely share what they know- which is a form of power- with new seekers. To me, this attitude seems borderline greedy and just a bit too 'power-overish' for my taste. And I've heard most of the reasons for this: "They won't be able to handle it." or "Why should I just hand something over - something that it took me twenty-years to learn-to anyone who asks?" And these reasons, rather than alleviating my qualms, just make me even more nervous. For Secrecy is Power's very bestest friend. Secrecy keeps the riff-raff out and the elite inner circle of power brokers intact. And I don't like that mindset in governments, in politics, in corporations or in Pagan circles. Especially in Pagan circles. And I'll tell you why. No secrets here.

Any time that someone- whether that be a politician, a businessperson, a government agency, a newspaper or a Pagan High-SomethingorOther- says that you really don't need to know what is going on, what they may actually be saying is that you do not need to be involved in the process. THEY have decided that you do not need to be involved in the process. It is all being taken care of. The 'special people' in the know are handling it...now, don't you worry. Well, you should be worried. Worried about how what you don't know- and what is being decided by your government and with your money- is going to directly and personally impact you and your life. Worried if that business down the street is going to pollute your neighborhood or cook the books. Worried that some factions of the Pagan communities are making plans to speak for you without asking you anything about what they should be saying. Worried that any or all of these power brokers are going to use you to further their own agendas which is, of course, to get more power for them. In any and all of these situations, "Why shouldn't I be involved in the decision-making process?" is the question you might want to ask. An even better question might be "And why do you not want me to know what is going on? Why is everything such a big secret?" Like Janus, Power has two faces. It is usually the ugly side of power that someone wants to keep hidden and secret. This is Power for the chosen or self-appointed few.

Janus is still Janus no matter which face it is that you see. And the other face of Power is still Power. But it is power with a conscience. It has a soul and a heart. It is Power for the masses, for the many, for the all. People aren't used to this sort of power because quite frankly, we just don't see this face of it all that often. To say "power corrupts" is not always true, but it is true more of the time than most of us are comfortable with. It is more often true when power resides with and within just a few. It is less true when many share power. You could even say that when power rests with only a few who will not share it that it cannot be anything other than corrupt. The very withholding of power from the many by the few automatically corrodes it. But what does this other face look like?

Noam Chomsky doesn't get anywhere near the same amount of media coverage that a groundhog gets in the U.S. because he points to that other face of power all of the time. And the hidden-face powerbrokers don't like it. Groundhogs can be shoved back into their pens when their cute little 'power' game is over. Noam can't. But, he is often embarrassed over the fuss that people make over him where he does appear. People ask him all of the time what it is that they should do. Like he is the leader, the power broker, who can just hand it out. What makes Noam unique is that he does possess power, but it is that other face of power. The face of power that shines back and illuminates those who are in the field-whatever and wherever that field may be- and who are doing the actual work of changing things. You wouldn't know most of their names. Noam doesn't know most of their names either. But Noam and we know that they are there. They are not the names on book jackets or in marquee lights. They are usually not on television either unless they are being maligned or arrested for challenging the hidden faces of power. They are out there fighting the good fight, exposing what is hidden, wrenching from the tight grasp of the few what really belongs in the pockets of the many. They are challenging the elite on behalf of the all. As Noam says:

"That is what the difference is. I mean, I do something basically less important-it is in fact. It's adding something and I can do it; so I do it-I don't have any false modesty about it. And it's helpful. But it's helpful to people who are doing the real work. And every popular movement I know of in history has been like that. In fact, it is extremely important for people with {the secret kind of} power not to let anybody understand this, to make them think there are big leaders around who somehow get things going, and then what everybody else has to do is follow them. That's one of the ways of demeaning people, and degrading them, and making them passive."

"The real work is being done by people who are not known, that's been true in every popular movement in history. The people who are known are riding the crest of the wave. Now, you can ride the crest of the wave and try to use it to get power, which is the standard thing, or you can ride the crest of the wave because you're helping people that way, which is another thing. But the point is, it is the wave that matters- and that's what people ought to understand."

So there it is. The two faces of power in a nutshell. There is the one face of those who will ride the wave in order to point to themselves and so gain personal power, money or recognition from the energy and/or popularity of the movement. You can intuit why these folks would want to keep what they are really up to a secret!

And then there is the face of those who- while they be recognizable because of the energy and/or popularity of the movement- use this recognition to help make the path easier for those unknown people who are out in the field doing the real work. The power sharers don't get on television very much. They are too dangerous. They don't talk about themselves and their new book deal or anything sensible like that. The only power that these nuts want to talk about is the power that is available to and can be shared openly with everyone.

In our own circles and communities, they are the ones with the open face. They want to talk about something more important to them than their own personal work or book deal or accomplishments. It is not the crest that is important... for it could not form on its own. It is the force beneath the crest, the power of the wave, the many Pagans and Heathens out there doing the actual work of changing things in their local neighborhoods and towns who are important.

Maybe the groundhog didn't say it, but we know that this true: It is you who hold the real power; it is YOU who are the wave.


Walk in Love and Light,


Wren Walker
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, February 4th, 2002

Image credit: The image used for our anchor photo this weeks comes in from the Florida Chapter of PUC (see "The Light Returns" just below). The other powerful Imbolc altar shot comes from Witchvox Associate Editor Diotima. Thanks so much.


Brigid in New York
Starhawk Reports in from New York City
From Wren's Nest: February 3rd, 2002 -- Article #3840

It's 8 AM on Saturday. The march starts at noon: already we can hear helicopters circling. For days, every McDonald's and Starbucks in the city has had an honor guard of three cops. The streets around the Waldorf are blocked and guarded.

Last night we had our ritual in the park. I missed the setup because I was speaking at the students' CounterSummit, and by the time I got down there were already hundreds of people gathered and more cops than I could believe, long city blocks full of vans crammed with police, a helicopter circling overhead, police on the street and forming their own sort of welcoming committee at every entrance to the park.

We also had more media than I had ever seen at a ritual. ABC, Fox, the BBC, every IndyMedia reporter in New York, every graduate student doing a video project, they were all there and all wanting to talk and interview and photograph and record.

Ruby had done a tremendous job actually organizing the ritual and the complex art making, and people were setting up the shrines of grief, healing, rage, vision, and the forge, which included a huge cardboard cauldron filled with flames and a cardboard anvil and hammer. I hope someone else will describe them all more fully, because I only got, at best, a quick glimpse between the crowds and the reporters. Rosemary had done a spectacular, simple, elegant stature of liberty out of wheat. We had a wonderful Brigid's well with waters of the world, and the GAPatistas brought a triptych of the vision of the future. A friend of Harvest contributed a voudoun altar. Considering we couldn't have tables, wood, posts, poles, or living flames on any of them, we created some very powerful and beautiful images. -- [Full Story] -- [Powerful Pictures]

Wren Chirps In: Witch hugs to M. Macha Nightmare for forwarding over this timely piece.
Additional Coverage: Also check out the indepth coverage and pictures over at www.magickalcauldron.com



A Powerful Build: Gerald Gardner.com

Since 1995 we have promoted 12,662 websites related to the Pagan community via our VoxLinks Pagan Search. Every now and then we are reminded of Web sites that are a true labour of both love and respect... The fabulous GeraldGardner.com is one of those valuable historical sites that continues to evolve.

Dear Fritz,

Hello again! I hope you are doing well. I thought I'd drop you a line to let you know that I've just released my first essay on the Gerald Gardner website. It fleshes out in fifty pages the rather neglected period of Gardner's life from 1946-1949 and uncovers some exciting things, like Gardner's association with the Old Catholic Movement and his family in America. In keeping with my desire to bring the materials that document Gardner's life to the public, I've quoted some interesting sources at length. You can find the essay linked from here: http://www.geraldgardner.com/index/essays.shtml . With the essay release, I've also put some new material in the archive. There is an obituary from Memphis for Gerald's younger brother Douglas and his wife Miriam, and I'm hoping to add some more pictures and things soon.

With Kind Regards and Bright Blessings,
Morgan

Hats of to Morgan S. Davis for this non profit/labour of love... For the complete experience surf to www.geraldgardner.com


February Teen Pagan Essays Now UP!


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We are honored to kick off our essay series for 2002 with two new essays from our Pagan young elders. Pagan Youth are clearly an inspiration to us all. They are embracing this spiritual path with a passion and conviction like we have never seen before. We are honored to feature the Young Pagan Essays for all the world to see. It is clear that their light shines brightly.
    Imbolc
    What does the Sabbat of Imbolc mean to you? How do you celebrate it, and what myths do you associate with it? Also, since it is a "cross-quarter", do you celebrate it on the traditional date of February 2nd, or on the astrological midpoint of 15 degrees of Aquarius (February 4th this year)? -- Check out Essay One - Two
    Hexing to Heal?
    There's an old saying that goes "The Witch who can't hex, can't heal". Do you think this is true? Is the ability to hex an integral part of the ability to heal? -- Check out Essay One - Two

Other Young Pagan Resources at TWV: WitchVox Teen Essays MAIN Index - Young Pagans in YOUR Town (6, 638 listed) - Young Pagan Covens and Groups (310 listed) - F.A.Q.'s of the WitchVox Teen Section - Teen Article Submission Topics! Make YOUR Voice Heard! - Teen Pagan Web Sites (242 sites listed!) - Click HERE to submit YOUR Teen Pagan Site.


The Light Returns
Supplying the Image Magick for Witchvox this Week.

Every weekend we make last minute decisions as to what images and articles we will use for our weekly update (usually everthing we've received). For over 6 years, we have been blessed with a steady flow of pictures from the community. Nothing thrills us more than featuring the faces of a community we are honored to serve.


This week is no exception, thanks to our respected friend Capt. Ike and the folks at the Florida chapter of PUC, we are honored to share shots from their Imbolc Ritual, held Feb 2nd., in Lakeland Florida. -- Note: A treat for us personally, is that we will get to meet these wonderful Pagans at the Phoenix Phyre Festival in one months time. Witch hugs to Capt. Ike, John, Tracie, Adam, and Elly for sharing your magick with us all.

Image credits: (for this weeks update)
  1. From left to right: Kim, John, Tracie, Adam, Captain Ike, and Elly. Photo by Mike (just above)
  2. Florida PUC Assistant Chair "Tracie Barrett" and Candlemas Wreath. (Witchvox Front Cover)
  3. Imbolc Altar with Candlemas Wreath (Witchvox anchor photo - Wren's intro piece)
PUC Websites: The Pagan Unity Campaign & Florida Chapter

NOTE to YOU: So how do YOU, your group, your muse, or your altars get featured on Witchvox? The answer is simple... Simply send us something.


Notes from a Pagan WebCrafter
Quick Notes

Greetings Witches, Wiccans, Pagans and Heathens!

This past week saw a mother and child reunion here at Witchvox central with Wren's daughter, Skye, gracing us with her amazing presence. Although Skye did come down to attend the International Brain Tumor conference here in Tampa (she, herself, is an amazing 2-year survivior of 'incurable' brain cancer), mother and daughter simply blew it off and hit the thrift stores. Wren was beaming all week.

This past week also saw some stabilizing of that chaos that always comes with a Mercury turn. Machines worked consistently and communication with our brothers and sisters went much smoother. After having zero time to evolve and move Witchvox.net over to our new server, we did see some light this past week and did move forward. Allow me to personally thank Wade Berlin for his critical help with some PHP logic. As usual, Wren's Nest was the test case. We managed to get real links to recent articles on the front door of Witchvox, proper governors on the news pages (to help those of you that can't deal with too much information due to your connection speed), and fleshed out the search capabilities for the Nest articles as well.

A 10 Foot Cable: A few weeks back, our former ISP (for Witchvox.NET) killed all of his ADSL accounts. This left the most powerful Pagan networking section on the planet down for nearly a week as we scrambled to find a new local 'high band' provider. We went with a static IP for our Road Runner Cable modem. Since I didn't have a 25 foot cable to wrap around the room, we have a ten foot cable that runs across the middle of our office and directly between Wren and I... Earlier this week, I found myself stopping and reflecting upon the POWER and MAGICK that goes through that cable. Through that cable on our floor are over 25 thousand requests for Websites, Pagans, Events, Groups, and Announcements from all over the world on a DAILY basis. So yes, it may be just a cable running across our floor, but it is arguably the most powerful and magickal piece of hardware in our home. This cat 5 cable is one of our many altars; an altar to this community and one that is sacred here in our home. We are VERY CAREFUL as we walk around it. Your magick is something that we will never mess with.

Last week's issue of Witchvox rendered a mountain of Email, with many of you sharing your anger about Pagan Spam, sending blessings for our 6th anniversary and thanking Wren for her weekly writings. Wren and I have enjoyed these past 6 years, have made many friends, and can only attempt to express our gratitude for your support of this mission. Mail received this past week also reminded us that it is time once again to post some of the myths about Witchvox. Since we serve many new seekers on a regular basis, we must never forget that not all of you have been visiting with TWV for years... To our new visitors we say, Hail and Welcome and please note the following.

For the Record...
  • The Witchvox staff does NOT take a penny for the work we do, never have and never will.
  • The basic Witchvox staff is Wren and myself with part time help from Diotima, Peg, Christina, Steve, Waterhawk, Daven and Darragh. We do this work as a way to serve a community that we both love and respect.
  • The Witches' Voice is funded by the community ONLY. We encourage and accept sponsorship donations from those that deem this mission of value. We use these funds to pay for communication costs and for donations to events/situations in the community that need help.
  • Witchvox has no desire to enter into any commercial co-venturing schemes with vendors inside or outside of the community. We like the look and feel of a "No hustle, No Banner ads" website and after receiving thousands of pieces of email thanking us for choosing this 'refreshing' approach, we believe that this has been a wise decision.
  • Witchvox does not teach Wicca or Witchcraft, nor do we promote our personal spiritual beliefs on this site. We offer some of the more popular tenets to those outside of this community in an effort to help them better understand who we are and what we do.
  • Witchvox is ABOUT supporting and celebrating the work OF the local communities. We are constantly approached for interviews by some of the most famous publications in the world. We defer 85% of these requests to Witches', Wiccans, Pagans and Heathens at the local level.
  • The Witches' Voice will never be about titles, degrees or fame. Our focus will always be related to the work itself. We live in a world of spin, idle promises and hype. It is our observation that the work will ultimately speak for itself.
  • The Witches' Voice IS a community effort; we don't pay writers or famous names for articles. Even *if* we could afford to do this, it's doubtful that we would do it. Witchvox is a site by the community... for the community. All are welcome to submit articles and always have been. Notable Pagans are encouraged to share their wisdom and experiences.
  • The 'pages viewed' stats on our splash page are indeed real. They have been faithfully culled from our server logs from day one. They indicate a running daily total of both the Witchvox.com and Witchvox.net domains. Witchvox.com stats are added daily and WitchVox.net stats updated twice a month month. At present we are pacing at close to 60,000 pages viewed on a daily basis. If you prefer to work with the concept of "hits" (page elements) you can multiply that number by 5.7, if your preference is for actual visitors, divide this number by 6.1.
  • The Witchvox focus IS on the present day and the present way. To us everyone IS special and valid in their own personal beliefs. ALL you have to do to get "featured" here is to do something for the community. We don't care if you found this path last month or 25 years ago. We do "lean into" individuals and groups that consistently work FOR the community. Current selfless work, for the good of all, means everything to us.
  • The Witchvox staff have no desire to impose our own personal morals on anyone. 'an it harm none, do what ye will' -- We DO maintain a strong sense of ethics. We encourage honesty and direct contact by anyone that has concerns related to what we do.
  • We have a rich history of answering 99% of our email on a near daily basis (we sure have received a mountain of it). We do not participate in "he said/she said" gossip and do not respond to background bitching. Our email addresses are accessible via links at the bottom of ALL of our pages
  • All members of the Witchvox staff use their real names and are out of the broom closet.
  • The WitchVox offices are located in Clearwater, Florida in a small apartment (yes! we are poor renters like most of you).
  • We make lots of mistakes and don't mind it IF you point them out to us. We do live to render this site as accurate as possible.
  • The Witches' Voice offers Pagan Political Neutrality to those that practice the Rede, the law of three of a similar compatible code of ethics. We have no desire to referee local WitchWars (nor are we qualified to) BUT highly encourage those at the local level to learn from these lessons and realize that we are stronger when we are united. NO one or group is less valid on this path, many are simply different in their approach. Again, the work will ultimately speak for itself.
As always, our goals are to create solutions that are both valuable and useful to the Pagan community. Both Witchvox.com and Witchvox.net are here for your news and networking needs. Use them with our love.


In closing... As we wrap up this week's update and try to dodge the Super Bowl Sunday Ad blitz, we thank YOU for supplying the magick, the light and the content to this commercial free web site.

Happy Brigid's Day everyone,

Fritz Jung
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, February 4th, 2002


Wonderful NEW Tradition Profile now UP!
(Pagan Trads Viewed 182,002 Times)

Once again, we are blessed to share a NEW Tradition profile with the community. Here is an excerpts and links to the full profile...

The Mohsian Tradition
by Dana Corby, Senior HPS (dana.corby@juno.com)

The Mohsian Tradition of Wicca was founded in the early 1960's by Bill and Helen Mohs. It was not customary at that time for Craft groups to have names or consider themselves a 'tradition, ' but when it became necessary to call themselves something, they used American Eclectic Traditional Wicca. (Not related to the American Traditional Wicca based in Hawaii and best known as the home of Scott Cunningham). Within a few years of its inception, members and friends of Bill & Helen's group were calling it 'Mohsian' and this is the name that stuck.

In about 1960, Bill & Helen were experimenting with a Ouija board and began getting messages from an entity calling itself Pan, who told them that they were to find and bring together 'my people.' Completely ignorant of mythology, all they knew was that 'pan' was the Spanish word for bread. So they went to the library and were astonished to learn that they had been contacted by one of the Old Gods. They began searching for people who could teach them, a search that took them throughout the Midwest and eventually to California. They made friends and acquired information wherever they went -- Crafters shared freely in those days. Their home coven is known to have existed by 1965 and was eventually called Pan's Garden. -- 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
Monday, February 4th, 2002



Introducing a NEW Section here at TWV!


Last WEEK we launched a long over due chapter here at TWV entitled Pagan Protection Tips... From Professionals with some hidden articles from the past related to physical protection and smart living and some brand new stuff on fighting Spammers both Pagan and Professional.

Some of the features in this new section include....

Physical Protection (tips from Pros): Also featured is our detailed section on fighting spam...

In-depth and Comprehensive articles about Spam
  • How THEY get your Email and How to Block them. New this week by Steve McManus
    A valuable new addition to TWV, which includes details on HOW they get your email address off the net, and how you can fight back. Also included are details on how to set up your email to 'auto trash' this junk.

  • That Pesky and Obnoxious Spam by Fritz and Wren
    This is a powerful article that details what spam is and what the laws REALLY are. This piece was composed a few years back and rings true today.
YOUR Spam Filter -- how to filter out this obnoxious junk To check out this new section, surf to Pagan Protection Tips... From Professionals.


YOUR Voice Wanted!

Adult Pagan Topics for February:
  • Imbolc
    What does the Sabbat of Imbolc mean to you? How do you celebrate it, and what myths do you associate with it? Also, since it is a "cross-quarter", do you celebrate it on the traditional date of February 2nd, or on the astrological midpoint of 15 degrees of Aquarius (February 4th this year)? -- Go Here for details
  • Hexing to Heal?
    There's an old saying that goes "The Witch who can't hex, can't heal". Do you think this is true? Is the ability to hex an integral part of the ability to heal? -- Go Here for details

In Closing...

"The thing with politicians is, I wouldn't have suspicions, If I saw their worst positions, And their Ugly Underneath. But after all the voting, Suck away the sugar coating, Now they've had you and they're gloating, Boy it's Ugly Underneath." - (Andy Partridge; "The Ugly Underneath"; XTC)


In YOUR Service,

The WitchVox Staff
The Witches' Voice Inc.
Monday, February 4th, 2002






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