TERF Wars and Trans-terrorism
6 years ago
Our society is teaching young people to avoid direct experience in nature. That lesson is delivered in schools, families, even organizations devoted to the outdoors, and codified into the legal and regulatory structures of many of our communities. Our institutions, urban/suburban design, and cultural attitudes unconsciously associate nature with doom -- while disassociating the outdoors from joy and solitude. Well-meaning public-school systems, media, and parents are effectively scaring children straight out of the woods and fields. . . . The postmodern notion that reality is only a construct -- that we are what we program -- suggests limitless human possibilities; but as the young spend less and less of their lives in natural surroundings, their senses narrow, physiologically and psychologically, and this reduces the richness of the human experience.
There is, however, widespread belief among modern worshippers that [Hecate] has a feast day on August 13 to protect the crops from violent storms.
Wikipedia is perpetuating this belief, citing Leo Ruickbie's "Witchcraft out of the Shadows" (2004). In a side-box he claims that the ancient Greeks observed a feast day on August 13 in which Hecate was propitiated to not send storms to destroy the growing crops. Ruikbie, in turn, cites his source as Diane Stein's "The Goddess Book of Days" (Llewellyn, 1997). Her original calendar was published in 1988 and does not give a primary source.
Various Internet sites claim that this occurred in the House of Storms and Fertility, that it was a Festival to Hecate of the Moon, or that it was part of the Festival of Hecate and Artemis. Mikalson, in The Sacred and Civil Calendar of the Athenian Year lists for Metageitnion 16 that "the sacrifical calendar of the deme Erkhia prescribes sacrifices on this day to Kourotrophos and Artemis Hekate.". Metageitnion is the Attic lunar month that lines up with late July/August. . . . Unfortunately, I cannot find what occurred during the rite (if anything specific at all). Still, this doesn't explain why August 13 was chosen, fixed as it is to the Roman solar year instead of the lunar calendar used by the ancient Greeks.
Also, there is never any mention as to why Hecate would be called to protect crops. According to Brumfield in his book The Attic festivals of Demeter and their Relation to the Agricultural Year (1976), during the time of the year we call August, the grain harvest had been completed and the grape harvest would not have begun until September. August was a lull in the agricultural year and nothing needed to be protected from violent storms.
A few clues come to light when we stop looking for ancient Greek sources. In Rome, The Festival of Torches was held on August 13, called the Nemoralia. In it, woman would walk from the city of Rome carrying torches to a lake sacred to Diana where they would offer their petitions. There was a strong conflation between Artemis and Hecate in Greece, with Hecate taking on a number of Artemis' roles. Diana and Hecate were also conflated some, but typically maintained separate spheres of influence. Still, this seems to be a likely source for fixing the ritual on that particular date.
Additionally, in 1986 a ritual performed on August 14, 1985, was published in Circle Network News which invoked Hecate Chthonia and incorporated a Hecate Supper. A web page by that author claims that a similar ritual incorporating much of the same text was performed at the MoonStone Circle of the Aquarian Tabernacle and published in Panegyria on August 13, 1988. The original date it was performed, August 14, 1985, was a dark moon, which has been a sacred time for Hecate since classical times. The other date, though, perhaps inspired by Stein's recently published Goddess Book of Days, was a waxing gibbous.
None of this explains a connection with storms or harvests, however. This strikes me as a purely Neopagan phenomenon rising out of widespread observance of harvest-type rituals during early August, the most common being the Celtic feast of Lughnasadh. From a theological point of view, perhaps this dark-dressed flashing eyed goddess calling herself Hecate has inspired us to set Her feast day. We are creating new religions, after all.
Witchcraft is a way of life for individuals, not the masses, and there's no point in you coming toward the Craft if you are a wimp, a follower, a coward, or a fool, as sorcery is both a practice and a priesthood, and it is not a garment that can be discarded when the going gets tough.
LY DE ANGELES, Witchcraft: Theory and Practice
wanted to address the rumors that Isaac is back in the hospital. He is
at home as he had wished, but he is nearing the end. His brothers and
sisters are on their way to say goodbye. Please keep us all in your
thoughts and prayers."
Not everyone is of a mind to save it. When the Ingram City Council first discussed donating money from its hotel tax to the effort — it's still pondering the donation — a guy stood up at the meeting "and said that it was wrong for the city to donate money to the site of pagan rituals," said Wanda Cash, president of the arts foundation board and a professor at the University of Texas.
The specter of human sacrifice was raised. Ingram Mayor James Salter told the fellow that no sacrifices had been performed in Hunt, "and he didn't think the arts foundations would allow any, either," Cash said.
The purpose of the real Stonehenge in Wiltshire, England, is still a mystery, although the arrangement of its stones seems to form a solar calendar. Any pagan connection, the arts foundation is quick to point out, is purely conjecture.
A MEMORIAL stone honouring the Welshman who founded the National Eisteddfod’s Gorsedd of the Bards has been saved after residents of a swish London district tried to get it removed.
Members of the 1,200-strong Friends of Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill branded Iolo Morganwg “a bloody criminal” when the plaque marking the site of the first meeting of the Bards in 1792 was unveiled last summer.
They claimed he was a forger, a liar and an opium addict, and his memorial stone by Welsh sculptor John Meirion Morris should be moved from its park location in upmarket Primrose Hill, home to the likes of Welsh actor Rhys Ifans and top Welsh chef Bryn Williams’ restaurant, Odettes.
But despite a campaign by its opponents, and a full review, the Royal Parks authority has ruled the memorial can stay.
. . .
Morganwg, dubbed ‘the poet of liberty’ among London’s literary elite, who included Coleridge and Wordsworth, claimed that Druid rites he first celebrated on June 21, 1792, had survived Roman times into later history and the Welsh were the direct descendants of Celtic culture and heritage.To reconnect with their ancient culture, he founded the Gorsedd of Bards of the Isle of Britain, whose members today include Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, opera singer Bryn Terfel, actor Ioan Gruffudd, England cricketer Robert Croft, and Wales rugby player Gareth Edwards, and held the first meeting on Primrose Hill 218 years ago. The Royal Parks gave permission to unveil a memorial with the inscription “truth against the world” last summer, before the storm blew up.
. . .
Welsh poet and novelist Dannie Abse, 87, hit back at the time, storming: “Morganwg was a legendary Welsh poet. He did forge poems, but he was a great, great scholar, and he fooled everybody. “I’m not sure if he was a drug addict, but he was certainly the best poet that went to Cardiff jail” – a reference to a spell he spent behind bars for bankruptcy. “Christopher Marlowe died in a pub brawl – but we celebrate him, don’t we? Lord Byron was a womaniser, but he is buried in Westminster Cathedral. So why not commemorate Iolo on Primrose Hill?”
AHMEDABAD: Witches in the state have unique characteristics—they are usually widows, childless women and most importantly, all of them have land which can be grabbed.
The first day of the two-day national seminar organised by Working Group for Women and Land Ownership (WGWLO), Gujarat, witnessed discussion of numerous instances where women were labelled witches to strip them off their only life-support— land.
“In all the cases, the woman has land. The family in connivance with the local witchdoctor first says the woman has the capacity to unleash ills on the family by blaming any recent death or illness on the family on her. She is then boycotted by the society where even if her children are sick, they are not taken to the doctor. This is used as further proof that she casts evil on the people. Once she is refused refuge by the society, her share of land is silently transferred in the name of the father-in-law or brother-in-law,” said Nayak.
Similar strategy is used on a childless woman to grab the couple’s share of land. “Recently, Mangi Bhil and her husband were mercilessly beaten up by their family members who blamed the death of a child in the family on them. They said that Mangi was childless and had cast an evil eye on the child and led to her death. Both of them were chucked out of the village. They tried filing a police complaint but their family members exerted their influence. When we investigated the case, at the root of the witch phenomenon was the eight-acre land in the name of Mangi and her husband which the family wanted to grab,” said Nayak.
When Julia Fletcher . . . moved from West Virginia to Washington, D.C., to attend George Washington University, she operated a refreshment cart at the Kennedy Center and sometimes took it to the roof terrace, where she found the view of the Potomac Rover calming. Early one evening, she noticed a man there with his two young children. The girl and the boy were paying close attention to their father, who was watching a circling raptor.
"It's not a turkey vulture," he said, "but you're close. What else could it be?" The kids looked heavenward again.
"A hawk," pronounced the boy.
"Warmer," replied Dad, but what kind of hawk?"
"A white-headed hawk?" inquired the daughter. [Yeah, some sexism here. Boys pronounce and girls inquire.]
"Nope. What kinds of hawks are near the water?"
As Julia tells this story, she was about to burst with the answer when the son said:
"One that eats fish?"
"Exactly. It's an osprey," their father said. "Now, how can you identify it next time?"
At this point, Julia moved on with her work, but continued to think about the conversation. Because her mother took time to explore nature with her, she identified with the children and their questions. "And I was heartened that even in a city like Washington, there were other children who would grow up like I did," she says. "Until that moment, all evidence of this had been to the contrary, since no one I know at the university can identify an osprey. Nature in the city is nature at her most tenacious -- in some ways that makes it my favorite kind of nature.
Here is this vast, savage, howling mother of ours,
Nature, lying all around, with such beauty, and such affection for her children,
as the leopard; and yet we are so early weaned
from her breast to society, to that culture which is exclusively an interaction of man on man.