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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: 24,092,945  

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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 

All I Feel Is Horror That Humans Could Do This To One... Sep 19th. at 7:11:27 pm EDT

Sophia (Bromley, Kent, England, England UK) Age: 35 - Email

All I feel is horror that Humans could do this to one another, I pray the Goddess help us all through time of need, and grant us wisdom and understanding.

Dear Friends:one Week Later, I Am Still Grieving And Torn, Not... Sep 19th. at 8:16:11 pm EDT

Suzanne Morrigan Burns (Boston, Massachusetts US) Age: 37 - Email

Dear Friends:

One week later, I am still grieving and torn, not only by the hideousness of this attack and its aftermath, but by the growing awareness that more such attacks could be in the making. I am terrified.

I too am deeply troubled by the idea of people celebrating and laughing about this kind of massive suffering, but I also cringe when I hear Bush speaks in terms of a "crusade". Does he really not know how loaded that term is for Muslims and how much offense he is causing?

I also cringe as I read through the many listserves I am on and hear people in our own community speaking derisively toward one another, using hateful, loaded, and judgmental terms. If I hear another person call someone a "fluffy bunny" for wanting peace, or "hate-driven and violent" simply for taking seriously the reality that we may have to take strong measures to defend ourselves, I think I am going to pop! None of this is doing anyone any good. We are turning against each other and acting like bickering children, when we could be channeling our energies for wisdom and peace. For the most part this terrible event has brought out the best in us. We have come closer together. But there are some, unfortunately, in which this disaster has brought out the worst.

I grieve for this.

In the words of Auden, we must love one another or die. Please, please, everyone, take this to heart.

Whatever the answer is, whatever our next step must be, whatever our feeling may be about this mess, you have find your core and hold on to it and not let be overwhelmed by your emotions, whatever they may be.
I am begging the people of our community to please speak with more kindness and open-mindedness to one another.

Give the other person some credit. Listen just a little bit more.

It is not naive to work magic for peace or to turn the other cheekŃand nor does preparing for war and facing the fact that we are actively under attack make one a raging hateful bigot who cares nothing for the victims of war. We are in a grave situation here, and we need to look at all of our options, and stand together. The people of Afghanistan are the most helpless victims in this warŃI hope that our leaders will see that it is in fact in our interests to protect them.

If we are to go to war, I hope to the Goddess that we will do so in the spirit of Athena, goddess of wisdom and justice as well as battle, and not in the spirit of Eris, who brings discord, chaos, and division. Bill Schultz, Executive Director of Amnesty International expressed it well in a recent letter:

"To get to grieving, we must go through anger. And to get to justice, we must go through grieving. Because, É Every day we are not mourning is a day we will be taking vengeance, and vengeance is different from justice."

Please let's talk less of revenge and focus our energies on protecting the innocent and cherishing the memory of our departed. Ask our god and goddess for the wisdom we need to make the right decision. Don't make fun of those who call for peace and understanding-- if we do not have that it our hearts, what do we have? What has happened to our souls?

Thank you for listening to this ramble.

Blessed Be, Suzanne

Hello Again' This Is The Second Time I Have Posted. I Keep... Sep 19th. at 8:42:21 pm EDT

Laddeewolf Stormrider (Granby, Missouri US) Age: 46 - Email

hello again' this is the second time I have posted. I keep reading and reading. I hear the anger and hate in your average americans. I dont agree with that. I here the reluctance to fight or avenge our losses among the pagans. I dont agree with that either. Pagans are saying that we are rushing to war. I dont see that. We are investigating the feasibility of many options. We are hoping that the taliban surrenders this man. I would like to see the Taliban surrender it's self.
We arent moving fast enough for the rest.

I dont think that revenge is a good thing, but this is more a preventitive measure isnt it? It will be a long time before someone trys again.If we succeed, It will show them that they must pay when they choose to dance. We keep talking about the innocent that will die-are there really any? If we have all lived many lives, perhaps this is their Karma. No one dies until its their time, do they? I know that many pagans disaprove of casting spells to eliminate this man. Is it not better to eliminate the one, than the many. The Goddess and the God are more than capable of taking out only those to blame arent they. We only have to ask-if it is meant to be, It will happen. If not It wont. As for the law of three-Does it even apply? There is Balance to be considered. Sending them teddy bears and flowers wont do it this time. Theyll do it again, if we do. They already consider us cowards. If we do nothing to them, Do you think theyll stop cause were so nice? No. They'll sacrifice more of their own and do it again. Only next time it will be a hundred thousand. When is enough enough? We have to be willing to sacrifice ourselves to stop them. I dont want to offend anyone, but I'll keep on using Magick to get to him, if it will save someone else. I dont feel angry or vengefull. I dont even hate these people. I just want to stop them from acting again. How you feel is as important as what you are trying to do. Why you are doing it is just as important too. Perhaps this happened because it took something like this to make us finally do something. What purpose could the senseless death of so many be for. I have no answers, but lots of questions. Is there any real "right answer", or only opinions. I am a pagan, but I am also an american. I wonder how many spirits will wonder New York looking for what they lost?

Since I First Posted My Worries About The Metro-detroit Arab Comunity Last... Sep 20th. at 9:43:18 am EDT

Airsucker (Walled Lake, Michigan US) Age: 28 - Email

Since I first posted my worries about the Metro-Detroit Arab comunity last week, I have been glad that there was no rioting. The impact here has been more subtle.

Next door to the Borders where I work, there is a restaurant called Anita's Kitchen. They serve Lebanese and American food and they are very nice people. Their business has dropped off quite a bit since September 13. Perhaps where you live, you know a nice little Middle-Eastern restaurant. Maybe you should stop by for a bite to eat so they don't go out of business for something that isn't their fault.

Please, help the people in your community too. Maybe you can teach someone that olive skin tone doesn't mean Bin Laden terrorist.

I Had To Get Away This Last Weekend To Collect My Thoughts... Sep 20th. at 10:06:15 am EDT

Ambrosius (Boston, Massachusetts US) Age: 35

I had to get away this last weekend to collect my thoughts. I returned to Provincetown, Massachusetts where I first experienced the fullness of the Goddess many years ago. For those of you who don't know of 'Ptown', it's a resort town at the edge of Cape Code catering to the gay/lesbian/transgender/bisexual community. In all times, even before the incident, one could walk down the mains street hand in hand with a lover, a person of color, a person of ambiguous gender orientation. It has always been a place of solace and hope for me, especially when I see small children playing with children of other cultures and discussing their two mommas or two pappas.

But a miracle occurred there on Friday night. As the town began preparing for its candlelight vigil on the night of mournong, at precisely 7 pm, when the vigil began, a huge rainbow suddenly appeared and stretched from the harbor across the width of the town to descend into the Atlantic on the north side. The rainbow seemed to embrace and shield the peace loving populace below, and I knew I was witnessing a miracle: a direct sign from the God and Goddess united in a loving signal to us below. No one in Ptown will ever forget that miracle, and my hope is renewed, my faith strengthened, and wounds a little closer to healing.

The Dust Has Settled A Bit, Not Only At The Scene Of... Sep 20th. at 3:08:07 pm EDT

Ironwood (Hidden Valley, Arizona US) Age: 48

The dust has settled a bit, not only at the scene of tragedy, but in our minds as well. Wow. All the emotions in our family have been on a week-long roller coaster, beaten to pieces.

The second day after I went out to buy a lunch treat for all those I work with. They are involved in the news business, and a lot of long hours and disrupted schedules have just run them ragged.

I went to a local sandwich shop run by an Arab family, to find the cops there investigating the loss of the owners car windows due to some dummy with rocks. Damn the foolishness.

They were still open, so I got the goods from them, and noticed they were playing our radio station in the store. I found this a poignant example of how we all depend on each other here in the US.

While on the ironic, no one argues over shooting a rabid dog. I talked to the owner a bit about this very subject, and he suggested we (the US) dispatch those respomsible quickly and without mercy. This is the reason he and his family is here in the first place, getting away from those that will kill you for just disagreeing with them. It seems no one there has the guts to do that...

I can certainly identify with him on that, as we Pagans are not tolerated by those extremists, either.

We all have hope the friction will be lessend with vision and insight in whatever method is used. Something has to give...There are too many pushing on this.

An Open Letter To He Who Hides Behind The Casket Of Innocents... Sep 20th. at 7:38:10 pm EDT

Randy Wayne White (Dallas, Texas US) Age: 44

An Open Letter To He Who Hides Behind the Casket of Innocents

On Tuesday morning, September 11th, 2001, you delivered onto our nation yet another public invitation, and then, characteristically, fled into the shadows. Because your invitation was written on the flesh of innocents, and with the blood of our heroes, it demands a response.

A week ago, most of us would have declined out of indifference, out of ignorance. We were an insulated people, secure in the triumphs of our forefathers.

Not today. Not ever again. In the last few hours, we have aged a generation. Our indifference lies beneath rubble in a great city, so your invitation - as much as we loath your methods - is now most welcome. We welcome it because you have forced us to understand that the event which you press upon us is inevitable and unavoidable. You have invited us to a Day of Reckoning. We accept. That Day of Reckoning will soon come.

If our response seems unexpectedly strong, it may be because we were never the people you thought us to be. You have said publicly that you believe Americans to be weak, spoiled by our own wealth. You have said that we lack courage, resolve and morality. You have said that we are a mongrel nation, a nation divided by racial hatred and class warfare.

Perhaps it would be good to explain to you who we really are, and so thereby remind ourselves exactly what our heritage now demands of us.

We are the sons and daughters of every race, all religions, the worlds yearning masses, joined between two oceans and by a passion for self determination and freedom. Don't assume, because we use hyphens as identifiers, that a hyphen can divide us. A hyphen also connects. Our own history proves, again and again, that in times of national emergency, we are all defined by one word, not two: American.

In us runs the blood of revolutionaries and explorers, of farmers, immigrants and Algonquin statesmen, of train barons and train robbers, and of individuals who, though chained to slave ships, refused to bow down as slaves. We are people who risked the gallows to create a sanctuary on earth that, for the first time in mankind's history, guaranteed religious freedom to all, as well as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. A mongrel nation? Absolutely. You may have forgotten the first time you spoke those words. It was in Berlin, 1939.

We forgot, too, for a time. Thanks for reminding us.

Do we lack courage, resolve and morality? You will soon curse the day that you doubted. We are the 50, 000 who took our strong convictions to earth at Gettysburg. We are the thousands of white crosses that rest where poppies grow at Flanders Field in Belgium. We are Doolittle's Raiders and Patton's blood and guts. We are the 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles who parachuted into Normandy - my own father among them - and we are the body of a lone Army Ranger that your followers dragged naked through the streets of Somalia.

We are the 7th Cavalry who perished at Little Big Horn. We are Apache warriors who refused to run, and so stood awaiting death while chanting a powerful refrain: "Your bullets stand no chance against our prayers!"

To understand us? Read Thoreau and Emerson, Martin Luther King and the speeches of Tecumseh. We are not an easy people. We love a winner and despise a coward. Courage is our national cornerstone, and we are at our best when we demonstrate courage as individuals. Our reverence for self reliance has never been equaled, nor will it ever be. We are Teddy Roosevelt charging up San Juan Hill on horseback and exploring rainforest rivers by canoe. We are Lou Gehrig saying a fearless farewell. We are Rosa Parks, with tired feet, refusing to move to the back of the bus. We are John Wayne, standing tall, fighting cancer, and we are a great American Muslim named Muhammad Ali, devoted to his beliefs of right and wrong.

Tough? Send a boxing team to the Olympics. Better yet, send your strongest to Manhattan. We have some heroic fire fighters there who'd purely love to meet your best. Don't bother bringing gloves.

No. You cannot possibly know who we are, what we are, or you would not have risked the delivery of your cowardly message.

The difficult question for us as Americans, though, is not will we triumph, but how? Our quandary is this: In any conflict, the boundaries of acceptable behavior are defined by the party which cares least about morality.

You have defined the boundaries, and there are none. The lives of the innocent, of women, children and good men, are meaningless. You hide weapon factories beneath day care centers. You hide collectively behind the caskets of innocents. You have no morality, no character, nor conscience, while we Americans are blessed - and burdened - by all three.

No matter. We will find a way. Americans always have. As Americans, we always will. Your invitation to us was written in the blood of our own heroes, so we have no choice but to accept. Your Day of Reckoning is near. If there is any justice, a century from now, history will still hear the weeping of your widows. The world will agree that those of us who died that terrible Tuesday did not die in vain.

Your cowardice cannot stand in the face of our resolve. Your Evil has no chance against our prayers.

As Of Today, The Number Of Dead Is Believed To Be Over... Sep 20th. at 8:26:46 pm EDT

mik63033 (Ferguson, Missouri US) Age: 41 - Email

As of today, the number of dead is believed to be over 6, 000. Six thousand. That's bigger than the city i drove through the other day. Driving through that massive expanse, my mind boggled at the then mere 4, ooo believed dead. I disagree with the poster who equated terrorists to "a rabid dog". A rabid dog, contrary to celluloid crap like "Cujo" (King admits he was high when he wrote it) doesn't go around terrorizing mothers and children in their cars. A terrorist does. I equate terrorists to pests and vermin who should be exterminated, especially when they're in your own home. "Harm none" does not mean lay down and die in your sleep. This is obviously a matter of self-defense. I try to keep myself balanced in this maelstrom. I know this is really not about religion no matter how much bin laden might like to use it, like every other terrorist throughout history has tried to use religion to his advantage. I know we are playing into this bully's hands. What i don't know is the alternative. Dubya (if he's being sincere, not political) brings up the excellent point that we have an opportunity here to eliminate terrorism. Grandiose? Definitely. Unrealistic? Probably. Necessary? What do you think. I pray the Goddess protects our shores from enemies within and without. I pray for us. I invoke Athena for us. I also hope that as we as a nation are waging war on terrorism, that we do just that. Wage war on terrorism. Not Islam. It's easier said than done I'll admit. I'm jumpy. It goes with having nerve endings. Folks, we've entered into a new era. We need to be cautious. It's going to be tedious. Tedium though, i'm sad to say, is a bannana split compared to what the victims and families and friends are going through. Let us not forget. Our lives depend upon it. Goddess bless.
Goddess bless America

My Daughter Turned Five On September 11th. Fortunately, She Was Attending Kindergarten... Sep 21st. at 1:16:43 am EDT

Cerridwen LoneSky (Newmarket, Ontario CA) Age: 44 - Email

My daughter turned five on September 11th. Fortunately, she was attending kindergarten, when I turned on the TV that morning. I have been to NYC many times and have stood atop the WTC and appreciated its breathtaking view. I could not believe what I was seeing, and when footage of the people jumping out of windows began I broke down in tears. Recently, I dreamt of being safe from fire and destruction as many folks tumbled down/out of a hill/tower. It reminded me of the Tower in the tarot deck. Citizens of the world continue to die as a result of religious fanaticism, as they always have, and the Taliban are especially brutal to Afghani women. Goddess/God, I appeal to you to keep the victims and their families in your embrace at this time of grief.

9/11/01 Is A Day I Will Not Soon Forget. I... Sep 21st. at 1:31:03 am EDT

Gwydion Canu Bleidd (Knoxville, Tennessee US) Age: 33 - Email

9/11/01 is a day I will not soon forget. I walked out of my apartment on my way to class that morning; it was a beautiful, dry, clear day here in Knoxville, the sort of day that is rare here. It was so nice, I thought, what could possibly go wrong on a day like this?

Oh, how I wish I had never had that thought now... We were in class when the news came; it was relayed by one of the school's administration. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, thought it must be a sick joke. It was no joke at all; it was, however, sick. After class, driving home for the short break I would get before heading off to work, I heard on the local classic rock station I listen to most of the time about businesses closing in the wake of the attack. It never even occurred to me to think of the place where I work in neighboring Oak Ridge.

Oak Ridge, for those of you not familiar with the history of East Tennessee, is home to three nuclear weapons plants. Ripe for terrorist attacks and major nuclear devastation, should the terrorists turn their attentions there next. I expected business as usual; I expected the place to be abuzz with talk of the attacks. Instead, the parking lot was as deserted as the mountains of the moon, and a sign on the door read "Closed until further notice." At first, I was sort of jazzed about having an unscheduled day off from work; then I remembered Y-12 and the others. The novelty quickly disappeared, and I spent the rest of that day in a thoughtful silence; deep down I was sick with dread. What next? I thought. Where will it end? And who's responsible?

I spoke very little the rest of that day. Words couldn't describe the horror and the dread that I felt. Nor could they encompass the outrage I felt days later after Jerry Falwell did his finger-pointing act. What an unreal bastard, I thought. How dare he? And just like another poster here, I wondered what President Bush would say. To his credit, W. denounced Falwell for his divisive words. Maybe there's hope for him after all. And remembering how high his father's approval rating was a decade ago after the Gulf War, decisive action on W.'s part may help his faltering image considerably now.

Now, more than ever, we need to stand together as a nation. We need to embrace our Arab neighbors who came here for the freedom that America stands--stood--for, and know that it's not their fault. As someone else pointed out, they were trying to escape the tyranny of governments like the Taliban, and the fanaticism of people like bin Laden. They only want what we all here want; to live and breathe easily, with freedom from fear. Fear is not the beginning of wisdom; fear is the beginning of paralysis and stagnation.
These atrocious attacks on our country must be investigated as criminal acts, not as acts of war. The terrorists who caused those planes to crash are dead, but they cannot escape the karma that awaits them. Those who supported and funded them must be punished. But we must be certain of whom we are after. No finger-pointing; no hatemongering; no race- or religion-baiting. And most of all, we must try to heal ourselves, and to understand. We must pray for peace, but be ready for war if we are pushed to that point.
But most of all, we must be unified. Today, I gave $10 as a donation to the Red Cross that a local radio station was collecting. It's not much, but as with any gift, it is the thought that counts. I will support our nation, and I will raise my voice in support. I will give what I am able to. Every little bit counts.

I am a Pagan, but first and foremost, I am an American.

We Pagans Often Speak In Terms Of Spirals And Karma And Return... Sep 21st. at 5:51:03 am EDT

Sabeth (Munich) Age: 30 - Email

We Pagans often speak in terms of spirals and karma and return and yet when we experience fate returning painfully into our lives, all too quickly we recoil and vow that someone will pay. For those who would shout revenge or justice, consider this.

If bin Laden is indeed responsible for the terrible events on 11 Sept., then the US government is indeed getting back what it sent forth, as if by magic, for it supported bin Laden as well as Pakistani dictator Gen. Zia-ul Haq in creating thousands of religious schools for a short-term foot-up during the Cold War. These schools were fertile breeding ground for the Taliban and as Afghanistan fought first Communist foes and then itself, the evolution of Islam ideologies went unwatched and the potential power of their supporters unheeded.

Any expert of war and international conflict since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 can tell you that the shape of conflict in this world has taken on a much smaller scale. Instead of mass world war, the last years have seen sniper attacks, terrorism, and ethnic conflicts that eke out human blood slowly but tragically surely, over the course of several years. Take the Bosnian conflict and the Afghans as but two of many more such examples.

For most Americans, this phenomenon has only been a matter of academic discourse. But Bush is quite wrong: This type of war is not new, nor are the tactics used for fighting it. The only new thing about this attack, this war, if war it is, is that it hit American soil and thereby brought in particular the emotional value of such attacks straight home to Americans. Bush has been quite short-sighted to assume that his ballistic missile shield program would protect the US from this sort of attack, since he should have been among the best informed of the fact that little, covert operations have been the medium for conflict for at least the last 10 years.

My take on this tragedy is that someone--however unjustly--wanted to put the immediacy of this problem on the US table by making us experience just how it feels to live in fear, in a state of constant, destructive change.

Clearly, the realist politics of protecting one's own interests, though perhaps an effective quick fix, were not really a fix at all for the long term. The US set the Afghans on the Russians like dogs and stirred the anger of the Islam world and quite effectively, too, but they did not consider that these policies might revisit innocent civilians and soldiers in such a devastating way. Had they practiced a politics of peace and world cooperation, rather than power acquisition and self interest, the US would have been a much less attractive target.

On a more personal level, therefore, my suggestion to everyone who may be getting out their battle axes and curses in a call for justice and revenge now is simply this: devote your energy instead to a long-lasting solution. Call for peace, even despite your anger, your hurt, your fear or whatever else you may be feeling. Only when we use our anger for positive change will we prevail. A curse is a short-term solution that will surely revisit its sender in some way. I urge everyone to promote long-lasting peace rather than retribution. Practice tolerance and love. Use that strength in your feelings, whether anger or hate or frustriation or fear, to work actively for something better. Let's put this ordeal to a real end, not a short-term one.

My condolences to all those who have lost loved ones, and much courage and love to those who need it as they rebuild.


9/11/01tears Drowning Innocent Hearts Maned&tornshocked&forlornrescuers... Sep 21st. at 8:03:13 am EDT

LadyMysti )0( (Milford) Age: 26 - Email

Tears drowning innocent hearts
Rescuers with love&courage pumping the blood&energy into their hearts
Universal no matter which deities we belive
Muslim, Arab, Pagan, Christian, Jewish
Whatever you belive
If you can
Belive we are one
Such a strong word
Open up your heart
There is still hope
The sun still shines
And we should all stand strong
Empty the hatered inside
Violence isnt just
When racism springs forth
Have faith in each other
No matter what color or race
We will not forget this date 9/11/01


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