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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in social justice

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The new film Hidden Figures tells the story of three black women (among many) who helped to save the American Space Program.  In segregated Virginia, these women battled both racism and misogyny, deftly fended off micro- and macro-aggressions against both race and sex, and figured out the very mathematics necessary to launch Americans into orbit and bring them back safely.  Ultimately, their work helped to win the Cold War.

Source: Educationworld.com

Their stories have been largely untold until now.  Their lives were mostly unknown by the general population.  Sadly, despite their incalculable service to their country, despite the fact that they fought against all odds and proved their value and their capabilities, the same fights are still being waged.  Racism is alive and well; misogyny is on its way to taking power in the White House.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Tips for Thriving During a Trump Presidency

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In “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” J.K. Rowling presents the familiar wizarding world she originated with Harry Potter, but turns it on its head.  Instead of Britain, the film takes place in the United States.  Different laws apply to the witches and wizards of America, a fact which becomes a source of both humor and tension.  Our main characters are not children, but adults.  Instead of spending multiple installments worldbuilding and introducing a magical system, the new series is able to jump us right into a fully fleshed out world where we all know the rules, allowing more focus on storytelling.

But more importantly, our new hero is very different.  Newt Scamander is nothing like the Boy Who Lived.  Where Harry knows from the day he enters Hogwarts that he is marked out as the savior of the wizarding world, Scamander is really nothing more than a dedicated animal lover who seeks only to rescue and preserve the world’s most misunderstood creatures.  He’s a conservationist, not a warrior.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Spell Against Indifference

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Martin Niemöller 1946

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for a while now you’ve probably noticed that the world doesn’t seem so friendly these days.  Honestly, it kinda seems like the nice, comfortable world I’ve always known has caught fire.  Between shootings, bombings, hate, fear, greed fueled politicians, and absurd (to me) infighting in my local communities I’m pretty much overwhelmed with just how insane things have gotten.  At this point I’m virtually paralyzed by just how far down the path to hell our collective handbasket has gotten. 

Right now I’m angry about a lot of things, but the thing that bothers me the most is the complacency and indifference of many of those around me.  If I’m really honest I’m also utterly ashamed of my own complacency.  While magick is no substitute for actually standing up and taking action, it can help by making it a little easier and perhaps a little safer to do so.  Pop culture magick is for a lot more than just fun and games. I decided to take my cue from The Boondock Saints, one of my favorite movies, and create the following spell for ending indifference. 

Boondock Saints Spell Against Indifference

This spell can be done anywhere, at any time. In a pinch just recite the incantation without any of the other trappings.

If the purpose of the spell is to motivate yourself, change all of the “you”s in the incantation to “me”s.  If you want to target a particular person, change the “you”s to that person’s name (take care because there’s some ethical ambiguity as this could be considered coercive - be sure you’re willing to accept the consequences of your actions).

If you can, first take a minute or two to reflect on the state of the world and allow yourself to get angry.  If you don’t have a minute to spare, then chances are you’re already good and mad.  Allow your anger and outrage to fuel this spell.  If you need some help getting angry I suggest spending about 30 seconds on any mainstream news site, listening to some Rage Against the Machine, and/or watching the following clip from The Boondock Saints: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=to5eOs8VRuY

If you can have some properly anti-establishment music or The Boondock Saints running in the background do so. 

If you can, burn a red candle and dragon’s blood incense.

Recite the following incantation:

Open your eyes to the state of your world.  See the hate, the fear, the injustice.  See the open violations of self perpetrated on those around you.  See the insidious, doubtful, aggressions that are written off again and again. See and know the truth.

It is time to stand up.  No more shall this rampant fear and hate be allowed to rule our lives.  Have courage.  Take heart.  Allow the fire of outrage to fuel right action.

Let the burning heart of truth incinerate those that would impede right action.  Let the power of justice protect those that stand up for those that cannot.  The strong arm of righteousness will strengthen and protect you.

We must all fear evil men.  But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men. 

By my will that indifference is cracked, broken, and ground to dust.  What has been seen can never be unseen.  What has been seen must be acted upon.  Destroy that which is evil so that which is good may flourish.  As I do will, so must it be.

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Orlando, Rise In Power

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

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A Case for Radical, Progressive Paganism

 

When witchcraft first flourished in the 20th Century, it was cutting edge. Hot on the heels of the feminist movement, the fledgling environmental movement, and a time of great social upheaval, neo-paganism opened a whole new realm of possibility that at once called to our roots but also challenged dominant paradigms. At the same time, a lot of us are drawn to pagan beliefs when we ourselves undergo inter and intra-personal change. To dedicate yourself to a pagan path is a challenging step to take, and the journey is a difficult one. If it was easy - everyone would do it. To be a pagan is already a radical and progressive act. But is it enough? I'd like to offer my own interpretation of what radical, progressive paganism can look like.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ian Chandler
    Ian Chandler says #
    Thanks for the stimulating article and comments. Paganism is such a 'big tent' encompassing so many different beliefs and practice
  • Christopher Blackwell
    Christopher Blackwell says #
    Like most everything else in Paganism it is a matter of personal choice. If it ceases to be a choice than what good is it?
  • Peregrin
    Peregrin says #
    Hi Jon ... we are living in different 'Paganisms'. Lee clear says she rights "from the point of view of a progressive witch living
  • Jön Upsal's Gardener
    Jön Upsal's Gardener says #
    The irony of this post astounds me. The fact that you are really blind to its irony astounds me even more. Show me a neopaganism
  • Lee Pike
    Lee Pike says #
    As Peregrin mentions, the views I express here are totally relevant to the climate I'm familiar with. Maybe it is different where
She's About More Than Dancing Naked Under the Moon: Goddess Offers A New Path Forward

You are not alone if you believe domination and authoritarian patriarchy are destroying countless lives and our planet.  There is a more sustainable alternative and it's not new.  In fact it's ancient. Exiled for a time, but making a return, the Sacred Feminine has become indelibly integrated into our lives, reminding humanity during this time of crisis that the ideals of the Great She offer a pathway to secure a more sustainable future.   As people lose faith in organized religion, as the paradigm of power shifts across the globe, as climate change quickly approaches a point of no return, people are leading using their divine intelligence gleaned from Goddess teachings to find solutions and sanctuary. They're listening to their consciences, heart wisdom, and intuition to manifest a new normal.  They're practicing partnership, generosity, and compassion to establish a new way of being.  They're tapping into their empathy and morality as they hit the reset button. We are witnessing this awakening across the globe as people from all walks of life and cultures turn to Goddess, deity, archetype and ideal, to evolve from the malignant chaos we face today.

Maybe this comes as a surprise to you.  Your recollection of Goddesses are from middle school as you read about Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love and Beauty or Hera, the petulant wife of Zeus, always angry as she chased after her philandering husband.  Well, those patriarchal versions of those myths were hardly reflective of these powerful and empowering deities and archetypes of the Sacred Feminine.  Unfortunately as Goddess and her ideals were swept beneath the rug, so were her ideals of nurturing, caring, sharing, and concern for the common good.  Over time, egalitarian societies of peace and partnership inspired by Goddess were over-run by war-like tribes who revered war gods.  You see, our mythology shapes our culture and if we have male deities, then we have male leadership and we've seen the more exploitative and dominating type of authority and leadership can bring.  Research will tell us that in many cultures where the Divine Feminine was at the center of the lives of her people, a more balanced and peaceful society was the norm.

But how is that relevant to me today you might ask?  Well you can connect the dots between losing a feminine face of god and pay inequity for women.  Without Goddess we have patriarchal religions where women are brainwashed to believe they're second class citizens and are meant to submit to their husbands and often never lead an authentic life or reach their fullest potential.  We have men and some States telling women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies.  Women suffer female genital mutilation, are subject to arranged weddings, are forced in some cases to wear burkas against their will.  I'm sure you can think of other forms of oppression women suffer all across the globe and right here in the United States.

But you shouldn't think patriarchy has only been corrosive or destructive to women.  There is a direct connection between societies who oppress or exploit women and the destruction of the planet and the species on it.  And men are also prevented from being their authentic and whole selves under patriarchy as men strive to live their lives according to man-made dogma or rules determined by religion or society.  Take for instance the fella who is more inclined to be a painter or author and finds it pretty boring going to tailgate parties.  He suffers mercilessly at the hands of the other guys who think he's weak or too feminine.  Or think of the woman who is childless by choice.  She must answer endless questions about why she prefers not to be a mother.

Suffice it to say, the Sacred Feminine, deity, archetype and ideal, provides a pathway forward for a more whole, healthy and sustainable future for the most of us, and we're seeing folks embrace her ideals in many walks of life.  Turn on the news and we can witness this paradigm shift in politics as Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign calls for ideas that reflect the need for policy that benefit the "we and the us" rather than the "I and the me" - or as we might say the 1% versus the 99%.  He makes a convincing case we can have a future with the promise of a better world where all our boats float and we are no longer subject to the domination and exploitation of predator capitalism and corporations run amok taking advantage of employees and denying them benefits enjoyed by workers in countries around the globe.  Greed and exploitation are not the way of the Sacred Feminine.  Instead, generosity, compassion and partnership are hallmarks of belief for advocates of the Great She.

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