Lately I’ve had the feeling that change is in the air.
(No, I’m not just talking about Obama.)
The past few years have been marked by an extraordinary amount of negativity, division, and hate. Now, I’m not that old, but I can remember even as recently as ten years ago, things weren’t this bad. yes, there was partisanship and yes, people have different ideas on the best way to run the country. But it seemed to lack the personal, visceral hate that has recently begun to represent the conservative ideology. It was time when people like Rush Limbaugh represented the conservative wing of the party, not the main goals and ideas.
So, I’ve been thinking. Why? Why now? This came after a lot of questioning–a lot of asking why people don’t seem to care about their fellow countrymen-and-women, about what it is about me that makes them hate me so very much. Then I realized.
It’s because they are afraid.
They can feel what I’m feeling, and that’s the crumbling of a lot of old power structures and ideas. And it scares them, because suddenly, this group of old, white, Christian men will no longer be deciding the direction of the country. So they’re fighting back in the only way they can–through fear and intimidation.
That doesn’t make it any better. Fear and intimidation can breed some pretty ugly consequences, and big changes frequently involve some drama and pain. But it’s also something to think about–what change is coming, and how can we make it all what we want?
I know what I think we need. I think we need to start caring about people again, to stop clinging to our money and refusing to help people because we’ve deemed them somehow unworthy. I think we need to start realizing that being able to afford a decent place to live, having access to health care, the right to live your life as you choose (provided, of course that you aren’t infringing on anyone else’s rights), a good and affordable education are all things that every person in this country should have. I think we need to start realizing that the Earth is precious, and that we may not be able to destroy the planet, but if we anger her enough we will destroy ourselves. I think we need to start re-embracing the idea of a tribe, a community.
And, somewhat more controversially, I think paganism has a pretty big role to play in this. Frankly put, I think we need more pagans. I think we need more groups in the model of CAYA Coven*–bringing people from different, unique personal traditions to form a larger community. I think we need to start being more vocal about who we are and what we’re doing. Let’s face it, right now our PR kinda sucks. It’s the wackos and the crazies who come out and loudly proclaim their faith. Now, I’m not saying that we should slap a gag on anyone who’s a little left of center, but isn’t it time that those of us who appear more “mainstream” start stepping up as well? I don’t think we should evangelize–that’s just annoying, not to mention kind of rude–but just be willing to be open. Why not invite your friends to an open ritual? I do–it’s something I’m involved in and to be honest, sometimes I want their support.
Because I have a feeling there are a lot more people like us out there. We just need to start finding each other.
*Yes, clearly I’m biased here. But, I wouldn’t be a part of this group if I didn’t think they were doing some amazing stuff.
Tarot Card of the Day: Eight of Pentacles
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