Pagans fought long and hard for the basic right of a Pagan soldier to have a pentacle put on his tombstone. Soon we may be supporting the right of Pagan soldiers to claim conscientious objector status and be released from fighting.
There are many Pagans who do not consider themselves pacifists, who are not committed to non-violence. And, there are many that are. One of the things I hold dear about my spirituality is that within Paganism, there are many paths and many temples. Integral to being a practicing Pagan is respecting that there are many God/desses, and many ways of seeing the world. To me, I see no contradiction in a soldier in battle wearing a pentacle for protection and other Pagan soldiers asking to be released from battle because of their spiritual convictions. I honor both, but my spiritual affinity is with those who seek deferment.
I’ve a love/hate relationship with Reclaiming, but I am ever so grateful that this tradition I’ve been part of creating has the following within its Principles of Unity:
“Our tradition honors the wild, and calls for service to the earth and the community. We value peace and practice non-violence, in keeping with the Rede, “Harm none, and do what you will.”
I consciously and conscientiously object to war. I know that there are plenty of Pagans outside my tradition who feel the same. In the trying times ahead, some of them may be soldiers who have seen enough, whose stomachs, hearts, and minds turn against war and killing. There is also the possibility that the draft could be reinstated and conscientious objector status will once again be sought by the many who have never even considered being a soldier. If this happens, my son may be among them.
Thank you, Winter Soldiers, I give you love and I give you thanks. Your magic was in speaking out. May all of us Pagans who abhor war and practice nonviolence do the same.
I'm a woman, a Witch, a mother, a grandmother, an eco-feminist, a gardener, a reader, a writer, and a priestess of the Great Mother Earth. Hecate appears in the
Homeric Ode to Demeter, which tells of Hades who caught Persophone
"up reluctant on his golden car and bare her away lamenting. . . . But no one, either of the deathless gods or of mortal men, heard her voice, nor yet the olive-trees bearing rich fruit: only tenderhearted Hecate, bright-coiffed, the daughter of Persaeus, heard the girl from her cave . . . ."