Articles/Essays From Pagans
February 1st. 2019 ...
Paganism and Witchcraft in the Media
September 25th. 2018 ...
Understanding the Unseen
August 25th. 2018 ...
A Little Magickal History
Men and the Goddess
Back to Basics Witchcraft: Magical Creativity for Small Living Spaces
Kitchen Magic and Memories
Why the Faeries?
Magic in Daily Life
An Open Fire: Healing from Within
Cernunnos: The Darkest Wood in the Moon's Light
Gudrun of the Victory Gods
Ares and Athena
La Santa Muerte... The Stigma and the Strength
The Lady on the Stairs
The Wheel of the Year in Our Daily Lives
July 26th. 2018 ...
The Importance of Unification: Bringing Together Community Members to Invoke Cohesivity
May 29th. 2018 ...
Wild Mountain Woman: Landscape Goddess
April 20th. 2018 ...
Nazis Made Us Change Our Name
January 25th. 2018 ...
Finding Balance: Discipline Wedded to Devotion
November 15th. 2017 ...
September 30th. 2017 ...
July 31st. 2017 ...
Sin Eaters and Dream Walkers
July 2nd. 2017 ...
On Cursing: Politics and Ethos
June 1st. 2017 ...
The Sacred Ego in Mediterranean Magical Traditions
April 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Knight of Pentacles
March 30th. 2017 ...
Tarot Talk: the Ace of Swords
January 10th. 2017 ...
The Gray of 'Tween
Becoming a Sacred Dancer
Little Dog, Big Love
December 9th. 2016 ...
A Child's First Yule
November 10th. 2016 ...
What Exactly Is Witchcraft?
A Witch in the Bible Belt: Questions are Opportunities
On Death and Passing: Compassion Burnout in Healers and Shamans
What I Get from Cooking (And How it’s Part of My Path)
September 11th. 2016 ...
The Shadow of Disgust
August 12th. 2016 ...
When Reality Rattles your Idea of the Perfect Witch
Hungarian Belief in Fairies
Designing a Pagan Last Will and Testament
July 13th. 2016 ...
What Every Pagan Should Know About Curses
Magic With A Flick of my Finger
Finding and Caring for Your Frame Drum
An Open Mind and Heart
June 13th. 2016 ...
Living a Magickal Life with Fibromyalgia
My Father, My First God
Life is Awesome... and the Flu
May 15th. 2016 ...
Faery Guided Journey
Working with the Elements
April 2nd. 2016 ...
The Fear of Witchcraft
Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
January 22nd. 2016 ...
Coming Out of the Broom Closet
December 20th. 2015 ...
Magia y Wicca
October 24th. 2015 ...
Feeling the Pulse of Autumn
October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
August 6th. 2015 ...
Lost - A Pagan Parent's Tale
July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
The Magic of Weather
June 7th. 2015 ...
A Pagan Altar
A Minority of a Minority of a Minority
May 6th. 2015 ...
13 Keys: The Crown of Kether
March 29th. 2015 ...
A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
On Wiccan Magick, Theurgy, Thaumaturgy and Setting Expectations
March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
January 1st. 2015 ...
Manipulation of the Concept of Witchcraft
Broomstick to the Emerald City
October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
September 28th. 2014 ...
Seeking Pagan Lands for Pagan Burials
Creating a Healing Temple
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
August 24th. 2014 ...
The Pagan Cleric
A Gathering of Sorcerers (A Strange Tale)
August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Article ID: 8778
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 5,269
Times Read: 9,708
Author: Sia@FullCircle [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: October 17th. 2004
Times Viewed: 9,708
In April of 2003, I wrote an article for the Witches' Voice which appeared soon after the U.S. declared war in the Middle East. The article is titled "The Elephant in Our Circles: Pagans Tolerance and the War in Iraq" [link]. Since then, tolerance has become an issue in many ways and in many venues.
In January of 2004 Full Circle declared that our theme for the annual Witches' Ball would be The Silk Road. We deliberately choose this theme because it spoke about tolerance and the exchange of ideas; two things that tend to take a back seat during wars and elections.
As our Council member, Laurel, notes, "The Silk Road was a network of ancient caravan routes that opened commerce between the great civilizations of east and west. It was, in effect, the Internet of its day. In addition to a commercial trade route, the Silk Road was also a pipeline that spread new concepts of religion, culture, and technology". In that spirit of tolerance and discovery, we choose to celebrate a historical period in which the parties that are fighting now, once lived in peace and relative harmony.
Some people have criticized us for choosing this theme. Some of this criticism springs from prejudice towards the cultures involved (which include the West, Asia and the Middle East). Others have felt that the theme wasn't "Witchy" enough or that it was too obscure. To them I say this: To be Pagan is to find meaning, to know what is truly sacred, and to celebrate connection even when times are hard. While it is easy to become heated, it is much more difficult to make light. To us here at Full Circle, the job of any Witch or Pagan is to make light when we can and where is it most difficult to do so. As the Pagan Voting Project notes: "Lighting a candle is not enough". Sometimes, we have to stand up and speak our truth, whether that truth is popular or not.
It would be easy for us to host a Witches' Ball that was only about shiny things and showing off. Instead, we've chosen to make an interfaith charity event where all are welcome and where the Humane Society, the Wildlife Rescue groups and others of like mind can take a seat at our table. This is being "out of the Broom Closet" with a vengeance, folks. And the Nay Sayers can make of this what they like.
Just after this latest new moon I received an email from a woman named Labrys. She had recently read my article on the war at TWV and she was kind enough to write and tell me how she felt about it. She also shared with me her story of building a labyrinth to remember the American service men and women who have fallen and to comfort to their families. Her email speaks so movingly about tolerance and right action in difficult times that I have asked her permission to quote it here. You will find it below.
I noticed with some dismay just after 9/11 that some groups hosting Samhain rituals choose only to remember those they deemed "politically correct"; an oxymoron if there ever was one. I have hopes that this year the Pagan community will remember all of the mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, children and elders who are no longer with us. May these people find the peace in their next life that they may not have found in this one.
As we celebrate the memory of our Beloved Dead this season, let us remember those who have suffered loss, not just because of this war, but also because of intolerance, disease, poverty, hunger, neglect, hatred, crime, and apathy. As Terry Pratchett rightly notes: "There is no justice. There's just us." What we as individuals choose to do or not to do matters, it matters deeply. May we choose wisely and well.
Blessings to you and yours this Samhain.
This article is dedicated to the readers of The Witches' Voice and to all those who lost a Loved One this year. can be reached for comment at email@example.com
Location: Portland, Oregon
Author's Profile: To learn more about Sia@FullCircle - Click HERE
Bio: Sia is the Founder and Council Leader of Full Circle. She can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org
Author's Note: If you have enjoyed reading this piece, I would ask the you help support the Witches Voice in their efforts to celebrate and support the Pagan community by becoming a Witchvox Sponsor. They rely on our support to keep this non-profit website up and running, so please, do your part to help our community and send them a donation. With thanks, Sia
I wanted to thank you for your article at Witchvox about the elephant in the circle, tho' I admit I found it very belatedly. The war has certainly be divisive, and in more than pagan circles. I think it is ripping very hearts apart. Unfortunately, as you pointed out, nothing is easily black and white and the effort to deal honestly (rather than in sound bites) with such a morass of moral, political, and religious issues all combined in this war does stress the soul.
I much appreciate your thoughtful comments. My husband and I are both Army veterans, my son is currently in the Army. My son and I both consider ourselves warriors in many senses of the word, but this war dismays us both on several levels.
While I do not avoid that elephant, I do try to keep many of my own opinions soft and muted as my first real action put me in a place I never expected to be. You see, last May, after the supposed 'mission accomplished', I began planning a memorial to the men and women we were losing. In August my husband and I together built a seven circuit Cretan labyrinth with 4 tons of sandstone. The monument at center bears the name : Walk of the Fallen Iraq 2003. I admit, I did so hope that somehow, that year would be the end, but I doubted it. We opened it at Samhain 2003, on Nov 8th with luminaries bearing the names of the fallen service members and a fire in the adjoining fire pit. On Veterans' Day only days later we invited the public, but almost nobody appeared. But those who came bore such open, emotionally devastated faces in the face of their personal losses that I knew my own political and spiritual desires and needs must take a back seat to being facilitator of the labyrinth's own healing purpose.
This year, we celebrate Samhain on Oct 27. I cannot light over 1100 luminaries, and very wet weather is in the forecast; therefore this year the lights will be electric, one per dead American service member. We will light the labyrinth every night from our Samhain through Nov 11, Veterans' Day for all comers, pagan or not. On Veterans' Day I will also put out small American flags, again, one per service member fallen.
Because those who find and walk this walk have varied and torn feelings, as you pointed out, and sometimes include those who have lost a loved one to the war, I keep my silence on my personal passions in the cause of promoting healing and comfort, and I hope, rest for the fallen themselves. My pagan friends assure me the labyrinth is potent in energy and force, a magical creation in the finest sense. Myself, I am partially 'blind' to such things; perhaps in protection to me...as working it weekly and sometimes daily, if I were oversensitive, I suspect I might be overwhelmed. I continue my work there, and welcome any who wish to walk there....in the season of Samhain or any other time.
You may see it, if you like at www.tomcynphotoarts.com by clicking on the Walk of the Fallen link.
Other Articles: Sia@FullCircle has posted 23 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Sia@FullCircle... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2019 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections
(including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.)
are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc.
TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).