Saturday, November 30, 2013


I've had a few issues on my mind for a while now, big picture kind of issues. One was not an issue that I needed to fix, only to figure out where I felt I belonged. The others will require changes well beyond the power of a solitary or small group. I happened upon an analogy that fits all three of the biggest issues. I've been a HUGE Star Trek fans for many years. A friend and I decided to revisit some of our preferred episodes over the week, culminating in a marathon on Thanksgiving and Black Friday; the best of the Borg.

The "resistance is futile" attitude of the Borg is where the analogy comes in to play. Okay, first issue. There has been lots of talk online about Teo Bishop and his choice to return to Christianity. Both sides raise very excellent points. I would never begrudge someone finding the spiritual path to which they feel called. I also know how a spiritual journey can take turns we never expect. But I also understand why some are worried. I love the idea of people being able to have spirituality as they see fit, but the very nature of humanity makes that difficult. We're competitive, argumentative, and inquisitive. Add in the "our way is the only right way" attitude of many organized religions and you have a virtual impossibility. Don't get me wrong. Religious separatism is not something I am endorsing or even happy about.

Hence the following ugly comparison, one that I know does NOT represent the whole group; Christianity (or at least the most visible and vocal) seems to operate exactly like a Borg collective. It moves from region to region, from person to person, learning all it can in order to assimilate new cultures. It doesn't wish to peacefully coexist. A feeling of superiority gives free reign to convert people to their "perfect" religion, one that professes peace and love while using any means necessary to show the world how wrong their beliefs are. They spew messages of hate and anger, all while claiming to be persecuted by anyone with a voice that would present an opposing idea. And this isn't a new way of doing things. For centuries, they either bend others to their will or systematically destroy them. It is this attitude that has some Pagans worried, not because Bishop felt called back to Christianity, but because such a public display of this decision has been made. It is more fuel to the fire of evangelism. If someone so visible in the Pagan community can be brought back into the fold, surely they can "save" others. And if they cannot be saved, they could possibly use his knowledge and experience as ammunition against his former community. How easy would it be to twist the meanings of spells or rituals to show a parent unfit, an employee as a danger, to discredit someone? So much of the government and legal system already have a Christian bias. No, I'm not saying that will happen or that Bishop specifically would offer up information. I'm simply suggesting that the fears that it could happen are completely understandable. Past evidence bears that out.

Okay, onto Borg analogy 2. This one was brought home only too clearly this week, one that is already happening. We as a nation of consumers are creating our own collective, one that disregards the needs of others. We are so focused on what we want that we can't see the bigger picture or the damage we may be causing. Our constant need to own things and get them very cheap, shows exactly what we've become as a species. For years, retailers have been opening earlier and earlier on Black Friday. Now they've taken over Thanksgiving, ruined a day that is supposed to be about giving thanks and spending time with loved ones. All to sell us crap we don't need and spend money we don't have all in the name of Christmas. And we don't care who we have to step on to get our way. We become savage brutes willing to pull a gun on someone who cut in line or stole a parking spot. At least this year no one was trampled to death. No one should have to die for others to own cheap electronics. The worst part in all this is what we are really doing is helping those retailers clear out old inventory they couldn't sell the rest of the year and making a few VERY rich.  What gets me is the stores that decided to open extra early. At this point we expect it from places like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy as electronics are usually top of the list of gift lists. Grocery stores carry necessities so that is no surprise either. But what could be so necessary that Michaels felt the need to open early? There's no such thing as a crafting emergency, so WTF? And Staples? "Hon, we're out pens and paper clips" and Thanksgiving will be ruined without them? There were many people who went to retailers' Facebook pages and Twitter accounts to express their disgust and disappointment but the only voice the stores will hear is the cha-ching of the registers raking in sales. Until we stop acting like consumer drones, we continue to contribute to loss of the human side of our economy.

The last worry on my mind is the most frightening. It is the one that parked itself a couple of blocks from my apartment about two weeks ago. It will require the most attention and innovation to overcome total annihilation, calling for revolution and healing on a global level. Fracking is the ultimate assimilation and the kick in the ass is that we are allowing it to happen. Whether through inaction, ignorance, or despondence we are watching our way of life fall apart, watching the human race damage all that Witches hold sacred. The gas companies are scooping out large chunks of our nature, punching holes in the earth, and releasing poisons Goddess put underground for a reason. Nature works in a specific way and to presume we know better is to invite disaster. These blights poison, the air, the land, and the water. People are getting sick. Animals are dying. And the gas companies deny any wrongdoing.

They release tons of methane into the air, further speeding up the human created climate problems. They pump hundreds of unknown chemicals into the ground to release the gas, swearing that they are not contaminating the water supply no matter how much evidence is gathered to prove otherwise. Gaia is screaming out to us and we turn a deaf ear. I say we because until very recently I knew there were issues with fracking but I had no idea just how bad it was. I didn't know many fracking towers were out there pulling up what is supposedly a natural, clean alternative to other fossil fuels. Then I was introduced to Gasland and Gasland 2, eye-opening documentaries about what fracking is doing to our country (more like our world) and how much control the gas companies have over our government. Thanks to a loophole in the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act added in 2005 by the Bush Administration, they are not required to report the fracking chemical mix. Not even the EPA is able to stop them. The fight against fracking will be a LONG, uphill battle against a government bought and paid for by major corporations. And I fear that the only way to do that is a revolution. Until we're truly willing to fight for what is right, we'll continue to live under the thumb of a corrupt political body.

In the meantime, the best hope for the earth must be Pagans, the true stewards of our most precious resources; earth, air, and water. We need to use our power to heal the wounds and try to minimize the spread of the poison. Magick must be the band-aid until more comprehensive healing can take place after the damage is stopped for good. Also, there needs to be a push to prioritize solar and wind energy as truly clean alternatives. As a quote I saw on Facebook said, "When we have a solar energy spill it is called a beautiful day." The same cannot be said for any fossil fuel spills.