Weekly Update: 5/17/2004|
Author: Witchvox Central
Posted: May 17th. 2004
Times Viewed: 5,254
In the Temple of My Familiars
|Steven Repko, Flame RavenHawk, Paniteowl & Boudica Photo taken by Bria Eastwinds and is from the Mid-Atlantic Pagan Alliance's Beltane 2004 event [Read the Review] |
As I sit writing this, my heart is torn to bits and shredded across the floor, floating on a river of tears and snot. Our dear sweet Skadi cat - really just a kitten - is dead, suddenly and unexpectedly.
It had already been a fairly dreadful day, the kind where you remind yourself to drive the speed limit because you know the Universe is a motorcycle cop hiding in the church parking lot, just itching to give you a ticket. As I walked back to the dentist chair for my teeth cleaning, my son called on my cell. When I picked up he was screaming, "Mom, come home now, Skadi's having some sort of seizure."
In this rush hour, it would take me 30 minutes to reach him, and another 10 to the clinic. Swallowing panic, I told my son to go to our neighbor for help and that I'd call Francesca to drive him to the vet, then flew out of the office to my car, chanting, "Don't let her die, don't let her die," to any gods who might be listening. In the car I dialed Francesca, my friend, my colleague and my boss. Yes, I am blessed to work for someone to whom I can call and say, "Get over to the house, my cat's in trouble," and her response is an emphatic "I'm on my way!" She got Max and the kitten to the vet well before I could have, but it was still too late. The heart murmur diagnosed when Skadi was younger, determined at the time to be functional, was apparently not functional enough. When I walked through the door of the treatment room, my son's anguished face told me everything... [Full Article]
Witch Hunts - Exposing The Lies
by Kerr Cuhulain
(Over 500,000 Page Views...)
After a well deserved hiatus... Our man Kerr is back with a new article for the Witch Hunt series here at Witchvox... We took this opportunity to revamp the Witch Hunts section by better breaking out the list of articles on the left side bar... Kerr's latest newsletter notes that he is planning something very exciting for the Officers of Avalon web site! Check it out!
"In the course of the investigation of all the bizarre claims of the people that created the "Satanic Panic" of the last three decades and in acting as an information resource to the many law enforcement agencies involved in investigating "occult" matters I created a large data base of occult information over the years. My "lexicon of occult terms" has something like 12,775 entries with 775 illustrations and 43 tables. ... It looks as if we'll be able to put this information on the Officers of Avalon web site soon to combat the mass of misinformation put on the web by misinformed "occult crime experts". I'd like to see Officers of Avalon become a premier source of accurate information on Pagan spirituality and "occult terminology" for law enforcement officers everywhere. " New This week at TWV... About Policing the Shadows
The March 2004 issue of Law Enforcement Technology magazine features an article by Ronnie Garret: Policing the Shadows Garrett's article is supposed to be on how to investigate "ritualistic crime". Sadly, it is yet another attempt to sell the idea that Satanic/Ritualistic crime is rampant and that anyone not Christian is a part of it. It is carefully written to disguise some of the agendas of the people mentioned in it, but it is pretty clear that it is written from the standpoint that police should be Christian guardians of society's morality... [Full Article]
|TRADITION PROFILE ... |
The Order of Bards Ovates and Druids
by Damh the Bard
The Druid/Pagan world in the early 1960s, when the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids (OBOD) was created, was very different than it is now. Occult exploration was directed very much by ideas and rituals developed by the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and the Theosophical Society which, over the course of a very short time, helped to define the Western Mystery Tradition. At this time, 'Druid' and 'Freemason' were almost the same thing, with the dominant Druid groups being more like 'Friendly Societies,' mainly made up of men, and with very little spiritual direction. One of these groups would begin their meetings by placing a Bible on a table, and then banning the mention of religion. This was the Druid world in which Ross Nichols, the founder of the OBOD, began his life-long love of the Druid tradition, and all things Celtic. So how did Druidry get from this to become the dynamic and thriving spirituality we have today?
Ross had become friends with Gerald Gardner (who many now view as the father of modern Wicca) at the utopian Naturist resort of Speilplatz near St. Albans, Hertfordshire, and it is probably here that the foundations of the modern Pagan movement were laid. Between them, they set about creating the now familiar 'Wheel of the Year,' the cycle of eight seasonal festivals that divided the year up into approximately six-week parts... [Full Profile]
NEW Beltane Event Reviews...
Mid-Atlantic Pagan Alliance's Beltane 2004
by Steven Repko
Once again it's the last weekend of April and the familiar settings of the now Brendan Byrne State Forest (the once Lebanon State Forest) come into view. As we pass through the pines those worlds famous signs start to dot the landscape as a trip that once began as "where the hell are we?" now feels more like "we're almost home aren't we?".
It's been four years and that's a good piece of longevity for a pagan festival, many of the "kids" that used to play in the playground all weekend are attending workshops with the playmates they met here at their first festival... [Full Article]
Dragon Clan Circle's Beltane Festival
Dragon Clan Circle held its 2nd annual Beltane festival at Martian State Forest on Saturday May 1st. A few had camped out the night before, so the day started out wet and cold and ended wet and cold but in between fun was had by all who attended. Fires were burning all day long in both firepits, children played on the playground. Between the all day pitch in, workshops, Ritual and fire twirling, they day was spent getting to know each other and new comers as well. Moonwatcher held a workshop on Staff making. Morgan Nightwind spent most of the day reading tarot cards. Magenta Rose and Marlevane held a workshop on Beltane lore, including teaching us to dance around the May Pole. The May Pole dance was a lot of fun... [Full Article]
The 1st Annual Atlantic County Beltane Parade
by Steven Repko
On Saturday May 1st the local pagan community gathered in Mays Landing, New Jersey to insure the annual prosperity of people and businesses of Atlantic County. With costumes designed by Milissa Dunn and others, the 1st annual Atlantic County Beltane Troupe was like nothing I have ever seen before.
This Beltane event has been in planning since last year when the decision was made by the local Coven to encourage a religious interface with the community at large. Many of the costumes were designed to become permanent characters of what will hopefully become a traditional and anticipated annual performance... [Full Article]
NEW This Week...
|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
The Solstice Clan
by Ravynne Celebros-Pendragon
For two years of my life, during the last part of my own priestess training, I began to look at various covens and their structures. I was interested to find that nearly all of them were different and yet they all worked, at least for a time. The ones that made it through the years had one thing that separated them from rest: Structure.
Structure plays an important role in the hows and whys of a coven. Just like a well blended formula every ingredient counts and makes a difference. After I completed my own training, I tried to find a coven that I could settle into. My first choice was a coven of my peers, those who had studied as long as I had; we of course always accepted new members but for beginners it was hard. For those of us who had practice for years there were things that through time had become second nature for us so we never thought to explain and unfortunately for beginners the stair step teaching just became frustrating. So after receiving my grandmother's blessing I started the Solstice Clan.... [Full Article]
A Coven of Solitaries
by Lady Abigail
Over the last year since we began Ravensgrove Coven here in Florida, I have received hundreds of emails asking how it works and how is it possible to have a Coven of Solitary Witches. I am Lady Abigail, High Priestess of Ravensgrove Coven and how it works is with perfect love and perfect trust and some gentle patience given by all.
First and foremost we are each Solitary Witches in our own right with our own traditions, beliefs and Deities. We do not seek permission at any time from anyone to practice or work our Craft individually or together. We simply share with and commit ourselves to those we call family within the Ravensgrove Coven.
There are many Witches who are self-dedicated and self-initiated. There are more Solitary Witches now than ever within the Craft. We are Witches proud of our diversity, personal independence and strength. Nevertheless we don't always have a voice in our magickal society. While... [Full Article]
Also NEW This Week...
That Was Then and This Is Now:
Pagan Secrecy vs. Emotional Security
by Morgan Willowmoon
The Bible of Christianity, the Torah of Judaism, the Rede of Wicca, and the Koran of Islam are all writings that might draw you to those particular faiths. If we want Paganism to be accepted alongside mainstream religions, we must treat it like any other religion, educating people in both its philosophical and magickal aspects. Most outreach groups focus on the beliefs of Pagans, but they fail to go further, claiming that only dedicated or initiated members can learn well-guarded magickal practices. However, secrecy tends to raise fear and suspicion from the general public. Throughout history, secrecy was maintained out of a genuine need for one's physical survival. However, modern society is not the Burning Times, and so I feel secrecy is no longer necessary. Secrecy may be kept within certain Craft traditions, but it doesn't have to apply to the entire religion... [Full Article]
High Priestess Isn't a Dress-Up Game
by Emilie Conroy
One of the great privileges I have had as a Pagan writer is meeting interesting people who are shaping the community. Eridanah Crow is a Wiccan activist. She has spoken her mind and given her perspective with what is sometimes a brutal honesty. Whatever might be said about Eridanah, she will not back off from her convictions.
Her recent essay, Be Aware, is a call to action, a challenge to all Wiccans to take up the responsibility for the future of the path. According to Eridanah, the reaction has been tremendous. Many people were outraged by her candor, but a good many more applauded her new voice.
In the middle of my research for a book on Nehallenic Wicca, I was fortunate enough to spend an afternoon with Eridanah. We took some time to talk about the issues raised in her essay... [Full Article]
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