Sunday, April 15, 2018

Grandma

It starts with simple things. The brush of a breeze across the skin that reminds you of simpler times. The sound of a child's laugh when it sounds in a corridor. Even the smell of lipstick from an older company catching your notice.

All these are simple moments of unimportance. Each is contained in its own world of insignificance in our day. But for some of us, those of us in grief, they are like tinkling bells calling us to remember.

The strike of tonal memories and scent awareness. They resonate through us. The evocation of captured vignettes that are echoed in the current timeline of others.

I lost my grandmother on April 29, 2017. But in actuality, I lost her again that year. The second time was worse than the first.

The first time I lost her was when I was cut off as an unofficially adopted child. The cognitive dissonance, and continuous emotional damage of being caught between houses and factions in my younger years led to a custody struggle of three sides. My biological parent, my foster parents, and my grandmother.

In the war, my grandmother lost. She kept tabs on me, I believe. Communication between my foster mom and my grandmother was somewhat regular. I will never know.

Years passed and eventually through tragedy, displacement, and the total upheaval of my world, I found myself back in her presence again. I say with certainty of the soul, she was the only one in the entire world of heaven or earth that truly understood me, other than my foster father.

If I could have made a bridge between them both and sat upon it, I would have done so. A place to be seen, a place to be held, a place that we could have lived in a mutual set of worlds. But that was not to be.

She passed last year, exactly one week after my birthday at the age of 100 years. That is a lot those eyes have seen, yet the thing I remember most about them was their acceptance, kindness, and the understanding that I have never seen anywhere else in this life for me. She was my rock, my refuge, and my only advocate in life.

I have no true sense of belonging anywhere. I never have had one except in her presence. That is the only memory I have that means family to me. The moments like the ones where my foster father and grandmother were in the same room while I played with a toy house my biological mom bought me.

My foster mom was at home, or work, or somewhere else. I don't remember. But that memory is the most solid. My biological father was in jail, as always.

The second most real memory was when I was in her bed,  10 years ago. I was tired, broken, and sad. So, she let me sleep in her bed. I slept for the first time in a very long while without being sad. The room full of dolls who were like silent guardians.

Of course, she made sure to let me know I was fat. She was worried. But she also meant no harm by it, and never hurt me when she said it.

Her favorite phrase was, "I would rather make you mad than hurt your feelings".

She never made me mad. She was my grandmother. And from those days, til her last days, she always had my back.

Now, the first year since she has gone is almost done. The truth remains as full then as now. She was the only one who truly meant family to me, even more than my foster father.

So here I find myself alone. At least when she was here, I felt that there was a bit of grace and love that still tied me to something in this world that loved me wholly, not just for what I could do. Everyone needs a grandmother.

Everyone needs a grandmother.

I dedicate this to her, because though our faith was not the same, she would have liked this.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Metro Detroit Pagan Community Statement of Concern 2018 - G.L.W.C of Michigan

Metro Detroit Pagan Community Statement of Concern
2018

METRO DETROIT, APRIL 12, 2018 — Actions and circumstances have necessitated, in the view of this body, an official statement regarding our position on several matters. Over the last year, the rise of “witch hunts”, “witch wars”, and what appears on its face to be a power imbalance are of concern to us.

Multiple organizations in the region are in internal and external crisis. Leadership positions are no longer based on community visions. The previous culture of service, vision, and upliftment is now one infected with backroom negotiations and breaches of promise. Rumors and hearsay are used to destroy character, without chance for rebuttal, in the public eye. The torches are lit and we see missteps, mistakes, and ignorant actions no longer being times for education, but times for total annihilation by social media attackers and mercenary courtiers.

Michigan moved from presumption of innocence, and subsequent actions against those who commit physical harm. Now the community punishes, with great zeal and relish, any perceived infraction no matter the relevance to the person’s position. Personal slights are magnified into full on reputation assassinations. The drive to foment conflict and cause factioning is in full swing, and we fear it has not yet reached its amplitude.

Of primary concern are the following:

  • The hyperbolic reactions and consolidation of personal and organizational harassment against persons during a crisis without a community sit down meeting.
  • The penchant for the total destruction of leadership without thought to restorative measures considered to the community.
  • The removal of persons from positions of leadership based on non-public and personal relationships and affairs.
  • The insidious climate of a McCarthy type marginalization of people based on differing ideas, tenets of spiritual practice, and political views.
  • The fostering of conflict in what seems to be a premeditated path to an underground purge of said persons.

We urge our peers to step back a moment and consider their actions very carefully. How you proceed in the next year will set the stage for an incoming generation. Now is the time for open and honest public conversation and transparent airings of accusations and grievances.

For at least three in our community, they are hamstrung by this shift. Their character and actions were cast aside to rot, good works be damned. That is the risk of public service, though. However, usually the public is not swayed by private agendas so easily. How many stakes will be needed to feed your witch hunt fires? If this continues, when will you take your place in one next?

“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion.” – Grantland Rice

The G.L.W.C. of Michigan was founded in 2012 to To Facilitate Workshops, Events, Classes, Community Outreach, and a Forum for the Magickal and Magickally Interested Communities.

Media Contact:
Kenya Coviak
rzrrvn@yahoo.com
G.L.W.C. of Michigan/Great Lakes Witchs Council

Sunday, February 4, 2018

PBN Blues Series: “Michigan Water Blues” by Jelly Roll Morton

We return to our series for the Pagan practitioner with another PBN Blues Series installment. Did you miss us? We missed you.
*We would also like to remind you, Flint, Michigan still does not have clean water.
There are time when the only way to break a streak of bad luck is to shake it off and seek new places and faces. Changing the mind can change the world. But if roots are being done on you locally, booking a flight or hitting the road, may be the answer, if viable. In these circumstances, clients are known to come for insight and work to prepare their route and “traveling mercies”. As a business person, you want to retain clients, but you also want to be of service to them as well. How you handle referrals is delicate and important.

Public Domain
Traveling on, but not without baggage
Curtis L. comes to you with his “I just quit another job” shirt on his back, pressed and fresh. A customer from your early days of business, he has stuck with you for 20 years. Traveling where the work will take him, he drifts from town, and state to state. His flashy watch matches the shine in his eyes, and you anticipate new employment status, and newer lady friends, in some place at the other end of a tank of gas. You mentally prepare to gather his usual assortment of spell components.
Curtis L. surprises you this time, though. He tells you that this is probably the last time you will see him for some years. It seems that he has a job up  in Michigan, and a plethora of opportunities. He is asking you not for his usual small kit, but simply a travel protection root bag and the name of a good shop or worker in Detroit.
Now, Curtis L. has been as dependable as the rains in fall, and the earth underfoot. His regular business has often meant the difference between being able to be in the black at the end of a month, and counting a loss. His word of mouth also keeps a steady stream of wealthy ladies finding your shop and lining your cash register drawer. Even his church friends come for blessed Seals of Moses you get from Sleeping Gryphon.  Yes, indeed, Curtis L. is a valued customer.
For this reason, you decide to sabotage his move. In your opinion, the relationship is too beneficial to both of you. You decide to fill the order, but nullify it with your own work. You then set lights for his job to fall through before he has been there a week. You will break this man for both of your sakes. In your view, no other worker can look after him like you, anyway.

Public Domain
You smile, and lie through your Fashion Fair coral lipstick and tell him you know not one authentic practitioner, sorry. You wish him well and watch him walk through your door, knowing he will return a broken man. But you also know you will then keep Curtis L. just healed enough to ensure your prosperity for many years to come. With this decision, you now have changed the course of your practice, but you are fine with that.

Fond Farewell, with some stories to tell
Curtis L. comes to you with his “I just quit another job” shirt on his back, pressed and fresh. A customer from your early days of business, he has stuck with you for 20 years. Traveling where the work will take him, he drifts from town, and state to state. His flashy watch matches the shine in his eyes, and you anticipate new employment status, and newer lady friends, in some place at the other end of a tank of gas. You mentally prepare to gather his usual assortment of spell components.
Curtis L. surprises you this time, though. He tells you that this is probably the last time you will see him for some years. It seems that he has a job up  in Michigan, and a plethora of opportunities. He is asking you not for his usual small kit, but simply a travel protection root bag and the name of a good shop or worker in Detroit.
Now, Curtis L. has been as dependable as the rains in fall, and the earth underfoot. His regular business has often meant the difference between being able to be in the black at the end of a month, and counting a loss. His word of mouth also keeps a steady stream of wealthy ladies finding your shop and lining your cash register drawer. Even his church friends come for blessed Seals of Moses you order from Sleeping Gryphon.  Yes, indeed, Curtis L. is a valued customer.

Sixthandseventhbooks_fourth_seal_1880.png – Public Domain
You will feel the loss of Curtis L. both emotionally and financially. His custom and referrals contributed to the success and popularity of your business. He sees you as a trusted fictive family member, and you are honored to be held in such esteem. You hold his trust sacred, and it is with this in mind, you prepare with care his last package.
You are a member of the Pagan Business Network, so you know the way to find the people he needs to know and how to place him in touch with them. You also know that a quick free divination will aid him to avoid any unforeseen trouble with the new employer. You give him this free of charge.
With a final goodbye, you send an email to the businesses you recommended, with his permission, with an introduction. He will never forget you, and will no doubt continue to sing your praises. Word of mouth on social media makes his continued referrals very probable for local clients.
Curtis L. sends you a chat message three months later. He is doing very well. That last parting gift of Boss Fix was just what he needed to foil a coworker’s plot to undermine him. His new local worker has a great relationship with him, and you and she often refer clients to each other for online customers. His reviews on both your sites is like honey to bees. Your choice to give a hand up instead of a pulling back, lifted you both.

Public Domain
Looking at Life
Your honor and business reputation are your most bankable asset. Without them, you have nothing. There is no lesson greater than this.


Sunday, July 16, 2017

The flooding of Fae

Rescue of her family from second floor used with permission
Sometimes the bough breaks. Sometimes the Broom of the Fate is brutal, and its straws are made of pain and destruction. They destroy all we had and leave us with little else than the accounts of love and esteem that we have contributed to with our goodness and kindness and honor. It is in these darkest of times that our way is lit out of them by the glow from the stepping stones our friends lay upon our path. Such a time is here for Fae Laume.

You know her. We know her. She is us. We see her at ConVocation. We see her on social media. We know her laugh. We light up with her smile. Her steps in the community leave happiness in their wake.

But not today.

Fae lost everything. She lost her momentos. She lost her cherished memory holders. She lost her belongings. She lost her sense of safety. She lost her household goods. She lost her intact home. She lost her secret joys that all of us have, things kept in drawers, photo albums. She lost her books, her Book of Shadows, her besom, and her supplies. She lost her floors and walls.

Public Image, "Issues and Events in Midland Michigan"- Facebook Public Post

Eleven, a number of illumination. Eleven, the number that is just so much more than the end of a sequence in our base ten world. Eleven, the number of feet of water that swept away and destroyed the physical world and home of a remarkable woman.






Fae is us. Fae is any one of us. She is living that nightmare we hush in whispered fear, in the backs of our thoughts, that we could be the next news story.


Fae lost it all. But she did not lose us. Now, what are we all going to do about it?

To help, send donations to
https://www.paypal.me/laumephotography    or to specifically help with reconstruction so the family can use the downstairs of their home again...
 email is faelaume@live.com for home depot or lowes Egift cards





Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Brown eyes like mine - thoughts about a festival about Detroit's magic

On Monday, I experienced something that seems trivial to others, but was a profoundly moving experience to me.

A woman requested free tickets to the festival I am running. She asked because I have posted on the event there is a limited amount of free ones available to the community for hardship. Well, she asked, so she got. Closed mouths don't get fed, you know?

 I dropped them off at her home, and she introduce me to her son and her infant daughter. The boy is 13, and wants to study Reiki. He was also interested in learning to lay hands. Well, that is at the event, so cool. The mother was doing Psalm work, and practicing herbal crafts.

Her eyes were so large and her spirit so happy when she found out she was not alone. She had no idea there is a community of magical folks and was so happy that the event was in a place that is just off the beaten track enough that she can maintain her privacy from her neighbors.

Meanwhile, the whole way home, my eyes were filled with tears. I mean, lay my face in my hands, tears.

Why?

Because it filled my heart so deep and hard with how much I miss seeing my people, seeing other brown faces, breathing the same air as I do as we speak of things that make the impossible happen.
It struck me like a bell. I have never been to an event in Detroit like this event will be. I thought I made this event for several reasons, but maybe it was really about reunion. A Black magical family reunion.

The city is so spread out now. The only spaces and faces that gather together that I travel are filled with good and honorable people. But there are so few that are like mine, that when I see them, it is like filling a cup and drinking deeply when you didn't even know you were thirsty.

I find that my heart hurt so much, but was so glad, at the same time. Because I know the legacies of why we are so segregated here, I am not surprised it is this way. But it doesn't mean that an arbitrary mile road stops the flow of our magical folks on both sides of the 8 Mile border.

For those who are not from here, yes, 8 Mile is really a thing. It is the Michigan Mason Dixon line. We have others, as well. Going downriver has its own divisions.

But that simple moment, that act of connection, when my brown eyes met her brown eyes, all the memories came into my breath. As I shared what became, for me, a sacred moment in time, I was overwhelmed.

She did not know that as we talked and I smiled, that my chest was filling up with emotion. She did not know that I had been so happy to see a Detroit address. She had no way of knowing that with every block, my childhood of sitting cross legged on the porch and listening to my friend's Mother's blues records came back to me.

I had memories of hair being oiled, and the smell of Ultra Sheen and Pink Oil on Creole hands and African hands. I remembered looking through glass cases, filled with Anna Riva books and brown paper bags stained with conjure oils. I heard the voice of my mother in her kitchen, and felt the hands of my father as he put a new set of lodestones in my palm.

As I sat in my car, I turned on the Curtis Mayfield "Diamond in the Back" as I turned South from 8 Mile rd, that I felt like I was riding on a cloud. I played that song 7 times on the way there. On the way home, Al Green led my way back up, up, up to a home in a city where I would have taken my life in my hands if I had been caught there after dark in my childhood.



I no longer believe that this festival was just my idea from my own mind. I am not divine messenger or anything. I walk the path of the Sacred Fool, and make more mistakes than I can remember. But maybe, just maybe, in this moment, I found the reason why this had to happen. Maybe this will be the beginning of a bridge.

Or maybe, it will be just a good day in a park.

But in any case, this I believe. Magic is a thing, and cannot be contained by borders, cities, races, or nations. It lives and breathes and travels and is passed on as it wills.

And on this day, I felt it pass onward, to share with a younger set of brown eyes....like mine.

#detroitconjure

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Extremist terrorists seize control of Marawi City, Philippines


As the broken bodies of children are recovered in a savage bomb attacks in Manchester and Bangkok, a car bomb in Syria, across the ocean the Maute Group waged a full out assault on the city of Marawi in the Philippines. Flames and gunfire occupied the streets as homes, businesses, and schools suffered arson and destruction by the group. After releasing prisoners en masse, attackers set ablaze the jails. Their havoc included burning down

 The black flag of the group rose above the city early this morning. Pledging allegiance to Daesh (ISIL), they seek to create a stronghold. Horrified residents reached out on social media with real time distress and messages. President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law in effect on the island of Mindanao.



seav. Released under the GFDL.

The President returns from his trip to Russia, originally slated to end on May 25. He was to meet with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. This trip was to usher in a new level of working together for trade and other enterprises for the two nations.  Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano,  revealed his change in plans in wake of the fighting in Mindanao.

MOSCOW -- President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

Cayetano, who was recently appointed as chief of the Department of Foreign Affairs, said that Russian government officials understood the situation and the need for Duterte to fly back to Manila as soon as possible to oversee government operations against fighters of the Maute Group, a local terrorist organization allying itself with the so-called IS. - PhilStar
Constant unrest moved President Duterte to warn of Martial Law in the past. Increasingly bold attacks culminated in this offensive on Tuesday. The order now is in effect across the entire island.



Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella issued the statement on his behalf as follows:

 In order to suppress lawless violence and rebellion and for public safety, it is necessary to declare Martial Law in the entire island of Mindanao, including Sulu, Jolo and Tawi-Tawi for a period of 60 days.
The government is in full control of the situation and is fully aware that the Maute/Isis and similar groups have the capability, though limited, to disturb the peace; these have shown no hesitation in causing havoc, taking innocent lives and destroying property.
- Republic of the Philippines, Presidential Communications Operations Office, Malacanang, Manila


 These events happen two weeks after the U.S. Embassy issued its travel warning to U.S. citizens regarding Puerto Princesa, and in general, areas of Palawan Province, Philippines . For those with loved ones in-country, I provide the contact information for the U. S. Embassy, Manila.

U.S. Citizen Emergencies During Office Hours
+63 (02) 301-2246


U.S. Citizen Emergencies After Hours
+63 (02) 301-2000


acsinfomanila@state.gov


Military forces face this action within the same month as their completion of Balikatan 2017. This year's special emphasis training on counter terrorism and humanitarian response is expected to be implemented in this situation. This year saw the U.S. infuse $400, 000 USD into "emergency readiness equipment and aid" to the nation.  This annual training hones the skills of both nation's forces.

By Cpl. Anthony Ward Jr - https://www.dvidshub.net/image/392424, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39244485



The Republic of Philippines is also currently in negotiation with the Ukraine regarding weapons systems, military controls, and increased cooperation in technology. This same month, the government announced it would no longer be relying on the European Union for these concerns. This week saw meetings going forward toward new policy

The potential for the military and technical cooperation between Kyiv and Manila has been discussed during the talks with Secretary for National Defense of the Philippines Delfin Lorenzana during a working visit of First Deputy Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleh Hladkovsky to the Philippines, as well as meetings with the country’s top military leadership, the press service of state-run foreign trade enterprise SpetsTechnoExport reported. - KyivPost

It is unknown if the recent tack in course that sees closer ties to the enemies of terrorists in the vein of Daesh (ISIL) was, in any way, a catalyst toward the increase in violent actions. The increased pressure on these radical terrorist groups has seen violence before now. The next 60 days will set the stage for what comes next, as the expiry of the Martial Law order is set to expire or be renewed.



Blue Over Red, PRAYFORMARAWI


Thursday, May 4, 2017

Human beings are being murdered in the Republic of Chechnya because they are gay

It is happening. Humans beings beaten, tortured, detained in camps and prisons, and murdered by strangers and families in the Republic of Chechnya.  Here is a quick break down of what is going on in the Chechen world regarding the systematic campaign to exterminate and entire portion of the human population. The facts are grim.

The seeds of this reign of terror started to bloom in the early days of this March, when an application submitted by the group Caucasus, members of the GayRussia.ru project. The request was denied. However, this gave the authorities the impetus to begin their move toward the eradication of an entire segment of people.


In all, a total of four marches in North Caucasus Federal District. This notice of intent struck the chord. Though it is doubtful that the projected 300 marchers was an accurate reflection of the actual amount of attendees that would risk such a public demonstration, the government’s response seemed based upon a literal acceptance of the veracity and accuracy of this number.
Government.ru

In a letter on Russian social media platform VKontakte , the horror that was unleashed under a wave referred to as “honor killings” makes it plain.

MESSAGE FROM VKONTAKTE

(Original spelling and punctuation)
Salam alaykum all!
I never thought that I would write again here but now, when the topic of one chain and substituting one is being tortured as long as it does not pass, and still others it may concern, and I think it would be right if I warn.
There often appear posts about the bases ( refers to provocations to identify people of homosexual orientation -. Approx. EM ) and I some time ago trying to find these victims of the bases. When you do not find one, I thought it’s not true. Now I understand why I could not find one, which was framed in Chechnya. Unfortunately, many killed.
Killed not just young children and even grown men who are over 50 years old. Among them are well-known personality in Chechnya.
At various events, television releases, participated in the contest. I do not want to call them names. Most mladschemu 16 years. He was our village. Just the other day he was brought all beaten, just a bag of bones. They were thrown into the courtyard and said that he was killed. He still say he came to himself and hardly come. I do not know how they explain why they do so, they will be asked to present proof that our son or brother is.
In Chechnya, because strictly defame anyone whatsoever without tangible evidence. It is possible and to remain without pants. Especially to lay hands on the guy, and accuse him of homosexuality is generally a disgrace for many centuries. I do not know how they explain it but it’s crap happens. Source middle, military cousin of mine who just this morning told me about it. I was wrong when I said here and wrote that of the bases there. They never have and how they are now free hand. Be very careful and remove its dubious connection.
Importantly, do not remove the daily rent is probably all realtors are forced to put the camera in the apartments and in this way they get the dirt on the victims. And realtors with Chechnya will do anything just to avoid losing their business and who would dare to object to our military. Be very careful please. This is my last post here. ” – https://www.novayagazeta.ru/articles/2017/04/01/71983-ubiystvo-chesti


The republic is semi-autonomous, and has its own laws. In theory, the sanctioning of murder of persons completed an anal sex act is officially suspended, though codified by law in article 148 of the Chechen penal code. The penalties include caning in the first two instances, then execution upon the third. This same article has a history of being used to punish practitioners of alternative faiths.


In practice, it continues to rise. The current head of the Chechen Republic,  Ramzan Kadyrov, maintains a very supportive stance of honor killings and the view that persons of genders other than heterosexual males being rightfully subjected to the practice. The following actions occurred at the beginning of the following month.
On  and before April the 1st, men were rounded up, it was coined a ‘prophylactic sweep’ in Chechnya. At first, the region’s officials denied that any such roundup and detention was “lies and misinformation”. A spokesman for the leader of Chechnya, said to the Interfax news agency –

Rachel Denber,Deputy Director, Europe and Central Asia Division, American Magazine

On April 3, mass rally expressed outrage at the reporting done by news agency Novaya Gazeta’ on the current situation. Kadyrov made clear his hostile stance toward media coverage of the current human rights situation in his country, even going far enough to declare them “enemies of our faith and of our motherland.”



Retribution was promised, with stress being on the lack of limitation for the time period that might be necessary to exact such reprisals. The news outlet lost two reporters to murder in the past years, and Investigative Journalist Elena Milashina is in hiding following death threats for covering this story.
http://google-maps.pro/satellite/Argun.Chechnya.Russia#43.293028,45.891570,17
“Any homosexual Chechen can tell the story with the bases – if it happened not with him, then with his friends. One of the acquaintances of the interlocutor of the RS, Grozny businessman, sold the car to pay for the silence…”  –Sergey Khazov-Kassia, Chechnya: The Gay Outcome, Radio Liberty, http://www.svoboda.org/a/28417768.html
The 10th of April saw the international media begin to use the term “concentration camps” for the alleged detention centers in which detained gay men were housed. Stories of torture, and killings in wooded areas, or by families emerged. The world turned its eyes toward the very real consequence of living as a gay person in the nation, and its fatal implications.
“If such people existed in Chechnya, law enforcement would not have to worry about them since their own relatives would have sent them to where they could never return.” – Ramzan Kadyrov
In the United Kingdom, there came the declaration that a protest would take place near to the Russian Embassy in London. This took place on the 11th. Protests would continue to proliferate throughout the world. Outcry from human rights organizations and activists were high.
https://www.facebook.com/events/876760675796386/

A separate rally followed on April 22. Named “UK Rallies Against Homophobia in Chechnyahttps://www.facebook.com/events/675146246011541 , it sought to “get this extremely under-reported story in the news. They are peaceful demonstrations“.

Amnesty International puts the number of suspected missing and detained at approximately 100, numbers confirmed by Human Rights Watch https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/04/04/anti-lgbt-violence-chechnya . Amnesty International created an urgent action petition,

Chechnya: Stop Abducting and Killing Gay Men

against these acts. This is the English Version for download.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/take-action/chechnya-stop-abducting-and-killing-gay-men/

International pressure is rising for Russia to act. The continued lack of movement on the situation is a cause of moral outrage. The United Nations called for action in April.
It is crucial that reports of abductions, unlawful detentions, torture, beatings and killings of men perceived to be gay or bisexual are investigated thoroughly – VOA News
http://www.voanews.com/a/russia-urged-end-torture-killing-gays-chechnya/3809377.html
In Sochi, Russian president Vladimir Putin met with German chancellor Angela Merkel. She expressed her concerns regarding the human rights crisis in Chechnya, and the climate in Russia, for humans who are gay or minorities. Her alarm over the human rights violations being reported motivated her to speak out against the actions of the regime. She asked the Mr. Putin to use his status to ensure greater protections for the rights of the people of Chechnya, particularly those being affected by the current actions of the government there.
“I asked President Putin to use his influence to protect these minority rights,” – Chancellor Merkel

A body that comes in with grass root material action in this situation is the Rainbow Railroad https://www.rainbowrailroad.ca/. They are assisting the situation by aiding those fleeing persecution and by extension seeking to save lives. They are working to facilitate the escape of persons at risk for torture, death, and worse. Currently, they count two completed “navigations” to safety, and have 30 more in process.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has named them as one of the organizations the Canadian government with whom work is being done in the effort to protect humans who are lgbtq.  Their efforts help to gain asylum. They are literally a life-line pipe-line.

Here in the United States, a group known as American Friends of Rainbow Railroad Inc set up a fundraiser to assist their efforts. The Facebook based campaign page is Helping Gay Men Flee Chechnya. The donations are to be aimed toward assisting the Rainbow Railroad with airfare, legal services, and temporary housing while the men are awaiting the granting of asylum in Canada.

As Pagans we often ask how we can make a difference on a local and world scale. The suffering of a single person is the suffering of humanity. By spreading the news of this atrocity, we can become a catalysts for action. Pagan activists are called to rally around this crisis. Whether a vigil, a prayer, a petition, a donation, or protest, all things are possible. All things are needful. All things make a difference.

This article originally published in my column at PBN News Network.