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Weekly Update: 11/17/2003

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: November 17th. 2003
Times Viewed: 4,057

Thanks for the Memories
by Wren Walker

"And memories, he knew, were not glass treasures to be kept locked within a box. They were bright ribbons to be hung in the wind." *

Around here, the time between Samhain and Yule goes by many names. I commonly refer it to as 'The Purging of the Closets'. Fritz tends to think of it more as 'The Season of Many Trash Bags.' And, of course, there is that Thanksgiving thing.

I must admit that I have been conflicted over the celebration of Thanksgiving ever since I found out that those First Pilgrims were simply fattening up their Native brethren for the future kill. Thinking of it as merely 'Turkey Day' -- or during my vegetarian years as 'Tofu With Wheat Germ Giblets Day' -- didn't make it any easier because while I generally have no problem with giving thanks, I really hate being pressured into doing so on an empty stomach. And then there is the timing factor. Make your prayer presentation too short and everyone at the table knows that you are thinking about getting it over with just so that you can chow down. Make it too long and you know that everyone else at the table is thinking why don't you just get it over with so that we can all chow down...And those Pilgrims had no monopoly on backstabbing as anyone who has ever attended a family Thanksgiving complete with rivaling sister-in-laws can tell you.

Pagans often experience some qualms over the obligatory family holiday get-togethers. Sometimes, he or she is the only Pagan in the family and often the family doesn't even know it yet. A few hearty yelps of "Hail Dionysus" after three glasses of spiked eggnog usually clears up that little dilemma, but you'll still have to deal with them again at Christmas or Hanukah. Let's face it; these 'family holidays' rarely turn out to be the stuff that warm and fuzzy memories are made of. But they can be... [Full Article]

The Castle of the Rose Queen
by Robin Artisson

"The promise of the rose then becomes the soul's journey after death. To us, this journey takes the soul along the path through the Underworld to the banks of the timeless river that is the boundary between this world and the next. Wide and slow-flowing, it washes away all earthbound memories and desires, leaving the spirit clean once again. Far out in this river, whose opposite bank can never be seen or reached by us under normal circumstances, is the island on which stands the three-towered castle. Perched on a rocky outcrop with a path snaking up from a desolate plain covered with stunted bushes to its gate, it is what the soul will see as it is carried there by the hooded silent ferryman. Once ashore, the soul starts walking towards the castle. Then the miracle of the Rose occurs; the wastelands start to bloom again with blood-red roses until the castle itself seems to be set in a red sea of flowers, and the soul instinctively knows that the Goddess, true to Her word, has 'gathered it up home again.'" --Evan Jones

It seems that most of the Mysteries of Traditional Craft revolve around death. This is partly a misconception, based on a limited understanding of the true meaning of the term "death." The subject of "death" is a very important one, because it is the one event in life, to most people's perception, that carries with it true finality. Most religions and spiritual doctrines are held in such high regard by humankind precisely because they offer an assurance that we will "survive" our deaths, somehow, in an afterlife, or in a future life... [Full Article]

New Event Review...
MoonFire: Samhain Witches' Sabbat
(October 25th, 2003 - Arlington, VA)
Review by RuneWolf

What could be more appropriate on Halloween than a Witches' Masquerade to Honor the Ancestors? On October 25th, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA, that question was put to the test by the worthy folk of MoonFire.

Guests at the masquerade were greeted warmly, amidst the quiet hustle and bustle of masked Witches going about their last-minute preparations. Each arrival was presented with an Order of Service, a pencil and paper, and a choice from the Tarot deck, to be recorded and interpreted later. A beautiful selection of masks was also available, for those who did not come so prepared. Fortunately, I had read the Samhain announcement in the MoonFire Newsletter, and had managed at the last minute to make my own simple mask, although I would not have looked out of place with a pair of six-guns strapped over my robe. (Who was that Masked Witch...?)... [Full Article]

Rights and Perceptions
by Cyana

I just read your topic and decided I would respond. I'm in Canada, and a military wife.

I recently came out of the broom closet, and proudly so, in front of a group of people I trust, on the base where I'm currently residing. It was an interesting experience, in that people were uncertain how to respond. I noted that they were intrigued, mystified, curious, a bit scared as well. There were questions which I answered as clearly as I was capable. It was an interesting three hours. I'm glad I had a fellow Wiccan/Pagan/Witch with me; she came out at the same time. Interestingly, we didn't know each other till this event, but have bonded since.

We live in interesting times, where we expect to be educated, and to be able to form our own opinions. Yet, many is the time in which we see the same things happening all over again, in that old ideas and ideals come to the surface... [Full Article]

All It Takes Is One Voice
by Linda Paul

There is an old Barry Manilow song - I know I am really showing my age here - that starts out, "All it takes is one voice singing in the darkness." These words ring so true in terms of promoting one's beliefs. I came out of the broom closet many years ago, at a time when being Wiccan was not nearly as accepted as it is in today's society. I lived in a rural area of Maine in which 90% of the town was either Methodist or Baptist, with the other 10% Catholic or Jewish. If there were any other Wiccans living within the area, they were firmly cloaked (no pun intended) in their pretense of a "normal" lifestyle. In a town where the Saturday night entertainment was playing community cribbage, my Tarot cards caused quite a ruckus. My husband at that time was quite embarrassed and chagrined when I was asked what church I hailed from, and my answer was "No church, I am a solitary... [Full Article]

Perceptions of Pagans: What Are People Afraid Of?
by Ares Hearthfire

It is amazing to me that 30-plus years after the late Dr. Leo Martello won his right to hold a ritual in Central Park we still have to come back to discussing how we are perceived. The public at large is not afraid of our religion. No, most of them tend to let us be and mind their own business. I say that with certainty since that is human nature. However, there are still those that fear...or do they?

It seems that every few weeks there are more stories mentioning Witches, Wiccans or Pagans in general. While most of the articles are now positive and informative, there are still those that report that so and so of blah blah blah church held a meeting that people are going to the devil. In listening to them talk we find that they really do not fear us. They fear the loss of their own voice... [Full Article]


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