Thank You Wren Walker

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Over at The Witches’ Voice, Fritz Jung has posted a special tribute to his wife and site co-founder Wren Walker for hitting a milestone 20,000 posts on Wren’s Nest News since the news service’s founding in 1996.

“This morning I noticed that Wren has just passed the 20,000 articles posted mark – I claim this space to personally thank her for her dedication to posting ‘Spirit and community related news’ for all these years. Thanks honey! … Wren’s Nest has seen some 47,882,049 page requests over the past 12 years and has been called up in cell phones and on personal computers via RSS readers thousands of times daily since we introduced that option in 2003. As her husband, lover and friend, I can personally attest to her noting ‘Gotta post the news’, on a near daily basis, over all these years – Thank YOU honey for this gift to the Pagan communities. – I also take this space to thank our good friend Christina Aubin for guest hosting the ‘Nest during some of the darker times in Wren’s life.”

In my article on Pagan blogging for the 2007 Wicca Almanac, I pay tribute to Wren’s Nest as a vital precursor to the now-thriving Pagan blogosphere.

“The real revolution regarding Pagans and blogging would begin in 1997, with the launch of what would become the most popular web site for Wiccans, Witches, and modern Pagans. In that year, two Witches left the Witchcraft advocacy organization WLPA (Witches’ League for Public Awareness) to start their own website dedicated to fostering communication and unity within the Witchcraft (and later Pagan and Heathen) communities. Their website became The Witches’ Voice (www.witchvox.com). This site was radically different from most sites dedicated to Paganism at that time; it featured regularly updated content and essays, and it featured the first widely-read Pagan blog, “Wren’s Nest Spirit News”, by cofounder Wren Walker.

While Wren’s Nest never identified itself as one, it carries many of the identifying features of a blog. It is updated regularly (daily, in fact); it is organized chronologically, with individual posts one can link to, and it allows readers to comment on each post. While Wren rarely opines on the news links and essays she shares with her readership (aside from the occasional “Chirp”) this site proved that blogging is something that could work for Pagans as a mass audience. In the years that followed, many other bloggers have been inspired by (or have simply imitated) Wren’s approach. This paved the way for the blogging community that was to come.”

It isn’t hyperbole to say that without Wren’s Nest there may not have been The Wild Hunt. Her dedication and commitment to providing the Pagan community with news involving, or of interest to, modern Pagans cleared the way for those of us wanting a more robust and serious Pagan-centered look at the world around us. So thank you Wren, may you continue for another 20,000 articles!