Weekly Update: 3/31/2003|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: March 31st. 2003
Times Viewed: 4,545
The World Needs A Good Mission Statement!
by Wren Walker
(Featured Articles Below)
What is the purpose of humanity? Why are we here?
These are the big questions usually left for the theologians and philosophers to ponder. It's their job to work on the puzzle of human existence. Unfortunately for everyone who lives here on good old planet Earth, these 'experts' haven't proven that they are any better at answering those questions than anyone else. In fact, their track record pretty much stinks. I think that it's time that we fire their pompous little butts -- since they obviously aren't getting the job done -- and turn the problem over to someone else. But who?
I had a feeling that you would ask. So, using the 'Official Dick Cheney Method For The Selection and Election of Candidates', I made up a list of all of the people who might be good at this job. Ah, yes! And the results are in! The most qualified people to determine the fate and direction of humankind are....(drum roll)... (sound of envelope being torn open)...Well, what do ya know? Cue the orchestra. It's us! Yes, humanity wins! Try to keep those acceptance speeches short. There are a lot of us who would like to speak. (And where is that post-awards party being held again?)... [Full Article]
May the Gods protect the innocent and bring our loved ones safely home. (WV Staff)
| Troop Support Forum ... NOW UP! |
A forum has been set up for you to post your prayers and words of support to our troops and military personnel. If you are the family member of a Pagan serviceman or woman and wish to list your loved one's name and very general location so that Pagans may include him/her in support rituals, you may do so. Prayers and affirmations for the safety and protection of our military personnel serving in combat positions is especially appreciated and encouraged.
The Witches' Voice has also received many requests for information on programs that send aid to the troops. Please read the general guidelines page before sending mail and packages. If you know of any other programs conforming to these DOD guidelines that are available, you may list them on this forum.
Important Note: Whether one supports the war in Iraq or not, we all want our troops to safely return home to their loved ones. There are many places on the net where one can debate the policies and actions of the US/UK in Iraq. This is not one of them.
POST YOUR Support or View the Posts of Others
Military Pagans of the World: Witchvox hosts the largest contact list of Pagans Serving in the Military and has since 1997 - Click here to contact MP in your area
Witch Cinema: Signs of Spring?
by Peg Aloi
Greetings Witch Cinema Mavens!
I don't know about the rest of you, but the arrival of spring seems especially welcome this year. Perhaps it's because we've had one of the harshest winters on record in Boston. Maybe it's the war. Or the difficulty my own life has been mired in on various levels. But I am glad to be going back to my garden, and looking forward to seeing the blossoming trees and return of birds and wildlife to the parks. As well as the reawakening of long-dormant human impulses of warmth and passion: we really do seem to come to life again in the spring. Witches see spring cleaning in a magical as well as pragmatic way; we try to clear away all our negative energies and fears and stumbling blocks as we beat the dust from rugs, wash the windows and launder the drapes! And those of us who do a bit of gardening welcome the feel of the softeng soil beneath our feet and hands, the smell of decayed leaves and rain and growing things, new colors to shock our eyes after the sere, dull palette of winter. Changing seasons means changing trends in movies and TV, too!... [Full Article]
Pagan Online Comics and Pagan Comic Books
Oh My Gods! is a "Pagan based comic strip for the polytheistic masses!" by creator Shivian Montar Balaris. Created in March of 2002, Oh My Gods! has been bringing Pagan humor to it's fans for over a year now and is still going strong!
Origionally the strip started out as 5 days a week, black and white only. But now it hosts a strip 7 days a week, with weekends in full color. With +300 strips in the Archives, half-a-million viewers per month, three printed syndications, and two website syndications after it's first year alone; Oh My Gods! is obviosually not somthing to pass up! The site also features a Store, Backgrounds, Icons, Behind the Scenes material, Games, and Forums, to fulfill any fan's desires and make the Oh My Gods! Website much more then just a comic strip! So if your feelin' a need for some Pagatonic humor, make sure to go check it out! You'll be glad you did!
ED note: Look for Oh My Gods to be featured in the soon to be released chapter of Witchvox 'Pagan Art and Artists'
Shuck Comics by Rick Smith & Tania Menesse -- Issue #1: 'Shuck in Hallowed Seasonings' .. 'Shuck has his hands full on Hallowed Eve: Thursday Friday is missing out on trick or treating, the deaduns are out to cause some 'may hemmed' and his long gone companion still hasn't shown up'
Review Samples from the Shuck Website: "The stories are gentle and touching, the art's pleasingly stylish. This isn't like anything else you're reading. I don't think charming's too strong or syrupy a word for Shuck Comics. Seek it out." - Steven Grant 'Permanent Damage,' (Comic Book Resources) ... "Shuck is, to put it simply, absolutely enchanting. I can't remember the last time I read a book I knew almost nothing about and fell in love so quickly." - Greg McElhatton (iComics.com) ... "It's one part fairy tale, one part parable, with a dash of social conscience and a lot of humor. " - Matthew J. Phillion (The Small Press Magazine) -- [More Shuck Comics Listings ]
ED note2: This week we added 4 new pages to 'Pagan Books at Witchvox' - essentially breaking out Pagan Comic Books, Calendars, E-Books, and Tarot Decks.
| Witch Hunts - Exposing The Lies|
by Kerr Cuhulain
(NEW 4 Part Article STARTS this week!)
DemonBusters PART III
"Another resource that the Madrak's draw on heavily is the book Occult ABC: Exposing Occult Practices and Ideologies by Kurt E. Koch, published by Kregel Publications. We find this summarized on the "Exposing Caribbean Witchcraft" web page, starting with the listing "Black Mass" which reads: "In Haiti, the high priest drinks the blood of children at the annual festival. In the Macumba groups in Brazil, the same thing is done at the initiation of a Mae de Santo (cult mother)." Their reference to Haiti indicates that they are speaking of Vodou here. Macumba is a Brazilian mixture of magic, Spiritism, Kongo magic and Angolan mythology, brought over from Africa with the slaves. It is divided into two variants: Umbanda ("white magic") and Quimbanda ("black magic"). Followers of Vodou and Macumba do not drink the blood of children.
This is followed by a section with the title "Queen of Darkness - Queen of Black Witches" which is reminiscent of the titles claimed by several of the supposed "Witch Queens" that I examined in an earlier article in this series. In this section the Madraks state"
To Experience PART THREE (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!
More New Essays on Pagan Tribalism...
by Jeremy Comeaux
Walking the streets, seeing "blessed be" on grocery market windows, a Wiccan shop on every corner. School activities involving children beating drums, and singing words of peace and harmony. A meeting place in a field of flowers, with birds singing the Goddess's songs, a place where the Wiccans can practice the celebrations of the seasons and monthly rituals. People wearing there pentacles without fear of discrimination. A place where Witches aren't green hags, flying broomsticks, and scaring children away. A place where the word Witch brings a wonderful sensation through your body... [Full Article]
Pagan Tribalism? Can We Say Pagan Feudalism?
In theory the idea of the perfect Pagan village is a great one. We'd live in a place where we can worship the Lord and Lady together in peace and harmony. We can send our children to school without fear that their differences will make them outcast from their peers. We'd all be one big happy family, with a shared vision and a shared goal. Utopian visions are nice. But the problem with Utopia is that reality is a far cry from the vision... [Full Article]
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 4/15, 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.
New Book Releases for April 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...
Earth Magic: A Book of Shadows for Positive Witches, Revised Edition
Author: Marion Weinstein
"I first wrote my Book of Shadows in 1979. It was much shorter then, and deliberately intended for a small audience. In contrast to my other writings about magic. I still wanted my personal Witchcraft work to remain somewhat of a secret -- for other Witches only. A member of my coven teased me for conducting my own private witch-hunt -- in this case not to persecute Witches, but to isolate them as book customers"... [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 17 - The Magick continues...)
This week we feature a new performance by Joshua Bardwell entitled The Old Gods -- "Written in a burst of inspiration one Samhain--but it's fun all year round! "
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!.
| From Last Week... |
In Your Dreams...
by Wren Walker
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... [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]
| 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?... [Full Article]
Update from Waterhawk...
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]
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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