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Weekly Update: 5/6/2002

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: May 6th. 2002
Times Viewed: 4,775

The Long and Short Of It...

It's like clockwork. Every spring and fall, I just have to do the purge. It's rather interesting that these inner impulses so often coincide with the only two Pagan holidays that I personally celebrate-Beltaine and Samhain. Whatever the reason for this is, I find that I simply cannot resist the tide. I have to clean. When my daughter, Skye, and I lived closer together, I used to call her up and say, "It's that time again!" And she would rush right over because she knew that she'd get a carload of goodies to take home. All this Stuff has just gotta go and I can be pretty ruthless about it, too. Anything that I haven't worn in the last six months and everything that I don't absolutely love to look at every day gets the heave-ho. If the folks around the apartment complex read this, they'll probably be waiting for delivery of the 'picked me up outta the dumpster bouquet' tonight.

Changing colors is also part of my 'urge to purge' ceremonies. So, it is off to the evil land of Wal-Mart for some cheap new curtains. Whoo-hoo! I have been looking all over creation for a pair of red curtains and finally tucked down on the bottom of the rack, I found them. Not maroon or wine or dusty rose (blah!), but the real 'it hurts your eyes just to look at them' Chinese Red that I had been dreaming of for months. They did take some getting used to. They are just so unapologetically red ...it's like they yell 'boo!" whenever you walk into the room. I really, really love them. For now anyway. My other purchase was a set of gauzy black curtains for the altar room. They also turned out to be a very good choice, but for a quite different reason: They were the inspiration for this week's column.

Curtains, Wren? You're really gonna talk about curtains? Well, I never know what I am going to write about until I hear something, read something or spy something that just starts me thinking. So yeah, this week it's gonna be all about curtains. Sort of. You see, when I opened up the two different packages of curtains-these were sold by the panel- I found that I had one panel that was 84 inches and one that was 63 inches even though both packages were clearly labeled 84. Sigh. Apparently someone had either deliberately switched sizes or had innocently mixed them up after looking at them. Whatever the reason, I needed two panels of 84 inches for my window and that is not what I had. And, of course, I had already spent some time teetering on the step-ladder, taking down the rod, unclipping all the little hangers and putting up the one 84 inch curtain before I discovered the 'mistake'. Sigh--teeter--teeter--aching arms sigh.

I really, really didn't want to re-enter the evil land of Wal-mart again that day, so I just put up the other curtain and figured at some point and on another trip, I'd pick up another 84" curtain. Now if you're thinking (and I can't blame you) that if you walked into my altar room right now that you would have to wonder out loud just where it was along the way that I had finally and unequivocally lost my mind, you would be both right and wrong. While there is one short curtain and one long curtain hanging there, you won't be able to tell that just by looking. My bookcase sits in front of the window and the curtains fall behind it; you can't see the hemlines unless you peek behind the bookshelf. And that is where the story line that you just knew-or were hoping that I would finally (!) get around to -comes in. (Hey, I am a storyteller. The set-up is important, okay?)

In the Zen philosophy of Paul Brunton, there are two paths to enlightenment or knowledge. One is called the 'Long Path' and the other is called the 'Short Path'. (See? Told you that the set-up was important.) The 'Long Path' is that of seeking and education and discipline. It is the years of study, the pouring over of the academic research, the learning of the forms and the techniques of a given religion or belief system. It is the brass tacks that first build and then maintain the entire structure. This is what your teachers or Elders are talking about when they tell you to read and to study. This is also what they may retort -and quite sharply, too!- when you whine about having to do all that boring stuff when you want to be out there shooting sparks from your fingertips. Too bad, they say. You have to do the grunt work first. It's up the hill with you and if you don't have the stamina for it, you won't make it here and stop wasting our time. It took thirty years to get here and we aren't about to just hand it over to you all nice and neatly packaged just because you want us to. Do the Work, dammit!

The 'Short Path' is that of sudden flashes of divine inspiration and instantaneous revelation. These flashes can come to anyone at anytime without any training or climbing or grunting at all. They are from the Gods Themselves and who knows why They choose to reveal Themselves to ordinary or untrained people in this way? That They do is evident in the numbers of people who come to Paganism after just this sort of experience. It needn't be a lightning bolt, but may have been a whisper. However it comes, it is enough so that when these folks discover the religions and paths that make up modern Paganism, they recognize within them the same Voices. They 'know' that they 'know' even if they aren't quite sure of even the most basic rudiments of the religions or systems themselves. They just 'know' that are where they are meant to be.

The real fun begins, of course, when these two Paths start hanging out together. Those who have followed the Long Path are appalled at the lack of knowledge or discipline or restraint. Those who were thrust upon the Short Path find the Long Pathers critical and stodgy and often uncooperative. The Long Path is, after all, long. And the end result of it- developing a communication with and a connection to the Gods- is just that which the Short Pathers say that they have already experienced anyway, so, sheesh already, what's the big deal with the hill climbing? Those who came via the Long Path pretty much throw up their hands at this point and walk away in disgust thinking, "They just don't get it."

The Short Pathers just look confused and feel hurt and misunderstood. Maybe even a little bit angry at having their very real experience with the Gods dismissed as just so much fantasy fiction. At any one time in history, there have probably always been more people on the Long Path than on the Short Path. The mystery schools and the modern coven structures are based on the Long Path and that is where many of those teachers and Elders of today received their training. The Long Path is what they were taught and the Long Path is what they teach. The Long Path is the path of teaching, of education and of discipline. That is what the Long Path is for: to prepare the initiate for the revelation from and the communication with and the service to the Gods.

Those on the Short Path already 'know' the Gods on a personal and intimate level. They may not know how to cast a circle. They may have the emotional maturity of a garden hose, but they DO know that a God or Goddess spoke to them-just as they were, just as they are. So when someone teaching Long Path studies comes along and tells them that this is the only way to really know the Gods, the Short Pathers really can't see why they should train for years just to get where they already are. It is the theologian vs. the mystic, round one.

Those on the Long Path and those who have found themselves on the Short Path are both seeking the same things. They have just approached it from two different places. Which, believe it or not, brings us back to those darned curtains again. If one just looks on the surface, these people are clearly mismatched just as if those curtains- the one 63" and the one 84"- were defiantly hanging side by side in my window. The uneven hemlines would be quite obviously and most annoyingly 'so not right'. And thus it is whenever a person describes their Path as being either the 'Long' one or the 'Short' one: If your public mantra is 'Long Path' and someone else's is 'Short Path', chances are that you two just won't hang well. You'll feel and look odd together. The 'Long Path' will constantly be tugging at the hemline of the 'Short Path' who will begin to get irrtated at all that picking and stretching.

But the thing is that each of us really will travel both the Long Path and the Short Path in our spiritual lifetimes. If one is serious about exploring just what it means to be touched by a God or how to translate that experience into practical use or into a deeper understanding of such matters, a journey on the Long Path is indeed necessary. That is how it is done. And since the connection with and to the Gods is the ultimate goal of most spiritual paths to begin with, the Short Path experience will always come along wherein the revelation, the flash, the voice of the Gods is so unmistakably clear that it will bring you to your knees with the sheer power and utter joy of it.

And so it is that while most of us indeed have- or will- travel both of these paths, we often just reveal either one curtain or the other when we start hanging together. It might look like we are at odds. It might feel like we are at odds. But if we take the time to peek behind the bookcases, we might just find that we all have that 'other' curtain hanging there as well. You just never know unless you really look.

So I have learned to love my mismatched curtains. I know that behind the bookcase there is a short curtain and a long curtain. They remind me that I have traveled both the Long Path and the Short Path in my spiritual life and that others will find their own way through these same Paths as well. We might not be on the same curtain length at the same time, but that needn't mean that we can't hang together anyway. The long and short of it is that all of us are on both the Long and the Short Path at any given point in our journey. I find that I can be comfortable living with that. And with those curtains.

But all of this otherstuff? It really has to go!


Walk in Love and Light,


Wren Walker
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, May 6th., 2002

Photo credits: Image of Ruby and Wren by Fritz Jung ©2002



NOW AVAILABLE:

Magical Novel by Tamarin Laurel, Initiation at Beltane

Now available from AzureGreen, published by ECW Press, Initiation at Beltane is an intricate and fascinating novel of magical training and initiation, written by a woman many of us know as "Marin." The author, Tamarin Laurel, is one of the hard-working owners of AzureGreen, a huge and widely-respected occult mail order business based in the beautiful Berkshire mountains of Massachusetts.

I got the opportunity to read this amazing book while it was still in the production stages, and Marin also invited me to come to her home (which is also AzureGreen's amazing headquarters) and talk with her about it. Watch for my interview with Marin, about her writing process and her thoughts on magic, initiation and pagan publishing in the near future.

For now, to learn more about Initiation at Beltane, go to the book's homepage at www.ezmereld.com. Also, you can pre-order the book at a discount from www.azuregreen.com.



Mid-Atlantic Pagan Alliance's Beltane 2002
April 25-28, 2002 (Lebanon State Forest, New Jersey, USA )
Review by Steven Repko
Photos by Bonnie Repko

Signs of spring again are everywhere as sparkling sequins and satins of every color dot the forest landscape, you can hear the flurry of books and pencils, the sounds of wisdom along with the smell of burgers drift lazily on the breeze as the first Druids of the season are found lumbering past the Snack Bar.

No it's not a new fantasy novel, it's BELTANE in New Jersey!

The Mid-Atlantic Pagan Alliance sponsored Beltane 2002 in the Lebanon State Forest from April 25th thru April 28th with much of the New Jersey pagan community not only in attendance but involved as well! The Garden State boasts some of the most beautiful green forests and the closest of knit in their pagan community. The 2002 Beltane Celebration again proved both points.

The morning was warm and sunny as I blew through thousands of acres of Jersey Pinelands only slowing down for the occasional deer herd crossing the back roads before me. As I wound through the roadways surrounded by the new growth of the Lebanon State Forest I once again began to spot those famous MPA festival signs. In fact I had a new comer mention this year that they thought the road would never end and that the signs were some type of cruel joke baiting them on. -- {Full Review)


Dear Energy Workers, Please help this man in need:

David Anderson, Portland Oregon USA, took his own life last Friday. Please help him find his way to the Summerland and pray for the loved ones he has left behind.

Please help this woman in need: Kathy Thurber, 48, Kentwood Michigan, possible uterine/colon cancer.

Mother Blessings,
Silverstar Red Crow & Mark Dragonfly Freeman
worldtree@macnet.com)

This just in (5/8/2002)

I'm just writing to ask for prayer/healing energy/good mojo, from the Witchvox community this week if possible. My grandmother has been battling cancer for several years and next week will be undergoing surgery in which her chances of survival are not good. The surgery is Wednesday 5/15/02. I don't know if she chose this option to fight for her life or to end her pain, but regardless I am asking the Lord and Lady to honor her needs, be gentle with her, and comfort my family. Even just a positive thought sent our way would surely be appreciated.

Bright Blessings
Morrhigan d'Ursa
Email: KHoekstr@bb.directv.com


Beltaine - Our May Morn
by M. Macha NightMare, ©2002

My partner Corby and I (long-time committed, but not exclusive, relationship with a person of the male persuasion - I was born female and always liked that fact) arise in the dark to drive over from our home in Marin County, California across the Bay to Berkeley to sing up the Sun with the Berkeley Morris Dancers at Inspiration Point in Tilden Park.

We gather at a vista parking lot that faces East towards the hills of Contra Costa County. I've been doing this for close to 20 years, and the Berkeley Morris Dancers have been doing it longer. The death a few years ago of the dance master Terry O'Neill engendered great sadness, but his legacy lives on with the dancers.

Although as I understand it, Morris dancers in England are male, this troupe has dancers of both genders who dance all the dances together. There are no men's dances and women's dances that I can see. They are dressed in white shirts and pants, with red vests, and wear multicolored streamers and bells around their legs just below the knee. A fiddler and other musicians accompany them. One of the dancers is a little blond boy of about five. There's also a bear -- a "Cal bear"? -- and a clown/fool dressed in harlequinish black-and-white striped leggings and black-and-white geometrical-patterned clothing. -- (Full Article)


Research on Gay Spirituality
Proclaimed from: Memphis
Posted by: Chad M. Mosher, M Coun

Details: Very little research has examined the role that religion and spirituality play in the lives of glbt persons. Your participation will help to increase awareness and understanding of the impact of religion and spirituality on coping, support, conflict, and renewal in the lives of glbt persons. We are a gay affirming research team, and most of us are gay, lesbain, or bisexual, and non-Christian. We need your help to show us how gay men are spiritual beings. The Survey will take approximately 25 minutes of your time and is located at:

http://sagan.psyc.memphis.edu/
Blessings, and peace, Chad Mosher

Email: cmosher@memphis.edu
Website: http://sagan.psyc.memphis.edu


This just in...
Hexagon Archive Releases WAV file of Eleanor Bone

Hi Fritz

We have been inundated for more information on Eleanor since releasing the obituary. To be honest we did not know that she was that well known in the Wiccan world.

The Hexagon Archive have therefore decided to place a WAV of Eleanor on our NEWS page. The piece is short but has Eleanor In it she recounts how she was first introduced to Doreen by Gerald Gardner in the 1950's, when Doreen and Gerlad were collating their Book of Shadows together.

I hope that this will be of some interest to the Pagan community and help future researchers in years to come.

Thank you once again

Regards

Jonathan Tapsell
Hexagon Archive

To Experience the WAV file Surf to... www.occulture.tv and click on News Section Link


Pagan Music Press Releases for 2002
from the Witches' Voice


PRESS RELEASE 5/6/2002:
Emerald Rose Rocks Long Island! New Live CD release!

Emerald Rose returned to the New York area last month for a two week tour of Long Island, including an appearance at the Long Island Beltaine Celebration. The band played a victorious set of concerts the ICON Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, including a roof-shaking show at the convention's ICON Cabaret. The band released their latest musical effort at the convention to rave reviews and immediate radio airplay. DJ's from WUSB - Stony Brook College Radio heard the band's new cd, caught the group's live performance and added the cd to the station's general rotation. "Fire in the Head - Emerald Rose Live!" is now available from the band's website, www.emeraldrose.com , and will soon be available at major internet and Pagan music sites. The cd will be distributed nationally by Amazon.com, New Leaf Distributors and Azure Green, among others.

Long Island Pagans were treated to a special concert at LI's Whoville Tavern, a Dr. Seuss-themed pub that hosts a regular monthly Pagan moot known as "Pagans in the Pub". Dozens of happy Pagans and fans from ICON showed up to party until late in the evening. The band wrapped up the tour with a concert to culminate the festivities of the Long Island Beltaine Celebration and to promote the upcoming Pagan Pride Day celebration in New York City. Emerald Rose, Alchemy VII, Michelle Mays and others are slated to play this popular event, which will take place on September 28 in downtown Manhattan. Site location is still being decided, but organizers will choose between Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village, and Battery Park, which lies just blocks from Ground Zero.

Click HERE For Full Press Release and Contact info


Tinkers Palace announces: Pagan History Month Campaign Cancelled
Press Release 5/4/2002

I am saddened to report that PHM is through. There were some serious problems which could not be overcome and thus unity was fruitless. To all sponsors and volunteers I say thank you and may your blessings be great. PHM was, contrary to several postings about us, a very honest and honor driven group and we had nothing but the many within the pagan community in our hearts and minds. - (For the complete Press Release...

This project had nothing to do with money even though after we posted to one and all that no funds would ever be in involved, others still said that we were about financial gain. Every sponsor knows that my invitation to them for sponsorship did specifically say that NO MONEY would be involved. We never asked for monies or anything of the sort. We asked for support and effort. I believe that everyone will find in their hearts that PHM was about each pagan not about the several that trashed our efforts. (For the complete statement Click HERE)

P.H. Bell
Lady Mandrake



New Teen Pagan Essays...

Pagans Teens Speak Out on Spirit Guides!
May Teen Pagan Essays Now UP!

Spirit Guides
We asked the question.... "What non-physical entities do you work with? What are your contacts in the realm of Spirit? Familiars? Fairies? Angels? Loas? Tell us who you are in communication with, how you contact them, and why." Some wonderful responses were received and are linked/detailed just below.
  • My Spirit Guide - by Shiva Shakti Sol
    Throughout my life I have always felt as though there was someone watching me, that no matter where I was and what I was doing there was someone supporting me. All my life I've felt a void that was only filled two years ago when I began learning the magickal arts. Though I am not Wiccan, I have communicated with the Goddess and God and I have felt their love and support. While my new philosophy and ethics have made me more complete, I still felt that something was missing... (Full Article)

  • Spirit Guides - #2 - by Tessa Amara
    You could, in no way, term me 'normal.' Well, I suppose I have the 'normal' amount of visible eyes, and the 'normal' amount of limbs, and the 'normal' amount of mouths... At least that's what a doctor would say. But seriously, even in my school, where the 'norm' is weirdness, I am weird. The best word I've heard to describe it is 'DoublePlusWeird, ' compliments of a George Orwell fan. I'm just... well, I'm Tessa. Kind of like in that scene from The Sound of Music, where all the nuns are jumping around trying to define Maria? ... (Full Article)

  • Spirit Guides - #3 - by Fayeloicia
    Spirit guides - everybody has one whether they know it or not. Anything that is not physical is considered as a spirit, whether it be spirit guides, faeries, ghosts, angels, etc. Some people see spirits, hear them or feel them. I can feel my spirit guide. I was sat in my room last winter, at the computer, talking to my Wiccan friend, and my room was quite chilly. I was sat in my pyjamas, some trousers and a t-shirt, and I was quite cold... (Full Article)

  • Spirit Guides: Spiritual Partners in Magick and the Mundane - by Sierra-Rose Autumn'sFox
    Firstly, if you've clicked onto this Essay because you're interested in spirit guides, but know little to nothing about them, I should probably give you some background info. How did they get here? Why are they here? Why me? What do they look like? Do I have one? How do I get in contact with mine? Well, these (and probably more) questions are likely to be flying around your head at the moment. I should probably start at the beginning. So here goes... (Full Article)

Next Month's TEEN Witch/Pagan Topics:
    Publication Date: June 2nd
    Submission Deadline:May 26th

    Topic: Summer Solstice
    How do you celebrate Summer Solstice? What is its meaning to you, and what myths do you associate with it?

    Topic: What Do Teens Need From Adult Pagans?
    Being a Pagan teen can be difficult. It can be hard to find others who are Pagan, often parents don't understand, and finding training can be almost impossible if your parents aren't Pagan. How can adults in the Pagan community help Pagan teens? Should Pagan parents make themselves available to talk to the non-Pagan parents of Pagan teens, and how can they reach those parents? How can adults help to educate teachers and school administrators? What about setting up social functions such as coffeehouses where both adult and teen Pagans can come to socialize and listen to music? Let us know what adults should (and shouldn't!) do in this area.

Next Month's ADULT Witch/Pagan Topics:
    Publication Date: June 9th
    Submission Deadline: June 2nd

    Topic: Summer Solstice
    How do you celebrate Summer Solstice? What is its meaning to you, and what myths do you associate with it? -- Go Here for details

    Topic: Pagan Festivals
    What part do Pagan festivals play in both your personal life as a Pagan and in the overall development of the Pagan community? What are some of the major issues you feel need to be addressed about our festivals: cost? safety? children? relationships with neighboring communities? standards of conduct? -- Go Here for details


Notes from a Pagan WebCrafter
Pissy Face and the Rubster
The sinister side of Witchvox Central!

Greetings Witches, Wiccans, Pagans and Heathens!

To my knowledge all members of our central active staff are cat people, have cats and are controlled by them. Dio has four, Darragh has at least 2, Peg has something like 6, Steve has a couple (I think) and we have two. Most Witches we know ARE cat people as well.

Our two, Dixie (featured on this week's cover and to your right) and Ruby (seen above with Wren and just below) do rule the roost. In fact, we have only one rule around here: "Whatever they want... They Get". If they are 'bad kitties', the punishment is always 'extra love'. Only true cat lovers would submit to this level of control. In true Egyptian tradition, they are deity in every sense of the word.

How worshipped/spoiled ARE they? Let me put it this way... EVEN their Cribs have Cribs!

Dixie, now 14, is a clinger and has one mission in life... to feel the pulse from the key arteries of her Daddy via direct presure. Her goal is to cling to me 24/7. When she is not clinging to me, she is stalking me to do just that. She can only stand about 90 seconds without me (Wren has timed this). I was chosen by her when she was just 8 weeks old and she has been 'on me' ever since. In fact, as I write this, she is... ON MY LAP. We have many nicknames for her, but the most dominant one is 'Pissy Face'. Ya see, she is a staunch conservative (recently a born-again fundamentalist somehting or other - actually sez prayers at bed time) and is never more than 80% satisfied. Ever the princess, it is (or simply must be) ALL about her. Daddy's workaholic tendencies are most inconvenient and she is such a magician that I find myself constantly apologizing to her for NOT serving her more.

Dixie found her voice when her twin sister passed away (when they were 5) and has been bitching ever since. Most disturbing is the foul language that she has developed of late. Like most conservative princesses, Dixie hates the idea of gaining any weight. It's all about looks to her.

When Dixie's sister passed away, I knew that she was needy and spent several months debating on whether SHE could handle/share the attention given to another cat. With her newfound voice, I wasn't sure if she missed her sister or had just learned how to better express her constant disappointment in me as a parent. On Beltaine 1995, I blocked out a 3-day weekend and headed up to the Salem (Mass) animal shelter to find Dixie a new sister...

  

When I arrived at this wonderful 'no kill' shelter, they brought me into the Cats Room. There must have been 40 kittens (And is there anything more precious?) in 15 cages. They were all just awesome but my attention was immediately drawn to one very magickal kitty. There she was, all alone, already working her magick on me with two of the biggest and widest 'pumpkin colored' eyes that I've ever seen. It was truly love at first sight. I quickly told the woman helping me that 'I want that one'... She paused and quickly stated, "You don't want that one... it's evil". "What?" I said... "How evil could it be; it's just a kitten". Already knowing that I had one cat, she told me that it was a 'return' and doesn't get on with other animals. Further noting that she was adopted at 8 weeks- and had terrorized a family and their large dog for 4 weeks- they had just returned her that very hour. Hummmm... So I went back to looking at the other kitties and WOW I wanted them all. Trouble was, Ruby (her name that I kept) had already cast her spell on me. I kept finding myself going back to her. I asked the woman if I could hold her and when I did the bond was sealed. I cared little about her 'checker'd past'. I just knew that I had found a sister for Dixie.

On the ride home, the magick in Ruby's eyes transformed from PURE innocence into PURE Kitten Beastie. The intro to Dixie was not a pretty one, and to make a long story short, the karma Dixie has built up by terrorizing her hatch twin was about to manifest in a very big and lasting way. On that day, I finally learned the meaning of the phrase 'hissy fit'. Although they never really fought, just a touch from Ruby is all Dixie needs to break into a major hissy fit. Typically, their fighting looks more like the knife scene from West Side Story.. mostly just dancing and posing with no actual fighting.

Ruby has always been a cutie and continues to slay us with her BIG pumpkin eyes. She had a very long kittenhood as a Beast Master (Hey Ruby, quit eating me') and didn't really mellow out until she was almost 5. Ruby never did get the brains; but she sure got the looks and is one love machine these days.

Dixie loathes The Witches' Voice and constantly wonders WHY we 'waste our time' working on it. Anything that takes away from our giving her 100% of the attention is simply unacceptable.

Do know that when you read our words here that R & D are lying on us, sleeping right in front of the keyboards or in their cribs at daddy's feet. They have been here for every page, in every magickal working/circle/ritual, every update, and have participated in every porch chat we have ever had. So, it really isn't just Wren and I who do this work here at TWV central... The magick of Dixie and Ruby is ever present.

In your service,

Fritz Jung
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, May 6th., 2002

Photo Notes: (top to bottom) 1. Pissy Face (Dixie)... 2. Dixie in a double crib 'time out'... 3. Pixie & Dixie 6 mo. old (picture on the left made 'photo of the month' at Cats Magazine in 1988) - Why I named them after cartoon mice, I'll never know... 4. Pumpkin Eyes (our Ruby) ©2002







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