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










Weekly Update: 3/18/2002

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: March 18th. 2002
Times Viewed: 4,498

Spring speaks to our soul...

by Christina Aubin (March '02)

"In those vernal seasons of the year, when the air is calm and pleasant, it were an injury and sullenness against Nature not to go out and see her riches, and partake in her rejoicing with heaven and earth". - John Milton (1608--1674)

The Vernal Equinox is one of two times in the calendar year when the apparent path of the sun crosses the Celestial Equator. The Celestial Equator is the line which divides the celestial sphere into a northern and southern celestial hemispheres, much like the earth's equator dividing the earth into the northern and southern hemispheres. During the Vernal Equinox the sun moves northward and reaches a point known as the First Point of Aries (zero point of longitude) which was originally in the constellation of Aries, but is now in the constellation of Pisces due to precession. The other point of the year which the sun crosses the celestial equator is Autumnal Equinox, which occurs in September (northern hemisphere).

The Vernal Equinox is the festival of Eostre, Ostara. E‡stre, Ostara is the Teutonic and Eostre and E‡stre are the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, the Radiant Dawn and Up-springing Light (Grimm Teutonic Mythology). Eostre, E‡stre and Ostara are entomologically related to the Anglo-Saxon word for dawn and to Ostar, the Old High German adverb which expresses movement toward the rising sun --which would be East. Through time Eostre became Easter -- and its meaning changed to the time the rising "son" as opposed to the rising "sun".

Eostre is noted in De Temporum Rationale by The Venerable Bede (673 - 735), as a Goddess whose festival was celebrated in the fourth month of the year. The month was called Eosturmona, in Anglo Saxon and Ostarmanoth or Ostermonat in Old High German. According to E. Cobham Brewer in his Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, April was called Ostermonath because it was the month of the Ost-end wind (wind from the east). Ostarmanoth would have begun closer to the equinox in our current month of March, since in times past months would have been kept to the 28 day lunar cycle as opposed to our current modern calendar.

Eostre/Ostara is the second in the trilogy of fertility festivals. It heralds the quickening of the Spring season. In the weeks subsequent to Imbolc the earth slowly begins to emerge from Her winter's sleep. As the Vernal Equinox approaches, life hastens its reawakening and the annual process of renewal has begun -- the process of life reaffirming life in the dance of being.

In the US Northeast, the salamander migrations begin, pussy willows become fuzzy, skunk cabbages come out in moist areas, birds begin to return from their winter vacation. Just at the Equinox the chipmunks begin to emerge from their winter homes, sparrows begin to sing, the wood frogs begin to call, and the maple sap begins to run. Similar indicators of spring begin to emerge all over the hemisphere.

It is at this moment that the Sun King begins his semiannual journey across the sky, His warmth and light begin to over take the darkness of Winter. His strength and power will continue to grow until His peak at Summer Solstice in June. Days become longer as we begin our course into the warm summer days and fruitful harvests.

Ostara (Eostre), the Goddess of Spring and the Morning Redness, presides over the Vernal Equinox is commonly depicted standing among Spring's flowers and vines, holding an egg in Her hand. Around Her feet the hares play joyfully in the Spring grass and birds fly above Her. Her head is crowned with Spring's flowers.

Some descriptions say she herself is hare-headed, and yet according to other stories Eostre, changed a bird into a hare. This hare in keeping with her old habits, built nests and filling them with colored eggs. In Teutonic tradition the Oschter haas, Oschier haws, or Osterhase would lay colored eggs for the children, in the nests they built. It is believed that this tradition made its way into US culture with the immigration of the Germans in the early 1700's -- taking the form of the Osterhase lovable Easter Bunny and her nests through time became baskets.

The hare is an obvious fertility symbol who is undeniably tied to the Vernal Equinox. March being the rutting time of hares furthers explains this association. Not only are hares and rabbits fecund -- the rutting time of the hares is quite the spectacle on the countryside. It is said that the typically shy, quiet hare become quite fanatical and fervent. They run for miles and can even become aggressive and can appear quite mad. Hence the English and French expressions - "As mad as a March Hare" "Il est fou comme un liŹvre du Mars". There is no denying that spring has sprung on the European countryside when the hare rutting has begun.

The hare is also associated with the moon in many cultures, due in part to it nighttime eating habits and in part due to being able to see the Bunny/Rabbit/Hare in the moon. Whether Eostre herself is hare-headed or her attendants are hares, she is strongly associated with the hare -- and later its cousin the rabbit for obvious reasons.

Ostara and the egg She carries are symbols of fertility, new and continuing life. The symbolism of the egg reaches through time and across cultures, it speaks of the mystery of life, fertility, birth, and of the universe. From the primordial creatrix, the Bird Goddess, extending through the Bronze Age cultures into the Cosmic Egg mythologies, the symbolism of the egg flows from life, through life and into life, throughout time. The egg and spring time rites go hand and hand across cultural and religious boundaries and speaks to the innate mysteries of life itself.

In many cultures red was the predominate color used to dye eggs, as it symbolizes the morning redness, dawn, the sunrise, the birth of the new day' s sun, the beginning from which all life springs forth. The red egg cracks open and releasing the life within symbolized by the yolk and white, perfect and complete life. Just as the red sky in morning gives birth to the life-giving sun, there is the redness from which new babies emerge from the womb. The coloring of eggs crosses may cultures as does the weight of its magic, folklore is full of egg customs and magic. Which is why we place baskets of eggs in beautiful colors and hues around the house and altar. Eggs are charged as talismans for fruitfulness and success for the upcoming season.

Like most holidays, fire and water are two important elements of this season. Water, Osterwasser, is collected on the morning of the Vernal Equinox, traditionally by young girls in silence, and enough kept in the home as not to run out before the next Ostara. Water has many healing properties. If one bathes in a flowing brook on Ostara morning, they will always remain young and beautiful. Cattle was driven through the brooks on Ostara morning to bless them and keep them from protect disease and ill. A custom that still holds over in many communities today is the sprinkling with water with birch branches of young ladies by young men -- the single young men would go door to door through the village sprinkling the single young ladies until noon The young girls would hide and the young men would seek them out (the hunt). In many villages, even today, the village well is decorated in garland and flowers to celebrate the life giving and rejuvenating gift that water bestows.

The fire, Osterfeuer, symbolizes the sun and its life giving, life affirming warmth for without the gift of the sun there would be no life. Wood and brush were collected along the country side to fuel the Osterfeuer. From the Osterfeuer everyone would take the spring sun to their home fires to bless their home and fields.

Another popular tradition is the hot cross buns, which seem to have Pagan roots. There are mixed reports on the symbolism of the cross on the hot cross buns. Some suggest that the equilateral cross symbolizes the four quarters of the moon, other suggest that is expressing the uniformity of the seasonal year, and still others suggest that it is expressing the equilibrium of the equinox day -- equal day and equal night. One thing is for certain the equilateral cross reaches back through time to the many ages before Christianity.

The Vernal Equinox is the season of new and renewed life, of new fire and new spark. The gentle, slow awakening of the Earth that began at Imbolc -- accelerates with almost lightening speed. There is an intensity, a fervor to the energies of this time, it is if all existence suddenly is whirling its way in a pinnacle climax from which all life bursts onward in its own determination to keep the circle of life spinning.

It is as if the winter ice damns of the great river give way and waters begin to flow at once, you can almost feel this shift on Equinox day, if one is not careful they can easily be swept down river. As this is a time of heightened energy, storms can come in ferociously only to pass in time, but preparation and care needs to be taken so that the damage is not extensive. The storms pass in both the literal and the figurative.

With such whirlwind fervor one can understand the necessity of spring cleaning, the channeling of such immense energies into productive, worthwhile tasks on all levels of our lives. It is a time of clearing away that which is static to prepare for the dynamic force of the new and renewed substance of life. Clearing the fields, if you will, to make possible the seeding.

Depending on the region it maybe the seedling time, time to Bless and plant the seeds. In other areas, the seeds are Blessed for future planting. Seeds, like the eggs, are an important part of this festival because of the promise they each hold of new life springing forth.

Seeding, of course, has a multi-level meaning, for the seeds we plant, can be on the soil of our Being as well as the soil of the earth. It is the time, after the final harvest of fields of self during Samhain, the contemplation during the fallow periods of winter, to plant the new seeds given from our experience, pondered and understood. A time to begin to create new life, from the seeds of experience past. A life rich in the wisdom of experience past, brimming with the promise of times future.

Spring Equinox is also celebration as well as a practice of balance. For it is not quite Spring and yet not quite winter, it is the time when we are perched magically between the two seasons. The trees and plants are stirring with renewed life, and yet we still receive the March wintry storms. It is a time to remember our balance in the greater scheme of things, we are an important part of all that happens around us, our actions and inactions, our deeds and not, all have effect on the Earth, Her people, and the Universe. So it is the time of the year, where we understand our need to walk in balance with the Universe much more clearly.

The Vernal Equinox also reminds us that there will be times in which achieving balance is easier than at other times in our lives. As the seasons of nature are cyclical so are our lives, we individually mirror the movement of the whole, The Vernal Equinox also serves to remind us that there are times when we must individually "clean house" in order to maintain fertile ground, clear out our outdated conceptions and misconceptions, our grievances and hurts, our self-perceived many times self-inflicted wounds, regrets of our past actions and inactions, our grudges and resentments, our inability to forgive others and ourselves. By clearing house we create the room for new experiences, new understandings, new hope and new joy that would elude us had we not cleared the way and made room for them to occur.

Spring speaks to our soul in messages of hope, of growth or new possibilities realized.

A Most Blessed Ostara to you and yours. May you realize all your most gifted potential.


Chistina Aubin
Staff - The Witches' Voice
Monday, March 18th., 2002
Email: Christina

Also check out...
  • A New List of Enlightening Ostara Links... (Click HERE)
  • Peg's Classic "You call it Easter, We call it Ostara" (Go There Now)
  • Two new pieces on the Spring Equinox by Aderyn AutumnMoon and Karl Lembke (just below)


Getting Rid of What Bugs You...

This week's column will be a little shorter than usual because we want to give Christina's inspiring article on Ostara/Spring Equinox top billing. Christina is a wonderful writer, a beautiful friend and one of the most spiritual people that I am privileged to know. People have been moved to tears by her words. I think that she covered the subject of this week's holiday/solar event quite thoroughly and so I really couldn't come up with anything else to add to it. The gal does her homework! Okay, there is one little thing that I see she didn't touch upon in relation to the changing of the season, so maybe I'll just insert that little bit of traditional lore in here. As a pragmatic Pagan, I am going to talk about that other side of the advent of spring: Bugs. (Well, I did say that Christina is the spiritual one!)

If your skin just started to crawl at even seeing the word 'bug', call me. We'll start a club. Now I don't mind the little critters as long as they stay outside. It's a big, wide and wonderful world out there and I feel that they should be free to live out their buggy existence as they will. But surely they haven't explored that entire expansive outdoor world? I hate to sound like Joan Rivers here, but really.. Bugs do have short stubby little legs. Even with six or eight (or- yuck -even more) of those appendages going full blast and then adding in the wing factor, how well traveled could they be? I don't know. Maybe they really have seen it all and I just can't read the fine print on their bumper stickers. Other than perhaps wanting to give expression to a hitherto understudied insectoid rebellious streak though, I can't fathom why they insist upon sneaking into my porch. Did the other bugs double-dare them or something?

Anyway, they are in and I want them out. I am too tenderhearted to just stomp on them. Especially if they have stingers. From what I understand, the following banishing ritual dates back from the most ancient of times and has been carefully preserved and recorded by scribes throughout countless generations. Get out your Book of Shadows. You're gonna want to write this down. Title the page: Operation Bug Out. I know that this sounds very archaic and mysterious but the modern translation simply reads: The humane way to remove wasps, hornets, wayward Microraptors and other assorted tiny critters from your cave. Yeah, that's how ancient it is. First you'll need...

A canopic jar and a piece of good stiff papyrus. Darn! The 7-11 is fresh out of papyrus? They can never seem to keep that stuff in stock! And you have what in your canopic jar again? No, I don't want to see it. Okay. We'll deal. This may not seem as 'magkical' a technique but a piece of poster board and a glass will work just as well. A Witch must learn to improvise after all.

Now I'll bet that you didn't know that the degree system of initiation actually originated with this ritual. While it is not clear how the system morphed into what we have today, the basic elements are clearly present in the ancient text. It all has to do with 1.) successfully completing the ritual and 2.) upon the size of one's canopic jar. Since we are using a glass here, I'll use the standard 'Alabaster to Plastic Ratio Chart' in order to make the proper adjustments in measurement.

If you can successfully capture the essence of the ritual using:
  • A shot glass: Well, well, well-Aren't we the brave one or Third degree.
  • A juice glass: Large open end compensated for shaky approach, but still nicely done or Second degree.
  • A water glass: The basic required standard for critter expulsion or First degree.
  • A BK 32 ouncer: Just kill the thing, since you are never going to summon up the courage to get close enough to catch it or Initiate.
The Ritual:

Choose your glass. Wait for the designated critter to land. Quickly whip (not scourge) the open end of the glass over it. Keep the glass firmly pressed against the wall, ceiling or younger initiate to avoid the wrath of an escaping critter seeking revenge. Ignore loud angry buzzing and slide the cardboard between the open end and the surface, thus magically entrapping critter inside. (Tip: Chanting over the critter or attempting to psychically explain that "this is for your own good" does not seem to have any soothing effect or to diminish the loud angry buzzing noise. But many traditionally trained ritualists do it anyway.)

Carefully move glass away from surface-keeping cardboard nice and tight over top- and parade (It is not clear from the original text if the procession should be deosil or widdershins. Use your instinct.) to your outside area. Pointing the top of glass AWAY from your face- This is very important. You are dealing with some serious pent-up energy here. -slide cardboard off the top and let critter fly off. You should feel an immediate rush of emotional and psychic release.

The ritual has been successful if creature is banished into the outer realms and/or makes a beeline outta your space. One in a hundred (depending upon the bottom line in your current karmic debt account) will do a U-turn and book right back in the door that you left open behind you "just in case." It's called the 'boomerang effect'. If that happens, say the magick word, 'Du'oh' (pronounced 'duh-oh' although alternate chants may include: 'duh' and 'whattheeff') and then repeat the ritual.

It is recommended that you lie down for a few minutes after you have completed this working and ground yourself. A little valerian root works well, too. And of course, if you are Third Degree- and thus have successfully executed the ritual by using a shot glass - Well, I am under oath to keep that part of the text a secret.


Walk in Love and Light,


Wren Walker
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, March 18th., 2002


Have you been Teased for your Beliefs?

Not that long ago, a young girl named Tempest Smith was teased so extensively by her classmates that she simply checked out... She took her own life. (see Hidden Hatred Haunts Pagans- by Wren Walker). One reporter, George Hunter, handled this story with both sensitivity and grace... This week, we received the following...
"Hello, Wren. It's George Hunter, the Detroit News reporter who wrote the article about Tempest Smith last year. I've been burning to write a book about teasing ever since Tempest's death. The image of that young girl lying in her coffin still haunts me, and I just know deep inside that I'm supposed to write this book.

The book will be aimed at kids. It's going to be a first-person narrative, wherein people can describe in their own words the teasing they endured. I'd also like to interview some people who were bullies in school and pick their brains.

The idea here is that if kids read what other kids have gone through, maybe it'll help them see that they're not alone in the world, and that other kids have survived this. It might also give a few bullies cause to think about the consequences of their actions. Who knows, it just might help, if only a tiny little bit. Every little bit helps -- the forces of good need all the assistance they can get these days!"

I'm sending out a copy of the questionnaire to all the people who emailed me after Tempest's story was printed. Once I get enough responses, I'm going to formulate them into cohesive, "book form.
"
George has designed a questionnaire on this topic from which he will later compile the responses into book form. If you have been teased/bullied (or have been the bully) and would like to fill one out, Email George Hunter at GeorgeDHunter@aol.com.



Witch Cinema #7: Spooky Ain't Just for Hallowe'en!

by Peg Aloi

Well, there has been a pretty decent crop of horror films this year and a lot of films that defy categorization but that definitely have horrific elements. I am not sure where this trend is coming from (horror all but died out in the 1980s, it seemed, with few notable exceptions like the Evil Dead films). Why do so many witches and pagans love horror films?

Good question. My first guesses would be: 1) We are featured in a lot of them! 2) Witches are naturally drawn towards subjects like the occult and the paranormal, featured in the plots of many horror films 3) Witches and pagans, being creative people, enjoy creative literature and media, and horror movies are about as fantastical as it gets... and 4) We are in touch with unseen forces and feelings that many people consider "scary" (the otherworld, the old gods, magic, nature, even) and enjoy stories that deal with these things.

Me: I like to be scared. Not sure why. Not a healthy thing, to be sure, but it's not like I am the only one out there, am I right? Okay, on to this month's films.

If you live in or near a big city that has a decent alternative or arthouse movie theatre, be sure to go see Donnie Darko if it plays near you. It will also be released on video March 19, so you can see it that way, too. This is an unusual, absorbing story of a teenager who sleepwalks. He is also in therapy for depression and possibly developing schizophrenia; but to all outward appearances he is merely an unhappy outsider who wants more out of his life than his suburban existence. Set in October, 1988 (and with a surprisingly evocative soundtrack that includes original and cover versions of songs by Tears for fears, Echo and the Bunnymen, and other 80s bands-don't let this keep you away). Donnie starts seeing a tall figure with a metallic rabbit's head who speaks to him and tells him the world will end in 28 days (on October 30th). Donnie starts marking the days; soon after a jet engine crashes through his bedroom ceiling; fortunately Donnie has sleepwalked that night and avoids being killed. But all is not as it seems and the story takes twists that are surprisingly intricate: Donnie becomes interested in time travel, thanks to a book written by a strange old woman in his neighborhood. He exposes a scandal involving the local self-help guru, and falls in love with the new girl in the neighborhood. He also begins to be able to see the very near future, as ectoplasmic blobs emerge from peoples' chests (including his own) and show where they are about to go and what they are about to do. The story seems to be influenced by a wide range of other stories: E.T., Harvey, The Time Machine, The Catcher in the Rye, and others. But it is wholly original and one of the most engaging, moving films I have seen in a while. Don't let anyone tell you the ending before you see it! And even when you do, you will be scratching your head working out exactly what DID happen. The story does have its ambiguities and mysteries, which is one reason I found it so unforgettable. Let's hear it for movies that avoid spoonfed, predictable plots to their audiences!... -- Full Article


Peg Aloi
Media Coordinator - The Witches' Voice
Monday, March 18th., 2002
Email: [Staff Page Link]


Notes from a Pagan WebCrafter
Clean ups, Polishing, Porting and some Fun.

Greetings Witches, Wiccans, Pagans and Heathens!

This past week, once again, saw a flurry of changes (literally thousands), tweaks, polishing and porting here at WitchVox.

We made the decision to start porting over all of the Witchvox.net sections (1, 823 pages) sooner rather than later. Yes, we'd like to have the live update forms ready before hand, but the slowness of page loads when our .net IS busy begs that we reverse this process and get the pages working at Witchvox.com ASAP.

WOTW Clean Up: This past week we began verifying the email addresses of the 48, 000 listings over at the WOTW (Witches of the World) pages. So far we have processed ALL Groups, Links, Shops, Events and Skills/services listings. Any 'user unknown', 'mail box full', or 'remove me' responses have been processed and purged from the Witchvox listings. The true beast... the 35, 000 personal listings are being cued up as I write this. On Sunday we sent out the first 10, 000, early this week we will cue up the remainder. By next week All 45, 000 plus listings at WOTW will be verified as working. -- So Mote it be!

We do this cleansing ritual every 90 days and typically remove 10-13% 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.

If you notice that your listing is gone, simply resubmit it with the correct information.

Attention Witchvox Sponsors: If YOU notice that any of YOUR listings have been removed, email us personally and allow us to put your listing back with a working email. We are honored to edit the sponsor listings by hand if need be.. It is the least we can do.

Big Changes, Instant Response Times...
Major WitchVox Resources perform at Light Speed with the following rewrites

Re-introducing...

 Pagan Music v7.0: 

This Week we rewrote, polished and moved our entire Pagan Music section including Musician's Web Site listings, Bardic Circle Performances, music articles, music press releases, music-related web sites listings and our CFOTD free music mp3 file give-a-ways to the 'wicked fast' Witchvox.com server. Page load time (formerly 10 sec.-2 minutes) is less than a second (depending on YOUR connection)

 VoxLinks Pagan Web Sites v7.0: 

This Week we also rewrote, polished and moved our entire links section; AKA 'VoxLinks Pagan Search Engine' (nearly 4, 500 working Pagan links) to Witchvox.com. Page load time (formerly 10 sec.-2 minutes) is less than a second (depending on YOUR connection)

 Pagan Merchants v7.0: 

This Week we rewrote, polished and moved our entire Pagan Merchant Section including Online Pagan Shops, Pagan Made Crafts and Tools, Auction sites, Wholesalers over to the Witchvox.com server. Page load time (formerly 10 sec.-2 minutes) is less than a second (depending on YOUR connection)

 Updated Search Engines  (see the bottom of ANY page here)

This past we also rewrote the code for extensive search options related to our new Merchants section (search for products), our entire links section, and a new one specifically for searching the Witchvox Weekly archives. You can find these powerful little search engines at the bottom of ALL 4, 020 pages here at TWV and on the side bar in related sections. Searches, EVEN against an article base of over 5, 000, 000 words are near instantaneous.

Other changes of note...
  • Set up redirects for all of the pages above from the .net location to handle the thousands of hard links out there in the Pagan community.
  • Rewrote the headers and logic for the 'WitchWars, Fire in the Craft' chapter.
  • Set up redirects for all of the pages above from the .net location to handle the thousands of hard links out there in the Pagan community.
In the weeks to come we will bring over the 1, 924 pages that comprise the Witches' of the World networking section... AFTER this is completed we will FINALLY evolve your Witchvox experience with LIVE Forms, news commenting and about 100 other long overdue enhancements.


As we mentioned last week, ALL "page stats" (hits etc.) on the pages here at Witchvox are now updated daily. This week we built the logic to take this to a more detailed level. Look for 'hits this month', 'site wide and chapter ranking' of pages and more in the weeks to come. The data is waiting in the reference tables, the code to pull this data onto the pages is still being finished.

It is clear that the word on the new 'Faster Witchvox' (meaning those ported over from witchvox.net) is starting to get a round. Recent stats indicate that you are hitting more pages per session than ever before. March is rendering 'October like' traffic with the daily average for pages viewed running just shy of 60, 000.

In closing, thank YOU again for your patience during this transition. Do know that we are working like hounds to get this .net to .com conversion complete ASAP. As we said earlier this year, our goal is to have the conversion/rewrite done by 'lightening season' here in Tampa bay and that is just a few months away. Wren and I LOVE our 'lightening season' and can't wait to simply unplug the computers, sit on the porch and watch the Mother kick some serious ass.

On March 30th, Wren and I will be attending the 10th. Anniversary of the fabulous PhoenixPhyre Gathering in Land of Lakes, Florida (just Saturday for us). If you live in the southeast you simply must attend this gala event. Seems that just about everyone will be there. Check out the PhoenixPhyre Website (web-weaving at it's sweetest) for all the details. We really do hope to see you there.

In your service,

Fritz Jung
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, March 18th., 2002


Adult Essays for March 2002 NOW Up!...
As of this morning adult essays here at Witchvox have been read an astonishing 983, 075 times. Both adult and teen essays here at TWV have been consumed a combined 1, 689, 202 times. This months response will only drive these totals to a new level... Great stuff!

Converting to Paganism
Did you come to Paganism from another religion? What catalyzed your conversion, and how did it change your life? Here were the essays that we received on this topic:
  • Converting to Paganism #01 - by Tom Tadfor Little
    I am, at this moment, emerging from my "conversion" to Paganism. I place the word "conversion" in quotes because for me it is a misleading and wholly inadequate term. I have always been a Pagan; it just took me 40 years to strip away the barriers that had kept me from consciously understanding my identity. I was raised an atheist... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #02 - by Ciarrai
    Once upon a time, there was a little girl, who lost her father when she was just two months shy of her fifth birthday. Her mother had to tell her that her Daddy died and went to Heaven. I was that little girl. My mother may as well have said that my father died and went to visit another state... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #03 - by KaliTime Camaralzman
    Wow, I'm finally writing something with more than one line and it's not a dirty joke either (Yea!). This is a topic near and dear to me, even more so as I look back on my rather tumultuous search for a religion that felt right to me. I am not claiming to be some great literary genius or some reincarnation... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #04 - by Nuin Wysechild
    I really hope that no one takes offense at my using the word Eden. It's Biblical, I know, but no other word comes to mind when I think of the honor and pleasure of accepting the Lord and Lady's invitation to come home. I believe that I was a born Pagan. A brave statement, considering I was born to a... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #05 - by Panther FalconStar
    There are many paths to the God and the Goddess. I like to think that I took one of the more unusual paths. I, like many current Pagans, came to Wicca from Christianity. My story is a bit different from some crafters, however. I came from being a Jehovah's Witness. For the first fifteen years of my life, my sole... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #06 - by Coreaa
    My "conversion" into Paganism wasn't really much of a conversion at all. My rudimentary belief system has remained relatively unchanged, and I still feel 100% the person I was before my journey into the Old Religion began. Aside from the fact that many of my co-workers and associates have it in their heads that I conduct rituals in service to... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #07 - by Taliesin SpiritVoice
    Merry Meet one and all. I suppose that my conversion to Paganism came at the end of a very long journey to me that started in a little Pentecostal church in East Texas. I had grown up in a Christian home and attended church whenever it was humanly possible to make it through the doors. I was taught to use... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #08 - by Tavara
    Much to the certain dismay of my resident priest at the time, the catalyst for my conversion was the realization that I would only sit on the Blessed Mother side of the church. As simple as that might sound, I assure you it was quite a profound realization at the time. Imagine if you will a moment when you are... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #09 - by Kat
    Oh, the big C word: Convert. I don't like to think of myself has having converted to Paganism. I prefer to think that I Became a Pagan. For me, becoming was a rather bumpy road. I was utterly alone in a world of fundamentalists. But I get ahead of myself. I was raised in a rural Southern Baptist Arkansas town... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #10 - by AJ Wittig
    The question posed being 'When did you Convert to Paganism?' is sort of a difficult one to answer for me. I don't recall ever converting, 'officially'. There wasn't any grand ritual. There wasn't any recognition. There was no formal pledge made in front of any congregation. In only realized I was Pagan when I read and finally understood that there... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #11 - by RuneWolf
    To say that I converted to Paganism would be somewhat inaccurate. I think one must first belong to one religion before one can convert to another. As I claimed no religious affiliations when I came to Paganism, I don't really think of myself as converting, so much as finding what was missing all along. I've told a bit of my... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #12 - by Rev. C.K.
    Somewhere in our childhood, the myth and the mystery of life become a topic of thought. In children, when thought takes on a topic, everything focuses around that topic until the question is sufficiently resolved, or at least in my opinion and observation of my own kids, this seems to be the case. I was in love with life as... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #13 - by David Aquarius
    From the beginning, humanity has always sought connection with the essence of the Creative Energy. As we began to establish tribes, we looked to our elders for guidance. The village council or the matriarch/patriarch of the clan decided how this connection took place. Our spiritual preference was localized, parochial. We lived in small groups, never venturing more than a... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #14 - by Angel
    I'm not sure if "Converting" is the right word for my choice to leave Christianity, as I left it well before Wicca ever became part of my life. I was never really brought up in a religious background. The closest we ever got to religion as such, is being told not to say "Oh my God!" and "Oh my Lord... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #15 - by Amaranth
    I was fascinated by the image of the witch growing up, but always discounted it. 'They're just neat -- it's no big deal.' Then again, when I was a growing up, everything was 'no big deal.' At seven, I became fascinated with Greco-Roman mythology, and memorized D'Aulaire's Big Book of Greek Myths. 'No, Daddy, I'm sure the 'e' in Aphrodite is... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #16 - by Eeluna
    I am a Pagan. I have always been a Pagan. I just didn't always know it. My family was not very religious while I was growing up. Occasionally my mother would try to convince my father to go to church with her. He always refused. I'll never forget what he told her at those times--"God is everywhere, and I... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #17 - by Athena DragonDancer
    I've often heard converting to Wicca being described as "coming home." I can identify with that phrase well. For me, finding Wicca was arriving at the place where I belonged after spending many years traveling life's road, trying to find my niche. It was truly "coming home" for me. If someone were to ask my parents (namely my mother) which... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #18 - by Aderyn AutumnMoon
    Never having formally belonged to another religion, I cannot say that I 'converted' to Paganism. However, if the reader will indulge me, I will relate the journey that led me to the Pagan path. My first memory of being in church (Methodist) is not about God or Jesus, but of how jealous I was that the women in church were... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #19 - by Bran Skydancer
    Like so many other Witches I know, I could describe myself as a "recovering (insert particular flavor of Christianity here)". In my case it happens to be Catholic. I loathe the use of that description though, as it makes Catholicism sound like a disease and who am I to call a belief system that works for so many people, including... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #20 - by Aminata-ken
    I guess I have always been different. My whole life I never completely "fit in" with other people my age. It would seem that I always got along best with older kids at my school, as opposed to kids my age. I also like to think I was almost kicked out of my preschool. To put it bluntly, I was... (continued...)
  • Converting to Paganism #21 - by Talma StormPhoenix
    I think my first clue that I was different was my just being a "nature kid". I never, and I mean NEVER, wanted to wear shoes! Every summer until I was twelve or thirteen I was bare-foot! It was nothing to go into the woods and just stay there all day eating berries and watching for animals and just enjoying... (continued...)
How do you celebrate the Spring Equinox?
What is its meaning to you, and what myths do you associate with it? Here were the essays that we received on this topic:
  • Spring Equinox #01 - by Aderyn AutumnMoon
    Festivals have celebrated the coming of spring since time immemorial. After a long, cold winter, the rebirth of nature warms the spirit as well as the earth. The greening of the fields and the trees, the emergence of colorful flowers after the drab brown of winter, the Earth's call to plant the new seeds, all this speaks of rebirth and... (continued...)
  • Spring Equinox #02 - by Karl Lembke
    Spring is here, Spring is here, Life is skittles, and life is beer. -- Tom Lehrer Spring Equinox. The Mother awakens and we see Her bounty in the flow of life that surrounds us at this season. We celebrate the awakening of life in farm, in field, and in forest. The light has been increasing in strength, and on this day... (continued...)



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


Instant Information
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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!


In Closing...

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited." -- (Plutarch)


In YOUR Service,

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The Witches' Voice Inc.
Monday, March 18th., 2002











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