The anniversary of 9/11 is always a difficult time for me. Like many people, I lost someone dear to me that day. On the day itself, I stay away from tv, radio, and the internet, mourning and remembering in my own fashion. But the days leading up to and after the anniversary date I can’t help but seeing various opinions and thoughts about That Day.
Reading the various opinion articles by people of many different religions I’m struck by common themes – forgiveness, healing our nation, and showing love and tolerance. Those are all worthy things to write about and keep in mind and it is a healthy thing for religious people to see how much we all have in common.
But I was looking for something…more…from the Pagan writers. Something special (but not unique) our religion has to offer in times like these. Yet it is nowhere to be found.
I was looking for Pagans calling for Divine Justice for those responsible for the attacks carried out on 9/11. Yes, the actual men who performed the deeds are dead, and some of those who assisted are in custody, but many are still alive and free.
The Big Three, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, tell their adherents that rewards and punishments happen after death, God does not react to your deeds while you are on earth. They are counseled, when Bad Things Happen, to forgive those that committed the deeds, to not judge, and to be assured that God will take care of it in the afterlife. Hopefully by welcoming a person who repented of their sins into a type of heaven.
Where are the prayers to Jupiter, asking him to see that all of those responsible are brought to justice, either through the courts of men or by His own divine hand? Where are the Deipnon offerings to Hekate, who leads the souls of the wronged dead as they torment their killers, to pursue these killers until they give themselves up to the authorities? Why have I not seen Skadi invoked, asking for Her to deliver sentence as She did to Loki?
Do we not believe our Gods will answer those prayers? Did the thought even occur to anyone to pray for Divine Justice?
It makes me wonder if we really are Pagans of revived religions or if we have lost too much in the intervening years of Christianity. If we are all still, to some extent, Christians, Jew, and Muslims deep in our hearts.
I sometimes picture us as a small grove of horribly mutilated trees, our few remaining branches reaching for scraps of sunlight and our withered roots desperate for water. Hemmed in by large dominate forests that have pruned us into conforming to their shape. I see each of us as one little bud on these trees, taking in moisture from the roots and light from above, turning that into some really bizarre leaves. I just hope, someday, our trees look more and more how they used to and less like the encroaching forests that surround us.