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Year: 2004 ...

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

Weekly Update: 2/24/2003

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: February 24th. 2003
Times Viewed: 6,861

Summerland 2003: a Witchvox review by Don Waterhawk (photo by Daniella) - [Full Review]
Nits, Twits and Wits... (by Wren Walker)

(Featured Articles Below)

Well now, aren't you the clever one? Lesser beings than your esteemed self may have overlooked it, but not you! Nosiree, no one can pull the wool over your eyes. You know that your quarry is in there somewhere and you are determined to drag it out from its burrow. You scan the terrain again. Sure enough, you find the telltale tracks and begin to follow them. Ah-ha! Gotcha!

Congratulations. You have just scored one really big and nasty Nit!

Whoa! Just look at that thing! Man, that is one ugly Nit Monster that you have picked up there, my friend. We don't know how we could have overlooked it. Thank you ever so much for pointing that sucker out. Who knows what sort of havoc that it might have wreaked if you had not stepped forward to save us from ourselves? It is people like you who make the world a safer and saner place for the rest of us. What ever would we do without you?

Nits are such baneful critters, aren't they? They'll ruin everything if we let them go unpicked. That otherwise fine article on a Pagan group doing some sort of charity work would have set civilization back a few thousand years if someone skilled in the art of nitpicking hadn't had the fortitude to point out the one small flaw in terminology. If that particular Nit hadn't been properly rounded up, would've made us all look very bad, now wouldn't it? A narrow escape indeed!... [Full Article]

Witch Hunts - Exposing The Lies
by Kerr Cuhulain

(NEW Article featured this week!)

Do Witches worship Satan? Are Pagans the members of a secret underground cult that sacrifices babies? Are some 'unsolved' murders really covered ups perpetuated by law enforcement personnel as part of an evil conspiracy to overthrow Christianity and to promote a devilish agenda?

The answer would be 'yes' if you believed the claims of people such as Michael Warnke (The Satan Seller), Bill Schnoebelen (Wicca: Satan's Little White Lie) or Lawrence and Michelle Pazder (Michelle Remembers).

And many people DO believe.

THIS WEEK: Witch Queens

Earlier in this series I cited some examples of male "copy-cats" who borrowed the concept created by Michael Warnke in The Satan Seller and created their own stories of being "survivors" of ritual abuse. Females have also engaged in this sort of deception, though they tend to mimic the book Michelle Remembers and present themselves as "Witch Queens". Let's look at some examples.

I have previously mentioned how Children's Institute International resource materials included the book Satan's Underground by one of the most well known female "survivors" to have surfaced after the release of Michelle Remembers, Lauren Stratford. Stratford is associated to a counseling organization called the Confidential Group in Bakersfield, California.

To Experience PART ONE (of 3) of this New Article - "Witch Queens" - CLICK HERE

Editors Notes: This hot series continues to be a smashing success with close to 200,000 pages read to date. Great work Kerr!

Festival at Summerland
(Bonita Springs, Florida)
by Don Two Eagles WaterHawk

South West Florida in Feburary... gotta love that idea. Our first Pagan Festival of the Year. And it couldn't have been a better start off. There had been some major work done to the land and there was more space for camping so this year the parking was on the land, which gave the Gaurdians an easier job. Daniella and I set up camp (Kokopelli stayed at our daughters house, Elf stayed home), put up our pavilion, and then did the most important thing of all... get the drums over to the Fire Circle.

Each morning of each day at the Fire Circle, Wendyl of Rivendell facilitated the Welcoming the Day Ceremony. Things like this are much needed at festivals. It gives the chance for people to 1, greet the day, 2 greet the people, 3 get info on daytime activities, and 4 get... [Full Article]

Notes from Dio...
New Writings and New Topic!

Many Pagans are taking an active part in the anti-war effort. This week, we feature a report on the March on Washington, D.C. on January 18th from Sierra Black. We've also posted the last three essays on the "Sacred and Profane" topic (See "New this Week" below), and they are very, very good. We had 26 essays sent in on this topic, and are hoping for a similar response to the next one, which is:

Pagan Tribalism
The tribal model of social organization is one often brought up when Pagans are discussing the ideal Pagan society, including the extraordinary social construct known as the Pagan Festival. We talk a lot about how we would like to live in community with other Pagans, and dream about -- or manifest -- co-housing, Pagan neighborhoods, Pagan land, Pagan centers.

So, tell us, what's the dream, what's the reality, and how do we get there from here? We want to know how you dream of living in community with other Pagans and how you've done it or seen it done. Or, why you think it's a really bad idea. What works? What doesn't?

Any thoughtful essays of over 1,000 words will be published. Please read our editorial guidelines first, and send your essay to Diotima The deadline for this topic is the Spring Equinox, but we will post them as we receive them. Please keep in mind that we will not post responses to previously posted essays.

The varied perspectives, and the depth and breadth of thought that are so evident in the essays we receive here at the Vox highlight the fact that Pagan religions are growing and vibrant. Please consider adding YOUR voice to our collection of essays from the worldwide Pagan community.

Bright blessings,

Associate Editor
The Witches' Voice

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...

Sexual Ecstasy and the Divine
by Yasmine Galenorn

Sexual Ecstasy & The Divine explores sacred sexuality and the relationship between our sexual selves and the Divine. With sections on autoerotism, fantasy, alternative sexuality and sexual communion with your partner, Ms. Galenorn helps you learn how to tie the body and spirit together, how to reach the Divine through use of your Goddess-given temple of flesh, blood and skin.

In what is, perhaps, the first book on Pagan spirituality to directly address alternative practices so accepted by many Pagans today, including BDSM, polyamory, and sacred sexual practices, Ms. Galenorn is not afraid to tackle issues many authors shy away from, and she offers guidance so that you might form new perceptions on these subjects... [More on this New Book]

Witchin' - A Handbook for Teen Witches
by Fiona Horne

Teen Witches are popping up everywhere. TV shows like Charmed, Buffy, Sabrina and movies like Practical Magic and Harry Potter have awoken Teens to a modern, magical world of spell casting and personal empowerment and they can't get enough! SPIN Magazine recently stated that "Witchcraft is the Number One topic of interest for Teens". In Witchin' - A Handbook for Teen Witches best selling author Fiona Horne teaches Teens how they can turn on to positive Witchcraft, separate fact from fantasy and start seeing the world in an exciting new way.

Problems at school? Problems at home? Or just problems with everything? Witchin' is packed with advice, ideas, and inspiration - magickal and practical - to deal with peer pressure, pimple pressure, and parent pressure. It's also full of Fiona's insights about her own Teen traumas -- and about how positive magick can help. ... [More on this New Book]

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

NEW THIS Week...

Thread by thread: A protest narrative from Washington D.C., Jan 18, 2003
by Sierra Black

The trip down to DC was a testament to Mercury's retrograde. Our 7.5 hour drive turned into more than 10. We went from bad weather to unpredictable traffic problems to mysteriously long rest stops. I'd wanted to be in Lafayette Park for the webweaving, and was frustrated that the delays were causing us to miss it. So I began to weave myself, around the time others were gathering to build webs. I took up my massive knitting needles and a bag of yarn and slowly transformed it into a long river of variegated blue so soft and bouncy it feels alive to the touch.

We arrived in DC in time to join Women in Black for their evening vigil. A diverse crowd lined the city block, some drumming and dancing while others huddled together around tiny candles. The cold was a shock - I'd been to protests in DC in... [Full Article]

Sacred or Profane?
by Judith

Any action, place, or belief can be considered sacred or profane depending on the motives or perceptions that engender it. Sacrifice of self, of captured enemies, of unblemished children, of edible animals, of inedible animals; consecration of buildings, groves, constructs, naturally occuring landmarks, bodies of salt and fresh water; recognition of the sacred status of women, of men, of children, of old people; reviling the baser status of women, men, children, old people--every action or concept that is possible to do or think has been done or thought somewhere sometime and considered to be equally good or bad. I do not think there is an absolute of sacredness to be applied to an action or place to fix it as immutably good or bad that can be employed by Mankind as a tool or standard. Rather, I think that God(or if preferable God/dess/s/desses)causes things, places, and actions to be sacred to us and for us the process is one of recognition rather than endowment or creation.

Focusing on actions as possibly the most dangerous and disruptive of the group, how can we know if an action... [Full Article]

Life and the Sacred
by Alan

Many Pagans began their religious life within other traditions, usually Christianity. In what ways does Paganism differ from Christianity? This essay will explore the idea of the sacred by distinguishing Pagan and Christian conceptions. My hope is that through contrast the Pagan reader can discover, live and act in a way that reflects a uniquely Pagan understanding of the sacred as both numinous and immanent.

Religion is the human response to and expression of the sacred. "The sacred always manifests itself as a reality of a wholly different order from natural realities." (Eliade, p. 10) Religious language and ritual symbolically and metaphorically express the sacred that is manifested in phenomena. Phenomena itself, whether fire, air, power or energy isn't sacred, but rather something "Other." Natural phenomena are perceived by their senses and are associated with the "Other" which is titled, "numinous." Numinous is a term introduced by Rudolf Otto in The Idea of the Holy (1917) to describe the non-rational, non-sensory experience or feeling whose primary and immediate object is outside the self. (Otto, p. 5ff.) The numinous is essentially different, it is "Other," it is not human or even cosmic... [Full Article]

The Sacred as a Moral act with Religious Value
by deò

It is common for Pagans to proclaim that everything is sacred. The reasoning goes like this: everything is deity, therefore everything is sacred. This conclusion has problems, however. By maintaining that everything is sacred, we must also be willing to defend this statement: "To let live is sacred in all cases. To kill is sacred in all cases." The first response to such a statement would be that it is contradictory. However, the staunch Pagan may respond to our criticism by saying that contradiction is also sacred.

Let us explore the errors in this supposition.

Consider the following statement: "Everything that is sacred exists". This may seem like an inane and obvious observation, but we will see its importance in a moment. Obviously if something doesn't exist ö at least in some manner ö it cannot possibly be sacred. Sacred is an adjective that only has meaning when assigned to a noun. So if we say that everything in existence is sacred, and everything that is sacred exists, we are saying formally that all X is Y and all Y is X. In... [Full Article]

From Last Week...

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost..
by Wren Walker

I'll begin this week's column with a few words of thanks. I appreciate all of the feedback that I receive from our readers whether that comes in the form of praise or critique. It is always nice to hear that someone read a piece and something clicked. It is also gratifying to get constructive criticism. I don't mind that at all. Any thoughts that I may offer up here should never be considered the carved-in-granite absolute final words concerning any topic. They are just my current take or theories on various issues. Either way --whether you agree with my premise on a particular subject or not -- the point is that you took the time to read it -- and to hopefully think about it -- and then perhaps to respond in some way. So, thank you.

Since I devoted some previous column time to the topics of cultural integrity and the preservation of indigenous peoples and lore, I feel it only fair to use a bit of cyberspace here to address what many see as the other side of the coin: Eclectics. (Many Eclectics, in fact, wrote and asked me 'to please be fair' and so, this one is for you.)... [Full Article]

Community "Business?"
by Patricia (Trish) Telesco

We often speak very respectfully of the neo-pagan ability to network quickly and effectively. And I would be the last person to say this aptitude isn't "good" -- but it is a power the community needs to use wisely. Words, especially those over the internet are easily misconstrued. Ideas or information trickling down through different people can also loose shape and coherency, not to mention truthfulness. Indeed, the danger in our networking is what we might call the fish story -- it doesn't matter if you caught the fish, how big it really was, if you let it go, or if you got turned over in the boat. The reality is that somebody is either going to embellish this information, or pass it along to those who really have no reason to take interest (or be involved) in this now very muddy adventure... [Full Article]

Queer Initiation
by Aspen

In many forms of Paganism a new member usually goes through some type of initiation. Usually these are planned ceremonies with certain steps that are performed and certain oaths that are spoken. I'd like to talk to you about another type of initiation; one that is equally -- if not more -- powerful than any type of planned ritual. I'm talking about initiation as a Queer person.

Now I'm not talking about realizing that you are Gay or Lesbian or Bisexual or Transgendered. Those are things that most of us realize from a very earlier age and it's simply part of us throughout our lives, for better or worse. Nor am I talking about when you have your first sexual encounter.... [Full Article]

A Perspective on the Sacred and Profane
by Lisa Mc Sherry & Daniel Myers

This is a juicy topic, one I've been mulling over for a few weeks now. The difficulty has arisen from one thing: it's been hard to reconcile profane acts like terrorism into my essential notion of a sacred universe. With events like 9/11 lingering in the culture and the day's glorious rainbow after a hard rain, I've been stumped. Then I realized that it boils down to a simple dichotomy: nouns are inherently sacred, but verbs have the potential to profane. While this may seem a bit simplistic, it actually describes how profanity can exist in a sacred universe... [Full Article]

Defining The Indefinable
by L. G. Starr (a/k/a Iko)

Paul James (the "Gardener Guy" host of HGTV's show Gardening By The Yard ) grumbled a few Saturdays ago about his dislike for the word 'organic' and the term "organic gardening." If I understand Mr. James correctly he in no way is against organic gardening as he has gardened 'organically' for over two decades. However, Mr. James has a general pet peeve with the term 'organic.' He believes the term has become so generally used it now means very little. In its most broad definition, Mr. James believes, to garden organically is to do so without the aid of commercial chemicals... [Full Article]

An Argument for the Exercise of Natural Law
by Lili Fugit

Is nothing profane? Or is that the actual question? The real question, when directed at Pagans, Wiccans, and Witches, seems to be "Do you have any absolute moral values?" After all, most of us left organized religions that told us what was right and wrong and struck out on our own to figure it out for ourselves.

The bigger question could be this: does the value we, as members of the Pagan community, place upon free will act to the detriment of moral standards?... [Full Article]


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