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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 6,382,503  

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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 


Aloo All,i Suppose I Should Say "merry Met", But I Don't... Sep 16th. at 10:40:42 pm UTC

Figgymint (jacksonville) Age: 26 - Email


Aloo All,

I suppose I should say "Merry Met", but I don't feel merry at all. The totality did not hit me until yesterday. I have few friends, as though I have a 'don't get near' shield upon myself at all times.

Yesterday I was shopping for gifts for my youngest's 3rd birthday. I saw the people, so many people. I looked at them all as if for the first time. I cannot bear to lose a one. It hurts to think about it.

I have seen and heard many "peace" "war will bring only more death", do you not realise there will be more death without a war? "bombings will only kill innocent people"; Many of those 'innocent' people believe we are ALL evil. just because we are American. Their religion offers them a gaurantee to their 'heaven' if they work to destroy us. All of us. You, me, my 3 year old son, my 6 year old son. Regardless of America's, and other countries, retaliation, there will be more death.

Yes. Pray for peace...we need it. but for acceptance of this? Not I. never. If we were to simply route out the few people behind this...we will have to go for bin ladin; his name is the focus of too much anger to not, they will strike harder next time. He is their hero, the hijackers and all involved have done a great deed to further their cause. If we do such a small effort to right this wrong, they will rise up and destroy us. our children, friends and family. WE are evil. simply for living, for drawing breath. I do not think they are confused; they are more focus than so very many others in any path.

I had hoped I would not see it, that none of mine would, but war is here. Whether it is reciprocated by the US, a war is here. I love all of you, I cannot stand the thought of losing any one of you. If there was indeed a way to have not a bit of this have happened, I would do anything.

I do not believe that by focus, prayer and energy can we calm the hearts of those who despise us, I wish I could. Their hatred is so very strong.

Perhaps this is even beyond us? gods/godesses have had battles in the past. Their people have paid in blood. It has been a long while...perhaps...now is the time...

Blessed Be,
Walk in love,
Figgymint


I Am Proud To Live In This Great Nation, Thankful That I... Sep 16th. at 10:25:33 pm UTC

Ann Marie (pinellas Park , Florida US) Age: 50 - Email


I am proud to live in this great nation, thankful that I am free, that our constitution guarantees my freedom of speech, and religion. I am proud to be Pagan and Wiccan. I fear those who use tragedy as a soapbox for hatred. I fear the kind of person who would blame those who do not believe as they do for bringing disaster our way. I fear those who would advocate acting without knowing who the enemy is. I fear those who judge an entire nation, or religion by the actions of a few. I fear these people because they are expressing the same sentiments of the zealots who committed this atrocity. I believe that Americas view on our national and our personal safety is forever changed. Hijackers have now created a new fear in Americans but it is not a paralyzing fear, it is a fear that will create heroes. We will no longer sit quietly hoping that all will be well. We will have personal plans to overtake these insane zealots. We will never again sit by and believe you will have us land safely somewhere. Yes, some of us may die but you will not accomplish you goal. You made a grave mistake for your kind of terrorism by making martyrs and heroes of the many injured and murdered victims of the airliners, World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The American people have done as we always have and always will, stood tall and shoulder to shoulder to help one another against a foe of freedom. In the Pentagon people who had run free from a burning building ran back in when volunteers were needed to assist those still trapped, In New York people took charge of one another and assisted one another out of the building, some carried the handicapped, some calmed the hysterical and lead them to safety, some stayed by friends unable to be moved waiting for assistance, unwilling to leave their side. Supervisors rushed in to the burning building to assist their people, firefighters and policeman ran to the most damaged and fiery parts of the building in a hope to save more lives and extinguish the flames. Many heroes gave their lives for others on that day of atrocity. Now many heroes continue to dig for survivors and provide food and comfort for the families and friends of the missing. People wait in long lines to give blood, others make sandwiches and muffins to feed those who are working. Other nations offer their prayers, workers and military assistance, this fanatical enemy has polarized all of the thinking, humane nations into a task force to eliminate terrorism. People in general fear what they do not know, America and the world now know that there are no boundaries for zealots, these people who's minds are clouded by insanity and hatred. Take notice that we no longer fear you. We also do not hate you. We do not confuse your nationality with who you really are, We will not and do not blame all Mid Eastern people or all Islamic people. We know you are in the minority, that you are a fanatical subgroup. We understand that you have no boundaries and no humanity. It has become the worlds mission to eradicate your kind of plague. Terrorist you do not know the length we will go to, fear us.


Oh Gods. Where Do I Begin? This Past Tuesday, I Was On... Sep 16th. at 9:42:09 pm UTC

Aminata-Ken (Toronto, Ontario CA) Age: 21 - Email


Oh Gods. Where do I begin? This past tuesday, I was on my way to a job interview when my father called me from Halifax, saying I should watch the news. He told me that several planes had been hijacked, and one had hit the world trade center, and another had hit the pentagon. I thankrd him for letting me know, and soon after, caught the bus which took me to downtown Toronto. The whole way there, radios blared the news. I was glad I had first heard from my dad, and not some bus radio.
Downtown Toronto was a very strange place, as all the tenants of the major office buildings were clearing out and going home. I finally saw some news footage on a big screen tv in the lower level of the Scotia Plaza office building, and when those towers fell, I thought I was going to throw up.
Here's where my story gets a little different from just another person who saw it on the television.
You see, ever since I was a grade schooler, I have been fascinated by tall buildings. I am also a sort of city witch, who connects with skyscrapers on many levels. More on this in a moment.The Twin towers and the Empire state building were the first skyscrapers I ever got attached to. Ever since I was in grade 4, I have wanted to visit New York just to see them. I have also read legends from various cultures stating that when humans build something so large and complex as a ship or building, It takes on a life force of its very own. Some people are able to sense this the same way others may sense the life force in a plant or tree. I agree wholeheartedly. Perhaps this explains my fascination with skyscrapers- there is more to them than just so much glass and metal. In a way I felt a certain empathy with the twin towers of the world trade centre. Something that went beyond just liking the way they looked. So when I saw those towers fall, I felt like I had just lost two of my best friends.
Now this in no way diminishes the way I feel when contemplating the human toll. That too sickens and horrifies me. Although I never got the opportunity to visit the Twin Towers personally, I talked to some of the engineering staff from the port authourity of new york and new jersey a few years ago. They were some of the nicest, most helpful people (I was doing a school project) I could have asked for. The thought that they could be dead, and that so many other innocent people are is heartbreaking. Goddess rest their souls.
Even on the way downtown, I prayed silently to the goddess maat to bring justice both temporal and karmic to those responsible. I also prayed for the goddess to take care of all those poor souls who died in the name of someone else's holy war.
Even while in downtown toronto, I feared for my safety, and that of the toronto skyscrapers I have grown to love, to say nothing of all the tenants who chose to stay. I was so worried that something might happen that I silently invoked the goddess and her angels to watch over the city of toronto. In my mind's eye, I saw an aura of whitish yellow light flare up around the roof of the Exchange Tower, as if its own angel had arrived. I also got similar images of Kali-ma striding around the roof of the First Bank Tower, and Durga atop the roof of Scotia Plaza. Not just to protect those buildings, but the whole city and its people.
I pray they keep watch over us all in this our collective dark night of the soul.
Blessed be


This Tragedy Has Made A Dark Home Within My Heart. I Am... Sep 16th. at 9:38:39 pm UTC

Kat Gowen (Standish, Maine US) Age: 22 - Email


This tragedy has made a dark home within my heart. I am struggling with the Light and Dark Goddess within. I am charred from the heat of my anger, and broken from despair. The night of the attack I opened a magickal circle with what little reserve of strength I had and all I could do was pray to the Goddess and God: Please tell me you took them before they felt it.

I have been punished with empathy. I begged for the Lord and Lady to tell me that the perished felt no pain. That they were freed from their bodies before the intensity of fire or falling extinguished their human shell.

For days now I have asked them, and for days no response. Maybe I am not to know, maybe I must simply have faith. I have faith in the power of the Gods, but I have found a new faith as well. A faith in my countrymen.

May all our questions be answered by our faith in our Gods and Goddesses, and in ourselves, and may we someday find peace.


Brightest Blessings In This Time Of Darkness For America. I Have Just... Sep 16th. at 9:37:25 pm UTC

DragynSpyryt (Sarasota, Florida US) Age: 48 - Email


Brightest Blessings in this time of darkness for America. I have just spent over an hour reading the postings to 911. Like all of my fellow wiccans, I agree with some, disagree with others. I too have been conflicted in my feelings and beliefs in these past days - between "An ye harm none" and the actions I feel need to be taken against the perpetrators of Tuesdays' atrocious acts of terrorism.

I am wicca. But first, foremost, and always - I am American. I was born in Washington, D.C. and lived in the suburbs until the age of 32. I have been to Arlington National Cemetery numerous times as a 'tourist, ' but unfortunately also twice in my life for the burial of my grandmother and the burial of a family friend killed during the Vietnam war. I have been to "The Wall" twice, and cried with the veterans. I come from a 'military' family - not necessarily a gung-ho military type, but I can tick off at least 10+ members beginning with my father, uncles, cousins, etc. who served during WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. How many men and women have given their lives so we can have the FREEDOM and the LIBERTY to practice our religion as we do? ... so people of all faiths, ethnic backgrounds, political beliefs, etc. can enter our country to enjoy that freedom as well?

It is my belief that if our government does not take retaliatory action against those who perpetuated this horrific crime upon our soil, it will be repeated. And it will progressively get more and more devastating if left unchecked. While I wish with all my heart that the United States did not have to take military action to prevent future attacks, I know that will not happen.

If that were the case, if we could sit back and do nothing except say loudly, "Shame on you!" then Tuesday would never have happened to begin with. Words, diplomacy, idle threats - all of those tactics the USA has used so far against terrorism - did not work, did they? Tuesday happened, didn't it? We citizens of the civilized world who reside in this country would never conceive of the atrocity that was conveyed on our soil this past Tuesday. Obviously there are people who do. And it did not take too many of them (if you only count the 18 the press say were on the four airplanes) to take 5500 innocent lives (rough numbers of: last count 5100 for the WTC, 200 at the Pentagon, 260 in the four planes).

I do not want innocent lives to be lost in the USA's military attack against those persons deemed responsible for Tuesday. However, I also remember during Desert Storm seeing Saddam Hussein (example) blatantly shielding himself behind women and children, in hospitals, etc. knowing our military would not fire at him because of those innocents. If you accept some unsubstantiated press reports that it was Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden together who concocted the terrorist attack of Tuesday, it would appear that our past attitude to "play fair" in war contributed to Tuesday's acts being possible. Hindsight is always 20/20. If Saddam Hussein had been captured or killed in Desert Storm, would Tuesday have happened? If Osama bin Laden had been captured or killed after the numerous terrorist attacks he has publically admitted to funding over the years, would Tuesday have happened?

After September 11, 2001, I do not ever want to have to play that hindsight guessing game again. I want them, or WHOEVER is responsible, captured or killed, in addition to any other individual(s) who were involved in any way, or who are capable of carrying these acts on in the future.

I am saddened that it has come to this point, but Tuesday proved to me that diplomacy, threats, and talk by all civilized nations toward terrorists has been wasted time and lip service. Unfortunately, retaliatory violence is the only universal language these people understand, so let's speak it. Loudly.


Every Thing Has Changed We Can Never Go Back. My Family Has... Sep 16th. at 9:20:46 pm UTC

Onyx Rioux (Sweet Home , Oregon US) Age: 35 - Email


Every thing has changed we can never go back. My family has spent the last few days trying desperately to cope with the grief and rage that we all feel. I have spent countless hours trying to find a way to bring reason to this abomination within my self. Being pagan we know that this is a price we pay being human and we are finding a few ways to deal with our feelings. My first choice is prayer. IŐd like to share what I have with my community. My hope that someone else will find comfort in these words. Some of these prayers are my own; some of them are poems that I have tweaked a little. I invite you to change any wording that you like to make these prayers your own.

13 comforts
1 Aset give us hope
2 Aset give us courage
3 Aset help us to recover
4 Aset help us to understand
5 Aset make us strong
6 Aset make us resilient
7 Aset guide the victims
8 Aset guide the nation
9 Aset protect our shores
10 Aset protect our lives
11 Aset watch over the living
12 Aset watch over the dead
13 Aset hold up our hearts

Engravings
Aset engrave these words upon my soul. Hope, faith, and love. That I shall find strength when life surges madly, that I may find light in the darkness.

Shadows
Into this troubled world
Where shadowy figures
Stalk the sunshine
As the tiger stalks his pray.
I seek to capture and hold each elusive ray.
Where drifting cobweb visions
Replace the brightest hues
With tints of gray.
Aset comes
And in the quiet darkness of my day
She kisses the shadows all away.


Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep,i Am Not There... Sep 16th. at 9:11:04 pm UTC

Fyrehawk (Tucson, Arizona US) Age: 21


"Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there... I do not sleep.
I am the thousand winds that blow...
I am the diamond glints on snow...
I am the sunlight on ripened grain...
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you waken in the morning's hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of gentle birds in circling flight...
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there... I did not die..."

Though I do not know the author of these beautiful words, I thank that person for them today.

My love and blessings to all of those who have suffered in this horrible tragedy, but let us remember:

Peace is not propigated by war.
Suffering is not eased by more sorrow.

Let the Witches of the world come together now to change the focus of this world from anger to acceptance, and from vengeance to peace.

Blessings,
Fyrehawk
Circle of the Goddess

*Please see http://www.dragonflycreative.com/cotgindex.html for more information on our Circle's vigils and meditations for the victims of this tragedy.


I Found Out Through Undernet On Irc When This Happened, Very Shortly... Sep 16th. at 9:06:21 pm UTC

Emerald Willow (Grinnell, Iowa US) Age: 21 - Email


I found out through undernet on IRC when this happened, very shortly before I had to be to work. Unfortunately, I've just started this job and had to go into work anyway and could not hope to be kept informed of all that was going on. I figured that since I live in a small town in Iowa that the people who came in would not say much about it. I was wrong, everyone was touched and effected by what had happened. Reactions ranged from shock, to horror, to anger, and even denial that it had ever happened. That afternoon as I left work I noticed that we had a line up of cars waiting for gas, everyone thought that the gas prices would skyrocket and to be honest my boss had actually been waiting to get a call to raise the prices, but refused to raise them until that call came. The call never came in and I had to be proud of the little gas station I work at simply due to the fact that they were not trying to capitalize on the tragedy of what had happened. I will be the first to admit that I did not react as many people did, I simply accepted that this had happened and tried to figure out what I could do to cope and perhaps help. A friend of mine cried out of sorrow and fear, certain that by the time she awoke in the morning a war would have been declared. I hope that this does not come to war as war is not, nor will it ever be the answer. Do not get me wrong, the USA has been wronged terribly and we have not only the right but the need to retaliate against this outragous happening. Those who have done this should and must be punished. I just do not want to see innocent civilians of any country having to suffer for something that they did not do. We are all suffering, but do we want other's who were not directly responsible to have to do the same? Do we want our children to have to see a war? Do we really want to make the mistake of causing more pain than is deserved. I hope not, I do not want to have this come to a war, I do not want to have to wipe any child's eyes dry from tears because they're mother, father, brother, sister, or whatever died in a war that they needn't have died in. There are enough children crying for those who have already died.
Goddess Bless those who are lost, those being found, and those doing the finding. Goddess Bless all of us who cry that this has happened. Lord and Lady bless those who will defend us. And may the Gods have mercy on those that did this, for we cannot give them any mercy.


I Hadn't Intended To Post My Thoughts, But Now I Feel I... Sep 16th. at 9:03:49 pm UTC

Morrigan-Aa (Woodbridge, New Jersey US) Age: 26 - Email


I hadn't intended to post my thoughts, but now I feel I should. I am a Wiccan: i have been so for 14 years. I have spent my life in central New Jersey, and could see the World Trade Center clearly from my town. On clear days, the Twin Towers sparkled clearly on the horizon, accompanying the Empire State Building like two friends on the New York skyline.

I am also a reporter by trade, employed by a daily newspaper. Yes, a member of the faceless, dreaded "media." Yes, we have Pagans among our ranks, as well as atheists, Jews, and human beings of all stripes imagineable.

I was engaged in route duties - talking to the mayor about a budget, compiling a community police blotter - when these acts of heinous terrorism occurred. At the police headquarters, I listened to the news broadcast and it slowly dawned on me what had occurred, how many lives have been senselessly lost. I had seen the plumes of smoke on the horizon while headed for work, but thought nothing of it at the time; perhaps a fire in a neighboring town, I surmised.

Not knowing what to do, I went to a local park with a clear view of the Manhattan skyline. A crowd was there, binoculars in hand. A lead weight attached itself to my heart. I realized that the only thing I could do was whip out my notebook and my pen and do my job.

I took no pleasure in it. None of us did. My colleagues had tear-streaked, ashen faces. We cover these towns, live in them. We felt those losses dearly, dearly. We knew the value of the lives that have been lost.

We are not ghouls. We take no pleasure in pain. We do our jobs. We have families and loved ones. We are truth-speakers. And we are not faceless.

The other day, I talked to families whose loved ones never made it home. Not surprising here, because the commuter lots are like graveyards, filled with abandoned cars. At the end of the day, I drove back to one family to return some pictures. Two little girls answered the door with smiles, asking "Where's mommy?" Luckily, I made it back to my car before I broke down. Even so, I could only break down for a moment, because I was on deadline and had to write about a vigil taking place in town.

Goddess, bring us peace.


How Soon We Become What We Fight,the World Is Now A... Sep 16th. at 9:01:09 pm UTC

Elamberel (Sydney, New South Wales AU) Age: 25


How soon we become what we fight,
The world is now a darker place,
The cycle of hate continues,
How will it end?

It was late in tuesday night here in OZ when the news flashed across the tv as i was preparing for bed. The two planes had crashed into the WTC but the plane had yet to plow into the pentagon. I remember thinking I pity those who hurt America because America awoken to rage will not rest.

For the next few days I wondered HOW? how could anyone malicously plot to kill as many people as possible? When will it end?

America will respond that is obvious. But I'm a Pacifist. Conflict repulses me. As a pagan, as a wiccan I hold all life sacred even if the terrorists of the world do not. There will always be people who are prepared to do anything to themselves and others to promote their point of view.

When will it end?
How far will the world go?
When I have children will it be into a world fragmented by a war?

I hope not.

I cried when I saw what transpired in that great city. It has such a precence in the world. But I also cry when I realise there will be more death, more destruction. I am a woman, a witch and a writer.

I can see both sides of the story. They're not equal, death dealers will face the consequences of their actions. The fundimental laws of the universe ensure that. But will the hatred mearly pass to their children?

Bombs are an expression of pain. They inflict it and are an instrument of it. I refuse to add more pain to the world with hatred. America has a choice. Find them, lock them up but don't become them

Blessed Be.


Fear Kills. My First Feeling When I Woke Up Tuesday Morning To... Sep 16th. at 8:59:08 pm UTC

Elizabeth Jane (Vancouver, British Columbia CA) Age: 30 - Email


Fear kills. My first feeling when I woke up Tuesday morning to hear CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) radio news broadcasting that New York was under attack was the most profound experience of fear in my entire life. I've never been so afraid for my nation and our American neighbours. I didn't even fear for myself, but for the people around me, the reprecussions if the US retaliates against the attackers, the implications for global events.
The terrorists want us to fear. If we succumb to fear, we do exactly what they want us to do. If we respond with force and violence, we do what they expect us to do.
This weekend happens to be the start of the Spirituality and Sustainability Summit 2001 in Vancouver, BC. I found myself toiling away in the kitchen, chopping vegetables and comiserating with the other volunteers. We talked about everything today - raising children, ethical business practices, our varied spiritual paths, death. What I heard in the kitchen and in the lecture hall helped me let go of the fear I've been carrying around with me all week. Community is what makes us strong - our Pagan community, our neighbourhoods, our cities, our nations. That's what is going to sustain our belief in compassion, cooperation, communication, our faith in God and Goddess.
At the Summit, there is a Sacred Space created by the organizers and participants. As I prayed to God and Goddess and meditated on the events of the last few days, I focused on the sacredness of all things, all people. These are the things I'm going to keep in mind as I pray for the dead, for the peace of nations, for the attackers, for the people that I love.


I Was Home On Tuesday, I Had Barely Woken Up When Nbc's... Sep 16th. at 8:52:02 pm UTC

Amanda (North Jersey, New Jersey US) Age: 21 - Email


I was home on Tuesday, I had barely woken up when nbc's today was broken into with the image of the one tower burning. And while my mother and I watched, we kept having to switch channels because they kept going off the air and back on again. Radio stations played only news. And around 11, my sister got the call from work to go down near Jersey City and Bayonne, she's an EMT, and they needed everyone. She didn't come home until midnight, and then she just took time for a shower, a few short stories that we didn't want to hear about what was happening, and was out the door until 8am. She worked a lot like that, with more sleep until saturday, and then she got a day off.
Mom and I wanted to do something, so we went to go donate blood. We were turned away at the local blood banks, they said they were at capacity, to come back in a few weeks and donate then. We tried to donate our time, but we couldn't get places early enough, by 8am, the red cross, salvation army, and the piers at Jersey City were turning people away, so we put our names on a few lists to be called for volunteering when they needed people again. I wanted so much to help... if I could just do something, I wouldn't feel so helpless... maybe I could forget the smell of dust when the wind blew from the south. Maybe I could forget how much that first fighter plane going overhead scared the hell out of me, or how on thursday I woke up in the middle of that thunderstorm and ran downstairs to turn on the tv 'cause I thought something else had happened.
So, I did my ritual, I called out to Maat for justice and Kwan Yin for compassion. I can only hope they heard me... I helped my family put up all the flags we have thanks to a 4th of july birthday and my dad being a vietnam vet. And now, there's candles, those big yankee candle ones, burning on our porch, all day, all night. As a reminder. And I feel better. I don't know any victims, but I'm still sad and scared.
What about war? What about it? If Bush is smart, he'll send in some ground troops to get that bin Laden guy, instead of bombs. Bombs will not only hurt innocent people, but they won't do much to cites already reduced to rubble from thier own fighting. CNN has been reporting that Afgani resistance leaders have said they are more than willing to fight alongside with US troops to get the Taliban out of power and bin Laden out of Afganistan. They said they have 15, 000 trained men, and 15, 000 more willing that they can train. They sound like some damn good escorts to have. What to do with Bin Laden when they get him? I say death is too good. He should feel the horror he has inflicted on others. My favorite suggestion is to put him in a NYC prison. That would definatly inspire terror in him.
And for all of you who don't want war, I want a good suggestion on how to do this peacefully. How do you reason with people who believe that if they die killing you, they go to heaven? No one is innocent to them. We are all guilty of not supporting thier cause. And to them, that is a crime punishable by death. We cannot just roll over and fogive these people. There is no fogiveness for maybe 5, 000 civilian deaths. Especially all those that were working to save others when the towers came down. I don't know about you, but I want blood. I may be immature but some things are worth fighting for, and I belive that making sure this never happens to anyone else ever again is one of them.


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