Weekly Update: 8/18/2003|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: August 18th. 2003
Times Viewed: 6,271
Busy as Beeeez...
It's been an extremely busy week here at TWV. Our biggest scramble was getting the new sponsor kits out... During the past two weeks, over 400 of you voiced your support for the Witches' Voice by putting your money where your mouth is. We must say that the words of support and encouragement that came along with the donations meant the world to us.
More coding, enhancements and new features are bubbling in the cauldron here at TWV central. The influx of sponsors took us by surprise and forced us to put many other things on hold, but we are happy to say that we are gaining back control and again moving forward. Here is a quick update of just some of the many changes:
Status Sponsor Kits: Newly redesigned cards are now printed (We bought a proper printer - FINALLY!), the thank-you letters and mailing envelopes are finished and we expect that all new sponsors will see their kits in their mailboxes by late this week or early next week. New sponsors can also expect to receive a proper thank you email in the next few days.
Status Sponsor Flags for YOUR Listings: We are proud to say that all of new paid-up sponsors (as of Thurs. 8/14) have been processed and their listings (those that matched the email submitted) now appear with "Witchvox Sponsor" by their name. IF you don't see yours, kindly email us with any details you can offer and we will make it right. It is worth reiterating that sponsorship is $25.00 per year and to those of you who did send in lesser amounts, we thank you and want you to know that we are keeping track of your donations. When you hit $25.00 mark within any one calendar year, we will flag you AS a sponsor and mail you out a card/kit, too!
Enhanced Sponsor Placement: In an effort to thank the many shops, groups and websites that have chosen to sponsor TWV, we are again rethinking placement of listings. This week, we are celebrating ONLINE Shops that support Witchvox right here on our front page (just below WN News) - Look for other glitzy new ways that we plan on implementing to better honor and celebrate our Witchvox Sponsors in the weeks/months to come. We want everyone to know just how special you are! Wren's Nest v7.5: 14 hours of work was put in to updating Wren's Nest over the weekend. Rules have been re-written and many holes have been plugged. Although we have been quite clear that Wren's Nest comments are to be on the articles and that the 'Nest is NOT a chat room, there have been some that didn't want to hear it. In an effort to take back the 'Nest for the community, we have coded a strict 2 posts per individual, per article system. Hopefully, this revision will encourage more people to chime in -- and without a doubt -- many Pagans HAVE already added useful and critical information to the articles.
Although the new rules have been substantially enhanced and will no doubt evolve on a regular basis, 98% of those that do post at the Nest, do understand why the comment option exists and will not be effected by the changes. This Weeks Update includes... Over one thousand new or updated network listings, an update from Kerr Cuhulain, Llewellyn's 2004 Witches' Calendar, several powerful articles and a guest rant by Trish Telesco... Sadly, we didn't get Trish's piece up last week as it was buried in a mountain of email -- and although it was bit more timely 7 days ago -- it still speaks from the heart and is relevant to many groups throughout the Pagan communities (Thanks, Trish!)
Tech Changes: We have added some new and/or updated rules, intelligent governing of the new two post per article rule and an overall polishing of key pages. Wren was given smarter controls, the ability to lock comments at the article level and/or to lock comments for the entire 'Nest (AKA 'Gone Fishin' - so that she can actually take a day/night off). Fact is, Wren does a mountain of work here at TWV and can't always be perching in the Nest 24/7.
So we, again and again, thank all of you who deem this community project worthy of your support. Your words have inspired us and we thank you for the light therein.
Webcrafter - TWV
Helping the Medicine go Down?
by Patricia (Trish) Telesco
After reading the many updates at witchvox last week, I found myself sad, confused, and down-right angry. We have a community that will argue over where to put an altar, split up entire covens over a private matter, and support a pay site while complaining about a FREE service that gives 200% every day of every week. When exactly are we going to stop acting like spoiled children and become a REAL, supportive, and honorable community?
You know, I'm tired of the bad guys winning, but I then must ask myself why does that happen? Perhaps it happens because we're too busy trying to righteously dictate another's path, sticking our nose into people's private business, trying to undermine a respected teacher due to personal jealousy, or have 90% of our "community" fussing while the other 10% does the real work. Meanwhile the "bad guys" just go on successfully doing what they do best while our attention is elsewhere. Sound wrong? Imbalanced? Unfair? Destructive to all we hope to achieve? Then in that case you're probably among the 10% doing the work..... [Full Article]
Holy Rave: Sacred Ecstatic Dance Music
by Eric 'Fritter' Riley
As a gay man, I have been to a ton of gay clubs, and, with few exceptions, there is always dance music. You know, that electronic thump-thump-thumping, pointed with repetitive sounds, a bass so heavy it vibrates your chest and lyrics that often amount to little more than slogans. But is that all that lies behind dance music? Is it just noise, or is dance music calling us to recognize something more primal, more holy in ourselves? Dare I say that there is even something mystical and ecstatic in dance music? Yes, I believe there is... [Full Article]
Thinking about the Watchtowers...
by Wormwood Crow
I discovered a catching editorial by Mike Nichols on his site The Witches' Sabbats, titled "Re-thinking the Watchtowers or 13 Reasons Air Should Be in the North." Nichols expressed his beliefs that the element of air is in the north in contrast to the popular interpretation that earth is in the north. Concluding that past information was deliberately tampered with in accord to ancient practices of keeping the truth safe with select members of a group, Nichols provides 13 reasons to endorse his position that air really should be in the north, and earth in the east, ending with a request that others defend the alternate popular path with air in the east with something more substantial than "But we've always done it this way."... [Full Article]
Witch Hunts - Exposing The Lies
by Kerr Cuhulain
(Over 320,000 Page Views...)
UPDATE 8/17/03: After faithfully crafting literally 100's of thousands of words related to exposing the lies about Pagan Path by Christian fundamentalists, Kerr needs a break. This week we received an email from him noting his dedication to getting the Officers of Avalong group up, incorporated and with a solid web presence. Kerr is ever the worker bee and one that does get things done, so we certainly understand his need to back off a bit.
Good news for fans of the Witch Hunts - Exposing The Lies series!
Kerr has pledged monthly updates to this critical series, so look for something new every moon cycle .... For those of you that are curious as to what has been written so far... Visit Witch Hunts - Exposing The Lies today.
|New Essay Topic... "Practical Magick" |
Do you think that magick is a practical tool that can and should be used to help you and others get through the ups and downs of daily life, or do you use it solely as a tool for personal transformation? Or perhaps you feel that personal transformation *is* practical! Let us know what you think about the practical applications of magick.
The deadline for this topic is September 21st., 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.
Any thoughtful essays of over 1,000 words will be published. Please read our editorial guidelines first, and send your essay to Diotima
NEW 'Practical Magick' Essays
The Fun and Serious Sides of Practical Magick
by Elsbieta Grosinski
Practical Magick is more than the name of a good movie starring Sandra Bullock and more than the name of a Witch shop in Salem owned by Jody Cabot. Practical Magick is real life magick. It encompasses things that you can do any day of the year to get implicit results.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary, Practical means "readily applicable." And, Magick (with the 'k') means "An action or effort undertaken because of a personal need to effect change, especially as associated with Wicca or Wiccan beliefs."... [Full Article]
Speaking only for myself, I believe that magick is quite practical. But this may simply be because of my personal definitions of magick and practicality. To me, practicality equals results, and magick is the art of changing consciousness at Will (among other things). The ability to change consciousness at Will is a powerful tool, with direct and immediate effects in the manifest world, and thus must be considered practical, because it gets results.
I am, fundamentally, an energy structure. My job is, fundamentally, and energy structure. When the energy field of my job envelops and subsumes my energy field, then I am controlled by my job, and my life suffers because of the imbalance... [Full Article]
"Twinkle-twinkle-twink," says the television speaker. The screen shows Samantha's face morphing back into a more normal expression after having repeatedly wrinkled her nose. Oh what kind of hi-jinks was Tabitha up to this time? What kind of magical mother-in-law-born disaster did Samantha have to correct? I tell you one thing, she certainly knew about the practical uses of magick, even as she struggled to live a normal "mortal" life. Darrin was a lucky man.
But real life is not "Bewitched," and real magick is pretty far removed from what was portrayed on the boob tube. As real Witches, we live each day in a world that challenges us to find a way to put our spiritual beliefs into practice. Almost all religions, including the varied beliefs most of us practice, began with the purpose of explaining how the world came to be and how systems that are hard to understand work. A closely related second purpose for the existence of belief systems is to show adherents ways to deal with day-to- day problems and the stresses of... [Full Article]
First I suppose we should establish a line as to what is considered practical and what is not. Shoes are considered practical, if they are comfortable. Computer software programs are considered practical if they are user-friendly. Cookbooks are considered practical if they are easy to understand and foolproof. So one would consider something easy to use and understand to be practical? There just seems to be so much more to this than what any one person thinks is practical and what one doesn't. To me practical is something that benefits my family and me. Makes my home easier and better to live in than someone else's and makes me look at the world as a nice place in which not to be afraid of my own shadow. To be able to relate to my intimate world and not be so consumed with that which I cannot control.
It is true in today's society we have more say-so over what we can do and that too is considered practical but yet there is still so much more involvement to be had than just politics. We use fairly practical reasoning to raise our... [Full Article]
New Book Releases for August
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...  Alternagyrl Horoscopes 2004 by Mister Reusch and Maria Shaw [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Llewellyn's 2004 Astrological Calendar by artwork by Kris Waldherr [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Llewellyn's 2004 Astrological Pocket Planner by Llewellyn [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Llewellyn's 2004 Daily Planetary Guide by Llewellyn [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Llewellyn's 2004 Herbal Almanac by Llewellyn [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Llewellyn's 2004 Magical Almanac by Llewellyn [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Llewellyn's 2004 Moon Sign Book by Llewellyn [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Llewellyn's 2004 Sun Sign Book by Llewellyn [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Llewellyn's 2004 Witches' Calendar by original artwork by Kathleen Edwards [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Llewellyn's 2004 Witches' Datebook by original artwork by Kathleen Edwards [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  Llewellyn's 2004 Witches' Spell-A-Day Almanac by Llewellyn [Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.] --  The Necronomicon Files by Harms and Gonce [Weiser Books] --  Exploring Shamanism by Hillary S. Webb [New Page Books] --  Aradia or the Gospel of the Witches by Charles G. Leland w/ Intro by A.J. Drew [New Page Books] --  A Wiccan Bible: Exploring the Mysteries of the Craft From Birth to Summerland by A.J. Drew [New Page Books] --  Magical Meditations by Yasmine Galenorn [Crossing Press] --  Ghost of a Chance by Yasmine Galenorn [Berkley Prime Crime] --  Dancer of the Dead by Edred Breedlove and Trish Breedlove [1stbooks] --
Visit Pagan Books at Witchvox today to see what's new and what's HOT.
Released: August - 2003
List Price: $12.95
Times Viewed: 62,881
Featured This Week...
Llewellyn's 2004 Witches' Calendar
Author: original artwork by Kathleen Edwards
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
Category: Calendar/Witchcraft Level: All
Wake up each day under the spell of this enchanting calendar of folklore and magic. Colorful original artwork accompanies a new seasonal topic each month. Dorothy Morrison, Kerr Cuhulain, Kari Ann Allrich, Anna Franklin, and Raven Grimassi are among the authors contributing their expertise. In addition, the back of the calendar features seven articles including:
"Magical Dance" by Richard Webster
"Power and Responsibility" by Ann Moura
"Spirit Guides" by Kristen Madden
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: [Publisher's Website] |
Some of Last Week's Features at Witchvox...
| Starwood 2003 |
by Don Two Eagles WaterHawk
Being that we just finished with the Sirius Rising Festival, we didn't have to pack and go, as Starwood... is Brushwood Bound! Monday (the day between the worlds, so to speak) rained cats and dogs and other pets. I give a lot of credit to the ACE people and Starwood volunteers, and Brushwood staff, as they had to set up Starwood in the rain. Don't know how many pavilions they put up that day, but there were many popping up all over the field.. So let's start by giving some kudos' and gratitude to all the people who made Starwood happen... thank you all. Its a pleasure to see people working for the people... damn refreshing! Don't know how long it rained, but as I fell asleep, I started to hear a faint sound... squish... .squish... .suish! Little did I know that that sound was going to become more and more familiar to me as the... [Full Two Page Review]
Thank the Goddess for Maters - A Lugh Day Tale
by Mirlin Poplar
It's been awhile since I actually wrote something path related. So I thought I'd tell you folks about the recent Lughnasadh events around our way.
My daughter and I have been writing to each other now for six months after having been separated from each other since she was a baby. I was supposed to go see her last month in Long Island but unfortunately we had to postpone the trip till the end of this month. Recently we have been telephoning each other back and forth.
She called me about 4 days ago and as we were chatting she said, "Don't you have a holiday coming up?" I replied something like, "Well yes, as a matter of fact, on August 1 or 2, we observe what is known as the 1st harvest, some traditions call it Lammas, and others call it Lughnasadh, which was named after the God..." [Full Article]
Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism
Composed by: Erynn Rowan Laurie, Aedh Rua O'Morrighu, John Machate, Kathryn Price Theatana, Kym Lambert ní Dhoireann, ed. by Erynn Rowan Laurie
The idea of reconstructionist Pagan religions has been around since at least the mid 1970s and is discussed in Margot Adler's 1979 edition of Drawing Down the Moon. Some organizations, like ADF, have been doing reconstruction work for many years, but their focus was never purely or particularly Celtic.
Many individuals were in dialogue about what constituted genuine early Celtic religion and spirituality, and how to educate others about the differences between Wicca and the various forms of Celtic Paganism. These discussions initially took place in Pagan publications and around the fire at Pagan gatherings starting in the early 1980s. With the growth of the internet, dialogue on PODSnet Celtic, the GEnie network, Celtic-L and other online forums became the critical factor leading to a rapid spread of information after 1989. The phrase Celtic Reconstructionist (CR) began to gain common use during 1992 and 1993 to describe individuals who were trying to understand, research, and re-create an authentically Celtic path for modern Pagans.... [Full Article]
48 Hours Later... Well, praise the Gods (and our beloved Witchvox sponsors) for not-so-small miracles. When we posted the news of our financial situation 48 hours ago and asked for your help, we expected perhaps a few dozen responses. Our crystal ball must have been low on batteries that day because we never envisioned the type of real response that our plea might generate.
Thanks to the generous support from over 300 new sponsors (who pledged/sent amounts anywhere between $2-$250.), we now have enough funding for the rest of this year and a little more as a hedge against emergencies.
The response from you really was incredible. (It was more than that -- much, much more -- but we are at a loss for words right now and will expound more about this in the next update. Your emails and phone messages -- so full of kindness, concern and encouragement -- moved us to tears on more than one occasion.) And since we've always been honest with you, we feel it only right to let you know that the initial emergency financial situation has resolved.
So thank you to all of you who have come forward in the past two days. We will work at getting your sponsor kits and/or a verification of your donation out to you to as soon as possible. Please be patient. We never expected this level of support, (or this volume of email) and it will take a while to match up all the PayPal contributions/ personal checks with the info already in our database. Present sponsors or listed contacts will be flagged. And because we care about your privacy, we will not list you publicly without your permission.
And if you would still like to send something, we certainly will adore you for doing so. All future funds contributed will continue to put us further ahead and securely into the upcoming year. We are upfront sort of folks here and we simply couldn't continue to accept your hard earned cash before making you are aware of these updated facts on our financial situation. We hope that you will continue to support this community resource throughout the year.
So we love you, we thank you and we promise to personally pummel anyone who dares to say to us that Pagans do not care about 'community'. [Full Weekly Statement]
A Huge UPDATE - Last week we featured a passionate Rant from Wren detailing our frustration with the theft of our good name (for personal profit), community reactions, attacks on other Pagans, and much to think about... Also featured this week: Details on how you can support TWV with your credit card via PayPal, timely Witchvox reviews of 'Sirius Rising' by Don/Daniella Waterhawk and 'Hands of Change' by Steven E. Repko, a power new piece by Kerr, a wonderful new Trad profile on Celtic Reconstructionist Paganism and your first round of Practical Magick Essays. It's also worth noting that last week saw a massive amount of new networking submissions for YOUR area (over 1,100 new events, groups, Pagans, links etc...). To experience these features simply scroll down on this page.
Want Some Milque with that Toast...
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock."" *
"I mean it, Wren. This sort of crap has got to stop." I could hear My Friend's anger and frustration crackling through the phone. Even as my mind started to comprehend what he was telling me, one cluster of brain cells still took a few seconds off in order to note that it was probably a very good thing indeed that we owned a cordless phone. If I had been directly connected to anything directly connected to my old Friend, I am sure that I would have been blown off of the balcony. The resulting electrical arc might then have set off the fire alarm... and that surely would have caused the cats to scatter in three of the four directions -- but not before kicking over the potted fern (again) or dumping their water goblet and soaking the carpet (again) -- and I was already having a bad enough day as it was.... [... continued]
| 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]
The Bard and the Poser...
Over the years, I have seen a set of character traits in action which effect our community in ways that are both positive and negative. This archetypal set is: The Bard and the Poser.
The strength of the Bard is that of brilliant story teller, learned advocate, truthful historian, imaginative teacher, wise counselor and creative artist. From song writers to programmers, within groups and as solitaries, our people use this Companion archetype to create in many ways and forms. Bards inspire others to reach for their fullest potential and they show us how to tap into our creative being.... [Full Article]
Did Women Invent the Ancient Art of Yoga?
by Vicki Noble
My Awakening to Yoga
Yoga "happened" to me in 1976. Without any conscious foundation or prior framework of understanding, yoga erupted from within my body as a shamanistic healing crisis that came ready-made with its own solution. My chronic illness had become physically debilitating after ten years of miserable tension headaches and a pre-ulcerous stomach condition. A spontaneous healing occurred when I gave up on prescription drugs and called out in desperation for help from some invisible listening force. I began having ecstatic sensations and liberating transformations that were without precedence in my life, but wholly welcome. I had powerful dreams and visions, like those I described in Shakti Woman, that led me to the teachings of yoga and shamanism for understanding. My very first "out of body" experience paved the way for all the others by providing a significant female context... [Full Article]
I am the youngest daughter of a traditional Christian, large, fertile family. All of my siblings, both younger and older, grew up, found partners and had children. They have all remained faithful to the Christian religion we were all raised in. But not me; I have been Pagan for 26 of my 39 years. I was adamant I would never marry or have children. I had other plans for how I was going to leave my mark the world. I was going to work as a healing health care professional, caring for others and incorporating my belief system by providing holistic care to those with end of life issues. I was going to live a life of service, excitement and travel. For the first eight years after graduating from college I lived the life I had planned, traveling around the country working as a contract medical professional. I visited the wide-open plains in the Midwest, the Pacific Coast and the Great Northwest. Yes, life was just as I had envisioned it, rich and carefree. But that was before I fell in love. At that point having a child became an obsession. I wanted to create life... [Full Article]
Sacrifice as the Restoration of Balance
by Lili Fugit
The concept of sacrifice is universal, dating back through all of human history, crossing all ethnic and religious boundaries. Some of the first written stories deal with the Sumerian Goddess Inanna making a series of sacrifices, including the sacrifice of herself and then that of her faithless lover Dumuzi, in order to attain the wisdom of the Underworld.
In a general [modern] Pagan context, sacrifice is a valuable tool in making historical and personal connections to rituals and ceremonies of civilizations long gone. Specifically to those who practice Witchcraft and varying forms of folk magick, sacrifice is a means of keeping a balance within the universe. It is nothing if not a great equalizer. It is more than mere quid pro quo, though the argument could be made that there is nothing mere about exchanging one thing for another, particularly on the spiritual plane. Sacrifice is very much about aligning oneself with whatever one wishes to express or attain. In doing this everything is kept level because nothing is taken away without giving back... [Full Article]
Sirius Rising 2003
by Don and Daniella WaterHawk
What a trip Daniella and I had, getting to Brushwood this year. We arrived 3 days late (blew our transmission=$2500..ka ching), stayed in crappy hotels till it was fixed, but made it nonetheless. Pulled into Brushwood and was warmly greeted by Theresa & Darlene Barney (owners) and a whole slew of wonderful people that we only get to see once a year. All info/registration stuff were in an envelope for us ready to be signed, and then down to the field we went. And at the field it was in full swing.....driving by the Stone Circle, we saw the morning meeting in progress with a large group of people ( thanks to those that facilitated in our place), children running around the pool area and colors and sounds that you can only hear when one is at Brushwood. Because of our late... [Full Review]
The 6th Annual Hands of Change Pagan Picnic
by Steven Repko
Saturday August 2, 2003 Lammas Weekend. After hideous weather reports all week the 6th Annual Hands of Change Pagan Picnic, went off without a hitch. I was told that it poured like crazy at 10:00 AM, but by the opening circle at 11:00 AM and for the rest of the day not a drop fell, in fact it turned out to be a really nice summer day. Johnson Park is a beautifully green spot right on the river with tons of shade, the smell of burgers and the rich forest floor helped provide the perfect backdrop for this event.
This year's picnic was particularly auspicious, as this was the 5th Coven anniversary of Hands of Change, Happy Five Guys! Members from many of the covens and groups in the state were on hand to share in the reverie along with a big pile of solo attendees and pagan families. This year's sabbat theme was the coven as a family and you would have thought that this was a family reunion if you didn't know better; it just felt that nice.
Location: Clearwater¼, Florida
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