Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Freedom Fridays: Know and Act to Save Our Democracy

The politics of inevitability is a self-induced intellectual coma.
Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

As many of you know, from comments in my Card of the Week, in my social media posts, or talking with me in person, I am very politically engaged.

Ever since I was in high school, during the late 1960s in Alexandria, Virginia (just outside of Washington, DC), I have been a fervent activist for causes I care about.

One thing that I have learned in a lifetime of marching, organizing, and volunteering is that one person can make a very big difference, for good or for ill. After all, Josef Stalin was just one guy. Rosa Parks was just one woman.

But they knew how to inspire and motivate others. Because, as Margaret Mead famously said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

For better or worse.

Walk Our Talk, Live Our Beliefs

I am certainly not anything like those kinds of leaders or organizers.

But neither have I felt that being “spiritual” was contradictory to being politically active. That’s one of the reasons I was proud to be Episcopalian once upon a time (the church was very active in pushing for civil rights and questioning the Vietnam war back in the 60s).

And it’s why I later found my spiritual tribe in the Reclaiming tradition. The Principles of Unity are almost as deeply ingrained in me as the Charge of the Goddess.

So perhaps this will explain for you why I am passionate about current events, and am incapable of retreating behind a curtain of unicorn moonbeam fog.

As filmmaker and activist Michael Moore recently noted, “I am not going to participate in providing hope for people.

“Anybody who is hanging on hope — that implies there’s no sense of urgency. This is not about somewhere over the rainbow. Optimism is very dangerous. It’s not about warm and fuzzy now.”

Although I am not ready to completely abandon hope, I am quite alarmed. Based on a long lifetime of studies, involvement, seeing patterns, and accurately sensing historic omens, I fear for America’s future as I never have.

Not in the midst of the riots of 1968, the shootings at Kent State, or even the events of 9/11.

Tower Time

My clients are feeling it. My intuitive and prescient colleagues are feeling it. From academicians to astrologers to journalists, anyone with a broad view of history is feeling it.

And of course, America is not the only one. Across Europe, there is a hard turn to right-wing nationalism and even neo-Nazi sympathies.

Once a jewel of democracy in the Middle East, Turkey has just re-elected their president, but the victory was unsurprising since he has systematically eliminated dissent and opposition. Free speech, intellectual debate, and political disagreement are punishable with jail and worse.

I believe that we are at a crossroads; one which demands aggressive understanding and action.

Some will prefer ignorance, complacency, or polite superficiality. But if we are women and men who aspire to live our spiritual values, it is time to honestly and bravely assess the current reality.

Before it is too late, let us, together, you and I, take a clear, hard look at where we are, and understand how perilously close we are to repeating the horrific mistakes of the recent past.

Freedom Fridays

Every Friday I will be drawing from the most concise and essential book on the topic that I have found (recommended to me by my wise friend, Liz): On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by Timothy Snyder.

Snyder is the Levin Professor of History at Yale, a permanent fellow of the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, and a renowned scholar of the Holocaust.

Taking us right up to the American mid-term elections, each week I will share one of the 20 lessons, and possibly other pertinent material. Because there are less than 20 weeks until the elections, I will double up at some point or another.

I know not everyone here will enjoy a weekly blast of cold water in their faces. I hope I will not lose my readers over this decision. After all, you may prefer me to stay warm and fuzzy, your friendly neighborhood Tarot reader, and leave it at that.

But given what I know of history, political science, and human nature, as well as my other gifts of non-ordinary knowing, the need for speaking up, wherever one may have a voice, is now.

By the Way — Some Ground Rules

I certainly do not intend this as a free-for-all to vent hard feelings, provoke bitter arguments, or add to the snarkiness already polluting thoughtful discourse.

As I have pointed out from time to time, this is my blog and it is sacrosanct to me. Ugly attitudes, trolling, and nastiness will not be tolerated.

Besides, such behavior is a big factor in what got us to this juncture in the first place.

I do welcome positive input, such as Starhawk’s 4th of July spell, or RJ Stewart and Anastacia Nutt’s American Goddess meditations; other suggested reading materials; astrological and other esoteric insights; and considerate feedback.

(Yes, I do believe that offering magickal support is a profound skill and should not be underestimated in its potency, even though one will probably not find it in most mainstream discussions.)

Feelings are definitely running high, but I am aiming to build alliances, not add more bickering and bad vibes to what we’ve already got.

So with this preamble discussion done, we’ll get started with Lesson One next week.

And otherwise, my blog will carry on, more or less, as before.

Thank you for (I hope) continuing the journey with me.

 

 

 


(I’ll be updating the direct links here weekly):

Lesson One: Do Not Obey In Advance

Lesson Two: Defend Institutions

Lesson Three: Beware the One-Party State
…L

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  • July 6, 2018, 7:49 pm Nigeala Nigrath

    I’m with you, Beth.

    The best defense against tyranny is an alert and informed citizenry WHO VOTE.

  • July 6, 2018, 10:39 pm Pat

    Beth,

    I love Snyder’s book! It’s a great framework to engage us with.

    Another short book that is helping me see a way through is Richard Rorty’s Achieving Our Country. He wrote it in the 1990s, but it got some press in 2016 because it predicted a political leader like Trump. What’s more important about it is it distinguishes between criticizing our society as spectators and building the society that we dream of together.

    I remember a lesson about ritual, I think it was our teacher Luna’s: do not use the word “not” because envisioning the reality you want to cancel out gives it power. His idea is like that. Instead of what are we against: What are we building together?

    I’d say: A country where every person is respected and listened to. Where we all look out for each other and for the world we live in.

    I’m looking forward to reading your Freedom Fridays columns.

    Pat

  • July 7, 2018, 7:53 am Karen Maxon

    Rock on with your bad self, Beth! I’m with you!

  • July 7, 2018, 9:48 am nofixedstars

    i think this is a wonderful idea. as you observe, many of us are terribly concerned about the state of things, and fear it going unchecked. this will be a good weekly reminder and inspiration to keep ourselves focussed and engaged.

    and a nice reminder that we are not alone.

  • July 7, 2018, 9:57 am Beth

    Thanks, Pat! Was hoping they might have Rorty’s book at the library, but I will try to find it via interlibrary loan (I am trying to dial back book purchases, as I am running out of space and aspire to keep walking paths in my house, as well as some of my other, non-bookcase furniture).

    Reading about it on Amazon, it sounds amazing and incredibly relevant. Can’t wait to dive in.

    Nigeala — you are SO right. And as Snyder points out, our votes must be POWERFUL and not any form of appeasement.

    nofixedstars – Thank you for being here. The feeling of isolation, as business appears to continue as usual, is deadly. So, yes, I hope this will be an affirmation that we are, in fact, not isolated, or even a minority. WE ARE THE MAJORITY.

    And bless you, Karen! You made me laugh out loud! ❤️

  • July 7, 2018, 10:49 am Kate

    Beth,
    Please. Throw that cold water on me; I welcome it! Your words echo my own thoughts, so well, and I appreciate everything you have said, and I am looking forward to Lesson Number One. One of my passions is studying history, and although I am by no means a scholar, I can see that by studying history, helps one to understand what is happening currently.
    We are contemporaries, I believe, and I remember very well coming of age in the sixties, and being a child of the military. We were born into and lived in interesting times, and we still do. Thanks so much for your wonderful blog and your perspective on life. I am so glad that you are here.
    Warmest regards to you, and many blessings,
    Kate

  • July 7, 2018, 11:33 am Linda

    Thank you, Beth! Looking forward to standing with and learning from you

  • July 7, 2018, 12:16 pm Nigeala Nigrath

    Hi Kate and Everyone. I too am old enough to remember the events which came to be known as “Watergate”. Over the last two years, I’ve been watching docs and reading to refresh my memory. There are many uncanny parallels to current events, with one crucial exception: Nixon never thought of the President of the USSR as a “friend”. To shed light on this aspect of the current situation, the likely lynchpin, I highly recommend an article called “Trump’s Russian Laundromat”, by Craig Unger. It was published in the August/September 2017 issue of The New Republic. Here’s the link: https://newrepublic.com/article/143586

  • July 7, 2018, 12:40 pm Karma Norjin Lhamo

    “If ever a time should come when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.” -Samuel Adams

    (Yes, he really said this; I checked.)

  • July 7, 2018, 1:03 pm Lunapo

    I look forward to going on this journey with you!

  • July 7, 2018, 2:21 pm Janhavi McKenzie

    Thank you Beth. I agree with you completely. Educate us. Bring us together. Support us in our fight forward. Sending you Gratitude and Love.

  • July 7, 2018, 6:03 pm Tracie Nichols

    I’m so very, very in. What you call cold water feels like a refreshing blast of reality to me. I’m currently working my way through Margaret Wheatley’s “Who Do We Choose To Be” and finding it, well, refreshing in the same way. Thank you for this.

  • July 7, 2018, 9:28 pm Dana Dreaming Spirit Bear

    Better cold water in the face than the ocean rising over your head. I wait with bated breath.

  • July 8, 2018, 4:54 pm Jacqueline

    Beth, I look forward to this invigorating discussion series. As a mystic, I too have been feeling the need to find out how best to address the current situation and the Universe has offered me some illumination. I have been told that America is being forced to confront its Shadow. As individuals we are being asked to face our own shadows so that we can be better present to act from the highest good. Recently I was led to the book “King Warrior Magician Lover” by Doug Gillette and Robert L. Moore from 1990 which speaks of powerful Jungian archetypes and their shadows. It will surprise no one that the shadow describes our current President perfectly. What I appreciate most from the book is how the archetypes ought to function, as a consolidating and organizing template for the people to follow. The chaos of P45 is the result of a failure of this function.
    In other further recommendations, spirit has told me the best current response to our immediate situation is to remember when we have felt connected to the divine/wonder/awe. I went “walkabout” through my archives and remembered the Leonid meteor shower of 2001 when I watched, in the predawn darkness by lake Ontario with a few neighbors, as fish one by one and then more and more numerous, leapt out of the water to try to catch the bright sparks. This leap towards the unknown lights from the icy chill below still sends shivers of connection through me. “I will tell the tiny roe… I tried!”

  • July 8, 2018, 5:27 pm Beth

    Wow, wow! Y’all are so fabulous! I love these insights, suggestions, and thoughts. Keep them flowing.

    I love how, once I made the decision to do this, resources, articles and more books have magically dropped in my lap! And best of all, your wisdom and support.

    Thank you SO very much!