Warning: This post is going to get a bit introspective and doomsday-ish before it gets to the point. But please stick with it.
I struggled a bit with the title for this one. Was manifesto the word I needed? What do you call a collection of goals and aspirations for a personal path with the hope it will influence and guide the larger culture? Who am I to issue a list of commandments, or rules? To state a creed or rede? That’s not my intention anyway. I must confess I have tended to connect “manifesto” with fervent young adults, passing out their visions in goth clubs. But “manifest” is right there in the word – to make something known, to give it form, to bring it into being.
I look at the churning, bubbling cauldron that the world is right now with quite a mixture of thoughts and feelings. I can’t shake the feeling that we’re on the verge of a massive breakdown and cultural collapse (The Tower). But I also feel there’s immense possibilities in store for a new Époque of Emergence – with greater understanding, compassion, and luminous vision (The Star). I have much hope, but at the same time, humanity’s been at this game for centuries. We have done worse, and we have done better. A fresh start doesn’t guarantee success.
Then I remember that we’re all here now. These are the times we were made for. There is a resurgence in Witchcraft in the mix of all of this turmoil. We are here to help with the shifting, changing, and reforming of reality. So I am sharing with you this list – a possibility of ideas ripe for manifestation. It will probably grow over time, but this is what I’ve been focusing on lately. These are all things that should apply to all people, but I feel Witches (and various Pwords) should help lead the way.
-All bodies are autonomous. If we wish to be respected, we must respect both ourselves and others: regardless of color, gender, age, ability, sexual orientation, etc. Respect includes acknowledging a person’s right to live their lives and make healthy choices. Respect does not include violating those rights by action, speech, or law.
-The Other is Us. We are all “other” to someone else. We all have our tribes, and then there are those outside of it. To recognize that the mirror works both ways is a bridge to understanding that we are all not so different fundamentally.
-All actions are an exchange of energy. Everything we do involves movement in some way. We can exchange in a reciprocal manner (giving to those who give to us) or pass the energy along in a daisy-chain (receiving and giving down the line). The circle of life (birth, life, death, rebirth) is a constant exchange of energy.
-No one is entitled. We are not owed anything by the world, regardless of who we are, where we come from, or what we have done.
-We are connected to the world. We are not separate from the land, the environment, the planet, the universe – we belong to it, it does not belong to us. We are made of the same particles. We must conserve and protect our natural resources. We must participate in the cycle of life and death in a way that is mindful and honoring of plants, animals, and all things – consuming and disposing with honor.
-We are responsible for our personal power. Our power comes from within, and recognizing it for ourselves. From there, it is our duty to learn, guide, observe, listen, act, and do what we can to help others as well.
-Life is a collection of points, not one definitive mark. Part of being human is making mistakes, learning from them, and granting opportunities for change. If we shame or punish without granting an opportunity for change and redirection, then we fail to respect ourselves and others.
-You are the summary of your words and deeds. The measure of who you are is expressly defined by what you do and say, and how you do it. Act with integrity and grace, and you will always act with true power.
I expect to add to this list. It is by no means complete or finalized, but rather what I am currently working with on my own path. I am aware that we do not live in a vacuum, but greater change can happen and override old, damaging ideas and practices with focus.