The Abrahamic Battlefield Needs Witching Medics

The Abrahamic Battlefield Needs Witching Medics January 8, 2017

The Abrahamic “Religious Right” are gaining traction in American politics, and with that comes a lot of problems. Hate crimes saw a sharp increase after the election; anti-semitic, anti-GLBTQ, racist, sexist and anti-Islamic rhetoric–especially against immigrants from Syria–are actual planks in the winning political platforms of the Republican party, which is overwhelmingly led by men claiming to be Christian. The way I see it, all of this is “extremist.” As a progressive witch and priestess, this makes me more than a little nervous.

CC0 Public Domain ~ Pixabay
CC0 Public Domain ~ Pixabay

Abrahamic Religions

If you were raised inside one of the Abrahamic Faiths, you might not know that term is how the rest of us describe the family of religions descended from Abraham, the Patriarch of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, who all worship the same god.  So, all this in-fighting is basically a family feud among theological first cousins, and the rest of us are caught in the cross-fire.

The incoming Vice President, Mike Pence, and Senator Ted Cruz (Texas) are both extremist Christian Theocrats who now find themselves in a position of unprecedented power, and they mean to impose their religion’s brand of patriarchal oppression on the rest of America.

Those of us who are NOT of their ilk are likely to find ourselves struggling to preserve our constitutional freedoms. I’m not thrilled that this struggle lies ahead, but I also know we were born into these times for a reason.

However, it is imperative for us Pagans to understand where these Abrahamic extremists are coming from, what wounds motivate their hateful actions, and shift our own perspective into a place of compassion, so that we can use our strengths to heal us all.

Who was this Father Abraham, anyway?

Legend tells us that Abraham was a shepherd, originally from Ur in Mesopotamia (now Iraq), during the bronze age, sometime before 6000 BCE. He developed a relationship with one particular “spirit,” whom he could hear speaking to him. Abraham was convinced that the spirit was “the one true God”  known by many names: Yahweh, Jehovah, El, to name a few. Abraham eventually settled in the land known as Canaan, which is in Isreal. The story of Abraham is related in Genesis 11:26–25:10 of the Hebrew scriptures.

Map of Ancient Mesopotamia
By Goran tek-en via Wikimedia Commons (Note: this is where modern wars are now waging)

Abraham had 8 sons by three different wives. Issac, descended of Sarah, is considered the father of Judaism and eventually Christianity. Ishmael, descended of Hagar, is considered the father of the Arab world, and eventually, Islam.

The “Big Three” Abrahamic faiths are indigenous to the Middle-Eastern region, but they are relative new-comers, as there were already well-established, polytheistic (dare I call them Pagan?) religions, with robust pantheons of gods worshipped for millennia, with elaborate temples and priesthoods, and systems of magick that neo-pagans are now re-establishing–from Egypt, through Sumer and Babylon in Mesopotamia. Ironically, Abraham’s father, Terach, was in the business of selling statues of the local gods.

Monotheism is Born

What made Abraham’s personal religion unique for its time, was that it was monotheistic. Yahweh demanded that he be the only one that Abraham worshipped. Not that there were no other gods, just that he wanted his sole allegiance. In return for the unquestioning service of his entire family, even when asked to commit atrocities like murder his own son, Yahweh promised to bless them with their own land, to smite their enemies, and make his progeny as numerous as the stars.

Schnorr von Carolsfeld - 1860 - Abram counts stars - Wikipedia - Public Domain
Schnorr von Carolsfeld – 1860 – Abram counts stars – Wikipedia – Public Domain

For their time, Abraham’s family were just about the only weirdo monotheists in their neighborhood…and his descendants became very unpopular for totally legit reasons, that you should look into by reading Genesis. Generally speaking, folks don’t like it when you call their ancient gods “false.”  For the 12 Tribes of Israel that descended from Abraham, it was a battle of “us vs. them” from the beginning.

Paradigm Shift: From Battlefield to Bower

The Principle of Polarity is a universal concept, and religions tend to focus on their favorite one. Perhaps that polarity is light vs. dark, like Zoroastrians; or suffering vs. peacefulness, like in Buddhism. In Abrahamic religions, it began as God vs. His Adversary, who in later centuries was personified as the Devil, or Satan. Eventually, it morphed into a good vs. evil paradigm.

However, in their mythology it is a real nightmare trying to decide which character is good and which one is evil, because it’s a horror story from beginning to end. I can’t view the actions of their god as “good,” and as I read it, I often find myself rooting for the adversary, who appears to be working for the best interests of humans. The whole system is driven by the fear of being cast out from the presence of Yahweh and into the abyss.

If you believe in the premise of the Abrahamic paradigm, then you are living on a battlefield, where the nature of the Universe is taught to be conflict and the fight for dominance. As anyone who has been to a war zone will tell you, no matter who is winning the battle, everyone is left suffering in a field of destruction.

The Abrahamic Battlefield needs Witching Medics
By State Library of New South Wales collection, via Wikimedia Commons

Personally, I think that the god of Abraham is a master-manipulator that feeds like a parasite off of the energy of fear, death and destruction–why else would he goad his followers into so much rape, murder, slavery, sadistic atrocities, and “holy” wars? Why pit his own followers against each other so viciously?

By contrast, my paganism is a honeymoon paradigm. It is a love story, of Goddess loving God, and through their union, the Universe is born. We know that all of us, including the most hateful of fundamentalists, are sacred beings worthy of dignity and respect. All of humanity are inherently Divine and blessed in their natures, just like Jesus was trying to tell them so very long ago…

Abrahamic Religions

Pagan Religions

God versus Satan

Goddess Loving God

Battlefield Paradigm

Honeymoon Paradigm

 Focuses on
confrontation
separation
paranoia
domination
subservience

Focuses on
unity
interconnection
trust
cooperation
sovereignty

Fear based

Love Based

Destroys

Creates

What is the nature of the Universe in the pagan paradigm? Love and the seeking of Union.

“All began in love; all seeks to return in love. Love is the law, the teacher of wisdom, and the great revealer of mysteries.” ~Traditional Wiccan Creation Story, The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess by Starhawk

So, according to the pagan paradigm, the purpose of human life is to perpetuate the Love created of the Goddess and God; To enjoy, and appreciate the wonders of the flesh and the beauty of the world; To learn and evolve into our sovereignty, and to be happy people. Our Spirit is eternal, and when we die, we are enfolded in the rapture of infinite joy–no strings attached.

“Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.” -The Charge of the Goddess, by Doreen Valiente

The Abrahamic Battlefield needs Witching Medics
CC0 Public Domain ~ Pixabay

Change your Perspective

So, here we are, many millennia later. The Abrahamic paradigm is a “Battlefield” and while that may be the perspective of the majority of folks around us, that is NOT our paradigm and we have to start acting like it. Us pagans must shift our perspective from the combatants on the battlefield to lovers in the honeymoon bower. We can choose NOT to engage in their battles, because you can’t solve the problem of patriarchy through patriarchal means–that’s just a transference of privilege. (1)

Witch As Healer

One of the jobs of the Witch is be a healer, yes? Well, we need to become “field medics” for our Abrahamic neighbors–we need a Witching Red Cross. Witches understand these poor Abrahamic folks are fighting in the war of fear. They consider themselves warriors in this “good vs. evil” battle and as much as they like to think they are on the side of “good,” those of us on the outside, see it for what it is; they are doing Yahweh’s dirty work to impose more fear.

According to their own doctrine, this “merciful” god damns his own children because of their inherent depravity through original sin, and the weakness of the flesh HE CREATED, but they are supposed to deny all benefits of the flesh. Then he threatens to torture them for eternity in the fires of a hell HE CREATED unless they jump the hoops, fit the mold, and tow the line just so, all to earn their salvation from the punitive system HE CREATED for his own amusement, apparently. All of this is just so very traumatizing…the poor dears.

But between the various sects, they can’t even decide what those hoops should be, or what that mold looks like, or where that line should be towed, so they’ve spent centuries killing each other, and anyone who refuses to join their fight. You may have noticed in that map above that Yahweh’s home territory is where horrifying wars are being waged RIGHT NOW? This is from where all these Muslim immigrants are fleeing. Centuries of wars have drenched these lands with his followers blood. Crusades, much? Curious how this keeps happening.

Red Cross nurse for the Army poster image
U.S. National Archives and Records Administration) via Wikimedia Commons

As atrocious as I find the actions of many Abrahamic extremists, I have nothing but compassion for anyone still suffering on this battlefield. They are bleeding out all over America, all over the middle east, the world is saturated in this profound loss. Bless their hearts. MEDIC!

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Religious Trauma Syndrome

Mental Health Professionals are now recognizing a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder called Religious Trauma Syndrome. Of course some of these wounded folks are behaving badly, but it does no more good to harbor anger towards them than it does good to blame a veteran with PTSD.

Hold the space with that thought for a moment. Then, send the power of truly unconditional Divine Love into those wounds and offer them healing, just as much as you would a soldier returning from war. I suggest we start with Mike Pence and Ted Cruz. They don’t know any other way, but you do…and isn’t that a blessing you should share?

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who’ve trespassed against us.” ~Lord’s prayer, Matthew 6: 9

CC0- Public Domain ~ Pixabay
CC0- Public Domain ~ Pixabay

Rise up magickal folks and help me become a field medic of Divine Love! We have many hearts and minds to both open and heal. There are baneful forces that must be stopped, but we can rise up in our own collective power, for compassionate, conscientiousness, and intelligent discourse.

On the battlefield of fear, Love is the only cure.

Blessings,
Heron

1.) To be fair, my feminist boyfriend actually said this sentence to me this morning as we discussed the dominant patriarchal culture and the shit-show its created throughout history. He says I don’t have to quote him, but he’s just super cool like that.

"That really is hilarious! Thanks for sharing!"

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