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.
Labor Day: A Pagan Perspective
Article ID: 12027
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,030
Times Read: 2,708
RSS Views: 25,105
Posted: August 17th. 2008
Times Viewed: 2,708
On the first Monday in September, highways that are normally clogged with traffic this time of morning are empty as the nation sleeps-in on the unofficial closing of the summer season. Quite a few of us have trouble remembering whether this holiday is Labor Day or Memorial Day, and for some, the promise of a three day weekend is perhaps more intriguing than the history of the American worker. For many, the word “labor” is imbued with political overtones, which, for some, are less a considered opinion and more a paradigm absorbed in the crossfire of political rhetoric around the subject. Upon closer examination, however, I believe we will find that the principles and goals of the labor movement are certainly compatible with values shared by many in the Pagan community.
The Labor Department declares that Labor Day is “dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers” and “a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” These words acknowledge the significance of the American worker to the unprecedented growth in prosperity that happened in this country, in particular, between 1947 and 1973 when American productivity rose 104 percent. We are still riding on the frayed coattails of that boom. During this time we became perhaps the only nation in history with a middle class majority. Our parents who created this prosperity had every reason to assume that their children would become even more prosperous.
Something happened on the way to the bank, however. The wealth created on the backs of the American worker has been steadily redistributed “upward” over the last three decades. In just the short time since 2003 alone, the median hourly wage for American workers has fallen by 2 percent while productivity increased over the same period. Wages and salaries now constitute the smallest share of the GDP since 1947, while corporate profits account for the largest share since the mid 60’s.
Goldman Sachs reports, "the most important contributor to higher profit margins over the past five years has been a decline in labor's share of national income." The egalitarian spirit so characteristic of American culture is still alive, but it is gradually becoming more of an ideal we learned from our parents than something garnered from our own experience.
It didn’t happen overnight, and it wasn’t the result of any particular conspiracy save one, and that is the conspiracy of greed, apparently hardwired into human nature. While we were enjoying the prosperity created by our parents, buying more and more things and spending our savings rate to a negative number, greed, often wearing a mask called “ambition, ” worked overtime. It got itself elected when it could, and where it could not legislate directly it often managed to pay through the back door for the legislation it needed to grow.
Greed loves pyramids, and not just the ones on the backs of dollar bills. In a pyramid, a broad base at the bottom supports the ever-diminishing layers toward the top. In this country, a whole new paradigm developed to keep the load bearing bricks at the bottom, complacent. In order to rationalize a system that affords more right and privilege to corporations than to citizens, we have to believe several things simultaneously.
First of all, we have to believe that any brick at the bottom can move its way up the pyramid, if not to the very top, at least to a layer that does not bear so much weight. We must believe we can move our brick without having to replace it (with an undocumented worker, perhaps). As “upwardly mobile” bricks, we are encouraged to resist the “enemies” that might threaten our rise.
During the early struggles between labor and capitol, we were warned that “labor” was synonymous with “socialism, ” which was just another word for the enemy de jour, “communism.” While we worked 40, then 50, then 60 hours per week, we elected more and more representatives who had never worked for wages in their lives; perhaps because they promised to protect us from our “enemies, ” certainly because they promised to defend the American Way by protecting our own inevitable rise to the top.
The enemies of our right to affluence, we were told, were many, and they were evil. The communists were replaced by the terrorists who hated us “because they hate freedom, ” and now the terrorists have evolved into Islamic fascists. The last two Congresses convinced many of us that the “godless” in our own country were the enemy who would threaten our souls as well as our checking accounts. Noting consolidates power like a good enemy.
The paradigm essential to maintaining the financial pyramid has been that anything “bad for business” is ultimately bad for all of us. However, when it’s all said and done, it appears that we have voted against our own best interests again and again: No, not the 10 percent of us who have benefited from the upward redistribution of wealth, but the 90 percent who have not.
“Trickle-down economics” turned out to be bad weather delaying our upward flight, as over the last 30 years, the burden of taxation has been gradually shifted off of capital and onto labor. Laws were crafted which moved us gradually away from the Republic and toward oligarchy. Blame the republicans or the democrats; they were both in power while it happened.
The history of the labor movement in the United States is a story more dramatic and interesting than anything we are likely to watch on television this weekend. Often punctuated with violence, the story of labor has its heroes and villains and many examples of struggle and sacrifice. Without it, the majority of us who work for a living would do so without the benefit of an 8-hour day or a 40-hour week, without any unemployment compensation and without many of the laws that protect us in the workplace. We should not forget that there are still Americans alive today who remember a time when children worked in factories.
Again, as members of our Pagan communities it behooves us to keep in mind that the concerns of the labor movement and the issues facing pagani everywhere are often one and the same. As I write this today, my thoughts go out to several members of my own extended family who have not benefited from the mythical prosperity lauded by politicians seeking re-election.
Democratic and republican regimes alike have affected a studied distortion of information that might alert us to the seriousness of the problem, for example, as in the manipulation of the CPI or Consumer Price Index. When the basket of commodities that makes up the CPI becomes more expensive, cheaper components are substituted, but lard is no substitute for cheese and the cost of gasoline to the grocery store, which is never included in the index, has many of us clipping coupons.
Further, manipulation of the CPI cheats recipients of Social Security benefits, as their cost of living increases are pinned to this index. Unemployment numbers have also been liberally tweaked by the “conservatives” in power over the last seven years, as those who have given up looking for a job and those who are underemployed are simply not accounted for.
Tremors of economic disruption are being felt around the world. Over the last several years I have seen, in my own community, an increase in disruptive economic pressure that has contributed greatly to the dissolution of marriages, partnerships, friendships and even the various communities we form as Pagans.
I have seen families and groups displaced because their dreams of holding on to a home or a piece of land were disrupted by lower buying power and higher property taxes. I have seen more and more people of my own generation who chose to live on faith and principle rather than entering the rat race, now facing retirement age with no pension, no health insurance, and often with no community to provide support.
If we indeed live according to our stated beliefs, we have an opportunity and an obligation to meet these challenges head on with the principles we claim to embrace. Particularly in America, we gave up the village for the Interstate highway, and as our culture and economy built on consumption and debt and fueled by fossils must certainly experience the devolution, which leads to evolution, the village will be needed again.
Our virtual communities are an excellent starting place – and some of us will have an opportunity to decide whether our path is only a form of virtual reality – or whether it can actually put boots on the ground.
Location: Young Harris, Georgia
Author's Profile: To learn more about Mulebristle - Click HERE
Other Articles: Mulebristle has posted 1 additional articles- View them?
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
Email Mulebristle... (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).