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Weekly Update: 10/6/2003

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: October 6th. 2003
Times Viewed: 4,590

October 2003...

This week we welcome in our favorite month with some of the strongest essays we've ever seen, a wonderful Pagan Pride Day review from Massachusetts, a quick thank you for *our* busiest month ever, a humble farewell to Fred, and a breif overview of the current and future changes planned for this site.

Cleaning the Slate: In an effort to take back control of this critical (and arguably out of control) page we are knocking back the colors, the content and past features. The inherent problem(s) with a site this vast (40 something sections, 6k pages, 8k news clips and over 60k community listings) is that you simply cannot promote everything in the 'hot spots'.

We are playing with many new options for this page, some will evolve some will go away quickly. The most substantial is the 'drop down' menu bar just above. We do hope this new navigation system helps you to better 'hit' pages here at the Witches' Voice... Look for many changes in the weeks to come.

September Rocked!: Last month was our busiest month in our 6 plus years online (link), smashing the 3 million pages viewed barrier for the first time ever. Unique IPs (our best estimate of different visitors) cracked 600,000. Witches, Wiccans, Pagans and Heathens from all of the planet came to read your words and check out what you are up to... We were able to deliver this level of traffic, via a dedicated web server, thanks to those of you that chose to support Witchvox by becoming sponsors. Our profound thanks go out to the sponsors (past and present) of the Witches' Voice. Good show!.


In Memorium: Fred Tuttle - A Man With A Plan

We were saddened this week by the news of the passing of a man whom Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., described as being "the distilled essence of Vermonthood". Fred Tuttle, dairy farmer and movie star, was the epitome of both the 'everyman' and of the unique individualist. He lived life his own way and on his own terms.

Fritz and I met with Fred on several occasions. His colorful down-on-the-farm -- and sometimes in the barn (wink-wink) -- stories kept us entertained for hours. He was incredibly tolerant of alternative lifestyles and beliefs for a man of his generation. And he really enjoyed playing the 'devil's advocate' as evidenced in his "run" for political office. His 'Fredisms" are famous throughout the state and everybody could truthfully say that he or she 'knew' Fred. Vermont indeed has lost one of her favorite sons.

But we know that wherever Fred is now, he is probably still telling his wonderful stories... and should the summerlands have a print shop, we wouldn't be at all surprised to see 'Spread Fred' bumperstickers tacked up on every tree and cloud.

Our condolences go out to his wife, Dorothy, and to his children -- and our good friends -- Thoth and Maat. We love you.

To read more about Fred Tuttle, his 'plan' and his legacy, see: Vermont's 'Man With a Plan' Dies To offer YOUR condolences visit the article featured on Wren's Nest


Ellen Cannon Reed Passes Over...

Today (Oct. 7th, 2003) we received word of the passing of Ellen Cannon Reed... We are honored to offer you 2 wonderful tribute pieces by Pagan Authors Dorothy Morrison and Yasmine Galenorn... We have also set up a place for you to leave your thoughts over at Wren's Nest (Click HERE).

The Witches Voice staff extends our condolences to Chris and Ellen's family and friends.

In Memorium: Ellen Cannon Reed
by Dorothy Morrison

Back in the early nineties - before "internet" was a household word - I was living in the middle of the bible belt. It an awful place. A horrid place. A place where you couldn't even pay for groceries without someone wanting to scoop you up and take you to church. Fortunately for me, though, I had a modem. And I'd discovered something wonderful called PODSNET [an international Pagan BBS]... [Full Testimonial]

In Memorium: Ellen Cannon Reed
by Yasmine Galenorn,

Dear Ellen... By now, you are walking with Isis, your Lady, probably chatting with her about your time spent in this world of ours, trying to figure out how to help Chris make it on his own, and no doubt, you are peeking to see if the Great Mother has any basenjis tailing on the hems of her robes. You are out of pain, out of the great struggle, and on to a new adventure and a state we will only know once we cross that threshold just as you have..... [Full Testimonial]
Update: Ellen Cannon Reed's Condition Worsens
Reported by Bearcloud
(posted on Wren's Nest Oct. 2nd)

It is with a very heavy heart that I inform you that Ellen Cannon Reed has taken a downturn and is very ill. As you know, Ellen has been battling leukemia for the last couple of years. Recently, she entered hospital for yet another course of chemotherapy, however this time its not helping.

She is very ill and has been sent home, per her request. As of the last information I received, she is too weak to talk; the estimate is about two weeks ... continued



Samhain/Hallowe'en Info.

This week, we commence with our moon long celebration of arguabally the most fave holiday in all of Pagandom - 'Samhain (aka Hallowe'en, ShadowFest, Martinmas, Old Hallowmas)... Local Samhain Events are plentiful and will be happening all over the Northern Hemisphere during the next 2 weeks (down under they will celebrating Beltaine in a big way). Visit your Samhain Happenings Page OR your Local Events Pages for up to the minute listings.

YOUR Words Wanted... "Connecting With the Ancestors"

Many -- perhaps most -- Pagan traditions, both ancient and modern, incorporate rituals, stories and guidance for connecting with one's ancestral spirits. This can be either blood ancestry or spiritual ancestry. We'd like to hear about how modern-day Pagans connect and work with their ancestors and how you incorporate this work into daily or seasonal practices.

The deadline for this topic is October 31st., 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

Connecting With the Ancestors
by Morgaine

As Pagans, we often find ourselves in the position of keeping holidays that are foreign to our own beliefs. Those of us with children may find it difficult to ignore Christmas or Easter and, while they may be observed according to their ancient roots, for those not following an eclectic path the incorporation of Norse or Saxon deities may not be especially appropriate. It is a pleasure, then, to arrive at a moment in the sacred year where the ancient and modern meet and embrace as comfortably as they do at Halloween!

For who among us forgoes the carving of the jack-o-lantern, bobbing for apples, the augury of the hazelnut, or the processional donning of masks? ... [Full Article]



Tapping the Bone: Ancestral Workings in a Traditional Coven
by Peter Paddon

Many cultures around the world operate from a belief that the Gods are divine ancestors, from the Shinto religion in Japan, through many African traditions and the Maoris, to many of the Witchcraft Traditions of old Europe. For most of them, reverence for more mundane ancestors is also a major factor in their beliefs.

As a practitioner of the Elder Faith, ancestral workings are an integral part of my practice. Technically speaking, every time I commune with my Gods, I'm connecting with my ancestors on many levels, and I find a lot of satisfaction is to be had from working this way... [Full Article]



Working with My Ancestral Mother
by Arizona Medicine Rainbow

As a solitary practitioner, I'm not familiar with many Pagan traditions, including those which establish a connection to our ancestors. From my experience though, I would imagine these rites as simple, beautiful rituals honoring those who came before us and attuning our consciousness with them. Basically I do this by listening to my heart, which has always guided me in connecting with our planet and beyond.. [Full Article]



Recovery and Religion: A Pagan Speaks Out
by Alicia H.

Ten years ago I began my recovery from alcoholism in the Twelve-Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), but I have been Pagan for almost as long as I can remember. Alcoholics Anonymous is not affiliated with any religion, but it is based upon Christian tenets. Although designed to accommodate religious differences, the Christian basis of the program can pose special problems for Pagans. I would like to contribute my experience in the hope that it may provide some help to Pagans involved in Twelve-Step programs.. [Full Article]



Pagan Pride: Kingston, MA
by Marie Sultana Robinson

I thought I'd give a brief review of Pagan Pride Day up in Kingston, MA, for those of you who missed it. Of course, I added a bit here, and a swatch of color there, and then added a website URL and to be fair added another so people could find those I talk about. And suddenly it grew. It's a review, it's a love letter for a great day and it's honoring some valiant people whose crafts, words, and creations should be honored and nurtured and supported. People who should not be measured by the size of their audience, or the size of their booth, but the size of their hearts and talents... [Full Review]



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]






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