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Volume II Issue No.1October/November 1999

Greetings Friends,
Welcome to our third issue of Starlight Voices.
We've got the first printing of our new environmental column "The Green Life" featuring an article by the column's editor, Dragonraven.
*Special note to our readers: We are featuring an article as part II of our Witchcraft/Paganism Today series in this issue. It's titled: Teens in a Pagan Society and is written by an exceptional young Pagan, Silver Willow. We want to make it clear that the author does not condone young people to stay in the closet with their families. We need to clarify that even though there is help for closet-ridden teens in the article, it's written to be humorous as well and not as a way of hiding from your parents. Please keep that in mind when reading the article.

As always your comments are welcome. Blessed be,
Moon SpiritWolf, Senior Editor

F E A T U R E S
Witchcraft/Paganism Today Part II pg 2 Our Growing Numbers pg 2 Pagan Youth Resources pg 3 D E P A R T M E N T S / C O L U M N S Question and Answer 3 Starlight Review 3 Youth Speaks 4 In the Starlight 4 Poll 5 The Green Life 5 Creative Writing 6 Magickal Notes 6 Pagan Pals 6

CELEBRATIONS!

We're entering the dark season. A time for families, whether it be to honor the dead, or feasting with visiting relatives. It's a very magickal time now when the veil between worlds is thinnest. This is when we let go of the past to make room in our lives for new beginnings.

Southern Hemisphere Pagans are feeling the end of the spring season. The sun's warmth is growing as the days grow longer. Beltane is upon us, and this too, is a powerful time. Now is the time for romance and love.

  • Days of Remembrance
    Oct.
    18 Festival of Herne (Greek)
    20 Festival of Ancestors (Chinese)
    30 Los Angelitos (Mexican)
    31 Halloween (also Samhain)

    Nov.
    1 Samhain (Celtic)
    2 All Soul's Day
    6 Birthday of Tiamat (Babylonian)
    7 Makahiki Festival (Hawaii)
    10 Festival of the Goddess of Reason (French)
    11 Feast of Dionysus, Veteran's Day
    16 Night of Hecate
    21 Feast of Hathor (Egyptian)
    25 Thanksgiving Day (U.S.)
    26 Festival of Lights
  • Youth Speaks

    This time around we asked a few teens to talk about their meaning of a spiritual experience: What is your idea of a spiritual experience? Can you tell us about one you've had?

    "My idea of a spiritual experience is kinda like a meeting with Divinity where you can forget all the boring/stressful/ irritating mundane stuff.
    And no, I don't think I've had a spiritual experience yet... except maybe when I first met my spirit animals, and sometimes when I pray to Brigid and I think she's answering." --Jade F~S, 12

    "A spiritual experience can be anything from a feeling you get while listening to music, to a dream, to an almost supernatural occurance. I haven't had many major spiritual experiences, but there's one that sticks out in my mind. It was after doing a full moon ritual and I had just finished a spell that required me to pour out the water I'd used onto the ground outside. I went to pour it out and look at the moon. The thing is, I couldn't find the moon. It just wasn't there, and it never occured to me that it could have been cloudy, it felt as though the moon had disappeared. Anyway, I gave up looking for it and went inside to have a glass of milk, which is what I do after moon rituals. But instead of milk, I reached for the water we keep in the fridge. That water was the best tasting I've ever had, it was almost creamy, and while I was drinking it I had the distinct impression that I was drinking the moon. I didn't know what to make of it, but I spoke with someone later and she said I had probably Drawn Down the Moon, like you hear of in some books. I still remember that experience in the utmost detail, and all my feelings at the time. It's one of those things where you feel like you're in a dream. That, I think, was definitely a spiritual experience." --Anna, 18

    "My definition of a spiritual experience is a time when a person feels closest to their view of God, it might be when a Witch casts a circle and feels the power for the first time, or when a Christian takes communion. Any time that a person feels that their God has touched them in a way. An experience I had recently is this: for the last two years I have searched long and hard to find a Patron Goddess, I went through alot of major goddesses from Aphrodite to Isis and all in between. I would change my mind and feel that that was not right, at those times the name "Nimue" came to mind. Last week I finally decided to give her a try. Boy! Was I glad I did that. The day after I chose her it rained for three days straight (Nimue is a goddess of Water) Then while I was cleaning my desk I happened upon my Tarot cards. I picked them up and looked at the bottom card which to my surprise was a card "Seeker of Water" (shapeshifter tarot) I looked in the book and saw what Goddess they had linked to that card, guess who it was.

    Nimue. Then I had this wonderful feeling come over me like a warm hug and a female voice whispered in my ear, "Thank you". That was a spiritual moment." --Dante, 17

    Witchcraft/Paganism Today Part III

    Festivals Then and Now

    by Morgana Firewings

    Seasonal celebrations were an important part of cultures of the past. Those celebrations are the origins of many of today's holidays and festivals. Here we will look at what differences (if any) there are in how Neo-Pagans today celebrate compared to past Pagans.

    In the past, people began celebrating festivals at regular intervals during the year. This was because they took notice of what was going on in Nature around them. For example, the Celts celebrated Lughnasadh, a corn festival named for Lugh the Corn King, when it was time to harvest the corn each year. Celebrating the changing seasons was a common thing in past times because of the closeness people shared with Nature.

    We now live in a world of crowded cities, the internet, and busy lives. Today, Pagans have tried to re-create the festivals observed by Ancient Pagans. Again, for example: Lughnasadh is still celebrated as a corn festival in honor of the Corn King. People bake cornbread and other foods with corn as a main ingredient. The biggest difference is that most Pagans now do not actually harvest the crops as our ancestors did. So where Pagans in the past formed rituals out of normal occurances in their lives, today's Pagans are simply trying to re-create what they had according to traditions and myths.

    Another difference between then and now is that the festivals are more diversified. Instead of one ethnic group celebrating, many different ethnic groups celebrate these same festivals. Sabbats, as they are now called, are even observed by solitary practitioners. This allows for a wider variety of interpretations and celebrations of the sabbats. So Pagans today may have more than 1 or 2 ways to observe the holidays.

    Still another difference is that the Pagan way of celebrating seasonal festivals isn't as commonplace in the world as it was in the past. Now we have muddled remnants of festivals (such as Christmas, Easter, and Halloween,etc.) replacing what were once Pagan holidays. Observances of original past customs are now being re-created by modern Pagans in the same Nature-based faith of the past.

    Pagans now, are remembering the Old Ways with the tools and circumstances of today. We can only guess at what the future holds in store for the festivals of the year.

    IN THE STARLIGHT

    The Witches Voice

    This is a Pagan website, one of the largest and most authorative on the latest in news and information pertaining to the Pagan community. Many of you may already be familiar with it. It is located at www.witchvox.com

    Starlight Voices is giving recognition to the webmasters of this site for maintaining an active section for teens. In the "Teenage Witchcraft" section of the website you will find numerous articles written by and for Pagan teens.

    You may find other well done sites with teen written articles and essays, but this one takes the cake. That is because it does not have a separate site for teenagers, but rather has a section connected to the rest of the site which is important so as not to isolate teens from the rest of the community. In their own words
    "...we simply never thought in terms of Teen vs. "adult" in the creation and evolvement of this web site. Any reference to Teens here at Witchvox are due to requests from Teens themselves."

    You will find information well-organized and intellectually stimulating, possibly even something you can relate to. Keep in mind that the essays are written by Teens and are meant to educate and help other Pagan Teens. It presents a positive outlet for creative thinking and diverse opinions.

    Many thanks to Wren Walker, Fritz Jung, and Diotima for the excellent service to the Pagan community, and for the special attention to the Young Pagan community.


    ~ Goddess 2000 Project ~

    Honors the Spirits of Nature

    ~ Goddess 2000 Project ~ "A Goddess on Every Block!" is a Grass-roots community based Sacred Arts Project. Thousand of pagans and others who honor the Earth are preparing to welcome the year 2000 by creating large Goddess statues and paintings, as well as a wide variety of images celebrating divinity in Nature. It will be the largest outpouring of Goddess and Sacred Nature Imagery seen in the past 3,000 years!

    Winter Solstice 1999 will be celebrated with Community rituals, drumming, and Spiral Dances in local areas around the US and in other countries. Statues are being made in wood, plaster, concrete, clay, paper, fibre and metal. Paintings, collages, murals, and labyrinths are also being made. Some are honoring the Earth Goddess by planting trees, and building living labyrinths with shrubs and grasses.

    Come join in this event. People of all ages are encouraged to participate. Many of the Goddess pieces are for public display and many are being displayed only in people's homes and in their gardens. The point is to create a web of Goddess energy. You don't need to be public with your Goddess art unless you want to. The power is in the Creation of these pieces of sacred imagery.

    You don't have to be an artist to make Goddess Art. If you love the Goddess, you will honor Her with whatever you make. "The Goddess 2000 Project" network in growing! Write and let us know what you or your group are making for the "Goddess 2000 Project." A book is planned to document all the pieces of Goddess Art created for the "Goddess 2000 Project".

    If you would like some ideas or instructions for creating your Goddess 2000 we would be glad to help. Visit the website at www.goddess2000.org ~Goddess 2000 Project~ PO Box 403 - Benicia, CA 94510 - USA ______________________________________

    STARLIGHT REVIEW

    BOOK REVIEW
    Halloween
    Author: Silver RavenWolf
    Published: Llewellyn Publications, 1999
    pp: 240
    Reviewed by: Moon SpiritWolf

    RavenWolf is right on target with her latest title "Halloween". Aboard "Silver Flight 2000", you'll learn about the history behind the holiday. Myths, superstitions, symbols, and past customs give you an idea of where the traditions now in practice came from and how they developed.

    RavenWolf traces Halloween history from Paleopagans, Druids, and Celts to the influence of Ancient Rome and the growth of Christianity right down to early American Halloween. She also presents the origins of customs and superstitions in an understandable way.

    For those of you who like to do a little cooking, especially around the holidays, this book has some great ideas to get you started. From "Candied Love Apples" to "Sugar Snakes in Graveyard Dust" you're sure to find something you'll enjoy.

    Let us not forget that Samhain is a time to honor the dead. RavenWolf has rituals, prayer, and info on honoring those who have passed on from ancestral altars to the Dumb Supper.

    This book is filled with magick and folklore and is a must for Halloween lovers and those who are simply looking for information on the autumn holiday.

    On Personal Faith

    BY Kat Kiefer-Newman
    We recently celebrated my oldest daughters 7th birthday this past December. Like the dutiful parents we are, we trudged down to the local Chuck E. Cheese (a kids pizza place with tons of kid-stuff going on and kid-food and all that!) and turned our monsters and their friends loose for about 2 hours while we sat back and tried to ignore the blaring music and screaming all around us.

    At one point there was a lull in the din and I looked over at my handsome husband and he looked at me and without saying a word we smiled in total understanding. We've been together for nearly ten years and sometimes it's like sharing one brain. The thought that we happen to share at that moment was: "Yes, it was all worth it. They're healthy and happy and we'd do it again."

    Too often I find I'm worrying over the details and I forget to look at the big picture. My husband is much better at that than I'll ever be. He tends to loose the details as he's taking huge strokes in the pool called "The Big Picture". We are a good balance for each other on most things having to do with the kids.

    But even my husband Ron, in all his logic and brilliance, and me with all my compassion and understanding, were not sure how to deal with what hit us the next week.

    While at school my younger daughter was asked, at a public School mind you, if she believed in God. All of the children in her Kindergarten class were talking about the coming Christmas holiday and how they would celebrate it in their homes.

    My poor Jenna, knowing that talking about "Our Faith" can mean a lot of problems, simply answered "NO, we don't believe in God."

    For the most part, this is a true statement. Neither Ron (who is an agnostic) nor I believe in the Christian God. Both of my daughters have attended Rituals with me and we have had many long, and wonderful discussions on the nature of Faith and Personal Faith for everyone. We have talked about the Christian idea that only one Path and one God is the true way and my daughters have rejected that option for now as too narrow for them.

    But because she said a flat out "NO" she was teased and ridiculed on the playground for the rest of that week. That wasn't the end of it for me, however.

    I work with the mother of Jenna's bestfriend. She happens to be my boss, sort of. It was through this woman that I found out about the "god" things a few days later at work, while standing in the President of the companies office. This woman, (who is laterally my boss, remember), announced very loudly and merrily (did I mention she doesn't like me much?) that her daughter was worried about Jenna's soul since Jenna's family doesn't believe in God.

    Of all ways for this to progress, the way it chose was the worst. Water finds it's own way, I know...but this was finding me totally unprepared. The President of the company looked calmly at me and said, "Well, kids are great, aren't they?" And it mostly ended there. But I've had many, many "conversations" since then with various co-workers about my Faith.

    My husband thinks I should let them all assume I'm an atheist and leave it at that. But the truth, or should I say Truth (with the big "T"), keeps me from taking that easy road.
    My daughters will not have an easy road waiting for them, either. Their journey to Personal Faith and Truth has only begun. There will be times I can help them. There will be others I absolutely can't. What a world we've made for ourselves... 1999 _________________________________________

    THE GREEN LIFE

    Trees: The Gentle Warriors
    by Moon SpiritWolf

    Trees have many values to life on Earth. These "gentle warriors" help battle things like air pollution, mud slides, extreme weather, and global warming. They provide food, shelter, and even help satisfy spiritual needs. In addition to all of that, trees are recognized in the Pagan community for their magickal properties. Trees deserve to be given a little extra attention these days.

    There is a downside to having trees around in certain areas. When dead and if not disposed of properly, trees an become a fire hazard. They've also been known to fall on people, houses, across roads, and on power lines. So when they are in populated areas, trees do need to be maintained.

    As far as spirituality is concerned, some people connect to a spiritual existence when surrounded by trees and other plant life. The sheer beauty of trees brings a sense of wonder to the admirer. It's believed that having trees nearby can help reduce stress. They even lend to the healing process.

    Magickally speaking, trees have certain properties that can be used by those who recognize them. Here are some examples:
    Alderconfidence, strength
    Applelife, renewal, beauty
    Ashrebirth, peace, communication
    Birchbeginnings, energy
    Blackthorncontrol, connected to the Dark Lady
    Elderchange, life cycles
    Firvigor, secrecy
    Oaktruth, strength, endurance
    Rowaninsight, premonition, creativity
    Willowintuition, enchantment, psychic ability

    MAGICKAL NOTES

    Dressing Up Halloween Treats
    by Psyche

    Here are a few quick ideas for dressing up those Halloween treats, whether they be for trick-or-treaters or for a party, breakfast, or ritual:
    Use for Halloweenish cookie-cutters:

  • Breakfast: These make fun designs out of your average breakfast foods, such as eggs(not scrambled or boiled), pancakes, and even toast. This can also be applied to your ritual food (cookies, bread, cake,etc.)
    Handing out candy to trick-or-treaters?
  • Throw a piece of white tissue paper of your lollipops, or suckers and tie a colored thread or yarn around the stick at the base of the sucker. Draw on a face with a marker and you'll have yourself a cute lil' ghost to give away.
  • Wrapping a piece of orange-colored tissue paper around small packets of candy corn, gumballs, etc. and wrapping with green thread or yarn will allow you to hand out lil' "surprises" to the trick-or-treaters this Halloween.
    These ideas are great if you enjoy really putting a little extra effort into this Halloween.
  • COMMUNITY NEWS

    CALIFORNIA
    Desert Oasis Gathering Circle First Saturday of every month Beginning October 2, 1999 at 2:00 P.M. in Orange County. Desert Oasis is a free gathering circle for any teenager who is either a Pagan or interested in becoming one. It was formed to allow young Witches to meet and learn from each other as they grow more experienced in the Craft. One can come and go as they please. Open to anyone under the age of 21 in Southern California. No requirements or any experience necessary for those who want to join. Meetings scheduled to accommodate the members. Email Ocean Rose if you would like to join or want further information at:PaganOasis@aol.com

    Restoring The BalanceA Ritual Theater Event
    To be held November 6, 1999 at 8:00 pm at the Willits Community Center located at 111E Commercial in Willits,CA. Journey through the last millennium as we recreate some pivotal events .... the Inquisition, genocide of Native peoples, Slavery in America, destruction of our forests, and more...it is not a pretty picture and we must come beyond denial and repression of our feelings about these events if we are to heal. Contact Ann at abweller@pacific.net or (707)459-4499

    CotES Coven of the Eternal Starlight, a pagan youth group, holds open meetings every month at different places. Call, write, or email for more information. ONCE MONTHLY. CotES also has open rites and celebrations for anyone interested. Located in the Mnt. View/Los Altos/Sunnyvale area Contact Lyra at (650) 968-0994 or burningdance@hotmail.com visit the site: www.geocities.com/Athens/Sparta/9552 MICHIGAN

    Green Spiral A networking event held every other Wednesday by MSU's Eclectic Pagan Network.To be held at the Michigan State Univ. Student Union (in the Minnesota room) in East Lansing, MI. Green Spiral is a discussion and networking group for Pagan students at Michigan State and folks in the surrounding Lansing area. We welcome people of all ages and stages of learning. Visit: www.msu.edu/~pagan/ for more info.

    CANADA:Prince Edward Island

    Samhain Meet and Greet This is a Pagan meet and greet, with a Wiccan ritual to follow. To be held at Bonshaw, R.R.#3 St. Catherin's Rd. in Charlottetown at 8:30 pm on October 31,1999.Children are welcome, snacks and drinks are suggested (for your own personal consumption. Call for directions if you are interested in attending. Contact Jennifer Morningstar at starry@isn.net or (902)675-2776


    ANNOUNCEMENTS

    Rainwater Society News
  • The Rainwater Society is giving itself a makeover. All discussion circles have been discontinued for now but will once again be operating by November 19, 1999. So if you are interested in taking part, visit the website and sign up. Topics discussed are Celtic Studies, God, Goddess, Wheel of the Year, Spellcrafting, with more to come. www.angelfire.com/ca2/YoungPagans
  • The Society is looking for more submissions of Pagan
  • groups, media, and organizations that benefit young Pagans. If you know of any, email society@rainwater.zzn.com with information.

    Starlight Voices Seeks Writers
    We are looking for article submissions. If you like to write and want to have your work published in this newsletter, contact Moon SpiritWolf or Cyrex Azger at sv@rainwater.zzn.com for more information. We're looking for essays, articles, poetry, and reviews written by young Pagans. We are also looking for regular writers and an editor.

    PAGAN PALS (Online)

    For those who didn't know, people listed in the Pagan Pals section of this newsletter are now on-line at our website. You may still write to them in care of Starlight Voices if you wish. However, they can also be emailed on-line. Pagan Pals will be listed on our website for three months at a time. If they do not update their listing in that time, it will be removed. Thanks to all who participate.

    Tim M/14/Cancer Broomfield, Colorado "14 year old beginner looking for some new friends, and to expand my horizons..." Email: hallowie@phreaker.net

    Willow F/22/Scorpio Soquel, California "Merry Meet! Seeking in depth conversations from those with inquisitive minds. I am 3/4 Native Americanm Indian and my spiritual journey has both the traditional values and beliefs of my native ancestory as well as neo pagan ideology...Always looking to enlighten myself further, so lets delve deeper...Blessed Be and Merry Meet Again!" Email:azalyneskye@hotmail.com

    ~*SilverStorm*~ F/14/Aquarius Shenandoah, Virginia "MM I'm a beginning wiccan. I love to write, rollerblade etc. My ascendant is Scorpio and my moon sign is Gemini. I have aol, icq, and various other internet chat tools, and I love to communicate with people. I'd prefer talking with people generally in my age range if it's possible, but other than that I don't really have any preferences. GB :)" Email:_Storm_Chaser_@yahoo.com

    Little Star F/16/Taurus Haltom City, Texas "I'm a 16 year old who is very new to this craft. I know very little and anyone who wouldn't mind helping me get more involved, I would like them to contact me." Email:lovsandee@aol.com

    Apryl F/16/Taurus Sacramento, California "I would like to talk to people from all over the world, male or female. I would also hope to find some one in my area as well. Thank you." Email:Aprylfairy@aol.com

    Shauna F/13/Aries Vancouver, BC, CAN "I wish to talk to someone more "advanced" in the areas of Paganism just because I am a beginner and could use some help. But I would really enjoy if anyone took the time to e-mail me." Email: moffatts_chicks@hotmail.com


    Starlight Voices c/o Moon SpiritWolf
    P.O. BOX 421495
    Los Angeles, CA 90042-0495
    U.S.A.