commentary, philosophy, and outright rants

Archive for the ‘reclaiming’ Category

The Individual Freedom Reclamation Amendment

Thinking about how religious people in the US, from diverse traditions, can reclaim our Nation from corporate control, led to a search of Catholic encyclicals.  One thing that keeps popping up in Catholic social justice – identical to things I have heard from many fellow Witches – is the dignity of the human person.  Although not widely known,  several encyclicals starting with Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum make it clear that the Roman Catholic Church opposes US-style capitalism just as much as it opposes socialism. In fact, it opposes any economic or political system which violates the dignity of the human person.  Given that many Baptist and Evangelical churches were deeply involved in the civil rights movement, I would think that many Protestants share this belief as well.

As the current pope has put it:

“the market has prompted new forms of competition between States as they seek to attract foreign businesses to set up production centres, by means of a variety of instruments, including favourable fiscal regimes and deregulation of the labour market. These processes have led to a downsizing of social security systems as the price to be paid for seeking greater competitive advantage in the global market, with consequent grave danger for the rights of workers, for fundamental human rights and for the solidarity associated with the traditional forms of the social State.” – Pope Benedict XVI, Caritas in Veritate

One problem in the Western world is that corporations – in legalese, “non-natural persons” – are recognized as persons by the legal system. This enables large amounts of capital to be used in ways no human person could muster: to control media, depress wages, and eliminate the “social security” net (not speaking solely of the US agency called “Social Security”.)

To restore the dignity of the human person as superior to capital – as is the belief of many Pagans, as well as many Christians – I think the following Amendment to the US Constitution might be appropriate:

1. No Right, stated in this Constitution, shall apply to persons other than Natural Persons, unless specifically granted to persons other than Natural Persons.

2. Section 1 of this Amendment shall not apply to the Powers of Congress as enumerated in Article I, Section 8 of this Constitution.

3. For the purposes of this Constitution, and all laws and regulations made subject to it, the phrase “limited Times” or other like phrases shall be construed as one-third of the average lifespan of a Natural Person citizen of the United States. Said lifespan shall be calculated on a decennial basis by the Social Security Administration or successor agencies; if said agencies cease to exist the national Census shall be modified to determine said lifespan.

4. Sections 1- 3 of this Amendment are curative and shall apply immediately to all treaties, laws, and court decisions now standing.

“Corporate Greed”: a useless simplification

I see a lot of people complaining about corporate greed, as if a legal charter given to a group of people somehow acquires the very human attribute of greed. Corporations don’t have greed. They can’t. As Sir Edward Coke, sitting as the King’s Bench, put it in the Sutton Hospital Case of 1612:

“They may not commit treason, nor be outlawed, nor excommunicate, for they have no souls, neither can they appear in person, but by Attorney.”

Corporations do not have greed. People have greed, which is often more successful when hidden behind a for-profit corporation. Using the phrase “corporate greed” buys into the very denial of the I-thou relationship that the greedy people have. Calling it “corporate greed” aids and abets the glamorie that the owners of the corporation use the corporation for: there’s no people here, it’s just a corporation, it’s freedom, what’s your problem anyway? With a corporation, an individual human can only have an I-it relationship, eliminating any chance of dialogue and real change.

In order to break down the walls in society against I-thou relationships, people opposed to massive accumulation of wealth by individual persons need to initiate such connections, instead of attacking the phantom of “corporate greed”. One philosophical song that I see as addressing the desire to attack the greedy as opposed to the need to first make an I-thou connection with a particular person in hopes of establishing a resonance is T. Thorn Coyle’s “Hey Mister” (from her Give Us a Kiss! CD):

“Hey mister,it’s really not my place to put you down
Hey mister, it’s not in my theology.
Hey mister, I shouldn’t run your name into the ground
But I seem to do it anyway!

Hey mister, I know that I should see the God within
Hey mister, but in your eyes she doesn’t seem to play;
Hey mister, I suppose I ought to listen not defend
Hey mister, but I just don’t see the world your way.

All I see are your big cars,
And the way my neighborhood has changed;
It makes me want to shout you out:
And pull my hair like I’m deranged!
I want to bring salvation back;
I really want us to evolve –
But I don’t know how to see a thing
The money, opposition and false power.”

“Hey mister”: it’s a phrase one-to-one. It derecognizes the phony personhood of the corporation and tries to initiate a conversation with an individual, human, person who wields money and power behind the corporate glamorie.

Attacking “corporate greed” has gotten practically nowhere. Perhaps it’s time to look at another strategy; a humanistic strategy; a strategy of finding connections to those hiding behind “corporations”. Perhaps it’s time to try to see the world the way corporate owners (not managers unless they are also major stockholders) see it; it’s the only way to establish a slow resonance in dialogue to ultimately change the frequency.

Corporations have no souls, no greed, no lust, no passion. Attacking corporate greed is a symbolic action so divorced from the actual people who wield power and money, and an action so divorced from humanistic and social justice I-thou traditions, that it wastes energy that could be better used in addressing the actual people of power and money.

Waning Moon

From full she darkens, failing, fading
Remembers climb and zenith, her creation
Twained moons they brighten, building, waxing
Reflected trine light, still needs but one

Still yet she dims, should she not shun
A final journey of making new
If ‘twould be ‘complished, must now she run
And claim Creatrix days, hers now so few

The matrix closes dry as the dew
To leave the Twain to grow alone
“No!” she cries, “Not only two
“‘gain I will birth the flesh, the bone!”

Fervored glories not unbecoming she who as a Goddess
Passion’d pains forthgiving: another yet to bless.

Remembrances of a slandered Goddess

I remember.

I remember rocking the cradle;
The cradle of humanity’s civilization.

For thousands of Earth’s journeys around its Sun
I was Queen and I was Goddess.

I was heard of in the lands beyond
I was worshipped as Goddess but not taken as Queen
I did not require such.

I had my people in the cradle
My people that I was Queen for
That was enough for any Queen
And as for a Goddess: I accepted other worship
And behaved towards them as a true and faithful Goddess.

Then the murders came.
I remember.
I remember a being who chose Godhead
I remember a being who hid Kingship
Behind his worshipers.

I remember a being who, like me, had his people
I remember a being who, unlike me, rejected all but his people
I remember a being who never reached the lands in my Queenship
I remember a being who told his Priests to kill all but his people
I remember a being who brought slaughter to My worshipers and others
I remember a being who would not be stopped; a Mountain Godhead
I remember a being, a warGod, through and through
I remember a being who has slandered me from that time forward
I remember a being who hid behind his worshipers
I remember taking revenge for his people’s killing of my people
I remember not resisting until it was too late
Even now in the Time of Reawakening
I am feared as a killer instead of worshipped as Protectress
He is worshipped as Guardian of Peace instead of condemned as warmonger

He has his people still
He has allowed others to join his people
Provided they are as warlike as those they join
They say their wars are to protect peace
Even now a mongrel nation attacks my ancient Lands
Their leader a worshiper of the warmonger
But here and there, a thought, a prayer, calls me to Reawakening
I know not what power I have left
My worshipers are few and scattered
Evil curses still rain upon me from his worshipers
They believe that my retribution for his attacks
Retribution not was, but rather my war
They believe I am and was the attacker
They believe I will still attack
Even in the thousands of years past where no such has occurred
No such could occur
I remember I am not attacker I am defender

I remember
I remember a time of peace
I remember a time of Queenship
I remember a time when I and mine were Blessed
I do not know if I remember a Future Time which mirrors Past Time
Does anyone remember?

But Tonantzin Lives


Before the conquistadores came
They knew her
She knew them.


Before the blackrobes came
They knew her
She knew them.


Before the bishops came
They knew her
She knew them.


The land was taken
The people were taken
And the blackrobes thought:


‘We have taken her away
She will be theirs no longer
She will not ever Be again
In saecula saeculorum.


But Tonantzin lives:
Compassion in the heart of the people.
But Tonantzin lives:
Even under the name from the blackrobes.
But Tonantzin lives


The Name of Compassion matters not;
Whether Tonantzin or Guadalupe
Kwan Yin, Durga, or Artemis
What matters is the hearts of the people.


For do not even the blackrobes
Associate Compassion with Guadalupe
Under the many names she has
In many cultures in the world?


o piisima Virgo Maria,
non esse auditum a saeculo,
quemquam ad tua currentem praesidia,
tua implorantem auxilia,
tua petentem suffragia esse derelicta.

Some Guiding Thoughts for Reclaiming, a Tradition of Witchcraft

So now it’s looking more and more like the people who speak up on one of the Reclaiming lists don’t want the Reclaiming Principles of Unity to be viewed so prosaically. Even though they’re prose. ;> The words can mean so many different things, and they should, even when they contradict, or something like that. Or maybe they should be poetry.

So, here’s poetry. (Or at least my idea of the Principles of Unity in a poetic, less-definitive format, anyway.)

Some Guiding Thoughts for Reclaiming, a Tradition of Witchcraft
by steward
August 20, 2006 CE

We are alive.

We are not just We the People;
We are.

We are We the Earth;
We are We the Rocks,
We are We the Plants;
We are We the Animals.

We are We the Ancestors;
We are We the Goddesses;
We are We the Gods;
We are We,
The Allies seen and unseen,
We are what we have not named,
The nameless and the myriad.

We are not what We are not,
But claim no superiority in any way
Regarding those who We are not.

As We are all We have named,
We are Goddess; we are God.
We exist as a Divine presence
Wherever we exist
Whenever we exist
However we exist.

Whether we are coming forth on to this Earth,
Whether we are growing on this Earth,
Whether we are slipping away from this Earth,
We are.
We are still and we are Divine
And We are still of the Connection
With all of the named.

We do.
We move.
We act.
We do and move and act with our bodies.
We do and move and act with our wills.
We do and move and act in ways
That are often immeasurable in weaving
Yet potent in result.
We call these ways of moving “magic”,
And we do and move and act with our magic.

When we do and move and act, we hold intentions.
We recognize that We are a collection of many that are I
We recognize that each I comprehends Us differently from each other I.
We do not require that each I comprehend Us in any specific way,
For to do so would be to bind each and every I,
Assembled as We,
From doing and moving and acting.

The We that has been Named seeks healing,
And an end to those actions that cause a need for healing.
The We that has been Named seeks compassion.
And an end to those actions that cause a need for compassion.

The We that has been Named seeks to explain to those,
Who are not of the We that has been Named,
Why it is that We seek such things
And why it may be that They may wish to seek such things as well.

We believe that,
In past cycles on this Earth,
People who thought as We do Named themselves as Witches.
We, acting on this our belief, proudly Name ourselves as Witches,
Honoring and connecting to our Ancestors of Belief.

We recognize that without each I
There is no We
And for this reason, when We act,
We seek to involve each I in the named We.
We celebrate what is given to us in doing and moving and acting.
We celebrate the wonders of the I Incarnate.
We celebrate the differences
Manifest in each I.
As We do not claim no superiority in any way
Regarding those who We are not,
So We, as manifest in each I,
Do not claim that one I of the We is superior in any way
To any other I of the We.

We seek joy in each I and in the combination of the We.
We gather,
In large and small groups,
To do,
To act,
To move,
To celebrate,
To be.

We look to the future,
To Those not yet come,
To Those who may be Us
As We will be,
Not in this time,
Nor needfully in this place.

The We that has been Named seeks healing,
And an end to those actions that cause a need for healing.
The We that has been Named seeks compassion.
And an end to those actions that cause a need for compassion.

The We that has been Named believes that those ends
May take many cycles of birth, growth, death, decay and regeneration.
The We that has been Named is not discouraged by this:
For the We that has been Named transcends this our beloved Earth
For the We that has been Named transcends the limits of Time.

The We that has been Named,
Here and now,
In this Time, in this place,
Seeks ways to end actions that cause a need for healing.

The We that has been Named,
Here and now,
In this Time, in this place,
Seeks ways to end actions that cause a need for compassion.

The We that has been Named,
In so doing, in so moving, in so acting, and in so being,
Seeks to empower an Action and a Being.

This Action and Being shall survive each corporeal I
In the We that has been named
But shall ease the way
For future I’s in the We that has been named
To end the actions that cause a need for healing
To end the actions that cause a need for compassion.

So the We that has been Named
Seeks to Empower this Action and Being;
If you would be an I within this We
Then join together with this We
As you and you alone see fit
If you would not be an I within this We
Then the We that has been named
Honors the choice by the I that is You as well.