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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Sep. 8, 2002   This Page Viewed: 17,865,177  

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Question of the Week: 59 - 9/11/2001

911 America: Talking Through The Terror...

Talking Through The Terror... And helping each other cope with the tragedies that struck at the very heart of the United States. The Witches Voice has opened up this forum in order that Pagans may express their thoughts on the terrorist attacks that took place in NYC and DC on September 11th. As the full realization of what happened and the toll numbers begin to come in, Americans have many challenges ahead.

What are your thoughts on these incidents? How are you feeling? Feel free to post any magickal workings or other support gatherings planned in your area.

WebNote 9/16/2001: Since we launched this on 911 this forum as become laced with powerful inspiration and critical information, feel free to use the search functions on your left to better define the info you are looking for. Search for your area, famous Pagans, key words etc. Also check Wren's Nest News for the latest news related to our community.

 Reponses:   There are 969 responses posted to this question. Reverse Sort 

A New York Tale ItÕs 11:30 Pm And I Am Riding... Sep 15th. at 9:04:17 am UTC

Robert Amlong (New York, New York US) Age: 43 - Email

A New York Tale

ItÕs 11:30 PM and I am riding home on the train. I wont be home until after midnight. It has been a long day, but I canÕt rest until I get this out. You see I work in New York City.

I am an IT project manager and was at work Tuesday morning when my wife called. She had to tell me a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. My company has offices and a computer center in 5 WTC, where I sometimes work, and she wanted to make sure I was OK. I was at other offices, 20 blocks away. While we talked, another plane crashed into the other tower, and the nightmare had begun.

Our people evacuated the offices, and I am happy to say that we didnÕt loose anyone. Soon it became apparent that we would loose the buildings and while they were still connected to the network we started pulling data out of our systems and starting up the disaster recovery procedures. As we worked we would get periodic news, some true, some false, all of it bad. The towers were burning uncontrollably, there were more hijacked planes in the air and 4 were unaccounted for, one of the towers had collapsed, the Pentagon had been hit. At 11:30 we lost touch with our systems at WTC. By then we were working in earnest. I guess we didnÕt see much of the destruction that day, we didnÕt have a TV to watch. When we went outside the sky was covered with smoke and dust, and there was a steady stream of people walking north, away from the towers. We went back to work. We worked the whole night through, setting up new offices, recovering servers and computers. They brought in food for us, the typical IT meal of cold pizza. We ate while we worked.

When I went out the next morning I was greeted by a sight I had never seen before, the city was disserted. There was no one to be seen. Off in the distance I could hear the sirens of the rescue vehicles, and I could see and smell the smoke from the fires. Normally after an all-nighter, you tell some jokes, and laugh, we didnÕt, we went back to work. That afternoon, after more cold pizza, they sent some of us home. We had to come in early the next day, others stayed on. The subways werenÕt running, so I walked 23 blocks to catch a train. I spent a few wonderful hours with my family, assuring my wife and daughters I was OK. I finally got to see on TV what everyone else had seen and I was horrified. Even though I wanted to spend more time with them, I fell asleep on the couch and my wife and daughters pushed me upstairs to bed.

The next morning I woke up early, got ready for work, kissed my loved ones good bye as they slept, and headed back to work. The subways were still out so I had to walk back to the office. The city had more people, not as much as normally, but they were coming back. You could still smell the smoke, and the street vendors and most of the shops were still closed. Back at the offices, more work, more coffee, more cold pizza. I finally left late that night, to walk the 23 blocks back to Grand Central and the train home. The city was becoming more alive, some shops had opened, some of the street vendors were back. There were differences though, plastered on every light pole, bus stop, sign, and building wall were pieces of paper, with pictures. ÒHave you seen him?Ó and ÒIf you see her please callÉÓ Desperate pleas that would probably go unanswered. At the train station I get off at, there are three cars that have been parked in the same spot since Tuesday. They had pieces of paper on them, ÒWhen you see this please call the Police and let us know you are OK.Ó I know two of the car owners.

I know people in the main buildings at the World Trade Center, I know they are missing, and I know they wonÕt be back. I will grieve eventually, but now I have to be brave for the family, get some sleep, and hit it again in the morning. Why are we working so much, if asked to our face we will say it is our job. But it is more than that. If we give up, if we arenÕt ready for business Monday morning, then we will have lost again. If we can pull it off, and be ready, then the bastard wonÕt have fully won.

I have to go now, and get some sleep. I canÕt let the bastards win, I just canÕt.

First, I'd Like To Offer My Condolences To All Affected By This... Sep 15th. at 9:09:46 am UTC

KaliTime Camaralzman (Baltimore City, Maryland US) Age: 20 - Email

First, I'd like to offer my condolences to all affected by this tragedy all over the world. Despite what certain televangelists may think, no one deserves to be hurt in this world and no one has the right to hurt, regardless of perceived righteousness. At a time like this, I think Maya Angelou said it best on Nightline (9-14-01) to "Think of the 10, 000 as 10, 000 ones and to see yourself in that one." This is a time to grieve because no right action ever comes out of anger, fear, and hatred. My heart goes out to all people in America and all people on this earth for this deep and pervasive wound.

As far as Pagans feeling included in the grieving process. Has anyone contacted the media to let them know that we too are here? We too are suffering and feel the pain of a nation and planet in which we are fellow citizens. People have been divisive for too long. Many have used the excuse of religion, ethnic heritage, race, and other differences that really seem petty in the grand scheme of things.

I saw a woman in my college obviously frighten for her life because someone called her a 'Terrorist' because of her Iranian heritage. Out of fear, her first reaction was to lash back out and argue with the group from where she heard the statement. I saw a Muslim woman being escorted home by the police when I went to give blood. Some people saw her clothing and decided that she was an easy target. She too looked frightened by the actions of a few. In my college class, where we're meant to expand our minds by learning, the suggestion was actually made by a few students that Arabs and Muslims "should be locked up or deported." When I looked to the teacher to be the guiding voice of reason in the class, she nodded her head right along with the students in agreement. They all said they "could understand my argument, but..." To me, that "but" makes all the difference.

Now, I know these people who attack out of hatred and fear don't represent me but I still feel bad when I see the Arabic and Asian men, women and children in my community and country who are frightened to leave their homes because they are in fear of the same kind of prejudice carried by the people who thought they had the right to crash a plane into a building. Whether people want to admit it or not, when they attack or harass someone like some Muslim and Arabs in this country have been attacked, the attackers join the rank and file of groups like the KKK, Osama Bin-Laden and others who sought to take freedom away from innocent people. Hatred, like Love, knows no boundaries. It's up to us which one we allow in our hearts.

Just my two cents, spend it or keep it as you please.

Earth Blessings,
KaliTime Camaralzman

Blessings To Mabon Grows Near, I Seek Balance. I Concentrate... Sep 15th. at 9:18:56 am UTC

Sheialh (Ozark, Arkansas US) Age: 40 - Email

Blessings to all.

As Mabon grows near, I seek balance. I concentrate my energies on Love and Healing. As a witch, I have the power to do this. With each casting I send, I feel united with all of us who share the same intent. And for the first time in all my years studying the Craft, I can feel that connection on a plantary level. The vastness of this initally overwhelmed me; now, as each day passes, it gives me strength and comfort.

We can survive this blow. We can utilize this time to lend our knowledge and the art of our Craft to Heal. To create Peace where there is war. Love where there is hate.

On my alter, is my Warrior Goddess. She speaks of facing my fears, of courage in times of darkness. And of harmony, calm and balance.

I have been blessed to also feel a connection with my christain friends. Sharing the pride we feel as Americans, and agreeing that no matter what our individual beliefs are, we all seek an end to the horror.

May Our Lady continue to strengthen us,

In The Midst Of This Outrage And Sorrow, Many Of Us Are... Sep 15th. at 9:23:01 am UTC

Star Dancer (Creve Cour, Missouri US) Age: 22

In the midst of this outrage and sorrow, many of us are finding themselves reminded that we live in a nation that largely uses/embraces/was raised under the Christian paradigm. Religion and patriotism had become unfashionable among so many that it is a bit of a shock to find yourself standing in a crowd of people bearing flags and talking about Jesus in this time of crisis.

My heart goes out to those who have posted here that have felt alone or isolated. We need to remember that if we accept that all people have a right to their own path to the divine, then we have to accept that we are only one of many ways. Yes, we are few -- we are a minority. Yes, it can be lonely and hard.

Most of us were not raised Wiccan/pagan -- we chose this path (or it chose us, some might say) and in choosing it, we choose all of it, the difficult as well as the joyous. Yes, it is hard not to have a huge crowd with which to feel connected when others "have each other" as one post noted. It may feel odd to hear or sing "God Bless America"

What I have found that is important in situations like that is to truly hold the thought that all are children of The Goddess and the God, under what ever name or face they see the Divine. When I go to Temple with my Jewish friends, I sing in Hebrew; when I go with Catholic friends, I sing their songs. When I stand in circle, which is my spiritual home, I sing to Brighid and Herne, which are the names that ring in my heart. In the end, we are all singing to the same thing -- the one who created and sustains, who is Hope and Light and Truth.

So if you find yourself in a place where you do not feel at home, and the song is not one that comes naturally to your lips, then remind your heart that the God and or Goddess that you hold in your heart will know that you sing for what you hold dear.

"God Bless America. Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her,
Through the night with the Light from Above."

If you feel left out, seek ways to add your light to the world. If you want to do something to help -- give blood, collect funds for disaster relief, organize a drive at your school or work to write letters of support to those who lives were torn asunder by this tragedy, organize an ecumenical service that includes and not excludes, pray, light candles, cast, do what ever it is that comes to hand. Faith manages.

Now is the time to call on our faith to sustain us, comfort and heal all creation. Yes, we suffer prejudice and slurs. So do our Muslim friends and our Jewish friends and our Christian friends and all peoples of faith. There is no path that is not condemned due to the actions of a minority of its members. The evil acts of a few in *each* of these groups do not make the rest our enemies.

There is work enough, and more than need enough, for all in this tragedy.

Message To The Terrorists:it Is Obvious From Your Actions That You... Sep 15th. at 9:31:28 am UTC

Colleen Rose (Long Branch, New Jersey US) Age: 44 - Email

Message to the Terrorists:

It is obvious from your actions that you wanted me to feel the way you do.
I am an American.
I have choices.
I will not be controlled.

Where you would have my country, and those slain, seen as victims, I choose to see them as patriots. Americans are not victims.

Where your actions would have me feel fear, I choose to feel the courage, strength and comfort of my countrymen around me.

Where your actions would have me feel terror, I choose to feel pride in the way the people in the Pittsburgh plane crash fought back, and downed the plane in the safest place possible, sparring as many lives as possible. And the way our rescue workers go on heedless of the possible injury to themselves.

Where your actions would have me feel hopeless, I choose to feel great hope and faith in the overwhelming efforts of a nation and world doing all that it can to come together as one people.

Where your actions would have me feel powerless, I choose to feel empowered by my own actions in assisting the recovery in any way that I am able.

Where you would have us cry tears of sorrow, I choose, and have chosen over the past few days to cry tears of joy for the two rescue workers who exited the wreckage and were not added to the list of casualties, and for the acts of human kindness being expressed on a global scale.

Where you sent fireballs through the sky, I choose to light candles as an expression of spirit and solidarity.

Where you have attempted to cause chaos, I choose to find stability in simple things, like the gifts of a first grade class, sending 1000 PB&J sandwiches with Hershey's candy kisses taped to the top, to the rescue teams.

Where you have looked to demoralize us, we have choosen, as a people, to find a depth of national cohesion I had not thought possible.

Where you would have me feel HATE, I choose to give you NONE of my emotional energy! You get nothing from me, especially not something as strong and powerful as HATE. You will be treated like the Cancer you are and cut off of the body of humanity to save the greater whole. I hope that this is done with the medical detachment and accuracy of the surgeon - cutting out the bad tissue to preserve what is good.

Where you would have us overreact to your handy work to prove to the world that we are evil, I would choose to respond and take out only those who would create such chaos in the future, and on other innocents of our global family. I pray my country feels the same way.

Where you would have us listen to your pain through your actions, I choose to hear that. You being in so much pain and I being a person of compassion I feel your pain should be ended for good, and for the greater good!

In short, where you have looked to do us a great disservice, we have choosen to do ourselves a great service. We have chosen to take this as a reminder of what we really are. We have chosen to see each other as people. Not as colors, or races, or creeds, or majorities, or minorities, but as people "with certain inalienable rights."

We will continue to choose!

I See So Many Posts Saying That We Don't Have Each Other... Sep 15th. at 9:41:06 am UTC

Draekaa (Long Island, New York US) Age: 21 - Email

I see so many posts saying that we don't have each other, the way the Christians and Jews and Muslims do, but I don't agree with that. Remember, we are more in tune than most people. We DO have each other. We are all connected through the Goddess and The Horned One.... While we may not all have physical contact, we are spiritually in contact. And I think that most of all, right now we are all connected through being Americans, a word that has taken on a new meaning for me. When you stand near anyone in this country today, talk to them, hug them, cry with them, and love them, regardless of their religion or beliefs, you are uniting with them and all of us. This is the work of Goddess. This is the Mother bringing together all of her children, not just the one's that call her name regularly. I live on Long Island, just a few miles East of NYC, and I can tell you that the brother and sisterhood here is not just from us. It is from all of you, all Americans, and people all over the world. We feel and appreciate all of you, and as we are in your hearts you are also in ours.
Goddess Bless

Attention All Toronto Area Pagans: Usually, I Wouldn't Post A Reminder Of... Sep 15th. at 9:46:13 am UTC

Moon Lynx (Toronto, Ontario CA) Age: 38

Attention all Toronto area Pagans: Usually, I wouldn't post a reminder of tonights raising of healing energy, but I will for 2 reasons. 1) I hadn't thought of it before, but there are some communities where there is only one Wiccan! I feel like part of a friendly, welcoming community, and there are those who don't have such a thing! I never knew how blessed I was. While I am well aware that we are not part of the mainstream, still, I wouldn't want to be totally ignored. Luckily, the Wiccan faith tends to draw people of independent mind who can deal with being solitary, or be able to do what they do with no fanfare. But at times like this, you tend to want to share with others And 2) There are now over 700 (!) opinions posted. For those who are solitary: You are not alone! The original energy raising information and details is opinion number 466, so instead of making you go through all those pages I will copy it onto my opinion (the suggestion for this was from Tamryn SilverCrow):

This all being said, I propose that the Pagan community in Toronto gather on Saturday, September 15th at 7:00 to raise healing energy for the victims of this tragedy and their family. The gathering will be at (and wouldn't you know I can't find the name of the park for love nor money) the park just south of Lympstone, which is 1 block south of Yonge and Lawrence on the East side. It is easily accessible by TTC (Lawrence station). (it's the park between Lympstone and Chatsworth on the east side).

I have checked with the various organizations and what is need the most right now is money, so a collection will be set up and taken to the Red Cross to help with the relief efforts.

For those not in the Toronto area, perhaps spread the word and arrange for gatherings in your community at the same time. Lets combine our efforts to raise as much healing energy we can.

As it is starting to get dark earlier now, please bring candles and/or flashlights.

Please pass the word to as many people you can.

PS: True to our faith, I have seen many who, while acknowledging their rage, have not set out plans to "get" who did this horrific thing

I'm Not Going To Say That I'm Perfect, In Fact I Did... Sep 15th. at 10:12:13 am UTC

Rilluin Curusul (Carlsbad, California US) Age: 16 - Email

I'm not going to say that I'm perfect, in fact I did feel a great deal of rage towards those who dared to conduct such a dishonourable act. When I calmed down a bit, the night it happened, I held a ritual for the spirits of those who had died in the attacks to give them comfort, and remind them that they won't be forgotten. I also (see what I mean by rage) gave a blessing of protection to the soldiers who would fight these monsters. What I must say is this: we must stand together in this time, as any sign of what is deemed unpatriotic by any zealots could be the downfall of the many. As Starhawk said, in a violent society, when you anger such a society, they will want to lash out in a brutal fashion. When I heard that collateral damage (the hitting of civilian, nonmilitary targets for those who don't know) might be ignored, I was shocked and voiced that the same day in my history class. It's one thing for this nation to get retribution, find the people who did this, and punish them as it is their right to, but the level a whole town just to get at one terrorist? All I must say is that we must stand together in this time, but do what we must in the case of when this country gets out of hand and starts harming innocent people.

Bright Blessings,

Rilluin Curusul (Formerly known as Daibhidh ap Scathach)

Blessings To All, I Have Only Now Come To Witchvox To See... Sep 15th. at 10:21:42 am UTC

Fay (Parkman, Maine US) Age: 35

Blessings to all,

I have only now come to Witchvox to see what has been happening in my spiritual community. I have read many words of wisdom and comfort. Thank you for that. For those of you who begin to follow the path of hatred, PLEASE, I ask you to look into your heart and remember the most powerful magic in this world and all worlds is LOVE.

I pray to the Lord and Lady for peace, for healing, and strength to act in LOVE.

My love to all, blessed be.

First Off, I'm Glad That I Was Told Of This Site!! Its... Sep 15th. at 10:29:59 am UTC

Leah (Cincinnati, Ohio US) Age: 23 - Email

First off, I'm glad that I was told of this site!! Its so beautifully done. Here are my thoughts about the tragedy on Tuesday...I'm a teacher's assitant in special ed, and we were on a field trip when it happened. Being a very emotional person, I felt tears in my eyes as me and the teacher listened in the car radio as to what was happening. I cried for the children who would now be fatherless/motherless, for the people on the planes and the terror they must have felt in those last moments on our Earth, and for the people who are evil enough to do this. But there is a ray of light-people are coming together and American pride is stronger than ever!! I saw teenagers with two huge flags flying from the sides of their truck, I see vibrant flags hanging from store fronts, from places of worship...I saw the children at my school sing "America the Beautiful" yesterday in a circle of love, and it gave me goosebumps. This tells us we are a good people, and we need to get back to our roots-taking care of our Mother Earth, taking care of each other, taking care of ourselves....Hopefully this will make us an even more stronger country, and us an even more stronger people!!


I'm British And I Wish I Could Help More. I Can't Seem... Sep 15th. at 10:36:31 am UTC

Jo (UK) Age: 18 - Email

I'm British and I wish I could help more. I can't seem to do a thing. I can't donate blood because of a tattoo I've had done a while back, I can't travel to help. I can't seem to do anything and I feel very binded.
I don't want to Americans or British to go into any war. Every country has enough weapons to destory the world five times over. If we destory these terriosts there will be more. Just when the world was repairing itself humans want to destory it and the innocent people on it.
Bring these people to justice by all means but will war be nessercary? Everyone is pointing fingers and blaming others but not taking responisblity for their own actions.
I feel for the people who passed away in such a tradgey but once any war starts the loss would be far more painful and greater and may never end. I don't want to see my friends go off to anywar and not return. No one wants that.
England has not been involved by now but we are Americas closest allie and hold a debt to them due to help in World War 2. I fear its gone to far for any talks and I fear it will go furthur.
I just wish and hope no war starts. This world has seen enough and shes still suffering due to the previous wars. Shes getting old and needs care in her years not more pain.

My Pagan Kindred:this Whole Thing Has Thoroughly Shocked And Saddened Me... Sep 15th. at 10:48:52 am UTC

Sunfell (Little Rock, Arkansas US) Age: 40

My Pagan Kindred:

This whole thing has thoroughly shocked and saddened me, and words have failed me until now. Now that my mind is beginning to wrap itself around the magnitude of what happened, I have some thoughts and suggestions for the Pagan community at large.

Although it is true that America was attacked, this horror has global implications. Americans are now living in a different country, whether they understand it or not. We will never return to the freewheeling openness that was the USA on Monday. In a very unhappy way, we have joined the global community at large. I am a USAF veteran, and I have lived overseas, and have seen the aftermath of what terrorists can do: the destruction of the City of London from an IRA bomb; scars on my military colleagues from the 1981 Heidelberg car bomb at USAFE headquarters, the intense grief of losing military friends and colleagues in the Pan Am Lockerbie bombing. I have lived in places where it was strongly suggested that blending in was the best protection an American visitor could do so as not to become a target for terrorists. I have done this.

It is sad to see such wariness descending on what we considered a 'safe' place in the world. Bombs and terror were for 'other' countries- we could watch the whole thing on TV and then go to the movies and watch aliens blow up Manhattan. Not any more. These people lived among us, were 'sleepers' in the most terrifying sense, and were indistinguishable from any other immigrant or long term visitor. We must learn to combine an awareness of 'off' behavior with tolerance for difference. Most people will not be able to pull this off gracefully. We must be prepared for a restriction of our privacy and some of our freedoms. And we must be prepared to stoutly defend our own 'difference' from those who believe that only a religiously monolithic country will stand.

We are a magickal community, and have 'connections' to capabilities and understandings that the world at large does not have. I suggest that we cultivate our gifts- create and sustain an egregorical community that serves to protect one and all, Pagan and not, from the both the physical and the psychological terror that has come to our shores. An Egregore, for those of you new to the Craft and its Kin, is a magickal construct that serves to inform and protect a community. My suggestion is that we tap into the American Egregore, using the Eagle and the Star as its symbol, feed and strengthen it by ritual work and meditation, and build a metaphysical shield around not only America, but also the whole world. Those of us who create both art and ritual are encouraged to do so, and share with us their work.

Our more sensitive members should tune in and try to keep journals of what they feel is happening around the country and perhaps the world. We should ask our creative people to create a symbol of our shield- a solid white upright five-pointed star with an eagleÕs watchful eye in the center on a dark blue background, similar, perhaps to the Eye of Horus, but distinctively American. Those of us who have websites should post this symbol to demonstrate to all visitors that we are a nexus in the protective metaphysical network that is being actively nurtured. The Christians can pray, so can we, and more.

We must be careful not to succumb to infighting or religious bashing no matter where it comes from. Already, fingers have been pointed and we and other kindred have been named by certain religious leaders as the 'cause' of this tragedy, simply because we choose to interpret God and Country in a manner they disapprove of. We must be vigilant not to permit them to sweep us up and vilify us for our differences. The shield is as much for our protection as it is for this country and planet. We must stand together, or we will fall apart and truly achieve the goals of the terrorists who began this horror.

We must, in this order, work to weave a web of strength, peace, and healing, connecting first to God/dess, our families, friends, community, country and planet. We must never forget that we are greater than any evil done to us, and must make each act an affirmation of our humanity. We must not surrender to hysteria, rumor, hatred, or misinformation. We must become Warriors of Light, walking in strength in the footsteps of the Mighty Ones.

This terror has been a tragic test of our humanity and strength. My hope and prayer is that we will emerge from this darkness and this crucible better than we were, and pass this test of trouble and horror. We each must serve as anchors of Light, Life, and Love.


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