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Church VS State and religious persecution
Category: Member Blogs

I keep getting tired of the government having in God we trust on our money. What ever happened separation of church & state... 

Pagan Presence at the Parliament of the World’s Religions by Sean McShee
Category: WebSite News

Original Link: https://wildhunt.org/2018/11/pagan-presence-at-the-parliament-of-the-worlds-religions.html

By Sean McShee

 

TORONTO — From Nov. 1 through Nov. 7, the Parliament of the World’s Religions took place in Toronto, Ontario. Organizers estimated that 10,000 people from 80 countries would attend the event in Canada. The Parliament may be the largest interfaith event in the world.

Before the Parliament began, the Wild Hunt spoke with four Pagans about interfaith work and the Parliament. Three went to the Parliament. One had to cancel at the last minute.

Rev. Jennifer Bennett represented Covenant of the Goddess at the Parliament. Felicity Grove, also of Covenant of the Goddess, had planned on going to the Toronto conference but was unable to do so.

 

Jennifer Bennett [Courtesy]

Rev. Jerrie Hildebrand has attended three Parliaments prior to the Toronto conference. President of the Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans, Hildebrand is also a minister at Circle Sanctuary. Ethan Stark represented Heathens Against Hate (HAH). While HAH is an “independent branch of the Troth,” people can join HAH without becoming a Troth member.

 

 

Ethan Stark [Courtesy]

Interfaith work

Bennett sits on her local interfaith council. Local Christian churches often ask her to speak at their services. Bennett also writes for her local paper’s “Faith Matters” section.

Grove identified five key points of Pagan interfaith work. First, Pagans should have “a seat at the interfaith table.” Second, Pagans can provide a Pagan perspective, such as non-duality, to solving common problems. Third, Pagans can provide a “a different spiritual experience.” Fourth, Pagans doing interfaith work challenges negative stereotypes about Pagans. Five, interfaith work provides Pagans with a chance to model core Pagan values.

According to Hildebrand, interfaith work happens when people of many traditions cooperate. Working together for social justice moves people beyond labels.

Pagans at the Parliament

Hildebrand reported that she has not found any anti-Pagan hostility at any of the three Parliaments she attended. Bennett also found no anti-Pagan bias at a previous Parliament. She found only “openness, genuine curiosity and a positive community spirit.”

Fifteen spiritual traditions had multiple sessions at the Parliament. The Pagan tradition had 16 sessions. In one of these 16 sessions, Alice Walker narrated a film, “”Yemanja: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil.

Main themes of the Parliament

Hildebrand said that the Parliament had four main themes. One theme involved moral and spiritual perspectives on climate change. A second theme focused on the generational transfer of spiritual knowledge and experience. The third theme examined moral and spiritual perspectives about the rights of indigenous peoples. The fourth theme concerned ways to change a violent and hate-filled world into a peaceful one.

According to Hildebrand, the following Pagans made presentations at the Parliament: Andras Corban Arthen, Selena Fox, Patrick McCollum, Don Lewis, Phyllis Curott, Angie Buchanan, Dennis Carpenter, and Jake Bradley among others.

Heathens Against Hate

According to Stark, Heathens Against Hate (HAH) advocates for inclusive Heathen practices, using education and community initiatives to challenge hate and bigotry among Heathens.

HAH staffed the Alliance for Inclusive Heathenry booth. This booth provided information on other inclusive Heathen groups. HAH took part in a panel discussion titled “Striving to save a Religious Identity from Extremists.”

White supremacy and misogyny occur in other traditions besides Heathenry. Stark has found those elements in some Slavic Pagan beliefs and sometimes in Hellenic Reconstructionism. Stark said, “The conscious and unconscious bigotry and misogyny is on an individual level.” He cautioned that history and location may make certain traditions vulnerable to white supremacy and misogyny. The subtle nature of biased beliefs and practices pose a great challenge.

All spiritual traditions have tendencies towards bias. “Heathenry, like other reconstructionist faiths, relies on correct practice based on sourced written and archaeological records.” Those records reflect a lost and fragmented tradition. This sometimes means relying on personal interpretation. This subjective interpretation can allow “ignorant or willful bigotry” to corrupt the tradition.

Stark sees no problem if someone feels their ancestry and heritage connects them to the gods. When they claim that that connection has greater validity than other claims, it reflects bias. Stark stressed, “This idea of genetic lineage being not only paramount, but necessary for Heathen worship makes it bigoted.”

Attendance at the Parliament provided HAH an opportunity to represent the Heathen faith. HAH used this opportunity to challenge negative stereotypes about Pagans in general and Heathens in particular.

Many people conflate Heathen images with white supremacist iconography. Stark said that heathen tattoos or jewelry have elicited reactions ranging from “glares to outright accusations.”

Like other Pagan faiths, Heathenry is relatively unknown. Stark cautioned, “Our [Heathen] symbols are used by hate groups when they rally, protest, and commit violence. Non-pagan/non-Heathen audiences are likely to see this first and foremost, prior to any knowledge of Heathenry.” He stressed that Heathens must first explain what Heathenry is, before explaining what it is not.

According to Stark, this effort is occurring in other parts of the world. The Troth’s International Relations and Exchange Program hosted FrithForge in Germany last year. This international conference of Heathen representatives hosted workshops, lectures, and community worship services. HAH has compiled a list of inclusive Heathen groups throughout the world. Many inclusive Heathen groups “participated in FrithForge and have openly denounced extremism.”

“Heathens Against Hate strives to provide a beacon for those wishing to know the northern gods, honor the ancestors, and revel in a strong spiritual community without prejudice.” Stark explained, “We do so through education, reformation of former extremists, and community initiatives.” Heathens Against Hate welcomes all who welcome all.

For those who were unable to attend the Parliament, some sessions are now available online such as a panel conversation on “Reclaiming the Indigenous Ethnic Religions of Europe” with Andras Corban Arthen, Inija Trinkūnienė and Vlassis G. Rassias, board members of the European Congress of Ethnic Religions.

 

Interview with the Vampyres by Don Webb
Category: WebSite News

Original Link: https://xeper.org/pub/pub_dw_vampyres.html

by Don Webb

 

It is my good fortune to have met two of the most elegant creatures who walk the face of the earth: the Grand Masters of the Order of the Vampyre of the Temple of Set.

You can bet I had a hard time finding out about the mysterious Temple of Set—I had to phone San Francisco, talk with directory assistance, and get their phone number. Recently when the moon was full and the mist floated languidly I met with them in a secret place for this interview. I won’t try and describe the flashing eyes of Ms. Lilith Aquino or the hypnotic gaze of Mr. Robertt Neilly—some things words can not do...

1. What is the relationship of your organization to the Temple of Set?

RN: The Order of the Vampyre is like a Standing Committee of the Temple of Set. In this respect, and as a special interest group, its primary focus is the exploration of ‘things Vampyric’. In the Order of the Vampyre, Setians develop in all ways, but do so under the auspices of a Vampyric specialty. The many results of the work they do, stemming as it does from and of the Order, may be shared with the entire membership of the Temple, or perhaps reach a more selective audience.

LA: You could compare the various Orders within the Temple to the graduate studies department of a university. Once our initiates get a basic grounding in the general fields of knowledge and ability, they then can ‘specialize’ in a specific area or areas that they are particularly interested in and drawn to. But always the various Orders remain a part of and within the Temple of Set and its mandate and policies.

2. Why do you use the archaic spelling, ‘Vampyre?’

RN: The term ‘Vampyre’ has many special connotations for us. For example, the spelling has the flavour of ‘Olde English’. But on a deeper level, it represents a more ancient and primal form or focus. It speaks to us of the nobility of this much maligned creature. A Vampyre is an ancient Being. It—or those embracing and engendering its qualities—are bringing to life (again) the timelessness and agelessness of an archetypal creature which I feel lived prior to man’s emergence, lives even now, and will survive man’s (spiritual) decay. A Vampire is the popularized, hollywood version of the ‘undead’ (read ‘unthinking’ or ‘unaware’) and static creature which seems to exist only to gratify its physical needs; perhaps physical immortality. The ‘Vampyre’, conversely, is a Living, Awakened creature which seeks to immortalize its core Self or soul. If, for the sake of argument, one adopts as a given that both kinds of creatures exist, then clear differences may be seen. The ‘Vampire’ exists at an instinctual level only, and would seem to live a rather tragic existence. The ‘Vampyre’ however, via initiatory work, has ‘quickened’ her soul and in doing so acquired a host of other qualities along the way.

3. Why is the Vampire becoming such an important culture hero—we see him in films, books, comics, etc. at an ever growing rate?

RN: Beyond the erotic, the vampire, or those possessing Vampyric qualities, is a hero because it is s/he who makes and administers her/his own Laws. Vampyres are without masters. Their ethical standards, while embracing time-honoured traditions, practices, and the laws of the land, extend beyond the normal veils of society. Life, death, and all states of existence in between, are being constantly redefined by the Vampyre. It’s obvious that many people could find this element attractive. The vampire is a perfect response to any authority figure who is uninspired, unintelligent, and generally unmoving. It may be argued that many traditional figures in authority—whether family, law, or as part of a company’s hierarchical structure—are not this way. To those who are capable of sustaining their Balance, the Vampyre tips his cowl! To the others, it poses a dilemma and threat. And the threat emanates in their minds, not in the Vampyre’s. The vampire is in control. Most of us admire this fact if for no other reason than that for us, some degree of effort is required, from time to time, to maintain control! Yet the vampyre simply, and elegantly, dances around issues of self-control. If he loses his temper, it is a conscious act. If the vampire decides to, she can experience the depths of emotions; or choose to ignore them unilaterally. If for no other reason, the Vampyre is a cult(ure) hero because it brazenly makes a statement like this: “Existence for me has become meaningful. It is my Will that I shall survive the physical inactivity of what we know as death. I am Alive now, and will continue to be Alive while exploring the arenas which are now, or will be, within my grasp.” Finally, in the vampire there exists power... or at least the illusion of power. Many will not recognize, nor care, whether the power is illusory.

LA: I think a very strong reason, especially in these times, is the power that the Vampyre has over his/her own life and destiny. Many people feel helpless and frustrated by the state of the world, and their lives in particular, and not in control of most things. The Vampyre is always in control, uses the powers that he/she possesses to benefit themselves, and in some cases, those that he/she cares for. There is also a strong element of someone that is very ‘different’ from the mainstream not only triumphing over it, but in a rather spectacular and satisfying way. Obviously, one of the most compelling attractions is the very erotic and sensual, sexual aspect of this Being. The anticipation and titillation of the danger, as well as the actual seduction and interaction between Vampyre and admirer. I don’t like to use the word victim, since it denotes a lower, less advanced level of creature who preys on others, rather than the mutual and beneficial exchange of energy, knowledge, and delicious erotic delights that occurs between the higher Being we of the Order of the Vampyre espouse, and his or her admirer/lover/mate etc. Read Elaine Bergstrom’s novel Shattered Glass to get an idea of the type of Vampyre we refer to. In my opinion she has a real grasp and understanding of the concept of the Vampyric Essence, although she probably has no idea that she does! Her family of Vampyres, headed by the Vampyre Stefan Austra, is very close to the Order of the Vampyre’s perception of this Essence. As for the next great on-screen Vampyre, the dark intensity of Sam Neil, who did such a magnificent portrayal of Damien Thorn in the moving Final Conflict, is at once erotic and elegantly noble, with a touch of danger. A compelling combination! He would make a magnificent Vampyre.

4. What powers and practices of the traditional Vampire do you seek to emulate?

RN: In answering this question, it is important that the reader realize that emulating the traditional vampire is not one of our goals, nor a significant portion of our mandate. It’s true that we are interested in tools, and window dressings. But such practices are subject to alteration, to being redefined, or even being discarded. This being stated, there are certain techniques that have proven useful. For example there is the infamous ‘Command To Look’. Can one expect to really communicate with another sentient being without being able to (attract and) hold their gaze? Much that is subtle, yet powerful, is communicated through the eyes. When you embrace the gaze of another, you indicate your commitment, for however brief a period of time, towards direct contact. Voice is an important factor for the would-be Vampyre. Through tone, inflection, pacing, and a variety of other techniques, we in the Order are interested in the intensity, directness, and effectiveness of our communications. We are not interested in sounding like Dracula; unless of course that would serve some useful purpose at the time! One Vampyric quality which seems to evolve as the Initiate does, and which rightfully belongs in realms of both kinds of vampires, is something we call Vampyric Presence. Earlier on, we spoke of Essence. The two have a connectivity. Vampyric Presence is unmistakable, yet difficult to identify. It is a paradox. Yes, you feel the Presence... but you’re largely unable to come to terms with your feelings. What is it about person ‘X’, or their control of ‘Factor X’, that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up? Why is it that when you are around friend ‘X’, you immediately get aroused? What is about these people that cause you to experience fear, trepidation, loathing, or some other equally emotive feeling? Actors and actresses may possess a form of this ‘presence’. Yet, Vampyric Presence, when it exists at all, differs from all other kinds of presence. It exudes ancientness. It excites unnaturally. It demands personal investigation.

5. If I wanted to experience the essence of the Vampyre what should I do?

LA: Go see Grand Master Neilly... and some of the other initiates of the Order of the Vampyre! They are surrounded by this Essence since they are this Essence. It is a natural part of them so that they are not artificially ‘projecting’ it, but simply being it. Read some of the books mentioned by myself and Grand Master Neilly in relation to the Vampyric qualities we have discussed. Try to reach within yourself and evoke what you understand this Essence to be. It takes some trial and error, but you will gradually come to understand at least a part of it, which is enough to enable you to experience a bit of it yourself. Please pay particular attention to Grand Master Neilly’s remarks concerning the archetypal force that is the Vampyre before you undertake any personal evocation of it in yourself.

RN: Go see Grand Master Aquino! The ‘essence’ of the Vampyre surrounds us. The ways in which it can be experienced are basically two-fold: Invoke the essence or presence within. Or seek to evoke the same from others who you feel to be Vampyric. There are some ‘dangers’. For example, many who seem Vampyric are nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Such talents are useful, but those who are genuinely Vampyric merely uses those as facades and tools. Legitimate Vampyres possess substance, and they do not disappear when the veils are stripped away. Be wary of psychic vampires. Such are these, that they zap you of your energy and vitality. Psychic vampires are people who have decided to be a plague. They may plague you personally, or even become parasites to otherwise healthy people in society at large. If you seek to promulgate your own vampiric (or Vampyric) essence in order to experience it, do so with the following prerequisite. You do not know what a Vampyre is, hence, do not know the ways in which it will manifest itself. The Vampyre is an archetypal force. It exists in the racial and collective mind of man. It can be a primal force: as such, it may be overwhelming. Do you really want to experience the Vampyre? Then seek out a love of the richness of life. [At this point, Lilith Aquino quoted from Carla Banaff’s New World:] “Once you’re there, you’ll know that you’re inside... you can’t turn back once you’ve opened your eyes.”

6. The Temple of Set grows from a single idea called ‘Becoming’, which they call Xepering (pronounced ‘khef-fer-ing’) after the Self-created Egyptian god. How is the Vampyre an example of what the Temple of Set calls ‘Becoming?’

RN: When the Temple of Set promotes ‘Becoming’, it is speaking about real self-evolution. Growing another arm or leg, growing another year older, or gaining knowledge or remembering something you’ve read are not equivalents or examples of Becoming. Yet some of those events can lead to it. When we say ‘Xeper’ to another Initiate, we are saying, ‘Become’. Becoming, or ‘Xeper’, is a process which promotes personal evolution. In that, one increases her capabilities, experiences herself at a deeper level of existence, and indeed creates change within her ‘psycho-centric’ self. Becoming is a dynamic process, a condition, an environment. The Vampyre is an example of ‘Becoming’. He has made some crucial decisions in his life. He probably decided some long time ago that he was unique. Does that mean better, worse, elite, poorer? Not necessarily any of those. The Vampyre is unique because she has set herself apart from others. She has recognized that she is different, and has stated that she intends to explore and foster the difference. Once the ‘sleeper has Awakened’, he pursues life with new sensory tools. He seeks to change his outlook, his vantage point, his perspective. All of these actions produce real change and legitimate Becoming.

The interview was at an end. They rose from my table and walked into the mist. The mist swallowed them, the secret of the night claiming its own. And suddenly it seemed very cold.

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...

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8/27/2018
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