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Year: 2004 ...

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Year: 2003 ...

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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

Weekly Update: 3/15/2004

Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: March 15th. 2004
Times Viewed: 7,263

In Memory of Joe Dzielak
by Steven E. Repko

On March 18th at about 11:30AM Joe Dzielak surrounded by his loved ones passed beyond the veil and the Pagan Community of New Jersey is short a pair of really large hands.

Have you ever noticed online, how you can always tell when someone important to people passes? Their messages get shorter. On the Jersey lists today the messages are very short.

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, Joe Dzielak was the quiet guy who looked like a welder, probably because he was a welder and the fact that he was too busy doing what needed done to stop and talk. When I think back I still remember seeing his eyes light up when he talked about what he could do with metal. Joe liked the fact that he could rely on metal, it was strong, we liked the fact that we could rely on him he was, "of metal".

Joe was a volunteer at most of the events in New Jersey and if you were ever in need of help, a shadow would pass over you and stuff moved around, got set up, got taken down, often without words. When I think back it's kind of funny, if it was anyone else you may have felt threatened but Joe was a good and selfless man and you just knew you were in safe hands... [Full Memorial]

Photo by Don Waterhawk (weblink). Image captured at Wendyl and Bills in Ft. Meyers, Florida
Pysanky Panky: The Magic Egg
by SnakeMoon

Here we stand at the Spring Equinox, once again straddling the line between the darkness and the light, between fear and faith. For many spiritual practices, this is the season of hope, the pastel package delivered on winter's promise that someday it will again be warm, green, and light. With the new shoots pushing their way through the wet dirt, the beckoning call of amorous birds at dawn, and the lengthening day, many of us who have spent the winter rain-drenched and grouchy will again consider the abundant possibilities of spring.

Christians have Easter, that wonderful celebration of resurrection that's marked by bunnies, eggs, and flowers. Named after a Pagan equinox festival honoring bunnies, eggs, and renewal, this year Easter occurs in April, a long time from the equinox, but often the Paschal season falls near its progenitor, Eostara. The Jews have Passover - more eggs (plus charoset and tzimmes) - to celebrate the Israelites' hope for freedom from the restrictions... [Full Article]

Vox Cookie... Countless background changes to the site were made this week. Probably the most important being the option for you to set a local cookie (on your computer) via a check box in our log in routine - This cookie captures nothing personal (and is deleted if/when you 'log out') and simply relogs you in - Those that are tired of having to constantly log in will certainly appreciate this new option. - TWV Staff

They Know Not What They Do: The Passion as Roman Sacrifice
by Eric 'Fritter' Riley

Yes, I admit it. I too was one of the Pagans in the audience of the new Mel Gibson film "The Passion of the Christ." Being raised in a Christian family, the story was very well known to me, and I admit I was intrigued by the concept and the hype of the film (not to mention the beautiful cinematography). However, now as a Pagan, and one who has been looking further into Roman Reconstructionism, I had a very different experience in watching that film than I had expected. In fact, I was shocked. I gasped, perhaps not unlike the original Greek audience would have done, because in that very well-known story I saw something only a handful of people in today's society would ever recognize. The story of the Passion is the story of a human sacrifice, done unknowingly, and yet according to Roman ritual sacrifice structure. Let me start at... [Full Article]

Witch Cinema: Spring Gleanings

by Peg Aloi

Have you seen Hidalgo yet? Why not? Just go already. This wonderful film will help you forget whatever problems are keeping you up nights, making you eat too much, making you lose your appetite, making you drink one too many beers every night, making you take the dog for a much shorter walk than she deserves/needs.

Viggo Mortensen stars as the legendary horseman Matthew Hopkins. Although historians disagree about some of Hopkins' claims to fame, it's agreed he was the first American to ride in the Ocean of Fire in 1900. This race across the Arabian desert was known for attracting wealthy American and European investors who bet on Arabian horses and their Bedouin riders. In this film, we see Hopkins, a dispatch rider for the Cavalry, witness the brutal slaughter of his friends and kinsmen at Wounded Knee (Hopkins was half-Sioux).... [Full Article]

The Spiritual Heart of Activism
by Jesse Wolf Hardin

Now more than ever we need a deepening of social consciousness and environmental activism, especially on the part of we who are given to Earth-informed religions, who circle and praise the Goddess, or cast spells in her favor... We need to respond adamantly and powerfully, not only for the sake of the natural world we depend on but also for the good of our natural selves... And the most powerful activism is usually inspired, fed and sustained by a spiritual and magical connection to the living Earth we are forever a part of.

In fact I cannot talk about myself, my work or beliefs without talking first about my home.  It is the very ground of my being, and the source of my every surviving truth... I live in the Gila, in the Southwest corner of this state... In the ancestral lands of the San Francisco culture, the Sweet Medicine People who migrated out and down to... [Full Article]

Over at the Wiccan Pagan Times...
Joyce and River Higginbotham.....They make their home in Missouri, where they are very active in teaching, networking, and promoting Paganism and other earth-centered religions, on both the local and national level.Ê They are founding members of the Council for Alternative Spiritual Traditions (CAST), a regional organization consisting of members from a variety of alternative spiritualities, which hosts public Pagan and alternative events.Ê River and Joyce consider themselves Eclectic Pagans andÊ have been involved in spiritual exploration and earth-centered religions for the past fifteen years... Surf to the [the Wiccan Pagan Times] for another fine interview in TWPT's..... The Author's Corner..

Witchvox 'New Book Release' of the Week...

The Faery Teachings

Author: Orion Foxwood

This book is a complilation of folkloric practices from oral lore, inspired poetry, contemporary practices, as well as some historical lore and practices documented through academic research. It is not intended to be a scholarly document. Rather, it is intended to be a practical one that presents a body of practices and lore that, in some form, extends from our distant past to the present time and will continue into the unknown future.

The best audience for the Faery Teachings include practitioners of folk, magical, and earth-based spirituality and traditions, and those persons who are curious about modern and old Faery lore. It is also aimed at anyone who cares about our planet and all of the beings who dwell on, in, and around her. - [More info]

To experience other new releases, community fave lists, featurettes, and one of the most extensive and detailed Pagan book listings on the planet visit the Witchvox Pagan Book Pages!

YOUR Words Wanted... "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 20th. 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 'Pure and Not So Simple' Essay...

by Janice Van Cleve

"Blessed be, dear Sister! Enter the temple of the Goddess with clean hands and pure heart, that you may do honor to the Source of all Life." With these or similar words, the Women Of The Goddess Circle greets seekers and welcomes them into sacred space before we cast the circle. What does it mean to have clean hands or a pure heart? Are these simply empty words repeated by rote because they sound pretty, or is there a notion of cleansing and purifying attached to them? Is such cleansing and purifying necessary? Would the magic somehow fail if someone in the circle were not purified?

These are important questions. In times past our circle used to call this a rite of purification. Indeed it still has many of the hallmarks of a traditional purification. Sometimes we smudge the seeker with sage. Sometimes we splash her with water or stroke her with a sprig of juniper. In spring we may use... [Full Article]

Purification: A Moment of Clarity
by Marius Argentis

Why do we have to purify our tools or ourselves? Why can't the universe just lend us its energy, why can't the God and Goddess just empower our little corporeal forms? Why do we have to do all this work?

We, of course, don't have to do any of this work. I've sat down to do a ritual without any preparation whatsoever. I've set fire to my candles, hurriedly poured some mineral water and grabbed a few pieces of fruit, ditched my street clothes and sat down to work. Only, it didn't work. At least not all that well. Oh, I'm sure the Lord and Lady heard my little words and I'm quite positive they were there with me, but I sure didn't feel it the way I have in the past. But why? It's still just me in my little circle. What could skipping that purification have to do with the success or failure of my workings... [Full Article]


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