Circle Network News
Circle Network News
Circle Network News, founded in the early 1980s as a newsletter serving the then relatively small Neo-Pagan community, has grown into one of the most stable and largest circulating periodicals devoted to the concerns of contemporary Wiccans and Pagans. Now a substantial 32-page tabloid, Circle Network News originates from Circle Sanctuary, a Wicca center in rural Wisconsin, and home to Circle, one of the older Wiccan fellow-ships. Circle was founded in the 1970s by Selena Fox, the driving force behind the founding of Circle Sanctuary as a nature sanctuary retreat and conference center for the use of Pagan worshippers of every tradition.
Each issue of Circle Network News is built around a single theme for which articles, comments, and letters are solicited from the readers. The accumulated articles, which may take up as much as half the content of the issue, cover all aspects of the topic from a global perspective and include reflections on mythology from far corners of the Earth, new rituals that integrate the theme, and speculations on how the theme related to Goddess worship.
Each issue also features a set of columns of interest. The "Lady Liberty League Report," for example, carries news of religious freedom issues that affect Pagans. The Lady Liberty League arose in the 1980s in response to continuing problems faced by Pagans, especially the loss of jobs following their boss's discovery of their religion, and courts' refusal to give Pagan parents custody of their children following a divorce. The "Pagan World News" column keeps readers aware of notable happenings within the community, especially actions manifesting the culture's acceptance of Wiccan practice. The "Pagan Academic Corner" carries news of a growing community of Pagans who have acquired advanced degrees in religious studies, sociology of religion, and related fields, and are focusing their research on topics of primary interest to Pagans. (The Pagan community has been unique among new religious communities that have arisen in the West since World War II for its nurture of an academically trained intelligencia.)
Networking has been a major objective of the periodical. Different columns carry notices of Pagan groups around the country, other Pagan periodicals, and notices of isolated Pagans seeking pen pals. The second largest segment of each issue, the "Magical Market Place," consists of ads of products and services primarily produced by Pagans for Pagans.
Circle Network News is directed totally to the Pagan community and makes no attempt to build a more general reading audience, hence it provides one of the better manifestations of the world of contemporary Wicca and Paganism. Not a newsstand periodical, though distributed through some Pagan-oriented stores, it is available by subscription from Circle Sanctuary, P.O. Box 219, Mt. Horeb, WI 53572. Information about Circle Network News is also available from the Circle Sanctuary's web-site, http://www.circlesanctuary.org/.
Circle Network News. Mt. Horeb, Wis., n.d. Circle Sanctuary. http://www.circlesanctuary.org/. April 25, 2000.