Blog Entries
UU Pagans respond to American political shift by Terence P Ward
Category: WebSite News

Original Link: https://wildhunt.org/2017/01/uu-pagans-respond-to-american-political-shift.html 

 

 

TWH — Following the highly-divisive election cycle in the United States, leaders in the Unitarian Universalist religion have been speaking out about what should come next. For one leader of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPs), the call to “provide sanctuary and resist” can be couched in terms of the time of the winter king, who brings hope in times of cold, dark, and despair.cuups

Rev. Peter Morales, president of the Unitarian Universalist Association, laid out what he believed to be necessary in a letter to UU ministers last month.

I believe we are entering dangerous times. I expect that the new administration will unleash human rights abuses aimed at migrants and Muslims shortly after it takes office. In the longer term, other marginalized groups . . . will be in danger. We are already seeing an increase in violent acts by people who see the election as validation of their hate.

Among the dangers we face is the temptation to “normalize” the situation. I pray that the incoming administration will prove to be more humane than its rhetoric and many of its most ardent supporters. I see no evidence that this is the case. None. It is irresponsible folly to act as though we are in a normal transition between administrations.

We must prepare to provide sanctuary and resist.

Sanctuary, in Morales’ view, is broadly defined to include not only safe harbors for spiritual reflection, but active protection for members of those groups likely to be targeted, including Muslims and illegal aliens. He frames resistance as a shift from playing “offense” by advocating for such issues as marriage equality and immigration reform to “defense” to oppose new human-rights abuses that he fully expects will occur under President Trump.

Amy Beltaine, presently the president of CUUPs, is in agreement with Morales. In a lengthy winter solstice video that she transcribed to the blog Nature’s Path,Beltaine placed these concerns into a Pagan context:

The short daylight and the fear and pain among my loved ones are adding layers of weight on my mind. So many of my friends have realistic fears about being able to survive, much less prosper, during the next four years. One must have food, shelter, and health before one can contribute your unique self to the world. I need them to survive.

I’m keenly aware of the responsibilities that come with my layers of relative privilege. I have responsibilities to the marginalized and historically oppressed. Not just responsibilities to interrupt bullying, to resist injustice and agitate for compassion, but responsibility to build bridges and to make connections with those who I have trouble feeling connected to.

For Beltaine, building bridges is every bit as important as building sanctuaries. “Some might argue that many who voted in frustration have little to complain about,” she wrote. “But human beings usually don’t make decisions based on dispassionate fact. We decide based on our story, our emotions, our experience. Whether this perception of helplessness and lost power were objectively true phenomena does not matter.”

 

[Photo Credit: thombattu / Wikimedia]

[Photo Credit: thombattu / Wikimedia]

For Pagans and anyone else who acknowledges the astronomical shifting, this is the dark time in fact, even for those who don’t feel it is metaphorically. “As king of evergreens, the winter king’s gift is hope during times of despair, and incubation of new birth during times of destruction.” Beltaine argues that the common threads which bind Americans at this time — frustration with the difficulty of achieving the “American Dream,” as well as skepticism in elected leaders’ abilities to change the status quo — are a starting point for incubating that new, hopeful birth.

 

That means recognizing that the fears and worries of all people are valid for them, and treating each other with respect and decency. “As we wait for the sun to return we need to be intolerant of actions that harm the community or anyone in it, active in finding new ways, and calling in those who are not aware of the work that needs to be done.”

Among UU Pagans, that work comes forward in the form of resolutions passed by board members, and specific actions to back those statements up. When reached for an additional comment, Beltaine said on behalf of the CUUPs board:

CUUPs has a long history of lifting up the importance of our respectful relationship with the sacred earth and the importance of acting on behalf of the worth and dignity of all our siblings. Our current statements regarding Black Lives Matter, environmental justice (and solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux), and consent culture speak to the need to actively work against bullying, hate, disenfranchisement, oppression, and disconnection from our sacred selves and earth. Like Rev. Morales, we call upon our members and friends to take action to protect the vulnerable and to create a better world.

Beltaine’s full video message can be viewed below.

 

This Halloween, Reveal Yourself BY CHRISTOPHER DRYSDALE
Category: WebSite News

Original Link: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/theothersideofthehedge/2018/10/this-halloween-reveal-yourself/

BY 

 

There is a chasm of possibility between our everyday lives and our deepest, truest selves. Halloween is the holiday for recognizing that reality, and maybe doing a little something about it.

Children play dress-up to get a handle on the slippery subject of identity. Knowing what we are, and what we are not, is a powerful aspect of defining ourselves.

As adults, however, we can become far too married to our identities. Halloween is the day to break free.

 

Every Day but Halloween

Truth be told, Halloween is not the only day we play dress up. We wear costumes every day. There is our work-costume, family-costume, home-costume, Internet-costume and so on. For every circumstance, we have a different “costume” we wear.

Nor are our daily costumes inherently fake. They are tools — broad methods of communicating meaning and negotiating value. How we dress, how we hold ourselves, how we talk, and so forth can never be wholly and truly authentic.

We can only be authentic to the rules of each and every situation. This is because our notions of who we are do not exist in a vacuum. In fact, our identities (at best) provide the social tools that help us fulfill most of our needs. They provide the rules for connection with others and proper boundaries that keep us safe. But identities, if too carefully constructed, can become straitjackets. If we are to maintain some semblance of sanity, identity cannot be static; we constantly negotiate it in the shifting contexts of our lives.

As malleable as our identities are, at the end of the day we are far more than the sum of our roles. That is why there are entire industries, from entertainment to psychology, that help us rectify the distance between the everyday realities of life and who we could be.

This constant monitoring and shifting of identity is real work. It is the labor on which our civilization rests. Without it, we would tear ourselves apart.

But no matter how necessary, it is exhausting. And so, one day a year, we give ourselves permission to cast the rules to the wind and become what we are.

This is not dress-up to explore, but a claiming of our own power. This is Halloween!

 

This Is Halloween

Some holidays have to do with putting our wrongdoings behind us and promising to be better people. Others are about giving thanks for what we have. These are worthwhile things to do.

 

Halloween isn’t about any of that. Halloween is the day we admit that we are far more than we pretend to be.

Hidden inside of us might be a sexy beast, a princess born worthy of respect, a powerful wizard shaping reality, or even a horrific monster. We all have parts of ourselves that we do not share into the world. This is the price of civilization.

And so, as the Fall turns colder and the leaves change, we are allowed for a moment to open up a bit. The rules are not cast aside, but for a brief time, we exist within a different set of constraints.

 

The Rules of Halloween

In many ways, Halloween is like a game. We agree to certain rules, for a certain time.

Halloween is not anarchy, but rather a parade of revealing. As such, it has unspoken rules.

  • Halloween has boundaries, both in time and space.
  • We will not judge each other for what we reveal.
  • By keeping the holiday safe, we keep it for future generations.

It would probably be a terrible idea to simply allow everyone, for one night, to truly let out the hidden parts of ourselves. As Halloween revelers, we do not let our suppressed selves truly run amok. Our shadows are let out, but only to play nice.

 

While I am as big a fan as the next Pagan of the run-up to Halloween, the holiday itself is bound to a sacred time and place. Halloween is the time when we get to share a little bit of who we are. Yet, there is danger in over-sharing.

The holiday does not work if we judge each other for what we reveal. If we understand that everyone walks around in costumes every day, then a blow-off day becomes reasonable. But it does not work if cannot accept what other people reveal.

 

At the same time, there will always be boundaries. We have to reinforce the idea that this is a game. Dressing up as a pirate is great. Bringing a live sword is uncool in most contexts. Probably the most important Halloween rule is safety first.

 

This Is Samhain

Samhain, the Pagan holiday that coincides with Halloween, is about the thinning of the veil between the everyday world and the the spiritual one that begins just beyond our sight.

Halloween and Samhain are tied together by their theme of revealing. This is the time when we peer beyond and see what is normally hidden from us. But while Halloween exists in the social sphere and is about revealing the self, Samhain goes much deeper.

At the ending and beginning of the Wheel of the Year, Pagans gather to accept and revel in the truth that we are more than our everyday selves. We are everything that exists not only between birth and death, but also everything that lies beyond. 

The holiday, Halloween, is about revealing hidden truths about who we are. The holy day, Samhain, is about revealing the mysteries of the Self.

If Halloween is about dressing up and revealing ourselves to others, Samhain is about shedding out everyday costumes entirely and revealing the truth of who we are.

 

The Holiday of Transformation

Halloween and Samhain are two sides of the same coin. They both encompass a process of revealing, a creation of a new context, and a recognition of the limitations of the masks we wear in our lives.

In Halloween, we reveal to those around us a little bit of who we are. In the ritual of Samhain, we ask that more of ourselves be revealed to us.

Both of these holidays require that we set aside the rules of the everyday. Halloween is a moment where we set aside the everyday self. The Pagan holiday goes further. In that magical space, we set aside our limitations and become something more.

Halloween is the day to wear a mask that reveals more than it hides. Samhain is the night we drop our masks and become what we are.

Witches: We Must Demand Our Power And Our Rights, Not Ask For Them BY SCARLET MAGDALENE
Category: Member Blogs

Original Link: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/teaaddictedwitch/2018/10/demand-power-not-ask/

BY 

 

Nobody in history regardless of the circumstances has managed to level the playing field and score against injustices by asking politely for people to please remove the boot from their necks. We’ve been battling a massive amount of grief in the news in regards to hatred, discrimination, and crimes. And this grief is very explicitly against those who are not white, straight, cisgendered men.

These particular men actively hate women, LGBTQIA+, and other races, and are looking to remove what little progress we’ve made in regards to basic human rights and then some, and to make matters worse, there are the white women suffering from massive amounts of Stockholm Syndrome who support these monsters. The entitlement and privilege from the minority of elites has been thrust in our faces in the form of pictures of sniveling white men who aren’t qualified to run a 7-11 let alone be in an important government position. The situation is dire, and the backlash of the privileged against those who have traditionally been not has been rapidly accelerating. Every time we think the bar can’t get any lower, some entitled creature in a position of power barks out, “Hold my many beers, I’ve got this.”

What does this mean for us? In case it hasn’t been spelled out in the past, we witches and occultists shoulder a great deal on our shoulders and backs. We run around for other people, we fight our own battles and causes, but for many of us who are either female, LBGTQIA+, and/or not-white, we are more than just frazzled and exhausted. We are fighting our own personal battles, especially those of us who are reliving our traumas. We are trying desperately to get our own oxygen masks on, but it’s hard to do when you’re too busy screaming. And we’re running out of air.

Too many of us are being retraumatized due to having PTSD and all of the issues that come with it. I blogged the other day about self care and handling your rage in the age of #MeToo and #WhyIDidNotReport, and some of us are just plain running out of spoons to continue the fight. Those of us who still any left must pick up the slack and do our best to get into the front lines because as bad as it’s gotten and as bad as it is, it’s only going to get worse from here. We have an opportunity coming up to turn the ship around but if for some reason it fails, we are screwed and things WILL go downhill rapidly. I cannot put that politely or tactfully, nor do I have a prayer of being able to overstate this fact. We are running out of time, and the most basic and fundamental of human rights are at stake. Signing petitions is as good as thoughts and prayers and in a world where the opposition is breaking rules right, left, and center we cannot afford to stay the course, be proper, and dutifully painting within the lines. As I’ve said before, witches are naturally subversive. It’s not our job to be respected and acceptable; our power comes from challenging existing power structures, not supporting them.

 

And this is where not just the practical work, but the magical work comes in. We are needed, we are so very, very badly needed right now. We cannot afford complacency, procrastination, or any sense of idealistic notions of being rescued by someone else. We. Are. It. Through sheer grit and determination, we are going to have to harness everything we’ve got and put it out there and on a practical level we must prepare for how to react to the absolute worst. Because if we don’t, those who are even less well off than us will suffer even more. So if you have it, use it.

 

If you need tips on how to get involved magically, definitely read my post on magical activism. Many of us are already engaged and engaging in such activities, and to you I simply say, “Stay on target, and stay the course.” This marathon is being run in the middle of a torrential downpour with potholes in the road, mudslides, and there are tornadoes and earthquakes in the forecast. Take care of yourself whenever you can. Hug your family and friends. For those of us not yet engaged, please do so however way you can and whatever works best with your skill set. It must also be noted that you don’t need to be an American to appreciate the severity and devastating impact that this country is currently having on the world and not just ourselves, and I am well aware of how many are watching from the outside and seriously freaking out.

And remember that as witches and occultists in general we do not ask for power, we expect it. We invoke it–not begging or pleading, but actively demanding it. If it wanders, we call it back. If we have not been assertive enough in the past, now’s the time and a lot is riding on it. We cannot afford to be timid at this hour. None of us can.

Indigenous Peoples Day
Category: Member Blogs

As Unitarian Universalists, celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day in lieu of Columbus Day is a choice to celebrate the inherent worth and dignity of every person and to end the glorification of the cultural and ecological genocide caused by colonization.

Wiccans and the Gods
Category: Member Blogs

For a while I have been against Wiccan beliefs but it is only certain things now as some of there beliefs are pretty close to Christianity. I have been reading some of there books as I am a theologian and one thing that is very close to what I believe is the pursuit of Spiritual Evolution and divinity to become gods...

My favorite time of year
Category: Member Blogs

Autumn is almost here and so is Samhain 😁 luckily I get more money starting this month so I can get more Goodies!

I just need to deal with such little complaints
Category: Member Blogs

and I complain about my little problems as if they matter this much. For atleast I am not loosing my home like many animals...

Norms look the same to me
Category: Member Blogs

 I can't even tell the difference between normal people they all look the same to me. I always remember those like me and my kind...

CUUPS and TempleUVUP
Category: Member Blogs

I am very eclectic and a member of CUUPS because it is the closest to my believe system I enjoy being around others who generally believe similar to what I do. Basically my personal group I have founded is TempleUVUP which stand for United Vampyrian Unitarian Pagan so yes it fits...

VVC
Category: Member Blogs

I do not understand why there are so many VVC members that I do not recognize as being in the community since I have been there here Why? It doesnt make sence some of them just poped in the community not long at all?

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