Sunday, August 9, 2020
Witchy Tea Time--Verse 16 of the Havamal
"The foolish man thinks he will live forever if he avoids battle; but old age gives him no peace, though spears may spare him."
One of the common platitudes I often encounter on social media and elsewhere is that it's better to "walk away", "not waste your time", "it isn't worth it to fight", ect--and by many people this is accepted as obvious wisdom. While not everything is worth waging a battle over, some things certainly are and that has been utterly lost by the "go with the flow" culture permeating everything.
To "go with the flow" can quickly turn into failure to make your own choices, be dominated by everyone else, and ultimately trains you to obey--without question. Who are you to take a stand? "Don't you think the EXPERTS know better?" says the people who listen to one side of an argument that makes them feel "safe" and/or "good" and won't consider the counterargument.
Witches and Wizards, by nature of who we are and what we do, absolutely cannot afford such a sheep-like mentality. Even practical magicians who eschew the spiritual and religious aspects of the Craft still wield the creative and destructive forces of the universe within the scope of the knowledge, skills, and talents and therefore that comes with the responsibility to NOT just "go with the flow" and "follow the crowd" or "do what you're told whether it makes sense or not".
This can, and does, lead to unpopularity--and in an age of social media where popularity is the key to many successful ventures the idea of taking an unpopular stand and risking being shadow banned, outright banned, or having people unfollow you of their own accord can be frightening. For those who make their living off of their business efforts via social media it involves a financial risk. Is it any wonder that so many people have fooled themselves into thinking that if they "just keep their head down and stay quiet--maybe occasionally telling people what they *want* to hear" that everything will be alright in the end. Someone else will take care of it. Someone who apparently doesn't face the same "risk" as they do or is "braver" than they are.
This--witches and wizards--is the mentality that makes is so difficult to create positive change in our society and to push back against tyranny. Anyone who speaks up faces risks--let's dispense with the illusion that they don't. The difference is that some people understand that certain things are intolerable and is wrong to submit to them. The difference is that some people understand that THERE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THINGS THAN RISK AND PERSONAL FEARS.
In the foundation of our country, patriots of all stripes--men, woman and children of a variety of colors (yes, there were freed slaves--black and white--who fought in the revolution. There was at least one general of Hispanic descent. Certain tribes fought with the Patriots. Read your history books!) risked absolutely everything to break ties with the crown and make the attempt to form a government based on non-tyrannical principles. They knew what would happen to them if they failed--they understood it was a death sentence if they lost. They also knew that if they succeeded that building a government that lived up to the ideals of the Declaration of Independence would be the work of many generations and that there was no such thing as a "perfect society"--only the hope of a free one.
They stood up--faced the fear, the risks, the nightmare of failure all the same. Because it was the right thing to do, and living under tyranny wasn't life at all. Today we face a duty of saying "NO" to tyrants who are blatantly fanning the flames of irrational fear in order to expand and secure unconstitutional powers. Standing up to this involves risks--but that doesn't mean that we are excused from our duty because of fear. We may face setbacks--we may experience problems--but life under the boot of opportunistic politicians is no life at all.
Remember verse 16--we shall have no peace within ourselves if we fled from the battle that was ours to fight.