There is so much to say about the events of Tuesday September 11, 2001, and yet I feel so numb I don't know what to say. So many emotions mix together right now... I've spent the last several days fighting the beast of my own anger and fear - fighting the urge to strike back in some cataclysmic way, knowing all the while that this is not my way, this is not my path. Yes the path is opened to to these dark emotions, but not in the blind way they were coming at me, not in the blind way I fought.
Then one of the wisest people I know told me to go to my god, and offer that fear and anger as a sacrifice to Him. Powerful words, powerful thought, frightening process, but exactly what was needed. Those of you still blinded with anger, I ask to do the same to whatever powers you hold sacred. Anger is not evil. Blind anger however can lead to evil.
If you know me, you may know that guarding and protecting are a large part of my path. I see so many people on my various mailing lists responding with anger, with fight, even those who also guard. Again, anger is fine. But at the same time I'm seeing that anger directed at targets that people can reach - and not targets that are responsible for the act. We don't know who is responsible. We have our suspicions, but the government is not releasing much information. That is not only understandable, but essential to our men in uniform, and I accept that. But given that we have two things to go on: Directing things at "Those Responsible," and the knowledge that there were people involved who were Muslim militants
Directing something at "those responsible" is quite a vague target. Those responsible are dead, they went down with the planes. So the working will float back further. But how much further? To the organizers of the attack? To the masterminds? That is what the workers hope. However, how many other people are responsible? What about the attacker's parents, whether or not those parents believe in what their children have done, or have disowned them for it? And are not we, as Americans, believers in freedom of speech? Many people who could be considered "responsible" may have done nothing more than say "Yes those horrible evil Americans should pay" over a beer with a friend, but their words helped move the attackers to do what they did. I know it's too late to call back many workings, but no more need to be cast. Revenge is a dish best served cold, and we have far more important things at which to direct our energy - like helping the rescue attempts, like supporting the men in uniform who may or may not be already active, like supporting the government, like praying for or leaders to have the wisdom to follow this attack properly and not blindly... the list goes on and on. Direct energy at something more worthy, I beg of you. Don't cut loose the Wild Hunt, then two months down the line protest the Dogs of War.
The other point is that so many of our Muslim - and Middle Asian immigrant - peoples are under attack. So much is being directed indiscriminately at these communities, and it sickens me. They are no more responsible than white christians are. Sure we hear about the Muslim militants in Afghanistan, previous terrorist attacks - well the Nazis were christian. Should then all christians have been held responsible? Think that through without pagan reactionism please - these could well be your grandparents you're considering here. The Muslim and Middle Asian communities within America need us right now as much as we need each other. These are Americans too. They lost family and friends there too. And we only make ourselves as bad as the attackers by attacking them, just because they share a religion with those who attacked. And those of us who are pagan should understand that most of all. We fight the battle to believe in our gods every day; right now they need our support. Perhaps only by speaking up when you hear that mob mentality "Don't trust those [insert description here]" - often the people are speaking from anger and not thinking. Try to make people think with their brains and not their emotions.
And I guess that's what I want everyone to take home from this. Stop and think before you say something, do something, strike out blindly at innocents. We'll have a target soon enough. If you must strike out, rather than help with the support forces, do so then. For now, support the rest of our country in grief, in remembrance, in healing, in recovery, in investigation.
-Jaelle ShadowDancer September 15, 2001