Pagan and the Pit(bulls)

The political musings of a Pagan and her dogs.


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Get Your Mueller Report Here

Did you know Audible has a FREE recording of the Mueller Report? I got the app and downloaded the report. Listening to it is vitally important to being an informed citizen, but getting badges makes my lizard brain happy too.
I’ll be compiling a list of the best places to get your Mueller Report this week, so keep an eye out.


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An Open Letter

An open letter to the arrogant national embarassment known as Donald J. Trump:

I see you.

I saw you, standing so proud over the pounds of fast food, still in their trademarked containers, sitting on historical tableware. I saw you, boasting about how you paid $50 yourself to buy the food, when it would have been truly a better display of wealth to pay for a quality dinner.

I saw you, so proud of your paranoia, ignoring the fact that that meal may trash the diets of these athletes. Of course you couldn’t serve actual food like the Obamas did: potato and eggplant salad from the White House Garden, red lentil soup, potato dumplings with okra and chutney, green curry prawns, coconut rice, pumpkin pies and pear tatins.

Speaking of real food, you know who would like some? The federal employees who are going to food banks in droves because they haven’t been paid and they need to eat. You say they support you. You’ve never faced hunger. Or privation. Let me tell you a secret. It sucks. There’s only so many ways to cook rice and beans. Food stamps help a lot. Food banks help a lot.

When I was at my hungriest, I thought about how much easier it would have been to go back to my ex husband. Then I wouldn’t be eating rice with hot sauce. I cried into my veggies when I got food stamps. I sobbed into the Wheat Thins I got from the food bank.

Don’t say people support you when they’re rationing insulin, heat, and food because you shut down the government. Don’t act proud that you paid for a meal when federal employees are struggling.

Food is sacred. Food should be safe from E. coli and Hepatitis A. Farmers should be able to plant their crops without having to rely on the government for loans. Your actions will starve the country. But you don’t care. Let them eat Big Macs.

I know malice is your agenda, but you’re a piece of shit.


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Sacred Hair, and When Not to Cut It

Photo Credit: Daniella Zalcman

Hair is sacred in many cultures and religious expressions. If it isn’t your hair, don’t cut it.

Those two sentences sum up this entire blog post. But since some people apparently don’t know how to keep their hands to themselves, I have to break this down.

In November, a teacher at Cibola High School in Albuquerque cut a Native student’s hair and called another one a “bloody Indian”. Mary Easton threatened the student with a box cutter before asking if the student liked her braids. The student said she did, and Easton put down her box cutter, picked up a pair of scissors, and then cut the students braids and sprinkled the cut hair on the desk.

Now while my godmother is Dine (thanks for the Nambe and AMAZINGLY warm sheep skin slippers and ear muffs, Memaw!), I am not; and my knowledge of the Navajo culture is passing at best, but even I know that their hair is something you don’t mess with. Jacqueline Keeler at Indian Country Today has a very eloquent article about it, that explains it much better than I can. What makes this so much worse than a teacher being rude as fuck and unfit to be in the classroom is that when the United States government forced the Navajo children to go to their federally run schools, the teachers cut the childrens hair without their consent.

Hair is a sacred thing for many people, and many cultures have specific guidelines for how it’s worn or styled. Whether it’s covered with a veil like the Muslims, the Catholic nuns, devotees of Hestia, or Hindu women; or worn long with no restraints; or tied back in braids as many native cultures and even my own magickal practice dictates; hair isn’t something you can just mess with because you feel like it. We teach the kindergardeners to keep their hands to themselves, more people need to remember that.

Don’t touch a Black persons hair without permission.

Don’t touch my braids without permission.

Definitely don’t cut someone’s hair without permission.

If my little nuggets can remember that, why can’t most adults?

 

 


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Open Enrollment Ends December 15th

Despite Republican efforts to make it as difficult as possible to enroll in healthcare, remember you still can. Open enrollment ends on December 15th, so take a moment this Yule season and get the gift that really keep on giving: a health insurance plan.

You can enroll here.


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Representative Omar, head coverings, and Religious Freedom

Representative-Elect Ilhan Omar of Minnesota wears a hijab. Some truely beatuiful ones too, based on her photos. But the House of Representatives has an outdated rule from the 1800’s about headwear–no one is allowed to wear it for any reason.

Now, based the History of House, the rule against headwear came out of some fairly contentious debate. There is an endearing story about why the hat ban was put in place: that in England members of Parliment wore hats to set themselves apart from the king and for the people, America had no king so no need for hats in the Houses of Congress. Cue panic.  Please let it be remembered that when push came to shove MEN were concerned about their fashionable clothes in the House. So vain. In the modern day, this applies to all headwear from scarves to yarmulkes to hijabs. You can see where this can start to get messy with freedom of religion.

Sehkmet aspect Representative Pelosi, has moved to change the rule to allow religious headwear as well as hats or scarves to cover hair loss (which when you think about how many members of Congress have or have had cancer, it becomes a matter of dignity). This rule change adds visible representation, and will inspire more people with diverse faiths to run for Congress; which is only a good thing.

Will the religious freedom loving Republicans be on board?

For some reason, I doubt it.

Rank Islamaphobia is a hallmark of Republicanism. While they write think pieces about how Muslims percieve religious freedom, they refuse to acknowledge their inexorable march to Gilead.

Covering your hair isn’t just for Muslim women who wear a hijab or a chador. Dedicants to Hestia wear veils. Orthodox Jewish women wear scarves. Hindu and Jain women wear a ghoonghat. Catholic nuns wear veils, and the Ammish and the Mennonites cover their heads as well.

Seeing a woman with her hair covered isn’t the end of the world, and may encourage other women who cover their hair to do the same.

Nor is wearing a head covering going to impinge on anyone’s freedom of religion, as much as the White Evangelical men may cry.

 

Even though Republicans love touting religious freedom, I doubt they’ll be on board.

Republicans LOVE to scream about how Sharia law is coming to America, with out taking into consideration how their own religious beliefs have a heavy influence on our law making process.


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Hathor, Sehkmet, and Nancy Pelosi

A few years ago, I wrote a post about the Divine Feminine on our altars and the place for women of color in our circles. Tl;dr: if you love having goddesses of color on your altar and in your daily practice, but not in your circle or you ignore the political and physical realities around those women, that’s racism, cultural appropriation, and misogyny. End of story. I think it might be time to revisit that theme a little bit. If you like powerful Queen of Heaven goddess types on your altar and daily practice, but not in leadership positions, that’s misogyny. End of story.

Before I get too far into this, I will say I think Representative Pelosi should mentor a dedicated junior minority representative (Representative Wilson from Florida comes to mind) or an exceptionally bright freshman representative (NOT OCASIO CORTEZ) for when she’s done doing her good work. Until then, Representative Pelosi needs to become Speaker Pelosi. I’m also going to take a moment to point out that no one is calling for Senator Schumer to be replaced although he really does need to be, and there are viable candidates such as Senators Warren, Booker, and Harris.

Many Pagans claim goddess-centrism as a key tenet of their faith, a trait that sets them apart from other more patriarchal religions. But that doesn’t mean we’re free of patriarchy, just that we are burdened with different trappings. After all, our patriarchy involves a pedestal.

Pagans in America are in love with goddesses who get things done, or hold some position of power. I personally prefer Hecate and Hera, but I’m unusual in that regard. Pagans adore a powerful goddess provided they don’t make us uncomfortable. Devoted wife and mother, original magician, and Queen of Heaven Isis is universally popular; her powerful sister Nephthys is not. Freya, Queen of Heaven, is often in skimpy armor with idealized lady parts; so are the Valkyries. Morrigan statuary is similarly clothed with a similar body type. Kali is another universally popular goddess until we remember that she wears a glorious necklace of skulls and dances on the body of her consort. Proud Hera is straight out.  At the end of the day, American Pagans often fall into the same cultural trap as their fellow citizens: we adore Hathor until she becomes Sekhmet.

We can see this in our interpersonal relationships as well as on the national scale. For example, my ex husband thought it was “adorable” that my magickal practice was so “low” compared to his high ceremonial rituals. Until he heard me invite Hera into my practice; he got scared and was hesitant to work me for the rest of our relationship. At the national level, we got a front row seat to the sexism shit show that was the 2016 presidential election.  That is  a show that hasn’t stopped, regrettably.

I’ll be the first to admit, Nancy Pelosi doesn’t scream Hathor. But, honestly anyone who eats dark chocolate ice cream in a sugar cone every day definitely has some hidden sensuality. Just sayin’. She also doesn’t scream Sekhmet either. Representative Pelosi is 5’4″ barefoot, and I could probably launch her like a shot put into Donald Trumps face. But in case people willfully forgot, she spent 8 hours in 4″ heels filibustering the repeal of DACA.  She was the Speaker of the House during the passage of Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Cash for Clunkers, the Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, tobacco regulation, the Food Safety Modernization Act, raising minimum wage, and the Hate Crimes Prevention Act. She established the Congressional Ethics committee. Oh, and here are some smaller things she did while she was there: tax incentives for clean renewable energy, and raised the vehicle fuel effciency standards, supported research and innovation, a new GI bill, tax reforms that actually benefited the middle class, ended coverage discrimination for people seeking treatment for mental illnesses, made the largest investment in Veterans Health Care.

Nancy Pelosi is the Speaker we need. And Speaker is the position she deserves.

But, some critics say, she’s against impeachment. Well, yes and no. She’s against impeachment now, but Representative Pelosi would be willing to pull that trigger in the future with the right proof. We have to remember that Representative has lived through two impeachments already, one entirely valid (Nixon) and one entirely invalid (Clinton). She was a representative during the Clinton impeachment; and Representative Pelosi’s strength is that she learns. Not only is she the only one who could survive an impeachment, but her i’s would be dotted, her t’s would be crossed and the whole thing would be wrapped in a bow.

But, some critics say, she’s too cautious. Yes, but let’s also consider. How many people have received bombs in the past month? How many people have received credible death or rape threats from the basket of deplorables that law enforcement has a known blind spot for? Representative Pelosi protects her own as best she can. And when she strikes it will be with laser precision.

One last point to consider when thinking about Representative Pelosi as Speaker Pelosi: when this presidency collapses under the weight of treason and collusion, she’ll be right there to step up. And a qualified woman as president is something I dream of.

 


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A tale of two Representatives

I am exceptionally pleased with how my home state voted (so much blue it makes my heart hurt, and diversity down the ticket). But I thought I would share a bit about two other Representatives I have thoughts about.

First the exciting one, Representative Sinema from Arizona. Representative Sinema admitted to dancing with Pagans at an event in Miami. And while conservatives tried to smear her with this and tar her with the witchcraft brush, to my knowledge she never came out of the broom closet (assuming she was in one to begin with). This is probably the closest Pagans have ever been to having a Representative who is openly close to the community. I have no doubt her perspective is much needed in the halls of Congress and she bears watching. I have high hopes for her, I don’t want her to let us down.

The other Representative worth watching is Ocasio Cortez. Although not because I think she’s particularly revolutionary or groundbreaking. She’s Bernie Sanders most successful protoge. I’m concerned about how she will play as his counterpart. As uncomfortable a truth this is, Sanders was another Russian asset. The mid-left Russian asset. How far does his mentorship go? I sincerely hope not to the Kremlin. But if it did, I can’t say I would be surprised.

I’m watching this batch of officials closely. I want to see only good things. However after the past two years I know enough to expect the worst.