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Weekly Update: 12/13/2003

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: December 13th. 2003
Times Viewed: 4,251

Return of the King - For more visual treats visit the Lord of the Rings Website
Return of the King
The Journey Ends... and Begins

Witchvox Review by Peg Aloi
December 17th., 2003

I have heard it said more than once that Tolkien was not a fan of allegory. Fair enough... the man was writing adventure stories, and sometimes a big sword is just a big sword. But that doesn't mean we cannot find profound symbolism and depth of meaning in his works. I have been reading a fair amount about Tolkien lately, as he is a hot topic now among academics , film critics and pop psychologists. (I have also been using a wonderful patchouli soap called "Middle Earth Turns to Rock" by Lush, but maybe that is just a coincidence). According to those people passionate or obsessed enough to write about such things, Tolkien can teach us about love and sex , war and terror or any number of important subjects. Do I think of the state of this sad, sorry, world when I watch these films? Yes. Do the scenes depicting aggression and greed and cruelty and evil resonate harshly, prompting comparisons to recent world events? Of course. Do I come away with hope for the future. Oh, yes. Perhaps I am being a tad too quick to see allegory where none exists; or maybe there is nothing so inspiring as an adventure as full of tears and triumph as this one is.

While I don't think the Lord of the Rings series of books will become the next Harry Potter in terms of current popularity (though they previously broke records for best-seller lists over the last several decades), simply because they are not as accessible as J. K. Rowling's, I do think these films will at the very least allow people (young, old, jaded, cynical, and those too busy or dull to read books) to consider what good story-telling can be, and spur them to seek it out more than they have in recent years... [WARNING: Spoilers... Read Full Review]

What's a Stang and Why do I Have so Many?
by Valire'brand

Now, it is vital to remember that this is not British Traditional Witchcraft I'm describing here. And it is certainly not Wicca as commonly understood. It is a modern syncretic practice rooted in my personal tradition and my understanding of the symbol set that is the Stang. And make no mistake; there is nothing simple about the Stang... [Full Article]

It's Raining, It's Pouring, the Old Man is Snoring...
by RuneWolf

Well, I was trying to, anyway.

It's raining like Hel up here in the wilds of Northern Virginia, buckets and buckets of it. A veritable torrential downpour. The wind is clattering the bare tops of the naked trees, and the rain is rattling on the gables. Cats and dogs? Hel, those are wolves and cougars at least, pardner...

I lie swaddled in my bedclothes, listening to the racket outside, reminding myself that it's all a part of nature. Perfectly, well, natural. Nothing at all to worry about... [Full Article]

The Wood Elf Original art by earthwizard, aka, steven craig.hickman - [Web Link]
Music for the Winter Solstice

by Peg Aloi

Hey, all you stylin' witches out there. Look, I KNOW that some of you get into this whole Yuletide thing. What's not to love? Twinkly lights, cookies with sprinklies, images of leaping deer, holly and ivy, and presents. Maybe you even enjoy the music piping into every department store, record shop, "drugstore" (you know, that place where you buy your toothpaste, aspirin, cat food and batteries) and elevator starting around Thanksgiving. Sure, sometimes you feel like screaming when you hear "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" for the tenth time that day (remember the DJ who barricaded himself in his booth and played it endlessly because he was sick of people calling in to request it?), but if you're like me every new arrangement of "Sleigh Ride" or "Carol of the Bells' is kinda heart-warming.

Yes, some of the most beautiful and enjoyable music some of us can think of is associated with Christmas. But what do we do when we want to hear songs that are about the solstice? The celebration of the return of the light? Well, the short answer is, there aren't many of these songs out there. The long answer is, depending on how you interpret them, some songs of the season, both traditional and contemporary, contain very pagan imagery and capture the mood of solstice more than they celebrate the birth of the Christian savior. Now, bear in mind, pre-Christian mythologies also celebrate the birth of a solar god (Mithras, Ra, Lugh, Apollo) and so we open-minded students of comparative religion can see Christmas as one more stop on the way to a universal myth that embraces everyone's belief system... [Full Article]

Christian Wicca
by Emily Alexandra

I am a Christian Wiccan. Perhaps Wiccan with Christian leanings is a better description; I'm not really sure. All I know is that my spiritual path is an unusual one.

Actually, I firmly believe that my path is not so unusual, or, at least, that it won't be seen as so odd once others realize that, fundamentalism aside, Christianity and Wicca does fit together quite nicely... [Full Article]

Religious Tolerance for our Children
by Amber Turner

Children are not being taught religious tolerance in school, especially tolerance towards the fastest growing religion in America: Wicca. For young children, the discrimination is less obvious. Simply asking a seven-year-old child about religion can discriminate against the religion their parents think they should be raised under. The hardest things a child has to deal with as far as religious discrimination are the religious affiliations that are advertised in school. Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts base a lot of their doctrines on religious beliefs... [Full Article]

Witchcraft and Religion: Keeping Wicca a Viable Alternative
by Ashtaroth

Religious adherents of all faiths invariably define religion in terms that support their particular beliefs. Webster's Lexicon of the English Language defines religion as "man's expression of his acknowledgement of the divine; a system of beliefs and practices relating to the sacred and uniting its adherents in community; something which has a powerful hold on a person's way of thinking and behaving." Noticeably, this definition is vague enough to be inclusive of almost any individualized philosophy or outlook on the divine... [Full Article]

Our Spiritual Rights and Public Perception
by Taylor Ellwood

When I was eighteen my mom burned my books on magick. And when I was nineteen I was called once on the hour, every hour by a Christian fanatic determined to kill me because I practiced magick. I am now twenty-seven... [Full Article]

Rights, Perceptions and Responsibilities
by Beige Allen

Colby, from Centralia MO writes: Do you feel that Pagan faith based groups should be given the same considerations as any other group that seeks aid?

Jim Towey: I haven't run into a pagan faith-based group yet, much less a pagan group that cares for the poor! Once you make it clear to any applicant that public money must go to public purposes and can't be used to promote ideology, the fringe groups lose interest. Helping the poor is tough work and only those with loving hearts seem drawn to it [Full Article]


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