Weekly Update: 2/10/2003|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: February 10th. 2003
Times Viewed: 5,721
Minding Your News P's and Q's...
(Featured Articles Below)
Some days, I just want to turn off the television, shut down the computer, crumple up the newspaper and go for a nice long walk in the woods. Two things usually prevent that from happening. One, the 'woods" in this part of Florida are dense jungles of flesh-ripping palmetto plants and poison everything vines. There are also a few other minor deterrents such as scorpions, coral snakes and wild boars. And since "if there is water, there are probably alligators living in it" is one of the first rules that I memorized when I moved to the Sunshine State, the large roving mobs of blood-thirsty mosquitoes tend to be amongst the least of my concerns when I am out in the wild. Oddly, mall walking is pretty popular around here though...
I hate malls. But I do love the news. And that is the other reason why I am not out taking a walk right now. Ten minutes after I have turned off, shut down and crumpled, I start getting a little twitchy. At fifteen minutes, my eyeballs are scanning the "Do Not Remove' tag on the chair cushion. At twenty minutes, my fingers are typing out invisible words on the cat (who likes this very much, by the way). I have never made it past the twenty-minute mark. It's probably just as well. My neighbors already avoid me. Maybe it's the bunny slippers.
News is a big deal around here. Sort of like breathing air and changing the litter box, it's a part of our lives. Given the popularity of the Wren's Nest news section, I'd say that the news is important to a lot of people. But how do we know just what it is that we are reading? How do we interpret the news? What is news?... [Full Article]
The Tempest Smith Foundation Established
(from Wren's Nest)
Author: Denessa Smith Source: email
It has now almost been two years since the first time I have talked to you . Seems like yesterday in a dream. Having been touched by so many of the Pagan community, I have since joined a local community. They are known as "The Federation of Circles and Solitaries". I joined shortly after my first ritual on Mabon 2002. I took with me the quilt given to me by the Quilter's Coven, and I was so overwhelmed with the energy, I was drawn to continue their company. It only took weeks for Greg Gover, High Priest and current President to ask me to become the Head of Charities. I humbly accepted, wanting to give back into this community is a drive beyond compare.
This relationship I share with the Federation has sparked me to organize the Tempest Smith Foundation, a non-profit organization geared at promoting tolerance and biodiversity. (TEMPEST - Train, Educate and Motivate Parents, Educators and Students in Tolerance.)
This has now attained the articles of incorporation and has the federal identification number. I am the director of the Foundation and Greg has offered to sit on the board with me as Co-President and religious advisor.
We are launching TEMPEST at Convocation 2003 in Troy, MI February 20th thru 23rd 2003. There is going to be a memorial ritual on the 21st at 7:30pm. Greg has asked if I could give a ten minute opening speech, which I graciously accepted. This is the actual two year date of my releasing her. I wanted to thank you so much for what you did; having all that healing energy sent to me directly was the most precious gift one could ever have imagined . It has given me the strength to stand... [Full Article]
I Think We Might Be Lost (Part 2)...
by Patricia Telesco
Filling The Tank & Getting Your Ki's:<
There is absolutely no way someone can learn to drive a car if the tank is on empty. Even so, it seems a lot of people are trying to run a successful life when their inner well reads a spiritual "E." They're tired, overburdened and out of focus.
In the East, metaphysicians call the Universal spirit within each of us the Chi or Ki. When our Ki is low, out of balance or blocked for some reason, it causes sickness and 'dis-ease'. Consequently, it's very important that we don't loose track of our Ki's. (And never, ever, forget where we parked!) Also, let's make every effort to keep our internal gas tank filled.
Two easy and effective ways everyone can keep their fuel lines connected to the Divine pump are through regular meditations and/or prayer. Unfortunately, taking a moment for prayer is one thing that seems to have gone out of style in our politically correct society. In reality, it doesn't matter what facet of the Sacred Parent that you sit down and talk to as long as it becomes an integral part of your daily routine... [Full Article]
New Book Releases for February 2003
The Book section [Link] at Witchvox continues to be hot and since this past September it has clocked in visits from Pagans all over the planet. 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...
Solitary Witch by Silver Ravenwolf
"This book has everything a teen Witch could want and need between two covers: a magickal cookbook, encyclopedia, dictionary, and grimoire. It relates specifically to today's young adults and their concerns, yet is grounded in the magickal work of centuries past".
Information is arranged alphabetically and divided into five distinct categories: (1) Shadows of Religion and Mystery, (2) Shadows of Objects, (3) Shadows of Expertise and Proficiency, (4) Shadows of Magick and Enchantment, and (5) Shadows of Daily Life. It is organized so readers can skip over the parts they already know, or read each section in alphabetical order... [More on this New Book]
Also New this month...
/ul> Visit Pagan Books at Witchvox today to see what's new and what's HOT.
MORE New Essays for January 2003... (EVEN more coming next week)
| NEW THIS Week... |
The Veil of Profanity
by Mena Laughing Wolf
In a previous life, the very fact of my existence was profane. The people I chose to befriend were hard and worn. They lived in hatred. They took pleasure in torturing and intimidating others. Their actions were neither sacred nor profane to me because I felt nothing. I saw nothing. My thoughts held no beauty or kindness-only destruction, pain and rage. They were neither sacred nor profane to me. My words were often false and vulgar. Respect was not familiar, for it had never been given to me, so how could I know to give it to others? The sunrise had no meaning because my eyes were closed in a dark room. The sunset was simply a curse. Humanity was a toy to be thrown in a corner on a whim. Violence was as natural in my circle as breathing. My arms and hands were torn and scarred, as was my spirit. Never once did I name any attribute of my life as sacred or profane. My life was void of emotion. My eyes were blind to the truth.
One day I awakened to a body racked... [Full Article]
Everything Is Sacred
by Dawn Blacksun
The world religions all teach that Divinity created everything. The stars. The planets. The dirt. The humans. And the mosquitoes.
I believe that Divinity is an overall immanence. It surrounds us, protects us, and is within us, as it is within everything. Everything that Divinity created is infused with its essence.
There is a common misunderstanding about the sacred. Many of us, as Witches, will freely admit the above as our beliefs, but only for some things. We remember that Divinity created only the “good” (or desirable) things, but forget that it also created the “evil” (or undesirable) things.
Divinity works on a plane that is much higher than us. As a result, we are incapable at this stage in our soul’s development of understanding Divinity completely. We claim to understand the Universal sense of balance, but we forget it when a disaster occurs and takes the lives of thousands. Our inability to see the “larger picture” clouds our view and we become afraid.
The word “sacred” is used, in many cases, synonymously with “... [Full Article]
The Paradox of Fear and Awe
by John Potter
It's easy to find the sacred in a forest. Just a few blocks from where I live there is a large, urban park. The vast majority of it is untouched, save for a ball field, some swings and the nature trails, which are not well known enough to ever be crowded. The trees do their part, too, and after about ten minutes at a leisurely pace, even the police sirens fade into a distant hum. It is obviously a sacred place.
There is energy in that forest, and spirits too, if the accounts are to be believed, more than one amorous teen-aged couple have had the romance scared out of them by mysterious figures that appear in the night and vanish without a trace. It is one of the few places where the deer have room to roam, and the wildflowers a place to dance. Humans, too, find solace in this place. The trails twist and disappear into the woods, foiling one's troubles from following too close behind. Emerging from that green womb, one feels invigorated and at peace with the world.
I consider it... [Full Article]
Sacred or Profane...Which is Which?
by Lady Isis Serena Manalani
Having been a frequent visitor to this website for nearly as long as I've been a practitioner of the Craft, I have eagerly awaited each month's essay selections and yet never felt the need to offer my own humble opinions on any subject until now. It may be that this month's topic resonated so strongly with me because this is one issue that I have already given a great deal of consideration, and perhaps always will. The question of sanctity versus profanity is one which every Pagan, Wiccan, or Witch confronts and (hopefully) comes to terms with at some point on their spiritual path. While I would be among the first to admit that there are times when differentiation between the two appears to be an easier task than at other times, careful consideration of the impact of our words and actions upon other people and the world around us is what I rely on to help me to sort out whether an action is either sacred or profane.
Speaking strictly by definition alone, the Riverside Webster's II Dictionary defines "sacred" as, "1. Dedicated to or reserved... [Full Article]
An Exploration of the Sacred and the Secular (or "How Descartes Turned My Cat into a Clock")
by Katie Hodges
Sacred. Holy. Divine.
I find more magick in the ocean than the desert.
I find more spirit in a forest than a church.
I find more wonder in the autumn wind than the summer sun.
These things are supremely sacred to me but they are all tailored by the flavor of my personal energy. And while I am not alone in these ideas, I am certainly not talking about facts, but simply preferences.
So I went searching for my own relationship with the idea of sacredness. To be sure, there are things in my life that are sacred. My father's ashes, my Japanese jade carved heads, my wedding ring - these are all sacred objects. There are people in my life who are sacred as well, both living and dead. All of these have something in common. They all demand more respect and reverence than my everyday life. Or do they?
I began to think about the separation of sacred and secular. As I did, I heard all the voices of... [Full Article]
Witch Cinema: Out with the Old, In with the News... by Peg Aloi
Greetings Witch Cinema Mavens!
And a happy Imbolc/Oimelc/Candlemas to you all.
At this fallow time of year (except for our friends in the Southern hemisphere, now in the throes of summer!) we are starting to think this "turning inward" stuff is getting kind of old. Winter drags on and we year for fresh air, sunlight, new ways of perceiving the same old stuff. I was in England recently for two weeks and such travel is always good for renewed perspective; even though everyone in England speaks English I am always struck by how very different our cultures are from one another (watch for more on this matter in my interview with professor/author Ronald Hutton; who I spoke with in his offices at the University of Bristol - should be up in a couple weeks!)... [Full Article]
I Think We Might Be Lost (Part 1)... by Patricia Telesco
You're traveling an unfamiliar road and get this gut level feeling that you might be lost. Now, some folks might wisely stop to ask directions. Others might pull out a map, and others still go a little further just to be sure of how lost they truly are! If you think this sounds a little bit like the modern neo-pagan movement, that's because there are some striking similarities and these are ones to which we should be paying attention.
The Traffic Jam Begins:
The first thing that got us off track was the massive influx of travelers on this road. It has become impossible to insure quality control among a group of people who all got their license in different ways, who perceive this road with completely unique perspectives, and who all think they have "right of way." There doesn't seem to be a handy traffic regulation system in place to respond this problem. Consequently anybody can (even those who might be driving illegally) venture out into oncoming traffic! Needless to say, the ones most often discovered are those without any insurance -- and, as you surmised, these are the ones who usually then are interviewed by the media! SIGH.... [Full Article]
| From Last Week... |
by Darragh Nagle
with thanks to Greyhart for editorial assistance
Back in 1969, the Apollo program landed the first people on the moon.
Everyone who witnessed those times measures history by that day, where were you when they landed on the moon?
I was on a Greek ocean liner, coming into the island of Mikonos. A fellow traveler, who spoke little English, after ascertaining that I was an American, pointed at the moon above us in the sky and proclaimed "America!"
I knew he was acknowledging our achievement, with enthusiasm, and it was really an achievement for all man and woman-kind, all over the world.
Before the Apollo program was the Gemini program. This consisted of two-person capsules, and with these vehicles the first in-orbit rendezvous was accomplished, a necessary first step before the Apollo mission could be attempted, because the Apollo command capsule and module had to mate with the lunar excursion module in earth orbit before departing for the moon. There was one technical problem with the Gemini target module on one flight, a shroud that would not open on the target, and the target module was named "the alligator", due to its appearance, with only one of the two halves of the tip end of the module opening. Multiple Gemini missions were a success, and Apollo could later proceed.... [Full Article]
Imbolc Thoughts: A Pint with Brigit
Last year I did a very "witchy" ritual for Imbolc. I had a red and white altar cloth, matching colored candles, incense, oil; the whole works. Only it didn't work. It fell flat, and left me with the sense of a wasted evening. As I was cleaning up I began thinking how Brigit herself would celebrate this day in modern times. I came up with two possibilities: 1. going out to an Irish bar, drinking beer and catching a session, or 2. staying up all night with pregnant ewes. Since I am a true city girl and have never seen a pregnant ewe, I decided then and there to celebrate Imbolc 2003 by drinking and dancing with Brigit at a local Irish pub. I managed to salvage the evening by putting on a mixture of the Chieftains and the Pogues and dancing around my apartment.
Now that Imbolc is again approaching, my thoughts turn back to that day last year, and to Brigid. Who she is to me, how she interacts with my life, and how I will celebrate Imbolc this year. To me, she... [Full Article]
by Karl Lembke
As the year 2003 of the common era dawns, we turn our attention to the question, "is nothing profane?" If everything is sacred, nothing can be profane. In the same way, if everything is good, nothing can be evil. If nothing is cold, then everything is hot. If we deny the existence of one side of a dichotomy, does the other side mean anything? And indeed, if everything is sacred, then what does "sacred" mean?
We argue that everything is sacred, because everything ultimately comes from, or is a part of the Gods. The Gods created all that exists and everything partakes of Their essence. All that is around us has some attributes of the Divine. In The Witches' Qabala, Ellen Reed writes... [Full Article]
Everything Is Not Sacred
by Zoe Grace
Yes, I know the above statement is not all PC and flowery, but I don't care. This is a concept near and dear to my heart and I care about the Pagan community and where it is going. I care that many of us go around shooting down all the "old" stereotypes about Witches...i.e. ugly, mean, worship Satan, boil babies, while at the same time...creating new stereotypes...have orgies, do drugs, no morals.
If you think I'm exaggerating, think again. While I have no problem with people going "skyclad" I do have a problem with supposedly "public" Pagan events, where people are dancing around naked, putting on a big show. If you want to go skyclad, do it, but do it in a private setting, where it actually is a sacred act... [Full Article]
The Nature Of Sacrilege
by L. Hunter Cahill
This is such a heady subject and so open to interpretation and misinterpretation that we will spend some time on definitions.
Perhaps just as all words undergo an evolution over any considerable period of time some of the words we use here will evolve in our minds during our perception of this article. The point of this article is the interpretation of sacrilege, the definition that is used by the Pagan community as a whole and by Wiccans in particular, both as a whole and also by each practitioner as an individual. The influence that we choose to exert is a powerful thing; the words we'll look at here go back to our understanding of "good and evil" with what is beneficial generally being thought to be good and what is harmful thought to be evil. To the mundane this would seem to suffice; however, the primary meaning of the word "Occult" is "beyond the range of ordinary knowledge," so lets go for it shall we? The purpose of this article... [Full Article]
Sanctity and Profanity: An Individual's Response
by Wolf's Voice
There are many things in the world that are sacred and are within the realms of sanctity. Ancient forests, canyons, gentle babbling brooks, great rivers, mangrove swamps, open fields and pristine glaciers so blue that they rival the sky in beauty. Great places of worship too - places of peace and contemplation where people could walk in, sit down and be still for just a moment in this often-busy society, light a candle or incense sticks and whisper a prayer or two. Sacred space, our own inner sacred space. Within our rooms, our own secret gardens or little patches of green.
There are many things, things of sanctity, things of great beauty and joy. A child's laughter. A rainbow in the sky. The song of songbirds and the dance of dragonflies in the air, light like faeries. The singing of songs thanking the skies, the stars, the sun and the moon. To us, these things, these places... they are sacred and remind us, indeed, urge us towards sanctity. Our hearts glow within us when we... [Full Article]
Rule of Three
This past holiday season has been very enlightening for me. I usually try to hold myself above it, looking down my nose a bit at the commercialism. Well I do try, but I too get caught up in it.
In times past this slightly snooty attitude has been a façade, a cover, if you will, for the fact that I simply could not afford to buy gifts. You see, my credit is still gasping and swooning over some of the decisions made in my youth, hence the inability to charge myself silly with the ever present Lord Visa or Lady Discover. There is also a tiny bit of fear that my children are going to become little Fisher Price spokespeople. This year, however, things were different; money was sent as a Christmas present, and with the speed of thought, I decided to spend it on gifts... [Full Article]
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