Weekly Update: 10/14/2002|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: October 14th. 2002
Times Viewed: 7,331
This week, we lean into what is arguably the most fave holiday in all of Pagandom - 'Samhain (aka Hallowe'en, ShadowFest, Martinmas, Old Hallowmas)... Samhain is about many things and not the least of which is Treats! Everyone loves Treats and this week we offer many new articles, announcements, proclamations and note details related to the many changes 'round these parts.
Local Samhain Events are plentiful and will be happening all over the Northern Hemisphere during the next 3 weeks (down under they will celebrating Beltaine in a big way). Visit your Samhain Happenings Page OR your Local Events Pages for up to the minute listings.
New visitors to this site are encouraged to take a close look around this page; it is crammed with links to some very powerful community resources.
New this week: Our thoughts on an incredible new Pagan Symphony by William Read called 'Symphony of the Stones', another new segment in the 'Witch hunts: Exposing the lies' series entitled 'Myth Makers Part II' by Kerr Cuhulain, a fab piece by Wren called 'That's Our Road' , a thought provoking series of Samhain Essays by Karl Lembke, Amara, Flame RavenHawk, Kathryn A. Graham and Rev. Steven Bragg, an essay called 'Seances, Channeling and Spirit Possession' by Dawn Blacksuna, a mini-review of 'Pagan Pride Day Indianapolis' by Silverthorn, a pointer to yet another wonderful interview by Imajicka over at TWPW with authors Dana Eilers and M.R. Sellers, a detailed celebration of 9 new Pagan books due for release this month, including long awaited releases by Judy Harrow, Raven Grimassi, and Willow Polson; Gwinevere Rain announces 'Teen Witch News Online Magazine', mini webnotes detailing many recent changes here at Witchvox and a new rotation of 3 fabulous photos - (HIT your refresh button to see a NEW image!) ALL of these features can be found just BELOW on this page.
Fighting Pagan Spam... Respecting YOUR Free Will: This past week, we received (yet again) dozens of complaints related to the spamming of the personal listings in your networking section. Incredible! Our 'NO Spam/No Mass Invites to Strangers' notice has been simply ignored by a few who don't want to see it or to believe that it could possibly apply to them.
You Decide: In an effort to end the "Pagan" spamming of the personal listings, we have ADDED a new field to the individual profiles in order to better clarify this once and for all... The question? Would you like to be contacted by Pagan Groups, Shops, or Events with invitations and /or sales? -- We have set all the current listings to NO. If you'd like to change your status to Yes... simply send email FROM the email address that you have listed to firstname.lastname@example.org(you MUST already have a personals listing at TWV) - you don't have to type anything at all... We will automatically match YOUR email address WITH your listing and change it to YES. NOTE: Only use this email address to change your 'no spam' option to YES. We will NOT see these emails as this process is automatic.
Vote Your Top 5 Pagan Books: October is the FINAL month for YOU to vote for your fave Pagan books! Click here! to cast YOUR vote.
October will, no doubt, be our busiest month in our near 7 years of doing this work with last week setting another series of traffic records. If history is any indication, these next three weeks will be even busier, not just for TWV, but for Pagan sites 'round the planet. Here are some of the seasonal pages we are seeing BIG action on....
Fritz and Wren would like to formally thank Mino and the Waterhawks (and 3 new sponsors) for saving the day by helping to keep this site online for another month via actual financial support. Our deal with the community has always been a simple one... We will work hard for you and for free as long as we don't have to pay for the privilege (We simply can't afford to). When that support stops... So will this resource. If YOU see some value here and want TWV to continue as an advertising free, community driven resource, consider Sponsoring Witchvox (even a few unused stamps help us do this work). We also take this opportunity to thank those of you that have supported Witchvox financially over the years; you have kept this alive for literally millions to experience for free.
In YOUR Service,
This Week's Featured Articles...
That's Our Road
by Wren Walker
Aragorn: "We cross the lake at nightfall, hide the boats and continue on foot. We approach Mordor from the north."
Gimli: "Oh? Just a simple matter of finding our way across Emyn Muil, an impassable labyrinth of razor-sharp rocks! And then it gets even better! Festering, stinking marshlands as far as the eye can see!"
Aragorn: "That is our road." *
I'm old. I'm not nearly as old as the characters of Aragorn or Gimli in Tolkien's, 'The Fellowship of the Ring', but I have been around the block more than a few times in my fifty-plus years as a Pagan. It's been an interesting journey. And while I'd say that I have probably not yet reached the venerable Bilboesque age when one can pen one's memoirs with a fair degree of closure, the approach of Samhain annually ushers in an urge towards retrospection that I find irresistible.
I think it oddly interesting -- as no doubt do some other 'lifers' in the Pagan communities -- that the resurgence of the popularity of 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy should come forth at this particular time. The last such instance of the Hobbit-mania that so held my friends and myself in Tolkien-quoting thralls occurred in the late sixties and early seventies. (I still have the 'Frodo Lives' button that I bought in Greenwich Village in 1968 kicking around here somewhere.) And it was during that same time frame that the American version of Paganism began to really garner some momentum as well... [Full Article]
Incredible: A Pagan Symphony by William Read just released
This week Wren and I had the honor of experiencing a fabulous new set of symphonic movements by Classical Pagan Composer - William Read... A first class act all the way... William has captured the Pagan spirit and has taken it to new heights with his October release of 'Symphony of the Stones'. As we 'went to press', Swannie informed us that 'Symphony of the Stones' was chosen as 'featured CD' in the classical section over at MP3.com. Bless YOU, William, for the light that you clearly shine and thank you for these magickal works.
William Read is a pagan classical composer from Cheshire in the United Kingdom. His work uses orchestral and synthetic sounds to create different moods and ambiences for listening pleasure and ritual. He is often looking for new inspirations, so if you need a piece of music especially written for a ritual then please contact him.
Visit the WilliamRead.com Website or check out a wonderful sampling of his compositions over at MP3.com
TWPT: Interviews Dana Eilers & M.R. Sellers
Ever since we hit our stride on the 'net back in '96, we have received many interview offers from famous Pagans. This was always a good idea, but to do it properly requires a substantial investment in time. In 1998, Imajicka and Boudica launched the Wiccan/Pagan Times with a strong focus on Pagan authors and have worked hard to present many in-depth interviews with the same. We here at TWV sure have enjoyed these interviews and we are sure many of you have as well.
This week, we are thrilled to point you to yet another interview with a Pagan author over at TWTP. This time out, they speak candidly with community asset and elder, Dana Eilers (author of 'the Practical Pagan')... Also featured is their facinating interview with Pagan fiction writer, M.R. Sellers (another wonderful piece).
For powerful interviews, in-depth book reviews and more, surf to the Wiccan/Pagan Times today.
by Fritz Jung
The following is a quick list of changes, tweaks and activities of the past 4 days...
1. Fighting spam: We added a confirmation check box to our email forms in an effort to confirm that the sender has read our NO SPAM warning.
We also put the onus back on those of you who have personal listings... Effective immediately, YOU get to state loud and clear if you want anonymous invites and promotions emailed to you. We've added 'Would you like to be contacted by Pagan Groups, Shops, or Events with invitations and /or sales? to the submission form. We have set all the current listings to NO. If you'd like to change your status to Yes... simply send email FROM the email address that you have listed to email@example.com - you don't have to type anything at all... We will automatically match YOUR email address WITH your listing and change it to YES. NOTE: Only use this email address to change your 'no spam' option to YES; we will NOT see these emails as this process is automatic.
2. VoxLinks: Pagan Search - Much work was done to this critical and popular section. It had been 7 months since we last put some serious time into this section and the revamping of categories was long overdue. NEW Categories include: Warrior paths, Security/Police, Prison Ministry, Ethics & Morality, Recreation/B&B, Gatherings/Fests, Wicca Path, Charity, Birthing, Personals/Dating, Classifieds, Legal, Clergy, Travel, Reiki /Massage, Memorials, Banner Exchange, Techno Pagan, PHP/Post Nuke sites and Runes. It's worth noting that we have also updated the VoxLinks submission form to include these new categories and changed the option to select from a very long scrolling menu TO a radio button display. This will help you get a better overview OF the categories and help you to best define your site for the VoxLinks listings.
3. Thanks to some prompting from Chris Johnson, we fixed a bug in our search engines (all 8 of them) that returned a nasty looking error when you did any search that included an apostrophe or a quotation mark. -- Thanks Chris!
4. Processed a record number of new/updated submissions (over 2,000) to your Witches' of the World Pages.
5. Reformatted the list views for personal listings to clarify the listings who WANT invites and promos from Pagan vendors and groups.
6. Geared up for Samhain by spicing up this page and revamping our extremely busy Samhain Pages.
7. Escaped for 4 hours on Wednesday to celebrate my father's 80th birthday, experienced some wonderful friends of my parents and consumed some tasty snacks. Wren looked beautiful as always and we both fielded questions about 'this website' and our spiritual choice with a relatively conservative group of elders. They were open, honest and curious about the Pagan Path.
Pagan Books: Views and Counting!
9 New Releases this Month
This new section [Link] continues to be hot and this past week saw hundreds of Votes for Your Fave Pagan Book, as well as over 100 new book submissions by Pagan Authors and Publishers. Featured this week are 9 new releases for October 2002.
br>Vote Your Top 5 Pagan Books: October is the FINAL month for YOU to vote for your fave Pagan books! You can vote for your top 5 Favorite Pagan Books by clicking here!
View the Voting so Far: For a quick list of community favorites... click here! Note: When you click on the Poster's name you can see their TOP 5 list.
Pagan books: NOW Searchable! also new this week is the creation of extensive search options (via the side bar on all pages) over at our new Pagan Books chapter. Feel free to execute searches by Title, Author, Publisher, Category, Level or Book profile.
Visit Pagan Books at Witchvox today to see what's new and what's HOT.
'Witch Hunts - Exposing the Lies'
Myth Makers - Part Two
by Kerr Cuhulain
Now lets look at another of the organizations disseminating myths concerning Satanic Ritual Abuse, the National Information Network (NIN), based in St Charles, Missouri. NIN was founded by Shane E. Westhoelter. A NIN information pamphlet lists Westhoelter's credentials as follows:
"Shane has done extensive research in the areas of rock music, the occult, and related topics. In order to educate the public of such influences, he has done seminars for law enforcement, state institutions, hospitals, schools, religious and non-religious organizations. Shane was invited to be a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show to discuss Satanism and the occult. He actively works with teenagers and is an occult consultant for law enforcement and counselling centers."... [Full Article]
WebNote: The pages of the Kerr Cuhulain series 'Witch Hunts - Exposing the Lies' have been viewed times as of this moment. - Check out Kerr's NEW book 'Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior'.
Pagan Pride Day Indianapolis 2002
The Indianapolis Pagans, Witches and Heathens held their Pagan Pride Day celebrations on Saturday the 28th. Our Opening Ritual was wonderful with 67 people standing in Circle which set the tone well for the rest of the day.
It looked like a small village in Broad Ripple Park with all the tents and booths. There was even a large children's area in the Kin shelter so it looked as though the village school was in session! The workshops and discussion groups were full to overflowing and many of the speakers have found themselves with more students, contacts and new-found friends than they had ever expected. The air resounded with the rhythmic sound of drummers setting the whole thing to music and you could almost taste magic in the air. The collections of food and clothing for the homeless and the annual auction raised more than ever before, according to the Event Coordinators.... [Full Article]
'New Adult Essays for Samhain '02'
by Karl Lembke
Since Lammas, the days have grown noticeably shorter, and the nights longer and colder. Now, to our relief, the pace has slowed, and we begin to see a limit to how cold and dark the world will become. We have not yet reached the shortest night, but now we see it will not the ultimate end of all life. The sun is in the southland, sleeping until the awakening of the light, at Imbolc, and now we can hope that the light will return... [Full Article]
It was Samhain, 2001. I stood on a rocky bluff overlooking the surging, primal waters of the Pacific Ocean. The smell of salt water mixed with the scents of moist earth and blooming flowers. The night sky was illuminated by a moon as big and round and full as any I had seen in a long while, bathing the rocks and trees in a light only slightly more shy than daylight whenever the clouds parted... [Full Article]
Journey Beyond the Veil
by Flame RavenHawk
What follows is the ritual that was written for Birchtree Circle for Samhain, 1995. This ritual was designed to carry the participant on an inner journey of discovery; a journey beyond the veils that separate the world of form from the realms of Spirit. It is a deeply blended combination of ritual and guided meditation. This ritual was originally conducted by Flame RavenHawk and was attended by approximately ten members of the Circle... [Full Article]
Samhain - Feast of Feasts
by Kathryn A. Graham
It's Autumn again. The air grows crisp with the promise of Winter, and we begin to think in terms of spooks and faeries, ghosts and goblins - and lots and lots of pumpkin pie. Samhain approaches.... I've been an acknowledged Witch for 30 years, and I've been out of the closet in the middle of South Texas for several years. I'm also still alive, if a little singed about the edges, though at times I do admit to wondering how I have managed it... [Full Article]
Samhain, the Time of the Ancestors
by Rev. Steven Bragg
Although I honor and serve my ancestors year-round, Samhain is the time when I go all out for them and prepare a large feast for, not only my ancestors, but the ancestors of my Wiccan circle our friends. However, I find little information in many of the marketed texts of Wicca and modern Paganism that deals with ancestor veneration, a practice that is a major characteristic of the vast majority of the world's basic religions... [Full Article]
Seances, Channelling and Spirit Possession
by Dawn Blacksun
We all have had times where we felt very lost and confused. We'd ask our friends and family for advice, but it isn't enough. We search within ourselves for the answers, but can't see through the mists of confusion. When it seems that there is nobody on Earth who can help us, it could be a good time to use the power of invocation and ask a deity for help... [Full Article]
Adult Essay Topics for November:
1. The History of Pagan Religions Gardnerian Wicca is the most frequently discussed religion with a shadowy historical background, but many, if not most, of our modern-day Pagan religions rely to some degree or another on older religions and societies. What part does history play in the practice, myths and rituals of your religion? Are documentation and authenticity important? Do you practice what you believe is an ancient religion, a modern-day approximation of an ancient religion, or do you consider your religion to be strictly modern? And what about the gods you worship? Are they the same ones worshipped by our ancestors, or are they different? [Click for Details]
2. Living a Pagan Life
How do the beliefs and practices of whatever brand of Paganism you practice affect how you live your daily life? When it comes to "chop wood, carry water", or, more prosaically, "go to the office, shop for groceries" how do your Pagan beliefs shape the way you live your life? [Click for Details]
For a list of Teen Topics: [Click for Details]
October is Support Pagan Writers Month!
by Isaac Bonewits.
"In honor of the upcoming holy day of Samhain, I'm asking every visitor to this site who enjoys an article or essay here to give something back, by actually buying a book or making a direct donation to keep food on my table and a roof over my head. There is stuff here you won't find anywhere else - surely it's worth as much to you as a pizza, a sixpack of your favorite beverage, a new sci-fi novel, or yet another silver trinket..."
Teen Witch News Online Magazine Launches !
by Teen Witch and author of Spellcraft for Teens, Gwinevere Rain.
Teen Witch News, a brand new online magazine, is strictly a place for TEEN WITCHES to voice their opinions. TWN magazine will be anything but boring, run-of-the-mill or blase. Expect the unexpected - interviews, book reviews, bewitchen contests, and more! Most importantly, since this magazine is for teens, it will be teen run, written, and designed ! Banner advertisers welcome, teen submissions totally encouraged.
Call for Submissions: 13 - 19 years of Age. Teen Witch News wants your in-depth opinions, bewitching spells, Magickal poems and more ! TWN magazine is a place where your teen voice can finally be heard, so don't pass up this wonderful opportunity ! The first edition is due out December 1st. Our official deadline: November 10th - that's not a lot of time, so rush over to the Teen Witch News submissions page and read up on how to submit your work today !
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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