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Weekly Update: 7/14/2003

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: July 14th. 2003
Times Viewed: 7,143

Beautiful Faces: This weeks 'image of the week' comes from Waco, Texas -- HEADLINE: "Circle of the Spiral Moon and Waco Eclectic Circle Hold First Texas Religious Freedom Circle" (See Article by Veritus)
If The Hissy Fits...

by Wren Walker

"Never underestimate the restorative powers of a really good hissy-fit." *

This week's column could have just as easily been entitled: Everything I Know About Pagan Interactions I Learned From My Cat. But since Fritz rejects any title long enough to overflow onto another line -- and EIKAPIILFMC really makes no sense at all -- Hissy Fits, it is. Most of the dictionaries state that a 'hissy fit' is an outburst of anger or a tantrum. Ruby, on the other hand, prefers to think of the hissy fit as a valid means of communication: short, to the point and unlikely to be misconstrued as anything other than as a warning to back the furk off.

As some of our regular readers know, three weeks ago we adopted two kittens from our local Humane Society. Since Ruby has never been an only child, we thought that she might miss Dixie (a.k.a. Pissy Face) and would enjoy some feline companionship. Our two new black as midnight additions to the family -- Djinn-Jinn and Lee-Lu -- seemed to be just what we were looking for. Three very long weeks and several cat psychology books later, we are inching along towards an integration of sorts. And, Ruby is finally talking to us again.

Ruby, in fact, has quite a bit to say about how cats interact with one another. And since I was taught from an early age to look to nature not only for portents, signs and omens, but also for inspiration and insight into how organic systems work, her input in this area has been invaluable.

I know that you have undoubtedly heard the expression that any attempt to lead Pagans is like trying to herd cats. The metaphor really isn't all that far off, but not for the reasons that you might suppose. As an insider, Ruby would like to give you the basic profile of that Herd of Cats thing.

She also slyly suggests that Pagans might want to take a few notes [... continued]

Drum & Splash (at Four Quarters Farm)
by Etain Wilson

If you were looking for a low-impact way to celebrate the July 4th holiday, at Four Quarters was it! Following the amazing Gaian Mind PsyTrance Dance Festival of the weekend before (I attended both), this ninth annual Drum & Splash ran five days from July 2 - 6. Hundreds came out for this alternative holiday weekend, while fifty or more campers stayed for both events. This year Four Quarters offered a combined registration deal, which promises to be increasingly popular in years to come. Several people I spoke to have already marked out these dates for their vacation next year.

Drum & Splash is one of the most popular events at Four Quarters, and this year the drumming was hotter and the presentation more colorful then ever. A diverse group of presenters, performers, and instructors were on board, such as Jaqui McMillian with "Drum for Joy", Zaipo Oula with Traditional African dance, Daveed Korup presenting the Tao te Drum, Kevin and Cindy Ryan's expert Middle Eastern Grooves, Aasa Grayson and Kenyatta with their simply jawdropping power Djembe and Djuns, Marcus Tilman Sims Ta Ke Tina, Alex Wedmedyk's drum crafting, Ken Crampton with "Everybody Drum" (more on Ken later), Dahna Rohanna and the Art of the Middle Eastern Dance, Michael DiMartino with the "Universal Language of Rhythm", Cheri Shanti's discussions of Developing Drum Community and Jason Walker with the Afro-Caribbean Beat.... [Full Review]

'Sacrifice' Essays
(Round TWO)

by Ares Hearthfire

Sacrifice. No one word says more about dedication to a cause than this. We hear this word all the time. Even in sports you hear phrases like "Taking One for the Team."'s a deadly word, it's a sacred word, it's a word given to people that give themselves for others to gain.... [Full Article]

Propitiatory Sacrifice/Participatory Sacrifice
by Jennifer

Sacrifice.... I look at that word and I think of the old con job where Father-God asks us to trade in something precious in order to earn Life Immortal. It might be a cow. Or our first-born children. Or our souls. This is known as propitiatory sacrifice, in which believers give up some dear object, or inflict harm upon themselves, to appease a wrathful deity.... [Full Article]

Does Sacrifice Have Its Place?
by Yehecatl Quipoloa

Sacrifice is perhaps one of the most controversial topics in Paganism. Many Pagans today would deny that it has a place in their own practices, and who could blame them? Sacrifice has had many negative connotations attached to it over time; what our ancestors once performed as a sacred act has come to conjure images of murder or Christian beliefs on guilt and penance. Does it deserve this image, or has sacrifice been given a bad rap?... [Full Article]

Sacrifice, Then and Now
by Toni Silvano

I spent the 1960's attending Catholic Grammar School in New York City. As I recall, "sacrifice" was one of our first grade spelling words. We were taught that in order to secure our place in "Heaven" and attain everlasting life, we needed to give up some of the things that brought us pleasure. To a seven-year-old, those things were as simple as a favorite toy, game, or food. I recall letters coming home to my mother asking her to sacrifice part of her income by tithing to the church.... [Full Article]

No Sacrifice At All!!
by StarrDancer

Sacrifice is an often-misunderstood word. Most people see sacrifice as something harsh and bloody. This is not always so. Sacrifice is an adjective that more or less describes what has happened to us in order to evolve into something else. Someone else. Something better. We all have sacrificed something over the course of our lives in order to obtain something more, but when push comes to shove we as humans have a tendency to stop at the word "sacrifice" and wonder if it's worth it. .... [Full Article]

Circle of the Spiral Moon and Waco Eclectic Circle Hold First ...

Texas Religious Freedom Circle
by Veritus

We live in a time that can be considered amazing, alarming, exciting, intimidating, captivating, harrowing, exhilarating and frightening all at the same time. Above all we live in a provocative world. No matter which side of the political spectrum on which you rest, all must agree that since September 11, 2001, our way of life United States has been put through an arduous series of tests. The deplorable acts of a small percentage of an otherwise honorable faith have forced our leaders to react. Those reactions have led to many battlegrounds regarding life beyond the tragedy. One issue that seems to be at the forefront of the fray is religious freedom. Many of our political leaders are taking a more strident stance than they have in the past regarding the definition of a "valid" religion and interpretations of what our founders intended when setting up our country... [Full Article]

Witch Hunts - Exposing The Lies
by Kerr Cuhulain

(Over 300,000 Page Views...)

This Week... Mike Ramey

I first encountered Mike Ramey's article "A Pastoral Intelligence Briefing On Wicca and the Occult" in the Didaskalos Ministries web site. It first appeared in May 2001 on the site. Martin G "Mike" Ramey is a journalist, syndicated columnist and minister based in Indianapolis, Indiana. His e-mail address is and his mailing address is P.O. Box 20131, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46220.

...Ramey concludes part one of this "Wicca briefing" by making the argument that all Witchcraft is evil. He does this in the same way that many of the people that I've written about earlier in this series do it: He relies on "those who have come out, or, who have made a study of witchcraft and occult phenomena [who] state emphatically that both black and white magic (or 'magick' as pronounced by those in the craft) are two side of the same coin." Ramey, like so many others, borrows the claim that we first saw Mike Warnke making: "Wicca is the down payment, the entry door for more hard-core, or black magic practices." Ramey quotes from Joan Hake Robie's list of "six types of people who are attracted to witchcraft" from her 1991 book Reverse The Curse In Your Life. You'll recall from earlier articles in this series that Robie was Phil Phillip's co-author in the awful 1987 book Halloween and Satanism. Robie's list of "six types of people attracted to witchcraft" reveals much of the agenda of such people: ... [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.

West Memphis 3!
by Peg Aloi

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]

New Book Releases for July

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...  Polarity Magic by Wendy Berg and Mike Harris [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires by Aaron Leitch [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  The Witches' Familiar by Raven Grimassi [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Cooking By the Seasons by Karri Ann Allrich [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Professional Tarot by Christine Jette [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Tarot & Dream Interpretation by Julie Gillentine [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Darksome Thirst by Morven Westfield [Harvest Shadows Publications] --  American Indian Ceremonies: Walking the Good Red Road, revised edition by Medicine Hawk Wilburn and Grey Cat [Three Moons Media] --  Journey to Wholeness by Cynthia A. Butterworth [Three Moons Media] --  Dunwich's Guide to Gemstone Sorcery by Gerina Dunwich [New Page Books] --

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

Book Specs.

ISBN: 1-56414-672-3
Released: July - 2003
List Price: $14.99

Wvox Stats.

Times Viewed: 68,476

Posted: 6.19.2003

Featured This Week...

Dunwich's Guide to Gemstone Sorcery

Author: Gerina Dunwich

Publisher: New Page Books

Category: Magick Studies   Level: All

"The energy contained within stones is a mysterious and invisible power as old as the earth itself, perhaps even older. It is also an energy that, when properly harnessed, can enable a person to create powerful magick and reconnect with Mother Nature and the Earth.

Dunwich's Guide to Gemstone Sorcery is a practical and comprehensive guide to the magickal world of precious and semi-precious stones. Written by a modern Witch with firsthand knowledge of the occult properties of stones, this book is filled with numerous spells and rituals, enchanting Pagan folklore, and useful magickal correspondences. It also explores gemstone curses and cures, and the many ways in which gemstones can be utilized as amulets for magickal workings, as oracles for revealing the future, and as tools for healing one's body, mind, and spirit. "

Where To Buy: Titles can be purchased direct through the publisher by calling 800-227-3371. They can also be purchased through your favorite online vendor, general bookstone or metaphyiscal store!

Hot link to --> Pagan Shops in Your Town
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Options:   Surf to: [Publisher's Website]  

Some of Last Week's Features at Witchvox...

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]

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]

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..... [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... [Full Article]


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