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[Witch Way] Volume #2 Issue #3 -- Turning The Wheel
August 13, 2009
Here we are in August already. Summer is almost over, kids are about to go back to school if they haven’t already, and the annual heat wave is upon most of the country.
I usually realize that the summer is almost gone when I go to Dragonfest.
Dragonfest is the annual festival I’ve been attending for over 20 years now. It used to be a Pagan Festival, but we’ve all been told to call it a Spiritual Retreat now. What’s in a name?
Spending nearly a week in the mountains with almost 1000 Pagans was relaxing for the most part. There were those times when issues came up, but they were handled well.
I took my student Rhiannon, up to Dragonfest, and she took her best friend Rachael, along. The three of us had quite the conversation one night, and stayed up until about 4am talking.
This was the first time either of them had been to such a Spiritual Retreat, and it was interesting seeing the festival through their eyes.
I’ve become somewhat jaded about the festival, having gone so long, as well as spending time as staff, Director of Operations, and five years on the Board of Directors for Dragonfest. Getting a fresh view of how the average member sees the festival was interesting and informative.
Attendance was down this year, I expect it’s due to the lousy economy, and people just not having the money to spend. Still, there were over 700 of us there, and I got to see people I haven’t seen in at least a year.
That’s one of the great benefits of Pagan festivals, the chance to meet and make friends with people who live in other cities and states, and even other countries.
Events like Dragonfest bring like-minded people together from all over. You really get to see what others are doing, and expand your network of friends.
And then there’s the mead...
Having brewed mead, I know a lot of mead makers. One of the unofficial mead maker’s gatherings was at the camp next to ours. I had just finished my two hour work shift for the festival, and returned to find a dozen or so people sitting in the next camp over, enjoying each other’s work.
I always find it amazing what people will try to make mead out of. One guy had a mead that he added two Habanera peppers to. You didn’t taste the pepper, but after you swallowed, the heat rose in the back of your throat. A friend of mine Karma, had his ever popular Irish Cream mead, and Orange Popsicle mead at the fest.
We had six fest sponsored drum circles. I’m afraid I only made it to one of them. Usually I take at least one night to wander around to all the activities, but this year I had other responsibilities several nights, so I only made it to Freedom Circle.
The drummers were really hitting their stride by Saturday night, and the dancers were enjoying the heat of the fire. My only complaint; dancers, you need to circle around the fire, not dance in one spot. Maybe someone should teach a dance class?
Saturday afternoon Becca, one of my campmates gave me a small bottle of spray candy, watermelon flavor. I had great fun spraying the candy on hands, and wrists, and other body parts as requested, and then getting others to lick it off.
What can I say? I try to do my part to help others meet new friends. The little bottle didn’t last very long.
There were also the serious conversations with friends, about how spirituality has seemed lacking in the festival for the last several years. Not that the festival didn’t have rituals and workshops and other spiritually oriented things to do, but that people weren’t taking the initiative to do their own rituals.
I had planned to do a small semi-private ritual at camp, but Women’s Mysteries was the night I had been planning for, and since all the females in my camp were going, not to mention one of them was running it, my ritual didn’t happen.
I talked to a few people last night at Pagan Night Out, a monthly dinner at a local restaurant, and it looks like there may be a concerted effort to do such rituals next year.
The plan is for at least ten of us to hold simple rituals or meditations next year, and invite people we meet at the festival. If we can show them that the spirituality is in the ritual, not the props, maybe others will do their own rituals, and we can bring that tradition back.
We all agree that we have no problem with the drum circles, or parties, or tent hopping, that’s a part of who we are. We just want people to realize that first and foremost, festivals like these are spiritual events; the parties are a side effect of being with people you don’t see too often.
A Monthly Column For Astrological Insight
I’d like to thank everyone who responded to my request for feedback in last month’s column. It’s good to know so many of you enjoy what I have to say, and I will work at being more consistent in explaining astrological terms.
I mentioned in last month’s column that there was a lack of important new astrological influences from mid-July to mid-August.
Well, mid-August to mid-September is making up for lost time; in fact, there are so many “transits” (astrological influences that affect our daily lives for a short time) happening right now, I don’t have room in this column to discuss them all in detail.
Therefore, I’m going to do something a little different this month; I’m going to talk about a few specific transits and some general information regarding the month’s transits in the column.
I am also going to write an article analyzing the month’s transits in detail, but it will not be posted; it will be available directly from me via email for a small fee.
I don’t plan on charging for my monthly analysis on a regular basis, but there is so much happening astrologically (and so much more time and work I need to put into the analysis than I normally do) this month that I feel I need some further compensation.
If you are interested in the detailed analysis, my contact and fee information are at the end of the article.
Now, on to the good stuff...
August 13th through the 15th this year may be the luckiest days of the year for many of us. Jupiter in late Aquarius will oppose (form a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree angle in the sky with) the Sun in late Leo, while Mars will have a pleasant relationship (or “aspect”) to both as it moves through late Gemini and forms a sixty-degree angle to the Sun (an aspect called a “sextile”) and a one-hundred-and-twenty degree angle to Jupiter (an aspect called a “trine”).
For those of my readers who are Harry Potter fans, you may feel like someone slipped you a teaspoonful of Felix Felicis on one or all of these mornings; for those of you who aren’t Harry Potter fans, you may find that Lady Luck is your geisha girl for a day or three.
It will seem that anything is possible, and indeed it may very well be true. Any kind of physical activity, business negotiation, or request for recognition will probably succeed wildly.
Just remember to use your good luck wisely; it only lasts for a short time (three days at the most), and if you gain your success at the expense of someone else you will have to pay that person back later.
Along with the material success and recognition you will gain, it would be a good idea to spend an hour or two feeding some of this good fortune into your spiritual or religious practice; success in the world of the spirit -—which is also helped by this transit -—is far more enduring than success in the world of the physical, and may help you endure in other times when material success doesn’t come as easily.
From August 10th through the first week of September (September 6th), every day except the 21st and 22nd will see one or more major transits involving Mars. This means Mars’ influence is easily the most important for the time period this column is covering (mid-August to mid-September), and so merits some further discussion.
Mars is the planet of action; wherever Martian influence appears, people start to feel like they have to “do something.” In this case, Mars is muscling his way through late Gemini to early Cancer.
That indicates a lot of action being taken regarding communicating from the 15th through the 25th or so; from August 26th through September 15th, the emphasis shifts toward “home” and feeling safe.
If you need to co-ordinate with people to start any kind of new project, during mid- to late-August you will have a boost in both your motivation and the ability to get the job done.
Make sure everyone’s voice gets heard during the planning stages, however; if not, bruised egos may hold up the show from September 1st through the 6th , making completing what you started a bit harder.
In other news, Mercury will station (appear to stand still in its orbit) on September 7th in early Libra, and go retrograde (appear to move backwards in its orbit) from September 8th through September 30th, going back through early Libra into late Virgo (each Sign has thirty degrees, numbered 0 through 29.
Mercury will be moving backwards from 6 degrees Libra through 21 degrees Virgo). As many of you already know, when Mercury goes retrograde, communication and getting from place to place over the course of the day often becomes more difficult.
People forget appointments, paperwork gets lost, you always seem to be running just a little bit late, and everyone seems just a little slower and a little more confused than normal.
As with any planet retrograding, however, the apparent obstacles don’t just appear out of nowhere; they happen because this is a time we have to take care of “old business” before we can move on to “new business” in the retrograding planet’s sphere of influence.
In the case of Mercury, the “old business” is always in the area of how we think, how we communicate, and how we physically get ourselves to where we need to go. With Mercury retrograding through early Libra and late Virgo, the old business will probably involve getting the approval of others.
You may find during these 23 days that people pay more attention to your appearance than you thought they did, and you have to spiff up your wardrobe or vocabulary (maybe even your car) to avoid making a bad impression.
Or you may find yourself particularly sensitive to ugliness or impoliteness in the world, and find that you need to say or do something about it.
Either way, this is a time when it is important to remember that we all share space with each other, and we each have to make compromises with others’ needs in order to get along. As always during Mercury retrograde, be patient with yourself and others, and make sure to schedule more time than you think you’ll need to get things done.
Last (but certainly not least) is Pluto.
I wrote a bit about what I expected from the current Pluto retrograde in my April-May column, and from my perspective much of it has come true: People are finding “authority’s” solutions (government bailouts and vague assurances things will return to “normal”) increasingly inadequate, and are getting more and more creative in meeting their needs themselves. One example in the news is the Federal Healthcare bill.
Another way of saying this is that as Pluto retrogrades, people have been forced to re-examine the “old business” of who has the “power” in their lives and whether or not they are being well-served by those with power, before they can move on to the “new business” of using (or redistributing) that power in a constructive way.
On September 12th, Pluto goes direct (appears to move forward in its orbit again after appearing to move backwards i.e. “retrograding”), and that means whatever decisions we have made regarding our power during the previous four and a half months --whether to take it back for ourselves or re-invest it into the current system -—will begin to bear fruit.
Or to put it another way, we will have the opportunity to see if we really have dealt with our “old business,” by starting some “new business” and seeing what happens.
Pluto will continue to be direct (move forward in its orbit) until early April of next year (2010), and I believe many of us will spend this time reaping what we have sown regarding our power and, whether we like the consequences or not, learning some valuable lessons.
I also expect that this winter will represent a “make-or-break” time for the current socioeconomic system; those people and institutions currently in political and financial power across the globe will have to prove their worth to their constituents, or rapidly lose their positions and influence.
If you would like to know more about the transits for this month, please email me and I will send you directions for obtaining my report containing all the details and how they affect you.
The fee for the full transit article is $10, and I believe you will find it worth far more if you use the information to your advantage.
NOTE: This is not a typical “horoscope” reading, breaking astrological influences down by Sign for a given period of time. The information in this column should apply to most people, most of the time. If you have any questions, or want specific personalized information on how what’s going on in the heavens affects you, contact Jim Trader.
Time of The SeasonThe Summer is always busier and lasts longer than any other part of the year. It seems that every weekend is planned well in advance.
Sure other times of the year, such as Samhain, or Yule can be just as busy, but Summer lasts three entire months.
We tend to be so busy that we forget to check on the things we’ve been working on. We put things off until we have more time. Most of the time, it never happens.
There is no Sabbat before the next issue of Witch Way, so now seems like a good time to take a look at our efforts for manifesting the things we’ve been working on all year.
Just as any good gardener will check their crop periodically, we also must check to see if what we’ve planted is healthy and growing. Is there any weeding that needs done? How is our metaphorical/metaphysical garden growing?
Several weeks ago, we had a huge hail storm with winds over 100mph. I was sitting in my truck, on my way to work, and sitting at the side of the road, I couldn’t see the front of my hood (Bonnet, if you’re in the UK)at the peak of the storm.
Huge trees were suddenly laying in yards and on houses. I had a grapevine growing in my yard, and was looking forward to harvesting fresh grapes this year. Not only was the vine stripped of grapes, there aren’t even any leaves left on it.
The same goes for the trees and other plants that survived the storm. Devastation was total.
48 hours without power almost drove me mad. Ok, I’ll admit it, I’m an Internet junkie.
The storm reminded me that there are things that happen in our lives that just like this storm, rip our growing manifestation from the fertile ground of our minds, or shred them until there’s nothing left. Circumstance sometimes takes our best plans and lays them bare.
Life happens. No one is immune to the twists and turns of moving through their life. Sometimes it brings beneficial things to us, other times it smacks us down. I thought I was going to have another two months working on a contract before it was finished. I found out the week before Dragonfest that I wouldn’t have a job to come back to.
The two months wages I was planning to save for rent and food just won’t be there. I’m hoping that I can get by without spending any money so that I can pay rent at the end of the month. Storms come unexpectedly.
There’s nothing you can do about the storms in your life. You can rail against the howling wind, but in the end, it won’t make a difference. All you can do is survive such storms, then rebuild as best you can.
If the storms have taken out your crop, there’s still time for regrowth and manifestation, as long as something survived. If not, you prepare the ground to plant again next year, and hope it’s a better year.
Take a look at the thing you have been trying to manifest into your life this year. Is it growing? Can you see the manifestation getting closer? Do you need to weed out the things in your life that are keeping the manifestation from happening?
Tend to the metaphysical garden of your mind and magick. Next month we begin to harvest.
CyberWitchcraft SpotlightFrom time to time, we will be spotlighting one area of the website that we think will really interest our readers. This time we’re going to talk about CyberWitchcraft Voice Chat.
One of the things we get more email on than anything else, is people telling us that they don’t have a local Pagan community, or even that they don’t know of another Witch within 100 miles of where they live.
With that in mind, we set up a space where people from all around the world could come and talk to each other.
This CyberWitchcraft Voice Chat isn’t a dating service or pickup spot, it’s a place where those who know and those who want to learn Witchcraft can come and talk about ritual, spirituality, and anything else they choose.
Unlike what most people are used to, CyberWitchcraft Voice Chat has several rooms, so several conversations can happen independently at the same time. Everything from serious conversations on Gods, to classes in casting Circle, to general chitchat can be happening at the same time without interfering with each other.
Up to 75 people can be logged on at the same time, which means that your chances of being locked out because the chat is full, are very small. All it takes are the speakers built into your computer, a microphone, and installing a simple software download to get started.
Downloading the software to chat is easy. All that matters is what kind of computer you have, PC or MAC. Both types of computer can use the chat, simply download and install the software, then configure it.
Configuring the software seems to confuse people, but it’s actually very easy. No matter what type of computer you use, you need to give the software three things to connect.
You need the name of the server, the Host Name of the server, and the port number. You also want to give yourself a Username.
In this case the server Name is CyberWitchcraft, the Host name is b>ATL1.LeetVent.com and the Port Number is 3966. Your User name is up to you, it can be your real name, Craft Name, or any other name you choose.
Setting up the software really is that easy, and there is a page of step-by-step instructions that walk you through the set up process.
Once you have set up the software, you can either go to the CyberWitchcraft Voice Chat page and click on the word CyberWitchcraft at the bottom of the box showing who is logged on, or you can start the software, choose CyberWitchcraft as the server and click the Connect button.
To talk, press the CTRL key on the left side of your keyboard like the transmit button on a walkie-talkie, and speak into the microphone. As long as you hold down the CTRL key, anything you say will be sent out to everyone logged on in the same room you’re in.
To move to another room, use your mouse to drag and drop your name into a different room. Some rooms require access, so if you can’t move to a room, try moving to another room. Rooms that require access have a yellow plus or minus sign next to them. Any room with a blue plus or minus sign, is general access and anyone can enter.
Because we know that there will be times when only one person may be logged on, we decided to play music in the main room where everyone logs on. It’s no fun to just sit in a room by yourself, music helps to make waiting by yourself a little more entertaining until someone else logs on.
A lot of people have emailed, looking for ways to meet other Witches, and people they can talk to. We really have no way of knowing if or where your local Pagan community is, so we decided to create our own online community that’s available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Because there are always people looking to cause trouble, we’ve added a special room called Jail. Anyone who causes trouble, or won’t follow the rules, can end up in jail. It’s a room that doesn’t allow any communication outside the room, and won’t allow them to leave, even if they log off, and back on.
Everything we’ve learned from running various chats over the last 10 years has been incorporated into CyberWitchcraft Chat, to make it a friendly and enjoyable experience.
We hope to see you there.
If you have an article you'd like to submit as a guest author for Witch Way, or for CyberWitchcraft, go to the Contact Page and click Submissions in the drop down box. Let me know what the article is about, and I will reply back to you so that you can attach it in an email.
Articles for Witch Way should be at least 500 words, and those for CyberWitchcraft should be around 2000 words.
If you have any comments or suggestions, you can go to the Contact Page on CyberWitchcraft, or simply reply to this email. This newsletter and the website are created for you, your thoughts and ideas are important to us.
Until next month, may you be blessed in all that you do, or as we usually say,
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