Articles/Essays From Pagans
March 9th. 2014 ...
Healing the Witch Within
Discovering Wicca as a Young Child
March Pisces Energy: Pre-natal Memories and Standing Upright
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
Spiritual Traveler: Form To Essence
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
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Faith in Times of Crisis
Article ID: 15191
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 492
Times Read: 2,602
RSS Views: 9,575
Posted: November 4th. 2012
Times Viewed: 2,602
August 21, 2012 will be a day I will not forget… I was driving home from work and it was storming out. This isn’t unusual for Florida this time of year. It’s the Wet Season after all. Constant flashes of lightning and scattered walls of rain make the highway slick and dangerous, even for the most experienced Florida driver. But something was unusual this time. Something didn’t sit quite right.
***Earlier in the day:
“Hello?” asked my girlfriend.
“Hey, what’s up?” I asked.
“Are you okay? I had a feeling.” She said with that worried tone in her voice.
She called me at work, and asked if I was doing all right because she sensed something. I wondered if she was feeling anxiety because we had quarreled recently. Or perhaps she was just worried because I drive an hour everyday from work to home, and due to the incumbent weather it could prove dangerous. I assured her I was fine. I told her that I loved her and I would see her soon.
When I left work, I left a bit earlier than usual. I bid my co-workers safe journey and that I would see them the next day. I texted my husband – with whom I have been with for 13 years as of this writing – that I loved him and informed him that I was on my way home. I lived with him while my girlfriend remained at her own apartment.
***Fast forward to that time:
I was only one mile from the highway exit that leads to my neighborhood when the unthinkable happened – I was cut off by another vehicle and subsequently found myself losing control of my 1996 Ford Explorer. I went off the highway and all I saw was the wall in front of me. In attempting to avoid it, I did not see the sewage ditch that changed the elevation. That was when I began to roll over. Again. Again. Again…
I remember being thrown from the driver’s seat to the passenger seat, smashing into the window and door. Instantly I was knocked out. I woke up, dazed, my head beneath the glove compartment. I was upside-down, and rain with mud and water was coming into. I could taste it. I tried spitting it out, but my head kept falling back in. I passed out, taking in the muddy water.
The next thing I knew, I woke up supine on the ground in shock. Ordinary people – Good Samaritans – stopped and pulled me out. Six or seven large men, all strangers one to another as far as I knew. I recited my husband and girlfriend’s names and phone numbers over and over.
In shock, I heard myself say, “Please someone call them! Someone call Joey Selca or Whitney Salvador at these numbers…!”
Someone did. I was told they put the phone to my ear and I assessed myself medically. It’s in my training; I am a Medical Assistant after all, with plans to attend medical school. Then the paramedics arrived, and off I was rushed to the emergency room. No broken bones. No fractures. No cerebral bleeding. Just a brain injury. Is it minor? Not sure. But I had one: a traumatic-induced brain injury.
In moments like these, there are questions that abound:
But, ultimately, it doesn’t matter what I was asking. It was what other people were thinking about my situation:
-It’s karma because he is a bad leader.
-It’s a psychic attack from his haters.
-It happened because he is not a Christian and therefore the devil tried taking his life. Jesus saved him and one day he will know it and come back to the fold.
-It happened for a Cosmic Reason, and I would know why later in life at some point.
How many of us have experienced bad times, only to be told by others that our unfortunate situations were because we offended the Cosmos or because there were people out there willing it to happen to us? How many times have we set up wards, protections, and banishings only to still work on wondering where our next meal is coming from, how we’re going to pay the light bill, or when our Religious Community will finally stop infighting and start working together? How many times have subtle criticisms been made implying that we must have deserved our plight? The implications were perhaps not by those closest to us when tragedy strikes, but very much so by our detractors.
The truth was that it was simply an accident, and the decision lay with me on what my next move was. Indulge pejorative feedback, or find the inner resolve that I know I am blessed with from my ancestors and fight to get back on track? I decided that my Pagan faith equipped me with the fortitude and grace to know that within myself was the answer to what I was seeking (Charge of the Goddess anyone?) . I also had this religious bedrock to lean on to assist me in the depression and anger that was surely to come from enduring such a traumatic and stressful event.
You see, many times I sit and wonder how my Pagan faith can become an organic means in my daily life. Away from the tools, away from the shrines, and away from the material things... back to spiritual basics, I say. In my particular Traditional branch, we work heavily with the ancestors. We constantly question such as, “What have they to teach me, ” “How am I a part of them, ” “What is it that I can carry on that they have passed to me?” In this critical moment, I knew that I was granted not only a blessing in walking away from this terrible accident that claimed my vehicle as its only victim…I had an opportunity to honor and make proud my ancestors in using the Inner Resources of the human spirit that millennia of evolution and growth blessed me in my very veins. Further encouragement came from my immediate spiritual Community, my loved ones, my friends, people on Facebook, as well as my familial relations. But something wonderful also happened in turn. While I was in the hospital and in rehab, I found myself in the company of people who were asking questions (randomly!) about spiritual guidance in their personal lives. I was blessed to chat with many workers and senior patients about overcoming trauma through faith.
Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t there to preach the “Gospel of Gaia” or shout out to the world to believe in Hekate and “She will fill you with the Holy Torch! Halle-hekatay!”
Our religion forbids proselytizing. Our faith is for those who are Seekers. Paganism calls out and waits patiently, but even if one never fully espouses the term “Pagan, ” there are still many similar Universalist tenets that can be found in all of the world’s religions. No one path is the Truth. We are all on the same journey. So the best that I could do was to speak the liturgical language of the workers and the patients in their faith, and assist them as best as I could. (Incidentally, this is why I strongly believe all Pagans should be cross-trained in other faiths, and why my Temple may turn people away who are use anger at one religion as an excuse to join another) .
Some of you reading this may believe that perhaps that was the reason why I had the accident – to minister to souls in need of it. Perhaps you are correct. Who knows? But for myself, I would rather see it as taking the opportunity that presented itself and making the most of it. Honoring my teachers, my faith, and my Community – this is what I believe with all of my heart. I don’t indulge in the questions about why my suffering happened. Rather, I focus on the Path of Gnosis itself.
Crisis moments will happen in life when we least expect it. We will all experience tragedy, whether we like it or not. Life is suffering, this much is true. But, we have been granted the ability to rise above our suffering, not as if we are perfected saints, but to be heroes – to be more than what we are. It is within us, and it is what has allowed the wonderful spirit of humanity to come this far in such short a time. Yes, humanity has its faults in such progress. But that is evolution for you. And that is also the Gift of the Gods.
In our Tradition, long ago Mother Earth’s cherished and youngest children, mortals, were created. Mother Earth’s name incidentally was Pandora (“All-Giver”) . She watched as her children, at first immortal and innocent, frolicked in the ancient gardens of Paradise. But Prometheus (“Forethought”) came to the Earth Mother and presented her with a jar (a peplos) . The jar contained within it the Seeds of Suffering that would blossom into War, Hate, Disease, etc. Prometheus and the Elder Gods told Pandora about what He foresaw:
“That Thy children shall remain innocent and eternal, or shall they taste the blessing of Thanatos? The choice is upon Thee, O Pandora.”
Pandora could choose to keep the jar closed and have humanity enjoy eternal bliss, but never learn. Always remain stagnant. Or, she could break open the jar and release Suffering into the world. If She did this, although it would cause Her endless grief (for what rightful Mother could stand to see their children suffer?) , humanity would grow beyond their capabilities. They would exceed the Visions of the Gods Themselves, and the Age of Heroes would dawn. Heroes: men and women who, through self-sacrifice, courage and bravery worked to better humanity in times of great Crisis.
And so Pandora smashed the jar.
As a Gift, Prometheus bestowed upon humanity the Gift of Magic (k) . This Gift – this Secret Flame – is how humanity would possess the ability to manifest their collective and individual ideals, visions and dreams. Magic (k) was the Key to Hope. It came in when we discovered Fire, and the rest is history…
Tragedy tears us down. Suffering is inevitable, and it hurts. But as I teach, our Craft was born because of suffering. Manifesting our intentions, sharing our dreams, and connecting with Community in shared Visions are all wonderful exemplars of how we use the Gift that the Gods gave us long ago. When I was in the hospital, in shock and in tears, my Family and Friends cried with me. When I was down, they were there to lift me up. In other words, they fanned the Secret Flame when I couldn’t. As a result, it brought us closer together.
It is my prayer that such closeness can continue in our Community, and in others as well. We all spend too much time fighting amongst ourselves, rather than focusing on the obviousness: none of us have it right. We’re all in this journey together. We are all a living Community of fragile people who, at some point or another, will need each other when those dark times are upon us. We will all need encouragement in our faith in times of crisis. As I sit here at home and continue to heal, I am reminded of this everyday.
The above mythos, as I stated earlier, is preserved in my Tradition and is obviously a very different take on the “Pandora Myth.” But synchronicity has a way of confirming the Timeless Truths within myths. Interestingly enough, I had a nurse in rehab named Pandora. Coincidence? You decide.
Eirene kai Hugieia!
(Peace and Health!)
Rev. Luis A. Valadez
Co-Pastor, Pagan Place Temple
Hierophant, Temple of Hekate: Ordo Sacra Strix
Location: Palm Bay, Florida
Author's Profile: To learn more about Oracle - Click HERE
Other Articles: Oracle has posted 7 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Oracle... (Yes! I have opted to receive invites to Pagan events, groups, and commercial sales)
Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2014 The Witches' Voice Inc. All rights reserved
Note: Authors & Artists retain the copyright for their work(s) on this website.
Unauthorized reproduction without prior permission is a violation of copyright laws.
Website structure, evolution and php coding by Fritz Jung on a Macintosh G5.
Any and all personal political opinions expressed in the public listing sections (including, but not restricted to, personals, events, groups, shops, Wrenâ€™s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witchesâ€™ Voice, Inc. TWV is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization.
Sponsorship: Visit the Witches' Voice Sponsor Page for info on how you
can help support this Community Resource. Donations ARE Tax Deductible.
The Witches' Voice carries a 501(c)(3) certificate and a Federal Tax ID.
Mail Us: The Witches' Voice Inc., P.O. Box 341018, Tampa, Florida 33694-1018 U.S.A.
of The World
NOTE: The essay on this page contains the writings and opinions of the listed author(s) and is not necessarily shared or endorsed by the Witches' Voice inc.
The Witches' Voice does not verify or attest to the historical accuracy contained in the content of this essay.
All WitchVox essays contain a valid email address, feel free to send your comments, thoughts or concerns directly to the listed author(s).