Turn up the Megaphone; The Gods are Speaking

I am angry.  I am enraged at the world and all the problems within it.  I am offended by the lack of justice and I am confused.  I am not confused on my position in all the madness that I hear, feel, see and experience but I am confused at how to be the Wiccan High Priestess that I am and to feel the intense emotion that I feel without a balance or way of understanding it.

How to balance the spiritual part of who I am with the feelings produced by living in the world I live in is a complex mix up of emotions, frustration and complete chaotic combination of conflicted concepts.  I cannot embrace the expectations of the world and ignore the shadow self; they go hand in hand with who I am as a person.

And this is what keeps me stuck in times such as these.  I don’t know how to dive into issues that are prevalent to the struggle of identifying as a Black woman in America without offending or completely pissing off the very people that read this blog or that support me in my path.  When I talked to my sister about this blockage she told me to write about the block itself.

I began to think about how to say I am pissed off, hurt, scared, embarrassed, confused, livid and insulted at the behavior of others and the insensitivity towards the brown and black people of this world.  How do I express my complete disgust about reading the stories, like that of Trayvon Martin, and explain what it feels like to be a Black woman in today’s society and fear those things for my children without offending others who do not understand privilege in America?

What is the point in having a blog that talks about the intersection between African American women and Pagan spirituality?  I know that point is to discuss all those things and more but I struggle in doing that when I am so hurt and angry that I am not able to separate the issues and express them clearly.

Race has become a topic of dissension for others the past two years, it has always been a topic of importance for us.  I don’t know if it is cases like this new one, presidential candidates making overtly prejudice statements or having a Black president that has brought the thoughts of others to the forefront but I feel I have heard more blatantly racists crap in the last year compared to any other year.  In the last month alone I have been called a “f**king Nigger” when a guy jumped out of his car in traffic, seen a picture of a street sign that was changed in Michigan to say “Trayvon’s a Nigger” and listened to someone talk about how Black people are the reason for the decline of our society.

And while I work to stay within spiritual space, be the High Priestess that I am and support knowledge to those who do not have it, sometimes it feels like I am doing the work of the Gods against a battle that will not be won in this lifetime.  Thankfully I believe in reincarnation and the ability for spirit to bring wisdom back to the earth.

I don’t know if there is a way to express the challenges that everyday Black and Brown spiritual warriors face in today’s times without talking of the intensity that is created internally, it goes hand in hand.  What I will say is this: the need for spiritual reflection becomes essential in these times because it leads to a means of clarity and wholeness that cannot be achieved from the outside world.  The connection between my Gods and myself is paramount to survival in a world that wages spiritual warfare on the soul of so many people.  Tonight I cast my coins into the sea to pay respect to Yemaya and invite her to send her cooling waters amongst us, washing us of so much hatred and judgment of our fellow spiritual family members.  And I challenge others to do the same.

Moving beyond the disgust I feel at the racism, classism, ageism, sexism and all the other “ism’s” out there is a battle I am not willing to walk away from because it is important that we are able to be reflections to each other of each other.   Some in society will always try to hold themselves above others in an attempt to define themselves, find importance and create a system that gives them a false sense of meaning by standing on the spirit of others.  In my belief system the Gods are standing back and pushing the warriors to stand tall as a reflection of wisdom in the face of adversity.  We have the words of the mother and father whispering into the megaphone in our minds and drowning out the talk of ignorance.

The point of this blog is to open a forum to speak truths that are not often spoken in our community, giving insight into the vast diversity and value of some of the others who hold a seat at the table of Paganism.  Hopefully I can continue to turn up the volume of the Gods and override the sounds of racism that can easily occupy my mind.  So the real question becomes what to do about all the emotions that take space during these times after being confronted with such racism against my own?

My first answer is to speak.

My second answer is to pray.

My third… to wait.

And while I wait for continued strength to speak of understanding, peace, love, strength and hope, I will ask for those things for myself in my own battle to understand and be understood.  And throughout this process I hope to let my fingers type the words of this spiritual struggle and share it with those willing to listen.

  • http://profiles.google.com/thorncoyle T Thorn Coyle

    “Afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.” 

    These things need to be spoken of. Those who are offended? Perhaps they/we can take a breath, pause, and try to learn. 

    I’ve been really struggling with the rampant displays of racism in the US lately. I’ve been engaging people in conversation about the topic. Education around privilege needs to happen. Let’s keep trying to find ways to make it happen.

    Thank you for this post.

  • http://www.facebook.com/midwifemelanie Melanie Elizabeth Moore

    I have been amazed and embarrassed by a few fellow Pagans lack of concern over Trayvon’s death. Thank you for everything your doing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=770554543 Linda Gonzalez

    Surprising how few have commented on this but I am glad it was said and well said. It was time to say it. 

  • Mari Powers

    I hear you and echo back feelings of support for your struggle and anger.  I do not pretend to know what you experience, only that when I listen, I can identify with not wanting to let the ignorant and cruel live rent free in my head.  I want to channel my anger to motivate me to make positive changes in our world.  I do not want to turn it in on myself as depression and lethargy.  And so, I remember that even Yemaya, when pushed too far, becomes a tsunami.  I pray, and then I speak.  And when my heart cannot hold the pain, I write letters to politicians, editors of small town newspapers and pick up the phone to call those with more power and louder voices than mine.  In this way, I use the anger to motivate me to action, and clear my thoughts and head for awhile to make way for Spirit to speak on other ways to bring more love into our world.

  • Aurika

    I saw this linked from a friend who follows your blog, and just wanted to say thank you for writing this. We need more people of power and passion to shake others out of their complacency. If they are offended by their rude awakening, perhaps they will find the wisdom to see that they were wrong to remain asleep and blind to the injustice happening around them, taking their silence as assent. May the blessings of the Gods and Non-Gods be upon you and yours. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1620447304 Leanne Pemburn

    Thank you for your words and your passion

  • Auset

    I hear you sister. One thing I am beginning to do, is create spiritual rituals that help me deal with things like this. Like, create a tarot spread that asks what to do, root issues, etc. Or, consult the stars with astrology. When I was younger I was very political but very Christian (Martin Luther King). Now, I want to approach politics in a pagan spiritual way. Before Obama was elected, I asked my tarot would he win- they said yes. I kept quiet til after it happened and I admit, I wasn’t sure they were accurate. This proved  to me I could mix paganism with politics. Ask for a healing or guiding dream. I try to find out exactly what the Goddess/Universe/Gods want me to do individually. Then what action I can take- political, personal & otherwise. It helps me to center, calm down & focus. Talk to the spirits sis, they help with ALL issues. Hugs & understanding- Auset

  • SkyeRanger

    Hi Crystal, I appreciate your words. In my understanding, the form our societies take in the world today is not the form in which the issues to which you speak will be resolved. Ally to new structures and ideas, and ally in new relationship forms; is what I think.

    To use the Tibetans as an example; the great speakers out of Tibet know full well that the world is configured in such a way in this moment that no ally in the world now can directly assist Tibet in throwing off the bloody yoke that grinds it down daily; for many decades.

    So they endeavor to go out and reframe and restructure the world. It is only the way. Day by day we reframe the world with the people around us and in the places where we are invited to speak. Of course, participation, involvement, and shared activity are essential to this as well.

    In USA, our consumer mentality reigns. There are not enough slices of pie to go around, and never will be; and so consumerism by its nature creates in us a great divide. Many of the most informed people I know still live under the banner of “pie first, save the world second.”

    We are all sentient (feeling thinking) beings and there is much woe in the world. Slowly we share what pie there is with more and more of one another.

    I look forward to you speaking at PSG this June.

    Racism and sexist thinking are rife. No doubt about it. I too have been focusing more heavily on these in the past two years or so.

    Recently I watched a few videos on YouTube featuring Sobonfu Somé. I was struck by the following thought: We need to have these talks online more and more for access by everyone, curated (and I do not mean indexed) in a space that brings together the voices of people from all parts of the world. In the microcosm, I mean this for contemporary Pagans. And, as contemporary Pagans we need to be driven to seek out the words of others. We will not heal without this.

    I do not mean words are enough; but I do mean speaking is precious.

  • Meganhenrycht

    Very well put…as a black woman I have been following the events daily.  After 45 days the arrest has happened.  45 days.  This whole event has been so sad, yet interesting.  When something like this happens it shows us where we are as a society.  It shows all the dark souls that lurk about in their confused anger.  And yet it shows the the light bearers who came out in the thousands to make sure that “justice” was being served…at least the beginnings of justice.  I must say I was proud of La Raza for taking a quick and proper stand against Rush Limbaugh and his foolishness.  The leaders of that group are wise indeed.  And I am proud of our black leaders who have lead the way to help this family and ultimately help us all.  And for the few of our white brothers and sisters who are brave enough to stand alone and join in true freedom and rights for everyone…the new world.

  • Lydia Nettles Crabtree

    I am honored to call you sister. Your love of me as me despite my skin color humbles me. I love you!

  • Mercyfire

    Thank you for speaking.

  • blackpagan

    Sometimes, It can help to take a break from the internet. Sometimes I feel like the net is a giant racism hologram created by all the racist thoughts people have that they would never express or act on in real life. Like an incantation, their typed words gather energy and take form and can do real damage. 

    These times remind me somewhat of the backlash that occurred in the US after the Reconstruction era. Black folks made so many gains, and then there was pushback. I think people are reacting to Obama. That and the economic downturn is also a factor. Those two things are what’s driving this upsurge in racist activity.

    Me personally the whole thing makes me dive deeper into my own spirituality, so I’m not so vulnerable and reactive to the hate. So I can respond skillfully to the times, to borrow a Buddhist expression, and not just react to it in a way that harms me. Charles Johnson wrote a great essay about this very topic.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Seshat-Anqet-Het-Her/100003473686448 Seshat Anqet Het Her

      I agree. I too have realized upon reading the commentaries to media about Blacks that people are too ready to spew their insensitivity, insecurity and bigotry online – like they’re riddled with boils begging to be lanced – and yet, I am sure that if I were to encounter them on the street or at the office, they would smile and call me ‘friend’.  Humanity is still immature, spiritually, and like children, sulk when confronted with their bad behavior.  I am of a mind that while I will speak out on injustice as it is presented to me, I will no longer “go looking for it”.  I firmly believe that whatever I focus on, I attract and expand through my continued attention.  I would much rather focus on forums like these which seek to bring people together and intelligently expressive diverse opinions without anyone feeling offended and angry.  How can anyone be angry because someone is worried and upset?  “It’s not about you!” such insecure people should be told and made aware of.  If my sister or brother is in pain and is seeking understanding through their verbal expression then it is my privilege and duty as a priestess to hold space for them.  It is a habit that we should practice in our meditations and interactions with people we say we hold dear.

      I hear your sorrow, frustration and bewilderment, sister, and  I affirm you.  I feel that the rumblings we are witnessing are the dying gasps of an imperfect Age, to pave the way for what desires to come.  If we keep speaking the words of Grace and Tolerance and Goodwill, they will come. Yes, you may be right that such will not blossom in our lifetime, but our children will bless us for what we do today.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

      Maybe you just need to *not* go where Americans are–internet space or real-time. These sort of problems seem to be so prevalent in the U.S. I don’t know how or why anyone would stand for it.

      • Crystal Blanton

        I live in America so it would make it hard not to go where I am from. I think racism is everywhere. it is not an American issue. We have seen it from Africa to the Holocaust. I think here we have so many different types of people here that it is displayed in different ways. It is not an American issue, it is a human issue.

    • Crystal Blanton

      I agree… the internet is a challenging thing and there is way to many opinions to read that are hurtful. You know what they say about opinions….. LOL. Thanks for your feedback. Blessings.

  • Tagen

     Thank you Queen. . .
    Ankh Udja Seneb!

    Tagenhetnut

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Lamyka-L/649965363 Lamyka L.

    I can tell there’s anger by all the typos. Anyone who knows you, Crystal, knows your work is usually very thorough and well worded. Having the typos make more of a point than if this had been perfectly written. It illustrates the frustration and divided attention that Hate causes, even if on a small scale.


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