Call Congress: Open Courts for Due Process

Here’s a simple script to call your representative and senators:

Hi, I’m (name) and I’m a constituent. I’m appalled that the expedited immigration courts set up at the border are closed to legal observers, the press, and the public. Closed courts deny the guarantee of due process. Please ask the legislator to do everything they can to oppose this unAmerican practice.

Call Congress: Families are more than DNA

Here’s a simple script to use to call your representative and senators:

Hi, I’m (name) and I’m a constituent. Please ask the legislator to oppose a bill requiring DNA testing of migrants and children because families are defined by more than DNA. Thank you.

Here’s the details:

The End Child Trafficking Now Act is a pair of bills: S. 2420, introduced by Sens. Blackburn and Ernst, and H.R. 3864, introduced by Rep. Gooden. Republicans claim that bills like this and the DNA testing they want to require by law are necessary to prevent child trafficking because they allege that the US immigration system is too permissive in releasing adult migrants who enter with children. There’s no evidence to support their claims that this represents a “loophole” regularly exploited by violent criminals.

I oppose this bill because refugees, people fleeing violence and social upheaval, do not always have their adoption papers handy, and DNA is not the only thing that defines a family. Families may be split up, children may be traveling with second- or third-degree relatives by blood or marriage, may come from blended families and have stepparents or grandparents or godparents…but none of that is reflected in DNA. I am afraid that the pseudo-objectivism of “scientific” proof of biological relationship will be used to split up more families, to traumatize more children, and to worsen the damage to already vulnerable populations.

Call Congress: simple script

Want to do something about the inhumane treatment of migrants in this country? Call your Congresspeople! Here’s how:

Find your Representative and Senators at myreps.datamade.us

Call them and use this script or a variant:

Hi, I’m (name) and I’m a constituent. I oppose the inhuman treatment of migrants in this country, especially denying migrants the opportunity to apply for asylum. Please ask the congressperson to do everything in their power to change this.

I’ve been calling my representative and senators every business day for about two months now. My voice shook and I didn’t know what to say at first. But I kept calling back. It’s become an important part of my practice. When I read the latest horror story in the news, I don’t feel helpless; instead, I use that as motivation to call again the next day.

I’m starting to develop daily soundbites, one particular aspect of the immigration crisis that I want to bring to my legislators’ attention on a given day. I’m going to try sharing some of those short scripts here on a regular basis to help others who might want to call but not know what to say.

Action gives me hope. It doesn’t have to be big; it doesn’t have to be impressive. Putting what I care about into action in practices like this is what makes a difference for me. I can’t just sit and feel bad about the state of the world. Doing something, even a small thing, even if my voice shakes, is my magic. I shan’t be gone long; you come too.

Mythical Creatures at COSI

This weekend is the last weekend for the Mythical Creatures exhibit at COSI here in Columbus. I loved seeing the exhibit, not least because they had a gorgeous gryphon sculpture! The mythical creatures are divided up by the element in which they dwell – water creatures together, for example, which lets viewers examine different stories of mermaids across time and different cultures side by side. Enjoy the long weekend, everyone!

Pagan Panel will be livestreamed

If you can’t join us in person for the pan-Pagan clergy panel discussion tomorrow it will also be live-streamed, with a link to the stream posted on the event page on Facebook, and the recording will be available afterwards through Three Cranes Grove. I’ll update this with a link to the video afterwards. Looking forward to it!

Pan-Pagan Theology Panel

Three Cranes Grove here in Columbus, Ohio is organizing a Pan-Pagan clergy panel discussion next week, and Grafton and I will be participating:

7-8:30pm Thursday, August 22nd, 2019
It Looks Like It’s Open 13 E Tulane Rd, Columbus, Ohio 43202

https://www.facebook.com/events/506637183423395/

Fivefold Blessing

My Beltane gift to you all is to share this blessing that I’ve been working with for the last few years. It is inspired by the Fivefold Kiss as described in the Farrars’ British traditional style of Wicca; I believe that saluting the body and the parts of self is a beautiful practice, but the Fivefold Kiss was an extremely intimate way of doing so. My Fivefold Blessing is somewhat less sexually charged, making it appropriate in a wider range of situations. I encourage you to try this as a way to ground and center, as a self-blessing on a daily basis, as preparation for ritual, and as a reassurance in difficult times.

The Fivefold Blessing

Blessed be thy feet which have walked thy path.

Blessed be thy body which is thy life.

Blessed be thy heart which is thy love.

Blessed be thy hands which do thy work.

Blessed be thy spirit which is one with all things.

When doing this with myself, I usually touch my feet, belly, heart, hands, and head for the respective parts of the body. Try varying the order as needed; if you want to ground, then salute spirit, hands, heart, body, feet. If you want to draw up energy, use the opposite order. If you want to work from your heart outward, try that, and see what happens!

Cleveland Pagan Pride Day!

Today I’ll be participating in a panel discussion at the Cleveland Pagan Pride Day. I couldn’t attend yesterday because of work conflicts, but I’m really looking forward to it today!

Magic for the eclipse

Here is the advice I have gotten so far:

Own your shadow or else it will eclipse you.

This eclipse will be a time when secrets about ourselves – maybe even things we try to keep secret from our own awareness – will be revealed, for all of us, for better and worse.

If you’ve been doing the work to get in touch with your own shadow and make an ally of it, then you’ve got a head start. That means you also get the reward of trying to help others cope with the experience and trying to shape this kind of change at the trans-personal level. Ground and center, Witches.

And if you haven’t seen them yet, Hecate’s series on the Magical Battle for America is truly powerful. Give it a try.

The Witch’s Three-Ring Binder

Or, how do cats herd themselves?

Given Pagans’ predilection for individuality and eschewing authority, we often talk about organizing ourselves as “herding cats.” But what do we do when there is no one “riding herd” on us as individuals? Whether or not you participate in a larger group, keeping your own knowledge organized can be an important part in making sure you are actually learning and growing over time, as well as creating a resource for yourself and others to rely on in the future.

Thus, with apologies to the Llewellyn authors of the popular series on the Witch’s Tools, I encourage you to use the magical tool known as the Witch’s Three-Ring Binder.

A three-ring binder is an extremely useful way of organizing your knowledge. No, it’s not nearly as romantic as writing all your studies in a venerable hand-bound book with artisanal paper made from the bark of your own favorite willow tree using a feather quill with ink made from burning rue. If you can manage all of that and also keep up your studies and practices and the rest of your life, more power to you. I can’t. Given the choice between waiting until that magical time accidentally drops in my lap and neglecting the romance in favor of actually learning and improving my work in the time and space available to me, I choose the latter. So a three-ring binder, often made at least in part or whole from material written on a computer and printed out, is a perfectly serviceable tool and one I encourage you to explore.

Creating my notebooks about different areas of study (herbs, minerals, Tarot) gives me a chance to review and revise all the information I can think of on a particular topic. Once the notebook is created, it is a place to collect new notes and ideas, and revising it every few years or so becomes a way to solidify my learning and highlight avenues for new study and practice. Most of this I could keep on a computer just as well – but I am old-fashioned enough to think a little better with a pen and paper on some things, and I find it easier to turn to a shelf to locate an alphabetical page or an index entry when I need to look something up rather than a list of text files. I look forward to the magical creations of wikis and apps and so much more that future generations will dazzle us with, but for now, this hybrid paper-and-computer method works best for me.

It’s solid enough to make it easy to use for reference during ritual, while cooking, or doing readings, but not so permanent that I can’t revise it at need. And honestly, after a while, even a basic binder starts to acquire some romance of its own, when I think of all the things I’ve used it for.

That’s why one of the rewards I offer to my supporters on Patreon – for just three dollars a month – is a page from one of my three-ring notebooks, giving an entry on magical materials such as herbs, trees, minerals, oils, teas, incenses, and more. This month’s example covers the herb chamomile, with its names, cautionary warnings, correspondences, and suggestions for uses in magic. If you’re interested, go check it out. I’ll also be asking for feedback on which topics you want to see the most of, so shout out if there’s an entry you want to see first.