Your browser does not support script
TWV Presents...

Words, Wrants and Wramblings

[Show all]

Views: 1,863,478

Wren Wrants A-Z ...

A Letter To My Daughter

A PumkinHead in the White House

A Real Bad Day For Witchcraft

A Real Reason To Vote

A Time for War, a Time for Peace and a Time to Browse the Bookstore

A Wonderful Piece of News

The Aftermath of Columbine High School

Beating A Not-So-Hasty Retreat

Behind Enemy Lines

Breakfast Will Be Served In Fifteen Minutes...

Building a Circle of Trust

But What Will People Think?

By Their Furniture, Ye Shall Know Them

Caution: Restricted Area

Cleaning Out The Junk Drawer

Community Power Who Holds it?

Community Thoughts on Tempest Smith

Compelling without the Yelling

Confessions of a News Junkie

The Consistancy of Change...


Coping with Grief

Cramming It Down Our Throats...

Damned if you do and Damned if you don't

Declaring Your Personal Independence Day

Did Your World Change Too?

Dreaming in The Dark...

There is No Zuul

There's a Rabbit In The Moon...

Excavating the Dinosaur Altar

Fair Use, Copyright and the Pagan Net

Feeding Our Young

The First Day

Gather 'Round The Fire

Getting Back To Nature

Getting Back To Normal

Getting Rid of What Bugs You

Gifts That Keep On Giving...

The Giving Circle

Gods In A China Shop...

Good And Evil: In The Shadow Of Littleton And The Garden Of The Gods.

Good Will Toward Men

The Great Hamster Myth

Happy Beltaine!

Happy Brigid's Day Everyone!

The Heart of A Mechanic

Helping Hands

Helping Our Own

Hidden Hatred Haunts Pagans

Home is Where the Spirit Is

Homosexuality and Public Policy

The Household of Priests and Priestesses

If The Hissy Fits

In A Mirror Darkly...

In Your Dreams

The Internet Reaches beyond Washington

It All Happens Locally

It Is Your Destiny

It's Maypole Week 'Round the World

It's Tribal Time!

January Arrives Wearing A White Coat

Judging Amy -- Wren's Thoughts

Killed a Goat Today

Knot Charming

Learning How To Fly

Life With Mikey

Listening To The Story

Listening To The Woods

Living In A Banana Republic

Living Through A Drought

Logging On and Speaking Out!

The Long and Short Of It

The Love of Ordinary Things

Mabon... a Man for all Seasons

Magick's Arrow

Mamas, Don't let your Babies...

The Media Story Is Often Not The True One

Mercury Has Left the Building

Minding Your News P's and Q's

Mixed Blessings

NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.

What the Groundhog Didn't Say

Author: Wren
Posted: February 4th. 2002
Times Viewed: 6,788

It's kind of cute in a weird sort of way. The whole Groundhog Day thing, I mean. Here in the United States woodchucks get more press coverage than Noam Chomsky. On the second day of February, the official 'chucks' (named Phil and the General) perform the time-honored ritual on cue. Well, on 'poke' anyway. Prodded from behind, at the preset time they come waddling out - blinking and groggy- from their pens to meet the applause of on-lookers. Then it happens. By some magickal or natural ability known only to those who follow the Groundhog Prognosticators Tradition, they decide the weather fate for an entire nation. Will the U.S. get six more weeks of winter or an early spring? Only they know and we, it seems, are at their mercy. So as one of those 'alert citizens' who is supposed to be keeping my eyes and ears open, I feel that it is my civic duty here to ask, "What's up with that?" Okay, the chubby-chuck performance itself seems innocent enough, but that is obviously just a cover for the GPT group. There are some decidedly subversive un-American activities going on behind those twitchy whiskers.

Well, think about it. That one or two guys can make this decision without any input from U.S. citizens just doesn't seem right, does it? They aren't even human, for the Gods sake! Gasp! But they do live underground in caves and burrows, now don't they? Shouldn't John Ashcroft be investigating this fundamentalist groundhog conspiracy? Be smokin' 'em out of their holes and all that? Sure, that may be considered by some loony-liberal animal rights people or the AGLU (American Groundhog Liberties Union) to be 'rodent profiling', but we are at war, dammit! (That's satire, by the way. I love loony-liberals.) It's called 'Homeland Security' and we'll never have it while thousands of these terra-hogs are free to burrow about the American countryside undetected. They may even be passing along their propaganda to our children's' guinea pigs and hamsters for all that we know. Imagine...a subversive cult member living right in little Timmy's or Megan's very bedroom! We can only hope that the FBI has listening devices planted somewhere in the Habitrail kit and is writing all of this stuff down.

Call off the Congressional investigation. Well, this particular investigation anyway. We know that groundhogs have no influence over the weather. It is all a mere fable, a bit of folklore, that we enjoy 'believing' in. It's harmless fun. A little seasonal marker on the dreary calendar to get us from one holiday to another. Groundhogs have no ability to change the weather or anything else. They hold no power other than that which we 'grant' to them once a year. And that is why woodchucks get more press coverage in the United States than people like Noam Chomsky do. No woodchuck has ever come out from his pen and said, "The main purpose of secrecy is to just make sure that the general population here doesn't know what's going on." If he did say anything like that, you can be assured that this would be the last Groundhog Day that he would ever see. If groundhogs had power, they would not be on television revealing the secrets of power. They would be sitting in Congress or in the boardrooms of the corporations figuring out ways to both hold on to that power for themselves and how to attain even more of it. And all, preferably, without letting the public know anything about what is going on.

There is always a lot of 'power talk' going around. In the mainstream media, there is the most recent news about the 'war on terra'. Then there are the alleged abuses of power and influence wielded by the Enron and Anderson Accounting firm executives complete with finger-pointings and paper shredding. There is news on government files which must remain secret for federal 'security' reasons and business files that a lot of folks hope remain secret for federal penitentiary reasons.

There is an unwritten and largely unconsciously held rule in that 'power shared is power lost'. And in a way, it is true. If someone knows something of importance that you don't know, they may indeed have more 'power' than you do in certain situations. The fact that you want this knowledge, this power, and are willing to put yourself under someone's tutelage to achieve or learn it, does give the person with the knowledge a power over you. Sometimes-hopefully most of the time- this is a benign situation and everyone benefits from the exchange. Everyone at the end of the process emerges on an equal footing. But power, unrestrained by altruism, is a greedy son-of-a-bitch. And it doesn't play well with others. That is why 'Power' has such a bad reputation. It has a dreadful, exploitive and often bloody history.

I confess that it always makes me nervous when I hear other Pagans talk about not being willing to freely share what they know- which is a form of power- with new seekers. To me, this attitude seems borderline greedy and just a bit too 'power-overish' for my taste. And I've heard most of the reasons for this: "They won't be able to handle it." or "Why should I just hand something over - something that it took me twenty-years to learn-to anyone who asks?" And these reasons, rather than alleviating my qualms, just make me even more nervous. For Secrecy is Power's very bestest friend. Secrecy keeps the riff-raff out and the elite inner circle of power brokers intact. And I don't like that mindset in governments, in politics, in corporations or in Pagan circles. Especially in Pagan circles. And I'll tell you why. No secrets here.

Any time that someone- whether that be a politician, a businessperson, a government agency, a newspaper or a Pagan High-SomethingorOther- says that you really don't need to know what is going on, what they may actually be saying is that you do not need to be involved in the process. THEY have decided that you do not need to be involved in the process. It is all being taken care of. The 'special people' in the know are handling, don't you worry. Well, you should be worried. Worried about how what you don't know- and what is being decided by your government and with your money- is going to directly and personally impact you and your life. Worried if that business down the street is going to pollute your neighborhood or cook the books. Worried that some factions of the Pagan communities are making plans to speak for you without asking you anything about what they should be saying. Worried that any or all of these power brokers are going to use you to further their own agendas which is, of course, to get more power for them. In any and all of these situations, "Why shouldn't I be involved in the decision-making process?" is the question you might want to ask. An even better question might be "And why do you not want me to know what is going on? Why is everything such a big secret?" Like Janus, Power has two faces. It is usually the ugly side of power that someone wants to keep hidden and secret. This is Power for the chosen or self-appointed few.

Janus is still Janus no matter which face it is that you see. And the other face of Power is still Power. But it is power with a conscience. It has a soul and a heart. It is Power for the masses, for the many, for the all. People aren't used to this sort of power because quite frankly, we just don't see this face of it all that often. To say "power corrupts" is not always true, but it is true more of the time than most of us are comfortable with. It is more often true when power resides with and within just a few. It is less true when many share power. You could even say that when power rests with only a few who will not share it that it cannot be anything other than corrupt. The very withholding of power from the many by the few automatically corrodes it. But what does this other face look like?

Noam Chomsky doesn't get anywhere near the same amount of media coverage that a groundhog gets in the U.S. because he points to that other face of power all of the time. And the hidden-face powerbrokers don't like it. Groundhogs can be shoved back into their pens when their cute little 'power' game is over. Noam can't. But, he is often embarrassed over the fuss that people make over him where he does appear. People ask him all of the time what it is that they should do. Like he is the leader, the power broker, who can just hand it out. What makes Noam unique is that he does possess power, but it is that other face of power. The face of power that shines back and illuminates those who are in the field-whatever and wherever that field may be- and who are doing the actual work of changing things. You wouldn't know most of their names. Noam doesn't know most of their names either. But Noam and we know that they are there. They are not the names on book jackets or in marquee lights. They are usually not on television either unless they are being maligned or arrested for challenging the hidden faces of power. They are out there fighting the good fight, exposing what is hidden, wrenching from the tight grasp of the few what really belongs in the pockets of the many. They are challenging the elite on behalf of the all. As Noam says:

"That is what the difference is. I mean, I do something basically less important-it is in fact. It's adding something and I can do it; so I do it-I don't have any false modesty about it. And it's helpful. But it's helpful to people who are doing the real work. And every popular movement I know of in history has been like that. In fact, it is extremely important for people with {the secret kind of} power not to let anybody understand this, to make them think there are big leaders around who somehow get things going, and then what everybody else has to do is follow them. That's one of the ways of demeaning people, and degrading them, and making them passive."

"The real work is being done by people who are not known, that's been true in every popular movement in history. The people who are known are riding the crest of the wave. Now, you can ride the crest of the wave and try to use it to get power, which is the standard thing, or you can ride the crest of the wave because you're helping people that way, which is another thing. But the point is, it is the wave that matters- and that's what people ought to understand."

So there it is. The two faces of power in a nutshell. There is the one face of those who will ride the wave in order to point to themselves and so gain personal power, money or recognition from the energy and/or popularity of the movement. You can intuit why these folks would want to keep what they are really up to a secret!

And then there is the face of those who- while they be recognizable because of the energy and/or popularity of the movement- use this recognition to help make the path easier for those unknown people who are out in the field doing the real work. The power sharers don't get on television very much. They are too dangerous. They don't talk about themselves and their new book deal or anything sensible like that. The only power that these nuts want to talk about is the power that is available to and can be shared openly with everyone.

In our own circles and communities, they are the ones with the open face. They want to talk about something more important to them than their own personal work or book deal or accomplishments. It is not the crest that is important... for it could not form on its own. It is the force beneath the crest, the power of the wave, the many Pagans and Heathens out there doing the actual work of changing things in their local neighborhoods and towns who are important.

Maybe the groundhog didn't say it, but we know that this true: It is you who hold the real power; it is YOU who are the wave.

Walk in Love and Light,

Wren Walker
Co-Founder - The Witches' Voice
Monday, February 4th, 2002

Image credit: The image used for our anchor photo this weeks comes in from the Florida Chapter of PUC (see "The Light Returns" just below). The other powerful Imbolc altar shot comes from Witchvox Associate Editor Diotima. Thanks so much.

Article Specs

Article ID: 4547

VoxAcct: 1

Section: wrenwalker

Age Group: Adult

Days Up: 5,919

Times Read: 6,788



Location: Tampa, Florida

Other Articles: Wren has posted 319 additional articles- View them?

Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE

Email Wren... (No, I have NOT opted to receive Pagan Invites! Please do NOT send me anonymous invites to groups, sales and events.)

To send a private message to Wren ...

Pagan Essays

Pagan Web
8,000 Links

Pagan Groups
Local Covens etc.

80,000 Profiles

Home - TWV Logos - Email US - Privacy
News and Information

Chapters: Pagan/Heathen Basics - Pagan BOOKS - Traditions, Paths & Religions - Popular Pagan Holidays - TV & Movies - Cats of the Craft - Festival Reviews - Festival Tips - White Pages (Resources) - Issues/Concerns - West Memphis 3 - Witch Hunts - Pagan Protection Tips - Healing Planet Earth

Your Voices: Adult Essays - Young Pagan Essays - Pagan Perspectives (On Hold) - WitchWars: Fire in the Craft - Gay Pagan - Pagan Parenting - Military - Pagan Passages

Pagan Music: Pagan Musicians - Bardic Circle at WitchVox - Free Music from TWV

Vox Central: About TWV - Wren: Words, Wrants and Wramblings - Guest Rants - Past Surveys - A Quest for Unity

Weekly Updates: Click HERE for an index of our weekly updates for the past 6 years

W.O.T.W. - World-Wide Networking

Your Town: A Link to YOUR Area Page (The largest listing of Witches, Pagans, Heathens and Wiccans on the Planet)

VoxLinks: The Pagan Web: 8,000 Listings

Your Witchvox Account: Log in Now - Create New Account - Request New Password - Log in Problems

Personal Listings: Pagan Clergy in Your Town - Adult Pagans - Young Pagans - Military Pagans

Events: Circles, Gatherings, Workshops & Festivals

Covens/Groups/Orgs: Local Groups Main Page

Other LOCAL Resources: Local Shops - Regional Sites - Local Notices - Global/National Notices - Local Skills & Services - Local Egroups - Political Freedom Fighters

Pagan Shopping: Online Shops Index - Original Crafters Sites - Auction Sites - Pagan Wholesalers - Pagan Local Shops

Web Site Content (including: text - graphics - html - look & feel)
Copyright 1997-2018 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, Wren’s Nest, etc.) are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinion of The Witches’ 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.
Witches, Pagans
of The World

Search Articles

 Current Topic
 Editorial Guide

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).