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Witchvox Weekly Update

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Year: 2004 ...

April 26th.
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Year: 2003 ...

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










Weekly Update: 1/20/2003

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: January 20th. 2003
Times Viewed: 4,333


Mamas, Don't let your Babies Grow up to be Cowans...
by Wren Walker

(Featured Articles Below)

There are many reasons why Pagans shouldn't let their children grow up to be cowans. For one thing, the definition entry is less than flattering:

Couillon {OF}: a coward, a cullion. One who works as a mason without having served a regular apprenticeship. [Scot.] Note: Among Freemasons, it is a cant term for pretender, interloper." -- (Webster's Revised Dictionary).

For another, I don't personally think that it's a good idea to encourage young people to build chimneys or brick houses without any sort of practical training. Sounds rather irresponsible to me. Sure, it worked out well enough for one of the Little Pigs. But then again we only have his side of the story to go on. The whole wolf-resistant made-of-bricks thing could've fallen in and crushed the three of them the very next day for all that we know. Karma can be a pretty huffy and puffy sort of thing sometimes.

But irrespective of any aspirations that I may once have held about becoming a brick-layer -- and cynical speculations over the ultimate fate of those Three Little Pigs notwithstanding -- I never liked the term cowan anyway. (It's okay as a last name though. Hello, Tom!)

Maybe it's empathy. I know that I never liked being called a pretender or an unbeliever by those who feel it is their right to slap the label on anyone who doesn't fit their mold. And as I so often joke with my non-Pagan associates and the occasional open-minded reporter: "I can't be an unbeliever. I am actually an Uber-believer. I think that belief in God is such a good idea that I believe in many of Them! So, Hail Uber!"

And now you also know why I don't do stand-up comedy for a living.

The use of the word cowan (or more recently, of 'muggles') by Pagans to describe non-Pagans is, I think, not only quite rude, it also puts us in a rather ticklish spot. For like it or not, most of us have some non-Pagan ancestors... [Full Article]



Here's the gist: RSA Data Labs has a reward for anyone who can crack their RC5-72 code. The Bovine Project at www.distributed.net has organized an effort to meet this challenge. The way it works is that you install a program on your system that tests each individual key to see if it's the solution, coordinating with the server so that no efforts are duplicated. It only uses processor cycles that you aren't using, so it doesn't slow down your system. Once they get the servers back online, you'll be able to sign up for the team that we're running-- if your key cracks the code, you get a thousand dollars and the Witches' Voice gets another grand. If none of our team cracks the code, then we've still accomplished something: good publicity for the Pagan community and aid for the effort for a safer internet.

Just install and install the client on your system, and make sure you punch in your e-mail address so you get proper credit.Go to the site and have it send you your password, then you can go to the team stats page and join. Once you appear in the team stats, e-mail me and I'll send you the team password.

For more infoVisit www.catalystpoint.org today and hit the 'Team Witchvox' Link.


New Book Releases for January 2003

The Book section [Link] at Witchvox continues to be hot and this past quarter saw visits from Pagans all over the planet checking out the latest from our authors. Also hot was YOUR vote for your top 5 favorite books. We are thrilled to offer those results as a guide for the thousands of new seekers that visit this site. Featured this week are 4 new releases to kick off the year (due out this month).

br>Visit Pagan Books at Witchvox today to see what's new and what's HOT.

Hot New Essays and Some Notes from Dio...

We've gotten a great response on this month's topic of "Is Anything Profane? (lower on this page)" There is a lot of wisdom in these essays, and we want you to be able to read carefully and not rush through them, so we are posting only the first five we received this week. We'll post more next week, and more the week after that. If you have submitted an essay on this topic, but don't see it here, be assured it will be posted next week or the week after. The topic is still open (submissions will be accepted through 1/26), so feel free to write in, but please remember two things:
  1. We will not publish rebuttals to previously posted essays. You must write your own thoughts, and not responses to any essays posted here.
  2. We will not accept essays that are less than 1000 words, or do not conform to our editorial guidelines. Please read the guidelines before submitting your essay.
As always, we post these with our thanks to the writers for the contribution they make to the community by sharing their thoughts and ideas.

Vox Essay Editing Help Wanted...

I'm feeling a bit swamped these days, and was wondering if there were any community-minded souls out there who might be willing to help me with coding and editing the essays for the Vox. The requirements (besides being willing to work for no pay) are:
  1. Very basic knowledge of HTML -- all that's needed is basic formatting and linkage. I'll give you a template to work with.
  2. Excellent spelling and grammar.
  3. The ability to stick to a deadline.
There are usually between 5 and 20 essays a month.

If you are interested, please email me. My gratitude and a sense of being of service to the community are all I can offer, but you would certainly have that. :-)

Diotima
Associate Editor - The Witches' Voice
/B>

Bardic Circle at Witchvox: (Week 10 - The Magick continues...)

This week we feature a new performance by Laura Powers called 'Belthane Fires ""Belthane Fires" is from my second cd in the "legends of the Goddess" trilogy. Initially inspired by the book "The Mists of Avalon" I was intrigued by the stories and myths of the ancient Celtic goddess and have devoted this three-cd set to interweaving imagery of that era with music that I call "Celtic-flavored world/pop.""

A Bardic Circle, to those unfamiliar with the concept, is a gathering of the clan to share stories, magic and music. This is best done in person, 'round a bonfire. With the advent of mp3 files bringing "quality" audio to the net, we can now do a "Bardic Circle", right here in cyberspace. To listen to the MP3 files your pc will need to have an mp3 player installed. MP3 players can be found for FREE at sites like VersionTracker.com

IF YOU are a Pagan Musician and want to participate by sharing one of your tunes and its story, kindly fill the Bardic Circle Submission form and email us a .jpg (150 pixels high/72 dpi) of yourself, your group or your CD cover. NOTE: Previous participants (from 2000 and 2001) ARE more than encouraged to submit a new tune.

Visit Bardic Circle at Witchvox today!.




"Witch Hunts - Exposing the Lies"
by Kerr Cuhulain [Reads!]

Christian Authors Who Fuel the Hysteria - (Part 1)

So far we have been discussing the individuals and organizations that have been disseminating the urban legend of the Satanic Conspiracy. These people have presented themselves as experts and/or survivors of SRA. Although the presentations of some self appointed experts initially sound very convincing and sane, once we examine the sources that they use we often very quickly find how bizarre and inaccurate they can be. Most of the resource materials used to sell the Satanic conspiracy myth originate with fundamentalist Christian authors. So let's look at some of this fundamentalist Christian literature. There is far too much for me to show you all of what is available, but I can show you a couple of good examples that will illustrate the shoddy scholarship and hysteria involved. This will hopefully show you where some of the individuals that we have already discussed got their ideas from in the first place.

Jerry Johnston is the founder and National Executive Director of Jerry Johnston Associates and LIFE School Assemblies in Overland Park, Kansas. He is a fundamentalist Christian who has travelled about the country lecturing to school assemblies on the alleged dangers of the occult. Jerry is married and has three children. He is the author of several books, including... [Full Article]

Do Check out Kerr's Latest book 'Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior'.




Essays for January 2003... (more coming next week)

Is Nothing Profane? What A Cop-Out!
by Terri Woodliff

"Don't judge them by our standards; it's important to them and that should be good enough for us; they've lived that way for hundreds of years, and to them it's a sacred event-let it go." I've heard these words too often and it seems to be a growing trend for people to say that if something works for others or if that's a part of their tradition or sacred identity, then it's okay. It appears to be current dogma that one cannot judge others by one's own cultural and moral standards.

Sorry, but that's a load of bull-pucky! It's not okay. It's not okay to sacrifice another human life for religious goals. It's not okay to shut the mouths of women because the people believe it makes society an easier place to live. It's not okay to scrape off the sexual organs of a young female- I don't care if it's been done for two hundred years, because of cultural standards. I say it's wrong. To some, that's considered a moral judgment against... [Full Article]



Re-evaluating the Term "Sacred"
by Ithilwen MoonRaven

Sacredness is in the eye of the beholder... or worshipper... well, you get my point.

When I celebrate Yule, I wake up just before dawn, and welcome the Sun as it rises with a little fire of my own. It's nothing flashy, not even all that memorable, but it's something that helps me feel a little more connected to how things work. I consider this sacred. It's something that says "I celebrate, respect and believe in this because..."

I looked up the word "sacred" out of curiosity in a dictionary, just to see what it had to say. According to my dictionary, something sacred is something that has been reserved for the sole purpose of veneration. Now by that definition, I wouldn't say everything is sacred. I mean, if the ground was sacred, I'd feel pretty awkward walking across it to take my garbage out every week. No, by that definition I don't like to use the term. To me, something "sacred" is something that I think deserves my respect. The guy next door might not think... [Full Article]



You Wanna Write for Witchvox?...
Try This Topic on for size...

Is Nothing Profane?

Many Pagans say they believe that "everything is sacred", or, similarly, that the definition of sacredness is entirely personal and subjective, and therefore if someone says something is sacred, then it is for them, and others should accept that. While this attitude does reflect the importance that our community puts on inclusiveness, it also presents some real difficulties in application. For instance, the destruction of the World Trade Center was considered a sacred act by those who perpetrated it, and there are those who still sacrifice children to their gods. We'd like to hear your thoughts on what is, or is not, sacred. What does the word mean to you, and where, if at all, do you draw the line between sacred and profane?

Please be sure to read our editorial guidelines before submitting your essay to Diotima. Essays of less than 1000 words in length will not be considered for publication.

Sacred and Profane: Drawing the Line
by Flame RavenHawk

Although many Pagans profess that "everything is sacred", in reality we clearly live with the common understanding that some things are "Sacred-with-a-capital-S" and some things are not. The very fact that many Pagans operate within a Sacred Circle illustrates this point. Most of us feel the need to define separate Sacred space from the profane world around us. Making something Sacred strengthens our connection with Divine. However, even though we may feel that the definition of sacredness is entirely personal and subjective, the concept of what is Sacred is based, finally, on a bedrock of moral and spiritual absolutes.

The word "Sacred" comes to us from the Latin "sacer", which simply means "holy". Marking something as Sacred is what connects us to God/dess. Sacred is defined by Webster's Dictionary as "venerated, hallowed, or inviolate". In this manner, anything that one venerates might be considered sacred. It is in this sense that many Pagans feel that "everything is sacred". Pagans generally believe that the Earth and all Her bounty are worthy of veneration, and are therefore Sacred. This is where the concept of "Sacred" becomes relative. Although... [Full Article]



The Holy Moment
by Michael Hubbard

I washed dishes today. I know that doesn't seem like a big thing, but at my house, where days are often characterized by 18 hours of rushing from place to place followed by a collapse into bed, dishes often become the last item to be checked off the "to do" list. As I washed, I thought briefly of how nice it would be to see the countertop again, and I also thought how relaxing physical work could actually be. I also thought of my grandmother, and how often she had stood in front of that same sink, even washing some of the same dishes. It was then I that I felt connected, not only to this house that I have so recently come to live in again and the childhood that I spent here, but also to my grandmother and her time here. It wasn't the washing itself that made the moment special, or even that I recalled my grandmother doing the same chore there daily for the nearly forty years she lived in the house. I felt, in that instant, a sense of wholeness and connection to my ancestors, and through... [Full Article]



What Is Sacred and What Is Profane? Ah... that is the question.
by Ginger Strivelli

Well, some people think the 60-foot tall cell phone tower disguised as a cross that looms over my neighborhood is "sacred". I'd say it was profane... might even employ some profanity to explain just how profane I find that ugly monstrosity. I might ask why other torture devices aren't also used as Cell phone décor... a huge electric chair, or guillotine-themed cell phone tower seems like an unlikely design... .but going by their theme, it seems logical to me. Well of course they think it is a sacred symbol. (Though no other "sacred" symbols are cropping up as cell phone towers, unless I somehow missed the 5-story Star of David that plays Tweedle Dee to our neighborhood's Tweedle Dum cross tower.)

Some people might say a battlefield is sacred holy ground... while some would think it had been holy flesh of the Mother Earth now made profane by the bloodshed it witnessed. Some people think all Earth is Sacred... some think only their churches are holy ground. Some think burial grounds are sacred, while some find them profane. Some... [Full Article]







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