Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Save our Sophie

Yesterday, what started out as a fantastic day full of promise at a dog park wound up in a fight for survival for Sophie, a beloved animal companion of three of our own. A small dog, she suffered terrifying injuries as the result of a bite to her abdomen. The severe puncture was so grave that part of her intestine was actually exposed.

Her guardians, Celeste, LeAnn, and Dame, rushed her to the Blue Pearl animal hospital in the desperate race to save her life. The surgery needed cost $4000, a huge sum for a small household. But Sophie has a secret. She has a whole Family of folks who love her and her house.

The call has gone out, and I am amplifying it here, to help the fight to save and care for Sophie. They surgery was successful, but she is not out of the woods yet. The costs that are accruing are a severe hardship.

They are asking for help from our Metro Detroit Pagan family to assist them in paying for what is a life saving operation for a life saving dog. That's right, she is a life saver. She is a dog that alerts when health crises happens.

More care is needed now. The drain and sutures will be coming out, but that doesn't mean the bills will stop. If you can help, please do. If you cannot donate, please share.

A gofundme called Save Sophie-Emergency Surgery exists to help in this effort. Many have answered the call in small and large ways. Every little bit helps.

"Any funds over the amount of the surgery will be donated to Frankie's Friends which is a new non-profit set up through Blue Pearl for situations just like these. Please help us by donations now. If we are lucky, we will be able to help Sophie and Frankie's friends. Please press the donate button now. We desperately need your help."

Monday, March 13, 2017

The Great Name Caper: Unethical capitalist douche-empirism and its run infectious influence on some parts of our pagan communities

So, let me begin by stating that no agent, representative, or corporation has in any way had any part of what I am about to write in this piece. I am grown and say what I wish. Also, if you have a problem with what I write here, if you think it cuts a little too close to your personal picket fence of skullduggery and F**kery, then good. Maybe you will gather yourself and govern your future actions accordingly so that you do not create a brands and reputations that may paint you as part of the Legion of Failwaffles that is marching forth like bedbugs across the living room of our respectable Pagan and Holistic retreat virtual homes.

Oh, and I have no problem with anyone who has an issue with commenting on my page in the comment section. I also have no problem with putting your nasty little tactics on blast if I have to do so. All the offenders that have contributed to my OPINION PIECE have nasty little skeletons, so keep your mouth in check. There are multiple butt mushroom offenders that have ignited my ire, so if you don't like me, GET TO THE BACK OF THE LINE. Keep your little legion of Soccer Moms on a leash.

There is punch, and all gender bathrooms are on the left.

I do not like bullies. I never have. I never will. I especially do not like bullies that go up to a group of children on a block and decide that the block is now theirs. Much like the Three Billy Goat story, you know?

Which brings me to my current disgust and contempt for the recent trend over the past few years that has seen the life works of prominent and respected apothecaries, herbalists, naturalists, indigenous practitioners, and other STOLEN UNDER THE COLORS OF OPPORTUNISTIC NEGATIVE CAPITALISM. Oh, did I stutter? Was that not clear?


It annoys me. 
It annoys me much.

Just because something is not outright illegal, and people go about forcing the issue through might vs right does not make it the proper action. A bully with a big brother or sister could enforce their views about taking a block and with this lovely menace, can hold the geography. Or, a good attorney can play the system into letting a blatant injustice happen in a court room to a victim if they are wily enough to do it. And, an excellent opportunist can overhear a phrase seek to own it if they file the right paperwork, making sure that it basically becomes hostage to corporate interests, no matter what the ethics or detriment to others may be, in the name of cash acquisition douche baggery.

I think you are disgusting and should wipe your skulls out with toilet paper because you have a nasty mind window and it colors your view of the world. What kind of people decide that it is a great thing to capture a hundreds of years old formula and take it? What kind of folks take a name of a cultural seasonal observation that is thousands of years old and does that? What kind of person takes a two word phrase from a heroic moment and takes that from a cultural and historical moment in time? Or even better, take a set of prayerful body postures in an entire system relevant to a distinct culture and co-opt it with the name of your book club and make it about YOU?

Who raised these people?
No matter the religion or path, they will find nastiness has a price.

I have watched direct seller companies, individuals, and corp entities go feeding frenzy on small people when they manage to gobble up and steal away a traditional thing and mark it their own. This has happened repeatedly in the last few years. But NEVER have I seen such unseemly displays of cravageousness as I have seen by a select 7 of them during the last 3 years. Truly, it is enough to make mild curdle with the sour content of these hordes  of franchising and robber baron branding styles freaks off the leash and their litigious war dogs.

Douche empirism: because I feel it should be mine, my senses tell me it is. I can taste, smell, and touch the greed of my own soul, so it is just. Because I suck.

Where are your mothers?
The libraries of America do not welcome your hustle in their folklore sections.

 Ok, so let us not forget the little shrinking violets trying to be unnoticed in the corner either. Yes, you carbon-headed cut-purse. The ones who keep taking indigenous practices, changing 3 things, and making it an ancient "system" that was "improved upon" by your gracious self. Eat a hawthorn thorn. No, seriously, like go soak in some valerian to get the stink off of your ethics please. Have some intestinal fortitude and claim your own stuff and just cite your bibliography as an influence like most people. Stop trying to steal all and sundry and try to, oh I don't know, make your own thing.  You know, like NOT reselling cultural crafts and practices with your freaking brandmarker on them, marking them up, and then crowding out entire communities in their OWN SPACES by your bargain basement bilge watered down plastic pop culture shelf liners.

Too much? 
Nah, you can take it.
Just go SMUDGE yourself.
Or do something ELSE to yourself.

Knock it off. No one thinks you are cute. You may fool the folks who have no idea what you have done, but the Law of Return doesn't stop chugging along for anyone, and that train is never late. It will come to your station, and it is always on time. This is no way reflects on those who have been duped by you. Nor does it apply to the untold multitudes of cheerleaders you have affirming your right to be as SUCKY AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE AS A HUMAN to your fellow humans by ripping off cultural formulas and ideas and observances because you DO NOT WANT TO PLAY FAIR OR DEAL WITH REAL COMPETITION.

Truly, and sincerely, I mean it when I say.
Up Yours.

For those readers who find that they, too, are moved to embrace ethics in the cultural arenas when it c comes to appropriative practices, please feel free to start your own discussion groups about it and educate people. Get involved in your own places and spaces so that you become guardians of societies. The future is in your hands.

It is all of us against the legion of douche wagons.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

SEX and steel pins ( a piece written for AARGH! magazine)

Now that I have your attention, your titillation, and your curiosity, this quick piece is about counterculture and the current lack of bad ass Grrrlz who are not bogged down in movements. Where the fuck is the Tank Girl of our generation on a musical level? Where is our in-your-face fuck authority rocker femme who is not afraid to bash a monster bass line and talk politically to power with a smile and a sneer? Did the same magick that spawned Wendy and Joan (though more rock) die out when autotune hit?
I turn on the media blaster of choice at any given time and in the rush and fury of moving mouths I hear almost no rage with edge and fire other than in “established” groups. I am of an age, (that would be 46 you nosey barker), that knows music is not just entertainment. It is supposed to be all encompassing eggsy (woman here) badassery at times. I am surrounded by safety pin warriors for social justice who wouldn’t know a good fight authority song if it shoved itself up their asses.
Make no mistake, I appreciate all the spoken word, floetry, Indigenous folk, and hip hop stylings of artistic protest by the many cultures in our nation. But where is my fist pumping “fuck you” song for the administrative nightmare going on right now? Why is there no anthem with screaming leads that inspire folks my age to get my blood pumping and my focus going? Where is the musical battering ram of social commentary that my daughter can use to scream and thrash and rally (with her friendboys) that speaks to the new times?
Look, I was everything when I was a kid. And I mean everything. Because I am from Detroit. We live on music like oxygen. You could be any race, religion, creed, or gender, and you could still jam to any music and find its message. Working class is in the very grains of the soil and sidewalks of the city and its suburbs. So when I tell you I know what power music has to motivate and express the heart of generations and movements, I know what I am talking about for real.
I wore safety pins in my face and watched the Plasmatics on television, shook my ass to Parliament, grinded my hips to Prince, and hollered along off key with Johnny Cash on the tape deck. Social and political commentary discussions always had a soundtrack. My first boyfriend was in a Punk band called SockEye Salmon at St. Andrew’s Hall and played in the Shelter (translation: dive bar that had real music and was the unofficial hunting ground for local hormonal virgin slayers). I am pulling my figurative hair out waiting for that musical messiah to arise with a bass in one hand, a microphone in front of her black-lipsticked lips, and a middle finger in the other hand, belting out the angst and rage of the times. And so far I have a singer/actress named Lady Gaga in front of me singing with Metallica and making the fucking soul of Dio cry.
Rise up, Grrrlz. There are plenty of us that will support you. And that means buying your stuff, and paying for it, not just stealing it. I got a pair of black boots and an old leather jacket just aching to take a ride.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

An Editorial on Betsy DeVos

The results are in and Betsy DeVos is the new Secretary of Education. The time for Pagans to step up and advocate for parity and representation in their schools is long past and is now in our faces. Those who are educators, new days are coming, and they do not look good for those who find their calling in the championing of the public schools system.
Public Domain, Screen grab C-Span
“Democrats mounted an all-night speaking marathon railing against her nomination in the run-up to the vote, questioning her experience and ties to charter schools though their opposition combined with lobbying efforts by teachers unions were not enough to block her.” – Fox News
It is generally considered bad form to begin a piece with an immediate quotation. However, this is an editorial and I am the editor. I am from Detroit, Michigan. You  know, the place with the motors, the music, and the moxy. We also carry the reputation as the place with the failing schools system. An infamous standing that has been the direct result of the wicked designs of the ilk from with Betsy DeVos and her hell-bent-for-leather conservative wrecking crew is responsible for in full truth.
Decade after decade, the school educational funds destined for the city have been deferred, and outright stolen for other sweetheart deals and projects. When materials were not embezzled by corrupt staff, (a less common occurrence than people would like to promote), then they were undercut and slashed by the free wheeling corporate whores of millionaires sitting comfortably atop the political food-chain here in Michigan.
For myself, these abstract ideas and policy bludgeons against public education are in my face. Too many children have gone without not only books, and safe schools, but also basic supplies such as bathroom tissue or pencils. Despite popular belief, the budget is not supposed to be so raped of resources that they cannot provide these items for the students in the system’s care. However no mercy, not unto the tiniest tile on the meanest floor in the smallest elementary school could escape the rapine needs of the relentless attack of the conservative agenda in Michigan when it came to eviscerating the Detroit Public School System, and by thinnest of veils, empowering the less hidden systemic bigotry involved in targeting the residents and their children who reside there.
Since the district has been under control of state-appointed emergency managers since 2009, the deficit has ballooned to more than $300 million, despite numerous school closures and other painful budget cuts. – Motor City Muckraker
As a Pagan student, I completed my education throughout the 80’s under the shadow of the rising conservative juggernaut that saw the rise of the Reagan machine, a machine that has turned into almost a religion of the conservative faithful. Programs that were in place to empower and educate were continually and progressively gutted again and again. Fortunate enough to be counted as gifted, I escaped much of the brunt of cuts in quality. This was directly due to dedicated teachers who came out of their own pockets for supplies and out of their homes to support the union in protecting not just their own, but the interests of the families they served.

The onslaught in this state against education being education and not a pipeline to a career in math or science based service jobs to feed into the corporate machines at the cost sports, music, art, and trades produced a disaffected and poorly cheated series of generations. Everyone is not right brained. Everyone is not going to college. Everyone is not going to a factory. Everyone is not going to go into being a CNA. But to speak this to the powers that be is like blowing dust into the wind in a hailstorm.
Emergency managers added to the issue and the charter school wild wild west environment consumed all. Every building school that was closed was stolen from the community like the Sabine women (Yeah, I went there. I read all faiths’ stories.). Torn from the hands and control of the communities that continued to pay their taxes into their existence, the schools were delivered to charter groups, or in many cases, closed and sold outright. Others were left to rot and decay like carrion of the hopes of generations.

Let us be clear. I have a stake in this on many levels. This is why I am writing this piece.
My elementary school was the place where I learned that I was a different kind of spirituality from others. Many did not accept this, but some of the best teaches did. They did not stifle me, but encouraged me to find my own truth. There, at Elizabeth Courville Elementary school, I learned Art, Social Studies, Music, and found my world filled with wonderful books and scientific inquiries in class with a greenhouse garden. That school is now closed.
At Cleveland Middle School, I was bussed from the North End to the edge of Hamtramck. There, I encountered my first Catholic teacher, a formidable woman named Mrs. Cayce, the only African American Catholic woman I would meet until college. In her honors classroom, I learned about Literature, continued my Music education with Mr. Hagen, started forensics, and studied about the world. I also made my best childhood friend, Sheila Habel. This girl was half Jewish, half German, Catholic/Jewish/Agnostic, and all sparkly hair, Aquanette, and spiked collars. We exchanged cultural and social realities and our worlds were expanded with all the programs that Detroit Public Schools could offer. I even took my SATs there in the 7th grade. That school is now closed.
At General John J. Pershing High School, I became a Marching Doughgirl, stayed in the Honors track, and participated in the Rainbow Program under Dr. Emerald Crosby. This program sought to promote a higher standard of scholarship and opportunity. I was afforded the honor of performing a quartet, learning how to transpose, with the Michigan Opera Theater for “El Capatin“, ushered for an auditorium full of greats as we hosted the Count Basie Orchestra, and saw many of my peers earn scholarships to colleges all over the United States of America for Music, Sports, and Academics. My interactions with the student body flowed from the Young Socialists to the Young Republicans for Reagan. All manner of views and all systems of belief were on the table to be discussed and explored.
I lettered in Forensics, and read great books under the tutelage of a meditating, dedicated hippie named Mr. Kidney (as he would say, “just like the damn bean”). A few of us went to learn how to do cable television production under the Community High School program at that time at Barden Cable through an agreement with the schools. I learned Arabic and got to know my Chaldean neighbors holding conversations with the lessons from my teacher Mr. Jameel and the legendary Sister Theresa. On a bad year, I did not pass a class due to illness and had to attend Osborn High School for summer classes.
Both these High Schools are now on the chopping block.
After this, I continued my education by attending Highland Park Community College. There, I was enrolled in the W.E.B. DuBois Honors Program and met international students from all over the world and every economic status. As Literary Editor, and the founder of the charitable school organization L.E.A.F.. I met athiests, pagans, and every sort of faith, including magickians. It was here I found my tribes, and learned to distinguish kith from kind. It was here that I learned that being Pagan was more than the small slices glimpsed before then.
And it was here that instructors encouraged me to develop my full self and pursue not only liberal arts in general, but the humanities and how they related to paganism in my reality.
I engaged the community and met my first college fraternal organizations and learned how important they were to the city and the children. Their work with charities and educational programs amazed me and inspired me. I almost went to do work in Africa fighting female genital mutilation afterward, but was derailed by home responsibilities. But I can proudly state I saw many of my peers go on to distinguished universities.
While there, I tutored in the college’s Center for Instructional Support, and saw first-hand the damage that the destructive monetary and educational policies were having on incoming students. Basic Education was required in some instances just to enter the vocational programs. The dumbing down had begun in earnest. A stellar nursing program noted for the rigor in which it trained its students was our shining star.
This college is now closed due to the decision of Gov. Engler. It’s closure set the framework for the later decimation of Highland Park’s schools. Then of course, the charters, that DeVos loves, moved in like jackals. No care was given to the fact that public schools are part of the American promise to our children.
“I heard they want to bring in charters. It will benefit the private companies but not the students of people in the community. People can’t just pick up and leave. If you move schools out of the neighborhood you are basically telling people to move out of the neighborhood. So what are they saying—you have to move? – World Socialist Website
So, let’s review. My elementary, middle, and junior college are all closed. My high school, and summer school high school are on the block to be closed. The only colleges left that I attended that remain open are the American Institute of Banking and Spring Arbor University. A business and an evangelical college are all that remain of my educational journeys, in theory, that have real space in this physical world. What a telling irony, considering the current virtual coup taking place in the national power positions today. The rhetoric is as strong as police station coffee on the East Side of Detroit at 3:00 am.
Conservatives believe that a voucher system would be the most effective and efficient way to deliver school choice to millions of children. Not only would vouchers empower families to find the best fit for their children, but it saves taxpayers money as well. Currently, the per-pupil cost of public education is close to $11,000 across the nation. (And how many parents would say they believe their child gets an $11,000 per year education?) A voucher system would let parents use some of that money and apply it to a private or charter school of their choosing. Not only does the student get to attend a school that is a good educational fit, but charter and private schools are typically far less expensive, thus saving the taxpayers thousands of dollars every time a student leaves the status quo educational system in favor of a parent-chosen school. – Marcus Hawkins, AboutNews
My question is, what choice is there when the public schools referred to in this view are being destroyed, razed, and the powers that be are stopping just short of practically salting their grounds? The monies that are already allocated to the public schools could easily take care of the needs of the public schools systems if they were not diverted and pilfered. This fictive narrative of this shining land of parents having the luxury and leisure and disposable income and means of transportation to be so selective in where they send their children to be educated is not only dangerous, it is laughably absurd. A more detailed view of this can be found by visiting DeVos’ Michigan schools experiment gets poor grades.
Despite two decades of charter-school growth, the state’s overall academic progress has failed to keep pace with other states.
All of this was to illustrate the good things that a much maligned system, the Detroit Public Schools and their teaching staff, have accomplished despite disgusting slander, union busting legislation, and corporate sabotage. This all despite the fact that the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) continually uses Michigan’s School Aid Fund monies destined for Detroit Public Schools as their personal piggy bank.

The refusal of Betsy DeVos to abdjure the position of being pro public school destruction is obscene. The numbers are in and they are damning. I implore anyone who is reading this and wishes to have their voice heard regarding the measures that will be taken by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her views to contact congress, and keep contacting them. Do not let another generation see its hopes mortgaged for politics. You can watch the live hearings via PBS here.
As administrator of the Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund, it is my duty to speak out as well. It is too late to wait until the young are out of school to play catch up. The time is when they are in their formative years to guard their dreams most. What tools they are given there will make all the difference to their futures, and ours.
Kenya Coviak
Michigan Pagan Scholarship Fund | Detroit Public Schools Alumna

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Interviewed by Olea Hokes, I speak a little about the new Trump era

 It is not very often that anyone wants to ask me my opinion, since I run around so much with it basically hanging out like a slip at a Sunday picnic anyway. That being said, I was honored to be asked some delicious questions by Olea Hokes and have permission to share this exchange here. Enjoy, and don't be shy about speaking up in the comments. 
O.H. - When it comes to the new elected president are you optimistic or pessimistic?
Well let me start by saying everything I am about to say in no way reflects the opinions of my companies, associations, or constituents. My opinions are solely my own.
That being said...

O.H. -Lol 

This vainglorious fop is about to attempt to withdraw us from the civil and social progress that has been accomplished by two generations of citizens and allies in the Western World. He is vain, pompous,unprepared, and has the backing and game play book of several national socialist parties, dominionists, and radical right wing partisans that are hellbent on catapulting our intelligence and nation into a modern millennial state of serfdom, protectionism, patriarchal oppression, academic ignorance, and religious authoritarian creep.

The issues of racism, xenophobia, and sexist ideation are only manifestations of his control issues and are the symptoms of a controlled person out of control with their hands on the tools to engage us into a staging period that could lead to the nations of the world deciding we are too much of a wild mad dog nation to be allowed to go onward without their direct intervention.

In other words, this fool is going to possibly have us attacked and shunned as a renegade nation. He wants to dissolve the United Nations, or at least withdraw from it.

Hmmm, now, what do you think those other nations will do about that?

Also, he has given no concrete (pun intended) plan regarding the restoration of the infrastructure and how he intends to combat the protectionist tariffs and trade wars that are going to ensue with his draconian measures.
So, I would say that unless something very unexpected happens, like a piece of Skylab from the 70's falls to the Earth and burns his ass, I don't see things looking very rosey for our poseys.
Yes, I would venture to say I am a bit pessimistic
His campaign of bold and blatant misinformation has me looking for doublespeak posters.

Does he even Orwell, bro?
Photo of Norma Crane and Eddie Albert on the set of the CBS anthology television series Studio One. This was a presentation of George Orwell's 1984. The show's set designer is at left and the show's director is at right of the photo.

O.H. - In your opinion when was America great?

America was great before it was invaded and conquered through genocide, chattel slavery, and rife empire building. Now, as far as the United States of America, we are a warring nation that sits at the plate of peace with our mouths talking about how we are a peaceful folk at the banquet of humanity, but devours with bloody hands and sharpened nails.

Accepting this, that we are a nation born of conquest and guerrilla ideals, then I would say we were probably pretty damn close to our greatest during the Roosevelt years and after WWII

Only because of the baby boom and the increase in production as we spread our might around the world and instituted the post-official-slavery restructuring of the Jim Crow laws and right before we put the prison industrial complex into full implementation. 

We were very good at production, and the nationalistic bent of our expansionism propelled a time of prosperity for some, while cracks in the infrastructure of the class divisions would set the stage for the civil rights movement.

The sixties were a time of both good and bad for this country, as it lost its innocence, yet gained more of a collective inclusive conscience
O.H. - What makes a good president?
There is a lot to be gained by understanding that a president must be wise, courageous, even tempered, and versed in the ways of the halls of power.
They should be a student of history, foreign affairs and military science
A good leader should also surround themselves with competent advisers and be constantly learning about both supporters and opposition and try to find a workable meeting place between both. Otherwise they either become a door mouse or a dictator, and we have enough things that start with the prefix of dic going around in Washington D.C. politics right now that are ignorant and opportunistic glorified commercials.

Now, before I leave you, I am going to share with you a few things. Chiefly, I am going to ask you to use your minds to see something. I will share a link here to a speech by another charismatic leader who used a groundswell of support from the nationalistic disenchanted and impoverished to rise to power.

I ask you to keep in mind the speech that President Trump gave at his inauguration and how easily one could substitute his flag waving rhetoric, his grandiose self-satisfied left handed reference to the people of this nation, and all his fervor into the video I am about to share. I would also point you toward the constant referencing to God in his speeches to somehow validate his course and vision. Now,  substitute a U.S. flag for the one in the video, and our nation for the other. Lastly, with the destruction of the school systems hotly approaching, and the dumbing down of this nation's educational system, please see with new eyes the final fiery scenes.


 I would like to thank Ms. Hokes for the opportunity to answer her questions and let my ravings free. For those who I may have offended, I say wonderful! Now go take that energy and research how you can prove me wrong. For those who agree, wonderful! Now go do something about it.


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Marching women bring the lightning to illuminate a nation this Saturday

In three days, history will happen. In three days, the time it many believe is the time it takes a soul to go onward to it’s next part of the journey after death, a resurrection will happen. The force and voice of the American Woman Activist will rise up and march upon the fields of political power and declare their first major sortie against legislative measures that ruthlessly thrash against the gains that women, no, citizens, made through the last four decades. This event is the Women’s March on Washington this January 21, 2017.

Never depend upon institutions or government to solve any problem. All social movements are founded by, guided by, motivated and seen through by the passion of individuals.  –Margaret Mead
This is about more than the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. This is about more than Veteran’s Benefits. This is about more than the end of protections for the environment and the creatures over which we have stewardship as humanity. What this is about is sending electrifying a nation into action to let the new administration that there is a vast mobilized force of voting and reasoning eyes and minds making itself a relevant presence in the places of power. They are moving the tip of the righteous spear to the battlefield of the People’s Houses and using a non-violent manifesto to do it. In their Mission statement, they make this clear.
We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families – recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country. – Women’s March on Washington
Our country is undergoing a most peculiar and strange saga at this time. The people spoke and elected a new vision into office. However, the people who spoke were not all the people who were able, as voter suppression, aggressive gerrymandering, and the evisceration of the Voting Rights Act paved the way to the polling stations with their bones. The blood and bones of the Freedom Riders, the activists, the visionaries, who opened the process of liberty in this republic to all through their sacrifices were crushed under the march to power on all sides of this election’s scandalous conduct and filthy tactics. Those fearless folk banded together to crush the barriers and divides which sought to negate the self-evident reality of the humanity and validity of ALL of us to exist and be treated equally.
The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater than the superimposed influences that keep us apart. –Kwame Nkrumah
Our rite of the republic for fair and inclusive process and representation lies ravished and bleeding upon the Senate and House floors. The election commissions were turned into butcher shops against enfranchisement. And the voices of millions of Americans were silence time and time again as the political knives of men and women in shadowy halls of influence pierced the body of democracy again and again.
Indeed, a haze of the lust for rapine has seized this nation’s leadership. Corporate interests have ceased to be veiled. They no longer give the illusion of ruling from behind the curtain. The naked grinning death masks of greed and avarice show their faces in our highest chambers with bread and circuses for the fool, and the bitter exhibition of spoilation for those with eyes to see. Onward and without pause, the machine continues to grind. Those in its path crying out at its visage find themselves swept away in the haste toward an undisclosed destination point of uncertain consequence.
The destruction of the rights and the social safety nets of millions of citizens in the late evening hours will offer cold comfort in the empty flames as they consume all that is good and decent in our ideation of what it means to be an America for all. But of course, the continued sound byte orchestral performance of their talking heads coda again and again to try to drive home some sort of legitimacy to the egregious violations against humanity codified and endorsed by those of coarse compassion.
The crowd doesn’t have to know. It must believe. If we only give them faith that mountains can be moved, they will accept the illusion that mountains are moveable, and thus an illusion may become reality. – Benito Amilcare Andrea Mussolini
All of this goes on with the ill fitting costume of deception as the lobbyists and special interests, the fascist and the chauvinist, the exploitative and incompetent, rally the faithful with catch-phrases, promises, and the pantomime of working towards an elusive manufactured collection of irresponsible regressive actions in the name of the “greater good” of their party backers. A fruitless enterprise is one that will yield only bitter dregs for the investors in same.
A people is not defeated until the hearts of its women are on the ground. – Cheyenne saying
On Saturday, a million women may march upon Washington. On that day, over a million women will march and gather in solidarity with them all across this country. Sister Marches in multiple cities gain every day in their projected attendance. On Saturday, over a millions souls will spark the lightning of justice like the strike against the Tower in the Tarot. In their wake, they hope to bring wisdom, clarity, and with their presence quicken the consciousness of our souls.
In the course of history, there comes a time when humanity is called to shift to a new level of consciousness, to reach a higher moral ground. A time when we have to shed our fear and give hope to each other. That time is now. – Wangari Maathai
In three days, millions of women will take their place in history and seek to place a road map to steering us to the roads that lead to Life. They stand holding fast to the Unity Principles of this societal moment with hope and fire in their fingertips. Their lips hold prayers and chastisements, demands and declarations, and most of all courage. For it takes courage to be a over a millions strong when you are one in a million, for the kinetic power therein is a terrible and great awareness of the responsibility of generations of women upon whose shoulders you would place your feet. They stand and take their places in the watch against tyranny.

In the Metro Detroit Pagan community, many are going to Washington, D.C. for this moment. Others, like myself, will attend local Sister Marches. Still others will watch from home. 

On Saturday, three days from now, in the time some believe it takes a soul to choose its new place, over a million women will take theirs.

For a different perspective, please read 

The Problem with the Women’s March on Washington and White Feminism


Local Sister Marches

  • Sister March for Women's March on Washington January 21, 2017 • 10:00 AM Wayne State University David Adamany Undergraduate Library 5155 Gullen Mall Detroit, MI 48202 Get Details & RSVP
  • GP Walk for Peace, Grosse Pointe, MI January 21, 2017 • 4:30 PM At the Corner of Cadieux/Kercheval Roads Grosse Pointe , MI 48236-2445 Get Details & RSVP
  • We Will Not Back Down Rally - Brighton, MI January 21, 2017 • 10:00 AM Brighton Mill Pond Gazebo 200 W. Main St. Brighton, MI 48116 Get Details & RSVP
  • Women's March - Ann Arbor, MI January 21, 2017 • 2:00 PM Outside the Federal Building at E Liberty & 5th TBD Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Get Details & RSVP

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Words can cut us from greater "convocation of love"

Words are peculiar things. They can be sweet and uplifting. They can be courageous and inspiring. Words can transport us to faraway lands and lofty ideals. Yet, their powers can also be used to rend, tear, stab, and destroy. They can be used to convey ire, scorn, and contempt with a simple turn of phrase or the inclusion, or omission, of a single one.

Sometimes, words are uttered, or written, in such a way as the owner attempts to appear witty and charmingly wry in their issue. The sneer in text, the burn in idiom, all can be wielded like clubs and blades against an enemy. How singularly poignant they can be when released in a flow of heat and hurt is unimaginable to those who may not have experienced such an attack. Thick skin is indeed required when slanderous gangs of syllables roam the virtual streets of the internet like children denied their candies. Or perhaps the better allegory would be adults denied their grapes, like the fox in Aesop's tale.
A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?
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A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain? Khalil Gibran
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A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain? Khalil Gibran
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You see, there is something special about humanity. We have the ability to see and speak the truth as well as choose not to see and to speak what we wish to be true - yet may be false. That which we no longer love we will find faults within it, and these we magnify to illusions that give strange whispering to our minds.

We have a special ability within our selves that allows us to create entire narratives. We see the grapes of our desires, and not being able to access them in the manner we wish, we create in our minds the affirmation that they are sour, that they are untrustworthy and in all manner unsavory. We may even go so far as to point at a grape and scream out at it, accusing it of being bitter or the choicest among the most rotten. We hold in ourselves the ultimate power of illusion-come-delusion at will.

"Man is the truth and falsehood strangely mixed"

These voices in our heads then can, if unchecked, lead to scattered attacks on people and places meant to wound that which we no longer call our own. Whether through self-imposed exile or being cast out, the pain of being separated from that ideal vision that we held of this cherished body often leads humans to slash at the former object of their affections. Left unchecked, it can devolve into  slander against peaceful peoples who have offered no public quarrel. We draw out our sling and cast our rocks, yet our hands remain in plain sight. The horror of those who watch the spectacle goes unnoticed in our zeal to draw that first blood.

We begin to see enemies and attacks in the face of the postman, the police officer, the teacher, or the television. We write diatribes against folks and try to bring them down. We attack the widow in her grief in our bitter drive, with no regard to the crushing of her grief's flowers as we grind them under the cart of our complaints. Our thirst sated, we then sit back like a swollen toad on a stone, puffed up in the importance of nothing, surrounded by stale water, and covered in the muck.

And the only one who cannot see the absurd tragedy of the figure we cut is ... us. 

Ultimately, this path leads to a madness of spirit and meanness of character that further distances everyone away from us. It leads to furtive looks and the shaking of heads as people learn to avoid the angry, the unlucky, the liar, the slanderer, or the insane. They begin to see that our faces show lines of contempt's frowns instead of the laugh lines of loving spirit. Our good works turn to ashes and our name is not spoken. The melody of welcome begin to fade away and, if we are not careful. Only the sound of silence begins to greet us at public gatherings, and the bodies of our peers begin to face away from us in conversation, as if we carry a contagion of discontent.

Far better to use our words to uplift and spread our own light into the world. So much is gained by not telling ourselves, and others, our lies. The refrain of envy and contempt that continuously sings through our souls when we stoop to attack other people changes to an aria of enlightenment in the blink of an eye when we meet with others in good fellowship. Only goodness, and joy, and blessings could await the higher part of us if we seek not to bring about destruction.

Only then, can we join the happy few, the light bringers, in the greater "convocation of love".