First, a prayer to Dyeus Pter, that came to me last night:
I call to you, Sky Father, Dyeu Pter,
Xartupoti, lord speaking to your people,
Let your blessings shine, let them fall from Heaven,
Speak forth the Laws of Land, Sea, and Tree.
Rain down your blessings on the Earth,
In Summer, to grow, and in Winter, to dream.
Second, a note on the lack of a Day 10: Thursdays, I am nowhere near a computer, so Thursdays will likely not have a post listed.
The continuing violence in the world, against a Planned Parenthood, against a party in San Bernardino, frustrates and saddens me. I am annoyed at how both sides of the gun-control/gun-lobby fence are using the situations to further their own opinions. If you don’t know my opinion, chances are you don’t know me, but this is not the time for it.
The real issue here is, violence. Violence was a part of early life of not just the Proto-Indo-Europeans, but also their descendants: the Celts reveled in cattle raids, the Germanic tribes regularly raided each other and Rome (Hel, the Vandals sacked the place, as did several Gaulish tribes), Rome and Greece had massive conquests of Europe and the Middle East, the Medieval Era and Renaissance were full of constant raiding and battles leading up to the Crusades, and on and on and on. Violence is largely abhorred in current US culture, and yet it is deeply ingrained into that culture, as well. Most Americans owe the very land they own or rent to violent actions taken by previous settlers against the native population. Even today, when someone performs one of these horrid actions such as the shootings mentioned above, a great subsection of the population tends toward a violent, angry response. This response divides further an already polarized, divided citizenry, mostly on moral lines.
When it comes down to it, though, violence was simply an accepted part of ancient culture. There were laws against killing fellow citizens, sure, but self-defense was considered a given expectation, and raids and conquests were considered status quo. Defending the tribe or the country – by any means necessary – was considered normal, even expected. Terrorism was a label placed upon other countries’ revolutionaries, though more often, they were called rebels or outlaws or something equally disparaging. It was, is, and has been in almost every point in history the privilege of perception to abhor the violence done to someone, and praise the violence done to others in “defense of” that someone, or something, or tribe, or culture, or nation. This current situation is no different, for those who are labeled “terrorists” see themselves as something else, something much more noble, no matter how much we might disagree with them or call their actions “tragic,” “immoral,” or “wrong.” Therein lies the central issue, the “rub,” to coin a phrase.
Ultimately, I see these acts as tragedies, as terrible occurrences, and I, too, feel anger toward the people who did the shooting. However, a lot of that anger was up to this point distant, with no real connection to the victims save general human empathy. When I found out, however, that one of the victims of the San Bernardino shooting was a member of one of the Facebook Pagan groups I regularly participate in, that made everything all the more real for me. Now I am angry. Now I am edging toward violence, and there is no violence to be done; the shooters have already been shot. There is nowhere for that anger to go, except to be grounded out, which is what ends up happening. The point of this musing is to bring up the question of violence: Is self-defense or the defense of others an adequate excuse for violence? When is that “defense” too far? Further, at what point does that “defense” become unwarranted aggression? I know how I feel about these answers, applied to individual circumstances, but what about applied to the whole?
In other news, I have a bead on a new magical working group that has shown interest in meeting me and has invited me to meet them either for or after a rite. I’m kind of interested, though I do need to juggle that possibility against the practice of PIE that I am performing now.
Personal practice is going fairly well; after tonight’s meeting, I will be performing another offering rite, and will post the responses to such tomorrow.