SAINT PETERSBURG, Fla. – Last week, The Witches’ Voice announced it would be shutting down its website, in late December of 2019.
Since its inception in 1997, Witchvox has had over 600 million page views. It has also been the host for thousands of Pagans, Heathens, and Polytheists, a registry for individuals and groups seeking to network, and one of the very first sites to offer news and commentary that were relevant to the diverse Pagan and Pagan-adjacent community.
Long before the slick social media platforms of today existed, the opportunities to network with others of like-mind online were relegated to chatrooms and bulletin boards. The Witches’ Voice provided an invaluable and easy way to find groups and individuals in your local area, as well as offering a vast array of articles on every Pagan topic imaginable. They covered news specifically tailored, and relevant to our communities.
Wren Walker, Fritz Jung, Peg Aloi and Diotima Mantineia in their combined efforts changed the Pagan community both online and in the physical world. The work they have done inspired many, including TWH founder, Jason Pitzl-Waters.
The Witches’ Voice will continue to exist on Facebook, albeit more limited and confined to sharing stories and articles that are of interest to the Pagan community.
We thank Witchvox for their vision and support of the Pagan community. TWH will have full coverage on The Witches’ Voice in the next week.
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NEW FOREST, Hampshire, UK – Last week, livestock animals were found stabbed or slashed with a blade of some sort. Two sheep were found dead with pentagrams, pentacles, and an inverted cross painted on their pelts and faces. The cattle that were attacked survived and their injuries were noticed by their owner.
Hampshire police are investigating whether what they termed a series of “suspicious incidents involving animals” were connected, and also are urging anyone who uses the forest to be vigilant.
New Forest covers a large area and comprises one of the largest tracts of land in southern England that is an unenclosed forest, heath, and pasture. Inhabitants of the area have common rights which allows them to graze their livestock within New Forest.
In nearby Bramshaw, St. Peter’s Church was vandalized with graffiti of the number 666 and an inverted cross. It is unclear if the crimes are related.
TWH is will continue to follow the story.
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a federal lawsuit against the Smith County School System in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.
The complaint filed last week on behalf of two families, names the Smith County School Board, the Director of Smith County schools, Barry H. Smith, Smith County Middle School principal, Kelly Bell, and Smith County High School principal, Dusty Whitaker as defendants.
The complaint alleges that Smith County School officials not only promoted religion within the schools in violation of the U.S. Establishment Clause of the Constitution but also allowed teachers of the Christian faith to proselytize students.
The complaint cites the sponsoring of religious events, prayer at athletic and other events, allowing Christian iconography, Christian bibles, and other religious messages of the Christian faith to be displayed within the schools and on the walls.
COMPLAINT1. Smith County, Tennessee, is a religiously diverse community. Christian, Muslim, and atheist students, among others, attend Smith County High School and Smith County Middle School in the Smith County School System. But that matters little to school officials: For years, they have routinely promoted and inculcated Christian religious beliefs by sponsoring religious activities and conveying religious messages to students at these two schools. School-sponsored prayer is common at athletic and other school events; religious iconography and messages adorn the walls of the schools; and teachers proselytize their Christian faith. All of these activities send a clear message to minority-faith and non-religious students that they are second-class members of the school community while their Christian peers are favored by school officials. Public schools belong to all and all belong in public schools. School officials’ blatant promotion of Christianity cannot be reconciled with this principle.2. Nor can school officials’ promotion of religion be reconciled with the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits public schools from imposing religious beliefs on their charges. When public schools engage in these unconstitutional activities, they harm students by coercing them into religious practices and by subjecting them to unwelcome indoctrination and religious messages; they harm parents by usurping their right to control the religious (or areligious)upbringing of their children; and they harm families and the community as a whole by sending a divisive message of religious favoritism for those who adhere to school officials’ preferred faith.
There are 91 points in the complaint detailing the various occasions or examples of what the ACLU believes are violations of the U.S. Constitution.
TWH will continue to follow this story.
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ROME – Last March, a statue of Neptune mysteriously appeared on the coast of Italy in Ostia part of the Metropolitan City of Rome Capital.
ROME – An artist installed a statue of Neptune a few nights ago in Ostia near Rome. We're trying to get details.
Posted by The Wild Hunt on Friday, March 8, 2019
Sadly, after a severe storm over the weekend, the statue of Neptune was no longer in place. No one ever took credit for the creation and placement of the statue, and its origin remains a mystery.
In other news:
- Beth Owl’s Daughter began their 15th annual Advent Sun Wreath Circle/Yule Prayer-Spell this past Sunday, November 24th. The concept for this annual event is simple, only requiring five candles, a wreath, and dedicating a brief amount of time each Sunday for meditation and the lighting of the candle(s). The global ritual began yesterday with the lighting of the first candle, which is extinguished after the meditation is finished and re-ignited each week, along with another candle, culminating on Yule, or Christmas, or both with all five candles being lit. Beth Owl’s Daughter encourages anyone, regardless of faith to participate and calling upon everyone to “stand together in the face of extreme change.”
- Isleta Pueblo tribe chief justice, Verna Teller made history this month when she delivered the opening prayer on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. Teller is the first Native American woman to do so, and the second member of a Native tribe to offer an opening prayer for Congress. In May of 2009, Reverend Michael Cummings of the Lumbee tribe gave the first opening prayer ever delivered by a Native American tribal member.
- The coach of women’s Cuban basketball team, Margarito Pedroso, was accused by the Puerto Rican team of using “witchcraft” in an attempt to influence the game in their favor in Edmonton, Canada at the Pre-Olympic qualifying tournament. Gerardo “Jerry” Batista, coach of Puerto Rican team said that Pedroso threw a “dust” of some type on the legs of the owner, around the court, in the dressing room of the Puerto Rican team, as well as their chairs. Batista is quoted as saying his team, “made a report to FIBA (International Amateur Basketball Federation) that is going to investigate the situation. FIBA members saw it.” In the end, Pedroso’s “witchcraft” failed: Puerto Rico beat Cuba 83-81.
- Last week Newsweek reported on a the discovery in Poland of ancient, circular ritual site, believed to be around 6,800-years-old. The ritual site is located about 50 miles east of Berlin, Germany, in the village of Nowe Objezierze. The site is encircled by four separate ditches, each deeper and larger than the one preceding it. Researchers believe the ditches were dug approximately a few dozen years apart, suggesting this was a regular occurrence done to increase the size of the site, which measures roughly 350 feet in diameter–three times the size of Sarsen or inner circle of Stonehenge. Archaeologists have been excavating the area and have found hundreds of bones, pottery, shells, and dye, in addition to stone and flint artifacts. Lech Czerniak, project leader from the University of Gdańsk is quoted by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education Website as saying, “This is quite sensational, given the fact that it coincides with the dating of structures located on the Danube, considered the oldest… The primary focus of the project are questions about the social aspects of the functioning operation of roundels, including what prompted the inhabitants of a given region to make a huge effort in building and maintaining the roundel, where the idea and knowledge necessary to build this object came from, and how often and for how long the object was used.”
- The New York Times featured an article on Haitian Voodoo and the celebration of Fet Gede, or the Festival of the Dead, at a club in Brooklyn. The event was hosted by Monvelyno Alexis, 43, and Riva Précil, 30, who have organized the event for the past seven years. The article briefly explains some the ideas, history, and practices of Voodoo as a spirituality, without getting into too much detail. Of the intent surrounding their event, Alexis said, “Whenever somebody asks us questions we always answer them,” he said. “We want to bring the Haitian way back to Haitians.”
- A “fog bow,” a rare and unusual natural phenomenon was captured on film by photographer Melvin Nicholson. The “white rainbow” appeared over Rannoch Moor near the village of Glencoe in Scotland. Nickelson who said it had been quite misty, had been out the moor with a friend, who wanted to show him a tree he was fond of. “Then the sun started to rise behind us, burning off the mist, and at that point, the fogbow appeared,” Nicholson said. “I had never seen anything like it in my 10 years capturing landscape photos around the globe or even in my 44 years of life.” “Fog bows” are formed from water droplets in the atmosphere just like rainbows, but their water droplets are much smaller and refract less light, hence the “white” appearance.
Tarot of the week by Star Bustamonte
Deck: Cat Tarot, by Julie Smillie, illustrated by Megan Lynn Kott, and published by Chronicle Books, LLC.
Card: Judgement, Major arcana XX (20)
This week, there is likely to be a focus on reviewing past actions and the choices that led to them. Try to refrain from being overcritical of your own past actions, and recognize that not every decision requires the level of scrutiny necessary for world peace.
Decks generously provided by Asheville Raven & Crone.