Ritual and Self Care for Protesters

Had enough?

World just about all you can take?

Well, first of all, if you aren’t one, welcome to the world of black and brown people. Maybe reflect on that for awhile.

But beyond that, let’s talk about tools to help us manage. To help us feel better despite the Plague, despite the horror, despite the injustice and the violence and the betrayal by those who were supposed to help.

It’s Wednesday evening as I speak. It has been two weeks and two days since the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman and his accomplices. Protests continue to thunder around the United States and elsewhere in the world, and the nation itself has been shaken to its core with the power of the outrage and anger.

I have written about this. And I still want to rage and pound and scream right now.

But I am also a student of history. I know that the Freedom Rides in 1961 lasted seven months. The lunch counter protests that succeeded in forcing the desegregation of Woolworth’s lunch counters took six.

If we want to rein in police abuses and brutality–indeed, to reenvision policing–we’re going to need some staying power. Power will not cede one inch unless it knows we are not going away.

And that brings me to self-care, and how to stay together and functioning when it seems the world is falling apart.

First and foremost, keep disease risks minimal. Wear a mask. Shower after you protest (if you weren’t arrested–if you were, you don’t have a lot of choices, but you should consider quarantining for 14 days after release). Sanitize your signs and anything else being handled by others.

Next: when you can, make protest joyous. Protest doesn’t have to deplete you. It can feed you. When you feel the solidarity of your comrades, when you dance in the streets you know the freedom that is the end goal of this work: the freedom for every human being to be equal and liberated.

Use your ritual skills. Not just for yourself before you go out, but in moving groups of people in ritual activities like singing, chanting, drumming, and spoken-word motivation. In jail, sing, gather in a circle with your fellow protesters and speak your vision of the future. At home, light a candle after you take that shower, saying, a better and more just world.

Don’t forget your body. Drink water. Eat meals. Get sleep. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Be prepared.

Have strategic objectives. It’s great to protest and march, but what can make the most impact on public opinion? What’s the most dramatic photo op (without deliberately provoking police, because they’re going to get violent pretty much regardless)?

Work an inside-outside strategy. When you have their attention, they’re going to want to sit down and parley, in many cases. That’s all right: do it. See what concessions they’re offering to end the protests. If it’s not enough, tell them so, and keep it up.

Be expendable. Successful protest movements don’t have “essential personnel”. If one spokesperson or organizer is sidelined or arrested, make sure there are people who will step right up to take their place.

Finally, don’t quit. History belongs to the victors, and the victors are always those who didn’t give up.

This is a pivotal moment in history. Essential transformation in the US will ripple around the world, just as the rise of neo-fascism has.

Be a part of it.

Go make some history.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby launches Earth-based Spirituality Action Team

12 September 2019 — The CCL Earth-based Spirituality Action Team announces its
formation and inaugural conference call. The team will offcially launch just after the
southward equinox on 24 September 2019, with an interactive call featuring guest speaker M. Macha NightMare.

Citizens’s Climate Lobby is a nonproft, nonpartisan, grassroots advocacy organization
focused on national policies to address climate change.

“CCL has over 50 action teams in a wide range of areas, including a dozen faith-based
teams,” said T. Todd Elvins, CCL Action Coordinator. “The Earth-based Spirituality team
will give greater visibility to an often-overlooked religious orientation.”

“The Earth-based Spirituality Team is for Pagans, Wiccans, Witches, Occultists, Druids,
Gaians, Goddess-worshippers, Earth-worshippers, Animists, Deep Ecologists, Scientifc
Pantheists, Creation-centered Christians, Secular Humanists, and Religious Naturalists,”
said Bart Everson, CCL volunteer and founding team leader. “We enthusiastically welcome indigenous people, followers of African Diasporic Traditions, shamanic practitioners, and anyone who shares our reverence for Mother Earth.”

On the inaugural call, prominent ritualist M. Macha NightMare will share her distinctly Pagan perspective on interfaith cooperation. “We are stronger together,” she said,
speakMMnMing from her home in Marin County, California. “We needn’t sacrifice any of our uniqueness to work with others.”

M. Macha NightMare, whose given name is Aline O’Brien, is a ritualist, both solo and collaborative, internationally published author, and activist. She co-authored The Pagan Book of Living and Dying and serves on the Advisory Boards of Cherry Hill Seminary,
the Sacred Dying Foundation, and Poetry Witch Magazine. She has published two other books, and has contributed to anthologies, encyclopedia, religious studies, textbooks, and periodicals.

Macha represents the Covenant of the Goddess, and CHS in the American
Academy of Religion, Marin Interfaith Council, Marin Interfaith Climate Action
(founding member), and United Religions Initiative, and at interfaith symposia
throughout the U.S. Currently she serves the inmates of the Wiccan circle at San Quentin State Prison. She blogs at Broomstick Chronicles and Witch at Large: Ruminations from a
Grey Perspective.

Everson, who is based in New Orleans, expressed gratitude for Macha’s involvement, citing her depth of experience as an asset to the team. He is hopeful that Earth-based practitioners will answer the call to action. “We strive to keep the sacred Earth at the center of our practice,” Everson said. “As a result, we see action on climate change as an urgent moral imperative. We aim to reach out into our global communities and recruit volunteers for Citizens’ Climate Lobby. We recognize and honor the spiritual nature of climate work.”

Zoom meeting link:

CCL Earth-based Spirituality Action Team link:

Zoom meeting details
Topic: EBSAT Inaugural Call
Time: Sep 24, 2019 07:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

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Your 2019 Community Chosen Charity: PLASTIC OCEANS INTERNATIONAL

The votes are in, and the Atheopagan community has selected the 2019 Atheopagan Chosen Charity. Plastic Oceans International (plasticoceans.org). POI raises awareness of the impacts of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, and works with communities and nations to reduce their oceanic plastic impacts.

We will advertise for POI on this site for the balance of 2019, and encourage Atheopagans, their friends and anyone who cares about the Sacred Earth to donate by clicking on the banner ad to the right. Thank you!