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[Witch Way] Volume #1 Issue #7 -- Return of the Sun
December 13, 2008
Hi, Happy Yule!

Ken's Korner

Here it is, the end of the year already! This is a busy time of year for everyone, including me. In fact the last couple of newsletters have been written the night before they were to go out.

This month, Iím actually writing this the weekend before. Iíve been so busy that I havenít had time to add much to the site. Iíve started an article on the phases of the moon, and how to use them in your magick, but itís still in progress. The one thing I did add to the site is a donation page.

Iíve never been big on sites that ask for donations. I always wonder how many people actually click on the button. It doesnít help that most sites use a donation button to beg for money. Itís like they figure if you click on the button, they have the right to try to guilt you into giving them money.

I work hard for my money, and Iím very particular about who I choose to give it to. I figure most people feel the same way. Thatís one of the reasons I put the donate button all the way at the bottom of the navigation list.

I decided that putting up a way for people to donate to the site, would allow those who feel that Iím providing a useful service, to show their appreciation in a less abstract way. I know that at most, it might bring in a few dollars every few months. This is not a money making scheme. Believe me Iím creative enough to come up with far more interesting ways to have people give me money.

The reason I put the donate button up, is so that those who want, can help CyberWitchcraft become a resource for Witches from all over the world, faster. Becoming that resource has always been the driving force behind the site, and it is in no way dependant on getting donations.

The simple fact is that in order to add some of the more community oriented aspects of the site that I want, it will take money. For example, the voice chat I want to add, costs $112 a year. Not a lot, but more than I currently have.

What would voice chat do for you? It would give you the ability to talk (not type, but actually talk) to others who are logged onto the website. You would be able to meet others of like mind, and similar interests, and make friends. That could be beneficial no matter who you are, but it would be invaluable to those who donít have, or canít find a local Pagan community near them.

I am of the belief that most who are solitaire, do so because they donít know of any community near them. They believe that they are the only Witch around, or are afraid to expose themselves publicly. The Internet gives people the chance to form a community with anonymity. With user names or pseudonyms people can feel safe about meeting others without risk of exposure. Who knows, you might even find a local community that you never knew about.

This is just one thought I have. It doesnít even touch the idea of teaching class, holding online rituals, or organized discussion groups. Currently, I get email on a regular basis from people asking me questions. I donít always have the answers, but I try. Imagine if you could ask everyone else who comes to the website, and choose the best answer!

There are between 20 and 40 people who visit CyberWitchcraft every day. If every one of them donated one dollar, Iíd have the money to put the chat up in a couple of days. Now Iím not asking everyone to donate a dollar. Iím just giving those who want to, a way to help.

I also donít believe in asking for something and not giving back in return. So I created a Magickal Calendar for 2009. This calendar contains information that every Witch should have. Everything from the phases of the moon, to when the moon is Void of Course, and even when Mercury goes retrograde and direct. Not to mention when the Sabbats occur!

You may not know what all this information is used for, but if you do, it will help you to know when to work your magick, and just as importantly, when not to. For any donation amount, (yes, even a dollar) you will get access to download the calendar in PDF format, which can be used on any computer. Each page shows an entire month, and gives information for specific dates.

Again, Iím trying to give back to the community, by offering useful information to whoever wants it. I hope you have a good and safe Yule, and a happy New Year.

Blessed be,

Graphic Signature

Time of The Season

Yule Log

Itís the end of the calendar year. Itís the last of the eight Sabbats. Of the eight holidays, Yule is the most mainstream. This is the holiday that most people have heard of, even if theyíre not quite sure exactly what Yule really is.

The average person has heard of antiquated terms such as Yuletide, or Yule Log, and the Yule Season. What most donít realize is that everything they hold Sacred, from the decorated tree, to Santa Clause, has its origins in Paganism.

Their Christmas tree comes to them from Germany, by way of England. When Prince Albert married Queen Victoria, he missed the seasonal decorations of his native Germany, so in 1847 he instructed the staff to cut down an evergreen tree, and he and his family decorated it.

While the custom had been around since the 1500ís in Germany, it wasnít until an illustration of the royal family was published in newspapers around the world, that others followed suit.

Christmas at Buckingham Palace - 1847

It wasnít long until everyone had their own Yule tree at Christmas. The German Tannenbaum came to them from Scandinavia. The Norse had been decorating evergreens for centuries, as part of their Winter Solstice celebrations.

The concept and reasons for decorating the tree are simple. The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. All the plants of summer are long dead; their bare branches supporting nothing other than snow. Except the pine tree. The pine never loses its leaves, it stays green all winter.

In an effort of sympathetic magick, the Norse would decorate these trees with apples in an effort to get the other trees to bare fruit also. Apples are the reason the most common Christmas decorations are red and round. It wasnít until much later that they started making other colors and shapes.

The late 1700ís started the lighting of the tree with wax candles, and the faux fruit tree laden with apples, nuts, dates, and other fruit, moved beyond sympathetic magick of the Pagans. A star or angel was added at the top by the Christians, even though some Priests complained that the tree distracted from the Word of God.

While the star on top was added by Christians, as a representation of the Star of Bethlehem, Pagans see the same symbol as the familiar Pentagram. The tree with a five pointed star is topped by a balance of the five Elements.

The Yule Tree has come to be the center piece of the home each year to help welcome Winter, and to light the way for the Sun to return. I know that when I decorate a tree, it is a blazing beacon, whose light you can read by. What better way to encourage the Sun to return to us on Yule, the Winter Solstice?

Yule reading:
Yule Facts
Yule in Iceland
More Yule Facts
Yule in England
The Sabat of Yule

Unique Yule Gifts
Real parchment (paper made from animal skin)
Hand made books
Hand forged knives
Hand forged metal of all types
Hand made chalices

A Newbie's Perspective

by Harry M.

It has taken some time, and it is far from settled yet to get over my Christian up bringing and not feel over come with guilt and yeah even some fear over what I am doing.

I have made my peace with this and accepted that yeah God does come in whatever package that we feel most comfortable with. My mind has always told me that it seems strange that only some of us are Christians but there are a lot of really good decent people of other cultures who follow a different drummer and I could not reconcile that these people would burn forever because they were raised differently.

So God and I had a long talk in my sacred space and a universe opened to me. Perspectives changed and I begin to see that there really are six billion gods because I believe that each of the six or so billion of us perceives a different world.

So now my herb collection previously reserved for cooking is filling the house with smells of cinnamon and sage to attract prosperity. Scott Cunningham books along with Buckland and a few others are filling my shelves.

A two year fight with my insurance company has ended and my wife is scheduled for some much needed surgery on Dec 18th. I survived the first round of lay offs in my city that took out 300 people.

Do I credit this to the Craft? I don't know, can't say for sure but it is along the lines of what I asked for. I run a small dessert catering business on the side. Just as a whim I said a small blessing over some cookies and pastries that they bring happiness where they go.

I have had record demand from return customers. Maybe I am just a better cook for being more focused or maybe. . . ?

Ken said on his website that your will is a key factor. That the stronger your will, the stronger your magick. You can increase your strength of will with practice like anything else.

I find that almost daily I am growing as a person and making better choices. "I will do no harm" has changed my entire life in more ways than I can tell you and that is slowly changing other peoples as well.

I am 52 years old. This Path has come before me many times over nearly 38 years and I turned away from fear and sometimes prejudice.

I am an older man with many responsibilities to my family and friends so I have not quite got the courage to step out of the closet as yet, but I think in time I must. To be a part of the whole world of this marvelous craft.

So if you are thinking about it, get off the er...cauldron, and explore!

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 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,

Blessed Be,
Graphic Signature

Ken Biles

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