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Article ID: 4489
Age Group: Adult
Posted: November 13th. 2000
Living In A Banana Republic
Fait Accompli. We here at TWV have now done our sworn journalistic duty. Even though it is only inserted into a fragment rather than a grammatically correct full sentence, we think this effort adequately allows us to punch in the hole labeled, "Used the term 'banana republic' in at least one sentence this week". After making sure that the number did in fact line up with the hole- and barring any call for a recount- we feel quite confident that we have exercised our right to vote in "The-Word-or-Phrase-That-We-Hope-Never-To-Hear-Again" election. At last count, the word 'expedient' was running a close second. It's gonna be a "squeaker".
Living under the gaze of the world here in Florida while the election results are suspended in a not-all-that-surprising gridlock is very interesting. For some reason, we now feel the need to lower our blinds at night. Creepy. But since we are Pagans, we are also sensitive to the energies BEHIND the physical scrutiny. Creepier still. After doing a one-card spread using the William Blake deck over at Facade ("In the creative process: A time for "blind" absorption of data, for intense focus on research and documentation of the creative project being initiated.") and consulting the Magic 8-Ball ('The Magic 8-Ball is not amused. Ask again.'), it has become obvious that we as Floridians should take some responsibility for our own psychic well-being and therefore deflect some of those misguided thought-forms wandering across our border with the facts:
- Florida is NOT a 'hotbed'. The temperature here last night was about 55 degrees. Not really all that 'hot'. We almost had to use a blanket.
- Floridians DO know how to vote. It is just with five 24 hour-a-day Christian broadcasting channels down here, a few folks got confused when the name 'Satan' did not actually appear on any of the ballots.
- Florida is at the 'epicenter.' There are no fault lines near Florida. We don't have earthquakes; we have hurricanes. Hurricanes happen when lots of hot air blow across our state.
- And finally, "Chads" are those little paper bits left over after a voter punches the ballot for the candidate of his/her choice. There have been NO widespread incidents of men named 'Chad' being punched more than once. (This may change depending on how long the recounts take.)
While we DO take politics seriously-and this IS a momentous event in our nations; history-there comes a time when the minutia takes over and the 'big picture' loses its focus. As both party hitmen (and women) nit-pick, spin and cast aspersions on the other party's motives, it is often helpful to step back a bit and take a deep breath. Between seemingly opposing forces is a 'third thing' that Pagans and other magickal practitioners can sense.
Duality, as represented by the two firm pillars in politics and the doctrines of a predominately Christian society, creates a space in between, an archway, an opening, a portal, and a door. In magickal workings, when such a space is created, a new energy source may then be invited to enter. This deadlock of the old systems may actually turn out to be the womb that allows a 'third thing" to be born into the world's spiritual realm. Think about that the next time that you as a Pagan find yourself feeling frustrated that neither side can close that opening and collapse their chosen quantum probability. The Universe may have other ideas...and birth pains are the natural clue that point to the fact that 'something wonderful is about to happen'.
The shortcomings, indeed the very fallacy, of believing in systems (both political and spiritual) based upon the Western ideals of absolutes as expressed through the concept of duality-light vs. dark, good vs. evil-have been exposed in this election. Most Americans chose a candidate this term not because they themselves believed in the absolute of either platform, but as 'the lesser of two evils'. Did those who supported third party candidates get it right? Well, yes and no. Perhaps some of them did see this 'opening' between the pillars clearly and invoked a new political energy. Many others, we think, simply rejected duality as a system altogether. It is no huge surprise to find Pagans (no matter which way they ultimately voted) were very much interested in those 'third things'.
The old Pagan religions were based upon concepts that came not from Western thought, as we now know it, but from the East. Harmony with the spiritual forces in Nature- an understanding that Light is not the absolute Good just as Dark is not the absolute Evil-is the underlying theme of ancient Eastern religious thought. The snake is not evil because it eats the mouse; the man is not evil if he steals bread to feed his starving child. Neither is the Sun always good when it burns the crops nor the Moon bad because narcissistic humans stub their toes in the dim light. The light of day transitions into the darkness of night and back again into the dawn. Somewhere in all of these things lies the truth of a 'third thing'. And as Pagans, we understand this in ways that the Western-trained people do not.
What we shall do with this knowledge remains our challenge. What we could do with this knowledge is beyond the limitations of duality. Pagans may hold the 'swing vote' that will determine the future of our world. And maybe-at this very peculiar and precarious point in history- that is why we are here.
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