Bright Blessings under our Beloved Stars and Stripes to you!
Here in Metro Detroit, we are a patriotic bunch. We live in the Arsenal of Democracy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsenal_of_Democracy, after all. While many of us pray and cast for peace, others of us are in the fight to make sure our shores are safe, and our rights to practice our Paths endures. The fighting spirit like the one that drove Boudicca http://www.unc.edu/celtic/catalogue/boudica/catalog.html is alive and well in Detroit and her residents.
A young mother in our pagan community, Dark Phoenix, has made a big decision this month. She has enlisted in the United States Army in order to ensure that our troops come home. She was visiting a friend on base down south, and heard the whispering of the Goddess in her ear that she needed to help the soldiers she saw being deployed, to make it back home. With the troubles on the horizon in Syria http://www.unc.edu/celtic/catalogue/boudica/catalog.html, she feels even more pressed to fly into the fight. Medics will be needed, and she needs to be there.
This young lady has medical training, so this is a very real way in which she can do this. Being a healer, this will enable her to care for our soldiers medically. Being a witch, she will be healing their souls and bodies with her priestesshood and magicks. Mama and Artemis and Athena on the lines, you cannot go wrong.
There are many side by side with her in her decision to serve. The Martial Ideal is a part of what it is to be a whole community, and our Warrior and Healer castes often have joint pulls to duty. They are the songless heroes of which the modern day Bards are curiously becoming silent about in our communities.
There are pagans serving in your neighborhood all around you, like this young mother, who serve their deities through their vocational sacrifices. They are police persons; public safety; rangers; soldiers; nurses; doctors; clergy; and countless others. They are everywhere you are.
Women on the battlefields have always been there. Whether as soldiers or healers, they are always around. Called by the Horn of Battle, the Dogs of War, or the tradition of martial services in their families, it continues. The hands of Panacea are also channeled here. And no one can forget the beautiful and fierce Valkyrie.
But this story is about one Army soldier - mother, healer, witch, and priestess, - from the Land of the Fresh Water Seas, also known as Michigan. Soon, she will be leaving for Basic Training, then more training, then deployment will be next. She will be entrusting our community with the care and protection of two small boys, whom she has given physical custody to her ex husband. But their spiritual custody is an onus we all bear, as she bears us up in her Duty.
So it is in Honor of her service, that I am going to make a humble suggestion. This month, pick a night amongst yourselves, your groups, covens, groves, etc., and light a candle for our service persons. Do a Warrior ritual for our soldiers, a Guardian one for our Police, a Healer's one for our medical personnel and first responders. Honor them in some way, even if only in mention at your Esbat. D.J. Conway has a deeply moving ritual in her book, "Falcon Feather and Valkyrie Sword" (http://books.google.com/books/about/Falcon_feather_valkyrie_sword.html?id=68xlAAAAIAAJ) that I have performed myself.
This is a small thing. Such a needful thing. Give Honor where it is due. And tell your children about what you are doing, so that they might know what a true society of the Warriors is in life. Show them that Service is to be recognized and supported by those served. Buy a nurse a coffee. Send cookies to the precinct. There is always something we can do to show our appreciation.
The Army is a place of strong and honorable men and women. They are made of stern stuff. And they are about to get a woman made of stars as well.
To find out more about how you can send a care to pagans in the service, check out https://www.circlesanctuary.org/index.php/military-ministries/circle-military-ministries.html. Their Military Ministries can help you do a tangible part to show support for our pagan troops.
For pagan first responders, there is an invaluable resource to be found at http://www.officersofavalon.com/. This organization
"seek to provide accurate information and improve public perception about Pagan spirituality through education. We seek to defend followers of Pagan spirituality by working against misinformation, discrimination, defamation, harassment and intimidation. We are an outreach to Pagans in the Emergency Services. We also seek to demonstrate that Pagans are a charitable people"
And for our women in nursing, like the young lady above, you may wish to visit https://www.facebook.com/pagan.nurses,
There are other groups, of course, but this will get you started.
For those who wish to find that spirit within them, the Bluewater Pagan Conference 2013 http://directory.paganmichigan.net/events:bluewater-pagan-conference , being hosted by the Port Huron Pagan Temple, on September 14, 2013, will be featuring a workshop on the Warrior Path by Reverend Nashan of the Pagan Pathways Temple. Here you will be able to hear the words of a real life warrior, and if so moved, participate in the Warrior Ritual. This conference will be held at Port Huron Township Memorial Park, 3344 Beach Rd
Port Huron Township, MI 48060 from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
If you wish to learn more about what this woman is going to be experiencing in the coming weeks, go to http://www.goarmy.com/soldier-life/becoming-a-soldier.html.
Sleep well tonight, and sleep safe. Know that a Pagan Soldier is on Watch somewhere,
Gods Bless the United States of America