My ancestors have been speaking to me this week.
Yesterday, John Beckett wrote a blog about the current situation here in America. Mr. Beckett has been saying for a while now that his Gods (especially The Morrigan, whom we both have a relationship with) were saying a storm was coming, and more recently that the storm is here.
I live in hurricane country. When a big one is on the way, you get days of warnings. You watch that “cone of uncertainty” like a hawk to see how likely you are to be hit. If it does come your way, you have a limited amount of time to prepare – the last direct hit here left me with no power or water for 3 days. I was prepared and made it through fine.
Even if you don’t have Gods like John Beckett’s, or even if you do and they’ve not been speaking to you, the signs of trouble have been building for a few years. Brexit. The rise of the far Right in Europe. Then of course we have Trump’s America, where just in the last few weeks we’ve had children ripped away from parents at the border and stuffed in cages, more unarmed black men senselessly killed by police. As Beckett puts it:
Asylum seekers arrested. Families separated. An order to reunite them, only to find that many of them can’t be matched up. And while we were fixated on that (and rightly so) a bill to gut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, to “balance the budget” barely six months after a huge corporate tax cut.
Trade wars. Alienating allies. Photo ops with dictators.
A Supreme Court ruling saying a homophobic baker didn’t get a fair hearing because of his religion. Another ruling that said the Muslim travel ban had nothing to do with religion. Yet another ruling making it harder for public sector unions to do their job.
And then last Wednesday, the pièce de résistance: Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy is retiring, giving Trump the opportunity to put another young radical conservative on the Supreme Court who will be there for 30 years. Trump’s pick will be confirmed before the election and it is highly unlike the Democrats can do anything to stop it.
If this were a hurricane, it would be a strong Cat 5 – a huge monster like 2017’s Harvey – and right now we’re feeling the outer bands. The wind is starting to gust and the rain is just getting going.
It’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better. And it’s going to be traumatic for the country, for the world – and for a whole lot of individual people. The damage that could be done by SCOTUS alone is terrifying to contemplate – and it’s already begun as Beckett points out above.
We All Have A Role To Play
Some of us will march and protest. Hopefully all of us are calling our representatives regularly. And we damn well better ALL vote in November.
I shared a beautiful Facebook post a few days ago by Lillian Mardöllsdottir, which said in part:
Protect those who you can protect. Whoever you are you can do something. Every little bit of effort contributes to the greater whole.
We can turn this around. No matter how dark it gets, no matter how lost we feel, we can turn this around.
The Dead care. The Gods care. May they stand by us in all ways as we work to overcome this darkness.
As for me, The Morrigan has made clear that a good part of my role is here, on this blog. I originally created it to share what I thought was a unique story of a super conservative Pentecostal turning into a super liberal Pagan. Of course, my story isn’t that unique after all.
But as I began to work with The Morrigan, She began nudging me to change the focus to the trauma that I and many others have suffered at the hands of fundamentalist churches. Which morphed into an exploration of trauma in general when I was diagnosed with C-PTSD stemming from both the church experience and childhood emotional abuse.
So this blog is now a place to discuss trauma – what it is, what it does and ways to heal from it. And hopefully by sharing my stories and those of others, it will also be a discussion of how to survive when you’re in the middle of trauma.
Because make no mistake, it’s coming.
Many of you reading this have also been through trauma, and you, too, can help with this. I’d like to start a podcast talking to people who’ve experienced Trauma, especially those who found healing on a pagan path. Beyond that, in your own life, no matter where you are in your healing process you’re ahead of someone who could use a hand getting as far as you have.
For Now, Strengthen Your Spiritual Connections. Especially Your Ancestors.
Part of this battle is taking place in the Otherworld. Many experienced Pagans have been noting an upsurge in Otherworldly activity for the last several years. When author Morgan Daimler shared Beckett’s post above on her personal Facebook page, she said, “People have been getting warnings for years about trouble coming to this world – not just America – in the form of social upheaval.
I’ve been getting warnings for years, at least since 2012, of upheaval and trouble in the Otherworld that would and is spilling over into this world.”
We need our Otherworld allies, especially our Ancestors. Because I guarantee some of them have survived things as bad or worse than what we’re about to go through.
Nearly every man in my line who was of fighting age fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. Which means I have a lot of grandmothers who suffered through those years trying to keep small subsistence farmsteads going in the backwoods of Western North Carolina.
My many-great grandparents and I don’t agree on their cause, but they have a lot to teach me about surviving when the shit really truly has passed it’s encounter with the fan. When the shit has covered you and your life from head to toe. When everywhere your foot falls, you’re knee deep in excrement.
My 6th great grandmother, Onai Ani’-Tsi’skwa was born in northeast Tennessee in 1760. Her ancestors had survived waves of plague that swept the Native population from the moment Spanish explorers began exploring Florida. Waves of disease that spread so fast, populations were decimated by white man’s germs long before anyone in their tribe would lay eyes on one. She saw most of her tribe removed on the Trail of Tears, which she somehow escaped. She understands the situation today at our border better than I ever will.
Just before her, the ancestors who left Ulster in the early-to-mid 1700’s had lived under the boot of an oppressor for hundreds of years. On another side, some ancestors were that boot.
Think they can tell me a thing or two about survival? I’m sure you have ancestors that have been through some horrors as well. Let them help you now.
Because one thing I’ve learned about Trauma is this: owning it, sharing it, facing it, expressing it – all of that not only helps you heal, it helps others heal as well.
And we’re all going to need healing in the coming times. Let’s be ready.