My head is full of the horrific events in Arizona, the extreme knottiness of talking about religious Witchcraft and the morality of missing ritual for something “fun”. However, as I sit here snacking on banana sandwiches and tater chips what I really want to do is talk about fate, justice and the whole karmic enchilada.
So yesterday I invoked Nemesis in an article and that’s something to really consider. You see, folks think of her as revenge, as the personification of enemy, but really she is about inexorable, far-reaching justice. She is the merciless karma balancer, the remorseless equalizer and the auditor without compassion. If you and your neighbor are equally acting like jerks in a fight over who owns a prize bull Nemesis is likely to cut the bull in half to settle the argument.
That’s what makes Nemesis so scary. She brings all to justice and all to balance, and if that means lopping a few heads off of both sides of an argument then so be it. Remember when you were a kid and you’d go to an adult with a grievance against another child, only to find both of you end up getting punished? That’s Nemesis. She levels the playing field and brings everyone’s accounts up to date.
Which was why I felt she was appropriate to invoke yesterday. The nonsense on every side and in every party has gotten out of hand. Everyone needs a time out. Everyone needs to own their behavior and we need to start fresh. But this isn’t a post about politics. It’s about fate.
“Wyrd bi∂ ful aræd” is the favorite saying of one of my favorite fictional characters: Uthred of Bebbanburg. It means “Fate is inexorable” and it’s become a favorite proverb of mine. I believe fate is inexorable, that once wheels are set into motion they must complete their revolution. Certainly we have choices, and free will of a limited sort, because our fate and destiny is being woven. The loom doesn’t even stop with our death but simply moves on to a new tapestry built on the design and experience of weaving the last one.
When you weave you choose your threads with care, because once you pick up a thread to work with it, if you decide you don’t care for it after all, you can’t simply drop it and move on. You must finish that thread off, either by making a good end of it or by working it out to it’s full length. Once the thread has been woven into the design to simply end it may hurt the design. Your colors may be disjointed and abrupt, you may have no flow and no channels for energy to travel. Often the best choice is to work that thread into the design as best you can and weave it to it’s natural end.That’s what fate is inexorable means. We must weave our threads through, we must spin the wheel until it’s revolution is complete. I think there is a feeling that is rather modern that we can change our lives in a flash. If Madonna can reinvent herself overnight so can we. We don’t think of elements of our lives as cycles, as threads we have woven into our lives. I see people struggle with this sometimes. They think they can take on a new lover or a new job and then discard them as easily as changing socks. They end up with a lot of hanging threads, frustration and stagnation. They have brought energies into their lives without being prepared to cultivate those energies into something wholesome and beneficial.
The fate-weaving is part of your religious life as well. When you pick up the thread of Paganism you must learn how to weave that into your pattern at the same time you learn how to weave the threads of your past beliefs out of your life-tapestry. In the time it takes to do this, and it takes time, you find your entire pattern has changed by the time your old thread has played out and your new thread has found it’s place in the pattern. Breaking with the lover is the same way. It takes time to weave them out and to weave someone new in. Dropping the thread of a former lover abruptly causes the thread to snag and catch and disrupt the weaving.
I think this is why divination is so important to most Pagans. We want to be certain we pick up the right threads, that the current threads are long and strong enough to last out the design and that some threads have reached their length and are ready to be tied off. We divine, meditate and pray so that we may keep our eye on both the overall design and the individual threads.
We do this because we know fate is inexorable. Once the wheel begins to turn it must finish it’s course. The risen sun must cross the sky until it sets. There is no backtracking for the moon. The seasons roll along in spite of us. The tide doesn’t suddenly change it’s mind. We must weave mindfully and with an eye to the warp and weft. Because we know if we drop threads Nemesis will eventually weave them back in justly and mercilessly. Sometimes this brings us good fortune but often it simply brings discord, confusion and anger that our chickens have come home to roost.
So weave well. Heed the ancient wisdom. Act with honor. Live so that the approach of Nemesis holds no fear for you. Take comfort that “fate is inexorable”. I do.
And let’s end with some classic Olivia Newton-John: