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










Weekly Update: 3/17/2003

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: March 17th. 2003
Times Viewed: 3,467

Dozens of Photos: Jason has a incredible memorial up over at www.firetribe.com with some wonderful pictures and an option for you to leave your thoughts. - thanks Jason.
J. P. Slota...
(August 3, 1969 -- March 13, 2003)

by Peg Aloi

I hope the readers of this will forgive me, but the only way to write this is to say it all directly to you.

My friend, where are you?

How can I go on without you? Your smile, your loving friendship, your sure-footed way of walking through life? How could you leave so many of us behind, lost without you?

How can it be, that we won't be camping together at Brushwood this summer, and every summer? How can it be you won't come to my Yule party next year? How can it be that we'll never eat breakfast together in The Corral again, you with your customary corned beef hash, me wondering why they always run out of whole-wheat toast? How can it be, you'll never again ask my advice about which shirt to wear with this kilt? How can it be, I'll never see your face in the audience when I'm performing, always smiling and supportive and always acting like it's a special occasion? How can it be, we won't sit in your campsite anymore on a hot July evening, having finished dinner and watching the glorious sunset clouds roll in, sharing dirty jokes and bad impersonations and juicy gossip over coffee? How can it be, we won't have endless meandering conversations in your car anymore, on the way to pick up camping supplies (both practical and decadent: citronella oil and single malt scotch), talking all the while about music, magic, books, people, food, travel, sex, the past, the future, now? How can it be, you won't ever again send me a silly card on my birthday, or at Valentines Day, or Samhain? How can it be, you won't ever again be there with a kind word, or a smile that says everything?

My friend, where are you? Is this another of the practical jokes you're famous for?

Someone called you the Lord of Misrule and oh, it's true! Coyote is not more cunning when it comes to planning the perfect "gotcha!" I always loved your talent for this: elaborate schemes designed to bring laughter to many and even to the targets of the jokes. But because you knew people so well, you always chose ways of teasing that could never be construed as mean-spirited. We let you poke fun in your inimitable way because we knew you'd only do this with people you loved and respected, and who you knew they were loved and respected... [Full Article]


Update from Waterhawk...
(3/16/2003)

A few days ago Witchvox posted some of my words involving a friend, JP, who was dying. It was posted on the day that he did cross-over. The e-mails that I have received in light of that article, has been, for me, overwhelming. But a good overwhelming. But its interesting that here was a man, a beautiful spirit, that very few of the community of Witchvox knows. Wish they did know him, but most did not.

Was he in the Pagan community for 20-30 years?... No... he came into the community just when he should have.

Was he a big time Pagan author?... No... although I think I did see him write down a tasteless joke once.

Did he do wondrous rituals and ceremonies for the community?... not really, unless you count him getting ready for the showers with his leopard print bathrobe and leather shaving kit and fuzzy slippers, and that was a ritual all unto itself( and yes, he did hold the focus of people when he did that).

Did he hold workshops and councils for the community?... no... unless you count sitting in his space during Starwood in the morning watching people walk by and guessing which had sex the night before and what category to place them in. (oh, now the secrets out).

Did he have Mother Teresa aspects for the people... well... not really, although he cared for the community unlike most did, so maybe he did and I didn't recognize him for he would have been the best dressed nun I would have ever seen. So did he lead rites of passages for the younger ones... not in the sense we look at, but he did steal a pair of pants from a young man during his loss of virginity, and place them on a pole for all to see... and to be there to video tape those most embarrassing moments that we sometimes have during festival times (does anyone know where those tapes are by chance?). I guess that's a rite of passage.

So if he wasn't a big nosed pagan, then why all the brouhaha about him to the hundreds of thousands of pagans that are going to read about him... . Wellllllll...I'm, real glad you are asking that, 'cause I'm gonna tell you... .the big deal about JP was... [Full Article]




Behind Enemy Lines...
by Wren Walker

Remember the 'new normal' that we were all supposed to get used to after 9/11? Well, I hope that you didn't get too used to it because everything is about to change again. Monday is the final deadline for any diplomatic solutions. Britain's P.M. Tony Blair, U.S. President Bush and the Spanish premier, Jose Maria Aznar meeting in the Azores today scrawled the heretofore rhetorical 'Those who are not with us are against us' onto the military-force gauntlet and tossed it at the feet of the U.N., NATO and the world. Come Tuesday then, we may all be living behind enemy lines.

Europe knows what that means. So do the Israelis and the Palestinians. So do the surviving veterans of all of the previous wars and military actions. They may be better prepared for that scenario than some of the rest of us are. Most of Europe actually lived behind the Nazi enemy lines in World War II. Anyone -- whether civilian, Resistance or Allied military -- who was caught where they should not be, met an untimely and often gruesome end. When the Allied forces finally achieved their own battlefronts, the Nazis and their sympathizers in turn met a similar fate. No one on either side wanted to be captured behind enemy lines in Europe, the Pacific, Korea or Vietnam.

But even those familiar with that type of experience will still have some adjusting to do. Unlike previous wars, the dividing lines between 'them' and 'us' are not so clearly defined. How can we know who is for us and who is against us when we can't even be sure who the us is that we must choose to be either for or against? On Tuesday (or shortly thereafter) will France and Germany be an us or a them? What about the U.N. and NATO? It will be difficult to see these nations and international bodies as true 'enemies' of the United States, Britain and Spain simply because they disagree with our policies on Iraq. But that is the line that is being drawn. In the new black- and - white, good- vs -evil world that we are formulating, there is only them and us. If this is to be our 'new, new normal' then, we are all on very shaky ground... [Full Article]



The Turning of the Tide: A protest narrative from New York City
by Sierra Black

We drove overnight to NYC, staggering into Nathan's place appallingly few hours before dawn and stealing just two hours sleep before getting up again to face our first challenge of the day; navigating the New York subway system. Some helpful pro-Palestine protesters showed us a shortcut that still seemed like a painfully long bus ride on an overcrowded train.

When we came up into the cold at Union Square, we found only a small group of Pagans waiting for us, their blue Spiral banners fluttering in the cold morning air. A growing crowd of students milled around, a little away from our Cluster. Within moments of our arrival, a cop approached to interview us. Who were we? Were we planning on attending the rally? How did we intend to get there? Repeated several times. The mood wasn't friendly, but not exactly violent either

The police left and Starhawk arrived and we circled up to open our magic and set our intention for the day. As we circled, the crowd grew and the police began erecting barricades to hold us in. Our consensus process around intention was a bit rushed and imperfect. Several of us were interested in marching with the Performing Arts feeder march, while Star and a few others wanted to lend our energy to the students who were gathering in Union Square. My affinity group had decided not to risk arrest, but we also wanted to stay with the Pagan Cluster, and after a discussion with others in the Cluster and a moment of circle together, we decided that the student march, while they were planning to civil disobedience and claim the street, was safe enough to allow us to comfortably participate... [Full Article]

Witchvox NOTE: If you have an alternative point of view and gathered with Pagans of like mind to express it, feel free to send in your coverage.




PaganSpace.org - Pulling it all Together
by Cather Steincamp

We're at an exciting stage of evolution in the Pagan Community.

In the last few years, we've actually begun the necessary steps to get together as a Community, on the local, state, regional, and national levels. Ideas are being shared, groups are working together, and realistic, practical goals are being set. Sometimes these goals aren't met, but sometimes they are-- often because of lessons learned in the past. One of these goals is a thing I call PaganSpace.

PaganSpace is fixed indoor space for the Pagan Community-- Pagan Community Centers.

The need for easily accessible space to hold religious, political, and social meetings has never been greater. While we are steadily improving the public perception of Paganism, there remains enough lingering doubt to cause problems getting space for public events. Furthermore, privacy and comfort levels are not at their highest at a coffeeshop or a bookstore, and a private home has numerous limitations, both in terms of size and space as well as safety for the people that live there. Furthermore, parking at a private home can cause problems with the neighbors, and there are legitimate zoning issues, not to mention issues that have been exaggerated for the purposes of persecution.

Pagan Community Centers resolve this problem. In addition to events that the center itself might create, other local organizations can borrow and/or rent the location for events, creating a gathering point for the community as well as a mutually beneficial relationship between the organizations in the community and the Center itself ... [Full Details]

Witch Hunts - Exposing The Lies
by Kerr Cuhulain

(NEW 4 Part Article STARTS this week!)


DemonBusters PART I

All of the myths that I've shown you so far have been assembled on various information sites created by evangelical Christians. One of the best examples of such a collection by an information ministry is the "End-Time Deliverance Ministry" web site of Stan and Elizabeth Madrak of Jackson, Mississippi. One of the reasons that I want to show it to you is that it is such a rich source of misinformation. The Madraks's web site at demonbuster.com is a compilation of information from various sources, each of whom has picked up on the urban legends that I have told you about so far. This will demonstrate once again how urban legends are spread from one person to another. Half of the materials listed on the Demonbusters site is from the deliverance manuals of Gene and Earling Moody, who have themselves obtained their information from other sources. An examination of the Madrak's site will show you how the influence of the myths that we have examined so far has expanded into the evangelical community. An indication of how far it has expanded may be gained from a claim on the Madrak's site that as of January 9, 2003, 1,040,000 people had visited their web site. That is a lot of people that have been exposed to the misinformation presented there.

To Experience PART ONE (of 4) of this New Article - "DemonBusters" - 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...

The Miracle Tree: Demystifying the Qabalah
Author: R. J. Stewart

"Books on Qabalah daunt many people, but the literature is not the living tradition, and certainly not the Miracle Tree itself. We do not have to study, learn, or wade through copious and often redundant material. Instead, we can discover and practice simple but powerful "forms" that open awareness to our living presence on the Miracle Tree. This book is in plain English. No background in Victorian occultism is necessary to use The Miracle Tree, which is entirely contemporary and without exotic terminology"... [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.



Bardic Circle at Witchvox:
(Week 15 - The Magick continues...)

This week we feature a new performance by Gallows Hill called 'Grave Situation

"This song ventured my first venture into goth. The story of its conception has potential to evolve into something of a legend. Basically, I was at the first jam session with former vocalist Anderson Mar (back when we were Othniel), and I was tuning my guitar. I just played the first riff off the top of my head to make sure the guitar was in tune, when suddenly Andie just started grooving and singing. As it turned out, her lyric sheet for her song "Grave Situation" was the first one she turned to. Almost mystical, isn't it?.Kev"

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 Essays THIS Week...

Honor Old Ways, Create New
by Katherine May

Can Pagans really exist in a "tribal" structure? A tribe is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as "a group of (especially primitive) families or communities, usually linked by cultural ties and having a recognized leader; also, any similar natural or political division."

When you say the word "tribe," usually the idea that comes to mind are groups associated with early nomadic people. Tribes were families living together, usually traveling together. They would eat together, hunt together, and raise their children together. When something was developed (such as a tool or a weapon), it benefited the entire tribe, and when something bad happened, it also affected the entire tribe. If they were not careful, one weak link could destroy the entire group.

The question remains, how does tribalism relate to Paganism? At least one Pagan in every area has a fantastic dream of getting all the Pagans together into one big happy community growing herbs, dancing and drumming every night under the stars. Some of us have dreams of recreating those tribes today. Living with a large group of Pagans is a good fantasy. It's great for festivals and... [Full Article]



Utopia Now
by Esthmarelda

We all have that vision; taking our kids to a school where Pagan holidays are celebrated and made into inspirational artwork by those beautiful little hands. We dream of a community where we can feel safe, open and embraced by everyone else. For each person the vision is a little different, some are purists preferring the old ways of village life, others are modern in sensibility and manner. The vision, however is pure. Pagans, as we grow in number, long above all else for a sense of community.

What most of us take only too long to realize is that our sense of community is not limited by our dreams. While we seem to be growing in numbers we seem also to be retreating from any community that is not Pagan. Most of us live in a state of trepidation when it comes to non-Pagan communities. We feel exposed, unwanted and often times feared or hated. The real question behind Pagan tribalism isn't so much if we'll ever find that solid sense of community but where we'll find it.

As we begin to further network and meet other Pagans, as... [Full Article]



Pagan Village?
by Talma StormPhoenix

I've been thinking about Pagan tribalism and I've written three different versions on this topic revising what I really think as I've tried putting it into words. It hasn't been easy because in trying to do the pros and cons of an actual "Pagan village" I've come to think seriously about it because as we all know thought is a very powerful thing!

At first I was thinking that it would be great to have lots of Pagans living in one area. It seemed like a great idea at the time and in some instances it probably is still a good idea, but once a group gets too large in an area other things can start to happen. Think about the inner cities. I am African-American myself and when I look around I get a weird feeling when I move from one part of the city I live in to others. No that Pittsburgh isn't so poor that any area should look like a complete dump, but there are areas that do. Where are they? The ghettos, the mostly black areas of the city. Stereotypes and misconceptions abound about black... [Full Article]

From Last Week...

There is No Zuul...
by Wren Walker

I really wanted to write about something beautiful this week. All this war talk is just so depressing. Maybe I could update my regular readers on what the ducks are doing down at the Little Pond? But that didn't seem quite right. Perhaps something a bit more sophisticated or witty then? I pulled down a few tomes of well-loved poetry, reread a bit of Emerson and devoured all of the Dave Barry archives. But that didn't work either. And so, this week's column will not be about something beautiful after all. I just wanted you to know that I tried. And that it is right here where you can choose to opt out.

We are on the brink of war. A final date has been established, a line has been drawn and -- barring any last-minute act of diplomatic genius or the arrival of an alien fleet from the planet Bluto -- we will be bombing Baghdad come March 17th or soon thereafter. It grieves me to say 'we'. But we, it is. For we are all in this together... [Full Article]



Reflections on Scott Cunningham
by Boudica

It was March 28th, 1993, when Scott Cunningham passed over into Summerland. Yet it seems it hasn't put a dent in the work he had taken upon himself. If you mention Solitary Wicca to any pagan/witch/Wiccan, the name Scott Cunningham comes up immediately.

Seems everyone who walks the path of Wicca has something to say about Scott. Though many praise him for pointing out that Wicca isn't just for those who are coven bound or traditionally initiated, there are many who point out just as quickly that Scott turned the Wiccan Community on its ear. From Scott's discussion of initiation to the spells and rituals that he published, Scott's books have been discussed, analyzed and lovingly dog-eared.

What is it, though, that made Scott one of the most read, best loved and so widely followed writers within the Wiccan Community? Why do most of the Neo-Wiccan community love Scott Cunningham while many of the Old Time Wicca practitioners rip him apart at every opportunity?... [Full Article]



An Ostara Tale
by Scoutghost

It was long ago, and it was the time of winter. Snow covered the ground and the chill in the air made this a harsh and unforgiving time to be about. Whiteness everywhere. The world slept...

A little girl had strayed from her home (a very bad thing, but such as children are wont to do) and she found herself wandering about in the woods; alone. She was cold and tired, and afraid. In despair, she dropped down in the snow and began to cry. She cried for her home. She cried for her mother and father. She cried for her life.

Then she saw it - a bird - a frozen bird - lying, dying in the snow. She jumped up and rushed to take the bird into her arms. She held it close to herself; wrapping it tightly in her arms. She tried to warm the bird and thaw it's frozen wings, but it was too cold and life was quickly leaving the bird's body along with its warmth. She was beside herself! She thought only of the bird now, not seeing that she, herself would soon be in the same situation that this small bird was in now... [Full Article]






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