Pagan and the Pit(bulls)

The political musings of a Pagan and her dogs.


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Conservative: Oh well the weather is confusing, nothing to do here

Last week, Ricochet (a website claiming to target the “center-right and beyond”) published an article claiming that the Left is the party of the Pagan weather gods. Ignoring the fact that the Left is not a monolithic party, here is this author willfully ignorant or does he come by it naturally?

Major points of irritation include:

  1. Trump IS complicit in the destruction of the Carolinas. He is also responsible for the deaths of thousands of Puerto Ricans and the displacement of hundreds more. He is complicit in the poor response to vulnerable areas after Hurricane Harvey. And he’s directly responsible for any other deaths that come from defunding FEMA to build more ICE detention centers. Try to deny this responsibility and incompetence, and I’ll bring receipts.
  2. I have no idea how this author decided that Adad is the Left’s god of weather. Just looking at the Democrats, 70% are religious although their religious demographics appear more diverse than the GOP  with different religious attendance schedules. Off the top of my head, I can name several weather gods; not just Mesopotamian gods like Adad. I suspect the author landed on Adad precisely because he is Mesopotamian and occasionally gets mentioned with Ba’al. Christofascists have an intuitive infatuation with the Mesopotamian/Near East gods, something I’ll go into more in a later post. That said, I’m giving this dude extreme side eye for using a minimal “witchipedia” search instead of doing an actual search about Paganism. Lazy research is bullshit, do better.
  3. Speaking of lazy research, the research is conclusive research is conclusive that climate change is a thing that’s happening. And it’s human-caused.  And that our point of no return is rapidly approaching. This climate change leads to more storms, worse storms, and abnormal weather patterns. This is proven science.  We’ve been talking about climate change since before the 1950’s. This isn’t new, or handwavey, or speculation. Lazy research combined with willful ignorance makes me see red. SOOOOOO MUCH RED.

I’ll be the first to admit that getting angry over these types of posts is only going to help raise my blood pressure. If you actually want to help the people affected by adverse weather patterns or climate change here are some links: Help for Hurricane Florence, Help for Puerto Rico, Climate Change Initiatives, and reducing your carbon footprint.

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A little good news today

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This is a pre-made post, so between Hurrican Florence and whatever else the current authoritarian garbage fire administration is spewing, I think it’s a solid bet we all could use a little good news.

Pagans in Need is a food bank in Lansing, MI (May you never hunger, may you never thirst). A generous Boy Scout is working to design and install a handicap accessible entrance for this food bank.

Estimated costs are $4000-5000, and donations are being accepted at gofundme. 

Sometimes we just need a little bit of happiness, and a chance to do a little good.


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Hurricane Florence: stay safe!

Let me be clear: there are a million and a half things that I want Trump to fail at. His disaster response is not one of them. I want to hope for the best, but given that nearly 3000 Puerto Ricans died with nearly 1000 displaced and homeless as a consequence of Hurricane Maria (which Trump sociopathically and narcissistically disputes); the fact that $10 million was diverted from FEMA to ICE; and the fact that thousands of prisoners are being forced to take shelter in place; I honestly don’t have much hope. Again, we must become the heroes we’re waiting for.

On a spiritual level I’m making offerings to the Anemoi Thuellai, the spirits of violent storm winds, and to Aegaeon the god of sea storms; and I’m praying for the storm to dissipate and be gentle to the coasts. But spirituality without actions means nothing, after all, we are an orthopraxy.

What do we do in the face of the destructive storms created by the GOP refusal to act on climate change and their similar refusal to help the citizens they claim to represent?

We prepare and stay safe.  At this point in time, it’s not wind speeds that cause the most damage its flooding caused by storm surges, flash floods, and prolonged river flooding.

We give shelter to people fleeing from the evacuation zones and prepare to give shelter to members of our community who can’t return to their homes right away.

If you live outside the area impacted, give donations to United Way (all donations to Accuweather go to United Way) and the American Red Cross and the Humane Society of the United States, remember money goes farther and does more good than goods.

If you can donate blood, do it. I’m O+ so I’m going to give as much as I can.

If the people and organizations that are supposed to help us don’t, we need to be our own heroes, and we need to support our communities.


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Hymn for Labor Day

This is a hymn for Labor Day, for the workers and the gods who bless them. For gods who go by a thousand thousand names, and the workers who do a thousand thousand jobs. This is a hymn for the people.

This is a hymn for Aphrodite: Aphrodite Chrysea of the beauticians, beauty bloggers, and cosmeticians. Aphrodite Eustephanus of the fashion industry. Aphrodite Limenia guarding the harbors and bays. Aphrodite Philommedes guarding the sex educators and sex workers. Aphrodite Xenia an ocean goddess in a foreign land, the salt blood in foreign workers hoping for a better life. I see you and raise an offering.

This is a hymn for Apollo: Apollo Acestor and Apollo Paian of the doctors, nurses, EMTs, and healthcare workers. Apollo Agyieus of the dedicated workers who protect their homes and neighborhoods without violence. Apollo Delphinius and Apollo Loxias of the journalists recording human malcontent every day and the Cassandras who try to warn us in time. Apollo Epicurious and Apollo Loimios of the CDC and WHO workers protecting us from disease. Apollo Noumious of the dairy farmers. Apollo Paruopios of the exterminators and pest control. Apollo Phuzios of the undocumented workers hiding from searching eyes. I see you and raise an offering.

This is a hymn for Artemis: Artemis Acraea and Artemis Karuatis of the scientists, engineers, conservationists, and activists fighting to keep the wild places wild and free. Artemis Agrotera who hunted for her mother, and guides those who hunt for their families. Artemis Knagia who dreams of better, and of the DREAMers who dream for more. Artemis Genetyullis of laboring new mothers and the midwives and doctors who labor with them. Artemis Heurippa of the horses, guiding mounted search and rescue through the wild. I see you and raise an offering.

This is a hymn for Athene: Athene Aethuia of the shipbuilders and navigators. Athene Alea, giver of sanctuary, and her lawyers and nonprofit workers aiding those who seek asylum. Athene Ergane of the artists who don’t stop a day, of the factory laborers making dimes to the dollar, of the threads and looms that never stop. Athene Mechaneus of the inventors and engineers and scientists. Athene Polias protecting the cities, and all those working towards a world where Black Lives Matter. Athena Xenia of hospitality and hospitality workers. I see you and raise an offering.

This is a hymn for Demeter: Demeter Chloe walking the green growing fields of the large-scale farms, and Demeter Epogmia digging the furrows for waffle farming for the small-scale farmers in the desert. Demeter Eunostos of the food production, grinding flour on the factory floors. Demeter Plutodotira of the regulators, making sure to each goes fair weight and measure. Demeter Sito of the aid workers bringing food to where Hunger’s skeleton fingers scrabble and grasp. I see you and raise an offering.

This is a hymn for Dionysus: Dionysus Acratophorus, Dionysus Lenaeus, and Dionysus Omphacites, patrons of all involved in making wine and beer from the workers in the fields to the brewmasters and vintners, to the bartenders and wait staff. Dionyus Dendrites of the forresters and forrest restorationists. Dionysus Melpomenos of the singers and actors. I see you and raise an offering.

This is a hymn for Hephaestus: Hephaestus Clyrometis of the skilled artisans and craftspeople. Hephaestus Cyllopdium and Hephaestus Amphigyeis specific patrons of equal accessibility for all who work, and of those who work regardless of accessibility impediments thrown their way. I see you and raise an offering.

This is a hymn for Hermes: Hermes Ktesios of the security guards. Hermes Agoraeus of the customer service and retail workers. Hermes Hermeneutes of the interpreters. Hermes Dolius of the law clerks, paralegals, lawyers, and judges. Hermes Diactorus of intelligence workers. I see you and raise an offering.

This is a hymn for Poseidon: Poseidon Pelagaeus of the sea and sailors. This is a hymn for Hades: Hades Ploutos of the wealth from the deep, and of the miners and rig workers who pull it forth. This is a hymn for Hecate: Hecate Kourotrophos of the child care workers. I see you and raise an offering.

This a hymn for Hestia, who receives the first and the last: This is a hymn for the cooks and bakers and the baristas, working at the hearth. This is a hymn for the unseen workers, for the unpaid workers, for the unrecognized workers. I see you and raise an offering.


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A Song of Endurance

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When I was a child, I met La Llorona. I was playing in the river and slipped and fell in. The water was deceptively still, so the current took me by surprise. While I was, and am, a decent swimmer; the current carried me downstream, and I could feel fingers wrapping around my ankle and pulling down. Surrendering to that firm tug was the most comforting thing to do. It was a small thing, just follow it down, don’t fight it. Above the surface is difficult and hot, just sink down. It was only after I scraped my hand on a rock, did I come back. My stinging palm reminded me to swim, so I did. Because I had to. I had no other choice.

I’m entering the first harvest after my divorce. And there were many times during the disintegration of my marriage and later adventures in the legal system, where it was so much easier to sink. To sink into depression and anxiety. There were sometimes I did, and my two pit bulls were great sources of strength for me at the time, but they were more “keep my head above water” strength. Other things, such as hecatedemeters Prayers for the Resistance, scraped my hand and reminded me to swim.

Now, a year after reading the Prayer for the Resistance, I’m writing a response to that post. This is a Song of Endurance.

 

This is a song of Lughnasadh. This is a song of Endurance.

 

Lughnasadh: when the wildfires send ash into the air, when the harvest is beaten by hail, and we dream of the cool in the dark. Here, Lughnasadh is when we share and share alike: frying green tomatoes broken from the vine, and neighbors watch the river to protect what we have. Lughnasadh is the song of Endurance.

This is the song of the green witches, who grow communities in the rich bosque soil. Who build arches of peas and plenty, even in the high heat of a desert drought. This is their song of Endurance.

This is the song of children making lemonade as taught by their mothers and the song of women making Lemonade as taught by Beyonce. This is their song of Endurance.

Lughnasadh is our fire festival when ash graces our hair and clings to our taste buds, and we crave the clean taste of winter and fall. Lughnasadh is when we share and share alike, for that is how we survive. Lughnasadh is the song of Endurance.

This is the song of the scientist working against disbelief and lack of funding to bring light to the dark places. This is the song of the teacher who tries to protect students from swastikas. This is the song of waiting for Mueller Time. This is the song of Endurance.

This is the song at the food bank, giving rhythm to sorting good food from bad. This is rhythm reverberates in typed letters to Senators, dial tones to Representatives, and the endless march of feet. This is the song of Endurance.

Lughnasadh is our fire festival when the heat of fires miles away make it too hot to sleep and exhaustion pulls our bones into Skeleton Woman’s embrace. Lughnasadh is when we share and share alike, for this is how blessings grow. Lughnasadh is the song of Endurance.

This is the song of the women’s group, moving one step forward through all setbacks. This is the song of the mothers who push back against encroaching normalization. This is the song of Endurance.

This is the song of the nagging reminder: they/them not she/her. She/her because she was always a woman, even when she isn’t here. And he was always a man. This is the song of Endurance.

Lughnasadh is our fire festival when the rainbow lightning touches trees bringing rain and fertile ash to the dry, sandy earth. Lughnasadh is when we share

and share alike, for this is how rain falls and the wheel turns. Lughnasadh is the song of Endurance.

My song isn’t for tomato cravings, or gorging cucumbers, or rambling vines, or sharp-witted eggplant. My hands aren’t made for plants, only the hardiest survive my home. Aloe, pothos, bamboo, and an oddly defiant orchid. They endure through my neglect, and my unskilled watering. My wheel never centered the agrarian.

Lughnasadh is our fire festival when the ash has settled, and the monsoons unleashed; a second quiet growing season begins with curling sprouts around charcoal foundations. Lughnasadh is when we share and share alike, the gifts I bring combined with yours means we all survive. Lughnasadh is the song of Endurance.

Lughnasadh is how we endure. When the hardest hail punishes growth, and the lightning strikes those who dare to touch the sky, and the fire burns all but the hardiest away; Lughnasadh sings, Endure. Endure. Endure. Hold on, and hold out. Sink roots deep to the hidden water, let the broken branches protect new growth. And when you have survived all this, reach once more for the sky.


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Yemaya says cut your crap

A lot of the information I have about this is either second hand, or from first hand accounts. I have never been to a Pantheacon (it’s totally on my bucket list) and I didn’t contribute to the discussion about the statement from Covenant of the Goddess (while my coven is a member of CoG, I’ve got other things on my plate currently). Shine_Bomba for Yemaya

For those not in the know, in December CoG issued one of the blandest non-statement statements. Black lives didn’t matter, all lives did. And while true, in theory all lives should matter; the fact is that some lives are held as more valuable than others. To not acknowledge that is insensitive and ignorant at best. Understandably, many people were upset about this and it sparked a lot of conversations. Some Pagans of color left CoG, something I can’t blame them for in the slightest. At last check CoG seemed unresolved about the issue and I’m fairly certain when (if) it ever is, it will be too late and CoG will be marked as an irrelevant has been.

Fast forward to Pantheacon. For as long as I’ve been aware of, and paid attention to, the goings on of the national Pagan community it seems like Pantheacon has been a big thing. Not only is it actually a huge thing, it also seems to rip the band off of some of the darker pockets of ick. See the transwomen and gender debate of 2012. This year it race. A satirical workshop description was put out “Ignoring Racism: A Workshop for White Pagans”. It caused a bit of a kerfuffle as I understand it.

Here is where I weigh in. Pagans, particularly polytheistic Pagans, are aware of the diversity of gods and goddesses out there. Amateratsu, Yemaya, Lakshmi, Kali are all very popular goddess of color (for lack of a better word), and often find their way into eclectic circles. But if those goddesses have a place in your circle, your altar, your magickal practice, then you cannot ignore where they came from, your woven connection to them, or to the people who look like them. To worship Yemaya, but to completely ignore the fact that black people face a horrifying set of challenges in the world is not only anathema to me, but to my mind highly racist. It implies that the lives of people of color, that black lives are only of value when attached to Divinity.

So, CoG, you could use some changing and a healthy dose of the real world.

But, Pantheacon don’t ever change. Keep exposing the nastier sides of our community that we can keep learning and growing into a better and more supportive group.