Weekly Update: 6/30/2003|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: June 30th. 2003
Times Viewed: 5,017
Back to Zero...
|Blessings, Rebecca & Robert: The handfasting took place on Vanessa McNelly's property on June 14th. Ginger Strivelli was priestess presiding. Pictured: (L to R) Vanessa McNelly - East Quarter Caller, Jeff Carlton - South Quarter Caller, Nikki Lovell - Maid of Honor, Robert Curriden - Groom -- (Front) Monica Rhyne - Flower Girl & Daughter of Bride, Rebecca Curriden - Bride, Chris Hansen - North Quarter Caller, Ginger Strivelli, Carla Smith - West Quarter Caller)- Email Rebecca|
by Wren Walker
"If we do not rise to the challenge of our unique capacity to shape our lives, to seek the kinds of growth that we find individually fulfilling, then we can have no security: we will live in a world of sham, in which our selves are determined by the will of others, in which we will be constantly buffeted and increasingly isolated by the changes round us." -- Nena O'Neil
I don't care how many years that you have under your Pagan belt or how many candles were set ablaze upon your last birthday cake. No matter what your chronological age may be or how many years (or months or days) that you have been following a Pagan path, as I end this particular series of essays I would also like to leave you with this one piece of completely unsolicited advice: Start over.
Yep, I am hereby recommending a good old-fashioned mid-life crisis for everyone. Now I know that the words 'mid-life crisis' conjure up images of some balding fifty-ish executive guy who suddenly decides to get a toupee, join the neighborhood gym and trade in his forty-year-old wife for two twenties. Our stereotypical Mr. Fifty more than likely also just springs this little surprise on everyone, says 'it ain't working' -- and then takes a walk. And sometimes in real life this is exactly how it goes. Well, boo on you then, Wren. Where's the good in that?
The good is in there, I say. It is just hard to see it -- and harder to appreciate it -- when Mr. Fifty racks up such a huge body count on his path to personal happiness. This guy made a mess of it. He didn't go about it in the right way. But he is not entirely to blame. No one ever told him that it was okay to start over. All that he ever heard was "It's a commitment" and "You have to stick it out for better or for worse" or the dreaded "what will people think?" He exited badly because no one ever told him that he could exit in any other way.. [... continued]
| NEW: Magick and Personal Responsibility Essays|
Magick and Personal Responsibility
The world is a magical place. The spell of a meadow of buttercups, innumerable tiny miniatures of the sun's yellow orb they mirror and resolutely turn towards, is not unique to Wiccan Pagans. But to consciously stop upon seeing those buttercups, to recite a worshipful incantation of gratitude to the Lord and to the Lady and to get lost in the mesmerizing experience of buttercups, birds singing and prayerful recitation is to know the world is a magickal place... [Full Article]
Magick and Personal Responsibility
by Riona Twilight
To practice magick, one must be responsible enough to accept the consequences of what one does. There are consequences for everything that one does.
Now, I know many of you are already rolling your eyes, but you'd be surprised how many people don't realize this; but then again, maybe not..... [Full Article]
Sometimes, Magick Just Doesn't Work - Right?
by Rominjn Wind
This month's essay topic is generally about the responsible use of magick. But I am going to write about a different kind of personal responsibility, a subtler kind of responsibility that few people think about. My essay is aimed mainly towards beginners who are having some trouble with using magick effectively and efficiently. ... [Full Article]
Witch Hunts - Exposing The Lies
by Kerr Cuhulain
(Over 300,000 Page Views...)
This Week! Thunder Ministries (Part I of 2)
One of the more objectionable web sites that I've encountered in my anti-defamation work is the one belonging to Thunder Ministries. The creator of this site only identifies himself as "Pastor Daniel". You can find it at the Thunder Ministries Website
On the Thunder Ministries web site one finds the page "Wicca, Satanism, Occult and Magic Are All Evil" (Link). It commences with the usual list of King James Bible scriptures from Deuteronomy, Samuel, that one finds on such a web site. Pastor Daniel then makes the following statements:
"Many witches will not acquiesce to the preponderance of the biblical evidence marshaled against witchcraft. Arnold and Patricia Crowther are indicative of this mentality when they write regarding witchcraft that some 'modern writers' who 'still believe in the evil of witchcraft...are usually strict Christian writers who want to maintain the evil image of witches. Their books are usually full of quotations from the old witch trials and in their bibliographies they never list any books by pro-witch writers or by witches themselves, though they must have read these books (1)'. It seems hardly necessary to mention that this is not."
NOTE: It is true that I have no intentions of "acquiescing" to Daniel's "biblical evidence". I agree with the Crowther's assessment and Daniel is certainly one of those Christian writers that they refer to, and that this certainly is the case with Pastor Daniel's work. [Full Article]
Editors Note 7/1: Over the weekend we put some substantial energy into breaking out the 'Witch Hunt' articles (from the Pagan Protection chapter) and giving this work its very own chapter here at witchvox... This will render easier navigation as well as a dynamic index and live section counters... It's also worth noting that Kerr's latest book 'Full Contact Magick: A Book of Shadows for the Wiccan Warrior' is one of the most viewed book in our database.
Witches Heal Event
(June 20-22 2003)
Review by Susan Davis
This was the first year holding a healing Festival at Blackwater Campground. The attendance was small, which actually worked in the favor of attendees. Everywhere you turned there were workshops on healing and healers doing what we do best...healing.
The weather was lovely, sunny and warm with a cool breeze for the weekend. It was a quiet event, lots of conversation around the campfires, lots of sharing, comparing and healer barters. Only a few vendors, but those who were there saw good traffic over the weekend. Litha landed on the first day of the Witches Heal and we all took time to celebrate the longest day of the year in our own ways. Everyone who attended this event had time to meet everyone else there and get to know them, and the pace of the weekend was slow, thoughtful, calm and quite refreshing... [Full Review]
New Essay Topic for July... Sacrifice!
Sacrifice is a word fraught with emotional implications. It is generally considered a painful thing, to be avoided if possible and endured with good grace when unavoidable, or approached as a kind of spiritual medicine -- tastes awful, but good for you.
While the concept is central to Christianity, the idea of sacrifice also plays a large part in Pagan mythology. As we approach the harvest season, we'd like to know what sacrifice means to you, and what role it plays in your tradition or spiritual path. Is sacrifice really always bad, always painful? Should it be sought out as a means of spiritual growth, or is the idea of sacrifice as spiritual just a holdover from a sin/redemption-based theology that has no place in Paganism?
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 7/20, 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 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] --
Visit Pagan Books at Witchvox today to see what's new and what's HOT.
Released: July - 2003
List Price: $14.95
Times Viewed: 59,747
Featured This Week...
Author: Morven Westfield
Publisher: Harvest Shadows Publications
Category: Fiction Level: All
"It's the late 1970s and Alicia Anderson is in her late 20s, riding the seductive upswing of high technology. Empowered by the new climate of equality for women, she's aiming at a career in computer programming.
Alicia's plans are thwarted by corporate bureaucracy and " to her utter confusion " a vampire.
Newly initiated wiccan priestess Matricaria has begun to receive psychic messages ' vivid dreams and tarot card readings ' that point to a terrible fate for someone near to her. She and her coven attempt to decipher the symbols, hoping to prevent a tragedy.
Soon the lives of these very different women are drawn together.
Author's Notes: This novel, first in a series, will appeal to those who enjoy horror novels, but also to anyone familiar with Wicca who enjoys a good, suspenseful read. "
Where To Buy: Darksome Thirst will be available from
1490 Montauk Highway
Mastic NY 11950-2909
from other book stores, and also online. (See http://www.morvenwestfield.com for details.)
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 at Witchvox...
(to the The Witch Hunts series)
by Kerr Cuhulain
The Witch Hunts series was launched on July 1st., 2002. As we are coming up on the anniversary of this event I thought that it might be interesting to take a moment to examine some of the reactions to it.
I didn't expect the numerous e-mails from supporters and well wishers. That certainly has helped motivate me to continue. I did expect those who I write about to respond, as well as some of their supporters. For example I mentioned earlier in this series that I was contacted by Jack Roper and Greg Reid. Roper wanted me to print some minor clarifications (which I did) and admitted to being the publisher of Sanguinet's Open Letter to the Witchcraft Community. Reid gave me some minor information concerning Lauren Stratford and made it quite clear that despite the concerns expressed by people such as myself he still believes her story.
I didn't expect that one of the evangelicals would borrow my name to create an e-address for an anti-Pagan web site called the Encyclopedia of Satanic Wicca. I'm guessing that he was trying to divert some of the people seeking my Witch Hunts series to view his own propaganda. He also may have been trying to manufacture the impression that I was really a cult leader with a hidden agenda. The avalanche of complaints to Tripod/Lycos motivated them to pull the Encyclopedia of Satanic Wicca off the net.
I certainly got the attention of some fundamentalist Christians out there that really want to believe that this Satanic conspiracy stuff is true. Most of the e-mails from this crowd are unsigned and very short. Some of the e-mails that I receive from this crowd are simply statements that they will pray for me. Some send me lengthy letters urging me to accept Jesus into my life. [... continued]
West Memphis 3 Update June 2003
by Peg Aloi
It has always intrigued me that political activism in communities is referred to as "grassroots." This allows us to also think of terms like "common ground" as having layers of meaning. Think about it: by fighting social injustice, lobbying for a cleaner environment, working for affordable healthcare, or volunteering in a soup kitchen, we affect the world around us in a direct way. The places we live are made better because of our direct, often hands-on, efforts. Email petitions are all well and good, but really getting in their and getting your hands dirty (so to speak) is a very satisfying way to get involved in working for social change.
Look at the efforts to help free the West Memphis Three. Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley, Jr. were teenagers when they were arrested and convicted for the murder of three children in their conservative, mostly-Christian community. These guys have been in prison for more then TEN YEARS now. If not for the effect of various media, and efforts by supporters to make sure the media continued to cover their case, their plight would not be known to the world at large. In 1996, a documentary film called Paradise Lost was released that had a significant impact on their plight, and people far beyond the small Arkansas town where this happened were now learning about what has come to be seen as a travesty of American justice. Interviews and articles in various news media followed, including The Witches' Voice . It's an important issue for us, since Damien was involved with Wicca at the time of his arrest, and it was his supposed "dabbling in the occult" which made the local police (who were obsessed with "satanic cults" at the time) finger him as a suspect in the first place.
People all over the world have been fighting since then to help get them a new trial and, hopefully, exonerated from the crimes they've been convicted of (and open the way for the actual perpetrators to be apprehended). Through web-based support groups, discussion boards and newsgroups, supporters have raised awareness about the case. A follow-up documentary appeared in 1999, and a benefit CD in 2000 from artists like Eddie Vedder, Steve Earle and Eddie Spaghetti. Henry Rollins' (yes, the former singer of proto-punk band Black Flag) album Rise Above: 24 Black Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three came out last year... Full Update.
WebNote: When Peg interviewed Mara Leveritt about her powerful book 'Devils Knot', earlier in the year, we gave the WM3 info pages here at WV an update... This weekend we did so again... -- For the latest info on Damien, Jason and Jessie (and for ways YOU can help) visit wf3.org.
| Notes from a Pagan Webcrafter... |
(Lightening Round - June 2003)
by Fritz Jung
Greetings, This week we have much to be thankful for and many items of note...
Our Thanks... To Kerr Cuhulain for his hard work detailing and exposing the 'Satanic Panic' folk... We are honored to feature his 'Reflections' as our lead piece this week and proud to, once again, point you to his latest book (just below) -- Tony from Australia? Wow.. your quick mock up of our logo was stunning, I hope we can share that magick with the rest of the community via a long overdue face lift here at TWV. -- DB, the mickster, icewytch and the fine folks over at UKpagan.com? Bless you for your support earlier this month as related to our mutual name/image theft. -- M. Macha NightMare for this weeks event review of the 'III Annual Witches Meeting in Brazil' -- to the countless community folk that send in magickal images, pen well-crafted essays and help to make the networking section here at TWV an invaluable 'community' resource -- to those of you that emailed and sent cards about the recent loss of our Dixie -- To the few of you that DO help pay for the server costs (via sponsorships) that keep TWV on line month after month -- Inanna Lightbringer and staff? Bless you for deeming TWV worthy of your 'Wondrous Website of the Year Award' and thanks for YOUR Pagan web site reviews over the years -- and thank you to the Witchvox staff for your years of dedication in bringing timely news and updates related to all that is good in our community.
Site Notes... The news category option for Wren's Nest has been a success with nearly 4,000 of you choosing to customize your news. -- Events review section now has a dynamic side bar -- the WOTW8 upgrade is on hold for a while -- New anti-spam filtering has been written into the Personals email form. -- The 'Question of the Week' will be back someday soon. -- many surprises in the cue - stay tuned!
The West Memphis Three... Our thanks go out to Peg Aloi for bringing us back up to date (once again) on the WM3 situation... We encourage you to 'know the story', and support a resolution to this travesty of justice. The 'true answer' lies in DNA testing, and THAT is where your financial support is needed. Our thanks go out to the countless individuals, websites, rock stars and film makers for bringing this case to the world over the past 10 years. At the front have always been the fine folks over www.wm3.org. Time IS running out... Your financial assistance IS needed now for DNA testing. (do so via wm3.org)
Cyborg Witch Cats? This past Friday Wren and I went out looking to adopt two steel gray short haired kittens (it's all we've had for 20 years) - We hit two local/huge human shelters and to our surprise 75% of the of the adoptable kittens (out of 100 or so) were solid black. From what they tell us, black cats are the least fave choice, We hadn't thought about 'Witch cats', but we are proud to say that we are now owned by two 8 week old all black cuties... Cyborg? As we were wrapping up the paperwork, they ran a scanner on our kittens, apparently they have microchip IDs injected into them (Damn! first I've heard of that!) - More on these 'uber cuties' when things stabilize at this end.
On with this weeks update and bright blessings to all...
Nine of Knowing...
by Wren Walker
"The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper." *
As Ruby and I sat on the porch one morning last week enjoying the sunshine and watching the antics of the critters down at the Little Pond, I saw my red-winged blackbird. I can say it was 'mine' because I had asked for it. You see, it had occurred to me in the previous day's Porch Chat With A Cat that while we had many regular old blackbirds visiting our feeding station, I had not seen a red-winged one in the five years that we had been here. So I asked for one. And here it was.
It didn't really surprise me that the bird was there. It did surprise me a bit that it arrived on the very next morning. Sometimes, it takes a little longer...
In many parts of the North Hemisphere, Spring arrives with the first appearance of that red-breasted beacon, the Robin. But in our household the official harbinger of the 'good weather' season was a bird of an entirely different color. [... continued]
| III Annual Witches Meeting|
by M. Macha NightMare
Abrawicca, the Brazilian Association of Witches (in Portuguese, AssociaŤ"o Brasileira da Arte e Filosofia da Relig'o Wicca), [LINK] spearheaded by Claudiney Prieto and Mavesper Sy Ceridwen, just put on a wonderful festival in the heart of the largest city on the South American continent, S"o Paulo. Held in the downtown business district known as Paulista, the avenue formerly home to the mansions built by wealthy Portuguese coffee barons, the conference drew 500 people to the Hilton Hotel over the weekend of June 6-8, 2003. Claudiney is Brazil's best-selling author on Witchen subjects. He and Mavesper are the founders of the Brazilian Dianic Wicca tradition, descended from McFarland Dianic.
The opening ritual on Friday night was held in big Ibirapuera Park, similar to Central Park in New York [LINK] Three hundred celebrants honored White Buffalo Woman. Although within a formal Craft structure, this ritual was as eclectic as many in America. Its juice came from chanting, drumming and dancing, which the ebullient Brazilian Witches did with abandon for about three hours. [Full Article]
The Hidden Truth Behind Joan of Arc
Final Part of this 3 Part series
by Brenda Bates, M.A., CH.t
The Church knew very well of the Pagan rites which were taking place in Joan's society. At Joan's trial she was questioned about the oak tree near her home in Domremy. At this oak, villagers would gather and hang mistletoe, a Druid custom and an indication of Joan's Druid association. Though Joan made it quite clear that she would not necessarily tell the truth to Church officials, she did say that she sometimes hung mistletoe on the oak branches with the other villagers. Fairies, or Elememtals/Daemons were said to be seen at the oak. The fact that Joan lived in a social environment of Paganism is paramount to understanding her personality. All of this evidence: the mistletoe, Fairies and dancing around the tree were all Druid ceremonies.... [Full Article]
Personal Responsibility in Magick
by Skyfire Dawn
Magick opens horizons, gives choices, and demands responsibility. Magick guided by responsibility can bring us answers. Magick done carelessly will bring lessons. We've all heard the stories about careless magick gone wrong. There's always the friend who now laughs about the spell they didn't think all the way through and it brought disastrous results. I could tell you my story but it's very similar to every other one you've ever heard. Instead I'll tell you my beliefs about personal responsibility... [Full Article]
Magick: An Earned Discipline
by Marius Argentis
It is an easy thing to slough off responsibility, particularly in today's cultures where there are extenuating circumstances or considerations for everything it seems. So-and-so isn't really to blame because he beats his children because he learned the pattern from his father, and so forth. Accountability and personal responsibility are practically gone from the teachings of our culture as a whole, including, sadly, Pagan cultures, based solely on my observations of the requests some individuals make on various forums. My father was an abusive man, verbally and physically assaulting me. Intimidation is something I know a great deal about. [Full Article]
Game of Life?
Practicing magick helped me to stop passing the American buck when something went wrong. To sit down whether I wanted to or not and examine my boring hum-drum life that had been so exciting one minute and so chaotic the next. What had happened? What gypsy did I piss off, my friend always asks. That is so not the case... [Full Article]
The Devil Made Me Do It!
Born, baptized and raised Catholic, by devout Catholic parents, my spiritual search was a long one. Though I had been drawn to Witchcraft, and in fact to Wicca, as a young teenager, I had been quickly put off of that track by a friend's revelation that Wiccan was a word which meant "daughter of Satan." It took several years, and a journey of many churches and spiritual paths, for me to come back to my true calling, and begin to learn its truth's.... [Full Article]
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