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| Article Specs|
Article ID: 4867
Age Group: Adult
Posted: November 10th. 2002
by Don Waterhawk
Update 11/12/2002 (the day after)
After writing the initial piece on Veterans Day, I figured that that would be it, I have said my piece, and now would be the time I would spend alone, with my inner Spirit smiles, and my love, Daniella, next to me. Well...I was mostly right, actually two out of three. I am with my inner Spirit smiles, and my love Daniella, but....ah the famous word "but"., I was no where near alone. Nope, not even a little bit.
The e-mails about this article have overwhelmed us both, all positive, all showing a great amount of Honor...Respect....and Gratitude. So at 5:30 pm, Daniella and I went to Bill/Wendyl's house, to their place on the edge of the Caloosahatchie River, and Bill Bailey (Eternal Flame Fire Clan) had lit the Ritual Fire next to the river. And there among the swaying palm trees, as the sunset was fading from pink and purple to royal blue, with our friends Terra and William, Bill Bailey (US Navy Vet), and myself opened the Sacred Circle....called in the grandparents and those that have "Muddied the Waters" for us.
This Ritual, this Sacred Ceremony was not for the Veterans, it was not for the Fire fighters, nor the Law Enforcement officers....no....this was for all the people that took the time to Honor, Respect, and give Gratitude. We gave our prayers and Magic to all those people that had written back to us. To all those people that took the time to let us know the love they feel for the men and women who place themselves in Harms Way to protect the next Seven Generations. Each name was read out loud, each person was Honored...each person was respected.....each person was given the gratitude that they had shared with their love ones, their parents, grandparents, brother, sisters, friends and ancestors.
I know that the River got higher that evening, as I shared the water back to my Ocean Sister. Tears of love are good. Very good....So thank you, and I will be bold and say thank you for those Voices that have passed. -- Nyeh Weh!
Dream Gently in the Realm of the Sacred Circle
Viet Nam 1969,70,71
5th Special Forces Group
101st Airborne Division
Veteran's Day Post (11/11/2002)
Veterans' Day? Now what does that have to do with Paganism? I can hear the minds whirling. So, what does Veterans' Day have to do with anything that "We" are connected with, within the Spiritual Realm?
Well, how about Honor, Respect and Gratitude for starters. How about Honoring our Ancestors? How about respecting those who gave the ultimate? How about giving thanks to those who placed themselves in harms way to protect others?
I know, I know...I can just hear all those Fluffy Bunnies crying about how this day honors WAR Wrong! You missed the point. But then again, you usually do. (Mouse medicine people only see what is in front of their whiskers.) How about those Bubble Blowing Fairy *******'s who complain that their dysfunction is more important than anything else and that it is they who should be honored? (We all know these people ...The Professional Whiners who surround themselves with the Poor Me Clan). Or the ever-breeding species of the Complaining Finger Pointers? Yeah, that's right. We do all belong to this Tribe to some degree, but some also belong to the two Clans above.
Do I seem a bit "miffed"? Yup!! And it's because I can't seem to figure out why my community doesn't get the true meaning of this Day or any day that Honors someone who stepped into "Harms Way" for the people. It doesn't matter what the political arena was or what social experience one had. There is no wrong or right here, friends. It's simply about Honoring a Military Veteran.... a Firefighter...a Cop..... anyone who puts their life on the line for others. Anyone who has earned the Spirit of the Eagle by saying, "That person is worth more than me" and has proven such. That's what I'm talking about.
An old medicine woman once spoke about the word, "Warrior". She disliked those first three letters within the word. She said that it ruined the true meaning of the Warrior. But it is a war that we "Veterans" had to fight: that deep war waged within ourselves in order to make a discussion and so to put another in front of ourselves.
I wonder how many people reading this has ever done that. I trust that there are not many; I would not want it to happen. But it has happened since the beginning of time, throughout centuries and within every culture, country, race, whatever. You get the meaning. All around the world, throughout time, people have given thanks along with their "Community" to Veterans. All, that is, except us.... I wonder why?
Many times throughout the year, people give thanks to those who "gave the Ultimate" in the "Muggles" community and no Native American Pow Wow or community ceremony begins without giving thanks to the Veterans. All indigenous people around the world honor, consistently, those who have given such. All, but our community. We give thanks to every God and Goddess, elements and directions, Above and Below, to every furry animal and bug eyed insect, each this and that.... but nothing to those who had a big hand in making it possible for you/us to do whatever pops our cork! I wonder, why? I just can't figure it out.
I mean, there are those who have parents or grandparents who were veterans and so, we do have some knowledge of what's it all about. But once we connect with "our" community, it gets lost.... somewhere. Are we afraid to have "Heroes" within our ranks? Are we so against the ideology of war that we feel we must ignore what has been happening for time immortal to the lowly individual?
I once met a person at a festival who, when she found out that I was a Viet Vet, asked me why I didn't go to Canada instead of the Military. I sat there in the chair, summoned up my calm Spiritual Being, and in a quiet, wisdom bearing voice told her to "Bite Me"!
Someone in the community once asked me if I had ever "killed" anyone even though she knew that I was a Combat Medic. Why didn't she ask me if I had ever saved anyone?
I stopped going to a festival because, even after years of asking (it falls on Vets Day) why there was no ceremony for Honoring Vets, the only answer I ever gotreceibed was, "Sure. Why don't you put one on?" They didn't get it.... didn't get it at all.
Did you know that the Pagan community has more Veterans within this community, (percentage wise) than the outside community does? Wonder why? I do, too! But there are a lot of us: Cops, firefighters, veterans, you just wouldn't believe the numbers. But we keep it quiet and not so much from the outside world (on who we are), but from our own community. We can see that there is not much incentive...no thanks.... no honor...no respect... which means the basic human need...the pat on the back, is not here. Sure tells our children something doesn't it?
I know. I am ranting -- and there is so much more I want to say -- but my mind is too filled with memories. I'm pretty passionate about this day. It is a deep Spiritual Day for me. A day filled with the Prayers of Honor, Respect and Gratitude for those who gave, and for those who are giving now.
So, I will celebrate it with those who are like me.... the ones who understand the need for Honoring. I trust that on this day you will call or find a firefighter and say thanks and to give him/her a warm smile. Find a cop and tell him/her to have a nice day and thank him/her (and forget about the ticket you got the other day. You know that you probably deserved it).
Oh yeah...and if you know some Vet somewhere, put aside your political feelings and say, " Hey...I love you". You would be really surprised what magick you will make!
To all of my brother and sister Veterans/Cops/Firefighters in the world -- past, present and future -- Wah Do! Thank you for all that you have done for my people. I will sit with my Spirit in Honor of you....Nyeh Weh!
Viet Nam 1969,70,71
5th Special Forces Group
101st Airborne Division
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