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[Witch Way] Volume #1 Issue #6 -- Happy Holy Days
November 13, 2008
|Hi, Happy Thanksgiving!
Here it is, November already. We havenít yet had our first snow in Denver, but the latest ever recorded was Nov 21, in 1934, so it will happen any time now.
I just took a look at the stats for the newsletter. This will be going out to 98 people. Thatís 90 more people than our first issue back in June. Itís incredible to think that in just six months, almost 100 people have signed up for Witch Way.
I still find it astounding that in such a short time, Iíve gone from having no site at all, to 46 pages of content, and for the month of October, we had an average of 33 people a day come to CyberWitchcraft.com.
The website has been visited from all over the world. I expected that people in the US, Canada, Britain, and Australia might visit, but weíre getting visitors from South Africa, Finland, Japan, the Philippines, all over Europe, and even Iraq, to name a few.
I have been getting email from visitors asking all sorts of questions. Most are looking for help with situations theyíre in. Others just want to let me know that they really like what weíre doing here on the site.
You may have noticed the Poll I put up just under two months ago, about how long youíve been practicing. When you answer the poll, it shows you a graph of how many have given each answer. I expected that there would be a lot of people new to the Craft, but it seems there are a lot of us ďOld TimersĒ also dropping by too.
Weíve just added a new section called Pagan Community to the site. There are several videos I shot at the two Witches Balls here in Denver, and those pages are very popular.
This has lead me to the conclusion that video can be an incredibly powerful tool. Not just for getting visitors to the site, but for instruction also. Iím currently working out a way to put together some video to add to some of the articles already up on CyberWitchcraft. Basically, these videos would be a demonstration of the article subject. Let me know what you think.
I also mention in the new section, an email list I run called Agorae. Itís a Pagan discussion list where people can ask questions and get answers about different topics. Currently weíre having an interesting discussion about the ethics of spells. Several people have asked if they could join the group, so I thought Iíd publish the address here.
Type the following into your browser http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Agorae/
or Click Here.
As you can see, this is a Yahoo Group. If youíre interested in participating, use the link and sign up.
One of those emails I got has ended up as an article in this issue of Witch Way. It talks about how one person came to this Path, and I thought it might resonate with some of you.
Another email stated that the gentleman wanted to do a ritual, but really wasnít sure how to close it. That caused me to write a couple of new articles on Calling and Banishing the Quarters. Iíd always planned to write them, I just kept getting distracted by other ideas. Sometimes you do get what you ask for.
So now that Samhain is just another fond memory, weíve officially entered the Holiday Season. I know most of you will be very busy with family and friends over the next couple of months.
Hopefully youíll spare some time to visit CyberWitchcraft once in a while, or even send me a note by replying to this, or using the contact page on the site.
Whatever you find yourself doing, I hope itís pleasant, and makes you happy. Blessed be,
Time of The SeasonWell, itís that lull between Samhain and Yule. I say lull because there arenít any Pagan holidays this month, but we all know that Thanksgiving is in a couple of weeks, so I doubt that anyone (in America at least) is really in a lull.
Everyone thinks of Thanksgiving as a Christian sort of holiday, but is it really? Those of us in America grew up learning about the Pilgrims, and their flight from England, in an effort to avoid religious persecution. Hmmm...that sounds familiar somehow.
Yes, the Pilgrims were Christians, and a particularly strict sect at that, but the idea that they felt like they couldnít openly worship as they wished, should be a very familiar concept to everyone reading this.
I have just felt this sort of persecution, having been let go from a contract because it seems that someone didnít like the fact that Iím a Witch. Iíve had to move in with friends because I couldnít afford to keep the place I was at.
So the pilgrims came to the New World, searching for a place where they could live their lives the way they wished, not the way society wished them to. I know Iíve heard various people in my local community talk about buying some land out in the country, and starting up a Pagan safe haven, where no one was close enough to see anything that might disturb them.
Most talk about a farm of some sort, where everyone could get back to Nature, and live in harmony with Her. Of course, most Pagans I know have spent their lives in the city, and have no idea how to run a farm, or the work involved, but theyíre just dreaming anyway.
So back to that first Thanksgiving. The Pilgrims made the journey across a vast ocean, with little more than rumor to go on. Sure Columbus had made several trips, as had others, but really all they knew was to head west until they found land. It really was a journey of Faith.
When they reached the New World, legend has it that they landed at Plymouth Rock. Thereís even a sign there marking the spot. As soon as they got there, the Pilgrims started to build. It wasnít long until those who already lived there, came to see what was going on. All accounts state that the natives were friendly, and helped the Pilgrims through that first Winter.
The Natives also taught the Pilgrims new ways to farm the land, and introduced them to new foods such as corn and pumpkin. These Pilgrims werenít helpless, theyíd grown up in a time where hunting and growing were known to everyone. There were no stores to buy food from. Even so, without the help of the Natives, most probably would not have survived that first Winter.
After that first year, it was decided to have a feast. They wanted to show their thanks to their God, for helping them to survive. They looked at the help from the Natives as Divinely inspired. Who else could have lead them to a place where they could live peacefully, and find such helpful people already there?
So they gave thanks to their God with a large feast, and invited the Natives, who had helped them. They thanked their God for the new people they had met, and for the wondrous bounty that the land had given them, the harvest that would allow them to survive another Winter. Now where have I heard that before?
Yes, it was Christians who held the first Thanksgiving, but if you look at it closely, youíll find that even though it wasnít taken over from Pagans, itís still very Pagan in form. And letís not forget that there were probably many more Pagans at that First Thanksgiving than Christians. It also shows how Pagan and Christian, working together, can change the world.
What is my Path?
by Bill L.My name is Bill. No fancy name, my witches name will come later. What is my Path?
Well, my path within the traditions I follow are just that. They are mine. Not someone else's who has been in the Craft for 50 years. I have some of the same practices as others within the Craft but what I do is my own. I own it and most importantly I am responsible for what I do. Not those within my Circle, my Community or the Universe.
I live my path. Not just practice one or two days a week. It is every day 24-7. Living my Path sometimes puts me between a rock and a hard spot but, I believe what I believe and I choose to live it every day. Do I falter? Sure, I'm human, but I learn and grow from the experience.
My path takes me places I never could have imagined. Mostly my path takes me inside myself. I grow, learn, experience different things I didn't know about myself, my family, my friends, the Universe. I help those who need it, want it and ask for it. Never do I impose myself and make assumptions that they need help.
Let me start from the beginning. In the earlier part of my life I started out as a born again Christian. I grew in my religion and at one time I really felt like I wanted to go into the Seminary but something was missing.
Things happened and my life started to change. First was a divorce. I then moved to Colorado. I met a wonderful woman and we became great friends. During one of our conversations I asked what her beliefs were.
She told me she was Pagan. She used the example of the standard Wiccan. She told me that she was a Witch. At first I was frightened because of the way I was brought up. I was also fascinated.
I asked for more information and she said that if we continued on this line of conversation I could never go back to my old religion. She begged me not to continue but I insisted. Well, she didn't lie.
From what I have learned and experienced I can not go back to the way I was. Speaking for myself only....I believe I have found Divinity. Divinity has no concrete rules, regulations, doctrine or dogma It's my Path and again, I'm responsible for it.
That was over 9 years ago and I am still asking questions. Still working to understand and to live with the things within myself and around me. I have learned so many different religious practices and studied many diverse paths.
I do rituals with my Circle and within my community, mostly in the Wiccan ways. I am a Shaman. Yes, I do travel between the worlds. I have my Spirit guides. I am a Guardian, not only for my Circle but the entire Universe itself. I work within myself to the best of my abilities following the old ways.
Not much is known about them but during my studies I have gained some of the knowledge through my Path. It's not easy. I gave up a lot. My two oldest kids (who were in their 20's when I moved from Colorado) and almost lost someone who is a very important part of my life. It was a learning experience and a growing time for me.
Don't let someone kid you and say that every Pagan path is easy. It hurts! But growth always does. If you truly believe and grow you will find out it's hard work. My friend from 9 years ago is now my Partner. Yes, we are handfasted. For those who don't know what that is......we are married but in a more profound way than a person could ever imagine. We do not own each other, we share our life experiences with each other, and love each other. During this time frame I found out my Daughter became a Pagan also.
Yes, I am a Witch, not a Warlock. Like I said, I go by the old ways. A Warlock by the original definition is an Oath Breaker, not a male Witch. That is new age. My Witches name.......sorry, that is for my workings only.
Blessed be and may this article help those who are asking questions.
If you have an article you'd like to submit as a guest author for Witch Way, or for the main website, 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 around 500 words, and those for CyberWitchcraft.com should be around 2000 words.
If you have any comments or suggestions, you can go to the Contact Page on the website, 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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