Yes, this is partly a political post so if you don't agree with things like civil rights, marriage equality, and progress for LGBTQ individuals, this might not be the post for you. But you know what I really love about contemporary Paganism? One would be hard pressed to find someone who isn't on board with these issues in our movement. That is another post entirely though.
This sabbat week of Ostara is a very significant one for me. As a Wiccan, it has been part of my religious culture for most of my life to reflect on the balance of light and dark at this time. To reach towards the expanding light as I examine and honor my own dark qualities within and without. But this Ostara feels so much more tangible and Earthly than usual. The world is on the edge of so much change and I think others are sensing that more and more every day. The timing is incredible, and I'll explain way.
I work for the Human Rights Campaign, the largest civil rights organization working for LGBTQ equality in the United States. In my work here in Washington DC, I get to see first-hand some of the most amazing legislative and culture-based changes. These are changed that many of my older friends thought they would never see in their lifetimes. Workplaces are increasing benefits for same-sex couples all over the country. Schools are implementing anti-bullying programs to help queer youth and their families. Currently, nine states plus the District of Columbia allow same-same marriage and there are several more possible states that could be added to that before the year is out. To say that we are on the precipice of a huge cultural shift would be an understatement. Recent polling shows that for the first time ever, the majority of Americans support marriage equality for all citizens.
Why does this make me think of the current Spring Equinox observances? Sure the timing is great, but there is so much more going on. As we move forward into spring, the expansion of light in the northern hemisphere is more noticeable than ever. The Earth is waking up from its slumber because of its gentle turning. It is moving towards the light. We can measure it, predict it, and and see it with our own eyes. This what I am seeing with the equality movement. No longer is my country evenly divided on the topic, its gone into the majority. The equality movement feels like the day after Ostara to me- reaching for that light with a renewed sense of hope and excitement. Our culture is examining its own fears and reservations around these topics, bringing them to light, and discovering that letting everyone have an equal opportunity isn't so scary after all.
On March 26th and 27th, two of the most historic cases to ever be heard by the Supreme Court of the United States will begin. One case would overturn Proposition 8, which years ago banned marriage equality for all same-sex California citizens. The second trial would overturn DOMA (the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act"). Depending on how the SCOTUS rules, both of these trials could have major nation-wide effects that would change the course of our movement forever. People from all over the country will be arriving here in the District to rally at the trial on Tuesday. A crew of people (including me) will be sleeping outside on the sidewalk of the Supreme Court on Monday night before the rally on Tuesday. That night I will facilitate a ritual calling upon the guardian Goddess of DC and of the United States, Columbia. We will ask Columbia to bring the sword of victory to our work, leading us in the march to freedom and justice. Before the Tuesday rally, I'll attend an interfaith service with some of my of my coreligionists and people of other faiths. Rev. Selena Fox of Circle Sanctuary will be speaking at the service to give a voice from the Pagan perspective. This is all a very big deal.
I now call upon all equality-supportive Pagans from around the nation to lend energetic and physical support to this work. On Monday at 6:45pm eastern time, send power and prayers to our ritual for justice. Then, see if there is a rally in your own city and attend if you can.
Together we can play a big role in moving towards the light of freedom and justice. This week of equal night and day will transform our nation into a place that is one step closer to equality for all.