Weekly Update: 5/10/2004|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: May 10th. 2004
Times Viewed: 3,985
Magical Ethics and Pseudo-Metaphysics
|The Berkeley Morris Dancers... dancing up the Sun at Inspiration Point in Berkeley, California on May Morn. Photo submitted by M. Macha NightMare [link] "We've been bringing in the May since Friday night, for a full 48 hours." -- Macha|
by John J. Coughlin
There are many theories as to why one should not use Magic to cause harm or influence others against their will or without their consent, but these theories are not really ethics, they are metaphysical ramblings.
Ethics are a set of shared values or moral principles that modify our behavior in social situations. Ethics attempt to set a standard form of conduct which we can all reasonably follow. The etymology of the words ethics and morality relate to "custom" or "manner" in both Greek and Latin respectively. As popular Christian religion began to stress morality these words took on a more religious connotation but ethics need not be tied to religion.
The complication of defining ethical behavior comes when we start to dig deeper. What are these "shared values?" How do we decide what is right and wrong when there are so many ways in which to view a problem? The more specific we try to be the more likely we are to come across disagreements. It would be difficult, for example, to find exception with placing value on such qualities as "truthfulness" and "avoiding harm to others," but which is more important when these values are in conflict? For example, if faced with lying to protect someone's well being, which value should take priority? Chances are this will depend on the context of the situation, but even then there is always the possibility that our views will differ. There are a number of factors which may make up the context of a situation - too many in fact to be able to plan for them all... [Full Article]
|TRADITION PROFILE ... |
The Dianic Wiccan Tradition
by Ruth Rhiannon Barrett
(Contaning exerpts from Women's Rites, Women's Mysteries: Creating Ritual in the Dianic Wiccan Tradition, forthcoming from AuthorHouse in Fall of 2004)
I hope here to address many of the questions asked of me over the years about what marks or distinguishes our tradition as "Dianic" from other Wiccan traditions and Goddess- centered spirituality forms. In presenting this, I am well aware that the term "Dianic" has a much less defined meaning in many communities throughout the United States and abroad. There exist great numbers of women who either self-define as Dianic, or who are defined by others as Dianic, when describing Witchcraft that is women and Goddess- centered. Most often these women have no magickal or ritual practices in common, and while Dianics generally tend to be fairly eclectic in their practice, some groups are more eclectic than others, and many do not affiliate with the Dianic tradition's... [Full Profile]
Children Attending Pagan Rituals
by Dawn Blacksun
They say that children are our future, but how do we ensure the long-term future of the Pagan community by involving them? I have seen different ways groups deal with the issue of children. There are many possible ways of addressing this and this article is more intended to help raise the issue and bring about community discussion, rather than present a concrete solution.
Most groups I've seen or communicated with have a rule that children are not allowed in most rituals, unless they are of a certain age or it's a special child-friendly ritual. The age specified differs between groups. Some members of those groups later complain that their children have no interest in attending the rituals more than a couple times when they are older. As a result, the only way for the groups to grow is through finding new members from outside the group. This commonly results in stagnation and eventual death of the group... [Full Article]
| Witchvox 'Book of the week'....|
The Paganism Reader
Author: Clifton, Chas and Graham Harvey
The Paganism Reader provides a definitive collection of key sources in Paganism, ranging from its ancient origins to its twentieth-century reconstruction and revival. Chronologically organized sections include extracts from ancient Greek, Norse, and Celtic literature, inspirational texts from the early twentieth century, writings by leaders of the Pagan revival, and newer perspectives showing the diversity of Paganism today.,
"'The Paganism Reader' is the first to bring together some of the formative writngs that have given birth to the Pagan revival and gives readers a fascinating insight into influences on contemporary Pagan thought." ---- Vivianne Crowley - [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!
Beltaine 2004 - CT
by Rev. Susan Davis
Beltaine 2004 was held in Oxford, CT by the Pagan Community Church. Proceeds went to their land purchase fund. This was a small but powerful event, full of new friends, wonderful concerts, marvelous workshops and delicious food. This was our first time vending and teaching in CT, and it was a fantastic experience.
Many of the participants knew each other already, so in some ways it was like a really big family reunion. The farm where the event was held is stunningly beautiful with a babbling brook rushing over the rocks in hearing distance of our tents.
They had some famous and some local teachers at the event, including Trish Telesco, Christopher Penzak and Baba David Coleman to name just a few. The headliner bands were Shaman and Sol Dog...and the music was delightful. The main ritual was a powerful piece of magick that united the entire group who all participated... [Full Article]
|NEW Essay Topic... |
"Covens and Covenants"
Are you (or have you ever been) part of a coven, grove, hearth or other Pagan group that meets regularly to worship? If so, what are the structures, agreements and organizing principles that bind the group together? Are there initiations? Degrees? An inner/outer circle? Does the group offer clergy training? What is involved in the screening process for new members/students? Is there a Book of Shadows or similar written material that is only given to members of the group? Is a certain level of participation required? Tell us about the structures and standards of your group, and what you think is worth keeping and what might be worth changing.
The deadline for this topic is June 21st. 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
A Circle of Friends is a Circle of Power
by Gin Cho
In a search to define myself, I recently underwent the vast search for a group to be a part of. I had read books on the subject, and had some outside experience with them in the past, and the idea of having a group of people joined together for a common cause was extremely appealing. Over time the group of people came together, and as such neither time nor space has managed to keep us apart. We are unified in our front of self discovery and living life in the magical realm to the fullest, and we achieved this goal by being friends, and family outside of the circle as well as inside.
The Ties that Bind: One of the key elements to the group and its effectiveness has been approach. We begin by first understanding that people are at all different levels of their spiritual and psychic development, and perhaps more importantly their emotional and social development. One of the key factors in any group being able to work together is being able to understand an individual's weaknesses and strengths, and being able to work with those known factors to achieve our goals. If someone is an exquisite Tarot reader, then that is an area within the group they can be consulted on, and if someone does not seem to be able to read an aura very well, until that area is developed, they are not likely to be consulted for such things, but they are encouraged to work in those areas, and offered any help that is available. The most ultimate tie that binds has been trust. We strive to be honest with ourselves and each other to make the group work as a whole. Being able to admit ones weaknesses is the first step to making them into strengths... [Full Article]
Coven of the Sacred Cauldron
by Ariana Rhiamon
My experiences in coven life have taught me what works for me and those I love and what does not. First of all, our coven does not have degrees or ranks. It is truly unique in that aspect. Very few covens can boast of that and make it work. It is our nature as living, breathing human beings in American society to have someone "in charge". This is not bad, it is not wrong it just is. Our coven is unique in that while we have ordained clergy for official functions (weddings require this and funerals sometimes require this as well) we share leadership. The members "sign up" and "take on" a particular ritual/Sabbat and they host the coven. They write the liturgy, they set up the altars and quarters and they lead the ritual.
We came to this organizational style after realizing how hard it is to have a degree program with people who have been Pagans for more than ten years. Do you seriously initiate them as a neophyte? Who really makes a Witch? Who really initiates? Is it not the Goddess? Then how can WE do that when someone is obviously already endowed with spiritual gifts and abilities. For us the answer was obvious. Back in the early days of the church salvation could only be attained through the priests. They were the ones who dispensed forgiveness, gave the sacraments, and presided over the Eucharist. Outside of the church there was no approaching the Deity, or at least we know that is what the masses were taught. Then one man, Martin Luther proposed a preposterous idea, one so outrageous he was excommunicated for it; the priesthood of all believers. It was the idea that we could each be our own priest and approach the heavens in faith and boldness... [Full Article]
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