Writers shouldn’t, in my humble opinion, write about their process. No one cares how many cups of coffee you got up to brew; just sit down and write the damn thing. But I hope that, today, my readers will allow me a bit about process. This is a difficult column to write and, in any event, I’m never sure that the muses won’t desert me and that I won’t find myself high and dry on Sunday morning. Lately, I’ve been going back over and over to study the actual Battle of Britain and to learn just how desperate things were when Churchill took over the defense of Britain and when England’s Witches decided to punch Nazis.
But it’s worse than that in America. Our attackers are, at least by half, internal.
I spent at least a quarter of a century being a student in, mostly, public schools. After graduating from high school, I was in school for a bachelors, masters, and juris doctors degree. I spent a lot of time sitting in a desk, an easy target for a shooter.
For 17 years, I taught high school, managed special education programs, & wrote high school curricula. My son went to public school in an area full of hunters.
All of which is a too long way of saying that I feel a strong connection to the teachers, parents, and students brutalized by America’s most recent terrorist attach on a high school.
Today, I stopped at the neighborhood bakery and bought cookies for the team on my way to G/Son’s county recreation basketball game. I got there a few minutes late. Parents and siblings lined the bleachers. County coaches and refs were managing about 2 dozen 10-12 year old boys, keeping them busy running up and down, and up and down, and down, and up and down, and up and up, and down the court.
And I looked at the doors and looked at the bleachers and tried to figure out how we could protect the maximum number of prepubescent young boys if a shooter were to blast through the glass doors.
No shooters came. The buzzer went off.
G/Son’s team won. The teams walked up and congratulated each other because, playing fields of Eaton and all that, what we’re really doing here is trying to teach these boys sportsmanship in a world where that no longer seems to mean anything except being a chump, yet we cling to the belief that there must be more than that.
So, that’s my process.
Please work this protection with me.
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 and 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. What’s become familiar to you? A tuft of prairie grass? Buffalo off in the distance? The scent of sand carried on the wind? You’ve been involved in a months-long magical working here, joined with magic workers from across the globe. Feel your connection to this place on the astral plane. It is always here for you, always a source of strength.
The school in Florida where the most recent act of terrorism took place was named in honor of Marjory Stoneman Douglas. I am embarrassed to say that I’d never learned of her. Wikipedia says, inter alia, that:
Marjory Stoneman Douglas (April 7, 1890 – May 14, 1998) was an American journalist, writer, feminist, and environmentalist known for her staunch defense of the Everglades against efforts to drain it and reclaim land for development. Moving to Miami as a young woman to work for The Miami Herald, she became a freelance writer, producing over a hundred short stories that were published in popular magazines. Her most influential work was the book The Everglades: River of Grass (1947), which redefined the popular conception of the Everglades as a treasured river instead of a worthless swamp. Its impact has been compared to that of Rachel Carson‘s influential book Silent Spring (1962). Her books, stories, and journalism career brought her influence in Miami, enabling her to advance her causes.
As a young woman Douglas was outspoken and politically conscious of the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements. She was called upon to take a central role in the protection of the Everglades when she was 79 years old. For the remaining 29 years of her life she was “a relentless reporter and fearless crusader” for the natural preservation and restoration of the nature of South Florida. Her tireless efforts earned her several variations of the nickname “Grande Dame of the Everglades” as well as the hostility of agricultural and business interests looking to benefit from land development in Florida. Numerous awards were given to her, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and she was inducted into several halls of fame.
Douglas lived to 108, working until nearly the end of her life for Everglades restoration. Upon her death, an obituary in The Independent in London stated, “In the history of the American environmental movement, there have been few more remarkable figures than Marjory Stoneman Douglas.”
Tonight, I am going to light a candle and some incense to Marjory Stoneman Douglas. I am going to ask her to stand beside and behind the young women who are standing up against violence to the people who live in and around the everglades.
I shan’t be gone long; you come, too.
Stand up and call Marjory. Call the schoolteachers in your lineage and call your ancestors who braved many, many troubles just to be able to get an education. Send them to protect America’s schools and America’s schoolchildren. See them forming a giant honor guard around America’s schools. Charge that honor guard with bullet-proof protection. Breathe. Pull energy up from the ground. Send it to circle around your local school.
Miss Marjory, we need you now. Hear us. We will work to save your sacred Everglades; please stand now with America’s children.
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. The five banners and your magic wand are always available to you when you want to do magic to strengthen America.
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 sun tea or a cup of hot nettle soup. If you like, have something to eat, maybe pecans or the scooped-out fruit of a persimmon.
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 Everglades or America’s schools. 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.