Weekly Update: 2/9/2004|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: February 8th. 2004
Times Viewed: 5,897
Hearts and Flowers: Reclaiming Valentine's Day
This story is for those among us who hate Valentine's Day because they find it meaningless, commercial and depressing. It doesn't have to be that way...
It's February 14th, 1987 - Somewhere in Los Angeles, nine women are dining in an elegant restaurant. The group is a mixed circle of ages, sizes, colors, and lifestyles. They have three things in common: they have been friends for years, they are all single, and they are dressed to kill.
"Why should we sit home on Valentine's Night feeling lonely and full of self pity?" they said. "Let's get out there and celebrate." And so they did.
They have a marvelous time. The restaurant is lovely, the service perfect, and the food superb. The women tell stories and jokes and toast one another frequently. Nearby diners sneak curious glances at their table. "Why are they staring at us?" the women ask. "They are wondering", the waiter says, "which of you is the bride-to-be."
During the meal, the women read poems and limericks.(1) Some of the women read their own work, some recite old favorites. Earthy female laugher erupts from the table as the friends read aloud from works by Dorothy Parker and Edna Saint Vincent Millay.
The ladies at this table are not looking for a lover to "rescue" them from their lives and they do not think that loving another person will somehow solve all their problems. They are grown-ups, after all. Still, this is a fairy story so something magical is bound to occur. What happens is this: each woman celebrates her best Self this night, a unique creation she sees mirrored back to her in the loving faces of her friends. Some of these women will choose to love again and they will remember what is due that Self and choose their partners more wisely then they have before. Some in that Circle will choose to live alone and give their love(2) to the things that matter to them the most. All these women will have lives that are equally rich; filled with laughter, inspiration, and grace. It's all in how you play it... [... continued]
The Mirror of Venus: A Valentine's ritual to honor Aphrodite in all of us
Ahh. February 14th. Those of us with sweethearts may be looking forward to Valentine's Day with sweaty anticipation and fond memories. (Mine include an exploration of the spatial properties of the backseat of a Ford Mustang! Which can be done, but is much more challenging if you're old enough to attract the interest of the AARP ...)
However, prior to meeting my beloved, I was single for ten long years, and I know from experience -- lots of it -- that Valentines Day can be a fabulous opportunity for single people to tally up their many failings in an effort to determine why they are indeed sans partner. For women, and even some men, the first 10 or 20 items will be a litany of physical flaws. You know the routine: "I'm too fat/ flat-chested/ dumpy/ wrinkled/ flabby/ tall/ freckled/ knock-kneed. My hair is frizzy, my nose is bumpy, my teeth are yellow, my... [Full Article]
'Bardic Circle 2004' at Witchvox:
This week we feature 4 new performances...
Foggy Dew - by Wendy Wylde
Traditionally, "The Foggy Dew" is a war protest song. It was written by a priest who was upset by England's habit of "borrowing" young Irish men for their wars. It was one of the first songs that I le... (Go To Performance)
Mother, Forgive Them - by Mordewis ap Llys
This isn't the sweetest tune I've ever written, but it is my witchiest one. You want sweet, listen to "Raven and Crow". I wrote this song for a workshop on "The Burning Times" to be given here in Ashe... (Go To Performance)
Sometimes It Rains - by Jay Atwood
So here's the setup: It's night at the Starwood Festival - and we're hangin' by our campfire trying to keep warm. For a few blessed hours, the sky is clear and the stars shine. Someone plays a guitar. The drums by the ma... (Go To Performance)
Urania Sings - by Emerald Rose
Urania, one of the Greek muses, was said to inspire astronomers and those who explore the night sky. Urania is also associated with Aphrodite ("Aprodite Urania" the goddess of divine love) .
Logan, the a... (Go To Performance)
Editors Note: Bardic Circle submissions have been turned back on... If you want to share your mp3 file and your story, log in a add your performance... To experience the performances already posted... CLICK HERE.
This Day Our Daily Goddess
by Kensho Godchaser
Work. School. Family. Friends. Bills. Hobbies. Community service. Our daily routine pulls us in so many directions, it sometimes seems impossible just to breathe, relax, and connect with the Goddess.
For Wiccans and Pagans, connecting with the Goddess often means performing a ritual in which we invoke the Goddess, the God, or aspects of Both. But rituals, while magnificent, often take planning time and energy. Depending on the week we're having, these things may be precious commodities. After working or going to school all day, performing a ritual can seem as appealing as scaling Mt. Everest. Even those blessed with the time and the energy for frequent meditation and ritual work may find there's something missing from their routines. The "pit stop" of a ritual may not be enough to see them through the day... [Full Article]
|New ESSAY TOPIC!|
Pure and Not So Simple
Most religions, including many Pagan traditions, have holidays, rituals and/or techniques devoted to the idea of purification. It is a universal concept, but often not particularly well thought out or well understood. So we ask for your thoughts on one or all of these questions: What does purification mean to you? What makes something, or someone, pure or impure? What happens to the matter or energy that is purified? Finally, what rituals and techniques do you use to purify, and in what circumstances do you use them?
The deadline for this topic is March 30th. 2004., 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 Syncretic Pagan Essays...
Both Quaker and Pagan
by Laura Salmonstone
I am a Quaker Pagan - both a Quaker and a Pagan at the same time. My Pagan practice is influenced by many different traditions and experiences, and my spirituality is a blending of all of these influences.
I was born and raised a Quaker. Quakerism is formally known as the Religious Society of Friends, and is a type of Protestant Christianity with an emphasis on the belief that "there is that of God" in everyone. This concept of divinity in everyone is sometimes called the "Inner Light" or "Inner Christ." Friends are known for our silent worship (there is no need for a minister if everyone is connected to God), decision-making by consensus (God speaks through everyone), and strong stances and activism on peace, equality, abolition, women's rights, and the environment, among other causes... [Full Article]
The Syncretic Pagan
by Faethe Green
Even within the Pagan community, where diversity and eclecticism render stereotypes obsolete, I am a bit of an anomaly. Before I came to Paganism (by way of Google, rather embarrassingly), I was an altar girl at my Catholic church. And now, over half a year later, I'm still an altar girl at the same church.
The old ladies adore me. The pastor depends on me. I'm the only one who shows up every week, and I'm not even Catholic anymore. No one at the church knows I'm Pagan, though I imagine at least some of them know I haven't yet made my confirmation - instead I'm planning a dedication ritual. I wear my pentacle under the alb and one of the wooden crosses the altar servers wear over it. Mass every weekend gives me a chance to worship with others, since I'm a solitaire half by chance and half by choice. It causes me to focus on the male aspect... [Full Article]
Why Syncretism Makes Sense Within Paganism
Paganism and syncretism are complementary, not contradictory, paths. I find that one of the core values of Paganism can lead naturally to syncretism -- namely, the focus on this earth and this life. Today many of us on this earth live culturally diverse lives, and syncretism can be a way of reflecting and celebrating this cultural diversity. Syncretism may cause problems, both for Pagans and for the world, but these are not insurmountable if dealt with constructively. Ultimately, syncretism can produce a profound and beautiful spiritual path.
This is of course my view, and readers are welcome to disagree. My discussion will necessarily be biased toward the two Paganisms with which I have had the most experience: Neo-Shamanism and Wicca. I hope Pagans of other paths will find insight here and drop me a note if anything makes them feel excluded (it isn't intentional).
Before I get into my argument, I should define... [Full Article]
Syncretism: My Way to Paganism and Sources of Inspiration
by Vit Lang
1: Questions and Answers
It is not an easy task to find the religion and philosophy that would answer satisfactorily the fundamental questions like: "Who are we?", "Where do we go to?", "How does the world work and why?"
There are a lot of religious and philosophical systems, a lot of ideas which came into being to explain the world. Some of them have become influential and widespread; some of them have been (nearly) lost.
You can try to find the answers to the questions mentioned above by choosing an established religious and philosophical system. Nevertheless, it may happen that you will realize that one or more ideas contradict the reality or that you simply do not like some idea(s). Now there are two possibilities: either to suppress the doubts or dislikes and become a conformist, or to substitute the "wrong" idea(s). If you opt... [Full Article]
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