Welcome stirrings of spring! It’s a strange time of year for me. I enjoy the promise of new growth, the reconnecting with spiritual family, and stirring of creative ideas for the coming year. I also feel urgency and panic at this time of year. World change continues at a rapid pace. Some of it beautiful, some incredibly violent and disturbing. My thoughts are probably an old contemplation to some of you, new to others, and re-examining of issues through different eyes. Bare with me while I blah blah for a moment. OK… a lot. (while the movie Full Metal Jacket runs in the background.)
I had some things come across my brain space yesterday, and last night during our Lupercus ritual. It started with Dad watching a show about American drone attacks on the middle east. The one thing that I drew from the program was this: We have become far too detached as a world culture. It is too easy to end a human life without considering that the person may not have actually been your enemy, or intended any harm. It is too easy to draw conclusions about a person’s meaning and disposition upon first impression. It is too easy to be cruel, unkind, dishonest, misleading, judgmental, condemning, abusive, and bullying especially when an electrical device stands between you and another person.
Computers make it safe to say and do horrible things without much consequence. Consider child cyberbullying, and acts of of misogyny, including rape threats when a woman politely turns down a mans advances over the internet. It is too easy to make assumptions, and generalizations about people and groups of people as a whole. It is too easy to diminish intrinsic worth based the color of their skin, age, sex, spirituality, sexual orientation, economic status, and geography. It is too easy to believe that some of us are “above it all.” Cognitive empathy has flown out the window (the ability to imagine yourself in another person’s position with all that they might be feeling.) I kind of wonder how much we ever had to begin with, but then I suppose it is something that waxes and wanes like all things. I am just as guilty as the next person for making assumptions, and just being flat out wrong. A hard lesson indeed when crow becomes a temporary staple.
I can’t do anything personally to overhaul the status of the world drama, but I got to thinking about what can I do right now as an individual that can has some immediate affect. I can continue to practice meta-cognition, and self-analysis (having thoughts about your thoughts, and what motivates you as a person.) I can continue to serve my community. Until now it has been the donation of time toward local organizations, which I will continue to do. It is a good opportunity to ask yourself “What are my gifts, and what are my obligations?” (Thank you Donald Engstrom-Reese.) How does one become a productive part of the world community when so far removed from all of the ills that exist within it? It is a worthy exploration.While in ritual, I was drawn back into a vision of the World Table. It’s a vision I often have around the time of the autumnal equinox where we celebrate the harvest and spirit of thanksgiving.
I see a table that has every walk of life sitting together, sitting in friendship, sitting in peace, breaking bread with laughter and joy. The visual is used as an exercise much like the practice of loving kindness meditation: you eventually are seeing yourself at peace with your enemy. Sounds easy on paper… but a tall order when you hold genuine anger toward people who have affected me directly. Again… I think it a worthy exploration. Do I think there are people who need to be held accountable for wrongdoing? Yes. Do I think it is helpful to continue to hold anger and blame? No I don’t. Do I think imagining a table where we are friends, and can find some commonality in spite of our difference will make a change? I can only hope… I feel that if enough of us put that energy out there mentally, magically, emotionally, and physically it is possible. As a witch, priestess, and healer, I have to believe it is possible.