I have no idea how my cell phone works. But I can use it to talk to my family, take a picture of my garden, send an email to my secretary, find North with the compass, get directions to a new restaurant. Magic’s a bit like that. People who have no idea (or who have a partial, distorted idea) of how magic works, of magical ethics, of magic’s impact on the magic-worker can still do magic. You don’t really need to understand the principles of magic or have a well-developed sense of magical ethics to cast a glamour, work a spell for prosperity, or use herbs to improve your love life.
Last Summer, the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) declared a prayer war against Columbia, the Goddess for whom our capital city, the District of Columbia (DC), is named. They focused, in their videos, especially upon the statue of Columbia (known as Freedom Triumphant in War and Peace) that stands atop the United States Capital in Washington, D.C. They wanted Columbia cast down, wanted our capital to be renamed the “District of Christ,” and wanted to place “uncompromising” Dominionist leaders in every position of power in the United States, whether in government, in the arts, in entertainment, in business, etc.
Justice Brandeis famously remarked that “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” That’s certainly true when it comes to malefic magic. Once it’s exposed, it becomes far less effective. In July, Pagan bloggers began to expose and discuss NAR’s malefic magic. Sunlight. And that’s when things got interesting.
From the start, members of the Pagan community have noted that the NAR’s prayer war against religious freedom and the Goddess Columbia is simple malefic magic. Getting a large group of people to focus on an intent, raising energy via, in this case, prayer, watching videos with hugely-effective appeals to Younger Self, and focusing on casting down a physical symbol of all that you dislike: well, that’s magic. It may be poorly-focused and badly-sourced magic, but it is magic and it can certainly have an impact if left uncountered. And, of course, sending “blood-soaked arrows” at your opponents and declaring that your magic is already complete even before it takes effect (a sort of: “This is my will so mote it be.”) is malefic magic.
As I said, tricky stuff, magic. And malefic magic, in my experience, is trickier than most other forms of magic. Sometimes, it backfires.
One of the best, IMHO, results of the NAR campaign has been a focusing of attention upon American Goddesses and Gods. Websites and Facebook pages devoted to Columbia and other Americans Goddesses/Gods sprung up. Pagans began buying statues of Columbia for their altars. We debated the dark and light sides of American deities (of course, many Goddesses/Gods, from every landbase, have both light sides and dark sides; it’s hardly surprising that this is true for American Goddesses/Gods, as well).
NAR indicated that it would bring its prayer war to Washington, D.C. at Samhein. D.C. Pagans have for some years gathered at the Jefferson Memorial at Samhein for a drum circle. There was some concern that NAR might show up and disrupt that event.
Local Pagan, Caroline Kenner organized a Celebration of the Divine Feminine and Religious Freedom in Lafayette Park (across from the White House) on October 30th. She was careful to arrange security in case NAR chose to disrupt the event.
Normally when we hold a community event in downtown DC, we have few worries about security, especially since all the Federal sites are protected by at least two police forces. This time was a bit different. Our security team was headed up by a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the Army’s Military Police along with a former Staff Sargent. And people relaxed entirely when Frank Stormcatcher arrived to help. Frank is large and protective, and he is a Marshal of the Caomhnoiri Fian.
In the end, NAR didn’t show up at either event. The unconfirmed rumor was that they were stuck in Philadelphia, without the funds to come to Columbia’s district. The drum circle was meaningful and peaceful and the Celebration was a great success.
NAR may have wanted to topple Columbia, bring down The Queen of Heaven, and place their chosen candidates in power. The result of their working, however, is that Columbia, Lady Liberty, Innana, and many, many other Goddesses were invoked and honored publicly in our nation’s capital. The result is that American Pagans are paying renewed attention to American Goddesses and Gods. The result is that songs are being composed to Libertas. The result is that the two presidential candidates most under NAR’s influence are now well behind in the polls. One of them, Rick Perry, who kicked off his campaign with an NAR-sponsored prayer service, just this week embarrassed himself so badly that one wonders if someone hasn’t put a spell on him.
Oh, and it’s still the “District of Columbia.”
Tricky stuff, magic. NAR should leave it to the professionals. 😉
Picture found here.