Weekly Update: 3/24/2003|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: March 24th. 2003
Times Viewed: 4,071
May the Gods protect the innocent and bring our loved ones safely home. (WV Staff)
| When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -- Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) American Musician, Guitarist, Singer, Songwriter |
In Your Dreams...
by Wren Walker
(Featured Articles Below)
This has been a hellish week. I usually avoid describing things in what are traditionally Christian terms, but the images of what is transpiring in Iraq so closely mirror the biblical descriptions of hell that I would be hard pressed to come up with another term that defines the scene as well. Even as I write this, the television screen glows with images of a sky turned red by the flames of a city ablaze. Coalition troops are under attack in many areas. Some have been captured. Those of us who have friends and family in Iraq and the surrounding countries face new fears and uncertainty as 'friendly fire' incidents and behind the lines treachery begin to make news. War is hell, we know. But this one, perhaps more than any other, has brought us to the edge of its abyss. Looking into the very mouth of its inferno, we are both fascinated and repulsed by its furious and violent energy.
Perhaps part of the fascination comes from its source. For this 'hell' is not that final and ultimate solution devised by a vengeful sky-god. It is not of any divine construction at all. We did this. Seeing the images filtered through a nationalistic psyche divided by centuries of Western thought, it is hardly surprising that we could be both oddly proud and spiritually appalled at the same time.
This is a mighty power that we have unleashed upon the lands. The lightning bolts of destruction once reserved only for the gods are now in our human hands. It is no wonder that many people are trembling under the weight of that responsibility as the much touted myth of an 'antiseptic' war is being demolished before our very eyes.
The character of Obi-Wan Kenobi once remarked in the movie, Star Wars: "I felt a great disturbance in the force..." Many sensitive people across the world have certainly felt such a shaking in the psychic planes. In the past few days, I have received quite a few emails from people expressing just such feelings. It matters not whether they are for or against the war itself. They are disturbed. They write that they are deeply troubled in a way that they were neither prepared for nor trained to acknowledge.
And they are having some very strange dreams... [Full Article]
We Are Approaching The Future
by Penny J. Novack
In the early 1970s when I and my life-mate, Michael, were first asked if we would be willing to start a Pagan Way Grove in Philadelphia, we discussed the question in terms of the world situation, the environment, who we were and what we wanted, not only for ourselves but for our children. We envisioned an egalitarian process which would bring back the worship of the Old Gods and a re-sacralization of how we humans see the natural world. And we perceived what we were doing as a tiny baby step toward something we had studied and yearned toward for years. Tribalism.
And what did we see? I won't speak for Michael (it's a deal we have -- we don't speak for each other) but I saw not one, but many tribes of modern Pagans (we called ourselves neo-Pagan then but language evolves) each finding their own cooperative and meaningful way to live within a spiritual and social vision -- one which crossed all barriers of age, gender, race and ethnic background. A way of life which was inherently supportive as well as in constant touch with the meaning of the... [Full Article]
Creating The New Tribal Culture
I am a Faerie Witch. My Work involves mediating the intersections between This World and the Other Worlds. Mine is a practical Shamanic Path geared toward bringing the ecstatic into the everyday and carrying the values of the Tribal Cultures into a world where individualistic ideas and practices have torn us from the Earth's breast, from Magic's kiss, from one another's holy Embrace. We live in the World alone and are convinced that we must "make it" on our own. Those who aren't "making it," are considered failures and the level of shame we feel as a result of that sense of failure is literally killing us--body and soul. Our shame runs so deep that we cannot reach outside of ourselves and ask for help. The shame is so isolating that we cannot recognize that our neighbors and friends feel it too. The shame is so all-encompassing that it prevents us from doing the Work we came here to do--because the Work doesn't pay, does it? And if we don't get paid, we won't be considered "successful." We live in fear. Fear of impending war. Fear of financial... [Full Article]
Pagan Cluster surround the White House
by Sierra Black
The Pagan Cluster has never been so easy to spot -- they're standing in the shadow of five massive and bright pageant puppets propped on shopping carts; four represent an element, the fifth is a three-headed monster of War, Greed and Hate. They're beautiful, and the banners and props spread out around them thrill me -- it reminds me of the pageant puppetry we did as kids. The park around them is filled with 10,000 women and men, most of them wearing pink. On a rally stage at the other end of the greenspace, Susan Griffin, Alice Walker, Maxine Hong Kingston and other great writers and peace activists are preparing to take to the streets in opposition to a war on Iraq.
Here at the Pagan Cluster end of things, we've circled up in the shadow of an explosion of art, the fruits of a week of hard labor by Pagan Cluster folks and other dedicated activists. I find I'm getting used to this, learning to drop into magical space in busy parks, with... [Full Article]
Bardic Circle at Witchvox:
(Week 16 - The Magick continues...)
This week we feature a new performance by Victoria Parks entitled Song for Ostara
"Song for Ostara was inspired by my muse the day after my birthday last March. It was her birthday gift to me on a beautiful early spring day when you could finally open your windows and let in the fresh air. I was so inspired it took me nearly no time to write until I got to the third verse. I struggled with the third verse wanting to write a verse about birds. All the struggling made me tired. With fairy sleep dust in my eyes I fell to sleep with the warm spring breeze blowing on me through my bedroom window. I fell to sleep to the sound of rioting birds in the trees and the song going through my head. I dreamt the third verse complete - simple! I awoke and quickly penned it before my fickle muse could change it... " [...continued] "
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!.
A Quick Essay Note from Dio...
New Essay Topic for April 2003!
Once again, as Earth Day approaches, we ask you for your thoughts on the environment. Historically, we have gotten few responses to any essay questions relating to the environment, so the question will be slightly different this time. We'd like to know what part the natural world, the environment, Mother Earth, plays in your religion. Do you consider your religion to be "earth-based"? If so, what, if any, concerns do you have about environmental degradation and pollution, and what, if anything, do you do about it in the context of your life as a Pagan?
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 4 Part Article STARTS this week!)
DemonBusters PART II
We first encountered Vodou in Pryor's ramblings in an earlier article. Vodou does not involve bestiality or Satanic possession. Vodou doesn't require it's followers to be drunks. Vodou is not a form of Satanism.
We encounter Blood on the Doorposts again on a page in Madrak's web site with the title of Schnoebelen's other book: "Wicca: Satan's Little White Lie." This page lists "Demonic Symbols". You'll already recognize that the symbols on this list are not demonic or Satanic: "Tai Chi Symbol (Yin and Yang), Hex Signs, Italian Horn, Inverted Pentagram: Symbol of Satanism and Black Magick, Cornu, Upright Pentagram: Symbol of Wicca (white or good witchcraft), Ankh (Crux Ansanta), Twin Sowelus or SS Runes, V Sign, Disguised 666, 666 FFF, A Symbol, Bowman, Inverted Cross, The Labrys (Ax From Crete), Peace Sign, Pontifical Cross Of Lucifer, Swastika, Unicursive Hexagram."
To Experience PART TWO (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 Wiccan Wellness Book: Natural Healthcare for Mind, Body, and Spirit
Author: Laura Perry
"The Wiccan Wellness Book provides a practical section of holistic healthcare methods, including herbal remedies, exercise (such as yoga and Tai Chi), Reiki, homeopathy, massage, chiropractic, and maintaining healthy surroundings using feng shui and other energy-based techniques.
You will lean how to keep in tune with many facets of your health through a b/m/s health journal. Sections focusing on environmental health and natural healthcare methods will help you get a good grip on practical measures for optimum health. And finally, a collection of rituals for body, mind, and spirit combines spirituality and health into one holistic, attainable goal"... [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.
| 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... [Full Article]
J. P. Slota...
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?... [Full Article]
Update from Waterhawk...
by Cather Steincamp
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)... [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? ... [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
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]
| From Last 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]
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]
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]
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
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
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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