Wise Words (Not Mine) for Challenging Times

So, the election is over. I had planned to post my next Goddess rosary post today, but it felt weird to just blithely do my next post without acknowledging that many of us may be feeling like our worlds have been rocked. Many of us are grieving. Yesterday, people in my Facebook feed seemed stunned. Today, they seem angry.

I’m grieving and angry, too, and there is a part of me that was beating myself up for it yesterday, feeling like I was being self-indulgent and that I just needed to get over it. Then someone shared this article by Joann Macy, and this quote in particular stood out to me:

“This is a dark time filled with suffering, as old systems and previous certainties come apart. Like living cells in a larger body, we feel the trauma of our world. It is natural and even healthy that we do, for it shows we are still vitally linked in the web of life. So don’t be afraid of the grief you may feel, or of the anger or fear: these responses arise, not from some private pathology, but from the depths of our mutual belonging. Bow to your pain for the world when it makes itself felt, and honour it as testimony to our interconnectedness.”

We grieve because we have opened ourselves up to acknowledging, to feeling, our connection with each other, and with the earth and all her creatures. Right now we don’t know what is going to happen next to those people and places that we love, and we are afraid.

I’m afraid for the further unregulated damage that may occur to our precious land and water, and to the creatures that share them with us. I’m afraid for everyone who is not male, straight, white, and Christian. I’m hoping for the best, but that doesn’t alleviate the fear and grief.

Yesterday, while drawing my cards for the day, two cards fell out of the deck together while I was shuffling:

11-9jumpers

Cards from the Gaian Tarot.

I felt like this was a challenge; to claim my power like the Elder of Fire and work for healing, or to give in to despair. My cards of the day gave further guidance: to work for justice, seek community, and be sure to listen to others.

11-9draw

Cards from Womanrunes and Gaian Tarot.

Last night I was reading Mysteries of the Dark Moon: The Healing Power of the Dark Goddess by Demetra George. Some passages about our shadows really spoke to where we are in our country right now:

“When we project our shadow, we externalize these inner distorted images and then cast them onto others, thus undermining our capacity to form safe and honest relationships.

We then perceive the outer world through the inner filter of our negative emotions and thoughts. When our minds are full of fear and hatred, we then see others as the personification of what is most frightening and hateful to us…

This becomes especially dangerous when society collectively projects a shadow onto a group and fantasizes that it is the enemy. Societal prejudices against blacks, Jews, homosexuals, witches, aliens [by this I think she means immigrants], Communists, or the Devil have led to mass intolerance, and even to persecutions, inquisitions, and other manifestations of hatred…”

I know I need to examine my own tendency to “other” people. What of my own shadow am I projecting onto “those Trump supporters”? Adding more fear and hatred to this cauldron is not going to help, but how do we even begin healing this? I don’t know.

For now, though, I’m still just processing everything, allowing myself to grieve, and not beating myself up for it anymore.

I highly recommend reading the whole Joanna Macy article that I quoted above. I also found comfort and inspiration yesterday from two other wise women:

Elizabeth Gilbert asking “Who do I want to be in this situation?”

Hecate Demeter sharing one of my favorite poems and some pertinent questions from Wendell Berry.

We’re all in this together. Somehow, that brings me great comfort.

Blessings to you, however you are processing this election.

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