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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]

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 Author:    Posted: Nov. 17, 2002   This Page Viewed: 20,400,669  

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

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

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

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

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

Message to the Terrorists:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We will continue to choose!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blessings to all.

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

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

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

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

May Our Lady continue to strengthen us,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Earth Blessings,
KaliTime Camaralzman

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

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

A New York Tale

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bright Blessings, Im A New Witch From England And I Want To... Sep 15th. at 9:00:10 am EDT

heather whiteside (Lancaster, England UK) Age: 31 - Email

bright blessings, im a new witch from england and i want to send my support and sympathy to america especially to NYC and DC. i, as many others have, been shocked, devastated and utterly saddened by these atrocious acts of what i can only describe as pure wickedness. My heart, thoughts and best wishes are with you all i hope as a nation you will only become stronger and as individuals time will mend the pain we are all suffering. Im sorry that i cant help more the frustration i feel sitting here in england is, at times, unbearable this chance to send my love helps. Brightest blessings in these dark times. Heather whiteside.

Hold The Visionthe World Has Changed In The Past Week. An... Sep 15th. at 8:52:05 am EDT

Starhawk (San Francisco, California US) Age: 0

Hold the Vision

The world has changed in the past week. An act of violence and horror has cost the lives of thousands, and shattered all of our plans and expectations for the future.

We who have been working for global justice now face an enormous challenge. Since Seattle, we've built and sustained a movement in spite of continually escalating police violence and attempts by the media to paint us as violent thugs. Genoa did not intimidate us, and momentum was growing for the demonstrations in Washington DC at the end of the month. Public opinion was shifting, and the whole edifice of corporate rule was losing legitimacy.

The terrorist attacks of last Tuesday could undermine all of our work, at least in the short term. They are the perfect excuse for the state to intensify its repression, restrict civil liberties, and for anyone who speaks out against blind retaliation to be demonized.

The mood of the country is potentially ugly. People are scared. They're angry. Their sense of power and invulnerability has been badly shaken, and in the U.S., they're not used to it. They're grasping at anything which can restore their sense of power over their lives, and in a violent society, that means punishment, retaliation, war.

And many of us activists are also scared. I know how easily I can sink into fear and despair right now. I'm scared of the repression that might come, scared of being personally targeted, scared of the loss of our liberties, scared, yes, of further attacks. But most of all I'm scared for the movement, which I believe is crucial to our survival as a species.

And yet I also believe that the current crisis can be a great opportunity, if we can only see how to grasp it. Extraordinary times create extraordinary openings and possibilities. Our usual patterns and ways of thinking are shattered. When structures fall, something new can be built.

To do that, we have to behave in extraordinary ways. We need to acknowledge our fears, but not act out of fear. Fear leads to bad decisions and constricted vision, just when we need to see most clearly.

"Hold on, hold on, hold the vision, that's being born, " our cluster chanted in Quebec City.

It may be that the most radical thing we can do right now is to act from our vision, not our fear, and to believe in the possibility of its realization. Every force around us is pushing us to close down, insulate, retreat. Instead, we need to advance, but in a different way. We're called to take a leap into the unknown.

As a movement, we've often been accused of lacking a clear vision of the world we want. I think we do have a vision, that includes diversity and rejects uniform, dogmatic formulations. But within all its varied forms there's a clear common ground: we want a world of liberty and justice for all. It sounds downright patriotic but if you think about its ramifications, they are revolutionary. And we want a world in which no one has to fear violence, which is the ultimate violation of freedom.

There are many voices right now trying to mobilize people around fear, anger and blame. As radicals, tried to mobilize people out of guilt, or shame. This is the moment to reinvent our approach, our strategies and our tactics, to believe in the possibility of moving people to act from hope, to act in the service of what they love. What would this look like? It would mean embodying the world we want to create in our own movement, and in our actions.

Times of grief and anguish can strengthen our bonds. Right now, more than ever, we in the movement need each other as never before, and we need to treat each other well, to cherish and care for and support each other and become the community we like to imagine. Our solidarity must go deeper than we've ever known before. Solidarity means listening to each other with respect, and being willing to protect and support people with whom we may disagree on many levels, or who might simply irritate us. Solidarity means strengthening our practice of direct democracy, our openness and communication with each other, our willingness to bring everyone to the table and give everyone affected by a decision a voice in making it. It means putting aside our usual internal politicking and maneuvering and treating each other with openness and trust. This is not simple to do. But in a moment when the ordinary patterns of life around us have been shattered, shifting our own patterns of behavior may actually be easier. Perspectives change, and the issues that last week seemed so important now seem trivial.

What would this look like tactically, say, in DC two weeks from now? First, we'd have to deliberately drop our assumptions, whether they are that confrontation is always the strongest action, or that nonviolence is always the most moral action, or that direct action is always our strategy of choice, or that a march and a rally with speakers are the ultimate form of politics, and ask what makes most sense? What is most visionary?

I'd like to see whatever we do involve some kind of process of mutual discussion and education around our visions of alternatives. And I'd like to see us think of ways to take that outside of our own groups and into the community, and to bring in voices from the community to teach us about their issues and concerns. That could be a consulta, a teach-in or maybe a learn-in, where we go out into the community and ask people how issues of power and inequality affect their lives, or what their visions are of the world they want. In a time of fear and despair, calling people to consider their visions could be a powerful form of action.

I also think it's important, symbolically and politically, that we make some kind of strong, visible presence in the streets, that we don't voluntarily relinquish the one political space in which we've been able to have a significant impact. But I also think it's important that what we do in the street be appropriate to the moment. A mourning procession, a vigil or rite of healing might make sense right now: a standard march with shouted slogans and printed signs would be offensive. But it's hard to predict what the mood or situation of the country will be two weeks from now. We could be heading into a full fledged war, and a large march might be a needed and powerful statement.

Direct action is a powerful tool, but like a chainsaw it's not the tool you want in every situation. Direct action points a spotlight on an issue, can directly interfere with an unjust group or situation, and delegitimize an institution or policy. Used at the wrong moment, without a strong base of support, it risks legitimizing the very institutions we seek to undermine.

Many police have just given their lives because they stayed in a dangerous situation helping other people get out. A lot of us in this struggle talk about being willing to die. They just did. Whatever we feel about police as tools of the state, now is not a good moment for a heavy police confrontation. In fact, although generally I'm against negotiating with the police, in this case I'd certainly consider that it might be a wise and even a generous thing to do. As individuals, the police are of a class that doesn't gain from the policies we oppose. Let's not write off the possibility that some of them could be brought to support us.

I want peace, not war. But calling for 'peace' at this moment does not sufficiently address the fear, anger and powerlessness people feel. I'd like to see us call for justice:

* Justice for the victims of this week's terrorist attacks.
* Justice, not blind vengeance-meaning that we need to know clearly and certainly who carried out the attacks before we retaliate.
* Justice for the Arab Americans who live among us. They deserve our support and protection.
* Justice for the people of other countries who could soon become ourvictims.
* Justice for the many, many victims of ongoing terror around the world, and recognition of the part we have played in supporting and forging that terror.
* Economic and environmental justice.

These are my thoughts at the moment. They could change as the situation changes. But mostly I suggest that we all begin a creative thinking process, that we consciously choose to set aside our fears and our depression. I suggest that before we agree to do anything we've done before, we consider at least three creative new alternatives. I think we should show up in Washington, if not in the numbers and way we expected, then in some other dimension of strength, and hold open the possibility that we can create not just a protest, but moments of public beauty that can transform the world. Finally, I want to say a word about faith. 'Faith' and 'religion' are being thrown around and served up to us in ways that are at the moment rather sickening. Religion of any denomination can motivate the worst acts and be a rationale for hate. And yet it's hard to get through times like these without faith in something.

I don't generally like to inflict my spirituality on people who might not want it. But I feel moved to tell you what's getting me through the night, along with the love and support of my community. It's the faith that there is a great, creative power that works through the living world toward life, diversity, healing and regeneration. That power works in us, in our human love, in our work for justice, in our courage and our visions. We don't need priests or ministers or even Witches to contact that power for us: we each have our own direct line. .It exists within us, infinite, unlimited. Ultimately, it is stronger than fear, stronger than violence, stronger than hate. I wish you all deep contact with whatever feeds your soul, and nourishment from whoever and whatever you most love.

-- Starhawk

Copyright 2001 Starhawk. Permission is granted to reproduce, if copyright info is included.

Here's Something I Wrote After Genoa About Trauma--although It's Oriented Toward... Sep 15th. at 8:37:48 am EDT

Starhawk (San Francisco, California US) Age: 0

Here's something I wrote after Genoa about trauma--although it's oriented toward that action the info applies to all sorts of PTSD, including the WTC travesty.

love Star

Please circulate this widely. Feel free to translate and repost without contacting me. We need to get this information out.

Supporting the Survivors of Genoa
By Starhawk

Genoa was an atrocity. Our friends and comrades have been brutally beaten, tortured, and wrongfully imprisoned. Some of them are so badly injured they will never be quite the same again. None of us will ever be the same emotionally or politically.

We need to support the people who went through the worst. And even those of us who escaped the worst need to know how to deal with trauma and how to recognize post traumatic stress syndrome.

Some of the symptoms follow. All of these are part of our normal human response to trauma, it's their duration and intensity that can turn them into the life-threatening condition of PTSD. If you are still having strong symptoms three months after the action, you may need experienced help. Our level of trauma will vary according to our personal histories and the level of violence we were exposed to: watching the stretchers being carried out is traumatic in a different way than being in one. People who come from violent homes in childhood, who are already survivors of rape, assault or abuse may be especially vulnerable.

Some symptoms: Changes in eating or sleeping patterns. Some people may be unable to eat or sleep. Others may not be able to stop. Not being able to put aside the terrible images and memories. Not being able to feel. Depression, inability to take joy in life. Rage (well, rage is the sane response to what happened, but crippling or self destructive rage, or anger directed at the wrong targets, can be a symptom.) Increased use of drugs or alcohol for self-medication. Fear, anxiety, panic attacks and phobias. Guilt, regret, and self blame. Witnesses who escaped suffering the worst may be especially prone to 'survivor's guilt'. Overwhelming grief. Inability to function normally, to plan or make decisions, or to carry out normal life activities. Shame.

Suicidal thoughts and feelings.

What you can do for yourself:

Reach out to your friends and allies for help and contact. Don't isolate yourself.

Remember-what happened is not your fault. You don't need to feel ashamed or guilty, although you may find yourself having these normal responses to trauma. The guilt belongs to the men who beat, tortured and murdered people, and to those who gave the orders, not to you. You coped the best you could with an utterly brutal situation.

Being there in Genoa is a mark of your courage, commitment and integrity. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. Be proud.

Friends and family members, in their own distress, may behave in ways that make it worse. You have the absolute right to stop them, to leave a destructive situation, and to find real help.

Remember that people do survive even these terrible things, and can come back stronger. But you may need time to focus on your own healing. Don't worry right now about whether or not you will go back to an action again. Know that healing yourself from this one is a political act.

What you can do to support your friends:

Find them. Contact them. Don't let them disappear into isolation. I'm especially worried about those who might have come to the action alone, or without friends in their own home city. They need to have contact with people who have been there, who understand at least something of what they went through.

Keep in contact. Call them, ask them how they're doing, if they're sleeping. Remember that people may think they're fine at first, but later begin to suffer the effects of the trauma. Commit to remain in contact over a period of months, not just the first few days.

Help them to talk. We need to tell our stories, sometimes over and over and over again: ideally to someone who has been through it and understands, but if that's not possible, to someone who can simply listen, accept the full range of our feelings, without trying to make us feel better.

Feed them, shop, cook and clean for them, take care of some of their creature comforts.

Accompany them. Help them get where they need to go.

Be an advocate for them in medical, legal or mental health measures. Help them make and get to appointments. Go with them. Help them fill out forms, write statements. Find appropriate help and resources for them.

Be an advocate for them with their school or job.

Help support their family and friends who may also be in grief, shock and rage.

Be a advocate, or a buffer, between them and family members, lovers or friends whose own level of stress and fear may cause them to react in ways that are not helpful. Be willing to let them get mad at you. Try to gently explain the reality of what has happened.

Help them bear witness, but take their lead. Some people may find their greatest relief comes from speaking out and telling their story publicly. You can help interest the media, or set up venues for them to talk to groups. For others, however, this might be too overwhelming or restimulating. Help them find other ways to witness: writing their story, writing statements that can be read by others for them, making tapes or videos at home.

Carry on the struggle. Find ways that they can stay connected and be a part of it even if they are not able to go to actions.

In all these things, remember that your friend is in charge of her or his own healing. Don't patronize or infantilize them, but support them to make their own choices.


Some people may need experienced, trained help to get through this. A group of us have been in the process of setting up a database of care providers who are committed to working with activists, if necessary on a no-fee or low cost basis. (This may not be such an issue for those of you with national health services, but some activists may be unwilling to trust those services and need private help.) The website should be up by August 15, 2001 and will be hosted at:

It will include contact information, experience, training and background. We are unable to provide quality control or monitoring, but the database will include a place where people can post their own experiences with the care provider.

I'll post a link on my own website at as a backup.

If you know care providers with an understanding of activism, and experience in dealing with trauma who might be willing to be listed, please have them contact us. If they need more information, ask them to email Walter Zeichner

Another good resource on trauma, with links to other sites and book recommendations, can be found at:

We need to take care of each other. If we do, we can strengthen our movement, and grow stronger.

Love and solidarity,

A few additional resources from a friend with the Red Cross:
David Baldwin's Trauma Page has a lot of resources: This includes the resources that the Red Cross publishes and it's easier to reach than through the Red Cross web site. It also includes a number of international sites and provides translations into 5 languages of its pages.
The National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
The American Psychiatric Association has a trauma page:
Amnesty International

I Found Out About The "attack" At 7 Am Pst. I Was... Sep 15th. at 6:03:52 am EDT

Ardellious Sabatt (Ventura, California US) Age: 26 - Email

I found out about the "attack" at 7 am PST. I was awaken to hear a phone conversation about how a local vendor of luggage and leather merchandise would be closed because of something that happened in New York, I would later find out about the whole story; how a bunch of terrorists hijacked some planes and flew them into some major landmarks of America, certain symbols of this countries wish to make this world into a peacfull ways... both violent and peacfull measures. It was intresting, because aside for the fear I had due to friends that lived in both areas, I felt afraid. It was not due to the threat of war, although I guess it might have been part, it was not a feeling of insecurity because this could happen again at anytime in the near future, it even wasn't fear of a possible scuffle with other countries over protection of the people responsible, no... it was the fact that in this time of crisis, the man to lead us in the aftermath and what is to come is George W. Bush. It's funny to me, that out of all the things that could come to my mind... that he would stick out as the forefront. As I expected he came onto national TV telling all of America to pray to the christian god, where normally that would be political suicide. It comes to mind when Bush was cought in saying that he did not believe Wicca was a real religion, and it also comes to mind the bombing of thousands of innocent, although American-hating, people in the rage of this pathetic little man from texas, who since his time in office has made it his number one priority to put us back in debt and make sure that nature pays the toll while he is in office by destroying natural reserves... All this comes to mind and the worst realization comes soon after... We have no choice but to trust in him. I recieved a call today from some friends of mine talking about how they were going to a memorial service to honor the dead and wounded in from the accidents... they were surprised when I said I didn't want to go... They almost seemed offended... though lacking the realization that all that would be going on there would be some ministers talking about the imortance of christ in these times... I find myself alone amidst the christian populace around here, even amoung my Wiccan friends. Fear not fellow Pegans... when you feel lonely or excluded... just remember that it is like that everywhere... and we stand togeather... just draw strength from that and go on... a Merry Mabon to you all... Blessed Be...

The Outrages Perpetrated On Americans On Tuesday Were Done By Cowardly Men... Sep 15th. at 4:36:58 am EDT

jody (summerville, Georgia US) Age: 47

The outrages perpetrated on Americans on Tuesday were done by cowardly men. Justice must be served, but I pray daily that the President will utilize his staff and his own good judgement before moving ahead with any plans.
The loss of life in NYC is horrendous and I have offered what assistance I can, as I feel especially the loss of my brothers and sisters in law enforcement. But I am also ex-military, and the attack on the Pentagon and on my fellow sailors hurts worse. Those of us who have been in the military know of the type of bonding that occurs. It's our shipmates that are gone now.
Do I hate all muslims/Arabs? of course not...but I do believe that those who planned the attack and those who harbored the planners will reap what they have sown, three times three.

Im Sorry, But In School Today I Felt Excluded. Usually I Can... Sep 15th. at 4:33:11 am EDT

Danielle (albany, Wisconsin US) Age: 14

Im sorry, but in school today i felt excluded. usually i can stand for singing christian songs, but today, saying the plege of allegience and america the beautiful, i felt left out. I am the only wiccan in my town, and it hurts to have only those songs to sing as a patriotic person:( i do not want to sound selfish, but i want a turn to shine and be known. Why must we be excluded? Is it impossible to keep religion out of the public? This has truly been a tragety, and i hope the united states will get through. I can not believe that we and every other belief that doesnt name their god "god" is excluded from this. i feel lonley.

Blessed be,

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