Pagan and the Pit(bulls)

The political musings of a Pagan and her dogs.


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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 But the House of Representatives has an outdated rule from the 1800’s about headwear–no one is allowed to wear it for any reason.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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I see witches

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles in my news alerts that are in a panic about how there are more witches in the States than Presbyterians. Now, that’s based on a misinterpetation of a poorly reported poll, it’s a whole story on its own, and something I will address on Wednesday when I have wifi and don’t have to type my posts on my phone (2 more days praise the gods).

But before that, I honestly think more visible witches is a good thing. For the people in the back: RELIGIOUS DIVERSITY IS A GOOD THING. My spiritual perspective allows me to see problems and alternatives others may be blind to. My minority religion status allows me to see where the majority religion fails; and Jesus Christ does it do that.

But that visibility and diversity isn’t just good for political and activist reasons.

It’s also good for the kids like me, kids in small towns whose conversions brought out waves of spite. I spent hours on the forums recommended by Witch Vox. Social media was still in its infancy-at this time Facebook still only allowed college students on their platform, and Myspace was the place to be. I didn’t have glamorous and inspiring role models.

But this generation does. The Hood Witch is the glamorous, elegant, and confident witch that will always be my #goals. Also, check out the Slutist tarot deck she has for sale. That deck is a thing of sex positivity, diversity, and beauty. And we need that. New and budding magickal practitioners need to see that representation to develop the strength and core needed to walk in strength and beauty on this path.

So keep representing witches. Keep showing up because we all need to see you.


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A day of Thanksgiving

Image by Ts’uyya Farm

Today in the States it’s Thanksgiving. In my own home state of New Mexico, there are 23 tribes so I have a slight understanding about how fraught the holiday can be for Native peoples. While none of the tribes in my state are the Wampanoag from the Thanksgiving myth (to my knowledge), there is still an extensive history of trauma and genocide under the colonial and later United States governments. A trauma that continues to this day. It makes Thanksgiving more uncomfortable than it already is. Although to think of it, nothing is so Americana as a Trumpy uncle screaming about making America great again as Native lands are stolen and Native women are raped while a roast turkey sits on the table.

Sean Sherman of the Sioux Chef wrote an article for Time explaining his conplicated and evolving relationship with Thanksgiving. In it, he brings up a truely excellent point: Thanksgiving is made with indigenous foods like turkey, corn, beans, pumpkin, etc; perhaps it’s time to embrace those foods and step back from the Thanksgiving narrative.

Thanksgiving falls in the no-mans land between Samhain and Yule, and it’s an excellent time to reconnect to the land as the year spirals into winter. It’s also a time for shadow-work and reconciling our dark past and present actions, and paying for them.

While its probably a little late to change your Thanksgiving menus to support Native chefs (Thanksgiving at a restaurant anyone?) you can still buy their products, support their farmers, and donate to their efforts to reclaim their foodways.

Get inspiration for leftovers from The Fancy Navajo. Buy The Sioux Chefs Indigenous Kitchen or Foods of the Southwest Indian Nations (Lois Ellen Frank, Kiowa) or Original Local (Heid E Sherman, Ojibwe).

Visit restaurants with Native chefs like Ray Naranjo, Karlos Baca, and Freddie Bitsoie.

Support Native farmers like Ts’uyya Farm.

Support the Dine Food Policies, the Navajo Nation Special Diabetes Project, the I-Collective and Gather, and the North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems.

At this time, give thanks for what you have. And give back to people still suffering from trauma.


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Transgender Day of Rememberance

Today is Transgender Day of Rememberance. These are only the reported deaths, the number is likely much higher. In this administration, where malice is the only agenda, our trans brothers and sisters are suffering. On this day of rememberance, consider supporting them by supporting trans resources. And if someone says some bull shit over turkey this year, you push back. 3 of these deaths were in New Mexico and that’s unacceptable.

Selena Fox and Nature Folk are hosting a special live podcast to commemorate.

Say their names.

May they go in peace, and return in beauty and strength.

14 Sep 2018
Nikki Janelle Enriquez
Laredo, Texas
shot

8 Sep 2018
Londonn Moore Kinard
Port Charlotte, Florida
shot

5 Sep 2018
Shantee Tucker
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
shot

30 Aug 2018
Dejanay Stanton
Chicago, Illinois
shot

30 Aug 2018
Vontashia Bell
Shreveport, Louisiana
shot

23 Aug 2018
Jamel Pierce
Denver, Colorado
suicide

Aug 2018
Casey Hoke
Pomona, California
suicide

19 Jul 2018
Sasha Garden
Orlando, Florida
not reported

2 Jul 2018
Daine Grey
San Francisco, California
suicide

27 Jun 2018
Dr Laura Mas
San Diego, California
suicide

24 Jun 2018
Cathalina Christina James
Jacksonville, Florida
shot

24 Jun 2018
Keisha Wells
Cleveland, Ohio
shot

19 Jun 2018
Chloe Sagal
Portland, Oregon
suicide

18 Jun 2018
Diamond Stephens
Meridian, Mississippi
shot

1 Jun 2018
Antash’a English
Jacksonville, Florida
shot

21 May 2018
Gigi Pierce
Portland, Oregon
shot

13 May 2018
Nino Fortson
Atlanta, Georgia
shot

13 May 2018
Roxana Hernández
Milan, New Mexico
died in custody

12 May 201
Name Unknown
Dallas, Texas
not reported

9 May 2018
Karla Patricia Flores-Pavon
Dallas, Texas
strangled

28 Apr 2018
Grayson
Columbia, South Carolina
suicide

1 Apr 2018
Sasha Wall
Chesterfield County, South Carolina
shot

31 Mar 2018
Chance Houle
Bismark, North Dakota
suicide

26 Mar 2018
Amia Tyrae Berryman
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
shot

6 Mar 2018
Hope Verbeeck
Tampa, Florida
suicide

4 Feb 2018
Celine Walker
Jacksonville, Florida
shot

10 Jan 2018
Viccky Gutierrez
Los Angeles, California
burned

5 Jan 2018
Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien
North Adams, Massachusetts
beaten and stabbed

16 Dec 2017
Rhiannon Layendecker
Englewood, Florida
shot

13 Dec 2017
Brandi Seals
Houston, Texas
shot

27 Nov 2017
Brooklyn BreYanna Stevenson
Oklahoma City
shot

Nov 2017
Natalie Nguyen
Seattle, Washington
suicide

28 Oct 2017
Candace Towns
Macon, Georgia
shot

21 Oct 2017
Stephanie Montez
Corpus Christi, Texas
shot

*Reporting period October 1, 2017-September 30, 2018. Transgender Day of Rememberance


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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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Blue Wave! Congratulations!

Congratulations to all of the Democrats who won the election! You guys are amazing!

Thank you to all the volunteers who made those wins possible, thank you to the bakers of casseroles, the tech people, the canvassers, the callers, the post card writers, the organizers. You are the drops of water that make the Blue Wave possible!

To the Democrats with races too close to call, or go to run offs. Keep fighting! We stand with you! When you go to the mat again, we’ll be there right behind you.

To the Democrat women who demonstrated remarkable courage and dedication,  but lost. I see you. Senator Heitkamp your decision to stand with Dr. Blasey Ford was a moment of great political courage, and I (and others) appreciate it.

In particular from my state I want to congratulate new House Representatives Haaland and Small. Haaland is one of the first native women to be elected to Congress and I couldn’t be more proud that my district chose her to be our voice. I also want to congratulate Governor Elect Lujan Grisham. You were an excellent representative and you will be an amazing governor. Make us proud ladies!