Weekly Update: 3/3/2003|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: March 3rd. 2003
Times Viewed: 5,210
Compelling without the Yelling... (by Wren Walker)
(Featured Articles Below)
My morning routine doesn't vary much. I usually scuffle out to the kitchen, pour myself a cup of coffee, flop down into my easy chair and do nothing else until the caffeine kicks in. I know from past experiences that if I try to do more than sip-blink-sip that I will only end up spending at least thirty minutes wiping up something gooey or apologizing profusely to a very huffy cat. Sometimes both. (Don't ask.) Only when my sip-to-blink ratio has stabilized do I reach for the remote and thumb on C-Span's Washington Journal. Of course, I may still end up apologizing to the cats anyway since they really don't like loud noises very much. It all depends on who is on WJ and what the topic is.
Today at least, the cats and I are still on speaking terms. Which is rather remarkable really when you consider that Dixie is definitely a conservative and Ruby pretty much swings liberal. Dixie knows that there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Ruby is more of the "let's talk over a pile of catnip, shall we" kind of gal.
Needless to say, when we do things Ruby's way, we have to serve up separate (but equal) piles of catnip. Dixie probably secretly condemns such a socialistic solution, but what else can I do? She throws a literal hissy fit if Ruby so much as brushes up against her. And I don't discount the possibility that Ruby -- for all her wide-eyed looks of oblivious innocence -- may be flicking her tail under Dixie's nose just to get her going. So in this household hotbed of simmering political tension, Washington Journal often sets the tone for the rest of the day... [Full Article]
Photo Credit: a wonderful shot sent over last year from Ricky firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks my friend!
The Phenomenal Pagan Web...
The Pagan web is a gold mine of magick, passion and inspiring muse... Since day one we have been honored to both be a part of it and to point YOU to the thousands of offerings that are Witch, Wiccan and Pagan related. Singling out even a few tends to get us in trouble, but when we see hard work and consistency we simply can't resist. Mostly we tend to enjoy sites that are faithfully updated, have a good 'signal to noise ratio', don't steal or post full news articles (or other copyrighted material) , cite sources, and try to be original... The Wiccan Pagan Times (This month they interview Uk author Kate West - an inspiring conversation with a fascinating woman) and Echoed Voices (M. L. Benton and co. do it again, like clockwork with yet another solid monthly update) are a couple of faves.
Shops, Crafts, Auctions, Tarot, Schools and more: Consuming the lions share of the listings in our Links section are Pagan commercial ventures. In the past two years, commercialism on the Pagan net has simply exploded with just about everything (and every thought/projection) you can imagine.... available, right now. 40% of the listings in our links section offer you products and services.
Member/Chat Sites: Second only to Pagan commercial ventures are Pagan Message Board Websites... This type of site is typically 'upped quickly via a php/nuke configuration, msn/yahoo shell or one of many message board cgi's out on the market and is usually very busy with heated (and not so heated) discussions on all things Pagan. Many of these sites are extremely busy and generate thousands of page requests daily. If you are looking to start a site and want to build traffic quickly a message board site is the way to go. The Witches' Voice is honored to point you to nearly 700 live Pagan Message board based sites...
For a vast listing of over 6, 000 Pagan websites Visit VoxLinks Pagan Search at Witchvox today! We are sure you will find some 'must bookmark' sites therein.
5 Hot New Essays and a New Topic...
This week, we feature an inspiring new essay in our Gay Pagan section entitled Searching For Queer Spirit by Rainbird, an eye-opening piece by Rev. Jeanine, De Oya, Keeys called The Unknown Pagans and a new article for your Festival tips section called Event Expectations -- Artists, Writers, Speakers & Vendors vs. Facilitators & Attendees by Trish Telesco. -- Also featured this week are two essays for the March topic "Pagan Tribalism" - A Druid Hearth - The Dream of Tir Aud (The Golden Land) by Rev. C.K. and Now or Never: The Pathway to Community by Mena Laughing Wolf
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.
The Witches' Voice
| Witch Hunts - Exposing The Lies|
by Kerr Cuhulain
(NEW Article featured this week!)
Witch Queens PART II
Chapter 16 is the aforementioned "Is Roman Catholicism Witchcraft?" None of the previous chapters have pictures, but this one is jammed full of drawings and photographs, as is the rest of the book from this point on. This chapter is the same anti-Catholic rant that one finds in her publisher's tracts and comics. In the next chapter Brown attacks other denominations such as the Charismatics. Then she returns to her attack on the New Age in chapter 13. She attacks the Hindus again, inferring that Brahman, Shiva and Kali are really demons. Yoga is denounced for it's Hindu influence and because she believes that it opens up people to demons. One diagram depicts "Surya Namaskar... the 'Sun Salutation'" showing the different stages of this exercise around a central picture of the sun. "Each position is a position of worship of the sun god (Called Baal in the Bible) " Brown tells us. Yes, the Bible lists a sun God named Baal, but that doesn't mean that Baal is the same solar deity being saluted here.
To Experience PART TWO (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!
New Book Releases for March 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...
Witchcraft: An Alternative Path
Author: Ann Moura
Do you feel a kinship with all the life forms of Earth--animal, plant, and mineral? Do you find solace in nature, accepting the changes in the seasons and in life itself? Do you sense that God is male AND female?
If so, you may already be following the path of spirituality know as the Old Religion, or Witchcraft. In this book, you will discover the beliefs and practices of this alternative path. Learn how Witches bridge the worlds of the seen and the unseen, how they follow a moral ethic of personal responsability that harms no one, and how they celebrate and honor the God and the Goddess... [More on this New Book]
Also New this month...BR>
Visit Pagan Books at Witchvox today to see what's new and what's HOT.
| NEW THIS Week... |
Event Expectations -- Artists, Writers, Speakers & Vendors vs. Facilitators & Attendees
by Trish Telesco
In the last decade it's been my pleasure and privilege to speak at over 200 neo-pagan events. Some were great, some good, some not so good, but at each one everyone involved had specific expectations. And in our humanness not all of those expectations are realistic or fair.
Speakers and teachers (those not vending) expect to have students. That's not unreasonable. After all, they've taken the time to put together materials, ponder how to teach those materials, and come to the event (often at their own cost) . This means that a venue needs solid community support by way of both pre-event advertising and pre-event sales. Sadly, those two things don't always happen. Folks, if you're planning to go to a gathering - PLEASE make a reservation so speakers and teachers don't cancel thinking their knowledge isn't wanted or appreciated.
Now having said that, there are certainly times when we must step back... [Full Article]
The Unknown Pagans
by Rev. Jeanine, De Oya, Keeys
Dusk swirled around into clear darkness. Jewels of light dotted the sky like seeds scattered onto a plot of rich black soil for the spring planting. Suddenly, she rode through the sky, riding her broom with a hood-covered face. No one noticed her before - she appeared from nowhere, yet she was always there. The Moon was full and nestled between the vibrant stars. It was as milky as a nine-month pregnant mother awaiting the birth of her precious seed. She continued to soar through the air raising her arms as to pay homage to goddess Moon. Finally, she pointed her broomstick downward towards the earth and landed into a circle awaiting her arrival.
It was a circle of individuals who were holding hands and singing "All Praises Be" to Oshun, Yemaja, Isis, Kali Mata, Oya, Aja, and many more. The Priestess within the circle lowered her hood to reveal locks of long black kinky dreds. The Moon light shone upon her dark coffee-with-cream complexion as she threw her head back and raised her arms once again. Those of the circle followed her lead and lowered their coverings revealing... [Full Article]
Searching For Queer Spirit
My boyfriend and I were in a gay bookstore in Vancouver, B.C. We always manage to end up wandering over to the spirituality section to see if anything catches our eyes. Conspicuously facing outwards was a book titled Gay Wicca. We hurriedly snatched up two copies and began browsing the mysteries within.
The book's cover was illustrated with a rustic and reclining bare-chested boy. The contents contained the basics: an outline of Wicca, tools, herbs, the eight Sabbats. It was a basic "101" Wiccan publication. Upon closer examination, it had phrases stating, "Wicca recognizes only one god, the Horned God, Lord of the Wild." It later says that another deity from a different pantheon is sometimes substituted, "such as Apollo." Further perusal was frustrating. Nowhere could be found anything specifically mentioning gay men. We both put our copy of the book down and shrugged.
First off, I have no problems with 101 style books. Secondly, I have no problems with the typical misinformation given out in this type of literature. Examples range from the Murray Myth of the "Old Religion" surviving intact up to modern... [Full Article]
A Druid Hearth - The Dream of Tir Aud (The Golden Land)
by Rev. C.K.
I stood just outside my back door this morning and watched the flight of robins and barn swallows through the heavy misty morning winds and dreamt of a homestead with rolling hills and the solitude I prefer when I awaken in the morning. Silent prayers spoken within my heart, a second cup of coffee in hand I then return to my desk to fire up the system, and get my morning fix of news and mail. For some reason out of the usual, I scan down the page and here it is... .an invitation to write about the topic that I was just focusing thought about. Well, the weather is turning to rain, the chili-to-be is bubbling on the stove, and the cat has decided not to terrorize the house in a pre-emptive fit of the "elevenses." Why not?
Sure, here in Texas we are blessed to have the Council of Magical Arts and the 100 acres of Pagan plantation/playground - it's a beautiful bit of Gaia, and for those Pagani in Texas that have yet to see it, you're... [Full Article]
Now or Never: The Pathway to Community
by Mena Laughing Wolf
We all want the same things. The kiss of a warm breeze laced with the fragrance of night-blooming Jasmine. The sweet sounds of our children's giggles as they tumble and play in tall grass under the shade of ancient trees. A world of captivating wilds, where a variety of creation can be seen roaming the heights of the greenest Earth and the depths of the bluest sea. We envision humanity living in symbiosis with this environment. It can be assumed that to proclaim oneself "Pagan" means simultaneously embracing these images and consciously working towards their manifestation in reality. It is a fact that most Pagans are performing this important labor of love everyday. It would be so easy for Pagans to live together in one large eclectic love nest, wouldn't it?
By all standards of logic and reason, it should be attainable. We have similar goals, ethics, practices and beliefs, and besides the entire world was Pagan once before, what would stop us from recreating this somewhere on Earth right now? The collection of ideas I've just described happen to be parts of a... [Full Article]
| From Last Week... |
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]
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?
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
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
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]
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