Pagan News and Views Since 1998

Happy 4th of July everyone!

In the US this is the day that we celebrate the founding of our country and honor the principles of freedom and social justice which it stands for and toward which it has been continually moving, not without the occasional detour, for 236 years. And though I am specifically addressing the US because of the occasion, most other countries where we have members have a similar day on a different date celebrating the same things for their own countries.

Sometimes, realizing that the implementation of the ideals that the country was founded upon is far from complete, we fear that those ideals are being lost -but in truth ideals of freedom and social justice are far more fully integrated into our society today than at the time of the US' founding. It may be true that we have a way yet to go, but my goodness haven't we come a long way already?

Of course there are certainly people trying to roll back the clock -and we must never forget that such people have occasionally been very successful historically. But I can tell you that when I was twenty, oh so many years ago, the idea that we would have an African American President, or see gay marriage slowly but surely being accepted nationwide, or that religious Witchcraft would have become so mainstream that we would even be discussing the desirability of a TV series built around it - these were all things that many people hoped for the future but which were totally impossible within the context of the time. How much times have changed!

Of course not all that has changed has been for the better. But those who seek to limit our freedoms now swim against the main tide of the populace, as those who who sought to extend our freedoms once did.

For the Pagan community this increase in freedom is especially obvious. Although there have been legally recognized Pagan churches in the US since at least 1937 (The Church of Aphrodite), and arguably well before that depending how we apply our definitions, our ability to gain legal recognition was tenuous and subject to frequent legal attacks, such as the Helms Amendment (which shall “live in infamy” if I may borrow a phrase). Today, although there are certainly still those who would like to eliminate our freedoms we are not seeing this sort of frontal attack -though there are certainly many oblique attacks, such as the California prison system's multi-tiered religious rights platform, which we must defend against.

The lack of direct attack is both a blessing and a challenge to our community. As a blessing it allows us a freedom of communication, publication, and public outreach far beyond what was once possible. As a challenge it allows us to set our own agenda, define our own identity, and control our own image as a community, rather than reacting to the actions of others.

This does not mean that we should turn our eyes from the distance we have yet to go -far from it. Nor should we forget that there are many places where people are still fighting for the religious rights we increasingly take for granted. Religious violence is still a fact of life in many parts of the world, whether we are speaking of the Falong Gong in China or the Witch Children of Africa -and as spiritual people we have a duty not to look away from these atrocities, but to oppose them. But the horror of these atrocities is all the more reason to celebrate, cherish, and actively protect the freedoms that we ourselves enjoy.

Now, as magical people we know that where we put our focus is an integral part of manifestation. This is no more or less than the principle of sympathetic magic, with which we are all familiar. Focused energy is what makes magic work, and where that focus lies determines the effect of magic, whether undertaken consciously or unconsciously. Because of this, whether you focus on the positive or the negative, you are likely to get what you expect.

So as a Pagan, take this occasion to celebrate and focus upon the freedoms we enjoy today, and how far we have come in our quest for social equality. Truly we live in a blessed time and a time of tremendous potential for our people. As we honor principles of freedom and equality, let us remember also the importance of exercising those principles as an active force in our lives and our society.

Blessings always!

Rev. Don

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smiles and says thanks Don .. and you do the same , be safe, as one of the so called astrologers was telling us and putting out a so called warning for the 4,5,6 of the month , now he gave no indication of his intent, as most lol. so Im curious to see , he was telling every one to listen to the news, of course I load alot of it, so today nothing to really get excited about .. any ways have a fun weekend or long one I should say .. here pop pop pop .. MP

Merry Meet, Rov. Don

I'm new to Wiccan School, and must say very content.

Happy 4th to you to on this day of freedom.

It's been a honor to read what you wrote and to talk to you.

I'm on my first lesson and finding it very educational.

MP, Vanessa (moonnes)

Welcome Vanessa! I am glad to hear that you are enjoying your studies here!

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