From December 3rd through the 9th, a delegation of modern Pagans and Witches from across the globe are gathered in Melbourne, Australia for the Parliament of the World’s Religions. They are representing organizations like Covenant of the Goddess, the Temple of Ara, EarthSpirit, Cherry Hill Seminary, Earth Traditions, Circle Sanctuary, Solar Cross, the Pagan Federation, Reclaiming, and the World Congress of Ethnic Religions.
Held once every five years, the Parliament brings thousands of religious leaders and grassroots activists together to find common ground on issues that face us all. It is an attempts to build bridges of understanding between diverse faith traditions.
Ever since the parliament’s rebirth in 1993, Pagans have been an active and visible presence at these gatherings, and today we play a vital role in its leadership as well. I offer this beautiful piece in honor of their work, and in remembrance of where we have come from. It is from the glorious “Earth Psalms” by Angela Magara, a re-visioning of the biblical Psalms, many of which were based on far older praise-songs for the ancient Gods and Goddesses of the Middle East. May the work of our representatives, as well as all who are working to create peaceful understanding across spiritual divisions, be profoundly successful.
from Earth Psalms, by Angela Magara
Thanks be to the Earth, Goddess beneath our feet
Enduring through time.
Give us voice to speak truth and
Tell our story of beginning.
Open heart to hold us in safety.
Protection against threat of visibility.
Tell how we knew loneliness,
Knew want, knew fear.
And in our fear we did cover ourselves not to be seen.
Spoke without opening lips less we offend.
But Earth satisfied our emptiness and opened our throats.
Each desire speaks guidance and
Calls fulfillment to our gates.
Now is the time for our voices to ring.
That we may speak the wonder of our lives.
As sure as shadow melts into darkest night,
So does fear open to despair.
But we called out and were heard.
Though set about by lies we seek truth
As dowsers do, by the feel.
Of this time of adversity I will not speak,
Nor honor slanderers with my rage.
Each tree bears fruit in season, earliest
Lesson in Life.
To that I will leave all recompense.
Goddess spins with the typhoon and
Shapes with the earthquake.
She uses not my strong arm, but my open heart.
Her eye, in mine and yours, sees what must be done.
This I attest,
Nothing has been withheld from me
That did not enrich in time.
No chaos, no ramblings, cannot be changed to serve
With time. Like compost.
From waste, with patience, paradise will emerge.
Rich fields, joyful song, healing and long life lived in peace.
Sow the fields and await the yield.
These seeds are true.