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Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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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.
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| We As A Nation, And We As Human Beings Across This World... ||Sep 12th. at 2:15:17 pm EDT|
|Lark (Clarksville, Tennessee US) ||Age: 56 - Email |
We as a nation, and we as human beings across this world, have experienced a terrible shock, one that we will not get over for a long, long time. For some of us, the grief and sorrow are on a very personal level if we had friends or family who are among the casualties of this act by persons as yet unknown. Some of us are effected merely because an event of this magnitude does touch us all as children of the Goddess.
Whenever there is a disaster, a war, an event of nature, we feel grief for the victims...but fear for ourselves is often missing because we can feel that it is far away, or that we can plan for the next one so that we are safe from it. This feeling of being in "control" of our lives is very important to our emotional well-being. But yesterday's senseless tragedy robs us of this sense of security. It **CAN** happen here, it **CAN** happen anywhere and at anytime. And while we might put security measures in place to diminish the risk of another such attach, the sad truth is that there is no way to completely protect yourself from someone who is willing to die to make a political point. And this sudden knowledge of our own vulnerability can have a very serious psychological impact on each of us. That is why terrorism exists and is so effective.
So in the next days, weeks, and months it is important that we do what we can to deal with the images of the past terrible hours. And that healing needs to begin right at home.
Understand that these images, disturbing as they are to us, are even more so to our small children who haven't the cognitive ability yet to understand what is happening, but who are frightened by the images and by the response they see in our faces. Be aware of the impact you may be having on these little ones. Much as we all seem to be glued to the TV set, limit the amount of news footage that the kids are seeing. Particularly pay attention when they say that images may be
disturbing. If the sight of falling bodies and burning buildings upset you, think what they mean to a small child.
Take time to talk to your children..if they want to talk..and explain as best you can that sometimes people do bad things that hurt lots of others. And reassure them that you will do your best to keep them safe..and that you will be safe yourself. There will be a time when they are older for them to understand everything that happened. Right now what they need is to feel that they are secure in their own home. And the truth of it is, they are. The chance of any of you personally being hurt or killed in a terrorist attack is minimal. Let's not let the little ones suffer for our adult fears.
Remember too that when we are afraid and feel helpless, when we see people hurt by terrorists..we often transpose these feelings into anger. Directly it is anger at the terrorists. But since we can't strike back directly at the source of our fears, it often overflows into our relationships at home. Be aware of your emotional state. Don't end up taking out your anger on those who don't deserve it, loved ones, friends, our children.
We also need to be very careful that our justifiable anger does not spill over on to innocent targets. Right now we don't know for a fact who did this awful thing. Yet I have already heard people on talk radion saying they wish all Muslims were dead. This is our fear talking, not our rational selves. And letting fear talk can lead to our committing acts we may regret later. Let us
reserve our anger for those who do deserve it, for those who committed this act, and for those who provided them with the tools and money to do it. It must be remembered, not so long ago we blamed the Muslims for another attack, only to find out it was committed by our own citizens.
While we are all made aware of our vulnerability by this act, don't let it become a fear so great that you cannot function in a normal fashion. Yes, we are still in mourning and temporarily immobilized. But if you suddenly find yourself unable to go to work because you fear that something "might" happen, if you can't leave the house without your heart pounding, then your fears have gained control of your life. And that kind of reaction is a good sign that you need
professional help to aid you in working through these events.
And don't forget the spiritual side of your healing either. Take time for yourselves to commune with the Divine. Ask for your own healing as well as that for others. Get outside and touch the earth, sit under a tree, find your center again.
Being able to offer help to others in worse need is one good way of feeling that you have regained some semblance of control. Most of us live some distance away from these disasters. But here in the States there are a number of direct ways that you can help. The Red Cross will continue to need blood in the coming weeks and months both to treat the victims of this disaster and to replenish depleted blood banks across the country. Sure the lines are long today, but in a week they probably won't be. Get out there and donate blood. If you don't know where to go, call 1-800-GIV-LIFE. And along with blood, relief workers with the Red Cross will be in need of many, many supplies to help with rescue efforts and in the shelters from those made homeless by the blasts. Any amount of money would be welcomed. Again, for monetary donations, contact the Red Cross at 1-800-HELP NOW.
We as a nation and as a world must do whatever we can to insure that this does not happen again. Terrorism is an attack on each and every one of us. In the past we have been ineffective in doing this because we have acted alone and have gone after only the individual perpetrators. We have learned to our sorrow that this does not work. The continued support of terrorist groups by countries around the world has meant an unending supply of individuals who are willing to die for what they believe. To be effective in ending this scourge, we must remove these safe havens. Can it be done? Yes it can. Those of us who remember the many, many airplane hijackings of the 1970's also remember how those became rare once the world decided that no nation would grant refuge to a hijacker. The nations of the world need to come together again now and say that they will not tolerate any such acts as we just experience, and that any nation which harbors, trains, or funds such acts will be held accountable.
This action must be carefully planned, based on accurate information that targets the real perpetrators and minimizes risk to the innocent around them. To do otherwise is to sink ourselves to their level. And once identified and located, then and only then could I see the use of military force to eliminate the terrorist center. And warning must also be given to the hosting country that
any action on their part to prevent our actions will be treated as a hostile act. Let there be no mistake, we must act..or we are all doomed to experience such acts again and again.
One final intervention that you here in the States, and one that you overseas, can do..is let your government representatives know that you give them your support to end the threat of world terrorism. Politicians are talking a good line right now, but months from now when the ashes have cooled, they may need reminding that the memories of these terrible days are still fresh in our minds and that they need to act to prevent any repetition of this event.
In the meantime, let us keep each other and all those across the world harmed by this tragedy in our thoughts and prayers. Contine to come here as you need to vent your fears and anger. And know that the God and Goddess hold each of you in their arms.
| It Is Wonderful To See People Pulling Together During This Tragedy. I... ||Sep 12th. at 2:12:24 pm EDT|
|Lunah (Arlington, Virginia US) ||Age: 29 - Email |
It is wonderful to see people pulling together during this tragedy. I would like to think that something good can come of such a horrific event. I live only a few miles from the Pentagon, and I am thankful that my family and friends are okay. My thoughts go out to everyone touched by this event. And thank you, Canada, for your support in finding space for international flights.
| I Was Driving To Work When This Happened And The Radio Had... ||Sep 12th. at 2:09:42 pm EDT|
|Erica (Layton, Utah US) ||Age: 22 |
I was driving to work when this happened and the radio had said nothing about it. I knew nothing about it until I got into work and started listening to my coworkers. I was horrified. I was scared for my family and for the families that were involved in this horrible act. I didn't feel safe anymore. I didn't want to leave work cause it felt safer there than it did at home. BTW I am in the Military so you can imagine why it felt safer. I have no choice in this matter if my higher ups feel it is wise to retaliate with war i am gonna be right there. I will be glad to carry a gun and kill people that killed or assisted in killing innocent American Civilians. That is my job. I don't want to sound callous but I feel we should take over a country for this. It was all almost too much to take in. It seemed like a dream or a movie. I wanted to go to sleep and make it all go away. But that doesn't work in real life. I am still in shock. My partner and I are having problems over this because I think he should call his Aunt (who lives in Pittsburgh) and his best friend (who lives in Boston) and see how they are doing. He disagrees saying that he doesn't want to deal with people right now, including me. This just makes the whole situation worse cause now i don't have anyone to talk to about this and about how i am feeling. He is doing the worst thing he can do "bottling his emotions." But anyway I think we should all stick together during these trying times for America. The military could use as many volunteers right now that the country will give. Remember we are the ones that will be fighting when it comes to that.
| When I Heard The News Of The Cowardly Act That Will Forever... ||Sep 12th. at 2:09:07 pm EDT|
|Moonfire (Raton, New Mexico US) ||Age: 28 |
When I heard the news of the cowardly act that will forever mark this day in history, I was busy doing the mundane task of cleaning my sock drawer. My mother called and told me "Turn the news on now!" and then hung up. My mind was, and still is, unable to fully grasp the tragedy that has happened. My concerns are for the victims and their families; the heroic firefighters, EMT's, and police that raced to save lives; and for the ethnic groups that will be wrongfully singled out during the next few weeks. I do not feel that I need to ask my fellow Pagan brothers and sisters to join me in doing whatever we can to help. I know we are all doing what we feel we can do. I try to keep myself from becoming angry and letting that emotion dominate my thoughts today. I send out love to everyone I have mentioned above and am awaiting my turn to give blood.
This will forever change the United States of America and how we conduct our business, travel, and entertainment. It is shocking and horrible to think of a terrorist attack on our own soil. However, last night I was able to hug my children, husband, and family. Tears are falling on my keyboard as I think of all those who could not.
| I Just Wanted To Say That I Was Woke Up Yesterday Morning... ||Sep 12th. at 1:58:10 pm EDT|
|Amanda Gibson (Middleburg, Florida US) ||Age: 16 - Email |
I just wanted to say that I was woke up yesterday morning to a sight that took my every thought away. Last night I burned a purple candle for those who have suffered, been injured, or have passed away in yesterday's tragedy. All that was left in the morning was the end of the wick. I see that that candle was well used up. Today I am burning a black candle for protection of our now uniting nation. I am asking everyone, patriotic or not, to light a candle or saying a blessing for not only these people needing it but also for the United States of America. I am saddened though, that it takes such acts to unite us again. But we now stand with a will and a way and a reason. I only hope that this does not end half as badly as it began. Of course it is inevitable with the possibility of war. I wish only the best for everyone and that those responsible will only recieve what they deserve and that is this tragedy three fold among them. Blessed Be!
| Yesterday Morning I Awoke At About 8:45 Am With A Feeling... ||Sep 12th. at 1:53:14 pm EDT|
|Brighid (Murfreesboro, Tennessee US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
Yesterday morning I awoke at about 8:45 am with a feeling that something strange was going on. I woke up again about an hour later to get ready for classes. When I turned on the radio, I learned of the horror that had occured in New York, Pennsylvania, and the Pentagon. I send bright blessings to all survivors, victims, and rescuers alike. I want to encourage everyone to donate blood, funds, or supplies and to keep sending out thoughts and love to everyone. Blesssed be America.
| Hello All.i Cant Even Begin To Exspress The Things That Went... ||Sep 12th. at 1:52:13 pm EDT|
|Sarena (Gardiner, Maine US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I cant even begin to exspress the things that went through my mind when I walked into my school cafateria yesterday and saw so many kids surounding around the tv the school placed there last year. At first glance I assumed the smoke and destruction I was seeing was a bad local fire or some kind of war in another country. I was more then shocked when I read the Words Attack on America at the bottom of the screen. One of my friend walked up to me and told me what happened.
I spent the entire lunch and the rest of my class watching the events on tv. When I got home I remember walking in the door saying hello to my cats and setting on my bed. I dont think iv cryed that much in a long time. I keep asking myself why I cryed because I had no relatives or friends involved. It did not directly affect me but I still cryed and even today all I can think about are those people.
Iv prayed alot. At the momment that seems to be all I can do. I think this was a very large turning point for America, All of America. It made a intier country stop and look. Having friends that have recently joined the military I wonder like all the US what will happen next. My Father works recsue and he has informed me if needed he will go to New York as a volonter.
I pray to the Goddess for the friends and Family of the victims.
Blessed Be In Love and Hope, Sarena Ravencraft (Sarah )
| Just Like Everybody Else We Here In Europe, Who Are Thousands Of... ||Sep 12th. at 1:51:56 pm EDT|
|Stephanie (Cologne) ||Age: 35 |
Just like everybody else we here in Europe, who are thousands of miles away, still feel the shock, disbelief, anger and dispair this horrifying attack as brought upon the world.
I still can't grasp what has happend and I dare not imagine, what this might mean in a longer perspective.
My only hope is, that world leaders and especially the President of the United States stay level-headed and weigh their actions against the consequences they might provoke.
"An eye for an eye!" is an understandable reaction in the first moments of shock, but let us prove we have a deeper respect for life and not rush into action still blinded by tears. There is no place for revenge in a civilized world.
The ones responsible for this terrible crime will be found and put to justice, but right now our help is needed by the people who have lost their friends and relatives. This is where we all should put our efforts.
My thoughts are with all the victims and their families!
| This Is A Real Tragedy. I'm Not From America, But I Feel... ||Sep 12th. at 1:51:14 pm EDT|
|Dagmar (Zaandam, Netherlands) ||Age: 18 |
This is a real tragedy. I'm not from America, but i feel a deep sympathy for all of the americans. I cant understand how a small group people without a brain, were aible to create such chaos and total disbelieve and dispear. It deeply hurts me to see that a human live has no value at all to some people. I have only one word for that, sad! Deeply sad!
God bless al the braves people that are still working to rescue people from under the collapsed buildings and of course all the people who are under the building.
| As I've Been Watching Over The Past Two Years As The Middle... ||Sep 12th. at 1:50:58 pm EDT|
|Caern (Coral Springs, Florida US) ||Age: 36 - Email |
As I've been watching over the past two years as the Middle East peace process unravels, as Israeli hardliners have reversed many of the successes in this peace process, as Israel, backed by the United States, has taken an ever more brutally repressive and uncompromising stance with the Palestinians, many conflicting thoughts have been going through my mind.
One of my favorite works of fiction is Starhawk's 'The Fifth Sacred Thing'.
This book, and the ideas and lives portrayed in it challenged many of my fundamental principles about maintaining freedom in the modern world. I began to realize while reading this work that there was a war going on within me.
One of the forces within me struggles to understand, to accept the differences in others, to share love and life and respect...the blessings of the Gods.
The other force within me is fearful, hateful, vengeful and violent.
I've been struggling to reconcile these two parts of my psyche. To try and heal myself so that I may heal and teach others. I'm sorry, but I don't know if that is possible anymore.
I was in my car, driving back from dropping my son at school when the news reports of the first airliner strike on the World Trade Center came over the airwaves. At first the reports were disorganized and fuzzy on details. We all assumed it was some horrible accident. That something had gone horribly wrong with the aircraft or air traffic control. Then reports of the second plane hitting the south tower came through, and we all began to suspect the horrible truth: The United States was under attack. The third strike on the Pentagon confirmed our worst fears. The nightmare that has been discussed in quiet, hushed voices at dinner parties, in meetings, in living room conversations, in talk shows across the nation had finally come home to us. Terrorists had managed to use our own civilian aircraft against us, destroying one symbol of America, damaging another and killing or maiming thousands of our brothers and sisters. I stayed glued to news reports on TV throughout the rest of the day and night, stopping only when I could no longer keep my eyes open from fatigue.
How could someone perpetrate this evil act of destruction and murder? How was this possible?
Despite recent terrorist bombings in the US, and violence in our nation's schools, We have considered America uniquely immune to this magnitude of horror. Now we know, as the perpetrators of this act of incomprehensible murder now know, that America is NOT immune. No matter how much I wish, or pray or want to believe otherwise, I know that this is a beginning. More will come unless we take action to prevent it.
After witnessing the devastation and the horror of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon yesterday, and watching, horrified, as men, women and children in the Middle Eastern world cheered and congratulated each other on the suffering of thousands of Americans, I am filled with a deep sorrow and a burning rage. I want those who committed these atrocities, and those who support them in thought, word and deed to suffer! I want them to feel the loss of their loved-ones and their property and the symbols of their way of life!
I want them to grieve and beg THEIR gods for reprieve, as America now does!
My mind has hate, and fear, and a desire for vengeance and violence as much as the minds of those who committed these acts. But I also grieve when I see others hurt and killed. I didn't cheer when I learned that our forces during the Gulf War killed thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilians. I grieved for their loss as much as I grieve for the loss of those in Washington D.C. and New York City. I doubt that the terrorists who organized the hijacking of those aircraft used in these attacks feel as I do. It is obvious that those people I saw cheering and waving the Palestinian flag do not feel as I do.
I just can't help but feel that if they were made to suffer, perhaps they'd shy from wishing such suffering on others whom they don't even know. As awful as that statement is for me to make, I know one thing: I would grieve their loss, too.
| In The Wake Of Yesterdays Tragedies, It Leaves Me Wondering Why? There... ||Sep 12th. at 1:47:59 pm EDT|
|Reverend Mary Miller (Wixom, Michigan US) ||Age: 37 - Email |
In the wake of yesterdays tragedies, It leaves me wondering why? There are a lot of why's about this. It took time out today to write my entire family and friends to let them know just how much that I love them and the relief that I felt when I found none of them struck by this tragedy. But my heart goes out to those who were. It unfortunately comes down to religious freedom. We all have had to fight that battle in this country as well as other countries, and leaves me wondering why? Why must life be lost and fighting occur for a religious belief? I live my life with the words, " It's not what faith that you have but that you have faith." As long as you keep the Goddess in your heart and know her love, does it really matter what other people keep in thier hearts? This tragedy was not caused by a religion, but a people that are obviously not comfortable in their own faith. If a person needs to impose thier beliefs in others, than to me they do not have faith. I give my life to my Gods and Goddesses, but in love, not hatred and anger. It is time for ALL the fighting to end. I condemn the actions yesterday as a lost people, not a faithful one. My lesson in all this is, my neighbor, as I walked by had said very loudly the other day, "and I will be in church". My first reaction was one of anger. Now, in light of what has happened, it is one of pity. I pity her that she cannot open her heart to true faith, because if she were truly faithful, she would not have felt the need to impose her faith on me. In my heart I keep the Goddess alive, and I will now do so in love. I will not feel anger when the baptist come to my door, I will feel pity that they feel the need to "witness" to others just to prove to themselves that they have faith in thier God. It is sad and pathetic, but it is what caused yesterdays tragedy. Lets not condemn the religion, but the people within it. They obviously have no faith, and I pity the person who cannot find the love in thier hearts to be able to have faith naturally in thier Gods. To the Goddess I dedicate my life in love of her gifts and of humanity..... My prayers and candles will be lit to those in need of healing from their loss. My candles will also be lit that the people realize the futility in thier actions. This tragedy happened because a religious faith believed that they had to so that their religion would be preserved, but all they did was prove how unfaithful that they really were. May our country learn a lesson from this. I keep my faith in my heart with the love that I feel from my Goddess. May she heal these ills, and bring a quick end to such a tragedy.......
| Dear Friends, Though Anger, Rage, Disgust, And Hatred Are All Acceptable And... ||Sep 12th. at 1:39:37 pm EDT|
|Maeve (Boone, North Carolina US) ||Age: 0 |
Though anger, rage, disgust, and hatred are all acceptable and appropriate feelings after such a horrendous and pointless act of violence ending in the death and misery of so many innocents, I implore you to understand that these people. . . the perpetrators of such a heinous act, are people and susceptable to all of the same irrational and unwise emotions as we all are. Unfortunately, these people had the lack of empathy and lighness in their hearts that many of us have the fortune of possessing . Unfortunately, the U.S. has gotten itself into a holy war that has been going on for thousands and thousands of years. Some people are not so lucky that they have spiritualities based on love, understanding, and peace. Many are told their entire lives that they must fight and die for their religions and that anyone who opposes them is inhuman. I find this very upsetting. It takes an extreme amount of emotional alienation to commit the acts that were committed yesterday morning. These people have become the embodiement of hatred; it drives them. They live (and die) to hate and bestow misery upon those who oppose their political, social, and religious ideologies. So tell me. . . what becomes of us when we begin to walk on that same path? What will become of us when we let ourselves become the embodiment of hate, loathing, and violence, even if it's only against one group? The Milgrim study, done shortly after WWII and the holocost, sought to answer the question, "What makes an banal, familiy-oriented, loving, socially-adept, seemingly "normal", everyday individual commit such heinous acts against humanity?" The answer was frighteningly clear: individuals will commit acts far beyone their personal levels of immorality in the face of authoritarian pressure. Furthermore, when an individual sees another group of individuals as subhuman or even inhuman, the level of violence and desicration increases exponentially. My point, my sisters and brothers, is that vengeance will perpetuate the problem, not to mention rob us of our humanity, love, and empathy. It will help to harden our hearts and create a situation where these people become inhuman. . . just like we have to them. They bomb our cities for what seems to them like a perfectly justified reason (they were willing to die themselves). . . so we kill their innocents for what seems to us like a perfectly justified reason. Wow. . . this really gets them worked up. . . how dare we destroy their innocents after taking their holy lands? It's a horrible, hateful spiral, and as pagans, following the rule of "Harm None", we have no business perpetuating it or even prescribing it. If not for these sad, alienated, misguided, hate-consumed people or their potentially innocent families and neighbors, then for yourselves, your family, your loved ones. . . please let go of the hate and misery. Please don't succumb to the alienation that the blackness in your heart causes. Find comfort in your gods, your goddesses, the force, the universe. . . all will work out in the end. May you find the courage to love in the midst of hatred. May you find the light of peace through the darkness.
Much love to you all, my beautiful, strong brothers and sisters. . .
Peace & Balance. . .
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