Read this: http://indigeny-energetics.blogspot.com/2009/12/burning-at-crossroads-indigenous.html
WHY is this not considered a human rights violation? It is, on a massive scale.
Once more we see the depredation of Christianity in particular and monotheism in general on indigenous peoples. (and those of you reading this from Northern European ancestry..we were those indigenous peoples once too. Christianity came for us first). When are we going to wake up and fight this? When are we, as a world-community going to realize that the monotheism is not the answer, rather it is a huge part of the problem.
Read this: http://indigeny-energetics.blogspot.com/2009/12/burning-at-crossroads-indigenous.html
WHY is this not considered a human rights violation? It is, on a massive scale.
"THE SOLUTION DEMONSTRATED:
•Widespread repentance among the clergy and church leadership of our nation, undeniable by
pagans and reported by news organizations, resulting in pagans coming into the fear of God. "
As we said in words or in action when predatory christianity and forces of colonialism and cultural destruction reached for all indigenous peoples, we will not capitulate. We have sound, strong and grounded traditions that our Ancestors have passed on to us from time immemorial....time before time. And now so many years after the tragedy of force, rape and pillage have successfully torn the garment of our Ancestral traditions and allowed the disjointed energies of missionary religious imperialism to destroy culture and peoples...but we do not look away from a future with our Ancestors at our side. There is no future without the indigenous world, strong, empowered and living its Ancestral mandate to move forward with those traditions in unity and harmony with All That Is.
Below are two links of interest to those involved in restoring and protecting indigeny. The first is an article from the Irish Times about continuing depredations by white politicians and culture against Native Americans and the second link, a wrenching documentary. The documentary is rather long, but we encourage folks to take the time to watch it. Most of us did not learn these things in school.
Educate yourselves. Education isn't just a priviledge or a right, it is an *obligation.*. It is a path to freedom. Educate yourselves by any means necessary. Only then can you wake up and truly set about educating and changing your world.
anyway, here are the links:
As part of their agenda of spiritual impoverishment, groups like the New Apostolic Reform (the people behind the DC40 campaign) also find the idea of female Divinity immensely threatening. In recent months, there have been murmurings and even a book (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1585020168/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=thewildhunt-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=1585020168) attacking the "Queen of Heaven." Goddesses are commonly venerated across indigenous traditions, and that certainly holds true for the European polytheisms that the spread of Christianity destroyed. In the ongoing onslaught against indigeny and contemporary indigenous restoration, it's no surprise then, to see female Divinities coming under attack. This is nothing new.
In light of this, however, we encourage readers to send us your prayers and invocations to the Queen of Heaven (be it Isis, Inanna, Astarte, or any other great and gracious Goddess who bears that name). Let us spend the last couple of weeks of the Turtle Island initiative giving praise to these Deities, pouring out offerings to Them, and sharing poems, prayers, and invocations of adoration. Let the praises of the Queens of Heaven be sung loudly and high, and one day soon, perhaps Their rites will drown out the turgid buffoonery of monotheism.
So send us your prayers: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post them here, that the Queen of Heaven --every Goddess who ever bore that title--may again be praised and honored. We'll post them here as we continue this virtual offensive against the poison and conquest-born agenda of the DC40 program.
(As to the bible, the authority so often called upon in condemnation of various Goddesses: As educated and multi-lingual human beings, we find this misogyny utterly ridiculous. The very bible that these groups so enshrine (often over and above their own God--Jesus said love your neighbor, folks, not bludgeon him into ideological submission) uses terminology in the original Hebrew that translates not only as male AND female, but as a plurality of divinity ('elohim,' the word used for 'God' in Genesis comes to mind). Humanity is said to have been created in the image of God "male and female they were created, in the image of God, they were created." Moreover, the Bible is a polytheistic text. It nowhere denies the existence of other Gods, rather giving the mandate to the Hebrew tribes that they ought to have no other Deity before YWHW. That's henotheism, not monotheism. Monotheism came later. It wasn't until Christianity began to gain political power that other Deities were actively and successfully demonized. It was part of the early Christian agenda in co-opting Pagan spiritual language and turning Latin and Greek into languages of conquest. I think what it comes down to is that the concept of a female divinity or divinities is one that cannot be so easily twisted to support the paternalistic, (often white), male privilege that these people so often enshrine as holy).
I (Galina) recently learned from one of my students that there is a push in some circles to rename Columbus Day, Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This apparently (and unbeknownst to me) began in Geneva, Switzerland in 1977 at a UN conference on exploitation and oppression of indigenous peoples in the Americans. I’m very grateful to my student for alerting me to this. A name change is a start. Granted, it’s nowhere near enough. It’s not enough to pay lip service to the idea of indigenous rights. There must, in some way, be apology and reparation. Moreover, the continued oppression of indigeny must be stopped.
The story of the ‘discovery’ of America is a story of greed, religious fanaticism, and conquest. This type of conquest began with the destruction of European indigenous traditions. First, monotheism in the form of Christianity spread from the Mediterranean into Europe. It fostered the forced eradication of indigenous religions and spiritual traditions. It brutally changed the cultural paradigm and destroyed and then replaced the dominant operating “filter.” Then, having succumbed and in some cases learned to collaborate in the destruction of their own ways, Europeans, in some weird cultural Stockholm syndrome, came across the ocean and did exactly the same thing to the Native nations here. Like any cycle of abuse, it just kept on going.
It’s about time we as a people and a nation take a good long look at where that cycle has brought us, because we can change it and it begins with little steps, sometimes seemingly insignificant ones. It begins with examining our own filters and being willing to admit our privilege. That’s no small thing but it is an essential starting point.
This is one of the reasons that ancestor work, honoring our dead, is such a vital step right now. They can help. We all have ancestors who lived through these times of conquest. We all have ancestors who lived organically those traditions that were destroyed. Even those ancestors who knew only monotheism can help us, for often with death and contact with elder kin, greater understanding and awareness is gained. They can help us all remove the destructive filter that has become our baseline operating system. We need only honor them and ask. There is a Lithuanian proverb: “the souls of the dead are the guardians of the living” and that is so very, very true. Especially here. Especially now. We cannot afford to forget that. The tremendous lack of balance in our world is going to take both sides living and dead working in tandem to correct. The souls of the dead truly are the guardians of the living. Honor them.
In the meantime, think about what you can do to honor your own indigenous roots, to honor the Native cultures of this land, and to begin to enter into this fight, which is, as a colleague of mine recently called it, a fight for the soul of this nation. It doesn’t matter how small the action. Something is always better than nothing and we all have to start somewhere. Here are a few simple ideas:
Nine things that you can do instead of celebrating Criminal Columbus Day:
1. Hold a ritual honoring the land, Turtle Island, her spirit, and the ancestors of this place. Pour or lay out offerings.
2. This one is just for the DC40 folks, who are horrified by the idea of Goddesses who hold the title “The Queen of Heaven.” Hold a ritual honoring one of those Goddesses. Set up a small shrine and maintain a regular devotional practice. (More on the current attack on the “Queen of Heaven” in a day or so. It is going hand in hand with these predators’ attack on religious freedom, human intelligence, and Turtle Island) and it’s a part of many ancient traditions, a part that was early, often, and vociferously attacked. Let’s take it back.
3. This was another suggestion that I got from my student: several states (New Mexico, South Dakota, Alabama and Hawaii) have renamed Columbus Day. Do some research and find out if there has been any movement to do so in your state. If not, start one.
4. Go visit a local Native American museum (like the Museum of the American Indian in NYC). Educate yourself about First Nations’ peoples and cultures. If you have children, take them along.
5. Push for and/or organize a presentation in your local school touching on indigenous cultures and the real story of Columbus. Bring in Native presenters (because their story is not anyone else’s narrative to tell).
6. Take this a step further and (again a suggestion from my student) push to find out what children are learning about in school about Columbus and the Conquest of the Americas. This book can provide useful resources: http://www.amazon.com/Rethinking-Columbus-Next-500-Years/dp/094296120X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318217963&sr=8-1
7. Have a movie night and discussion with friends and acquaintances. Choose something like “Rabbit Proof Fence,” (not American, but a story of horrors perpetrated against Australian aborigine tribes. They got the idea from the Americas). “Incident at Oglala,” “Columbus Day Legacy,” or, if you want to talk about the destruction of European traditions, ‘Agora.” There are many good and pointed films on the market, these were just a few that came immediately to mind that might prove somewhat salient on the topic of destruction of indigeny.
8. If you haven’t begun honoring your ancestors regularly, now is a good time and excuse to begin. There are several good articles here: Http://krasskova.weebly.com/blog/html under the tag ‘ancestors’ that can get you started.
9. Donate to Cultural Survival at http://www.culturalsurvival.org. This organization’s specific goal is the protection, preservation, and growth of indigenous cultures as well as fighting for their rights.
A big thank you to C.A. for some of the above suggestions and many blessings to you all.
Within days of going live with the Turtle Island Initiative, we received notice of the desecration of several Pagan temples. Contemporary Paganism is, in part, an attempt to revive, restore, and return to our ancestral –i.e. indigenous—ways. Not unexpectedly, such restoration has often been met with violent resistance.
The most recent attack occurred on Sept. 26 in Poltava, Ukraine by Christians against a Temple of Jupiter in the process of being built by the growing Roman polytheist community there. The pontifex was injured defending the altar. The graffiti left at the site reads “Die, Heathens.” More information can be found here: http://cultusdeorumromanorum.blogspot.com/2011/10/temple-site-desecration.html and http://thehouseofvines.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/in-orci-culum-incidas/ and here: http://www.sodahead.com/living/temple-of-jupiter-perennus-that-is-being-built-for-pagan-community-in-poltava-ukraine-was-attacked/question-2196325/. The latter site has a link where readers may go to donate in support of the desecrated temple.
This is hardly the first attack in recent months on Pagan and polytheistic places of worship. Earlier this year, a band of Christians attacked a Romuva sanctuary in Lithuania. Romuva happens to be the indigenous Pagan religion of Lithuania and since the fall of communism in that area, has been experiencing a rebirth. It has also been meeting violent resistance from the Christian Orthodox Church, as the latter scrambles to reclaim the power it lost in the area with the rise of communism. Are we seeing a pattern yet?
These attacks are not limited to areas in the process of recovering from communism. Let’s look a little closer to home. Last year in Ohio, Christians attacked a CUUPS sanctuary and in New Jersey, a Christian group desecrated a Hindu Temple. This is only the tip of the iceberg.
In “Moses and Monotheism,” Freud wrote that “religious intolerance was inevitably born with the belief in one God.” Conversion era documents chronicle again and again the brutal destruction of Pagan and Heathen places of worship. They also, of course, chronicle the brutal torture and slaughter of many Pagans and Heathens. It is easy for us to assume that such violence and intolerance are things of the past, of prior, darker, less-enlightened times. The truth is however, that given half a chance, the same type of violence happens today. It is happening and it’s happening in the name of monotheistic doctrine. We have Christian clergy preaching of the need to wipe out Pagans today, now, in our own supposedly enlightened times. This is the fruit of monotheism.
Our pre-Christian ancestors may have engaged in wars of conquest but it wasn’t until the rise of monotheistic doctrines that one finds this happening repeatedly in the name of religious righteousness. A cultural imperative after all, is quite different from the embedded authority of a moral one. Across the world, there are those men and women—Jewish, Muslim, Christian – who practice their religions and live in peace. We commend them, however, if they are not speaking up against the hatred, violence, and villainy of their monotheistic compatriots, they are part of the problem. What is it the philosophers say about the only thing evil needing to triumph is for otherwise good men to do nothing?
Part of the issue as we see it, is that anyone coming from the (in America) Christian majority is speaking from a place of privilege. Most don’t even realize it and for those that do, most are unwilling to give that privilege up. How often do we hear reports of certain types of Christians screaming about oppression when all that’s being asked is that they cease harassing others with their beliefs? It is the fundamentalist mindset. Others, otherwise tolerant human beings, respond with anger, resistance, and accusations of bullying and victimization when their otherwise obvious privilege is pointed out…as it must be, for clear and productive dialogue to occur.
Author Laura Patsouris, in a recent discussion on the subject of white, Christian privilege wrote: “whether the topic is race, religion, sexuality, or indigeny: the dominant group in their privilege struggles to control the narrative of the minority because he who controls the narrative controls reality. Or at least how the history will be recorded...we need to all be brave enough to rip away the filter and honestly listen to the narratives of others and celebrate multiplicity and diversity.
This I think is easier for polytheists to do just because it is an open ended system that acknowledges the sacred and holy exist even outside their own particular faith structure. Monotheism's issue is that it is a closed system: so inherently anything outside of the narrowly defined parameters is "evil". Ironically when the original texts are read in Hebrew what we see is not monotheism but henotheism; "you will have no other Gods before me"...i.e. there are other Gods."” (Private communication with L. Patsouris, on October 10, 2011).
Anyone seeking to reclaim his or her indigeny is taking a stand against unexamined, unacknowledged privilege and the harm that so often stems from it. They are taking a stand against a very unhealthy, unnatural status quo. Christians, Jews, and Muslims can do this too. After all, there is nothing inherent in polytheism that would deny them the right to worship their Gods.
In the meantime, let us all pray for those Roman polytheists in Poltava, who weathered the first and hopefully last attack on their sacred temple. I leave you with a prayer by Kenaz Filan, to the God Jupiter, that He may look down upon those who harmed His temple and His priest:
“Sky-Father, Thunder-Roarer, Lord of Lightning, may your vengeance fall upon those who have defiled your holy place. May their blaspheming mouths be filled with poison; may the rot which has consumed them in spirit flow through their veins and their sinews; may they shoulder the stone alongside Sisyphus and slake their thirst in the pool of Tantalos. May all who hear their fate shudder and may they live eternally in legend as a warning and a testament of your power.
I make these words as an offering to you, oh Jupiter. May the Fates hear them and weave them into Their tapestry.”
May it be so and may all good people hear the call of their ancestors, that they may step up and step forward for what is just.
...and then it is not the beginning, but a sacred, intensely political and powerfully Ancestral continuation of something that has been here since time immemorial - the sacred relationship of humans to the earth, to nature, to each other and to Spirit. This is the validation of the indigenous soul as spoken of by authors and spiritual workers Nancy Jane, Martin Prechtel and Malidoma Some'. It is the primary, most fundamental and harmonious state of humanity throughout all of human history. It is the acknowledgement that we live in a polytheistic world, a world alive with energetic intelligence and human divinity. This is not a world of fantastic perfection, but one of integral harmonious functional empowerment, a world of the consciousness of the oneness of all things, true unity consciousness and behavior.
And even though what we consider christianity is a dominant phenomenon in the world, it does not mean that it is not inherently aberrant and transgressive. In the coming days, we will take continued opportunity to consider the power and grounded genius of the indigenous human imperative, particularly with relationship to the negative effects and nature of predatory christianity, the Doctrine of Discovery, manifest destiny and the fear-based threads of neo-manifest destiny missiology that the DC40 process represents.
I greet my Ancestors here and at my altar and in the sacred crucible of nature in which they developed our traditions. Asante sana to my Ancestralized, empowererd Dead, to the wakale (Ancestors) of the Middle Passage and of Turtle Island and those that died on the Trail of Tears, on the battlefield of Wounded Knee and on the shores and hills of Guanahani, of Bohio at the hands and orders of Criminal Columbus. I call upon these Ancestors to guide us in our work, in this continuing process of defining and refining our sacred and grounded relationship with All That Is. May we continue the struggle, the intelligence, the love and compassion and bravery of our Ancestors as we step forward into history.