- RT @tedlieu: Hey Steve Mnuchin, many people say you should fly private jets "on your own time" with your own money. @stevenmnuchin1 https:/… 15 minutes ago
- RT @daveweigel: People who mocked “safe spaces” five minutes ago now busily filling their diapers over Kaepernick’s sock choice https://t.c… 16 minutes ago
- RT @thehill: DC mayor invites Golden State Warriors to city after team cancels White House visit hill.cm/r4nKGJa https://t.co/6RwO9… 40 minutes ago
- RT @Bobblespeak: Trump spent an entire year trashing America #MTP 45 minutes ago
- RT @DavidCornDC: Trump was a racist birther when you decided to support him. He is the same man. Do not act surprised. You enabled him. htt… 45 minutes ago
- RT @3DTruth: If you live in Maine, it's your patriotic duty to call Sen Collins every day & ask her not to kill us. (202) 224-2523 #GrahamC… 46 minutes ago
- RT @MuslimIQ: So a black man kneeling to protest racism "dishonors the flag"—but Nazi terrorists screaming "Jews will not replace us" is "f… 50 minutes ago
- RT @resisterhood: Love or hate Hillary Clinton, but she would've been asleep an hour ago after spending yesterday and today working on hurr… 58 minutes ago
We’ve just passed the fall equinox, known to us Pagan types as Mabon or the witches’ thanksgiving.
Equinoxes are about balance, the two days of the year when the light and the dark are in perfect harmony, sharing the day equally, before we tip towards the dark (now) or the light (in March).
At Mabon, Pagans assess and celebrate our harvest, calling together our families of origin or choice to feast and give thanks for our blessings.
Meanwhile, in the mundane world (which doesn’t really exist; as Hecate is fond of saying, “It’s all real. It’s all metaphor. There’s always more.”), so-called President Trump has threatened nuclear war with North Korea (and he’s managed to make Kim Jong Un seem like the calm, sane, rational one, which is quite a feat), Congressional Republicans are trying to take away our access to health care AGAIN, and Gaia seems pretty pissed at us, what with three major hurricanes and two major earthquakes in the last month.
I think it’s a good time to ask: How’s your balance right now?
Are you taking breaks from social media? I know it can feel like, if you look away for a second, something horrible is going to happen. But you constantly monitoring Twitter or Facebook is NOT going to prevent that. Your 500 followers will still learn about whatever it is even if you don’t post/RT immediately. The world will not stop spinning if you skip one hot take cycle.
(While you’re at it, now might be a great time to consider deleting Facebook. Day by day we learn more about their complicity in helping Russia steal the 2016 election for Trump, complicity that they continue to deny and refuse to take responsibility for. I did so months ago, with virtually no impact on my life. You can, too. Even beyond their subverting our election for profit and turning our elderly relatives into budding neo-Nazis, there are a host of other excellent reasons to cut that particular cord. Just consider it.)
When was the last time you took a walk outside in nature? For us urbanites, “nature” can even mean “the nearest city park” – just someplace that you can see green, feel sun and wind on your face, and touch trees. Spending 10-15 minutes taking a stroll outdoors has all sorts of positive benefits: decreased stress, lowered blood pressure, decreased risk of depression, the exercise itself, increased happiness, increased creativity, better cognitive functioning. Go put on your shoes and take a stroll right now! This blog post will still be here when you get back.
Are you spending time with the people you love in person? An unexpected benefit of deleting Facebook has been that I feel more motivated to schedule time to actually be with my friends and loved ones. I don’t get the false impression that I know what’s going on with them just from reading their carefully curated status updates. I need to call them, or, better yet, meet for a meal, a drink, or a walk and ask them how they are and what’s new.
And when you’re on your walk or with your friends, put away your smartphone. I love the Crooked Media podcasts and the Washington Post, New Yorker, and The Atlantic apps as much as the next urban liberal elitist, but the relentless tide of depressing news and commentary can be overwhelming. Sometimes it’s nice to just be alone with my thoughts – or Duke Ellington’s Ellington at Newport album – on my walk. Studies have shown that the mere presence of a smartphone reduces the quality of conversations you’ll have. Stash it in your purse or jacket pocket and leave it there.
How’s your physical health? Are you eating a wide variety of unprocessed foods from the outside ring of your grocery store? Are you getting enough sleep (you might want to banish screens from your bedroom if you’re not)? Are you comfortable with how you’re using alcohol and other mood-altering substances? When was the last time you had a full body belly laugh? Are you moving your body in ways that make you feel good every day (if “CrossFit until you puke” is your thing, vaya con dios, but maybe try something a little more gentle)? Are you enjoying the kind of sex you like on the frequency you like to get it, whether alone or with a partner(s)? Have you been to the dentist in the last six months? Have you had your annual checkup with your primary care physician? Are you appropriately managing any chronic or ongoing illnesses? How’s your spiritual practice, whatever path you’ve chosen to follow?
When was the last time you read a novel? Or, if that’s not your bag, something like James Baldwin’s essays, Dorothy Parker’s biting wit, Dr. King’s speeches, Mary Oliver’s poetry, or a non-fiction book about your favorite historical event or period? You need to feed your mind and your spirit with more than news of the crisis du jour.
Speaking of, READ the news. Turn off MSNBC, CNN, even John Oliver and Sam Bee, at least every once in a while, and pick up an actual newspaper. Even better if it’s long form investigative reporting. Double even better if it’s in your LOCAL paper.
Find a way that’s meaningful to you to contribute to making your local community a better place. You can volunteer at your local food bank or animal rescue organization. You can do a favor for an elderly neighbor. You can make a donation to a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen. You can pick up trash on your street. You can plant flowers in your front yard or in a pot on your balcony. You can be kind to a stranger.
Finally, don’t forget to do something loving for yourself, however you define that. It’s OK if it’s “trivial.” Hell, it’s probably BETTER if it’s trivial. Go to a ball game. Get your nails done. Re-watch your favorite silly comedy for the 1,397th time (“BLUCHER!”). Take a nap in a hammock. Pour your favorite beverage, put on your favorite album, and just listen to the whole thing. Install a bird feeder (hours of entertainment for yourself AND your cats). Binge-re-watch season three of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Go out and lay on your back in the yard and stargaze tonight. Get a new tattoo. Read your kid your favorite childhood book. Make banana splits for dinner. Go to that new bar, restaurant, or yoga class you’ve been wanting to try. Put on Prince’s Dirty Mind album and dance like nobody’s watching (because they aren’t). Fix that loose doorknob that’s been driving you crazy for months. Forget that you’re (mumble mumble) years old for a minute, and go to the club with your girlfriends this weekend. Cancel plans you didn’t really want to make anyway to hang out with your dog.
We have to keep our own wells full in order to have anything to give. Constantly pouring yourself out without putting anything back in depletes your body, mind, soul, and spirit. It will make you sick and despondent and sap your energy. #TheResistance needs each and every one of us, but we can only be effective when we’re strong for the fight.
Image found here (because we could all stand to look at a picture of a highly attractive man for a few seconds about now)
Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1.
This is a prayer for the Witches’ Thanksgiving. This is a prayer for Resistance.
This is a prayer for mead and cider, for cornbread and collards. This is a prayer for Resistance.
This is a prayer for visits, for gratitude, for families. This is a prayer for Resistance.
Mabon is an act of Resistance, the deliberate decision to establish connections, to reach out, to take joy in watching others eat. This is a prayer for Mabon.
This is a prayer for wheat sheaves and pumpkins, for turkey and turnips. This is a prayer for Resistance.
This is a prayer for taking stock, for settling in, for facing the dark. This is a prayer for Resistance.
Mabon is an act of Resistance, the courage to say, “There is a place set for you at our table,”* the fire to fight for what we love, the refusal to allow hunger to win. This is a prayer for Mabon.
This is a prayer for cheeses and ale, for cherries and chestnuts. This is a prayer for Resistance.
This is a prayer for re-establishing balance, for reaching out, for doing more. This is a prayer for Resistance.
Mabon is an act of Resistance, the belief that bounty should be shared, that people should be fed, that “only justice can undo a curse.”** This is a prayer for Mabon.
This is a prayer for squashes and pies, for and rhubarb and roasts. This is a prayer for Resistance.
This is a prayer for the act of sharing, for sitting with guests, for stories by the fire. This is a prayer for Resistance.
May your Mabon be blessed. May you continue to Resist. This is my prayer for you.
Picture found here.
* A line in The Fifth Sacred Thing.
The Harvest Moon
~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
It is the Harvest Moon! On gilded vanes
And roofs of villages, on woodland crests
And their aerial neighborhoods of nests
Deserted, on the curtained window-panes
Of rooms where children sleep, on country lanes
And harvest-fields, its mystic splendor rests!
Gone are the birds that were our summer guests,
With the last sheaves return the laboring wains!
All things are symbols: the external shows
Of Nature have their image in the mind,
As flowers and fruits and falling of the leaves;
The song-birds leave us at the summer’s close,
Only the empty nests are left behind,
And pipings of the quail among the sheaves.
Picture found here.
One way to strengthen the Magical Battle for America workings is to repeat them several times during the week. In case you’d like to repeat this week’s working with Lady Liberty and the rivers, here’s a beautiful video and poem to help you. As you watch and listen, you can continue to see Lady Liberty bending down, touching the rivers with her torch, filling the water with cleansing energy. That cleansing energy can wash away the evil that has come to rest upon our landbase. You can lift your own torch, touch it to the river, and fill the water with that same cleansing energy.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/65603143″>The River – A Deep Ecology Visual Poem</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/lastleaves”>Last Leaves</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
A genuine American hera. When I want to give up, she’s one of the saints who inspires me to get back up and keep doing, as Mrs. Whatsit says, “the next right thing.”
As you know, these Magical Battle for America workings have been loosely patterned on Ms. Fortune’s book, The Magical Battle of Britain.
Dion Fortune’s magickal act worked on several sound magickal theories:
- She believed that trained ritualists could combine their efforts to influence the collective Will of the British people, not any one individual.
- She utilized easily-recognizable culturally-based spirits and egregors whose meaning would be intuitively understood by thousands of people.
- She drew upon spirits and egregors already associated with the purpose for which they’d been called.
- She created simple acts of magick that could be easily imitated, and contributed to, by a wide range of individuals in disparate geographical locations.
- She was doing a Working in a cause that thousands of people were passionate about.
Sable Aradia also noted that:
Dion Fortune believed that there were “dark forces” allied in opposition to Britain. There were persistent rumours of links between the Nazis and the occult even in the midst of the Second World War, and, according to Fortune’s book, one of the reasons why there were so many links between occultists and British Intelligence is so that misinformation about astrological prophecies predicting doom for the Third Reich could be intelligently distributed to Hitler’s own occultists. There’s been much speculation; but again, little proof. What’s clear is that Fortune and her compatriots felt that there were sorcerers Working against them, which was one of the reasons they invoked angelic presences.
Even if you don’t believe in supernatural forces, it’s clear that Fortune’s project was faced with the formidable opposition of the Nazi propaganda machine. And it’s clear that this machine, at least in Britain, was defeated.
Today, even some Pagans and ritualists give you funny looks if you say that there’s something more at work in the Trump Interregnum that “mere” human evil, ignorance, folly. But I believe that there is. I believe that an old and malignant force is at work and that it has, in fact, even “possessed,” or “seized,” a number of the more important members of Trump’s loose organization. Think Bannon, Putin, and Gorka. They may have been willing vessels, but there’s now something working through them.
Today’s working will be an attempt to use the principles that Ms. Fortune adopted to protect America against, and to cleanse America of, that force. But you don’t have to agree with my theory in order to do the work. You can also do it to protect and cleanse America even if all that you believe is at work is basic human hatred, ignorance, fear, and greed. However you choose to do the working, thank you. And, as always, I’d love to read how this worked for you, what you saw or experienced, any reactions that you have.
Now’s probably a good time to remind everyone to check/refresh the wards on your home or wherever you do this work. Be sure that you’re rested, grounded, and in a comfortable position. Maybe wrap up in a blanket or cloak or grasp a stone or talisman that matters to you. Grow your roots, send them deep into the soil, let them intertwine and grow small hairs to attach to the mycelia in your own landbase.
Anchor yourself firmly to your landbase. Notice a small detail that will call you back when this working is finished.
Ground and center. Cast a circle.
As you move to our American plain on the astral plane, you can see again the safe hillock where you do your work. You can see the five giant banners, shining in the sky: Walden Pond, the Underground Railroad, the Cowboy, the Salmon, and Lady Liberty. Do they seem more defined since we began our work? Do they have anything special to tell you this week?
For a few moments, just sit on your hillock and allow yourself to become comfortable. This place should be feeling very real to you by now; we’ve been working together to create it for months and months. As you rest in your power, you see the Lady Liberty banner growing larger and larger in the sky. She stands out, almost in 3-D, and you can see every detail, from the broken chains at her feet, to the tablet she holds imprinted with the date of America’s independence from Britain, to shining torch she holds over the harbor. She’s beautiful, silent, strong.
Lady Liberty stands near the spot where the Hudson River enters the Atlantic Ocean. As the map above shows, America’s rivers form an interconnected set of “blood vessels” that cover almost the entire American landbase. As you watch Lady Liberty, she bends to place her torch in the Hudson River. The fire from her torch doesn’t go out. Instead, it spreads a purifying light up the Hudson River, into its tributaries, and into their tributaries and, from there, into every river, stream, creek, and rill in America.
As you sit on your hillock, feel the cleansing energy running all through America, carried by its waterways. You may want to stand on your hillock, light your own torch, and place its energy in the waterway nearest your physical home. See the power of your cleansing energy working with the energy of Lady Liberty and your fellow magic workers to rid America of the forces that are polluting our nation, threatening to destroy us, longing to flood our world with evil. Watch the light become stronger and stronger as each river and stream gets closer to the sea. Will the cleansing power to grow stronger each time America’s rivers go over a waterfall. See the forces of racism, misogyny, and fascism flushed out into the open, pushed out of our country, drowned in pure, clean water. See the water rushing and pooling wherever the evil is most pronounced, leaving the people and the landbase purified, clean, healthy.
Take a minute to catch your breath. As you sit and rest, know that you are not working alone. The Resistance — both magical and in all of its mundane (phone banking, check writing, representative calling, letter writing, canvassing, voting, volunteering, tutoring, restoring wetlands, growing plants for bees) manifestations — is huge. Know that you are a powerful worker of magic, rooted in your very own landbase, working with the strong archetypes of this land, assisted by countless unseen others who labor in league with you. You are brave and growing braver. Your magic and your practical workings can make the difference.
Return to your own body, your own landbase. Open your eyes. Rub your face, move your arms and legs. Notice the detail you selected to call you back from the astral. Open your circle. Drink something, maybe a cup of clean, pure, American water. Do you know from which river your water comes? If not, you might like to find out and, each time that you drink some water, you can visualize your river cleaning out racism, fascism, sexism. If you like, have something to eat, maybe a crisp Autumn apple or a late Summer tomato.
During the course of this week, you may want to visit the bannered prairie several times in order to strengthen its presence on the astral. You may want to repeat this working. You may want to place something on your altar to help you remember America’s rivers and/or your own closest river. You may want to journal about it. Are you inspired to make any art? Can you sit beside a warm fire, or light incense, or stare into a candle? What actions are you inspired to take for the Resistance? If you’re willing, please share in comments what happened and how this working went.
Picture found here.