Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Firefighter Speaks To The Police





Over and over I hear my friends that are police officers lament the current “attack” on the reputations of police officers.  Each is personally offended that officers are being painted in such a bad light.  Each pointing out all the good they are doing in the word. So let me just say, yes I know that most officers are great people attempting to make a difference in the world.

Dear Police Officers,

The problems you are facing are not a public relations issue. Members of the public have viewed literally dozens of videos of police abusing citizens over the past few weeks.  Ignoring the problem only makes the public think you are somehow involved. The time has come to tear down the ”blue wall of silence” within police culture that leads officers to always defend the actions of the police.  While you may be a good cop, if you defend officers or remain silent about those who engage in violence against the population, you are also part of the problem.

The public can see from the media that there is a real problem and no amount of police PR videos showing police saving cute kittens is going to make this problem go away.  Our community needs our honorable officers to stand up and make clear that no longer will the cultural norm of supporting officers no matter what stand.  It is your job to serve and protect.

Officers all over the country have decided that the police are qualified to sit in judgment, determine guilt and dispense punishment.  Such actions are criminal; our system provides that the courts serve that role.  If you want the populace to place your profession among the honorable pursuits, then you must act with honor at all times when in uniform. You are the solution to the current crisis; your ability to return to believing that even officers are subject to our laws must be made clear.

The fact that you personally would never assault a suspect does not release you from responsibility.  You must also move forward and hold your co-workers accountable.  If you do not begin the process of removing the bricks that make up the “blue wall of silence” your efforts to have your profession once again respected will fall on deaf ears.

Act now for justice, for accountability, for building a new view of policing that honors those you are sworn to protect.

Peter Dybing
Chief Officer

Reposted from my original post on Face Book at a friends suggestion.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Civil Rights Credentials - I Am Over It





Over the last few weeks I have had many conversations with individuals proclaiming that the current manifestation of “Black Lives Matter” needs to be adjusted: white washed into a broader more inclusive theme.  They further proclaim that the violence they are seeing in the media needs to be addressed.

As I speak to these individuals they become offended when pressed on how their views, if adopted, will support the current oppressive system.  Many resort to stating something like “Don’t tell me about civil rights, I was there in 1969 when”

Well, frankly let me tell you I DON”T GIVE A @#*#% about your civil rights credentials. If you stand now with the oppressor through your calls for non-action you are part of the problem.

Have you really forgotten the narrative the national media used to suppress your actions all those years ago?

Have you really become so comfortable in your privileged lives that you cannot see that the current protests are the next step in achieving what you were seeking all those years ago?

Do you really see the current movement as something unrelated to the broader effort for equality in our nation?

Have you slipped into viewing your historic participation as being involved in the “real civil rights movement?

What is happening today is “THE REAL CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT”

Get on board or risk loosing the moral authority that you dearly covet because “you were there when”.   If you continue to seek to smooth over what makes you uncomfortable, you are no different than the very oppressors you opposed in the past.

Wake up, we need our elders to be engaged, willing to listen, able to see that the protests happening now are an expression of the values they proclaimed when they marched in their youth.

I DON’T CARE IF YOU WERE THERE WHEN, I CARE IF YOU SHOW UP NOW!

BLACK LIVES MATTER!


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Ten Pagans Who Made A Difference in 2014




Every year this list comes out listing 10 Pagans who I highly respect for their service to the Pagan Community.  Each year as the author I strive to list those individuals who I believe have had the most impact on our community.  The list is subjective, yet I strive to not only list those who I “like” or have relationships with, but instead those whose contributions are beyond question.  So here is my annual list.  Who would be on your list? Feel free to comment!


10.

Phaedra Bonewits


Anyone who follows Pagan social media will be aware of the voice of Phaedra Bonewits.  Over the course of this year I have seen many examples of her wisdom, grace and willingness to participate in important and sometimes divisive conversations.  She makes this list because her voice is always the voice of the wise elder, calling me to deeper contemplation and insight.  I value our Pagan elders and believe that Phaedra stands as a great example of what an elder should be in our community.

9.

Sharon Knight



Too many years have gone by without this list featuring a Pagan musician. Music feeds an inner need for joyful expression and represents an important aspect of our developing Pagan culture.  This is music that moves me as a Pagan and I am also in deep awe of her talent and willingness to participate in the community.  Sharon Knights’ long-term contributions to our community deserve recognition and make her a Pagan who belongs on this list of top ten Pagans.

8.

Christine Hoff Kraemer


Paganism is all about honoring diversity. Christine’s’ efforts as the Managing Editor of the Pagan Portal at Patheos are a deep reflection of this diversity.  By making room for more diverse voices at Patheos she has deeply influenced my personal awareness of Pagan diversity.  Further, her ability to do so without being drawn into the various “eruptions” in the world of Pagan blogging establishes her as an incredibly talented editor and leader within our community.  I am thrilled to have her on this years list.


7.

Erick DuPree



Trust in a Pagan leader can often be determined via their willingness to publicly share their personal process and struggles.  If there is currently a voice in the Pagan community that best represents this principle of authenticity it is Eric.  His compassion based process has had a major impact on both my personal practice and on many other Pagans I know.  Eric’s profound, honest and compassion based insights have earned him a place among the Pagans who made a difference in 2014

6.

Sam Webster



Sam has long been an important voice in our community. His efforts this year in providing leadership with the Pantheon Foundation are benefiting the entire community.  Suddenly significant efforts in the community have the ability to move forward with accountability, support and wise counsel.  Building Pagan infrastructure that lasts has always been challenging.  Sam’s’ efforts may well turn out to be one of the most significant developments within our community in many years.  Sam I congratulate you for your real world efforts and willingness to do the hard work within our community.

5.

Crystal Blanton

No list of Pagans who made a difference in 2014 would be complete without the presence of Crystal Blanton.  Her contributions to the communities understanding of social justice issues cannot be overstated. She leads the hard conversations that call all of us to a deeper understanding of the experiences of people of color in our community.  While we don’t always agree, I am in awe of her passion, commitment and willingness to engage in manifesting a community where diversity is our strength.  Her tireless efforts place her squarely on this list of Pagans who made a difference in 2014.

4.

Cara Schulz



Wow, the list is long if one intends to cover Cara’s contributions to Paganism. This year I have been most impressed with her run for City Council.  By believing that Pagans have a place in government and putting that belief into practice Cara demonstrated to all Pagans that we have arrived at the doorstep of representative government. Cara’s run for office stands as an example of a community member “walking their talk” in 2014.  In addition, her grace and wise actions in response to an individual attempting to make her beliefs an issue in the race represent the application of wisdom and compassion in the face of hatred.  Cara, frankly, you impress me!
3.

Jason from The Wild Hunt



There is now way to measure the contributions Jason has made to our community.  This year I was impressed in how Jason handled the transitions at the Wild Hunt.  For many years the community has had concerns about succession planning for major Pagan Organizations.  Jason, to his credit, was able though skill and wisdom, to establish a road map for succession.  Pagan organizations take note, it is this kind of fore thought and planning that insures the health of our community for decades to come.  Please join me in thanking Jason for his leadership, skills and service to our community.  If there were such a thing as a Pagan Hero, I would nominate Jason for the honor!


2.

Ivo Dominguez Jr.



In activism, it is always tempting to move from one popular cause to another as time passes.  Few individuals have the dogged determination to take on a project that many see as “undoable”.  Ivo has done just that, with his unwavering efforts in manifesting the New Alexandrian Library.  This is no small task, building real infrastructure that will last for generations.   In this library a legacy has been manifested for Pagans around the world.  It is an outstanding accomplishment that will benefit the entire community.  Let me also say that there were many people involved in these efforts, but being a list of “Ten Pagans” Ivo gets the nod for this effort.  I suspect he will share the recognition around widely.   The Pagan community will be filled with gratitude of their own for decades to come.


And at the number spot on the list of Ten Pagans Who Made a Difference in 2014 is:


1.

Courtney Weber



Rarely is there a voice in our community that calls me to a deep place in considering the very foundations of the Paganism I believe in; Courtney Weber has such a voice. Her passionate environmental participation has deeply called me to be grounded in the earth and the need to protect that from which I sprang.  Intelligent, eloquent, focused and authentic are a few words that express how I feel when engaging with her.  Pagans would be well advised to pay attention to this voice among us.  Simply stated, I believe her to be the best of what we have to offer as a community.  It is my hope her passionate participation continues for decades.



So feel free to post your own list of Pagans you think are doing great things. We have many great community members!


In Her Service,

Peter 












Saturday, December 6, 2014

I Can’t Breathe!





Activist around the country are energized.  An opportunity has arisen to affect true change in our culture that devalues and marginalizes people of color.   Inside we are all holding our collective breath and praying that this issue will stand, the American people will not once again turn away in boredom or even worse their collective need to not face the injustice that permeates our culture.

We are protesting, creating face book memes, confronting outright racism on line and calling out white privilege where it exists.  Our thoughts are dominated with the problems within our over culture and sadly in our own communities.

The potential for burn out is real, each day we face hateful comments, privilege in its grossest manifestations, yet we engage.  Emotionally the task is daunting, painful and frustrating.  The temptation is strong to disengage for our own sanity.  It is a strange world where we activists would be pleased to just have a day that we can spend, once again being amused at cute animals on face book.

Today I ask activists to set some time away for them selves, enjoy family and friends, recharge, feed your spirit with what is wonderful and compassionate in the world.  Do this not because you are tired of the conflict but because you recognize the need to disengage in order to re-engage.  Collectively this effort must continue, we must learn to engage in radical acts of self-care if we are to have the temperance to continue.

Today we have a New Civil Rights movement, led by people of color demanding justice that goes beyond individual cases and calls our nation to action in addressing systematic racism. The solutions will not emerge if we, who sound the call to action, become burned out

I urge you to play with your kids, to pray, to enjoy what is right in the world, recharge and join activists around the country in making sure that this drive for social justice is sustainable.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pagan Trolls, A CALL FOR NON-ACTION




Well,  it has been some time since our faith system has had to choose if we are going to respond when organized Internet Trolls cast their hooks baited with lies and inflammatory statements.  Over the last few weeks the  “Disciples of the New Dawn” have posted some of the most hyperbolic insanity we have ever witnessed by individuals attempting to stir the pot of hatred and misinformation.



Let’s be clear, these posts are pure troll behavior. There is extensive research making it clear that people who engage in such behaviors have sadistic personalities. They deliberately seek to inflame and cause emotional distress.  Once they have stirred the pot they sit back can feed upon the emotional reactions that in their sick little world represents the success of their action.

Today lets share with the entire community a commitment to the below principle:


Each time a community member engages these people their twisted little minds are nourished by our revulsion.  As a community, lets starve these trolls and hope that their discomfort prompts them to get the physiological help they so desperately need.

Please share this call to unified non-action and deprive these individuals of the attention they seek. If you feel you must take action, report their posts to Face Book, but do not comment on, share or repost their dribble, when we do engage we support their twisted feeding frenzy.

May the Goddess, in her compassion heal these individuals need for causing emotional  damage.



Friday, November 14, 2014

Leaving Wicca With Warm Memories And Regrets


“Gender binary, what are you some kind of left wing hippy”

This was the response when I confronted a co-worker for telling a Trans Woman that  “you are a man, you can’t be here you have a penis”.  The entire situation saddened me and again got me to thinking about confronting the black and white thinking that is perpetuated around gender.

On many levels I often take refuge in my spiritual community, here are individuals who understand, are willing to confront old warn out ideas and behaviors.  When I thought about it, however, I was reminded of how uncomfortable I have been during the last few years when I attend a ritual and witness the gender binary on full display within a sacred context.

Dozens of conversations have been held among well meaning members of the Wicca community about this issue.  Individuals profess an understanding of gender equality, agreement is shared all around and NOTHING CHANGES!

It is a sad day when my emerging, evolving, and open hearted spiritual path becomes so tied to its’ dogma and the “we have always done it this way” ethic that in practice their actions continue to disrespect community members who identify with many of the other manifestations of gender identity.

My issue with this situation has become more than problematic; it has become a situation where I perceive my own spiritual path as an obstruction in seeking social justice.  As a result I have come to a place where I am no longer able to embrace Wicca as my spiritual home.

Yes I remain a Neo Pagan, I remain a Witch, and I continue to worship the Goddess.  What I can no longer do is support the institutional dogma of a religion that refuses to evolve even when the members acknowledge the need for change.  This is dogma that violates the precious “Do No Harm” principle that is central to my beliefs.

Over the last few years,  I have paid attention to the pain on the faces of respected community members when they encounter this narrow interpretation of gender in ritual.  They generally remain respectful, as do I in ritual.  It is time however, for me to grow, evolve, change and stop participating in sacred spaces that are stuck in the harmful dogma of the past.  I love my Wiccan friends and will always gladly invite them into the circles I participate in, I will however no longer lend my sacred energy to a belief system that as a whole refuses to evolve.

Growth is painful, this is painful, I honor my spiritual past, I will miss the profoundly moving rituals, yet I cannot refuse to acknowledge the need to move forward un encumbered with actions that harm my many friends who identify as manifestations of the wonderfully diverse pool of gender identities.

For more on this issue see this guest post from a friend:

  http://paganinparadise.blogspot.com/2011/10/guest-post-some-thoughts-on-healing-our.html


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Local Governments Regulate Compassion



  Homelessness Now Criminalized




Those who follow activism closely are aware that the internet is often awash with hyperbole utilized to stir support for causes related to social justice. In this deafening symphony of notes demanding attention it is nearly impossible to discern which causes deserve support from the average activist with limited resources.

Generally, social justice advocates come to adopt individual causes by following their compassion, which in turn leads to discovering their passion.  Incredible advances in social justice have been realized through this focused approach.

There are times, however, when activists recognize the urgency of a specific cause and join in unity of action.  An example of this is the profoundly successful effort by the Human Rights Campaign to "Turn The Internet Red".  Organizations across the globe engaged in other social justice causes set aside their own focused interests and manifested an event that changed the very nature of the conversation about LGBT rights.

Across our nation laws are being enacted that effectively criminalize the homeless.  Among the activities now legally restricted are sleeping, setting down ones possessions, and feeding the homeless.  These laws are being sold under the “false flag” of safety issues.  Our nation is marginalizing our most at-risk population in the interest of supporting the activities of the very corporate interests that are at the root of the problem of poverty in America.

We, as activists, have the opportunity to act before it is too late.  All social justice advocates involved in other issues need to recognize the profound change in our national character that such laws will establish. We know that LGBT youth, people of color, veterans, abuse victims and many other marginalized groups are disproportionately affected by homelessness. 

Today lets call for a national event to focus the social justice community on confronting these immoral laws.  It is time to speak up or let the very idea of social justice go quietly into the night with barely a whimper.  Lets select a date and focus the entire nation on this issue. Non-Profits, bloggers, writers and activists can and should band together and make a difference.

Americans should not allow our nations character to be re-defined with the first principle being that “people of power and privilege have the right to marginalize and regulate to the shadows those who are most in need.” 

Let us, through our actions, manifest a world where we refuse to grant governments the right to regulate actions that reflect our compassion for all of humanity!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Politics, Voter Shaming, Corporate Control and The Big Lie





So I voted in the mid-term elections, reluctantly. As a witness to the wide spread corruption in our political system I took no great pleasure in casting most of my votes for candidates who will surly sell my values down the river after the polls close.

For years, we have been deceived by one party or the other. Each bought and paid for by the big monies that flood the halls of power across our nation.

I am tired

Tired of both political parties being disingenuous about their positions on issues.

Tired of Republicans who wish to court women voters while working to roll back rights fought for by generations of women.

Tired of an administration that calls revelations about government spying on the populace a serious issue while at the same time calling for the arrest of the individual who disclosed the abuses.

Tired of a President, who I generally support,  who refuses to make clear his position on running a disastrous pipeline through the heart of our nation until after the elections.  Bought and paid for, the decision is obvious.

Tired of candidates painting them selves as inclusive as they seek to restrict the voting rights of minorities.

Tired of climate change deniers (modern flat earth believers) using distorted religious views to push the agenda of their corporate masters who refuse to act in the interest of humanity.

Tired of the silence of so-called liberal candidates who own stock in multinational corporations who seek to establish dominance over our food supply with GMO products.

And then there is THE BIG LIE

Tired of the dialectic of being required to vote for one of the big parties in order to not  “waist a vote”.  This lie, the idea that there are only two, opposite and opposing choices, is sophomoric in the extreme.  In mental Health settings, such thinking is considered a bell weather of a lack of emotional intelligence; yet we march forward, supporting those who will continue the gridlock across our nation because the big money corporations have funded our choices in a manor that the only real winners in the elections are corporations.

Our country is desperately in need of individuals who will vote their values, un- impeded by two party rhetoric that only serves corporate masters.  My prayer is that next time around the gridlock will be broken by individuals willing to vote for Greens, Libertarians or any other parties that emerge seeking to take ethical stances not influenced by corporate self interest.

Tonight I will watch the election results knowing that it will be the $$$$ that win,.

 Yes I voted, a once proud tradition now subverted by greed!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Activism and our Ancestors


As believers in manifesting our own destiny we often unintentionally ignore the contributions that our ancestors have made to our moral, intellectual and spiritual make up.  When I consider who I would be if my ancestors had made different choices, led different lives, I am profoundly affected by my realization of how much I am the sum of generations of choices.

On a family level I wonder if my father had not told me stories, as a child, of his activities delivering underground newspapers during the Nazi occupation of Denmark, would I have developed my compulsion to confront injustice?


My Dad, Hans Dybing, who as a teen delivered news papers for the Danish Underground during the Nazi occupation



 Further, had not my protesting older cousins set for me an example of seeking social justice, would I be the same man I am today? Would I have begun my activism at age eight without these influences?

Myself meeting with Colorado Gov. Love about school bussing. Age 8


In terms of our activist ancestors, I ask myself:

Would I be such a believer in the power of civil disobedience had Rosa Parks not taken the seat she did?




Would I believe in the ability of individuals to make a difference had not I witnessed the life and death of Bobby Kennedy? 



 Would I have the same belief in peaceful resistance had not Martin Luther King given his life in the name of justice?




Today I can hear the whispered voices of my ancestors, those in my family, those in my social justice community, those in my spiritual community and I am humbled.  Their words urge me to carry on, continue to act for social justice in all its’ forms.  I am cradled in the arms of those who have gone before me on this path.  Any small contribution I may make to our blessed community flows from them and upon future generations.  Such service grounds me upon the earth where my ancestors lie.

So my friends, Who are your honored ancestors? How did they influence your life? Feel free to comment!



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

CNN & Fox News Contribute To The Ebola Crisis






For those in the disaster world it is a well-known principal that effective responses continue only as long as ongoing in depth coverage continues.  Today in West Africa dozens of patients, men, women and children will die.  Local West African health leaders plead for more funding, more responders and additional logistical support.

The news in the west is awash with reports about 3 cases of Ebola in Texas; our President makes statements, experts pontificate and talking heads spin the news for both it’s dramatic and political effects.

Meanwhile funding for Ebola response in Africa continues to dribble in to the accounts of Doctors Without Boarders and other NGO’s.  Many NGO’s have stopped considering accepting the nationwide flood of volunteers, who wish to respond, due to a lack of funds.

America wake up, this is a global health crisis; national news organizations need to refocus their coverage where the real disaster is happening.  News coverage is the engine that drives donations to responding organizations. It is disgusting that America is so engrossed in our local three cases and diverting attention from where the needs are greatest.

Our national news outlets are behaving in an immoral manner in their coverage, more interested in spreading fear that will drive ratings than being part of a proactive solution.  



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ebola, Testing Our Humanity




Our nation announces we will build hospitals in West Africa; the world applauds and ignores the fact that the plan is to NOT have Americans staff these clinics. Compassion on the world stage evidently extends only to the point where our self-interest as a nation would be put at some risk.

In the west,  a couple of Ebola cases fill the news, on the hour reports related to their condition and those they have infected focus our nation on “our country”. Missing in all this is the dozens who continue to die daily in West Africa.

As West Africa continues to sink deeper into chaos, half measures and promises are made to placate western sensibilities. On the ground, where the disaster is occurring, pleas are made for more funds, more equipment and more responders.  Governments and NGO’s are moribund by their “procedures” which were not designed to address the immediate needs of a medical disaster of this magnitude.

Our national system of Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT) has not even been considered as an option for addressing this disaster.  Instead our government has sent the military, with guns and all,  to take up positions in a foreign nation.  Essentially, we have used this crisis as a pawn in the international geo political chess game with China in Africa.

My heart aches to be in Africa assisting, yet all attempts to get there have been dashed.  Evidently those who wish to respond with years of training are not needed.  Inside I weep as I consider the lives being needlessly lost.  Unable to put my compassion into action I am also lost.

Deep inside me in a private place, I wonder if the faces of those dying were white, would the response be the same? The conclusion I come to is shameful! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sacrifice Upon The Alter Of Expectation




It is an experience most within the Pagan community have had.  In our interactions we discover that an individual we are interacting with does not live up to our expectations in terms of belief, follow through, ability or view of social justice.  Our pre-conceptions are shattered; we question our own judgment in engaging with the individual, examine how “different” they are in the light of day and realize our mistake.

Therein is the rub. It is our mistake. In our desire to feel secure in our community we have laid down expectations that surly will be shattered. In our need to believe that we have a safe place to grow spiritually we have manifested a fantasy world where our co-religionists share all of our values. For some this idea of our “Blessed Community” leads to disillusionment.

Simply stated, many discover that there is no safe place for spiritual growth. The process of growth involves confronting our own pre conceptions, learning compassion for others and accepting that our relationship with the divine is unique, individual and not dependent on the actions or beliefs of others.

Growth is dependent upon confronting our need for uniformity, developing the ability to honor the paths’ of others and embracing both our intersections of belief and our divergence in personal ethos.  Many proclaim that our community is fractured, that “those Pagans” are not like us. This process of “othering” tears apart the community and limits our ability to come together on issues of mutual interest.

The Pagan community can only move forward if we focus on honoring our differences, having compassion for those with whom we have issues and engaging the wider world together in achieving social justice.

I have friends in community who whole heartily believe in issues I oppose. My task is to be willing to engage with them where our beliefs intersect and not sacrifice my personal understanding of the divine upon an alter of expectation.

I will honor the differences as manifestations of the diversity in beliefs and paths within our “Blessed Community”; ever mindful that my path to the divine is unique and intended for me alone.



  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Lessons From My Garden




Darkness surrounds, small, encased in Gaia, nourished by organic matter from years past, I remain miniscule in the universal scale of things.  I can sense the potential I possess, moisture soaks down upon me from above, stirring my centuries of evolution.

With each drop of moisture I begin to spread, tapping the limitless source of nutrients provided by my ancestors.  Calling from above there is warmth, a promise of growth, of reaching my potential. Stirring within me is the calling of sacred energy from above.

There is a new dawn for me, as I rise from the immortal darkness, I can feel the calling of my potential.  With certain knowledge that I must grow and become something bountiful, I reach for the light.

With my place of origin firmly rooted, the light grows warmer. I branch up and out, growing stronger every day.  In this process I become aware of the diversity that surrounds me. Thousands of beings inching towards the fullness of there nature.

Next to me, atop another being there is a sudden blossom of color, I am comforted.  Suddenly I feel a wellspring of energy, I final push to achieve all that my ancestors have shaped me to become.  As the dawn of a new day arrives, I am surrounded by a symphony of color.

With the sudden realization that I too have bloomed as a single colorful note in this visual concerto, I realize my destiny, to grow, to learn, to honor the diversity of life,

There is coolness now, with my blooming, my experience, my knowledge of the great cycle I have manifested the minute seeds of a new generation.  Gaia calls me back to her nourishing cradle, all that I am, seeps back into her cauldron of life.  I am comforted in the knowledge that the cycle will begin again after the time of the darkness. I am whole and immortal having played a part, for a season, in the dance that is life. I will rest in the arms of the great mother.



Friday, August 29, 2014

World Turmoil, What’s a Pagan to do?




Ebola is emerging as a threat to thousands of lives; the images of desperate communities are seared upon our collective conscious.



 In Europe, war has broken out, as the actors in the conflict continue to side step any responsibility. Images of bombed out cities flash across screens piling the horrors of war upon our daily menu of information to digest.



Terror has gripped the Middle East; innocents are murdered in the name of a group using an acronym that defiles the name of a respected Goddess for many in our community. 

How do we as Pagans manage to keep our spiritual focus in times that trigger anxiety on a mass scale?  As an activist that believes in the potential for a better world these are trying times.

Below are some of the ways that I use to keep my center when disaster literally or through media surrounds me:

Grounding

Grounding is an approach that always helps. By grounding I mean the physical action of putting my hands in the dirt and sensing my connection to mother earth, feeling the energy, experiencing the threads that tie my corporeal being to the elements.  From this experience spiritual grounding begins to flourish within my consciousness.

Ritual

The temptation to view world events as beyond our control is tremendous.  Such a stance however, encourages us to internalize the stresses that these events encumber us with.  Engaging and crafting personal rituals that seek peace, compassion, healing and understanding surrounding these events is proactive and recognizes that each of us have the ability to seek the world we wish to live in.

Participation

Letters to world leaders, donations to those providing relief and actual volunteering of time have all been strategies I have used to engage, participate in solutions and bring about change. 

Our world is lacking in voices that urge compassion, compromise, understanding and real action in support of these principles. Someday it may be your letter that touches the inner being of a major actor in one of these world events.  We as Pagans can make a difference if we refuse the inner narrative that tells we are helpless to affect change upon the human condition.

These three suggestions have worked for me. What works for you? Please share your experiences in the comments section. We are in community, together we can manifest change.





Monday, August 4, 2014

Gaza, The Goddess and Grounding in Compassion





World events once again have manifested violence on an un-imaginable scale. Across our nation protests are raging, some against the violence of Palestinian organizations and some laser sighted on the state sponsored violence perpetrated by Israel.

Pressing upon our community is our response and “position” on these issues. The temptation is to take sides, engage the established dialectic and choose  allies.  Internationally the established narrative is one of blame, distrust and division.

What I propose for the Goddess community is a third way,  less traveled yet holding infinitely more promise of eventual peace and mutual understanding.  In our hearts we know that violence as a means of resolving cultural conflict is unproductive and feeds the hungry beast that perpetuates the deaths of innocents.

Let us speak to solutions, compromise, the ability of humanity of engage compassion and oppose all violence no matter its source.  Let us set the example that discussion of who is in the right is absurd when innocents are perishing in the name of principles that lack the very moral high ground they pretend to be based on.

This is a case of nations unable to transcend schoolyard violence as recourse for offence.  Let us espouse the love of the Goddess, the compassion of humanity, the deep knowledge that however profound a grievance it does not justify violence.

May the Goddess manifest compassion, peace and understanding;  three principles that have the potential to erase the corrupt path of violence, hatred and conflict.

So Mote It Be