This past week was, in many ways, our first big battle following the devastating loss of the 2016 presidential election. There have been other special elections (some of which we’ve won and some of which saw Democrats make important gains in red areas, even if, in the end, they lost) and, certainly, the two times that the Resistance beat back attacks on Americans’ health care were very important. We’ve had some wins in the courts; Trump’s travel bans, for example, keep getting overturned and I’m still hopeful for the gerrymandering case now submitted to the Supreme Court. But, this past Tuesday, elections in states from Virginia to New Jersey and from Washington to Maine were the first major chance that we’ve had to show that Trump’s fascist magic will not prevail in America.
As you know by now, women and our allies won victory after improbable victory. In New Jersey, a male politician, who joked that the women marching in the Women’s March better be home in time to cook dinner, lost — to a black woman who was so pissed off by his joke that she decided to run against him. And I believe that the victories that we won on Tuesday had their genesis in the Women’s March. Of course, at the time, the Women’s March was hugely criticized. Silly girls. Its goals were too varied, too vague, too much based in anger. Its name — Women’s March — was all wrong; it might turn men off. There was too much danger of violence, of upsetting Trump’s supporters the day after his Inauguration. The pink pussy hats were silly. . . . and on, and on, and on. And, yet, and yet, and yet. On that day, when women saw how many we (and our allies) are, when we looked around and realized, in Percy’s words, that we should:
Rise, like lions after slumber/In unvanquishable number!/Shake our chains to earth like dew/Which in sleep had fallen on you:/[W]e are many—they are few!
quite a few of us decided to run for office, to work on campaigns, to start volunteering in our local schools, to edit the local Democratic newsletter, to phone bank, to speak up in the grocery store when a Trump voter complained about “fake news,” to stretch our comfort level and go canvass door-to-door in a nearby state, to call our Senators, to write postcards to voters, to tell the story of the powerful man who whipped out his dick when we needed a job, to show up and vote, even in the cold Virginia rain, in special elections for every position from governor, to freeholder, to member of the board of education. Some of us decided to do a weekly working in the Magical Battle for America. We said, in Gandalf’s words, “This will not stand.”
Marches have a long and honorable history in America. I’ve marched in opposition to the Viet Nam war, for women’s rights, against George W. Bush’s wars, and for sensible gun safety laws. Many Americans, whether or not we were there, look back to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s March on Washington as a turing point in the fight for civil rights for African Americans. But I believe that the Women’s March, born out of unspeakable pain and anger, will be an everlasting icon of Americans’ refusal to allow fascism to win. I believe that, in generations to come, American patriots doing magic for the polis will invoke the energy and anger of that march and will call to their ancestors who marched in it, supported it, did magic to protect the people who marched in it. I believe that it will deserve its own banner.
And, so, this week, I’d like to ask you to do an odd kind of magic that I’ve been doing for decades, which is to go back to yourself on the day of the Women’s March and strengthen whatever actions you took that day. I’ve been sending magic back to my younger self and forwards to my older self for a long time and I find it’s very effective. I can’t say how often I’ve faced something difficult and found a lovely packet of energy, or comfort, or support waiting for me, courtesy of my future self.
So, time travel with me, back to Jan. 21, 2017, to the Women’s March, to yourself before the Resistance had even conceived of the victories we won this week. More difficult battles are ahead — and some painful losses — but we can secure the energy of the Women’s March for generations of patriotic magical workers to come. Let’s go back, magically, to that date to create the win that we experienced this week. And then let’s look to the future and leave a magical signpost for those who come after us.
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 relax, spend a bit of time remembering the day after Trump’s Inauguration.
Where were you? With whom did you spend the day? What were you feeling? Stand on your hillock and face yourself on that fateful day. Were you in the East in Washington, DC or NYC? West in LA or SF? South in New Orleans or Mobile? North in Fairbanks or Chicago? Were you one of countless thousands in a big city or a part of a more intimate march in some improbable small town where no one even expected a Women’s March? Did you organize, carry a sign, serve meals on a plane to women going to the event, or stay home and do protective magic?
Move now, astrally, to yourself on that day. Put your astral hands on your shoulders, send energy to yourself on that dark day, give yourself exactly the encouragement that you needed. Pay attention to how you were feeling, what motivated you, what frightened you. What did you promise yourself that you would do when you got home? What magic did you work?
Now, see yourself in the days between now and the midterm elections of November 2018. What are you called to do? How can you best use your limited time and resources? What problem do you want to solve? What would feel like a home run to you on that day? And what will get you off home plate, headed towards first base? Pull energy up from the grassy roots of the prairie where you sit and send it forward to yourself every day between now and Election Day 2018. When you most need it, may you be reminded of the power and spirit of the Women’s March.
Finally, look into the long future and see your decedents, physical and spiritual, decades and centuries from now. See them in times of trouble, needing to work magic for democracy, fairness, freedom. See them reaching back to you on the day of the Women’s March and send them the inspiration they will need. You are with your mother’s mothers’ mothers and with your daughter’s daughters’ daughters. You will always be there when they need to call to you, just as your ancestors have always been there for you.
Remember that power of the Women’s March is always available to help you every time that you need to do magic for America.
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 cold beer or hot milk with butter and salt. If you like, have something to eat, maybe a soft persimmon or crisp apples with brie.
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 to remember the Women’s March. You may want to journal about your experience. 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.