Sit down and put your feet up, we’re going to be here for awhile. All of the kerfuffle about Sarah Palin being saved from witchcraft is truly unfortunate because witch wisdom is precisely what we need in this time of peril.
There were 2 stories this week, that while not subjects that are directly the focus of the FPN Blog, stopped me in my tracks. First, there is news that a U.S. Army Brigade will now be stationed in the U.S. According to Army Times,
“They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.”
Isn’t that what we have local police departments and the National Guard for? And what civil unrest and crowd control are we talking about? This is a very scary development indeed. Glenn Greenwald has excellent commentary about this story here.
Then there is the question of how Hank Paulson and gang came up with the $7 billion dollar pricetag for bailing out their Wall Street cronies. According to Forbes,
“In fact, some of the most basic details, including the $700 billion figure Treasury would use to buy up bad debt, are fuzzy.
“It’s not based on any particular data point,” a Treasury spokeswoman told Forbes.com Tuesday. “We just wanted to choose a really large number.””
In other words, the guys who are supposed to be getting this financial situation under control are pulling numbers out of a hat. If this is the underpinning of our national financial policy, we are in very deep trouble.
But getting back to Sarah Palin and witchcraft, Scott Swenson puts it oh so well over at RH Reality Check:
“As a native Kansan, I know the importance of distinguishing good witches from bad witches. It is a skill that comes in handy when dealing with any religion — Pagan, Christian, Muslim, Jew, or any other. There is good and bad within us all.”
“We have power within us, through our own ability to use our minds, to reduce stress, make wiser choices, and tap into healing abilities of the body that science is beginning to recognize. Many of these “new” methods are coming from traditions thousands of years old, and in some cases the very witch-doctors that many want to dismiss. Again, there are good witch-doctors and bad.
The question then becomes: with all we are learning about the power of our minds, why do so many people fail to use them, especially when it comes to distinguishing good witches from bad?
Remember, in the end, my dear friend Dorothy, learned from Glenda the Good Witch of the North that she always had the power to leave Oz and return to Kansas, within herself.
It is easier to project evil, our dark shadow side, onto people we don’t know, or onto circumstances that seem unfamiliar. Change or crisis, especially in complex times, is a fine time to find scapegoats and shirk personal responsibility for our own actions. It is easy to take the fear we experience and externalize it. She’s good, he’s bad. Good side of town, bad side of town. Good values, bad values. Good church, bad church. We all do it — we all create our own evil. As a political motivator that fear of “other” becomes an amazingly powerful tool.”
And that in a nutshell is why we need to bring forth the power of good witchcraft. Earlier this week on the FPN Blog, I posted a missive from Starhawk about the current situation. Then last night, I came across this passage she wrote that is quoted in my 2008 We-Moon calendar:
“Only a just world can be sustainable. Only a world where the needs of all are balanced and met fairly can attain ecological balance. Only a world in which all people are valued, where every mind is nurtured and every spirit cherished, can muster the creativity and sheer intelligence we will need in the coming times. To work for balance, to work for survival, is to work for justice.
To change, to face the crisis before us, we need to relinquish a very powerful story, one which all of us are in some way attached to. That is the story of progress, which tells us that we humans have transcended nature, are no longer bound by her limitations and constraints. We can fly across a continent in half a day, email instantly to friends on the other side of the world, cure diseases and light the darkness. And yet with all our technological knowledge, we are still dependent on the elements of life–the air, the water, the living soil, the sun’s energy, the genetic heritage of our crops and seeds, and our mortal, animal bodies. To save the world, we must accept that we are part of the world, and come back down to earth.”
Imagine a world in which this was our national policy!
Finally, one of the ways I stay grounded and strong when I spend so much time talking about violence is to read the words of the wise women in our midst. Recently I have been reading Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai’s autobiography, “Unbowed”. In it she writes about a situation where mothers in Kenya were protesting the disappearance of their sons:
“The mothers in the tent refused to be intimidated and they did not run. Instead, they did something very brave: Several of them stripped, some of them completely naked, and showed the police officers their breasts. One of the most powerful of African traditions concerns the relationship between a woman and a man who could be her son. Every woman old enough to be your mother is considered like your own mother and expects to be treated with considerable respect. As they bared their breasts, what the mothers were saying to the policemen in their anger and frustration as they were being beaten was “By showing you my nakedness, I curse you as I would my son for the way you are abusing me.””
If ever there was a time to get naked and to practice good witchcraft, I believe that time is now.