From Fred, the Missing Strange Traveler

The following is cut and pasted from an abandoned site, on Tripod. I would have reposted more newsletters, but I only found two.

Welcome, to The STRANGE TRAVELER

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Hi. I’m Fred, the Robin Leach of haunted castles, alien landing fields, mystical monoliths and really cool bars. You have just stumbled into the only travel Website on the Internet that takes a “Twilight Zone” approach to vacation planning.

This is how it works: First, dim the lights.

Stare deeply into your computer screen.

Then imagine you are in the black-and-white world of early 1960s television, sitting in a AAA travel office filled with happy brochures on Disneyland, the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas.

Suddenly, you realize that the terse, thin-lipped agent marking up your TripTik is actually Rod Serling, host of “The Twilight Zone” and one of modern society’s first supernatural tour guides.

In your head, you hear his clipped, dramatically inflected words offering guidance in your search for vacation ideas that don’t center on theme parks, relatives or all-inclusive resorts:

“You’re traveling through another dimension – a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead. Your next stop …Alton, Illinois.”

Or Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Or Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Paris, Roswell, Loch Ness, the Nazca Plain, Stonehenge, Area 51, The Queen Mary or that spooky old house everyone whispered about in the neighborhood you grew up in.

The Strange Traveler thinks vacations should be more than sunscreen and lengthy discussions about where to eat dinner. Your travel tales should make jaws drop around the office water cooler, and widen the eyes of fellow parents on the T-ball sidelines.

You see, the world is filled with Strange Travel possibilities: destinations reputed to be haunted, cursed, charmed, visited by aliens, inhabited by monsters, worshiped by strange cults, or infested by vampires, faeries and zombies. Some of these places are the doorways to true mysteries. Others are heavily hyped tourist traps. Most have overnight accommodations, lots of local color, and at least one decent bar.

That’s where The Strange Traveler comes in.

This Website and its newsletter are your tour guides to bizarre, out-of-the-way destinations. This e-zine both guides readers to strange places they can visit, and advises them of the supernatural undercurrents flowing beneath traditional getaways.

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Where the Wild Things Are: What Kind of Pagan are You?

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, July, 28, 2003.

There are so many choices to make once you decide you are a Witch. First, what kind of Witch are you, are you even a Witch at all? Some prefer to call themselves Wiccans. To me, Wicca is the new religion based on ancient witchcraft. We don’t know a great deal about witchcraft, the old ways. Things weren’t written down they were instead passed along from mouth to mouth. Many things were lost along the way, of course. Some were never passed along at all I’m sure. So, modern Witchcraft is only based on what the Witches were doing a hundred or a thousand years ago.

Still, I consider myself a Witch, not a Wiccan. I like to think my beliefs are the older ways, rather than based on the revamping of the older ways which was started with Wicca in the 60’s and 70’s. I don’t put Wicca down as not being true to the old ways or some how not worthy as a Pagan religion. It’s just not right for me, personally.

Once you get past the Witch versus Wiccan stage you look at all the flavours in being a Witch/ Wiccan. There are so many. Some are based on different cultures like German, Italian, Egyptian, Irish, Celtic, and Native Indians. Others are based on different elements like water, fire, and ice. Then there are traditions based on mythical things like unicorns, dragons, mermaids and fairys. Don’t assume being a myth to our modern culture makes it a myth in reality. People who believe in dragons and fairies and follow that style of Witchcraft are not just playing around, they believe.

Here are some of the basic flavours and styles of witches to help get you started. You should find out at least a few things about each one. That way you will be making an informed choice when you pick which path you will follow.

Alexandrian

British Traditionalist

Celtic Wicca

Caledonii (Hecatine)

Dianic

Eclectic

Gardnerian

Pictish

Seax-Wica (or Saxon) Wicca

Strega

Teutonic (Nordic)

Hedge Witch

Solitary

Asatru

Druidism

Shamanism

Faery