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










Weekly Update: 3/4/2002

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: March 4th. 2002
Times Viewed: 4,575

The Heart of A Mechanic...

"You do know that you're going to hell, right?" he said.

And of course, that had to happen on 'Shopping Day'. The one day each week when I sneak in a couple of hours of personal time. After performing my official TWV duties at both the post office and the bank, I usually have about four hours, a tank full of gas, a moderate allowance and whole slew of thrift stops and bookstores to visit. It's my one guilty little pleasure and I really look forward to it. (So I won't tell you what it is that I actually said last week when it became painfully obviously that S-Day just wasn't going to happen. We do try to keep this site family-friendly.) Drat! Going to hell simply wasn't on my Tuesday agenda. That's really more of a Monday thing.

But the automotive gremlins, it seems, had me penciled in for Tuesday. Maybe they were running a little behind schedule or something. After dropping Fritz off at work, I reached over and pressed the switch that is supposed to make the power window actually exert its power and move into the 'up' position. Nothing. I pressed it again and again. Nothing and more of nothing. I pulled over and got out and slammed the door a few times. Nothing. Window open. Window staying open. Bad, bad window! At least if it had broken while shut, I could still do my rounds. But, noooooo...With the window stuck on 'Come right in!' I wasn't about to leave the car parked alone and vulnerable anywhere. I needed a day off sure, but more than that, I needed a window that went up. I needed Mike.

Mike is our auto mechanic and I'm convinced that these guys are the modern day equivalent of the old-tyme blacksmith. When your horsepower goes lame or your chariot throws a tire, you want to know a good mechanic. Mike is a good mechanic. Good mechanics are usually very busy mechanics and so he was when I pulled into the lot. I felt sort of bad just showing up like that without calling first. And I knew that he probably couldn't fix the window that afternoon (Mike being one of those good, busy mechanics and all) , but I was hoping that he could pry it up or something so that the Witch mobile would be secure overnight. Walking into his office, I meekly explained the problem and metaphorically threw myself at his feet begging for mercy. "The car has been here before", I began (reaching for the 'good customer' card) , "and I know that you probably can't fix it today...but maybe you can get it to stay up until we can make an appointment?" Mike looked up from his computer. "I remember you." "Yep, " I chirped, "Name's Jung. You know, the Witches."

Now lest you think that I just blurt that out to any old auto mechanic that I might meet, I have to explain that the last time the car was in Mike's shop, we had gotten into a conversation about computers and all that and the subject of the TWV web site came up. He thought it was pretty interesting, what we do here. Oh sure, he did still chastise us about not having our regularly scheduled oil changes done on time - or anywhere even close to on time- but he was totally cool with the Witch thing. So when he looked up from my auto door with a hand full of window-wire guts and said, "You do know that you're going to hell, right?" I just whipped out that old chestnut, "Yeah. I get that a lot." Our eyes locked and then we both burst out laughing. He couldn't fix my window. But right then and there, he did fix my day.

If you have been watching or reading the news of late, you no doubt have seen footage of the on-going Afghanistan war, the horrific suicide bombings in Israel and the terrible fighting in India which has left at least 400 people dead in just three days. It's depressing. It's also scary. And the scariest part about it to me is that people can actually do these things to other human beings. How is that possible? Well, I certainly don't have all of the answers for the problems of human violence and hatred. In fact, I have more questions than answers. Questions like "How do we know that all of the Israelis killed in the suicide bomb blasts were actually anti-Palestine?" And how about the Hindus or the Muslims in India? "Were each and every one of those Hindus who were blown up in the train haters of Muslims? Were the Muslims who were burned alive in their beds all malevolently plotting to kill Hindus? Even the children? Were all of the people who died in the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon plotting to take over the Arab world?"

We'll never know if that is right or not-that ALL of these people were the evil villains that their murderers thought them to be. But I can tell you one of the reasons that this sort of thing happens: Labels. Religious labels. Political labels. 'Them' labels. 'Us' labels. Labels that take the faces of the people away. Labels that take the hearts and minds and spirits of people away. Labels that make it easy to tell who is like you and who is not like you; who is a friend and who is an enemy. Labels that let you know just who is in and who is out. Labels that make a very complicated and diverse world easier to understand, easier to define and ultimately easier to control. Labels are just plain easier. Labels take the face away.
"In the heart of the face's vulnerability is its moral strength and authority: it is the face that "forbids one to kill" and thereby commands respect and nonviolence...Even during war when ethics is said to be suspended, it is difficult to kill someone who looks one straight in the eye and that assassins usually attack their victims from behind." "Genuine unity within society cannot be achieved till people become faces to each other."- (Angelli F. Tugado; The Sociality of the Face-to-Face Relation)

Pagans have faces. Christians have faces. Hindus and Muslims and Palestinians and Jews have faces. It is more difficult to try to see the individual faces than it is to slap a label on a whole group of people. It is harder to look into each individual face and try to see what is really there. It also is harder to hate the face that pleads for understanding, the face that crinkles in confusion or the face that smiles at the sight of a kitten playing with a piece of string or of his or her child reaching up for a hug. It is tempting-oh, so tempting- to simply slap some label on a group of people and be done with it. It's easier.

Well, I don't know what your copy of "The Guide To Life Here On Earth" says, but there is no paragraph in the one that I have that states that life will be easy. I don't know why we kick and moan so much about not having something that we were never guaranteed that we would have anyway. Life is not easy. Life is complicated. Violence and hatred are complicated issues. And perhaps instead of just reaching for that easy label every time that the going gets rough, we should begin to look at these problems one face at a time.

Looking down into his twinkling eyes, Mike suddenly wasn't 'Mike the Mechanic' anymore. He was just Mike. Mike who the next day gave me a ride back and forth to the garage. Mike who talked about the new house that he was building. Mike who told me something interesting about wells and underground aquifers. Mike who saw my face and smiled back with his own. Mike with the open heart.

I almost didn't hate paying the bill.

Walk in Love and Light,


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

Instant Information
WitchVox Searches Hit Light Speed

Introducing...

Vox SiteMap v6.0: Although I originally wrote much of this code (if a different language) TWO years ago, this powerful DB driven Witchvox SiteMap never saw the light of day. The problem was (you guessed it) ... Our .net server connection just couldn't handle the increased traffic/processing.

VoxMap v6.0 was launched just yesterday and features a 'wicked fast' grab of all of the pages in a given chapter. Page results include: date created, page title and author. Also included are the number of times that the page has been viewed, total number of words in the article/essay, and a count on the total number of articles by that same author. LOOK for many new stats/links (v 6.1) added to this critical section for Witchvox in the months to come.

For a new way to overview TWV, take a ride on the Vox SiteMap v6.0 today.

VoxQuery v6.0: At present, the Witches' Voice contains nearly 4, 000 pages and over 5 million of YOUR WORDS. Yes, we have had some flexible site-wide search capabilities for a few years, BUT they resided on our .net server and were just not all that quick. Quick in finding, Slooooow in spitting them back to your browser. All that changes with this new rewrite. This week we are honored to introduce VoxQuery v6.0 !

V6.0 offers you the option to search by keywords, author, chapter, date, or article title. We have countless ideas on how to flesh this out further to better sniff out the information that YOU want. Look for a new/updated version of VoxQuery in the months to come.

Bottom line? You can search through over 5 million words here at TWV in 1/4 of a second. Take VoxQuery v6.0 for a ride via its main page or simply use the 'article search' feature on the bottom of all 3, 900 pages here at TWV!


Notes from a Pagan WebCrafter
Quick Notes... Much Work to do!

Greetings Witches, Wiccans, Pagans and Heathens!

This week's web notes will be brief. Ya see, I am head deep in a site rewrite that will bring back our .net domain pages to our hot new server. Time is what I fight for, and with the consistent increase in submissions to your 'Witches of the World' networking section, I can't seem to find enough of it.

We are racing against the clock... In a few months time it will be lightning season here in Tampa Bay, Florida (the lightning capitol of North America) and our goal is to retire the .net server before then. Although the Witches of the World server has served over 12 million pages in just the past two years, the piece of mind of having this section served to you from a 'Scream' Unix box in 'Jersey' can't come soon enough for us.

Records: Wren broke some records over at the Nest this week with a huge number of posts. She posted so many articles in fact that I had to keep trimming the portal on the home page... Taking it from 'the past 7 days' down to 'the past 3 days'.

Also worth noting is the substantial increase in 'Covens and Groups' as well as 'Circles and Events' listings over at Witchvox.net... We pride ourselves on offering only future events (automatically purging PAST events from these listings) . As of this writing, future Pagan events are nearing the 1, 000 mark. Get out and network with your brothers and sisters today.

Quarterly Verification Delayed: We also pride ourselves on pinging (testing) all email addies over at Witches of the World every ninety days. For the first time in over 5 years, we will not hit this schedule. Since we are going to import nearly 50, 000 listings to a new structure (WOTW v6.0) sometime next month, it only makes sense to hold off to the last minute.

"@home.com" Email addies are history... This past weekend, all email addresses that end with '@home.com' became history. A quick check of our networking section revealed over 400. IF you are still listed with an '@home.com' email address, kindly use our change forms to either resubmit your listing or IF it is a personal listing, just use the 'Email change form' to update your email address. As of this Saturday, we will search and remove ALL email addresses with '@home.com' from our listings.

In closing... Allow me to reiterate my statement from last week... Holding back is a drag! Mercifully, those days are waning here at TWV. FINALLY after two years, I can once again evolve this site. Our 'white board' has over 200 projects on it and due to recent core level changes, we just may get to many of them AHEAD of schedule. NOTHING would thrill this webcrafter more.

Bless YOU for your patience and have a great week.

In your service,

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




Teens Speak Out!
on Hot Issues


Teen INDEX


Teen Essay Links...

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Disclaimer: The words contained in the Young Pagan essays are those of the listed author and are not neccessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc. All WitchVox Essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments directly to the author.








When Your Parents Disapprove
March Teen Pagan Essays Now UP!

When Your Parents Disapprove
What do you think teens should do when their parents disapprove of their religious beliefs? Many Pagan teens have parents who don't agree with their religious choices, and don't want them to have Pagan books or tools or practice magick. How should a situation like this be handled?
  • Problems with Parents - by Michael Moore
    Problems with Parents by Michael Moore Email: Contradiction112@aol.com Well, this certainly is a zinger of a topic. As teens, by definition, we are torn between pleasing our parents, fighting everything rebelliously (well, maybe its just me) , and learning to make the right decisions. Should I study for the test because my parents want me to get good grades, watch... (Full Essay)

  • There Shall Be No Pagans in this Household! - by Charolette VanBebber
    As I was scrolling down the list of future teen essay topics, one caught my eye: 'When Your Parents Disapprove' . I immediately pulled up my word processor, and began to type. This is a topic I am very familiar with. Being involved with the Craft... (Full Essay)

  • When Your Parents Disapprove - by Belthane
    I was browsing the internet a few days ago, when the subject of this topic, 'when your parents disapprove, ' really hit home. I have been a practicing Solitaire Pagan for only three or four years, which to many may not seem such a long time, but I have found that the struggle for approval has been uphill almost all the... (Full Essay)

  • Cutting Open the Zip-Locked Mind - by Silver Fire
    Cutting Open the Zip-Locked Mind by Silver Fire Email: littleozzyman@msn.com You're 12 years old, and have stumbled upon the book "Teen Witch" by Silver Ravenwolf at this very odd and interesting section of Borders called "Magickal Studies". Next to Teen Witch is the book "Wicca; a Guide for the Solitary Practitioner" by Scott Cunningham. You have never heard of... (Full Essay)

  • What the Craft is Really About - by Sienna Swan
    What the Craft is Really About by Sienna Swan Email: vapid_embrace@hotmail.com I went to a Catholic school for the first 5 years of my schooling. Now, e-mail me and tell me, how many of you cringed there, expecting another tear-jerker about how my parents ransacked my altar and burned Teen Witch by Silver RavenWolf? Well, sorry, but no... (Full Essay)

  • When Parents Disapprove - by Janine
    Honey, I found another one of your witchcraft books laying around your room. I've asked you a thousand times to stop reading those! You can't be getting yourself into this hocus-pocus garbage." "But Mom! It's not like that! Its a peaceful, nature revering religion-" "Its not a religion! It's devil worship!" "It's not like that!" "You don't know what you're... (Full Essay)

  • When Parents Disapprove - by Eirynn McGowan-Slee
    All parents of teenagers disapprove of something their teenager has done at least a thousand times in their 8 eventful teenage years. There's no denying it. Teenagers of the 90's and 00's are a whole new breed of teenager. Our parents, typically born in the 50's and 60's, were teenagers in the 60's and 70... (Full Essay)

  • When Parents Disapprove - by Rayalyn
    I haven't written much for Witchvox lately... crashing real-life, as my friends would say. But this topic screamed out to me. My father hasn't approved in my religion in years. And while he doesn't usually say or do any thing negative about it, the chilling silence gets to me. Over a year ago my mother had given up her reservations... (Full Essay)

  • 'You're Doing WHAT?' - by Vivhianna
    Going through the teen years isn't easy. This is, I believe, an acknowledged fact. There are so many things to think about and so many new experiences to have that sometimes, it's hard to tell what's right and what isn't, and what really matters. And regardless of how close we are... (Full Essay)

  • When Parents Disapprove - by Autumn WindSinger
    I have been practicing Wicca for seven months, as I go through my own "year and a day" study. While I don't necessarily have to do this, I want to make sure that this is what I can be dedicated to, even after a few years. I have not and... (Full Essay)

Next Month's Young Witch/Pagan Topics:
    Publication Date: April 7th
    Submission Deadline: March 31st

  • Mixing Pantheons
    Pagans tend to be nothing if not eclectic, but some think we take our eclectic tendencies a bit too far. What do you think of working with Gods and Goddesses from different pantheons? Can Kwan Yin and Hera get along? Will Odin and Osiris work together? Or should we find a single pantheon of gods and work with them alone? -- Go Here for details
  • Magick for the Planet
    Do you do any magick to "heal the earth", or do you find that kind of magick inappropriate? Let us know your thoughts, and, if you do work magick, tell us what you do and why. -- Go Here for details
Adult Pagan Topics for April:
    Publication Date: April 14th
    Submission Deadline: April 7th

  • Mixing Pantheons
    Pagans tend to be nothing if not eclectic, but some think we take our eclectic tendencies a bit too far. What do you think of working with Gods and Goddesses from different pantheons? Can Kwan Yin and Hera get along? Will Odin and Osiris work together? Or should we find a single pantheon of gods and work with them alone? -- Go Here for details
  • Magick for the Planet
    Do you do any magick to "heal the earth", or do you find that kind of magick inappropriate? Let us know your thoughts, and, if you do work magick, tell us what you do and why -- Go Here for details





NEW Tradition Profile now UP!
(Pagan Trads Viewed 202, 074 Times)

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

Central Valley Wicca: The Kingstone Tradition
by Kalisha Zahr
(kalishazahr@yahoo.com)

I define Wicca as a Pagan Mystery faith that is initiatory, oath bound and experiential in nature, which has ancient roots that originated in the British Isles. However, the term Wicca has been co-opted by the popular Pagan/Wiccan movement that has grown significantly in the past twenty or so years. To differentiate the original Wiccan traditions from the newer non-initiatory groups, in the United States we now refer to ourselves as British Traditional Wicca (BTW) , and in Europe we are usually known as Traditional Wicca (TW) . To simplify things, in this article when I refer to Wicca, I am referring only to BTW/TW unless otherwise indicated.

History of Central Valley Wicca: Central Valley Wicca, or CVW, traces its origins back to adherents of the Old Religion who settled in the Central Valley of Northern California by the early 1960s. At that time, our ancestors did not refer to themselves as a "tradition" of the Craft. They called themselves "Wicca." Tradition names came into use later.

According to our original custom, in the early days, a follower of the Old Ways was not told who their initiator's initiator was - therefore, the identity of the person who first brought Wicca to the Central Valley of California remains a mystery - to this day, we only know of her by what is probably her Craft name. What is known is that she had ties to England and had most likely lived there - she was either British or had close connection to a British subject prior to settling in Northern California. -- 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, January 28th, 2002


The Burning Times Website - A Critical Resource for us all!
Laura Tempest Schmidt creates a Powerful and Stunning Exhibition

"In these modern times, theburningtimes.com hopes to bring to light visions from the past, so that we may better understand our own human history, and will not be doomed to repeat it. The site takes on the sacred tasks of building memory and remembering, but it is up to all to complete the circle round".



A few weeks back, we received a press release for the launch of a new website called 'The Burning Times' and a quick peek revealed an amazing piece of work, crafted with respect and professionally presented. Since we really LOVE to get a graphic to 'punch up' a powerful site such as this, we held up on our celebration. Sadly, lack of time never allowed this to happen. SO... in an effort to help spread the word, we are honored to simply quote an excerpt from the press release (below) and send you over to theburningtimes.com.
"A quick look: New website offers a provocative exploration into the historical and modern day Burning Times through artwork, articles, resources, and more....from the souls of Witches to the hearts and minds of all humankind.

Panic, fear, and mistrust abound... thousands of people reduced to ashes... whole towns left empty of life...

Modern day nuclear holocaust?

No. The Burning Times.

The Burning Times is the title Pagans have given to the time when hundreds of thousands of people---mostly women, were killed as Witches. The time period begins roughly in the thirteenth century, reached its height in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and still occurs in many ways today. The victims came from a wide background of cultures, social statures, and religious beliefs. They were killed because they were different, unpopular, unwanted. Old widows with land were accused of Witchcraft so that the town could take over their land and acquire their wealth. Young women were accused by jealous wives whose husbands who had wandering eyes. If there was a problem with the animals or the crops, the latest newcomers to the town were held suspect. And as the years progressed, midwives and healers whose practices rivaled that of male doctors and the Church were brought forth on charges of Witchcraft and heresy. People began to set themselves up as professional Witch hunters, and it became a very profitable profession. Witchcraft was the Church's scapegoat for all the problems the people had, and women were believed the most susceptible to its supposed evils. 85% of those killed were women. It was not unusual to find only a handful of women left living in a given village after a Witch-hunt had taken place.

The site, accessible at theburningtimes.com features images of the original artwork and installation from the 2000 show, as well as: journal entries and commentaries from the artist, "The Inquisitor"-a search engine just for the topic of the Burning Times, articles written by some of the Pagan community's most prominent leaders, and much more information, geared to teaching, sharing, and spreading awareness. Both fine art prints and reproductions of some of the work are available for purchase, with part of the proceeds going to benefit non-profit awareness, activist, and social-aid groups".
For the complete experience visit: theburningtimes.com


Community News of Interest...

Enchanted Druid Order Leaders Meet With Tibetan Buddhists

The Archdruid and three Elders, Jan Spotswood and DJ & Ann Curran-Godwin, representing the Enchanted Druid Order yesterday (Sunday, February 17th) visited with ordained and lay practitioners of the Palyul lineage of Tibetan Buddhism at Kunzang Palyul Ch... ling (KPC) Buddhist Temple in Poolesville, Maryland.

The visit marks the beginning of an inter-faith friendship initiative, which the EDO hopes will bring together worshipers from many various wisdom-based traditions for future ecumenical events, to build a stronger and much needed sense of spiritual community. While at KPC, the Archdruid extended an invitation to the members of KPC to join in the festivities at the Mother Grove's upcoming Beltaine gathering, to be held on Sunday May, 5th, 2002 -- [Full Story]

SEVEN 13 Releases New Video and New CD

"We wanted to drop you a line and let you know that our latest CD, "Unleashed, " is available as well as our debut video to the song "DRINK." Samples from the "Unleashed" CD as well as the video are available on our website, www.seven13band.com, directly on the Homepage. The running of the video depends greatly upon your internet connection's speed. However, it is available in VHS".

"As you know, we have changed our name to "SEVEN 13" to represent the balance and unity present within our music and the band itself.".

Regards,

Amanda Adams
SEVEN 13 [www.seven13band.com]


Two New Essays Featured!
Although we DO have specific topics for our monthly essays, we are not inflexible in this area and always interested anything you write that is for the good of all. This week, we are honored to share with you two essays from our Adult Pagan Essay pages.

Reclaiming Darkness in Paganism - A Call to Balance - by John J. Coughlin
On the Internet I use the handle "DarkWyccan" which often brings mixed reactions among Pagans; some are simply curious what I mean by "dark", but many others are downright offended. Immediately I am associated with evil and chastised for fostering the negative stereotypes of Witchcraft. (Actually the "Dark" in the name refers to my style of dress and penchant for macabre imagery but that's another story!) ... (Full Essay)

The Reluctant Witch - by Lady Mandrake
Born to a strict and hostile Southern Baptist family of what we may well describe as being extremely dysfunctional, I suppose many things were expected of me. Church was a regular part of my childhood life. Church wasn't a place to learn, experience or socialize with others of the same faith. The church experience was one filled we with fire and brim stone, shouts from the pulpit, screams from the many "mature", blue haired ladies and overall clad, aging men. The isles were filled with tormented onlookers hell bent on torturing themselves in the name of a being that they called "GOD"... (Full Essay)

In Closing...

"Civil societies survive and flourish only as long as the people who belong in it do not lose sight of the face." - (Angelli F. Tugado; The Sociality of the Face-to-Face Relation)


In YOUR Service,

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











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