Weekly Update: 6/9/2003|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: June 9th. 2003
Times Viewed: 5,567
Greetings Pagans, Heathens, Witches, & Wiccans,
|Community Art: The WV staff would like to thank artist Melanie Baker for sharing her magick with us all... You can experience more of Melanie's work at Her Web Site |
This week are honored to, once again, offer you many new essays, a new festival review, new book releases for June, a powerful piece entitled 'The Hidden Truth Behind Joan of Arc', a new essay in the Gay Pagan section called 'History of a Mystery: The Neither Mysteries', and a HOT new 'Question of the Week".
Also new this week, Wren's Nest received a small but useful upgrade; you can now select the 'category' of news that YOU are interested. in.
The features noted above and much, much more can be experienced via the update below and throughout the 6,000 plus pages of Pagan content here at the Witches' Voice.
Next week look for Peg's update on the West Memphis Three via a new installment of 'Witch Cinema', part II of the 'The Hidden Truth Behind Joan of Arc' series and much much more.
These past 7 days have been a time of heartbreak for Wren and I as we dealt with the sudden loss of one of our family. On June 1st., Witchvox Sr. staff member, resident ultra-conservative, and loving Russian Blue Cat 'Dixie' quickly and painlessly passed over to the otherside.
The Witches' Voice has (without fail) crafted weekly updates since Feb. 1st. 1997 and Dixie (aka 'pissy face' - see proof just below) was on my lap (or crying to be) for every single one. Ya see, her sole mission in life was to stalk me and cling to me 24/7 and that is exactly what she did for nearly 15 years.
For the record, Dixie hated Witchvox and never saw any value in it. Long time WV readers will remember that we put Dixie in charge when went off to festivals. YES, she loved the power, but immediately abused it and NEVER answered a single piece of email (she did enjoy having me read them to her - *our* favorite was... "Way to celebrate your dark side pissy face - never give up, never surrender!").
Over the years there have been several pictures of Dixie posted here at TWV, including the intro shot in our 'Cats of the Craft' section (that ran from 96-01) - That shot was looted several times and someone actually used it, without permission or credit, as the masthead for their site... Dixie dealt with this disrespectful behaviour quickly and effectively.
Wren and I are 'Cat people' (as many of you are) so this was a devastating loss for us. -- Dixie had stunning green eyes, was a cuddle slut and a shameless taker... it was always ALL about her but that was ok with us, because we enjoyed being under her spell..
We will miss you 'sweetheart'... Your spirit will always be with us.
Have a magickal week everyone,
co-founder the Witches' Voice
Monday, June 9th., 2003
Seven of Sages
by Wren Walker
"The words of truth are always paradoxical." *
I really like those dumb books. You know the ones. In fact, just the other day, I bought The Complete Idiot's Guide to Celtic Wisdom (by Carl McColman). The 'Dummies' and 'Complete Idiot's Guide' series' are usually well done, well-organized and well-priced. They are an excellent introduction to any topic that you might be interested in. The 'additional reading' suggestions alone could keep you going back to the bookshop or library for many years to come.
And there is also something rather liberating about slapping one of those 'Complete Idiot's Guides' books down on the counter while looking the sales clerk or library assistant square in the eye. "Yep. I'm a dummy, an idiot as it were. I admit it. I embrace it. I don't know anything (or everything) about this topic and here's the proof of that. Just take my $18.95 ($28.99 Canadian) and I will be on my way to enlightenment. Thank you very much."
This process is such good ego therapy that I may even buy some more Dummies/Idiot books about topics that I am not even interested in just for the accompanying slice of humble pie. I wonder if anyone has published the one about deep-sea microorganisms yet. I am really not all that interested in deep-sea microorganisms but still...who could resist browsing through chapters such as "What Your Mother Never Told You About Copepods" or "Learning to Embrace Your Inner Gelatinous Zooplankton"? Okay, maybe I'm just another sucker who always falls for a good Oikopleura labradoriensis sob story involving mucus membranes... [Full Article]
The 2nd Annual OHF Spring Ball & Silent Auction
by Shea Thomas
Pagan residents in Washington, DC jokingly call it the Pagan Prom - and while there were no corsages or yearbooks in evidence, this year's Open Hearth Foundation Spring Ball & Silent Auction certainly lived up to its reputation as the DC area's premier formal Pagan event with a wealth of entertainment, an amazing collection of donated auction items, and over 80 Pagan and Pagan-friendly attendees dressed to impress.
Taking place Saturday, May 24, 2003; and raising well over $2,000 in support of the DC Pagan Community Center Project, the Spring Ball is an annual gala sponsored by The Open Hearth Foundation, Inc. (OHF) - a 501(c)(3) organization working to create dedicated gathering space and resources for Pagans of all paths. Both a financial as well as social success, this year's Ball was the most successful fundraiser to date for the four-year-old nonprofit.
As participants gathered at the Washington Ethical Society Building in North West DC, they were first greeted by the lyrical sounds of Ja Blue Knight -- a folk/rock/world-music band from New York City, powered by the accompanying voices and instruments of James Gilchrist, Celeste Ray, Bethany Burgess-Smith, and Carol Crittenden... [Full Article]
The Hidden Truth Behind Joan of Arc
Part I of a 3 Part series
by Brenda Bates, M.A., CH.t
Joan of Arc is a heroine in history as well as an enigma in the collective unconscious and, dimension of myth. Yet Joan was by no means the only woman to have fought in battle. History teaches us that Sweden's Queen Christina and Catalina de Erauso were among other women soldiers and sailors who dressed as men in order to participate in warfare ( Jewks & Landfield : Shaw, p. 168). During the Civil War in America, unknown numbers of females disguised themselves as male soldiers. Usually their gender was not discovered until injury or death. Mythology also speaks of a litany of female warriors including the Goddess Diana-Artimis and, Daphne who lived in the woods as a huntress. Virgil wrote about Camilla who represents courage in war ( seeWarner). The image of Winged Victory is depicted as female. Perhaps the most widely known of legendary women warriors are the Greek Amazons and the Nordic Valkyries.
Interestingly, most female warriors who enter into the golden halls of myth are artistically represented as carrying a bow and arrow, " [The bow] is... the emblem of the god's power... the bow and arrow, as attributes of Apollo [and Diana] stand for the sun's energy, its rays and its fertilizing and purifying powers" ( Cirlot, p. 19 & 30). Even though Joan carried her infamous sword, which was purportedly given to her by her voices/visions, during Joan's career and shortly thereafter, she was artistically rendered with a bow and arrow (see Warner). Since symbolism is deeply rooted in the collective unconscious, these works of art were a reflection of the archetypal status with which Joan would be crowned in the ancient gallery of legend.... [Full Article]
New in the Gay Pagan section this week
History of a Mystery: The Neither Mysteries
Tonight as I am writing, the moon is on the brink of waning. I felt it is an appropriate time to write about mystery traditions. The Neither Mysteries are not about to head into decline; rather they, like the moon, are dancing on the edge of in-between. Twilight, threshold, shoreline and horizon are all powerful places and times for magick. At these spaces we almost catch sight of that which has not form.
The Neither Mysteries came about from my desire to give my and other queer people's voices a space. I wanted a ritual to be able to blend the energies of such a diverse culture into a beautiful and homogenous direction of power. For a further explanation of how the Neither Mysteries came about, see the article Searching for Queer Spirit under the Gay Pagan section of the Witches' Voice.
My original ritual was a call to the LGBT community. Its purpose was to bring together queer Pagans in a ritual space for discussion and magick. As a first time presentation, I kept it light and full... [Full Article]
ED Note: also check out our 'featured book of the week - "Gay Witchcraft: Empowering the Tribe" by Christopher Penczak - just below on this page.
|Magick and Personal Responsibility. |
NEW Essay Topic..
How has your practice of magick helped you take more personal responsibility for outcomes in your life? Do you feel that your practice gives you more control of your mind, emotions, and the events in your day-to-day life? If you have been practicing for a while, what would you suggest to a new practitioner that would help them learn to use magick to build a more positive, responsible life for themselves?
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 6/22, but we will post the essays as we receive them. Please keep in mind that we will not post responses to previously posted essays.
Your voice counts! Please consider adding your thoughts to this collection of essays and join in the exchange of ideas throughout the worldwide Pagan community.
New Essays this week: Magick and Personal Responsibility...
| Responsibility and Right Action |
I've lately taken to thinking of and describing what I do as "Zen Wicca," or "Zen Witchcraft." And I do that with the full realization that what I practice actually bears very little resemblance to Zen as it is normally practiced, and I apologize to those Zen practitioners who may take exception to my libertine use of the term. But, like "shamanism," Zen has fallen into common (mis-) usage, and who am I to buck a current trend?
When I say "Zen Wicca," I mean a practice that is holistic and pervasive, to such an extent that it impacts and informs all aspects of my life. I am not a "Sabbats Only" Witch - I don't just come out of the woodwork on the High Holy Days, don my robes, gird my athame and fare forth to impress the impressible. I am a Witch every day of the week, every minute of the day, whether I'm at my altar or on the toilet. I don't think about being a Witch constantly; to me that infers an intellectual process that is anathema to the spiritual experience.. [Full Article]
Did I Do That?
Personal Responsibility in Magickal Life.
I was coming up on a red light, in heavy traffic, the first time I discovered magick was real. I extended my energies towards the light several cars ahead of me. I nudged the red with the visualization of green. To my delight, the light turned green and I reached my destination in record time. I thought that I could "spell away" the problems I was facing in my life once and for all. I was ready to retire to an island resort with my winning lottery ticket and a harem of attentive lovers. I was soon to learn that magick and Wicca were not as simple as I had thought.
Wicca has no dogma attached to it. We are not burdened with sacred texts transmitted to us directly from the Lord and Lady. Our ministers and teachers do not instruct us on the absolute and definitively correct interpretation of our path. These were all qualities I searched for as I came to Neo-Paganism. I was free to choose and experience the divine first hand. I could seek advice and guidance as I wanted but the... [Full Article]
| A Look At Personal Responsibility|
I have a four year old roommate. She isn't my child, but I help her with her ABC's, paying attention, cleaning her room, table manners, and I watch cartoons with her. Another thing I am trying to instill in her is personal responsibility. I think personal responsibility begins very young by making a child accountable for their actions and instilling in them the knowledge of how what they do affects the world around them. From the look on her face, to the way she washes her hands, these things teach her to take care of herself so that she can reap the benefits of the world around her.
Personal responsibility begins with knowing the difference between right and wrong. Now, right and wrong can be very relative, but the real judge of right and wrong is the conscience within each of us. Hopefully, if you are a Wiccan, you already have the conscience to convict you when you are on an unbalanced path. An' it harm none, do as ye will. The Wiccan Rede speaks so to give us a guideline for our conscience. It encourages us to seek out the... [Full Article]
by Heather Maas When I think about how Magick manifests itself though me in my daily life, a million little sayings pop up from the not so distant corners of my mind. There are things my mother said. There are things that Buddha and Shakespeare and the Hindu scriptures said. There are words from the Bible and lines from poems...and it is as old as it is new. This is the advice of the centuries from the combined faiths and common sense of humanity: One should only take that which one is willing to give in return. Seek the middle path, seek Balance.
If you believe along similar lines as I do, Magick is not some sort of outside source that we draw from; rather, it is the sum of the energy of all that lives. It is we, the animals, and the living, breathing Earth itself. When one would affect changes in this whole, one must think on how changes affect the balance of this same whole. One takes only that which one is willing to give, does only that which one is willing to have done unto oneself. To even begin to... [Full Article]
New Book Releases for June
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.
New this month...  Divination for Beginners by Scott Cunningham [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Tarot for the Green Witch by Ann Moura [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  The Witch's Guide to Life by Kala Trobe [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Simplified Qabala Magic by Ted Andrews [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Llewellyn's 2004 Witchy Day Planner by Llewellyn [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Gay Witchcraft: Empowering the Tribe by Christopher Penczak [Weiser Books] --  A Witch's Book of Answers by Holland and CERELIA [Weiser Books] --  Sea Priestess by Dion Fortune [Weiser Books] --  Moon Magic by Dion Fortune [Weiser Books] --  Pagans and the Law by Dana D. Eilers [New Page Books] --  Darksome Thirst by Morven Westfield [Harvest Shadows Publications] --
Visit Pagan Books at Witchvox today to see what's new and what's HOT.
Released: June - 2003
List Price: $19.95
Times Viewed: 65,115
Featured This Week...
Gay Witchcraft: Empowering the Tribe
Author: Christopher Penczak
Publisher: Weiser Books
Category: Wicca and Gay Studies Level: All
Gay Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak is a unique blend of historical notes, mythological theory, personal observations, and instructional advisories on the theory and practice of Wicca"from a gay practitioner's viewpoint. Author Christopher Penczak (www.christopherpenczak.com) is a spiritual healer trained in the Western Mystery Traditions of Wicca, European shamanism, flower essences, energy healing, intuitive reading, and guided meditation.
Gay Witchcraft serves many purposes. Here, the author crafts a sketch of the gay presence in religious practices beginning from antiquity, and revisits and examines homoerotic (and homophobic) occurrences and their ramifications in world history. Gay Witchcraft is also an outline of the practice of Wicca as it affects those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (and straight). Gay Witchcraft can serve as an introduction manual for gays (and people of all sexual orientations) who have felt displaced in more structured religious settings, and seek to explore and embrace alternative modes of spiritual practice. [More Info]
Where To Buy: Gay Witchcraft is available in better bookstores and by contacting Red Wheel/Weiser Publishers at: (800) 423-7087; or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hot link to --> Pagan Shops in Your Town
Hot link to --> Pagan Shops on the Net
|Options: Surf to: [Author's Website] Surf to: [Publisher's Website] |
Some of Last Week's Features...
| Haitian Vodou: Serving the Spirits |
by Michael Rock
Vodou, called Sevis Gineh or "African Service" in Haiti, is the primary culture and religion of the approximately 7 million people of Haiti and the Haitian diaspora. It has its primary roots among the Fon-Ewe peoples of West Africa, in the country now known as Benin, formerly Old Dahomey. It also has strong elements from the Ibo and Kongo peoples of Central Africa and the Yoruba of Nigeria, though many different peoples or "nations" of Africa have representation in the liturgy of the Sevis Gineh, as do the Taino Indians, the original peoples of the island we know now as Hispanola. Vodou exists in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, parts of Cuba, the United States, and other places that Haitian immigrants dispersed to over the years... [Full Profile]
Spring Gathering of the Tribes 2003
by Susan Davis
Now that I have unloaded the van and hauled all our gear up 4 flights of stairs, I have the luxury of a few minutes to look back at GOTT, which ran from May 22-26.
Our Llama Nation campsite was full of both old friends and new faces. Bev Meadow rejoined us from Ireland, and the parents of our darling Heather who crossed over last year were there from California to share with us the first anniversary of her release from her cancer. We had rainy weather for the week before Gather and THursday was soggy, but the rainclouds scattered to brilliant sunshine on Friday. The rest of the weekend alternated between showers and sunshine, but none of us allowed the mud and muck to interfere in our celebration.
The drummers will have to spend time healing since their muse kept them going all night long and several dancers will be soaking worn out feet and tight muscles and joints for a week or so. Betsy and Maggie and... [Full Article]
Starwind and Mikal Evensong
Handfasted May 10, 2003.
In a ceremony to legalize their handfasting vows made at Beltaine in 1999, Starwind and Mikal Evensong were wed at Florida Pagan Gathering, an event attended by over 400 fellow Pagan folk, at Boyd Hill Park in Tampa, Florida. The relationship that began as a friendship six and one half years earlier -- a seemingly pre-destined meeting in a Pagan chat room on Talk City, during a discussion lead by Starwind -- was celebrated and made official on May 10, 2003.
The weekend was hot (record highs in the 90s), the humidity was high, the mosquitos were heavy, the female alligator living in the pond near their campsite was looking for a mate and singing all night, the birds started singing early every morning... but even with all that, it was an incredible, loving and magickal weekend. The gorgeous campsite was filled with a gathering of 10 tents full of friends in the immediate area, and other friends on the festival grounds. Surrounded by trees, a pond (where the 'gator lives) and other plant life it was pretty much secluded from the main concentration of... [Full Article]
| Beltane Bash (London, UK) |
(May 25/26 2003)
Review by Micca
On a bright Sunny Sunday morning The Jack-in-the-Green emerged from Conway Hall and made his way to the head of the Procession and after a brief pause to change porters set off behind the stang carried by Jeanette of Cadeuceus and the three Green (and I mean GREEN everywhere) tatter clad and green painted Bogie Drummers. Followed by The Morrigan Giant and several others to walk what has become the traditional procession route, around the British Museum, through Bloomsbury and back to Conway Hall to mark Our Pagan Pride and the start of the annual Beltane Bash.
At the half way point the procession rested in the local Park where The Fool (followed by several others including The Jack) danced through the fountain and got Very wet!! Then, under the amused and bemused eye of the allocated police officers (we seem to have the same ones every year, maybe they like being with us!!) we continued along the back of the British Museum and back along the Front of it.
Making Magick Work
by Toni Silvano
I have been a practitioner of Magick for over twenty years. Very early on I realized that focus was the most important part of any magickal working. Of course, at first I was eager to light a candle, burn some herbs, and watch my life transform. Magick happens, but not without hard work. My life did not transform and I realized that it would be an ongoing process of focus and intention. It was not until I learned this lesson that I began to see results manifest in my life. I believe we can all manifest our own reality, but it takes work. Magick is not a quick fix, but a life changing process.
I will not perform magickal work unless I have exhausted every mundane avenue toward that end. Sometimes we all need a bit of help, and that is where magick comes into play. I have also found that visualizing your final outcome helps you remain focused. Knowing what I want allows me to take personal responsibility for the final outcome and therefore affords me better control over my life in general... [Full Article]
The Power of Personal Responsibility
by Penny Novack
When I first came to the Craft I had no interest whatsoever in magic. Or Magick. Whatever. I was looking for Goddess because the Moon told me that was what I needed to continue on my spiritual journey. Since the Moon had long been my confidant but had never before spoken to me -- let alone held a conversation -- I paid attention. And the sort of Goddess which the Fates held out to me was contained in the Old Religion.
But Magic? A waste of time. A distraction from Spiritual Growth. A temptation to idiocy.
I was already so positive I knew better than the Gods as to what was valuable in this life. Magic existed but was just a toy to distract the serious Seeker. Brilliant! ... [Full Article]
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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