One Voice United

One Voice United

Author:   Lady Fenix   

Wiccan, Pagan, Heathen, Celtic, Shaman, Druid, Witch, etc. The list can go on and on to include different paths within each chosen label. The thing that gives me concern is that we in the community spend so much time defining ourselves that we forget that we are one.

Our goals are the same and each one of us has the same feelings inside us. The reason our path lacks so much understanding from the public is that everyone gives a different explanation as to what the craft is. We (meaning everyone in every path) need to come together and stand as one voice united and proclaim a set of guidelines that thoroughly define the Wiccan faith. (I use the word Wiccan here to encompass all.) Regardless of what path you practice within the religion, we all strictly adhere to the Rede or some form of a code of Ethics.

It is a sad time when our troops cannot get the respect they so richly deserve when it comes to the headstone symbol in a national cemetery. It is also sad that when going to a job interview, a Wiccan removes a ring or necklace that has anything to do with their religion out of fear of not getting the job offer. It is emotionally draining that they have to choke back the desire to speak out against the stereotypes of a witch that are hanging all around their child’s schools during one of our biggest holidays.

We all look back at the persecution of our ancestors and even of people who were not practicing the craft and our hearts ache. Yet we sometimes fail to see the persecution that is still going on all around us today. Why is that we must hide in broom closets when other religious group are not having to hide who they are?

Wiccans are not a threat to society and that is obvious to anyone who has examined Wiccans and Wicca. Yet far too many do not bother to look deeper at the slanderous accusations and merely believe them to be true. The hand fasting I had always wanted never happened due to fear of us casting circles and performing the “forbidden witchcraft” in front of a family that was Christian.

In one man’s words and the best way I have ever heard it put, “Christians have oppressed Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Pagans, and each other throughout their centuries of power, preaching religious intolerance as the word of Jehovah whenever they had the military, political, or economic power to make it stick — and then piously preaching brotherhood, peace, and toleration when they didn’t.” (Isaac Bonewits)

That being said, maybe it is time that we formed an inner faith council. I am not talking just on a local level. I am talking a state council and the head of that state council would sit as a member of National Council. We need lobbyist to talk to people. A council of elders that will ultimately represent our path.

I personally stood in front of a class of my peers in the middle of the Bible belt dressed in full ceremonial garb and gave a power point presentation on Wicca. Many people were relieved after I explained to them what Wicca was and even asked for sachets, soaps and such.

We need to let the public know that we are not a passing “fad religion” and that we are a religion that is here to stay. Wicca is one of the fastest growing religions in the U.S. and well, ladies and gents, like it or not, opposition to it is growing as well.

Education and a united front is the only way that our faith will be recognized as such. We need public speakers to go to businesses, colleges, and city councils to educate people about our faith. They do not need to know the inner workings of each faith just be given a broad spectrum of what it is about. Let the public know that we are healers, educators, and friends of all.

Let them know that we do not do evil things and we are not what make things go BUMP in the night. God and Goddess willing we may even be able through hard work to form an alliance with other religions that people know little about and have huge fairs where each religion gets a voice. A fair where the public will be able to openly attend and learn.

We need to allow all to participate in the faith and see that it is truly a religion of love and understanding and that there are consequences for ones actions. We hide in shadows and continually allow Hollywood to make anything that has to do with our faith into something evil. Why are we not screaming at the thought of that?

This turning a blind eye or speaking out against it at home simply will not do. As long as we allow people to portray us this way then the mass society will continue to see us this way.

This is a plea to everyone to finally lay down his or her differences within our faith.

Again to stand as One Voice United.

This is a call to the open leaders of the community, the authors, shop owners, and any other open Wiccan that has a mass audience, to come together. Stop letting our differences give the public a reason to doubt the validity of our faith. Stop allowing the horrendous stereotypes that invoke fear in those that know little or nothing of our faith to go unchallenged.

It would be great to see covens and groups nominate officials for their area and who would all come together and discuss how tomorrow will unfold for our faith. This may not change things for the Wiccans of today, but we need to build a better path for the Wiccans of tomorrow.

This is our chance to leave a legacy that our children can be proud of. A chance to change things so that they do not have to hide in a broom closet…so they can wear their religious jewelry without fear.

I beg all of you please: Lets finally have “ONE VOICE UNITED.”

Foxia Rowan Moon

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Footnotes:
Christians have oppressed Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, Pagans, and each other throughout their centuries of power, preaching religious intolerance as the word of Jehovah whenever they had the military, political, or economic power to make it stick — and then piously preaching brotherhood, peace, and toleration when they didn’t.”  — Isaac Bonewits

Also a website about Wicca..
http://www.holysmoke.org/wicca/wicca_defense.html

Transitions …my journey from Spring into Autumn

Transitions  …my journey from Spring into Autumn

A child of the Moon is born, to two loving parents. She grows, nurtured by the strength of their love; safe, snug, secure and happy. All is well with her world. She is the Maiden; unfolding, blossoming, learning, yearning, hungry for knowledge. Seeking, wondering, always questioning. Entranced by the esoteric, the mysterious, the doctrines shunned by her parents, beliefs derided or feared, the source of future contention and turmoil. Something beckons… She sees in her world many things, many people. Her grandparents, loving and wise, teach her more of their ways than they realise; their love of the Earth, to plant, to harvest, to give back again, to keep the cycle turning, to see the beauty of the sunrise and sunset. Their own quiet, unspoken spirituality, always hidden, kept very private. She sees her father, the strong, quiet, scientific atheist, and her mother, the emotional, spiritual believer in God. Differences aside, their love is strong. Still, something beckons… As she grows, thoughts and ideas form. She quietly ponders, wonders, in her solitude. Why is she so different? She does not fit into the world of her parents, her brother, or peers. She feels somehow distant, alienated, alone. Her mother, newly Croned, has found new faith in Jehovah; passionately, fervently fresh and fanatical, dangerous, derisive, divisive. The Maiden wants no part of it. The Crone burns the Maiden’s secret treasures out of fear for her daughter’s soul. No respect, trust destroyed, childhood ended. Yet still, something beckons… The Maiden is now a Mother, scarred by the past, but matured, complacent. Her parents still together, father in quiet resignation with the wife, and the life he now knows. Their love is still strong. The new Mother still seeking, yearning, learning, hungry for knowledge, finds solace in crystals and herbal lore while teaching her children love, respect and tolerance. A new freedom of expression is slowly emerging; a desire to heal the heart, the people and the Earth, to plant, to harvest, to give back again, to keep the cycle turning. And still, something beckons… Cronehood fast approaches and still the Mother seeks; forever learning, hungry for knowledge of that which beckons. Fears of history repeating itself as she realises her goal. Has she become like her own mother, or has she learned? She treads softly, quietly, makes no waves, only ripples under the Moonlight. She has learned to stay silent, to hide what she now sees. It is not yet time to reveal new insights. Fear of rejection, ridicule haunts her dreams. Slowly confidence builds, to tell her atheist husband gently, softly, carefully reassuring. This is not a repeat of history but a lesson learned from it. Their love is strong. Cronehood, a heartbeat away, Her time; not of endings but of new beginnings. A time to blossom in the Sunlight with insight of that which beckons; the Goddess, to complement the God, the seen and unseen, dualities in  balance. Yet she has the wisdom to stay silent in the Moonlight as needed. The realisation that what is, always has been. To see the many different paths as aspects of the One, There is no one true path, but many. A time of forgiveness, understanding and tolerance, and to nurture those qualities within herself and others. This is her time, to share with her husband and children the wisdom of the Goddess; the Maiden, Mother and Crone. Their love is strong. Jenny Taylor (Jenwytch) I wrote this poem a while back, about my life and my journey into Witchcraft and Paganism which coincided with the beginnings of my transition from Mother to Crone …a similar age to when my own mother turned to a different spiritual path.  ;-) ~ Jenny

My (Not So) Normal Eclectic Life Story

My (Not So) Normal Eclectic Life Story
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Author: Greywolf

Merry Meet! My name is Jordan, but you can call me Greywolf for short. Well I guess it all starts where and how I was raised. I was born in California, but I grew up in Fayetteville, Arkansas with my mother and my stepfather. My parents got divorced when I was a young child and my father stayed in California while my mother moved away to Arkansas. My mother and father were raised in “The Truth, ” as they refer to it, although most people know the religion as the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

I was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness throughout my entire childhood. Yes, this includes me going “door to door” and knocking in the deep boondocks of Arkansas to talk about God to a lot of very interesting characters, while leaving the “Watchtower” and/or an “Awake” in a folded fashion below the handle of a screen door. (Here’s the shocker) and not celebrating any birthdays, holidays, or festivals of any kind.

I guess because of this religion, I’ve always felt out-of-place, compared to all the other kids in the classroom. Although, it did teach me to have very good social skills and an outgoing personality which I admire (most of the times) .

I’ll always remember the times in class when my classmates would stand up to recite the daily pledge on the announcements. I was always the one still sitting in my chair while my new classmates would urge me to stand up and put my hand over my heart, not knowing of my faith; or maybe it was the time when there was a birthday kid in the class and everyone would eat the pink and blue frosted cupcakes that were guzzled down by everyone. Everyone except me, of course.

But to top it off, I would always end up having to move to a different house or apartment because of financial issues. I suppose your probably wondering now how I got here now, so enough of my childhood. Let’s move on to the adolescent age shall we?

Well after an extremely long period of time and a lot of argumentation between my Jehovah’s Witness mother and my disfellowshipped (excommunicated as you might know it) father, my mother agreed for my only brother and I to go to a school in California for a year.

Middle school was one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with my entire life so far. I was not prepared for such a cultural change and shift; it still baffles me how I survived it. Nevertheless, it was horrible; kids were mean and talking about drugs (in which, by the way, I’ve never heard the names of in Arkansas) and sex.

I was constantly picked on (luckily I didn’t have an accent because of my California born and raised mother and step-father) because of my differences. Though I thought I was perfectly dressed just the way I was. But apparently my classmates weren’t fond of it at all. And they weren’t too shy to make that clear either.

On the bright side I was able to have my first birthday (in which I was 12 by the way) and I got to celebrate some of the fun holidays (I went to Arkansas Christmas break and stayed there till summer) that were once considered immoral.

I made one friend and he was my best friend as well. I hung out with some of his friends as well, so I wasn’t a complete loner. Although barely anybody at my school knew me and if the did, then it was because I was one very annoying and short little kid. Despite all of that I was failing a lot of classes and usually got bad marks by my teachers for acting out and being “disruptive” in class.

Although it sounds like I’ve had a fun original life. It was quite the opposite. I suffered from depression and tried committing suicide twice in my middle school. I down a whole bottle of extra-strength ibuprofen while I was in the bathroom during my history class period.

About ten minutes after I went back to class, I asked my teacher to go to the nurse because I was having a hard time breathing (I knew it was working by then) . But when I got to the nurse she dismissed it as the cold weather affecting my lungs. I went back to class and found out that I wasn’t going to die and the breathing problem was all in my head caused by me hyperventilating about the whole situation. I know now that the only reason I lived was because the goddess saved me. But I didn’t know it.

Well not quite yet, that is.

Since I was a dumb loner nerd I would always go to the library 24/7. The library would be full of books, that I wished were my friends that would entertain me with stories to replace so many of my friends, in which I’ve never acquired in those years. Then one evening when I was “hanging out” (in the library of course) I came across a black and white book.

Teen Witch: Wicca for a new generation” written by Silver Ravenwolf was one of the coolest books I’ve ever encountered in a public library so far. But as suspected, that most definitely wasn’t my initial thought as I approached the book with curiosity and fear as if the book would jump up and attack me. I checked my back to see of anyone was watching as a raced to grab the book (as if God himself was in the library watching my every move) off the table and made a dash to the small chair by the window in the farthest corner of the library.

As I skimmed through the pages, my heart was beating so fast and strong I thought the bottle of ibuprofen was just kicking in, although it had been three months since I took them. I decided that the book was interesting and it was not of the most evil of the world as I proceeded to the checkout.

Surprisingly my first remark about Witchcraft came from the librarian who helped me check out the book.

“Planning on turning someone into a toad?” he remarked.

I responded with a cold smile wondering if there was a spell to turn him into a toad right then.

I must admit that when I read that book, I thought I was an “Insta-Witch” and I made a book report to my English class about the book. Stupid idiotic mistake. I regretted that report throughout the rest of my 7th and 8th grade year with all the remarks of students to me.

Three years, dozens of books and a couple teachers later, here I am. Enlightened, focused and happy that I made the best decision of my life by taking that book. I’ve learned so much during these years through practice and dedication. Although I haven’t been initiated yet, nor am I in a coven, I am surprised of how far I came with this way of life. Witchcraft has helped me through my depression, problems, and my way of thinking.

Although I haven’t came out of any closets yet about my faith to my friends I have managed to keep my social life, educational life, extracurricular life, family life And spiritual life in balance and comfortably intertwined with another.

I have many friends at school and I even got nominated for homecoming lord my freshman year! From a loser and an outcast, to a popular guy at school, I consider my life to be “on track.” I do not wear black, I don’t particularly like rock at all (I prefer hip-hop, R and B and pop) nor do I wear a pentacle, nonetheless, I am proud to be one outstanding (if I may say so myself) Eclectic Witch.

Go Pagans!