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An Alternative Conception of Divine Reciprocity
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Magic in Sentences
March 28th. 2016 ...
Revisiting The Spiral
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January 22nd. 2016 ...
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Introduction to Tarot For the Novice
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Facing Your Demons: The Shadow Self
Native American Spirituality Myopia
The Dream Eater--A Practical Use of Summoning Talismans
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October 16th. 2015 ...
Sacred Lands, Sacred Hearts
September 30th. 2015 ...
September 16th. 2015 ...
Nature Worship: or Seeing the Trees for the Ents
Vegan or Vegetarian? The Ethical Debate
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July 9th. 2015 ...
Love Spells: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
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A Pagan Altar
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Sex, Lies, and Witches: Love in a Time of Wiccans and Atheists
Gods, Myth, and Ritual in Naturalistic Paganism
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A Thread in the Tapestry of Witchcraft
March 28th. 2015 ...
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March 1st. 2015 ...
Choosing to Write a Shadow Book
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February 1st. 2015 ...
Seeker Advice From a Coven Leader
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The Gods of My Heart
January 1st. 2015 ...
The Six Most Valuable Lessons I've Learned on My Path as a Witch
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Publicly Other: Witchcraft in the Suburbs
Pagans All Around Us
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October 20th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Conjuring Spirits
A Microcosmic View of Ma'at
October 5th. 2014 ...
The History of the Sacred Circle
Abandoning Expectations and Remembering Your Roots
September 28th. 2014 ...
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Creating a Healing Temple
September 20th. 2014 ...
GOD AND ME (A Pagan's Personal Reply to the New Atheists)
September 7th. 2014 ...
Deer Man- A Confounding Mystery
August 31st. 2014 ...
Coven vs. Solitary
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August 24th. 2014 ...
Thoughts on Cultural and Spiritual Appropriation
The Pagan Cleric
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August 17th. 2014 ...
To Know, to Will, to Dare...
On Grief: Beacons of Light in the Shadows
August 10th. 2014 ...
As a Pagan, How Do I Represent My Path?
The Power of the Gorgon
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Water and Fire (An Essay on Hate)
Article ID: 13762
Age Group: Adult
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Posted: April 18th. 2010
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The violent wildfire thrashes about inside of your soul; it is as if you could almost feel it coursing through your veins, taking over your mind, burning whatever is in its way. The flames sore high above your reason and engulf your kindness in a crackling wave. What use is it to try and quell such flames? What good is it to try to care? Perhaps the flames are the only way; perhaps destruction is the only path. You try your hardest to hold back tears; clenching your fists you breathe angrily out of your nose. Your mind is lost in a vortex of confusion and the fire continues to consume, taking every good and happy thought as it fans out.
Your body starts to shake as the flames seek a way out. Destroy. Kill. Harm. In this moment, nothing else matters. It feels as if your body could literally combust into the fire that you feel, into the hate that you feel.
Unlock your mind for a moment. Push back all of the clutter, noise, and distractions you use to make yourself forget. Go back to that moment of hate, you know which one I speak of, we all have one. Go back to that moment when you body and mind gave itself over to the power of hate. I know I have many moments, too many moments. The one moment of hate I can most vividly remember isn’t actually a moment, but a collection of moments based around a specific group of people I know. These were people I trusted, grew bonds with, and shared a common god with. People who claimed to want nothing more than goodness, love, and hope in this world but sadly enough spewed out a doctrine of distrust, lies, malice, gossip and pride.
I grew to hate them with every second I was around them, and that little flame turned into an immense fire and that immense fire found its way into my heart and it blackened it. After some time, I not only hated these people I knew, but I slowly started to hate the entirety of the religion including their god. For surely, if one fragment of this religion acted in such disgusting ways, then all of the people who claimed this god must act this way. I grew spiteful and angry, my words became twisted and my actions cold. Whenever I would think of them or see them my hate-fire sprung anew and whatever goodness had survived the last attack was now gone.
Sadly, it took me 3 years to realize that in my hate I became what I hated. Funny, isn’t it? That fear and hate breed more fear and hate, and that eventually we will become what we hated. Maybe that is the cruel irony of the universe, or perhaps that is the nature of humans. I am unsure of why these things happen, but what I am sure of is that if you hate something with every fiber of who you are, eventually the fire will consume you and who ‘you’ are will become nothing more than dust. Happiness and hate are unable to coexist together and will eventually tear one another apart. The beauty of nature, family, and life will fade from vivid colors to nothing more than shades of grey.
Many of you reading this have seen this hate in action. We walk a very different path than most. A path that for many years was seen as “ungodly” or “evil” and those who called it that never knew why. Even today as the path of Paganism and Witchcraft is being illuminated, many people still refuse to see us for what we are- People just like them, people who are looking for happiness and good, and want to reduce us to heretics, madmen and women, devil worshippers, and mislead. It is very disheartening to know that with all of the historical documentation out in the world showing why people (historically) have thought this way, many still refuse to change their minds. I am sure that many of you have been faced with this kind of hatred.
People who scoff, glare, yell, and (I believe the worst of all) condescendingly tell you that you are somehow wrong and going to receive some form of punishment in somebody’s idea of an afterlife. It’s frustrating to have to deal with people like this and it’s no wonder why so many who follow paths like ours tend to hid it behind thick curtains and locked doors. It breaks you down after awhile, it slowly erodes at your heart and you feel like you just cannot muster enough strength to march on.
I believe this is why so many people fill their hearts with hate after something like this happens. When we have reached the point where we do not want to have to push on, I find that hate somehow squeezes its way in and starts its destructive path. We do not understand why we must be hated for doing nothing more than trying to be happy. We cannot understand how people could be so uninformed and yet make such concrete opinions. When all that is left in our souls is worn down, hate flickers and asks us to feel once again.
Sometimes we hide behind hate so we do not have to feel that sense of despair and weakness ever again. Other times we blindfold ourselves and don’t even realize our hate until it has devoured us. Hate is not a monotone subject. It is a complex, breathing, evolving emotion that is not easily understood. I am not here writing this to you trying to say that if you have hate in your life that you are bad, or somehow less than. I am not here wagging my finger, looking down at you thinking that I have triumphed and you are still stuck. It’s actually quite the opposite; I write this as a friend, a sister, and a person. I write this as someone who still struggles with my own hate every single day.
I write this as a warning from my own personal experience. Hate helps nothing; it can only destroy for that is its nature. If I picked up a rock and stated “This rock is now an apple.” Have I changed anything about the rock? Of course not, for the only thing I have changed is how I view the rock. The rock remains a rock, as it is the nature of a rock to do so. I can lie to myself, but in the end the rock is not an apple and hate is still hate. What good comes from hate? Can we truly love wholly with hate stained in our hearts? Can we think openly with hate splashed in our minds?
I opened with fire, and I shall close with water. For what can stop fire but water? When the fire swells within in you and your hate seems daunting, remember the rain. One raindrop seems to do nothing, but rain never comes in just a single drop. It falls with millions of them, all working to harness fire. Fire may sizzle and fight, but the rain does nothing more than fall. The fire tries to jump and fly away, but the rain remains steady in its course.
Hate may try to stay within you, but if you love, hate has nothing to burn. Even if you can only muster a drop of love, that drop has stopped some of the hate, and that love will soon be followed by more love and eventually there will be nothing left but love. It isn’t an easy task, oh no, nor is it one that will be finished in a day. For some it may take a month, for others a lifetime, but the rain shall continue to fall, and the fire to shrink. For the rain will soften the heart, re grow life, and rejuvenate the soul. Love is the only thing that hate has to fear.
Copyright: This essay can be copied and used if wanted, all I ask is that the credit is given to Brianna Ecklid
Location: Gladstone, Michigan
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