Monday, March 31, 2008

Locking Our Shields

We think Basra can teach us a bloody lesson in helping our community survive.
Under British control, Basra was a scene of calm. The city and its docks worked. The oil flowed. Then the British withdrew. For over a month the city continued to function "normally" ... whatever "normal" may mean in the Middle East. Then for reasons best known to itself and to the imams, the central government decided that a city with a "different" sect and its own militia could not be allowed to exist.
Chaos ensued--hundreds of deaths.
The Basra no-win situation can be compared to what heppens when one self-appointed section of our own pagan/Wiccan community decides that another section is wrong. Our community combines a vast spectrum of people. There are those who waft around in pretty robes and gossamer wings, calling themselves Lord Everup and Lady Candy-Ass. Such a worldview shades over into more mature behavior when those individuals begin journeying on to La-La Land.
Beyond La-La Land we find more serious practitioners of the Arts on a more serious path, who spend years in putting together well-thought-out magical systems and cosmologies. In some ways these two activities are diametrically opposed. Cosmology in general is concerned with beginnings and with spirituality. Magical systems in general are intended to influence events in this horizontal dimension.
Everyone is on a progressive ladder. Those in their kindergarten-level dress-up phase will graduate--at least that is our hope. Thus we should embrace their activities, just as we should try to support the activities of those who would like to move to higher levels and to expand the boundaries of Wiccan spirituality and technology. The community cannot afford to bite and claw at each other when people out there are lined up to dance on our graves, people waiting to elect stealth candidates to school boards and to government at every level, itching to make this nation into a theocracy on their terms.
So please. Let us take our heads out of our ... centers of gravity ... and administer to ourselves a reality smack. If we don't lock our shields, the fanatics will not need to destroy this community; its own members will do it.
Why did the British succeed in Basra when the American offensive elsewhere was such a dismal failure? The answer lies in their respective attutides and assumptions: The British went in expecting to meet friends. The Americans went in expecting to meet enemies. Why don't we turn our heads around, you good pagans, and start believing that other members of the community might just become our friends instead of our enemies?
In the hope that we can all lighten up, Blessed be each one cuts the others a little slack. Gavin and Yvonne


Shadowhawk said...

i always thought the pagan community at times could use a boot to the backside.. but its also been said keep your friends close and your enemies closer..Hope your Spring time is colorful and enjoyable as well.Just a little sidebar, my mother is steadily recovering from her Cancer surgerys.She is hoping to be getting out of her house soon.Shes itching to start a garden this year..

Blessed Be Gavin and Yvonne

Dawn said...

Just Dawn

The Pagan Temple said...

Actually, America went there expecting to find friends. It was Dick Cheney who promised that when we went to Iraq we would be greeted as liberators, and the people would meet us with "flowers and candy".

Cheney and Bush aren't given credit for the left wingers they are when it comes to a lot of their crazy policies. If they were Democrats, the same people that protest them now would think they were the greatest thing since sliced bread. The only thing about them that is conservative is their tax breaks for the wealthy and the multi-national corporations. Otherwise, they are as left-wing as they come.

It takes a leftist to send an army to a foreign country and expect to get candy and flowers out of the deal. That's why they didn't send enough troops there, and thus why it turned into such a big mess.

Otherwise, it is a good point you make as far as the factionalism that plaques paganism. There are too many witch wars. It can be fun to a point, and after all, it does give people a chance to vent. It also helps emphasize the fact that we are not all one giant homogenous entity that all believe the same thing, especially when it comes to political and social issues.

Still, it can get out of hand sometimes.

Shadowhawk said...

I disagree as a Leftist myself..For the Most part we are not that naive. We wouldnt think that we would be greeted with flowers and candy , we protest wars, Our leaders stop them.. prime examples are FDR, and Kennedys handling The Cuban missile crisis.LBJ and vietnam not withstanding. The Right wing loves the wars because they know Pacifist liberals will bitch about. Im liberal yes..Pacifist.No. Do i think the war is BAD.. Hell yes. Those who start wars think they have the most to gain.. Those who protest know we the american people have the most to lose. Bush has tarnished us MORE than any president since Nixon. Liberals have Clinton and his Monica Bj.. Bush has 400 thousand plus dead Iraqi citizens. Or force in Vietnam was TWICE the size of the one in Iraq, and yet we barely escaped the Embassy when it all crumbled.. Just my opinion.. WITCH WARS suck..