Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 2nd. 2014 ...
Lessons of Ostara: Six Ways to Move Forward
The Wiccan Priest - The Misunderstood Role
Which is Which? Am I a Warlock or a Witch?
The Secret Teaching: Selected Aspects
February 23rd. 2014 ...
Wicca or Traditional Witchcraft: Some Differences
Everything is Not Under Your Control: Making Sense of the Senseless
The Wonders and Gifts of Paganism and Community
What Makes Us What We Are
February 16th. 2014 ...
Death, Grief, and Psychopomp Work in Shamanic Healing
The Stones of Fear: Anxiety Relief
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Alternative Medicine – What Is It?
February 9th. 2014 ...
Words of Power!
The Allure of Glamour in the Apocolypse
Lunar Insight Planetary Preponderances: Year of the Horse, Imbolc and Mercury Grazings
February 2nd. 2014 ...
The Magick of Jewelry and Metals
Building a Magick Mirror
The Golden Bough: a Study Guide (Part 2)
January 26th. 2014 ...
Love of Self: The Hardest Thing To Do
The Golden Bough as a Seminal Work in the Neo Pagan Movement (Part 1)
13 Keys: The Mercy of Chesed
Lightworking In The Screen Age: Staying Connected
January 19th. 2014 ...
Open Letter to the Goddess
A Southern Girl's Guide to Hospitality
Social Conventions and the Pagan World
January 12th. 2014 ...
Never Once Was There a An Athame Near My Chalice: My Very Sheltered Occultist Upbringing
One Wiccan's Journey Through Depression
January 5th. 2014 ...
Religion vs Practice: Defining Witchcraft in a Modern Age
Traditional Apprenticeships: Training in the Modern Pagan Abbey
2014's Magickal Magnificent Manifestations!
Lunar Insight Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances: Wise and Wild
December 29th. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 3)
13 Keys: The Might of Geburah
Beyond The Season of Greed
December 22nd. 2013 ...
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 2)
December 15th. 2013 ...
The Hex Murder of 1928
My Top Ten Favorite Cauldrons (Part 1)
Lady of the Forest Mist (A Story of the Woods)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Hunting, Fires and Parting Shots
December 8th. 2013 ...
Help and Thoughts for Pagans New to the Journey
Using Your Wand in Reverse
Leaving a Group - Part 2: Leaving, Healing and Moving Forward
The Cry of the Soul
December 1st. 2013 ...
The Tarot as a Tool for Raising Consciousness
A Pragmatic Look at Neo Paganism
Leaving a Pagan Group – Part 1: To Leave or to Stay?
November 24th. 2013 ...
The Pagan and the Papacy
The Groovy Aquarian Christ: Jesus From a Pagan Perspective
November 17th. 2013 ...
For Love of the God
Which Witch? Philosophical and Psychological Roots of Wicca
A Threat to Religious Liberties?
November 10th. 2013 ...
Where did Aleister Crowley’s Influence on Wicca Go?
Thoughts on the Threefold Law/Law of Return
The Celtic Tree Calendar
Nine Creeds: A Statement and Explanation of My Beliefs
November 3rd. 2013 ...
The Mundane/Spiritual Mirror: What Does it Say About Your Life?
October 27th. 2013 ...
Thoughts On a Miley-Cyrus/ Robin-Thicke Society
On Being Wiccan: Some Unsolicited Advice
Pagan Religious Communities in your Area: Connecting With and Creating Them
Banishing, Invocation and the Lesser Ritual of the Pentagram
October 20th. 2013 ...
Bottle Spells and Magick in Hoodoo Tradition
Weather Magick: Who is Responsible for the Weather?
Broom Closet: In or Out?
On Coven and Claws
October 13th. 2013 ...
Destroying to Create: A Lesson from the Dead
Consume the Scorpion- Scorpion Energy Revisited
October 6th. 2013 ...
UPG and U: A Breakdown and Building Up of Unverified and Unsubstantiated Personal Gnosis
Answering The Call from Spirit
Coping with the Loss of a Familiar
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 2 (The South)
September 29th. 2013 ...
Six Reasons Why Covens are Here to Stay
Priestessing and Titles: What's the Point?
Truth or Convenience? Questioning Motives for Spiritual Advancement
Speaking Up: The Conflict Between the Spiritualist and Our Human Experience
September 22nd. 2013 ...
Death of a Friendship within the Craft
The Five-way Road: A Pagan Pilgrimage, Part 1 (The Center)
September 15th. 2013 ...
Some Pagan Prayers
The Holocaust Survivor (Part II)
Lunar Insight Moon Musings: Bramble and Cerridwen
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Fight or Flight: What Would a Pagan Do?
Article Specs |
Article ID: 15052
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 504
Times Read: 2,034
RSS Views: 11,162
Author: Strega Viola [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: October 21st. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,034
“Fight or flight?” Walter Cannon coined the phrase to describe the reaction to threat by the central nervous system as a response that dominates the instinct of both humans and animals on this planet. In other words, we either run from threat, perceived harm, or abuse; or we stand up against it.
But does a spiritual person stand up to abuse in order to correct it, or do they “turn the other cheek?” I learned that the opinions and arguments concerning this question are extremely varied, and much more diverse- depending of course, on the incident referred to. Karma had dictated that one day, I would be faced with a fight or flight decision that would prove to be a life altering issue.
So I'll backtrack a little, and let the reader decide. I was born a Catholic, and I was always taught that the closest person on earth to God -was a Priest. And I sincerely believed that. I was proud of my faith, and had always felt secure that God was watching over me. I talked to him every night as a child in my prayers, and I enjoyed his company. Life was good. I went to Catholic school, and accepted the belief in God, and Mary, his Mother. And throw in some Saints and Angels, and life was even better.
Although my family was originally from Italy, and they had mixed some aspects of Stregheria (Italian Witchcraft) with Catholicism, I found it a little confusing; but I accepted it, and I was happy. But shortly after 8th grade, a Catholic Priest repeatedly abused me; and my life changed drastically. My faith became distorted, and I was unable to comprehend what had been done to me; as I could not mentally process how a Catholic Priest could violate me like that.
I am not going to go on a Catholic Bashing rant; most of my relatives, and many of my friends are still Catholic – and I accept that. That is the path they have chosen to keep; and I will respect that decision. But I had made the decision however, to explore other faiths as a teen; as a result of the abuse I had suffered. I turned a bad experience into a learning experience, and I was very surprised at what I was discovering at the time; that Paganism, Magick, and Witchcraft was my true calling.
Starting in the 1970's, I collected books on Witches, Paganism, Rituals, Occultism, Stregheria, the Craft, Astrology, Wicca, Ancient Witchcraft, Goddesses, Magick, Cabala, and on and on. I have collected thousands of books on any and all Pagan related subjects, and I still do.
I began practicing my own blend of eclectic Magick in the mid 1970's, and I wrote my own rituals, and also joined others Pagans in many events, Circles and Covens for the past 40 years. Although I suffered from the effects of child abuse- anxiety disorders and PTSD; my saving “medicine” was the practice of Magick and Witchcraft. It was also the fulfillment of my Spirituality.
I got married in 1979, and I have been married now for 32 years.
But in 2003, destiny threw me a curve, and placed me in a critical decision mode. The State of California lifted the statute of limitations on child abuse cases, for only that year; and I was put to a test. I found out that the Priest who had violated me was in ministry with kids, and that those potentially vulnerable children were with him regularly, as I was; and I was shocked. A lawyer told me that I had only one year to file a claim of child abuse, and that would be the one and only period in my life that I would have a chance to seek justice for what had happened to me; and stop the abuser priest from being around other vulnerable kids.
I contacted the Bishop of San Francisco, and asked him to remove the Priest who had abused me; and not allow the Priest to have access to innocent children. The Bishop refused. It was at that point that I was faced with the question: Fight or Flight? Should I just forget it, and leave the other children to fend for themselves, and allow the predator to have freedom to be around children? What would you do?
I thought about it, and I decided that Karma had kicked me, and I would be the Pagan that would fight. Perhaps many others would have fled, but there were still other children to think about.
I filed suit.
But ironies kept multiplying, as if they were designed to by an unseen force. The biggest irony was that the Bishop of San Francisco himself, Bishop Levada, placed the Priest who had molested me in a position as Associate Pastor at the largest Cathedral in the City. To magnify the irony, Bishop Levada was promoted to be the “Prefect for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith”, which is literally- the “Office of the Inquisition”. Cardinal Levada was made the present day ”Inquisitor General”. So I was to oppose the Inquisitor General, historically the office that was responsible for the “Hammer of the Witches”, and the Inquisition itself.
Now I ask: “What would you do in my place?”
Thousands of cases of clergy abuse cases were filed that year, and more than 99.9% of them were settled out of court. But mine was not. I was the only victim to proceed to a court jury trial in my county, - Contra Costa County. The church spent over 5 million dollars fighting the case, and it took nearly six years to litigate.
I practiced Magick to win the case, which may seem arguable, but I won. The church appealed three times, and I won all the appeals as well. The predator priest was removed from ministry and the school; and I think destiny and Karma had predetermined the outcome.
I hold no animosity for the Catholic faithful, nor for the clergy who have genuine concern for the unfortunate children who were violated. And I am in awe at the effects of Karma, and destiny, and the practice of Magick; but if I had to do it all over again -I would.
But the real irony came shortly after the trial; the lawyers told me that there has only been one recorded case of a “Witch” defeating the church in a court jury trial in history. And that is my case. Karma again? I recently wrote a book about my experiences, A Witch Wins Justice.
I wish Peace and Magick to all - of any belief system.
What would you do?
Location: Martinez, California
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