I saw this post on Galina Krasskova’s blog that she linked to from her blog. Note, she did not write this and is, in fact quite appalled by it which is why she shared it to begin with.
It reads like a declaration of war. Nothing quite so put together as the WWI German declaration of war on Russia, nor of France or England’s on Germany. This is what a fatwa from a radical Islamic cleric looks like dressed up in leftist clothing. This is what a Joel’s Army or a New Apostolic Reformation missive looks like dressed up in leftist clothing.
Saying “I’m not advocating starting fights, but I am telling you to be prepared to finish them.” is bullshit. If you are advocating going to someone’s space and disrupting their rituals, their communities, and/or their lives, you are advocating for starting a fight. If you are laying down a call on people, saying “But if you like to talk the talk of the warrior path, you better start walking the walk as well.” you’re asking for a fight. You do not call on warriors for a reason other than conflict. Keep in mind, though, that if you are calling on warriors you are giving your opponents equal reason to. Adding “Are you gonna stand by and let these assholes commit atrocities and spew hate in the name of your gods?” is a religious call to war. Advocating that folks “don’t play nice” when they do this is a call to guerrilla warfare in the name of the Gods.
1. Speak up. Is there a guy in your local coven, order, lodge, temple, etc. that is openly bigoted? Call him out on it. Put him on the spot. Humiliate him in front of his superiors. Collect receipts, send screenshots and videos of his bullshit to his superiors…send it to those superiors’ superiors. If they do nothing call the whole organization out. Blast it all over the internet. The occult world is small, the backlash will be swift.
When I first read this, the first point actually seemed fairly benign until I really considered it. Let’s say that the bigot you want to target isn’t a guy, not that the gender should matter here. Let’s make this person a woman. Now, you’re advocating for humiliating her in front of her superiors. Collecting receipts, sending screenshots and videos to her superiors. Gosh. This sounds positively threatening. That is because it is. This is advocating for stalking, harassment, theft, and bullying.
2. Trap them. Catch them doing or saying something illegal and record it. Anonymously notify the correct authorities. If he’s racist he’s probably also a raging misogynist, here is a pretty high percent chance he beats women. Bust him for that.
The second point is advocating for people to do the job of the police as well as illegally record another person in violation of their rights.
3. Sabotage. Sabotage everything. Their protests, their social events, their rituals…their relationships. Sabotage them physically, sabotage them magically. Block them at protests. Blast distractingly loud noises in the vicinity of their rituals. Curse them liberally.
If the first two points were advocating for stalking, harassment, and bullying, this is certainly asking for war. It says it right there in black and white: “Sabotage them physically, sabotage them magically.” To sabotage is to “Deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something), especially for political or military advantage”.
Religious warfare is being openly called for. It is being called for physically and it is being called for magically. Calling for the physical and magical sabotage of people is an act of war.
4. Vote with your dollar. When people pulled their financial support from the Atlanta LHP conference via vowing not to go and through speakers dropping out, they were eventually forced to drop Augustus Invictus. That’s the power of peer pressure…and money. Pressure conferences. Pressure publishers. Let them know that they are condoning hate groups. Tell publishers and conferences that you want to see more diversity. Openly support and promote occultists and witches of color.
Boycotting is an old tactic that does not directly threaten the rights or well-being of a person, and can effectively make change. However, rather than simply going right to pressure, I would inform. A festival may have no notion the person they signed up is a widely-known racist, or that the band whose page seemed so cool and edgy and will attract a good crowd are actually a band well-known for its racism. If they refuse to act on the information I would then take the next step and inform others that, yes, you informed the festival or people in question and they are doing nothing with it. That said, negativity is relatively easy. Being positive and openly supporting and promoting folks is not.
If you are voting with your dollar and want more diversity, putting your dollars towards that and encouraging others to do the same would be the way I go for it. Hell, look at how successful GoFundMe and similar campaigns work. Do they shit on other folks, venues, etc. for donation? No, they put forward what they are about, encourage folks to spread the word, and do whatever it is they promised when the call was put out. If you are going to call for diversity follow through on it.
5. Learn a martial art/self-defence. Neo-Nazis are violent, if you are able-bodied consider learning how to defend yourself and your friends. Offer to work security for #BlackLivesMatter and other activist events. Use your power of privilege for good.
Alone, this would be solid advice. In this context? Whether or not Neo-Nazis are violent is not the issue here. The people advocating for these actions are advocating for physical and spiritual sabotage, for war.
6. Get a weapon. Are you mentally stable enough to own a weapon? Do you live in an open-carry state? If so get a weapon. I don’t care if it’s a knife, a bat, a gun, or fucking nunchucks…as long as it’s legal in your state, carry it. Know how to use it. Your enemy does. Neo-Nazis love their guns. I hate guns, but I like not getting shot or raped. If you stand up for what is right it is likely that you will get death threats.
If you stalk, threaten, harass, and steal from people you are more likely to get attacked. If you physically or magically attack people you are likely to get attacked in kind. If you are advocating for people to learn martial arts and/or learn to wield a weapon, you are advocating for people to learn and be prepared to do violence. If you are telling warriors to step up, you are telling people to go to war. Your opposition would be within rights to do the same.
7. Educate the young ones. Kids raised in conservative, fundamentalist households don’t know any better. A teen raised in Asatru is like a teen raised in Christianity, they know no other way…show them. Lead by example. An 18 to 21 year old can still change their worldview. Young minds are malleable and they are the future, change that future for the better if you can.
This point is assuming a lack of education and exposure to other ideas. Assuming that people in conservative, fundamentalist households do not know any better (any better than what?) and assuming a superior stance on the part of one’s self, cause, etc. insults these peoples’ intelligence and ability to reason. If you are starting from the standpoint that your opposition is lacking in intellect or is ignorant of other ways, you have already shut down conversation. They may well know of other ways and actively reject them. This assumption is no different than a conservative fundamentalist person assuming liberals are without morals. This point dismisses all of Asatru as racist.
The assumption that the teenage Asatruar needs to be shown another way, that they need to be led out of their religion and/or their religious community, is poisonous to Asatru and potentially any religious or philosophical movement the would-be leader believes is wrong. It is convert-seeking rather than providing another viewpoint.
It is true that young minds are malleable and that they are the future. There is no guarantee that these would-be leaders from the left can do any better than those on the right. Those who lead poorly can do irreparable harm, especially at a time when young people are already having to deal with a lot of change.
If leftist Pagan and polytheists are advocating or are engaging in harassment, stalking, assaulting, and otherwise attacking the families and/or friends of these teens, how could they possibly appeal to these teens at the same time?
8. Radical organization. Do you have other occulty, witchy, pagany friends who want to help change this mess we’re in? Start a group! Practice all seven of the previously mentioned suggestions that you can, and practice them together. Be secretive, don’t use Facebook to connect. Speak in code. Write notes and burn them. Discuss your plans at secret rendezvous. Form a wolf pack and root out the fascist insects.
I noted above how other points read like guerrilla warfare. So does this.
Let’s put the other shoe on, shall we? When the right posts things like this the general reaction I read from the left is some variation of “See? They’re so afraid of being discovered that they’re going to talk in code and burn notes, meet in secret!” or sarcastic, insulting language. The “form a wolf pack” language would likely be denigrated, as would the “root out the fascist insects” language. It would be called dehumanizing because that is exactly what it is and what it does: it dehumanizes your opponents. When your opposition is no longer human, but now are insects, it is no loss to crush them. When you cast yourselves as wolves and your opponents as vermin or prey, you are just fulfilling the work of being a wolf pack. One of the things that the right gets picked on for a lot is code-switching and code-language or dog whistle tactics. It seems that, so long as you are going after people you have identified as racists, bigots, and fascists, all bets are off.
Keep in mind that you’re supposed to somehow do point 7 while being secretive. Secret means “Not known or seen or not meant to be known or seen by others” and secretive means “(Of a person or an organization) inclined to conceal feelings and intentions or not to disclose information”. They are advocating educating kids by being examples while also being secretive. To seek to change their worldview in secret. “Young minds are malleable and they are the future, change that future for the better if you can.” followed by “Speak in code. Write notes and burn them. Discuss your plans at secret rendezvous.”
Those notes I made above about guerrilla warfare? Also applicable here. Read those points again:
“2. Trap them.”
“5. Learn a martial art/self-defence.”
“6. Get a weapon.”
In point 8: “Form a wolf pack and root out the fascist insects.”
These are calls for war. Be secretive about who you harass, stalk, or assault.
The left has lost the right to bitch about people getting CPLs or taking other steps for protection for “imagined fears” for them. This list of actions being advocated is a reason for anyone who might or does come into the cross-hairs of the Pagan or polytheist left and/or anti-fascists to be prepared to defend themselves physically and magically.
9. Take back the Punk and Metal scene. White supremacists have taken over folk metal and bastardized punk. Make music. Wonderful, witchy, aggressive, anti-fascist music. Be like Doro Pesch and use your music and your heritage to speak out against those committing atrocities in the name of your ancestors. If you don’t make music, support and promote anti-fascist and anti-racist music. Also, use the “anything goes” of the moshpit to get a few punches and kicks into your local skinheads at local shows.
I have no problem with folks making music. Please make music. Speak up and for the things you believe in, and the changes you want to see. Speak out against atrocities, speak out against hate and genocide. Support the music you enjoy if you cannot make it.
A person being a bigot or a racist does not give you license to hit them. I should not have to write that. If you’re going to a local show these people are probably your neighbors. Violence will not show them the error of their ways. Engaging them in dialogue might. Besides, you are also giving license to these guys to beat the hell out of you too using just as underhanded tactics. It puts to lie the author’s assertion “”I’m not advocating starting fights, but I am telling you to be prepared to finish them.” The people you target no longer have a reason to hold back; you’re clearly threatening to hurt them and those in their communities.
10. Take care of yourself. Fighting the good fight is emotionally and physically exhausting, and can even put you in physical danger. Do what you need to to keep yourself healthy and safe.
If you do these things you are putting yourself and anyone who joins you in danger. If you do these things you are intentionally instigating conflict, and enacting religious war upon other people. If you really mean what you say, then you are not just a danger to the racists and the bigots. You are a danger to anyone you label an enemy.
Let me be thoroughly clear to anyone who supports these things: what you want and what you are prepared to do is advocate for and fight in a religious war. You are calling for you and yours to engage in religious warfare. You are putting an absolute line in the sand with blood and souls.
Be sure this is a war you want. Be sure this is a war you are willing to do what you must to win. Be sure this is a war you can win.
Hail to the Warrior Dead who bled and died so that children no longer had to work in factories and mines, so that safety for all those They left behind became a priority, so that the death-march drudge of factory and industry conditions stopped churning out as steady a line of corpses as products. Hail to the Warrior Dead of Blair Mountain Ridge, of the Haymarket Riots, of the Black Patch Wars, of the Flint Sit-Down Strike known to the workers as “The Battle of the Bulls Run”, and so many other times where You All marched in solidarity, power, strength, and ferocity.
Hail to You All! Thank You for your blood and body! Thank You for your loved ones’ missed time with You! Thank You for Your heart that inspired countless millions, whose stance, work, and sacrifice we still benefit from! Thank you for Your sacrifices! Hail to You!
Hail to Mary Harris Jones, known to millions as Mother Jones, tireless in her fight! Hail to You Black-Dressed, Storyteller, Inspirer, Keeper of Protest’s Flame! Hail to You, Whose tongue cut Oily John and Crystal Peter!
Hail to all Those Who marched, bled, and died! Hail to Those Who sat down and were unmoved! Hail to Those Who were struck and maimed! Hail to Those Who were mocked and ridiculed! Hail to Those Who were reviled, and dismissed! Hail to Those Who were crushed in the gears! Hail to Those Who were mauled by the dogs! Hail to Those Who were killed by police! Hail to Those Who were killed by the National Guard! Hail to Those Who were killed by the companies’ employees! Hail to Those Who were killed by the hired thugs and gunmen of the companies They worked for! Hail to all These, Who still were unbent in Their righteous anger, and unabated until They achieved victory!
Hail to the Unknown Warriors, the hundreds and thousands who gave their life so their fellow people could have a better life!
May all of Them be with us again. The struggles of Your times have returned, and we need You All.
I shall do, and call upon anyone who reads these words to do, as Mother Jones called: “Pray for the Dead and fight like hell for the living.” Hail to You All! Remember the Dead, for They are still with us!
Seeing as how I’m not quite sure when I’ll get a zap of inspiration to write on this topic, I thought I would start now.
Eating is sacred. Something, whether plant or animal, is consumed by me so that I can continue to live. There are different debates we could have on whether this is a ‘sacrifice’ the animal or plant gives willingly. For now, I’m going to sidestep that. We consume life in some variety or another so that we live.
I, and many Pagans, do not separate the holy from the body. So, that, to me, follows that eating is a sacred act. You are taking in the body of something that once lived, whose spirit may still be in the food you are eating. Think about that: if I am eating a chicken, I am taking the outward representation of its Being into me. The same goes for broccoli or carrots.
This is not some abstract concept; something lived, was killed, and is becoming part of me, so that I may live. So how do I honor that life, whether it is a chicken, a cow, broccoli, or a carrot?
I would say the first thing is mindfulness. Understanding that you are eating another Being, where it comes from; how it got from a field, farm, or crate to your plate. Understanding how much suffering that animal or plant may have gone through to come from the farmer, rancher, or producer, and the journey the food made to get to you from those people. Understanding that your food may or may not be grown or made in an ethical, humane way for either the food or the producer. Many people suffer indignities and trials just to be able to grow many of the foods we eat, not to mention endure working conditions that many of us could or would not endure. As the recent post here exposes, people in logistics, getting the food from the farmer/rancher/producer to your table, can be treated quite poorly.
The next would be thankfulness. Acknowledging that, willingly or no, the sacrifice of their life allows you to live. That they may have undergone suffering and travel to arrive at your plate. To be thankful not just for their sacrifice, but for the hard work of all those, from the farmer, rancher, or producer, through the logistics that allow you to pick up that bag of chicken or carrots at your local market. To be thankful that others killed an animal or plant in your place. To be thankful that you have food at all. To be thankful that the Gods are in your life, that They, your Ancestors, spirit allies, and the spirits of these animals and/or plants would share in this meal with you.
Finally, it is showing appreciation. This, to me, differs from thankfulness in that thankfulness can be “Thank you” or a prayer, something that says we have gratitude. Showing appreciation, to me, is doing things to show that gratitude. It can be an offering to the spirits. I think that the offering can be more than an offered prayer or some mead poured out. While I find expressing appreciation like this holy and good, an offering can be something that is more concrete, affecting change on a lot of levels such as a change in attitude towards your food, a change in eating habits (i.e. eating locally sourced foods or humanely-killed animals), or even growing/raising your own food.
I first got turned onto this whole notion by Lupa. Sometimes I pray to the overarching spirit of whichever food animal I am eating, but I try to make a special point of thanking the specific animal whose body I am consuming. Now that I think about it, I should do the same for the other Beings that make up my plate. Mushrooms have sacrificed no less than pigs for being on my pizza; they’ve both given their lives. Will the pig suffer less for being on the pizza? No, but I can reduce inhumane treatment to hir brethren by being mindful of where I get my food, how much I eat, and so on. Just to be clear, I am not in any way, shape, or form starving myself nor would I expect this post to be taken as espousing that. There are other ways to being mindful and making choices about eating habits. Some may simply not be able to make the choices we would like because of our economic situation. So, make change where you can and don’t bury yourself in guilt. I’m not a purist; I don’t have this all down pat. I do what I can where I can, and honor the spirits whose bodies I consume as best I can.
I think, though, that by having a better relationship with our food, how we eat, we encourage better relationships over all. As a diabetic, I have to be especially careful of the foods I let into my life. My relationship with sugary foods, for instance, was bad for me, and if I indulge too much may ruin my kidneys or screw me up in other ways. So by having a healthier relationship with food, I have a healthier relationship with my body. This ripples out into my life at large. By letting in more fruits and especially vegetables into my food relationships, I gained a better body balance, and my sugars calmed the down.
Our relationships with eating can be very positive for our lives. We might have the one special recipe that reminds us of home, or loved ones. Eating a family recipe may be just one more link back to our Ancestors. Eating cakes and ale during a Wiccan ritual may be another way of connecting to the Goddess and God. Sharing a meal with the Gods may be the most intimate way we can thank Them for the blessings in our lives, or invite Them in deeper. For me, nothing quite brings the Ancestors and I together like sharing a meal. I don’t think there’s anything quite like eating a meal with good friends, especially when they’ve made it themselves.
Eating can bring us to a place of receptivity. Eating can bring us joy, comfort, even ecstasy. Eating can bring us blessings, contentment, and balance. Eating can be just one more way we can connect to ourselves, our Ancestors, our spirits, and our Gods.
So eat, drink, be merry, and be blessed.