Change Consciousness at Will


One well-known definition of magic, sometimes attributed to Dion Fortune, is the ability to change consciousness at will. I want to ask you to do some magic, come the Tuesday after the first Monday in November (November 4th, this year).

No, it’s not a presidential election, so you may not have heard too much about it. It’s a mid-term election, when many states, counties, and municipalities, will elect Senators, members of Congress, County Commissioners, members of the Board of Education, etc. In some ways, these midterm elections are even more important than the every-four-years and much-vaunted presidential elections. Every president needs a Congress and a Senate that will confirm hir appointments, vote for hir programs, sustain hir vetoes. And the people elected today to local Boards of Education, County Water Boards, and State Legislatures often show up a few years later on the national stage — having cut their teeth on local elections, done some networking, gotten some experience. They’re often the ones that State and local parties send as delegates to the every-four-years national conventions to select presidential candidates.

Most magic requires a bit of preparation. You have to have learned how to ground and center. You have to have memorized the spell or the chant. You have to have dug dirt from the graveyard, pricked your finger and squeezed blood into the alabaster bowl, ground the deadly herbs with a mortar and pestle smudged with sage. Voting on November 4th is the same. You have to have registered to vote. (Dates for this vary, depending upon your State.) You have to figure out what kind of id you may need to bring with you to the polling place. You have to spend maybe a half an hour or so online deciding for which candidates you will vote. And, then, you have to show up and vote.

You can do it as I do: invoking the Suffragettes, a grandmother born before women could vote, and Columbia, Libertas, and Hecate (elections are a crossroad), in the early morning, coffee cup in had, and standing for a few minutes in the lightening dark with my neighbors before I walk into the sanctum sanctorum, the voting booth, cast my votes, close my eyes, whisper, “So mote it be,” and then drive to work. Or you can go at lunch, or after work, or around 11:00 am when the polls are likely empty. It’s very unlikely you’ll have to stand in any kind of long line for a midterm election, which is yet another reason why, even if you don’t vote for president, you should vote in the midterm election.

So why do I call it magic? Why do I say that voting is a way to change consciousness at will?

Single women, young people, and minorities are the groups least likely to show up to vote — and that’s especially true of midterm elections such as the one coming up in a few days. Even though Republicans — who are not popular with women, many young people, and minorities — are no longer able to appeal to a majority of voters, they are considered more likely to win midterm elections because older, privileged, white men are more likely to show up and vote in midterm elections than are women, minorities, young people. And so, not too oddly, Republicans have decided that it’s safe to conduct a war on women, voting regularly against equal pay for equal work, voting to restrict women’s access to health care, announcing that young women just don’t know enough to vote and should, as a result, stay home and paint their fingernails.

You know what? They’re terrified that you’ll actually show up and vote. You can change not only your own but also their consciousness at will.

Tell me in comments that you showed up to vote in the midterms. Tell me that you did magic. Tell me that you made them afraid to keep shitting on you to make an ever-vanishing crowd of evangelical wing-nuts happy. You can use your will to change their consciousness.

It’s magic.

Picture found here.


6 responses to “Change Consciousness at Will

  1. Here in Oregon we’re lazy, we get to vote at home, at our leisure, in our PJ’s – if we so choose – as much as two or three weeks prior to the actual day of election – or on election day itself if we’re traditionalists.

    We get a voter’s pamphlet (almost a book, really) in the mail a week or so before our individual ballot with its “secrecy envelope” and return envelope arrive in the same manner.

    We then have awhile to examine and ponder the issues, the candidates, and resolutions prior to marking the ballot, placing it in the aforesaid ‘secrecy envelope’ and then enclosing the whole in the return envelope, which has a place for our official (registered) signature on its back.

    We can then return said envelope with its sacred and secret contents to the County Elections official either by mail or, more sensibly, deposit it in a drop box on our way to work or to get a latte`.

    Its a very sensible and civilized system with no polling places to travel to, no lines, no hackable machines to interfere with the sanctity of our vote and no exit pollsters bothering us with questions about how we did our duty.

  2. Since anyone in California can register to vote by mail, we essentially have the same system. It’s just that most people here still think they’re supposed to get up early and show up some place whose whereabouts they’re not sure of and stand in a line to vote, so they don’t bother to vote at all. The Oregon system is great (like Oregon) but I’m still waiting for the day we can all vote by home computer.

  3. Voting is Important I have issues as someone who was raised with computers all the way back in 14 Baud “Dumb Terminals” late 1970’s early 1980’s. It is too easy to “intercept” data online to trust “Online” voting. It’s Important take the time and vote in person.

  4. You can “intercept” mail destined for the Registrar of Voters, too, not to mention to ballots already deposited in ballot boxes. So should Martin, I and millions of others vote in person? The whole point is that a majority of those eligible, including the elderly and disabled, don’t vote in person at all. And dozens of states ruled by so-called conservatives, with the collaboration of the Supreme Court, are establishing rules designed to
    prevent minority voters from exercising their voting rights. As for computer security: it’s gotten a lot more secure since the 1990’s. Using a one-time online security ID code issued with their ballots, registered voters could cast ballots using the least problematic method possible.

  5. I voted today and had this post in mind as I walked there. As I filled out my ballot, I thought of the people who had gone before me and fought and sometimes died so I could vote today. I also thought of my grandmother, whose father threw a party on the day women won the right to vote in the US. Magic, indeed.

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