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Year: 2004 ...

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

Weekly Update: 7/7/2003

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: July 7th. 2003
Times Viewed: 5,341

Summer Solstice Muse: This week we are thrilled to feature a fest review from the musician's perspective (link) - Bless you Irene and friends for sharing your magick with us all. [Revel Moon Website]
Wherever You go... There You Are!

by Wren Walker

"The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding go out to meet it." *

You've seen that bumper sticker: No matter where you go, there you are. I don't know just where the Pagan communities are going (Does anyone?), but I am sure about one thing and that is that we will definitely end up somewhere. Whether we reach that place by wandering about, trying first this thing and then that other thing or by just 'seeing what happens', Paganism will be...uh...whatever. Err...I hate to even suggest this, but shouldn't we be giving our future a little more thought than that?

Now don't get me wrong. I am a firm believer in the organic process. Modern Paganism may owe its beginnings to a few national organizations and groups, but it wouldn't be anywhere near as strong and as prolific as it is if not for all of the local groups -- big and small -- that have sprung up across this nation and across the world.

I am definitely having a non-PC moment here when I tell you that I am not a fan of national organizations. Not for Pagans anyway. And while I am on this roll, I might as well add in the rock and say that I am also not in favor of many 'interfaith' ventures. Not for Pagans anyway. And, yes, I'll be happy to explain why I feel this terribly non-PC way... [... continued]

'Sacrifice' Essays
(first round)

The Nature of Sacrifice
by RuneWolf

I went to one of my favorite oracles - - to do a little prep work for this essay. I was aghast at some of the words contained in the entries for "sacrifice:"
  • Slaughter
  • Victim
  • Immolate
  • Destroy
  • Kill
  • Suffer
Wow! Talk about your heavy negative energy! And yet, amongst all these harsher terms, I found: "The offering of anything to [the Gods],...consecratory rite." Ah, there we go! Much more to my liking. ... [Full Article]

Lessons of Sacrifice
by Willow Silvermoon

Sacrifice to me has always meant the ultimate love or the ultimate defeat. When a sacrifice is a part of an ultimate love, the self is put aside for another. When in an ultimate defeat, while not necessarily a bad thing, a person acknowledges the setback and then takes the sensible road out. Personal trials are always going to pop up at one point or another to teach us the lessons we need and, therefore, shouldn't be constantly sought after as in other faiths. There have been a couple of very good examples in my life and both teach very good lessons... [Full Article]

The Importance of Sacrifice in Worship
by Rebecca Martin

The word "sacrifice" has become loaded with many negative associations over the years. It usually conjures up images of suffering for the sake of others, or in a historical context, the image of ancient altars heaped high with burnt animal offerings and Mesoamerican priests ripping out human hearts. These scenes are usually viewed with revulsion by modern people or used as an example of how backward and/or misguided ancient people were in their worship. While sacrifice can include these things, this is not always what sacrifice entails. If done in the right spirit, sacrifice can foster a great relationship with a deity or deities... [Full Article]

Summer Solstice Celebration in VA
by Irene Jericho

Saturday morning dawned gray and moist, but the damp from the previous night's storm quickly burned off and by 10 a.m. glints of sunshine were speckling the forest floor with gold. The Pocahontas State Park campground was a bustle of activity... vendors laying out their wares, early-bird festival attendees browsing the stalls as they appeared, workshop leaders preparing their classes and festival staff making the rounds to see if anyone needed help. The air of festival was unmistakable. Even at that early point in the day, one could tell that the Summer Solstice Celebration would be wonderful. The other members of Revel Moon and I unloaded our gear early with the help of many kind (and strong) souls and went off to browse the wares.

The vendors exhibited a wide variety of merchandise... books, robes, jewelry, wind chimes, crystals, chalices, incense, oils, candles and holders, paintings, t-shirts, tapestries -- it was a pagan shopper's dream! Pagans that dream of enlightenment rather than pretty new toys were also catered to at the Summer Solstice Celebration. Workshops on the mythos of Tolkein, sacred work with trees, and runes were only a few of the intellectual pursuits available to festivalgoers.... [Full Article]

The Unbinding of Fenrir:
Restoring the Hand of Tyr

by RuneWolf

I have followed the Spirit of Wolf for many years now. During that same approximate time span, I have also followed the Way of the Northern Gods, both Celtic and Nordic, as I personally have come to understand it. Not surprisingly, I have found that my loyalties to Wolf and to the Northern Gods have, on occasion, come into conflict, particularly in regard to the myths surrounding the binding of Fenrir, the Fenris Wolf. I have always felt that Fenrir got a pretty raw deal from the Aesir. Fortunately, modern Paganism does not require that we always agree with what our Gods did and do.

Fenrir is one of the offspring of Loki by the Jotun-ess Angarboda. His siblings are Jormungandr, the Midgard Serpent and Hel, Goddess of the Realm of the Dead. Loki was not particularly liked and admired by the Aesir, but he was tolerated for a time because he was blood-brother to Odhinn and could be both useful and amusing. Similarly, while his daughter Hel was thought to be of fearful aspect and questionable parentage, She nonetheless undertook to rule the land of the dead, which the other Gods were reluctant to do... [Full Article]

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.

Witch Hunts - Exposing The Lies
by Kerr Cuhulain

(Over 300,000 Page Views...)

This Week Part TWO of... Thunder Ministries

Thunder Ministries has supplemental pages, "In Defense Of... ", which lists further e-mail exchanges between Pastor Daniel and irate Wiccans. Daniel tells us that he has had "hundreds of hate letters coming in", which I suppose is to be expected given the contents of Daniel's web site. One who Daniel writes to uses the e-mail moniker "Chariot" and apparently wrote to complain about Pastor Reckart's article about Wicca. Pastor Daniel tells us that this "first message in replial [sic] to Chariot in defense [sic] of the Author and the Wicca Article itself." Daniel calls himself an "outside observer" who wants to defend Reckart.

"CHARIOT: while I am not Wiccan, I have many friends who are, both Traditional and Eclectic. I have attended Wiccan ceremonies of handfasting, requiem and baptism along with seasonal celebrations.

"Reply: Lets see, your [sic] not wiccan, but you frequent its activities. How am I to conclude your words here chariot. A common sense analogy of your first paragraph would lead one to think 'here's someone who is untruthful from the get go'. Not a wiccan, but attends the ceremonies. That is neither concluded reality or truth in a mind clear of the fog of pagan ideology.

Kerr NOTE: This is just a variation of the old "if you aren't one of us you must be the enemy" argument that we've seen so many of the people that I've written about in this series using. We saw Daniel using it earlier. I've known plenty of people who weren't Pagans attend Pagan ceremonies and this didn't make them Pagan. I've known sympathetic Christian clergy to attend major Pagan festivals and none of them gave up their faith. Nor did they consider themselves somehow tainted by contact with us. Daniel certainly has it in his head that if Chariot isn't telling him what he wants to hear he must be a liar... [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] --

Visit Pagan Books at Witchvox today to see what's new and what's HOT.

Book Specs.

ISBN: 0-7387-0339-7
Released: July - 2003
List Price: $12.95

Wvox Stats.

Times Viewed: 63,249

Posted: 1.31.2003

Featured This Week...

The Witches' Familiar

Author: Raven Grimassi

Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.

Category: Witchcraft   Level: All

"The Witches' Familiar is the first thorough and serious work on the subject for modern Witches and Pagans. It shows how to obtain a Familiar and work with one, and it also provides cautions and remedies for any problems that may occur in this magical partnership.

Learn a magical system for creating and using mystical seals designed to evoke Familiar spirits. This is never-before-published material based on Pagan elements rather than the more common Hebrew and Kabbalistic seals.

Author's Notes: Raven Grimassi (California) has been a teacher and practitioner of magickal systems for more than 30 years."

Where To Buy: Llewellyn titles can be found worldwide in metaphysical, independent and chain bookstores. Call 800-THE-MOON to find a location near you.

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...

Back to Zero
by Wren Walker

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 his forty-year-old... [Full Article]

West Memphis 3 Update!
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... [Full Article]

Witches Heal Event
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.

Everyone who attended the event came away with new knowledge... [Full Article]

Magick and Personal Responsibility Essays

Magick and Personal Responsibility
by Plantman

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]

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]

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 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 Time IS running out... Your financial assistance IS needed now for DNA testing. (do so via

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]

(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.. [... continued]

Magick and Personal Responsibility
by Plantman

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]


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