Today, I read a very fine essay by John Beckett on Patheos entitled, Something Bad Isn’t Coming, It’s Here. In it, Mr. Beckett writes about The Long Descent of society, a term coined by John Michael Greer (whose book The Druidry Handbook, is wonderful). The premise is that every empire in the world has eventually fallen, and ours is probably no exception.
Mr. Beckett cites rising temperatures, strange weather, an economic recovery that really has only been beneficial for the ultra-rich, and the intense discourse in politics as indicators that things are not going well for us. The causes are many, and it did not just happen overnight, and it will be ongoing for hundreds of years.
I would like to say that Mr. Beckett read my mind when he wrote this, but I think there are a lot of us who sense the storm that is brewing. I find that those who are spiritually sensitive, and Gods know most Pagans fit that bill, are especially attuned to this tempest.
I understand that politics has always been contentious. The things said about Abraham Lincoln in his day are no less inflammatory that what is often said today. The main difference today is that the Internet has given everyone a voice, and the malcontented are very vocal. I believe that things started really getting bad way back in the Regan era, when that President refused to acknowledge the AIDS epidemic until he had to give into the mounting devastation.
The Internet truly amplified the sheer awfulness of the the 2008 Presidential race. Once President Obama was elected, it seemed to give the GOP carte blanche to oppose any social, economic, environmental, and rights issue that didn’t fit into their party stance, or more disturbing, their religious beliefs. The GOP seemed emboldened to publicly announce that they would not be cooperating in any way. Ditto for the 2012 re-election. If there is a person on earth who doesn’t think there was a racial undertone to all this, their head is in the sand.
So now, despite the majority of Americans believing in climate change, not much is being done about it. Despite most Americans believing in LGBT rights, and same sex marriage, and despite it being made law, it continues to be under attack by the GOP. Women’s rights are being handcuffed by elderly Republican men. The middle class is evaporating, Wall Street is healthy, and the arctic ice is melting. All the while, the GOP are fiddling.
There is so much adversity in the world, I can’t see a way out of it. It’s here, people are fighting each other at Presidential rallies, and in 2016 Donald Trump followers are yelling “go back to Auschwitz” at Jewish people, and “go back to Africa” at people of color. It’s fucking 2016! Today I read someone wrote on their G+ account that “the Jews’ President puppet landed in Cuba,” and that was one of their milder atrocious posts. We live in a world with a lot of hatred.
I’m a Pagan, a cottage witch with a deep Wiccan background. Whether it is realistic or not, I’ve decided to withdraw into the Scott Cunningham magickal worldview. It is why I’ve moved to cottage witchery from the more formal Wicca path. I feel the need to make a happy, magickal, and peaceful home life. Yes, I have grave concerns about all the aforementioned ills of the world, and I will vote accordingly. I will do my level best to be a friend of the environment, just as I have for the past 12 years. Past that, all I can do is communicate my concerns through a forum such as this. Otherwise, I will use whatever power I have for the betterment of my family. The world is past what I can do on a magickal basis. I’ve basically always practiced folk witchcraft, and it is small witchcraft.
Perhaps others feel they have the magickal power to change society, and I would love that to be so. I will tend to my own garden, with an eye toward having what I do enrich the world, rather than harm it.