Weekly Update: 1/27/2003|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: January 27th. 2003
Times Viewed: 5,469
Caution: Restricted Area...
by Wren Walker
(Featured Articles Below)
What's so bad about a little truth, light and healing? As concepts, I'd say that these ideals have a lot going for them. As words, they describe some of the noblest strivings of mankind. As spiritual goals, they have challenged us to reach higher and to dig deeper and to care more. These words - truth -- light -- healing -- probably summon up quite positive images in the minds of most of the people who see them. When I read them this past week though, I had an entirely different reaction.
How about ignorant for starters? Then there's idiotic, improper, insensitive, indecent, insulting, and insolent. And before I run out of words beginning with 'in', I'll just toss indignant on the top of the heap. Because that is what I was.
"Gods, Wren!" you might be wondering, "What the heck do you have against a little truth, light and healing? Uh...you haven't been trying on any rings that just happened to have been forged in the fires of Mount Doom lately, have you?"
Well, no. But I have been reading the papers. Same thing, some days. But there was one article that I read which really orced my pony: Vandals Destroy, Deface Badlands Pictographs. According to the article:
"Using charcoal, someone drew over several pictographs in Dry Canyon in the Badlands east of Bend, defacing about five and destroying at least one of the irreplaceable images" Indignant doesn't even begin to cover it... [Full Article]
"Within the canyon, the vandal or vandals built a fire pit that stretches about 4 feet across. The fire charred the sides and top of a hollowed rock that is about 6 feet tall."
"Someone used charcoal to write "truth," "light," and "healing" on the walls. The Taoist yin-yang symbol representing balance was also drawn. A vandal also used the charcoal to trace the outline of one pictograph."
Photo Credit: Thanks go out to Witchvox staff photographer Don "Two Eagles" Waterhawk (WebSite) for this powerful image of Bill Bailey. (location: Wendyl and Bill's ritual space in Ft. Meyers, Florida).
The Witches' Voice is also honored to thank Gary Reed (email@example.com) for compliling the moonphaze data for the year 2003 (for the 4th strait year in a row... thanks Gary!!!)
Gaia Consort Shares Their Magick with us all!
(Bardic Circle Week 11 - The Magick continues...)
This week we feature a new performance by Gaia Consort called 'Three...
"Here in the Seattle area, there is much crossover between the Pagan and Poly communities, with many communal households and group marriages. "All acts of love and pleasure are Her rituals..." Gaia Consort celebrates this wonderful aspect of our community as well as many others..."
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!.
New Book Releases for January 2003
The Book section [Link] at Witchvox (launched this past September) 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.
"Witch Hunts - Exposing the Lies"
by Kerr Cuhulain [Reads!]
Christian Authors Who Fuel the Hysteria - (Part 2 Occultic Handbooks)
Some Christian authors have created dictionaries or handbooks in order to educate the public about beliefs that they consider to be Satanic or at least "cultic" in nature. An example of some authors who have attempted this are the works of the prolific fundamentalist Christian authors Josh McDowell and Don Stewart. These two are associated to Campus Crusade for Christ. According to Campus Crusade for Christ, these individuals have the following credentials:
Josh McDowell is a graduate of Talbot Theological Seminary. McDowell has appeared in eight films and two TV specials. He is a travelling representative for Campus Crusade for Christ. McDowell is a resident instructor at the Julian Center in Julian, California. He has authored numerous books, including: Prophecy: Fact or Fiction?, More Than A Carpenter, Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Evidence Growth Guide: The Uniqueness of Christianity, More Evidence that Demands a Verdict, The Resurrection Factor, The Resurrection Factor Growth Guide, and Givers, Takers, and Other Kinds of Lovers.... [Full Article]
Do Check out Kerr's Latest book 'Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior'.
MORE New Essays for January 2003...
(EVEN more coming next week!)
| NEW THIS Week... |
What is Sacred?
by Ardeith Carter
I believe that determining what is 'Sacred' is a matter each person, or each community, must decide for themselves. Down through the ages, all over the world, various animals have been considered 'Sacred' . . . not to be harmed or killed for food. Sometimes these animals havebeen a tribe's, or clan's, or individual's totem animal which they are either forbidden orrequired to eat. In either case, the animal is considered 'sacred' and treated with much respect.
In some cases, the 'sacred' thing was the body of the ruler, who was declared the 'son of theGods,' or the priest-class, who were the spokespersons of the gods. Of course there were alsodemented people who were 'sacred' because they were 'touched by the gods.' Then one must consider the areas of land that are declared 'sacred.' These areas are often burial grounds, springs, or mountains where spiritual rites are conducted or the Gods are thought to dwell.
Unfortunately, in some cultures, acts of violence are considered a 'sacred' duty. That is,a duty required by the religious or cultural traditions. Before we are too quick to judge suchtraditions... [Full Article]
The Light and the Dark - Musings on the Sacred and Profane
by Mark James
Taking my dog for its usual walk along the disused railway line to the canal, I come across a drum of oil that has been abandoned in some bushes at the side of the path. The drum is leaking and I can already see that the plant life in the immediate vicinity is starting to die off.
How would I react?
I could alert the Environment Agency (a UK government body with responsibility for such things) who would send a team to the site to safely dispose of the oil and repair as much damage as they could.
I could ignore the oil and walk on.
I could tip the drum over and spill the oil, thus causing even more damage.
As a responsible person, not to mention a Pagan, I would, of course take the first option and even though it would inconvenience me: I would have to wait at the site until they arrived to make certain that no one took either of the other courses of action... [Full Article]
Wrong and Horrible? Yes. Profane? No.
by John S. TarBurner
OK, I'm coming at this from a reconstructionist point of view. With that in mind, here it goes.
Within Paganism, I think that there's a misconception that being pantheistic equals the absence of wrong. By pantheism I'm talking about the stand that says everything's sacred. When pantheism is contrasted with Christianity this might make sense from a Christian standpoint, but within Pagan belief it's a little off. Briefly, Christianity makes right and wrong, sacred and profane, easy to sort out: What's Sacred is the human church which is endowed with sacredness through the redemption and rebirth brought on by accepting Jesus and his message. So what's Sacred is the "Body of Christ" and by extension, all the moral principles that follow from that establishment, i.e. what the church declares to be moral. What's wrong is easy to sort out too: anything outside of the Body of Christ and the church is thereby profane and by extension wrong. While this theological standpoint may seem old fashioned, the consequences of it color our ideas of right and wrong to this day.
What this belief does is lower the... [Full Article]
Is Nothing Profane?
by Elijah Jordan
People are entitled to call anything sacred, or everything sacred, or even to claim that nothing is sacred. What is important is that their beliefs and actions do not harm or inconvenience anybody to an unacceptable level, and that if they do, their right to practice these 'sacred' acts be taken away. Therefore, a group can claim as much as they like that their act of sacrificing babies is sacred--they will, and should, be forbidden from doing so.
This raises the important question: 'What is harm?' On a basic level, harm is something that takes away a person's will or dignity, acts that undermine the value of life of the individual. This general idea is formulated in the Rede (an harm it none, do thy will). So, basically, call anything sacred and feel free to do it--so long as it doesn't get in the way of anyone else.
However, it is impossible to go through life without doing harm. Life depends on death, cannot exist without it, and whatever I or anyone else does, it always has the potential to harm someone, whether directly... [Full Article]
Is Nothing Profane?
by Cassandra E. Coleman
I wondered at the true meaning of the two words profane and sacred. So as a dictionary-thumping, English-buff type Pagan, I had to go look them up to see what their meanings are.
Profane: to treat something sacred with irreverence; desecrate.
Sacred: consecrated, holy; set aside for the worship of a god or deity.
Now I know you are wondering why I would place the dictionary meanings here, but bear with me! As a Pagan I have been asked many times what I think is profane and what I think is sacred. For me, sacred is anything a person keeps as a part of his or her own heartfelt beliefs, be it a stone, a tree, or a cross. I find a home to be my most sacred of all places. Profanity, on the other hand, is much harder to explain.
If I were to walk into a church and spit on the floor, I would consider it a profane act, though the religion expressed there is not my own. Yet I see many, many people do just that when they walk into a wooded... [Full Article]
| Essays from Last 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]
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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