Sunday, July 3, 2011
Thoughts on the Eve of the Fourth of July
My grandmother believed as I do that St. Francis of Assisi – featured above – was an incarnation of the Horned God Cernunnos – the Celtic Lord of the Wild Places. The early Christians reviled Him as a symbol of the devil, but to us He is a symbol of fertility and love of the Earth and Her children. Even though Francis took the cowl and walked the path of the monk his love of our planet and all creatures on it expresses a Pagan’s soul.
In my tradition the God is not the equal of the Goddess. He is Her Son and consort, all power comes from Her. The Wiccans believe in the duality of the God and Goddess, and while this belief is both beautiful and profound it has no spiritual timbre for me. The idea that a Wiccan would condemn me or I them for what we believe is unthinkable. Don’t get me wrong there are jackasses in all faiths. However, by in large, it is the Pagan way to understand that the Goddess shows us each a different light, and we must follow that light toward our destiny. It is all we can do – it is all we have a right to do. Thus for us to engage in murder, mayhem or malicious treatment of another whose belief differs from ours is forbidden in the strongest possible way.
Like Frances we try to live with gentleness, love and tolerance toward all. Like Frances we are living in the Dark Ages. Heresy, a real or perceived refusal to accept Christian doctrine, deprived many of my maternal ancestors of their life at the stake during the first Dark Ages. The new heresy of today, a real or perceived refusal to accept a modern day perversion of Christian doctrine and/or to live according to certain restrictive standards, threatens to relegate a large number of people to the status of second class citizen by depriving them of their Civil Rights.
This has nothing to do with Marriage Equality – certainly not abortion since we are content to let children starve in this country – or any of the other sham social issues of the so-called Culture Wars. The real problem here is the frightened, ignorant people who must shove their God down the throats of others because He only appears in crowds. These individuals are incapable of waging a crusade. They are pawns. Like the soldier pawns of the first crusades they are being directed by the rich and the powerful bent upon becoming richer and more powerful. In Frances’ day it was the abbots, the bishops, the popes, the kings and the warlords. Today it is the corporatists, the free market pirates, the corrupt politicans and the malignant capitalists. They are all on the same line, centuries notwithstanding.
I am the last of my bloodline and can trace the Old Faith back in ribbons of glory through the Burning Times, the persecutions and on to be lost in the mists of antiquity. I do not celebrate secular holidays – that is my faith, and my faith is my freedom which has nothing to do with the founding of nations. To all of you who will be celebrating the 4th tomorrow with hot dogs, the smiles of children and fireworks in the cool of the evening I wish you a happy holiday and much happiness on the path before you. There is an Enlightenment up ahead, and this Dark Age will fade into history as its predecessor did long ago.