A Few Things Off My Chest

I’ve been troubled on so many levels since November 8th, that I feel a wee bit like Indiana Jones, dropped into the tomb full of snakes. But I like snakes better than I like the things disturbing me, to be honest, because snakes ARE more honest.  They kill to defend or to eat, not to be mean.  People can’t always say that.  I have tattoo’d snakes going up my left arm, and people sometimes shudder to see them.  Snakes don’t make me shudder, people DO!

These things that trouble me, things that marginalize and “liminalize” me, sap my energy.  These are things from my alleged “own side” that make me tilt my head, scrunch my eyes, step back in dismay.  To me, long a student of history and schooled in the ways of “the Red threat” — these are things I could safely categorize as “fifth columnists.”  Do the perpetrators of these troublesome bits KNOW they are a danger to their own side?  I rather doubt it.  They THINK they are helping to whip up the troops.

But they are whipping fears and divisions and hatreds.  They are fanning negative flames instead of building warming home-fires.  What do I mean?  I’m only going to hit a couple examples.

Well, for one thing, almost every day when I get the mail (and email), there is a plea to send money to this or that candidate in some other state.  This bothers the hell out of me.  To me, the people IN that state are the ones who should have the say in THEIR election.  Some years ago, here in Washington State, there was an effort to get through a bill about gun sales.  And oh, the OUTRAGE of the Democrats that the NRA and their many “civilian” supporters sent money from OUT of STATE to “interfere with OUR election!”  Well, pot meets kettle, don’t you think?  IF it is wrong for the Right to do it; why would it be right for the Left to do it?  Yes, I am big on the idea of fighting fire with fire — but you have to know when that fire is going wild to burn EVERYthing.  So hell no, my money will not go to other states even to support candidates for ‘my’ side; I think that is a political SIN to interfere in the sovereign voting rights of other citizens of my country.  . I think that is overstepping the bounds of political decency.

Then there is this little hate-clad thing about the wife of the Presidential Celebrity Apprentice (because ISN’T he an apprentice?). First there were snarky signs: “Melania, are you alright?”  That was semi-funny.  But also semi-sad; because when I looked at most of the photos, she actually looked tense, possibly frightened.  She looked like a woman doing an unwanted performance and she was largely ignored by her husband as she did it.  Then there were bloggers saying, “Well, first I felt a little sorry for her, but she married the jerk — so she can lie in that bed.”  Wow.  How fucking compassionate is THAT?

This woman was an immigrant.  Personally, having been hungry and desperate enough to want to run away from where I was in my life?  Had I actually run and an apparently rich and powerful man offered me marriage so I could stop worrying about hunger and a roof over my head?  I’d likely have taken him up on it, too.  And any of you out there sneering down your nose about now, saying “Fucking never!” – tell me how hungry you have been.  Tell me how much you struggled and for how long with NO help before you judge me OR her, ok?  Does she regret her choice now?   I don’t know; judging by his divorce record I’d say chances are she might.  I sort of wish that wasn’t true for her sake – because an unhappy marriage is such a hell that starvation doesn’t sound like such a bad way to go.

So, if it was shitty of the Republicans to trash Hillary, and her daughter?  If it was wrong to call First Lady Obama an “ape” — by what fucking fair play rules is it right to pick on a woman who still sounds like she struggles a bit with English and is just hoping to raise her son in peace?  Also, it is pretty shitty fucking feminism to blame a woman for her husband’s bad behavior; remember how you ALL said that when Trump blasted Hillary Clinton with Bill Clinton’s bad actions?  

So if you want to be spoken to civilly by ME?  Knock that classless shit OFF.  STAY on the message instead of engaging in cruel, useless ad-hominem attacks on wives of ANYone.    About now, I’m sure someone wonders why this largely political post is here on my “spiritual blog”?  Well, because if a person believes in attempting magic?  They need to know something about the energy the practitioner  is going to be trying to throw about, ok?

IF the witch/magician/sorcerer/shaman/priest/priestess is polluted with hate, anger of the wrong sort, etc?  Then their magical energetic aim is NOT coming from a premier source and it damages the effectiveness of the working.  This was clear in Dion Fortune’s letters, as I recall.  She told her groups to keep working positive — to focus not on attacks, but protections; not on tearing down, but on building up.  And that resonates for me with political action.  We can resist all the horror we want, but if ALL we do is react to dreadful things and fear?  We are not building something effective in which to survive and live.  That counts politically and magically.

So, as this blog will soon go private, and I will send invites and accept emails asking for invites — let it be known, if you do NOT clean up your own act first, you will not be part of this virtual circle.  Trust me, it’s not easy.  I know.  I am a bite and smite special, myself; but I know when I have to bank the fires of anger to keep the warmth and avoid the melt-down.  I have to MAKE myself look to what makes it better.  IF this post gets you all riled up and righteous about “who the hell does she think she is?”  Well, then I am almost certainly talking to you.

Don’t just get scared by the world that needs fighting, get righteously angry at the wrongs being done.  But don’t just get angry – get rationally and constructively engaged.  To do that from a place of pure flowing energy means you can’t pour emotional/political poisons into the fucking cauldron!

The “Skies Are Crying” Fall of the Old Year

samhain-walkAs I wrote, to almost nobody last week, I began my new year at the New Moon. Sure, the family had a good meal — one of the rare red meat meals for me and the Minotaur — and lit a fire in the outside drizzle. We passed around a horn and “toasted, boasted, and vowed” in sumbel style.  There were serious conversations and light hearted joking as well.  We farewell’d what we wanted gone and greeted what we wanted to carry forward.  It was merry and bright around the fire.

But I didn’t feel merry or bright. I drank a bit too heavily of the passed horn filled with mead we brewed two years ago….meaning more than one single slim glassful in my booze-lightweight age. Earlier in the afternoon before the utter failing of daylight, you see, I had gone to the Labyrinth for year’s end rites there. No names, merely a tolling of the brass bell – once for every year of the current ongoing, never-ending wars and then a silent walk to the center. And then a walk back out, slowly — the intent being that as many old pagan traditions say — tis the day they dead can come back to join the living for a night and I would lead them back on that pathway wherein I walked them inwards.

Usually, this is a neutral walk — even on the years when I occasionally gruelingly read the entire list of names of Us and Coalition dead in both the Afghan and Iraqi wars.  But this year, every step back outward felt like I was walking from a place of peace into a sort of hell.  I felt laden with grief and despair, my mood blackened as the astrologically “black” moon invisible in its orbit.  That dreadful sense of “something dire coming” possessed me and the helplessness of it made my chest hurt.  “Death inbound” is how I characterize this feeling and I hate it so much.  And in less than a week — yes, five Americans dead in our ongoing foreign adventures.

Attachment-1Do I believe in prescience?  Lets say my experience makes comfortable disbelief impossible.  It is somewhat typical at the end of the year — whether in October or December — to question, to formally doubt, to make new choices and discard what baggage one can leave in the dust.  I’d like to leave this grief, this fear, this dread behind me.  But it follows me like a shadow, a vampiric shadow that feeds on the anxieties and miseries of this election.  It is not just fear of a President who reminds me of Beast Rabban (Harkonnen); it is the utter cruelty of his followers in being perfectly ok with his denigration and diminishment of women, immigrants, people of color, gays, lesbians, disabled people, poor people.  One would think that those people have never met real people in their lives!

I cast about for newness, for purpose, for connections as I feel more hermitic than ever.  The German ladies I left over the casual white privileged callousness of one of them want me back — well, five of them want me back.  Can I go back?  It dawns on me that the majority wants me back because I told off the domineering one; but is that the role I want in a circle I had considered friends?  I tell myself it wouldn’t be my only role, but I still fear just becoming a “novelty” of some sort to women I wanted to be friends with on common basis of work, family, and so forth.  I was too under the weather this year to go on the 2 1/2 hour drive a Day of the Dead party; and stricken to realize how few friends I have and all of them very far away.

And yet I find myself considering cutting more connections even in online life.  I am so angrily sick of the Apple i-Phone nonsense of touch-pad failure and no word on Apple acknowledging or fixing it in ever more impossibly expensive phones, for instance.  Thus, as my phone begins to give me grief, I consider shutting off the account entirely and “bundling” in a old school house phone with the equally hated Comcast/Xfinity.  This means I’d be largely disconnected from all online associations – my aging Mac Mini stutters when I use it, and if/when it fails I may not even replace it.  A whole group of semi-connected associations will fall away like autumnal leaves then, too.  I have found that nobody wants to write old style letters…nobody at all.  For years, I’ve sent fifty or more holiday cards on various holidays and got back fewer than a dozen.  Connection apparently is not allowed to take longer than five seconds or cost even forty five cents?

It troubles me that we have the promises of technology about never being disconnected, but it feels as if as humans, we are more disconnected from each other, more isolated than ever before.  Recent reading has told me I am not the only one to notice this with a sense of despair — Sebastian Junger’s book Tribe attributes this biology/psychology skewing trend with facilitating lasting PTSD, depression, and suicide.  We seem to be forgetting how to be people for each other!  So my end of year does feel very dark as the cold rain falls daily now and colored leaves fall to leave monotone firs looming like wraiths in the gray sky.  I remind myself that gray days mean I must try harder to find something light.

But I feel like embracing the darkness, exploring every shadow and misery is what I really will be doing this month before I put up the lights and decorations for Yule.  I’m not looking for a sunshine enema.  I’m looking for the cause of the darkness, I think.  Just typing that makes me want to slap myself for grandiosity.  But there it is, I just can’t get around the feeling and sensation that, to coin off of Tolkien, one must go through the dark mines of Moria to find light on the other side.

It may take some time.


The Solace of Cheap Sunglasses

LiveTomorrow is a week since I began crying and couldn’t seem to regain control of my emotions.  Last Sunday evening, a long awaited visit for dinner by two gay friends accidentally coincided with the news horror about Orlando.  The hearth in the living room was ablaze with candles – one for each victim of the murderous hate played out with an assault rifle.  Our welcoming embrace dissolved into tears and trembling.

I know what a list of names looks like with 49 names.  Four dozen, we say…thinking of eggs, or birthday candles.  I know how reading that many lives names aloud, hearing a voice laughing – and stilled, seeing a face in the mind’s eye as the lights wink out – makes the voice begin to crack and fray.  Monday is the Summer Solstice and the Full Moon.  Public workings and private plans for magic for the dead and the wounded survivors are listed here and there around the internet.  The pagan community writhes with the same convulsions of grief and anger and …well, for me?  A kind of numb lack of understanding, like a child too young to know what death really means: how can any person murder half a hundred and leave another half hundred bleeding and injured?

I am not a pacific person; I am passion filled and storm tossed.  But I love life — I love seeing it on younger faces and older, all around me.  I like the dance of it, the wrinkles and the wild youth of it.  I love the twined hands of lovers walking before me in the park; I don’t care what gender the lovers are or what race or age.  It is the dance of life and love I see blossoming like rainbows after the storms of ordinary life.

Ah, yes, rainbows.  That flag, that shimmer in the air.  I was crying so much that I took out a pair of very cheap sunglasses for all public outings.  A woman my age is no longer pretty in tears, I look red eyed and mascara-raddled.  So dark, dark glasses.  I had no idea how cheap they were, having not worn them before — the emergency pair in the glove compartment.  Everything I look at, in the sunshine – whether a dark car, shiny leaves on a summer tree – takes on the sheen of costly “glass-coat” paint jobs.  The cars fluoresce into rainbow hues, as do trees and shop windows.  Rainbows dance wherever my eyes turn!  I cried more at first.  But then it struck me as a defiant dance of conspiracy in cahoots with my grief and shock.  Nothing can stop the rainbows!

I stopped speculating about whether the shooter was or was not a self-hating gay man.  How tragic, if he was, and led my the religious mania of monotheistic faiths, he so hated himself that he had to clear his conscience with blood.  I told myself to stop thinking about that so-called “minister” who wants a theocracy that can line gays up for shooting.  I am grateful I don’t live where he lives, or getting my need to break his jaw out of my head would be so much more difficult – I told you I am no pacifist.  Why such hate speech should get a free pass in the name of freedom of religion is beyond me.

The hardest bit to purge is the handy ammo these deaths give to the likes of Donald Trump — the “terrorist” label is so convenient.  I have long said that the group called ISIL ( I refuse to defile the ancient name of a goddess with their acronym!) draws many kinds of malcontents who will accept that black banner as an excuse to destroy and kill.  And not because they believe in the “caliphate” — but because they want freedom to be murderers, misogynists, rapists, and destroyers-at-large.  I believe that the shooter in Orlando cast about for a justification, found it and took it to revenge himself on everyone that ever rejected him.

I cannot defuse my anger that more and more Americans die at the hands of men arming themselves with weapons from battlefields.  Half of Congress is unwilling to do anything about it: the alleged meaning of the 2nd Amendment trumping the promise of “life” in the Declaration of Independence.  There is to be a vote on Monday, because the Democrats refused to step down their filibuster until that was agreed upon.  But will there be change, or does the break again come on party lines — declaring the right of the gun nuts to randomly murder at will while those of us in love with the dance of life wring our hands in futile rage?

Because of that vote, I don’t think I can wait until Monday night to put my acts of will and magic out there in the world.  I need to at least attempt to put the idea out there that putting assault rifle ownership ahead of American lives is wrong.  And the idea that calling it religious righteousness means the lives of 49 people dying at a “gay” club has less impact than 49 “other” lives.  Because that is hypocrisy, isn’t it?  Twenty children died and nothing changed.  Nine people in church died, praying – and nothing changed.  Who is perfect enough to not have their brutal bloody death dismissed?

I must make candles in rainbow hues, for the 49 innocents shot to death.  I want to hold them in my heart, in my ethereal arms, and weep –by the waxing moon tonight!