APPALACHAIAN PAGAN ALLAINCE NEWSLETTER -- June 2003 Editress: Ginger Strivelli The APA would like to take this chance to say we hope everyone had a magical Summer Solstice! We Have live several lively discussions and debates this summer in the yahoogroups daily chit chat networking group, as usual….Anyone who hasn't joined the the APA Chat list at yahoogroups.com Please do check it out, of course if you don't like tons of email you might want to set the group to send you only daily digest messages. As, there are days when the message count reaches well into the 40, 50, even 60 and above number range…though there are also days when we all clam up and there is barely 2 or 3 posts to the list …..at such times myself or someone else in my stead will usually start one of our infamous 'heated debates' and we get back up to our normal frantic pace of posting. It is nice to stay in touch though, and as we say, 'chat about everything and nothing about the breakfast table daily.' It keeps us in touch, and as Martha says…'it's a good thing!" FROM OUR BOOK OF SHADOWS: ---------------------------------------------------------- A prose piece by Terrikhat The Christian A man gets out of bed on a Sunday Morning. He showers and puts on the suit he saves for the weekly service. He feels alive and refreshed. He gathers his family and they get into the car and drive to the certain location. He walks into the sanctuary and looks at the beautiful surroundings. The walls of the Church are strong and tall. There are candles, flowers, stained glass windows, a water filled baptismal tank, and beautiful hangings on the windows. He sees the symbol of the Cross hanging on the wall and he thinks “what a beautiful place, surely this is the house of God.” The service starts, the usual greetings and songs are sung. A tray is passed; he eats the wafer and drinks the wine. There is more singing and then a message from the minister. They speak of the Holy Trinity, but they know that this is just another name for the One. Prayer requests are taken and the congregation joins in prayer for those who are in need. They wish the best for all those concerned and accept that whatever the outcome, it will be for the highest good, the will of God. A final song is sung and then a plate is passed for those who wish to donate to the good of the church. Announcements are made and the congregation is dismissed in a final prayer. The group disperses and there is a time of fellowship. The man and his family return home with a feeling of contentment and a warm heart. Surely they are blessed. The Pagan A man gets up and takes a bath to cleanse himself and prepare himself for the service. He puts on the special robe he has set aside for the time of the gathering. He feels refreshed and alive. He collects his family and they travel to a certain location. He walks into a meadow, and in the center there is a grove of Oak trees. He looks at the beautiful surroundings. There are flowers, a stream, trees, and beautiful ivy hanging in the branches. He sees the symbol of the pentagram drawn on the ground and he thinks, “What a beautiful place, surely, this is the house of the Gods.” The ritual starts, a Circle is cast. The walls of the circle are strong and tall. The candles are lit and songs are sung. The scent of incense fills the air. A tray is passed and he takes the cake and drinks the wine. The people chant and join hands. There is more singing and then a brief message from the high priestess. They invoke the goddess and the God, and although they have many Gods, they know that all paths are sacred and each individual relates to Deity in the way that is best for them. They believe that there are as many ways to perceive Deity as there are people on the planet. Spell requests are taken and the group joins in channeling positive energy toward those in need. They work for the best and accept that whatever the outcome, it will be for the highest good, the will of the Gods. A final song is sung and then a box is placed on the altar for anyone who wishes to donate to the good of the group. The circle is opened and members are dismissed. A time of fellowship follows. The man and his family return home with a sense of happiness and a warm heart. Surely they are blessed. -------------------------------------------------------------- Magical Places Section Have you ever considered what a magical place is? Is it somewhere that everyone expects you to have a magical experience, or is it somewhere or someplace that is magical only to yourself? Personally I tend to find it is the latter. I found magic on what is considered the longest walking trail in the United Kingdom. You could compare it in length to walking the Appalachian Trail that just goes on forever. Along this walking path there isn’t much but grass and dried nettles along side of the path. What makes it magical is thinking of all of those people that have walked that gravel path for hundreds of years. Seeing what their eyes saw, thinking about some of the same things they thought about such as, my child has gone too far ahead is he safe? The magic I found was in watching my son have fun running along the trail and then begging his Dad for a ride when he got too tired to walk or watching a butterfly land on a flower and sun itself. The magic was in that one moment with my family where we just stood still in time and were happy to just be together. (Submitted by Marcia Tillison).