“I Survived a Weekend with Galina Krasskova”
Article ID: 15338
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Rev. Beatriz Banos [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: August 11th. 2013
Times Viewed: 6,460
I personally have been in the Pagan Community in South Florida for over 23 years now. I was a member of three Wiccan covens, the last two of them I contributed not only as a covener but I taught and led. I learned a lot about what it was like to be in a Coven, the pros and cons. It’s not for everyone but the lessons you learn are priceless. I have traveled and had the honor and privilege of meeting and learning from many Craft Elders to whom I am very grateful.
In 2009, my path led me to leave the last coven after officially 17 years of membership for one of solitaire practice with my husband and Magickal partner although we still gather with my brothers and sisters of the Craft during holy days. I started out as Wiccan and studied a few different traditions but I was always a Polytheist at heart. I was always drawn to the Celtic mysteries but in 1999, before I was to be initiated 3rd degree, the Goddess Freya made her presence known to me. And hence began my journey studying the Norse path, something to which I had no attraction, to be honest with you. But the Gods chose their own and the work began…
Once I left the coven, I was free to finally devote time to fully embrace my path, which was one of a Hard Polytheist and my work with many God and Goddesses began. I had learned so much now that I had the time to dedicate to my own path outside the work of a coven and its responsibilities. My new responsibilities became work on myself, my marriage (my husband and I were married in April 2010) , Devotional work to the Gods, Land Wights, and recently Ancestor work.
The Craft has had its history of the infamous “Witch Wars” back in its days. But last I checked, Paganism embraced diversity and espoused tolerance. That’s why it’s grown so much through the years. And it saddens me to say that I have learned recently that a disturbing sequel (for lack of a better word) has resurfaced in the Pagan/Heathen communities…one of judgment, prejudice, and even false accusations against Elders in our community.
Now, I am not writing this to fight anyone’s battles nor was I prompted to do this; I did it because I got pissed off! I was informed of how one particular Heathen Shaman, Galina Krasskova, was being threatened by others in the community. And these were not just little petty idle threats and rumors that I have witnessed other authors and friends have to publicly address when they’ve been through this bull. But these were actual threats on her life, her home, etc… All stemming from how she chooses to practice her path! When I heard this, I was in shock. I thought, “Surely, we as a community are beyond this!”
It’s pretty simple ladies and gentleman: if you don’t like a her work, don’t buy the books, go to the workshops, read the blogs, or like her on Facebook. Just leave her alone. She has the right just like everyone else, including her accusers, to worship, as they will. Some of her practices may seem controversial but she is not forcing you to do her work. And let me tell you, there are many other practitioners whose work is “controversial” who are being harassed too. What may be ‘controversial’ to you may not be to someone else. Words are words; positive, negative, good, bad, it’s all relative in the end. Haven’t we learned anything about history?
My husband and I just came from spending a weekend with Galina and House Sankofa and I can testify to not being raped, abused, coerced into ordeal work, or any such rumored nonsense. Instead, I survived to tell a tale of experiencing a spiritually uplifting and healing weekend with a woman whose work and the work her House does is needed in this day and age. I am blessed and honored to know her. We need more Elders like her to do the work she does. We don’t want to alienate these Elders from coming out to festivals or workshops for fear of being attacked. I am not naming names or pointing fingers, but I implore you, as not only a fellow kindred spirit of the Old ways but as a human being, to stop the bullsh*t. And let’s remember what community is all about: we are not all the same, we don’t do everything the same. We are not meant to. Everyone serves a purpose in the grand web; who are we to judge others and what they do? That, to me, is blasphemy.
At the end of the day, take what you will from this article, but if you can take one thing I ask that you remember that being different is what makes us all unique. And in essence- these attacks are all fear based. So look in the mirror, and ask yourself, “What am I afraid of”?
Rev. Beatriz Banos
Location: Hialeah, Florida
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