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Question of the Week: 113

Pagan Problem Children: What Can We Do About Them?

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112. Elders: Who Are They and Do We Really Need Them? - [74]

111. So, You’re Dead. Now What? - [59]

110. What’s Your Favorite Element? - [119]

109. The Broom Closet Revisited: What’s Your Current Occupancy Rate? - [129]

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105. Are Pagans TOO Individualistic? - [56]

104. Have You Changed Your Mind About the War in Iraq? - [258]

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100. Why Are You A Pagan or Heathen? - [142]

99. What Moon Phase Are You In? - [70]

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97. What Natural Objects Are On Your Altar? - [103]

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94. Who Would Make Your Pagan/Heathen Who’s Who List? - [91]

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89. Bah-Humbug! Are You Offended by Christmas? - [173]

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70. What's News? - [22]

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21. What is/was your New Year's resolution? - [19]

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6. What are YOU planning for Mabon-Autumn Equinox? - [14]

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1. Who are you going to vote for and why? - [233]

 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 16,507,385  

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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 

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

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.....

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

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(

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

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 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.

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

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.

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

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 is not OUR duty to fight off these bad guys...but the GODS 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 is our duty to ALWAYS reflect RIGHT, GOOD, POSITIVE energy for ALL to benefit.....if some nut like Osama Bin Laden decided to do 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.......

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

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.

Tuesday Afternoon I Pulled My American Flag Down From The Closet Shelf... Sep 16th. at 12:42:02 pm EDT

Hope Willowwind (Naperville, Illinois US) Age: 30 - Email

Tuesday afternoon I pulled my American flag down from the closet shelf. There it had sat for ten long years. Folded neatly into a proper triangle, it had been presented to me with great ceremony by my best friend at my father's wiccan memorial service. I hugged it to my chest and looked at my husband, "Help me find something to tie it with." Both military veterans ourselves he pulled out his combat boots and stripped them of their laces.

Out to the apartment balcony we went, and unfurled the precious memorial over the side of the rail. It's very long, as casket flags tend to be, it covers the window of the gentleman below us. He was happy to have his view obstructed by "Old Glory."

So there it waves, upon the side of a small apartment building, in the heart of the middle America. The symbol of our country, earned by the patriotic service of a gay Army veteran during the Vietnam War, held steady by the boot stings of a Pagan veteran of the US Army, freely given by a female US Naval veteran who served during Desert Storm.

All of us Pagan, each ones Patriotism undeniable. We serve and fight and die. We rush into places while others flee. Our hearts reach out to the masses with Hope and Love and Peace, not just now but always.

At First I Was Numb With Horror. For Over 24 Hours, I... Sep 16th. at 12:20:13 pm EDT

Kate Curtis (Norwalk) Age: 46 - Email

At first I was numb with horror. For over 24 hours, I believed my brother and niece to have been killed (since they worked close to the WTC). I'm sure you can imagine my relief when the word came at 11:00 Wednesday morning that they and their families, albeit being close to ground zero, were evacuated quickly and safely. I have been a psychological and psychic counselor for over 20 years and for the first time I found I couldn't counsel anyone! I am feeling much better and more clear now and can once again perform my skill. I am concerned that, while there are plenty of counseling services available for Christians, Jews and Muslims, the Pagan populations have been largely overlooked. If there is anyone near me (the Greater New York City area) or would like to communicate via e-mail who feels that they need to talk with a counselor who understands at least in part what a Pagan might be feeling right now or what they should do, please contact me. My phone number is 203-847-4883. Just ask for Breice (Breessy). The one thing I am counseling ALL people about is the desire for revenge or attack. Remember the Rule of Three. If you send negative energy out to anyone, it will come back to you TIMES THREE! No matter how justified you may feel you are, and no matter how much you want to see the people responsible for these acts punished, it is NOT your job nor your right. The Universe will sort this out. Please allow the powers that be who understand more about what really happened (trust me, we have not been given the whole nor correct story) to dispatch justice. Your goal right now should be to work toward LOVE and understanding of your fellow man/woman. In whatever way I may be of service in this dream, please let me know. Bright Blessings, Hope and LOVE!

I've Seen A Lot Of Postings From A Lot Of Pagans Who... Sep 16th. at 11:49:29 am EDT

Maeve (Laurel, Maryland US) Age: 36 - Email

I've seen a lot of postings from a lot of Pagans who say that the US shouldn't respond to this act of war that was perpetrated against the citizens of the world. A lot of people are saying that we shouldn't go to war. Well, we ARE at war. Not with any one nation, but with a hidden army of people who use religion as a mask for their hatred. If people want to spread white light, healing, etc. that's all well and good. But the fact remains that the blood of the innocent victims is calling out for a response. No, I am NOT advocating bombing anyone indiscriminately! That's a knee-jerk response that will only create more victims. Besides, the ones responsible are hiding like the cowards that they are, so we need to find them first.

When England was attacked during WWII, the Witches of that country banded together to protect their land. We need to do the same for ours. If you want to spread white light, have it focus like a laser beam on those murderers, so that we can find them and bring them to justice.

Also, remember the Pagans who are serving their country in the military, law enforcement, rescue services, and the intelligence community. They will need our help and support like never before, because they are on the front lines of this effort. Please send them your strength and energy, so that they may do what needs to be done without further casualties.

Blessed Be.

With Malice Towards None... With Charity For All; With Firmness In The... Sep 16th. at 11:42:17 am EDT

Steve McManus, aka Amorgen (Conway, New Hampshire US) Age: 41 - Email

"With malice towards none... with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan-- to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves, and with all nations."

Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1865

First Of All, I Want To Express My Sorrow For The Events... Sep 16th. at 10:54:02 am EDT

WrenFairy (Columbia, South Carolina US) Age: 25 - Email

First of all, I want to express my sorrow for the events that have occurred. I do not know anyone directly affected by this horrible tragedy, but I feel their pain nonetheless. That said, in reading the posts, the opinion seems almost unanimous against taking military action in retribution for Tuesday's attack. I have read everyone's reasons as to why we should not go to war, and they are very good reasons. I agree with most of them, if not all. And while I respect the opinion of everyone in this forum, a question remains unanswered. If war is not the answer, what is? No one seems to have offered an alternative solution. We can pray, we can light candles, we can perform rituals (I have done all three, myself.), but at the end of the day, the people who perpetuated this terrible crime are still walking around freely. I'm sorry--perhaps I'm not as "mature" as others out there, but I'm angry, I'm scared, and I want them to pay for what they did. No, I do not feel anger towards innocent Muslims or Middle Eastern people, and I also agree that if we decide to bomb Afghanistan it is likely that by the time we do, our true target may no longer be there. But I want terrorism wiped out, and while I do not personally have the solution, I welcome anyone who does to please share it.

I Am Sick Of The Press Broadcasting Military Troop Movements, Deployment Schedules... Sep 16th. at 10:50:46 am EDT

Stephanie (Midwest City, Oklahoma US) Age: 30 - Email

I am sick of the press broadcasting military troop movements, deployment schedules, the president and the vice president's location and routes. I am sick of watching the press broadcast the location of agents and teams in the middle of investigations live as if it were a reality television show. Like terrorists do not watch television? Everytime the press releases that kind of information under these kinds of circumstances, they place federal agents, military members and the executive Branch in imminent physical danger. If I were an active duty military member and I were to release that kind of information, I would loose my security clearance and then I would be discharged from active duty with other charges pending. I remember in Somalia, when the press lit up the beach and the U.S. Marines who were storming it, illuminating them for possible snipers. Everyone knows that these people place themselves in harms way, the press is insuring that harm will come to these military members and agents everytime they broadcase plans, locations and strategies. We have freedom of press with the understanding that it would be used responsibly, this is not the example of responsible press coverage.

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