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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: 9,645,910  

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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 


What Do You Say? Everytime I Try To Gather My Thoughts I... Sep 16th. at 1:10:14 pm UTC

Bill Avery (Winnipeg, Manitoba CA) Age: 37


What do you say? Everytime I try to gather my thoughts I draw a complete blank. In a few short minutes I saw what is best and what is worst in people.

Like everyone else my life is continuosly changed by the world around me. I only hope that the lesson we are being taught by this is learned, so it won't ever be repeated.


My Name Is Mabon98 I Will Be Celebrating My Third Year As... Sep 16th. at 1:19:01 pm UTC

Mabon98 (Mandeville) Age: 46


My name is Mabon98 I will be celebrating my third year as solitary this Saturday... my thoughts on Sept 11.....I know that the Lord and Lady will not put this situation in front of us that we can NOT solve...but I know that the answer is WORLD PEACE...ALL religions have been praying this very point for years......we ALL as pagans believe that GOOD must overcome EVIL and prayer IS the answer...not violence, vengeance and especially NOT war...have we not learned anything from Viet Nam? Good overcomes evil when we as pagans come together and generate the positive energy needed to overcome this evil....it is not OUR duty to fight off these bad guys...but the GODS duty.....as we pray for positive enlightenment we can battle this ongoing evil!!! and preserve our World Peace....we are after all brothers and sisters in this very realm....we had been given reasoning to do either right or wrong...it is our duty to ALWAYS reflect RIGHT, GOOD, POSITIVE energy for ALL to benefit.....if some nut like Osama Bin Laden decided to do evil....it is up to the GODS to deal with him...but we must pray the correct energy to have this done.......why is it that our fellow animal friends and familars KNOW the right things to do...instinct....OUR instinct should be reflecting GOOD....................this is my opinion.......


Freedom Is Hard. It's Hard To Embrace The Right To Speak Of... Sep 16th. at 1:20:21 pm UTC

Wren Walker (Clearwater, Florida US) Age: 50


Freedom is hard. It's hard to embrace the right to speak of those things that you believe to be utterly right and at the same time embrace the rights of those who speak of things that you believe to be utterly wrong. Freedom is hard.

Freedom is hard. It is hard to believe so much in the power of your own religion or faith and at the same time recognize that other religions or beliefs can possess an equal and valid worth. Freedom is hard.

Freedom is hard. It is hard to watch a community that you care so deeply for tear itself apart over differences of opinion and still believe that it is often those very differences that help to make us stronger. Freedom is hard.

Freedom is hard. In the name of freedom, the world has made peace and waged war. It is hard for those who want peace to hear the shouts of those who demand war. It is hard for those who believe that war is a just cause to hear the pleadings of those who want to give peace one more chance. Freedom is hard.

Freedom is hard. It is hard to love your country with your entire being and yet speak out when you believe that its governmental policies are wrong. It is hard for a government to hear the dissent of its own people and yet realize that if the country is indeed truly to be based upon freedom that this dissent must be heard. Freedom is hard.

Freedom is hard. It is hard to keep the door marked 'the right to individual religious expression' or 'the right to speak' or 'freedom of association' wide open even as those who often feel free to enter these doors themselves would shut them firmly in the face of everyone else. Freedom is hard.

Freedom is hard. It is hard to feel secure and safe without fences and barriers and checkpoints to keep others out, but freedom maintains that such appeals to safety and security too often become the very tools that are used by tyrants to hold their own people prisoner from within. Freedom is hard.

Freedom is hard. It is hard to still value justice when justice is so often delayed. It is hard to continue to believe in liberty when so often others take advantage of that liberty in order to promote a personal agenda or to injure, berate or even destroy another. Yet freedom requires both justice and liberty somehow be preserved. Freedom is hard.

Freedom is hard. And in those days and months ahead, America and the entire world is going to see and experience and learn just how hard it really is to be free. Freedom will demand much of us. Freedom will challenge every deeply held conviction that we possess. Freedom will test our mettle, assault our dogmas, lay siege to our complicity and squelch our impatience. For freedom is never guaranteed as long as there are those who prefer domination, yet freedom itself cannot be imposed upon anyone and still be freedom. Freedom is hard.

But as hard as freedom is, there have always been those who have dreamed of it, written of it, sang of it, fought for it, lived for it and held it so dear that they were even willing to give up their lives for it.

And as hard as that is, as hard as it may become, as long as that same love for liberty continues to burn brightly within us, Freedom will never die.


Like Everyone, I've Been A Wreck. Up One Day, Down The Next... Sep 16th. at 1:21:40 pm UTC

Secular Pagan (Minneapolis, Minnesota US) Age: 37 - Email


Like everyone, I've been a wreck. Up one day, down the next, agitated one hour, immobile the next, wondering if I'll ever be able to function normally again. Part of my suffering this past week has been self-inflicted, namely, fighting an irrational feeling that I shouldn't be as distraught and "wrecked" by this as I've been, because I wasn't out there in NYC or D.C., but half a continent away in a peaceful early-autumn day in Minneapolis. Nor did I know anyone personally who was
killed or, to my knowledge at this point, lost a loved one, though I heard stories from co-workers who had friends/relatives who had friends/relatives, etc.

Well, first of all, when anything this horrific happens, it's just not true that I or anyone else has "no right" to be traumatized by it. That's stupid; traumatization, by definition, is something beyond our control. We react the way we do, and reasons have nothing to do with it.

However...I did figure out, pinpoint, exactly what the "snapping point" was for me, why seeing the news for the first time had such an impact on me: For an awful, horrible moment, my gut reaction was, "This is it. The U.S. has been invaded. War has come to our soil. 'They' (whoever 'they' were) are moving in. What cities are next?" Etc. I thought those attacks were only the beginning of a day of destruction. I thought my homeland, my nation, was about to be destroyed.

I guess that's "reason" enough to be acting like a poster-child for PTSD. Especially since we can't be sure we're out of the woods yet as far as terrorist plans and infiltrations are concerned. Sigh.

Yet, too, this attack has also brought home, in a way that no amount of intellectual realization could, that there are people around the world for whom this kind of vulnerability is part of their daily lives. None of us is an island; no country has an invisible barrier rendering it immune to harm. Perhaps from this awakening we in the U.S. can come away with a new committment to seeing ourselves as part of the global community, not separate, not isolate, and certainly not invulnerable. We must come together in dialogue and peace, or we will surely be torn apart by retaliatory rhetoric and war.

Let us keep clear heads, even in the midst of grief, and remember that the true enemy is the spirit of violence and scapegoating that inspired the terror in the first place.

Blessings to all,

Secular Pagan

P.S. - I have created a memorial and peace page at http://www.geocities.com/secularpagan/ This includes a link to my Earth Tribute shrine, which was originally meant to be simply for expressions Earth-based spirituality, but has now become a place for people of all paths to express their hopes, fears, and sorrows regarding this tragedy. I invite all who wish to light a candle in remembrance and in hope.


My Name Is Red Flame And I Live In Greenwood, South Carolina... Sep 16th. at 2:00:54 pm UTC

Red Flame )O( (Greenwood, South Carolina US) Age: 21 - Email


My name is Red Flame and I live in Greenwood, South Carolina with my boyfriend of nearly 6 years and our 2 cats and 1 dog.

I was at work when it happened. Like most of you, I watched in horrified disbelief as the World Trade Center burned, and cried out when the second tower fell before my eyes (the first had already gone by the time we turned on the news at work). What has happened? Oh my Gods, all those people! What about those people in the buildings and in the planes! When they came on and said it was a terrorist attack, a horrible three letter word burned into my brain. War. The faces of my loved ones flashed before my mind's eye. I love you, I thought, I love all of you and thank the Goddess you all know it. Frantically I called my boyfriend at home, telling him through our answering machine to wake up, the WTC has been hit and he needs to call his mother (she lives in New York City.) He had worked the night shift Monday night, though, and was still asleep. I was in a fever until 12:30, when I got off. I flew into the bedroom when I got home and launched myself onto the bed to wake him. I am sure I was incoherent but he, bless him, awoke immediately to turn on the tv and awaken a work buddy of his who had given him a ride home and was crashing in our guest room. As they watched the terror unfold, I got on the phone to family. No one was home and the lines in New York were down so I got online to check on my Internet buddies. Once I sent a mass e-mail asking for a roll call, I sprinted to the store to get 10 days of essentials for us and our 2 cats and 1 dog. Back home, we bounced back and forth from phone to Internet, trying desperately to reach my mother-in-law and other family in DC and NYC. Internet friends were checking in all over the world and sending out desperate calls to other Internet friends and family. It took all night to get in touch with my mother-in-law. The phone lines came back up at around 9 pm but then the switchboards were jammed. At last, at 1:30 AM, we got through to her voicemail. Not 30 seconds after Norbert (my boyfriend) hung up, she called. She had finally been able to check her voicemail. She had been in London. Actually, she was an hour into the flight home when her plane turned around and went back to Heathrow airport. She didn't know what happened until she landed and is afraid to come home now. But she is safe, thank you, Goddess, she is safe.

It was a flurry of action for many hours, which kept my mind from letting the information sink in. But at last it began to. It hasn't finished yet, but in the quiet following our action, we took the dog to the park to try and regain some semblance of normalcy. The streets were so quiet and still. Traffic was the same but even the cars seemed to make less noise. The rec league games going on at the park seemed to move in slow motion. The very air was thick with tension and fear, like everyone was holding their breath in anticipation of more devastation. It was scary knowing anything we heard overhead was military aircraft. It was a beautiful night, clear with the smell of autumn in the air yet for once, I was hard pressed to admire the wispy clouds on the horizon turned to magic by the setting sun. Eve, my dog, tried to play, but was definitely affected by the atmosphere. We didn't stay long...we had to go back to the tv in case we missed something.

I am still a bit disbelieving, but I have since passed through other emotions. Sorrow, and anger. I wanted someone to blame more than anything for a while there. But the more I have thought, and prayed, and meditated, the more I know that violence will not solve this. More killing is just more killing. Something more fundamental has to happen, something that will get to the root of this hate and turn it into something else. I have candles burning as I have since the events of 911, and I burn them all for peace and healing. At the Friday night 7 pm candle vigil I went outside onto my porch with my candles, wrapped in my pentagram altar cloth and clutching my Goddess statue and prayed such as I have never prayed before. Please, Mother, please don't let more people be hurt. Please open our eyes and show us that to escape the hate and the violence we have to embrace life and stop merely avoiding death. Don't let us be taken into war by rage. The only way to solve this and all other such horrors worldwide is through tolerance, love, peace, and unity. Bring justice to those who committed this foul deed...let no one else see You with your Sword and Your Black Robes, for no one else deserves them.

I did not cry for many days. I would choke a bit but it passed quickly. My body would not let me cry because my heart doesn't believe it yet. But on Friday, as they showed people all over the world lighting candles and placing flowers at the Embassies, the tears came. Bitter, bitter tears they were, too, and they didn't last long and gave little relief. I am sure it will take a long time before I am able to break down and release this horrible feeling festering inside me. I've had nightmares every night since it happened, dreaming of death and war and waking choking and unable to breath. Psychologists are saying it is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I thought only those who were there would have this but apparently many, many people who were hundreds and thousands of miles away will have PTSD. If I am having troubles with PTSD, I cannot fathom what the survivors and the rescuers and their families must be dealing with. I know I keep using words like horror and horrible and horrid but they are as close as I can come to expressing the sick feeling I have in my gut about all of this.

The prayer I gave Friday night:

I call the Blessing of That Which Is Holy upon the victims and their families.

I call upon That Which Is Wisdom to guide our hearts to Peace, our souls to Courage, and our minds to Purpose

I call upon That Which Looks Upon Warriors to guide the rescuers and guardians safely through their duty and back to their families

I call upon That Which Is Justice to bring resolution to this and other such horrors worldwide.

And to the perpetrators

May their names be as dust

May their children forget them

May shame be their legacy

I put my Voice, Heart, and Spirit to this cause.

May the Old Gods be strong and may we all stand in Truth.

So mote it be.

In light and love,
Red Flame )O(


I, Too, Am Horrified By Tuesday's Tragedies. One Of The Basic Teaching... Sep 16th. at 2:07:48 pm UTC

Gwenn Nightstar (Spring Hill, Florida US) Age: 48 - Email


I, too, am horrified by Tuesday's tragedies. One of the basic teaching of Wicca is balance: male/female, light/dark, positive/negative, and, yes, good/evil. On Tuesday, we saw evil. We felt it and smelled it and tasted it. Evil exists. Evil will continue to exist. Unfortunately, as long as there are people in this world, evil will walk among us.

How do we deal with this? Prayers for the souls of those we have lost. Prayers for the souls of those we will lose. And prayers for the souls of the people who planned and perpetrated these monstrosities. May they come to see the error of their ways...I know they have doomed themselves to horrifying experiences in lives to come as a result of the threefold law. Like a stone thrown into a river, the ripples from these events will go on and on and on....

I make no excuses for these people - there are no excuses. But I need to try and at least attempt to understand their way of thinking. I came across an article from Cairo, stating that Bin Laden's hatred of the US and Israel grew after he heard stories of Palestinians who spoke to him of losing family, homes and friends in confrontations with Israel. He was seen to "sob several times" upon hearing these stories. How can this be? How can a man who has feelings be so monstrous toward innocent men, women and children? We in America can never understand what motivates people like this. I certainly cannot. I am saddened and frightened for the future of our world.

The Ancient Ones cried with us this week.....


The Two Towerssilver Wings Scythe Through The Skirling Smoke.storm-helmed Valkyries... Sep 16th. at 2:25:02 pm UTC

Elizabeth Barrette (Charleston, Illinois US) Age: 29 - Email


The Two Towers

Silver wings scythe through the skirling smoke.
Storm-helmed Valkyries circle slowly down
To pluck the valiant fallen from the fray.
The hooves of their battlesteeds strike sparks
From the soot-shattered stones in the street.
Grey-eyed goddessdaughters go grandly
Amidst the carnage in the capital
And the chaos in the trading-place.
Ash falls like feeble flakes of snow in September.
Explosions drown out the drumming of hoofbeats.
Smoke hides the sleek-limbed choosers of the slain.
Yet here and there through murk-mazed air a maiden
Appears for an instant astride her sterling steed,
Einherior riding double and triple behind her.
How rare in this day to find so rich a reaping as when
The second tower tumbled from cloud-touching height!
How bright the glimpse and glint of helm and spearhead
Splintering the brittle light of sun and flame!
How fine the feasting in valor-lit Valhalla this very eve
As heroes of old hand horns of mead to those new-come!


Dear Folks, As A Journalist And Leader In The Pagan/gaian Community... Sep 16th. at 2:26:56 pm UTC

Elizabeth Barrette (Charleston, Illinois US) Age: 29 - Email


Dear Folks,

As a journalist and leader in the Pagan/Gaian community, I wish to express my condolences for yesterday's tragic events. I condemn the cowardly acts of terrorism which have cost so many lives in New York and Washington, D.C. My prayers go out to those grieving today. Let us also honor the rescue personnel who have offered such valiant service, especially given the severe losses their forces suffered when the second tower of the World Trade Center exploded under attack. I encourage all followers of any Earth-based belief system to extend whatever prayers and magic you consider appropriate in this crisis, and to give whatever practical aid you can offer -- the Red Cross is calling for blood donations and of course money is always helpful -- as well. I also join the many people calling for justice in light of the deplorable crimes committed.

Many Pagan/Gaian churches and other organizations have hosted or soon plan to host special prayer meetings or rituals in response to this tragedy. As Samhain approaches, we have an opportunity to remember those who have died and sing them to their rest. Now is a time to reach across religious boundaries and respond not just as Wiccans or Americans but as human beings and citizens of the planet Earth. Let us send a message of solidarity and hope with which we can sustain one another through the difficult days to come. The words and deeds of a single person may be no more than a candle in the wind -- but one candle is enough to kindle a bonfire that can be seen for miles.

Bright Blessings,
Elizabeth Barrette
Managing Editor, PanGaia
September 12, 2001


Let Us Not Forget......those Who Have Fallen, Those Who Are Suffering... Sep 16th. at 2:29:35 pm UTC

TruBluGolde (Mt. Vernon, Missouri US) Age: 24 - Email


Let us not forget...
...those who have fallen, those who are suffering, those who are working to save others, those who are seeking justice and our Muslim and Middle Eastern friends and fellow citizens who are innocent of wrongdoing.


Although I Am Sickened And Angry Over The Events On 9/11... Sep 16th. at 2:49:58 pm UTC

Tracie Montgomery (Inkom, Idaho US) Age: 40 - Email


Although I am sickened and angry over the events on 9/11, I am of the opinion that this so called war if our President chooses to declare it, will only add to further the pain and suffering of more innocent people in this and other nations. The guilty parties should be systematically rounded up and held accountable for thier actions. No amount of carpet bombing another nation for personal gratification in the name of retribution will make this event less tragic. The problem as I see it is not a religious fanaticism as much as a political statement. We need to find these people and find out thier reasoning, if you can call it that. Without understanding the real motivation, we will be unable to prevent future attacks.

I fully believe what is frustrating to alot of folks is the fact the we are unable to point a finger at a clear and concise enemy. We may just have to think about this one a little bit instead of picking up a weapon to solve the problem.

Blessed Be


These Horrible Terror-act Left Us In Paralysis And Grief.the Streets Here... Sep 16th. at 3:29:49 pm UTC

Nightwing (Weilheim (Germany)) Age: 30 - Email


These horrible terror-act left us in paralysis and grief.
The streets here in germany are crowded with crying and
mourning people. No one of us can understand, how a religion
may be taken as a cause to kill innocent people. All our
thoughts are with these killed in the terror-act.

All Blessings and love for you all. May the goddess held
her hand over you.


America The Beautiful(the Original Version Of The First Verse Was Written... Sep 16th. at 3:47:33 pm UTC

Lady Garnet Redstone (Charlotte) Age: 44 - Email


America the Beautiful
(The original version of the first verse was written by Katharine Lee Bates. It was modified by Lady Garnet Redstone, High Priestess of the Sacred Oak Grove Coven in Charlotte, N.C. The second and third verses were written by Lady Garnet. This song was used by the Sacred Oak Grove in their healing ritual on 9-15-01.)

O beautiful, for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain!
America! America! (God/Goddess) shed (His/Her) grace on thee,
And crown thy good with (brotherhood/sisterhood) from sea to shining sea.

O beautiful, for freedom here, to worship our own way!
No matter what we call our God, together here we pray.
America! America! We send healing to you!
As we unite our energies, your spirit to renew!

O beautiful, this land we love, with people so diverse!
Unlike any other land on Earth, we put our freedom first!
America! America! May you always be free!
And may the whole world learn to love. So mote it be!


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