In Indonesia moderate Islams demonstrate the power of religious pluralism. Across the world sex workers unite to celebrate Amnesty International's decision to work towards the decriminalization of their profession. And in Europe the refugee crisis tests the region's dedication to its ideals. It's Fiery Tuesday, our weekly take on political news. All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
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If a Mormon barrista suddenly refused to serve coffee because caffeine is "against her religion," she would be fired.
If a tattooist converted to Orthodox Judaism and refused to tattoo anyone because the Torah forbids it, he would be fired.
So a county clerk in Kentucky refuses to issue marriage licenses because her form of Christianity forbids same-sex marriage, and they send the matter to court?
If I could reach through the folds of time and explain a few things to new-Priestess me, here is what I would say about who I might want to re-consider letting into the Coven:
The woman with the brassy-sassy personality who called you at work crying because it looks like she'll be getting fired wants to know because if it's because the Gods rejected her offerings...and gets rancid-offended when you suggest it's probably less about the offering and more because she slapped a co-worker that morning...she's going to be a bit tough to work with....
Recently on a Facebook discussion about raising children in our varied polytheist traditions, one of my dearest friends, who is an ally to those of us living as practitioners of minority religions, asked what allies can do to help those of us who are dedicated to raising our children within a polytheist home. I didn't respond, because at the time I was trying to decide what kind of help in the task would be helpful. And I've been thinking about it since then almost daily.
So Daniel, if you're reading this, here is my answer finally... You know how sometimes it takes a decade to get my thoughts together on things, and I want to thank you for your endless patience.
By candlelight we sat together on the king-sized bed as a family engaged in something we rarely do in our home or our nation. With the power out and our bellies full of grocery store deli food, my partner, children, and a few of our cats, sat or wriggled about as I read a short story about a clever feline who saved a town. My partner, daughter, and I each selected a book we thought appropriate and let the toddler decided which of the three to read from.
Town Cats by Lloyd Alexander, Dada's selection. My daughter groaned because she wanted Percy Jackson.
I read the first story, candles flickering, and little fingers playing with the corners of the pages. I held the hand light over the book, and smiled when my daughter laughed at the funny parts. I waited patiently each time my son interrupted with his Rarity plushie or demands the cat move out of his way.
Once the story ended and the call to give the little one milk came from his little lips, we ran back to our bed and snuggled until he fell to sleep. When I stood up to head back to my partner's room to talk, I paused in the hall and felt how clean and pure the sensation to be in the house in near dark with no electric noises on. The hum of the refrigerator. The almost imperceptible buzz of the computers and monitors, my partner's clock radio droning on about news or playing jazz, the J-Pop coming through my daughter's earbuds another room away.
Their absence left me feeling calm, whole, at peace.
We live in the woods and outages happen often, but usually in winter, when we can't appreciate the stillness because we're working hard to stay warm and the additional layers are uncomfortable.
But the outages in warm months are rare and beautiful. I seem to be the only one in the house who takes pleasure in them. I don't mind being temporarily deprived of the stove or the computer, because when we don't have these constant distractions and electronic noises that only I notice, we're a kinder family, and we do more to connect.
It's not a new sentiment: to feel joy when relieved of our technological burdens. To escape into nature. But it was Saturday night, as I lay in bed, and a cool breeze brought in the honeysuckle and muddled plum fragrance of summer's farewell....
It has been a while since I have done a Magical Monday post, and while Monday is almost gone, I'm pretty sure I can still sneak one in.
This is a simple spell, but one we can all use from time to time. It's from my book, Everyday Witch A to Z Spellbook (Llewellyn). I hope it brings you all a little lightness... (You can light a white candle if you like.)...