The Great War in the Otherworld and in this World

The Great War in the Otherworld and in this World March 15, 2023

The powers and trends that shape the worlds do not operate in a linear fashion.

I’ve been writing about Tower Time for at least a dozen years. The Morrigan and others warned us about it – by my reckoning it got here in 2016. Trumpism and the pandemic are part of it, but they’re not all of it – and they’re symptoms, not causes. I haven’t heard much about Tower Time over the last couple of years. But it’s not over – not by a long shot.

For another perspective on what’s going on, read Joy and the Greed-Wolf in a Time of Towers by Seo Helrune.

Perhaps we’ve been distracted – who could blame us? Perhaps our Otherworldly allies have been busy with Otherworldly activities. Perhaps others have seen plenty going on and I’m the one who’s been distracted.

Regardless of what has or hasn’t been going on over the last couple of years, I think the battle to reshape our world is picking up again.

And we need to pay attention.

photo by John Beckett

“Three times is enemy action”

To quote James Bond author Ian Fleming “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.” Fleming served as an intelligence officer in World War II – he knew what he was talking about.

There have been three reports that these changes are picking up in again in recent weeks.

Irene Glasse started it with a blog post titled The Great War: Pain, Hope, and Shifting the Tide. Irene writes mostly in metaphor (I think) when she says:

This is a battlefield. And if we haven’t joined or been drafted, we will be the victims of the power struggle. On one side is Pain … there isn’t a good word in English for the other side, but … I think of it as Hope – benevolent life and all of its supports: justice, cooperation, and healing among others.

Alexandra Nic Bhé Chuille followed it with The Otherworldly Tides of the Great War. Alexandra speaks more plainly (I think) and says:

the Otherworlds have been embroiled in their own Great War.

and

I think the Great War of Extinction vs Evolution is the challenge of Tower Time.

The third action report comes from Morgan Daimler in The ‘Great War’: Unmaking vs Making.

The human world, specifically but not exclusively the so-called western world, has been in the midst of upheaval for the last half dozen and more years and this upheaval is not only visible in the human world but has also been felt or experienced in the Otherworld by people sensitive to it, and there are Otherworldly forces at work in the midst of the human conflicts, as well as Otherworldly conflicts playing out.

I consider Irene, Alexandra, and Morgan friends. More importantly, they have always impressed me with their seriousness and their discernment. I know that what they say they do not say lightly.

And what they say tells me it’s time to get ready for the next battle.

photo by John Beckett

The lay of the land

There is this world and there is the Otherworld, the world of the Gods and the ancestors. Do different religions and cultures have different Otherworlds? I tend to think there is one Otherworld with many realms, just as there’s one ordinary world with many continents and countries. The exact configuration isn’t important here.

What’s important is that traditionally, this world and the Otherworld are separate places. Gods can come and go as They please (they’re Gods) but other spirits are mostly bound to their world. The worlds grow closer at Samhain and at Beltane (the “Thinning of the Veil”) but for most of the year, we’re here and they’re there.

Not anymore.

The Veil is shredded. The Otherworld is bleeding through into the ordinary world. The Fair Folk are returning to the ordinary world. And because of this, or perhaps, concurrent with this, the currents of magic are stronger than they’ve been in centuries.

This is the environment in which we work.

We can easily see what’s going on in this world – at least we can if we pay attention. It’s not as easy to see what’s going on in the Otherworld. But those who can see report things like what Irene, Alexandra, and Morgan report. Things I’ve seen myself in the past.

For all that it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on in this world, we ignore what’s going on in the Otherworld at our peril.

Because the two worlds overlap and they influence each other.

photo by John Beckett

The Great War – this world

Wars never begin with guns and tanks and artillery. They begin with lust for land and wealth and control, with oppression and exploitation, with demands for appeasement that turn into demands for unconditional surrender. History may date wars from the moment tanks roll and troops march, but conflict begins long before the first shot is fired.

Irene speaks of a war between Pain and Hope. Alexandra speaks of a war between Extinction and Evolution. I see this as a war between Freedom and Joy on one hand and Oppression and Drudgery on the other. I see it as a war between those who support the right of every person to fully be who and what they are and those who would force everyone into tightly-defined boxes based on the dictates of their religion and culture.

We’ve been fighting Evangelical fundamentalism in this country for a hundred years. While their numbers are in decline, those who support Dominionism (the idea that this is a Christian nation and that everyone should be forced to live according to fundamentalist doctrine) are getting stronger.

And now we’re seeing a rise in Catholic integralism – the idea that there should be no separation of church and state and the country should be run according to Catholic dictates. The United States has always been a Protestant-dominated country, but all you have to do is read Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s ruling in the Dobbs case to see the impact that conservative Catholic thinking has on the legal system.

The third major branch of Christianity – Eastern Orthodoxy – is quite small in the United States. But it is the dominant religion in Eastern Europe, and it is quite conservative. We can debate whether Vladimir Putin is a true believer or if he simply exploits the Russian Orthodox Church for political effect, but it’s clear he wants to be the leader of a revived Holy Roman Empire and stamp out “decadent Euro-Atlantic values.”

If you read conservative thinkers and bloggers (serious conservative intellectuals, not Tucker Carlson or Marjorie Taylor Greene) it’s clear they see this as a war. Trans people are their enemy of the moment, and eliminating reproductive rights is always high on their agenda. But they’re coming for anything and everything that isn’t in line with their idea of the way things are supposed to be.

This is not a shooting war. Except in Ukraine. For now. Anyway, who needs guns when you own the courts because of Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump, when you have Fox News spreading your propaganda, and when gerrymandering is perfectly legal?

photo by John Beckett

The Great War – the Otherworld

When I talk about persons in the Otherworld, I’m talking about Gods. I’m talking about the Fair Folk. I’m talking about other-than-divine spirits like angels and demons, jinn and ifrit, and classes of beings attested in other cultures around the world.

They are not all on the same team. There is conflict in the Otherworld – exactly how the sides are drawn is far beyond my knowledge. But some things are clear. As Morgan points out, the Fair Folk are fighting “to take back their place in the human world and all that was taken from them.” My own observations are that different groups are scheming (and occasionally fighting) to insure that however things work out, their group ends up on top.

And then there are those Morgan calls Basdán, “those who seek to unmake all things.” I haven’t encountered them (I don’t think) but again, I trust Morgan’s knowledge and discernment. And when Morgan says “the unhael are continuing to gnaw away at the edges of everything” that matches what I’m seeing in both worlds.

Overlapping worlds, overlapping wars

The Otherworld war is bleeding through into this world. Part of that is because the two worlds are closer together, and part is because Otherworldly persons are fighting to regain the place and control they had in this world before our greater numbers, technology, and what Morgan calls “the Puritan egregore” drove them out (I think that third thing is older and bigger than the Puritans, but the Puritan influence is strong in this country).

There are some groups who have alliances. There’s a lot of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The Fair Folk are always on their own side and no one else’s, although we sometimes have common cause with them.

Are the unhael supporting the forces of fundamentalism? It sure looks that way. Will they turn on them the moment they get control? Almost certainly.

Do those of us who love Nature have friends among the Fair Folk? Depends on how loosely you define “friends.” Will they make our lives miserable the first time we disrespect them, even unintentionally? History says yes.

Are our Gods our best refuge? Absolutely. They are always virtuous, even though “virtuous” doesn’t mean “will make our lives easy.” But Cernunnos, Danu, the Morrigan, and the other deities I honor and follow have made my life deeper and more meaningful, in good times and in bad, for the past 20 years.

If I’m on Their side, everything else will work out one way or another.

Where are you in this war?

As much as I’d like to live out the rest of this life in comfort and security, I don’t think I get to do that. In any case, if there’s something going on, I want to know about it. If there’s a conflict going on, I want to choose a side from as fully-informed a position as possible.

If you follow the Morrigan, you’re already in this. Same thing if you follow Odin. If you follow Brighid you’re in it, though likely in a different function. What about the followers of Hekate? I have no relationship with Her so I don’t know, but I would think yes, though perhaps in a way different from all of the above (if you’re a follower of Hekate I’d be very interested in your perspective on this).

If you think you can be neutral, if you think you can be Switzerland, remember two things. First, Switzerland collaborated with the Nazis. Second, those who fancy themselves Switzerland without Switzerland’s mountains and riches usually find out they’re really Belgium, who proclaimed their neutrality and then were overrun by the Germans in 1914 and again in 1940.

Most people will sleep through the whole thing and then wonder how their world has been unmade and remade in ways they cannot comprehend. As Irene said “if we haven’t joined or been drafted, we will be the victims of the power struggle.”

I prefer to go into this with my eyes wide open.

photo by John Beckett
custom artwork by Ashley Bryner

What do we call this thing?

I’ve been calling this phenomenon “Tower Time” for close to a decade – I even taught a course in Navigating Tower Time (it’s available on-demand if you’re interested). But I’m not sure the metaphor is still helpful. Lightning has struck the Tower, but it’s still crumbling, and it will continue to crumble for many more years.

Irene, Alexandra, and Morgan all called this “the Great War.” I agree with Morgan that this lacks nuance, but I don’t have a better name.

And also, “the Great War” is what people called World War I before it was followed by World War II. For at least as long as I’ve been talking about Tower Time, I’ve had the impression we’re living in early 1914. Is history repeating itself? Not exactly, but as the famous quote says, it rhymes.

I’m not sure who’s the Archduke in this particular instance, but I’m pretty sure he’s already dead.

“The Great War” seems to fit, though I remain open to other suggestions.

photo by John Beckett

What shall we do?

I have no intention of grabbing a rifle and heading to the trenches. I’m a Druid – I fight with magic, not with physical weapons. My hope and prayer – and my expectation – is that none of us will need to pick up physical weapons.

The Morrigan will put me where She wants me. I have other alliances that may be called into play. Until then – and during and after that – I have two suggestions.

First, cultivate joy. That idea is important enough that Loki jumped into a Seeress to make sure the world heard the message. This country and most of the West are still democracies to one degree or another. While we have to fight for our rights and the rights of others, ultimate I expect to win because people inherently prefer freedom over fundamentalism and joy over austerity. Enjoy life, and show others how to enjoy life.

And the best way to do that is to make good art. Study poetry and music. Use your skills and talents. Use your enthusiasm. Help people feel the goodness of diversity and exploration and becoming who you truly are instead of who someone else says you have to be.

Alexandra ended her post with a quote from J.R.R. Tolkien, who was inspired to write The Lord of the Rings based on his experiences in World War I:

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.

“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

We didn’t choose to be here, but here we are. Let’s face this head-on: the war in this world, the war in the Otherworld, and the overlapping war.

May we be victorious!

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