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A SITE OF BEAUTIFUL RESISTANCE

Gods&Radicals—A Site of Beautiful Resistance.

Looking Back, Reaching Forward: The Year in Review and The Year Ahead

It is in these days, the ones after Christmas but before New Year, that I feel somewhat melancholic. These days are liminal, occupying an in between space, the time between the ending of the year gone by and the new one yet to start. Like all liminal spaces, there is a magic to be found here. Now is a good time to look back at the year that is almost over, at our victories and defeats, no matter how big or small. Doing so puts us in good stead for the year that is coming, allowing us to plan or pinpoint the course we want the year to take.

As I write this, Boxing Day is drawing to a close and Christmas is all but over for another year. Despite being a pagan (though lately I’ve been thinking about what this might mean, but that’s a story for another day), the Christmas period is all pervading, though mostly as a secular holiday, or increasingly so and very much so in my household.

It is in these days, the ones after Christmas but before New Year, that I feel somewhat melancholic. These days are liminal, occupying an in between space, the time between the ending of the year gone by and the new one yet to start. Like all liminal spaces, there is a magic to be found here. Now is a good time to look back at the year that is almost over, at our victories and defeats, no matter how big or small. Doing so puts us in good stead for the year that is coming, allowing us to plan or pinpoint the course we want the year to take.

Earlier on this year, towards the beginning, I wrote a post about an experience I had, and if you’re interested, you can read that here. I still feel that exact same way, and have had further experience with what I describe in the piece, and as the year progressed, the feeling that something was coming grew evermore. Like I said, I still feel this way. So bear with me, dear readers and fellow seekers, while I share with you some of the things I’ve felt, seen and witnessed in the year that is almost over and then we’ll turn our gaze to the new year coming and what we might hope to achieve.

Protesting and Policing

This year, at least in the UK, many have woken up to the fact that the police are not there for our benefit. Fracking was given the go ahead, and in the face of such ecological devastation, many ordinary people (and when I say ordinary, I mean those masses of people who don’t usually bother with such affairs) took to fracking sites to show their disapproval. Let’s be clear, fracking is something that the people do not want, but has been forced upon us by our government. When local authorities said no to the fracking firms, the government were there to show the lie that democracy has become, or perhaps always was.

And when people protested fracking, what happened?

Our basic rights were targeted. No longer could people peacefully protest, in fact 2018 saw three peaceful protesters jailed for the first time since 1932. They were subsequently released after a massive public backlash. It turns out that the judge who handed them their jail time had links to the fracking industry. And the police hours spent removing people, not to mention the massive police presence, was also a huge kick in the teeth to people, especially when you consider that nowadays if your house gets burgled you can’t even get an officer to come out. Or the violent crimes against people that never seem to have enough resources to tackle the people. But get in the way of government sanctioned devastation of our earth, well, you know how that narrative plays out, because when it comes to it, the police are not for our protection, but rather for the protection of the Capitalist state and its own interests.

And all of that is without going into the policing of right wing protests globally. All too often the police are seen to show those right wing protests more respect, and we see the increasingly hostile reactions of the police to leftist protests, or environmental protests and that is dangerous territory indeed.

As negative as all of the above are, there is a glimmer of hope. You see, people are starting to notice. People who might once have buried their heads in the sand, who might have once taken solace in the ignorance of television, of shopping, of living their ‘best life’ are now starting to take notice. Is it enough, or is it too late, well only time will tell.

Scandals and Abuse

2018 was also the year of the Me Too movement that saw a wide range of celebrities and normal folk alike share their stories of misogyny, sexism and abuse. The Pagan world had its own share of the scandal as well, perhaps the most well known was involving the well known witch an herbalist Sarah Anne Lawless. She published a blog post highlighting instances of controlling, misogynistic and down right sexually abusive behaviour perpetrated by certain individuals within the pagan community, and how that community shunned her for speaking out. Originally, Sarah never named those individuals involved but later did so. You can read that blog post here. I interviewed her some weeks after and you can read that here too.

More recently, another occult writer has been outed for his abusive, predatory behaviour, and whilst I won’t go into details here, you can read about it here. The problem with tackling abuse within the pagan sphere is that so many become over protective of their spirituality. It’s understandable to a certain extent, but by not cutting away the cancer, we let it spread to the good parts of our community, of our craft.

Not a great year by any standard. However, as I am often heard saying, I am neither a pessimist nor an optimist, but a realist, and because of that, I know that as shitty as these things are, we must do justice to those who have gone through abuse, or are going through it by weeding out the abusers whenever they are brought to light. By taking the side of the victim, by showing that we will no longer tolerate or turn a blind eye to those who commit abuse, we give those who would do so nowhere to hide.

The Environment

As is the trend, 2018 also saw the continued plight of our planet as we continue to ravage the natural resources the Earth so freely offers. All too often, it is the poor and dispossessed who are the ones who must face the full force of governments’ reactions to the crisis. Look at France, at the ‘yellow vest’ protests, sparked by the governments’ liberal fuel tax, which of course, hurts those people who are already struggling without offering any kind of environmental change or impact. And that is down to the capitalist state. If governments really cared about the environment, then they would act, but they do not. Instead, in the UK, they plan to build a high speed rail that would see trains arrive in the capital some eleven minutes faster (though many would rather they get the existing train service right - it’s a shambles), or they would ban fracking, or they would not extend airports, or a thousand other actions that would make a tangible difference. But they do not because Capitalism is king of the world and all else matters not.

But people are beginning to wake up. The realisation that we only have one earth and that it cannot cope with the burden we are placing upon it is finally dawning on people. But are we too late, who knows?

The Year Ahead

So with all of that, the doom and gloom, what’s the point, you may well wonder, in even trying?

Well, the point is we do not give up. The point is we will continue to fight for what we believe in. If we go down, we go down fighting. But will we go down? I don’t think the fight is lost yet, and even if it is, as the tarot shows us, death is not the end. All things must die and be reborn. And so we plot and plan for the year ahead. We set out our goals and a way to achieve them.

On a personal note, later on in the summer of 2019, I will be speaking in London, and though the thought of speaking to a crowd of 400 plus terrifies me to my soul, it will be a chance for me to spread the message of rebellion against our oppressors. And that’s the point. Doing what scares us is often a punch in the throat to those that might use us or oppress us.

So take the time, in this liminal space between the old and the new to plot your course. Do not be afraid if your actions seem small or insignificant, for all things must begin somewhere, and to those that are helped or supported by your actions, I am sure they do not seem small to them at all. Let us continue to build connections and forge alliances with those who share our visions and beliefs. Let us support one another, let us get back to the spirits of the land and to the very land itself. Let us continue the good fight.

Let 2019 be the year of resistance.


EMMA KATHRYN

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My name is Emma Kathryn, an eclectic witch, my path is a mixture of traditional European witchcraft, voodoo and obeah, a mixture representing my heritage. I live in the middle of England in a little town in Nottinghamshire, with my partner, two teenage sons and two crazy dogs, Boo and Dexter. When not working in a bookshop full time, I like to spend time with my family outdoors, with the dogs. And weaving magic, of course! You can follow Emma on Facebook.