anqati ən alta misayka nisayka hayash-kakshət. khilay-təmtəm nayka. alta ən aɬqi tətsi nisayka munk-khəpit. tətsi nisayka munk-ɬush-ɬush. misayka nayka tiki-munk-yeʔlan. qhata misayka nisayka munk-yeʔlan? qhata mayka nayka munk-yeʔlan?

(I suspect I have botched the Chinuk Wawa grammar, and I know I can’t pronounce a word of it yet, and for both faults I apologize to the speakers of Chinuk Wawa (though practicing my pronunciation is On The Agenda). Translating back to English for the benefit of the rest of y’all, it comes out approximately as “we have been and are destroying y’all. my heart cries. we must stop now and for the future. we must clean up. I want to help y’all. how do we help y’all? how do I help you?”

It’s not exactly concrete action towards repairing the damage we white USAians have done and continue to do to Native peoples, but it’s a start.

Another start: reading Awakening the Horse People. There’s probably donate buttons on a lot of Native organizations’ websites, too—not seeing one on The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde dot org, but there’s definitely one on cherokee.org.

Here’s the Chinuk Wawa Android app and the Chinuk Wawa dictionary.)



CN: today’s concentration camps


The row of buses drive up to
what was a Walmart once.
Leaning out the first bus door,
Hermes, Latino today,
tips His hat and grins.

The row of buses drive up to
the fenced-in rows and rows of tents
beneath the desert sun.
Leaning out the first bus door,
Hermes tips His hat and grins.

Not a man among the guards
has time to aim his gun.
They fall, each and every one,
to arrows falling from the sun
and quarter moon above.

Continue reading “Deliverance”

from Morag’s Spindle on Pagan Bloggers

Disability, Witchcraft, and Siren Songs

So much in witchcraft books is bootstraps. Your desire is your power. You can achieve these goals, but only if you work hard and pull yourself up by your bootstraps. There are no excuses. The only thing standing in your way is you. If you cannot achieve these things, you must not really want them.

They then proceed to lay out ways in which to practice the craft that are attainable by able-bodied, neurotypical people. If they’re attainable by the rest of us, well, that’s a lucky break.

Disabled people know from hard work, okay. What’s easy for you lot…isn’t easy for us.

If witchcraft is supposed to be for the powerless, how come so much of its instructions are written for the able-bodied or neurotypical? Even from writers who seem to be hip to what it means to be marginalized — disability is, once again, on the outskirts of social justice.

Read Morag’s whole essay, and think about it good and hard.

reading the news out of Charlottesville

I am silent, not because I am willing to let anyone who thinks everyone like me should die go unchallenged (I am a Nazi target for several reasons), but because I am struck speechless; I can find so few words.

I find myself longing for a temple to Athena, to which I could bring my offerings and prayers, and in the antechamber of which I could sit in Her presence. So I am directing your attention to The Virtual Temple Project led by Silence Maestas of Walking the Heartroad. I cannot contribute to this project this month, because I’m moving apartments, and maybe not next month either. But precisely because it would so help me at this moment to have a virtual temple space to Athena—indeed, to any of my Gods—, I’ll be contributing as soon as I’m organized in my new apartment.

Speaking of Walking the Heartroad, good book. I’m rereading, and it’s reminding me of important things.

“Seasons in the Mind”, by Kabir tr. Daniel Ladinsky

There are seasons in the mind,
great currents and winds move there,

the true yogi ties a rein to them; a power plant
he becomes.

Winter, spring, summer, fall: these are pages
in a book the advanced can turn to,
and impart.

Order is a great benefit to the seeker,
otherwise living in one’s own house can become as
walking through a marketplace

where all the merchants keep shouting,
“You owe me.”

That does not sound like
much fun,

and who could accomplish anything
in all that

I wonder, was Kabir autistic?

This poem, from Love Poems From God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, certainly speaks to my experience. My large altar to the Gods: the flowers are fresh, brightly pink, but the table is dusty. My small altar to the Trans Dead: the candle has not been lit in a long time. The things destined for the recycle toters heap up in the dining nook and the clean unfolded laundry heaps up by the sofa. The laundry pile cries “You owe me”, the recycle pile cries “You owe me”, the altars cry “You owe me”.

And yet here I sit, rocking lightly side to side, instead of declaring, for instance, that it is time to remove the recycle pile, one boxful or basketful at a time. Instead of declaring that it is time to tend the Gods’ altar. Instead of declaring that it is time to stand before the altar to the Trans Dead and light the candle and pour some water and speak some verses of the Litany. Certainly instead of doing any of those things.

“You owe me.”

And who can think in all this noise?

a prayer that the memory of Charleena Lyles may be a blessing, and a plea to all white people

Hestia of the home,
Hestia of the home city,
Hestia of the homeland,
Athena Who defends the defenseless,
Athena Who girds with armor,
Athena who sounds the war trumpet,
Zeus of liberty,
Zeus of justice,
Zeus of all the people,
and any other Gods Who care
that Charleena Lyles was murdered
for being a black disabled woman
and that her unborn child died with her
and that her other children watched her die,
in the same week
that the man who murdered Philando Castile
before the very eyes
of his girlfriend and her child
was deemed not guilty in the matter of
the death of Philando Castile,
I call all of You
by whatever names You choose to be known.

Charleena was not safe in her own home.
Charleena was not safe in her home city.
Charleena was not safe in her homeland.

Charleena needed defense against those she called to defend her.
Charleena needed armor against the bullets of her saviors.
Charleena needed a war trumpet calling armies to her cause.

Charleena cries out for liberty.
Charleena cries out for justice.
Charleena cries out for all her people.

There is a fable told by Aesop.
An Athenian on a sinking ship
prayed to You, Athena, for safety.
A sailor swimming by called out,
“Pray to Athena all you like,
but move your arms!”
You tell us thus, O Gods,
that You will refuse to aid us
in gaining things that we ourselves
do not work to gain.

Charleena’s people,
Philando’s people,
Michael’s, Eric’s, and Trayvon’s,
Rekia Boyd’s and Sandra Bland’s,
have worked and worked and worked and worked
to gain for all the people
the liberty and justice
we the people of the United States
have been promised.
My white people
have attained these.
Charleena’s people
have been denied.

I have little to offer You, O Gods,
only incense, only wine—
only one white voice
who might perhaps be listened to
when black voices go unheard.
As Andreas Hale once said,
“We march, y’all mad.
“We sit down, y’all mad.
“We speak up, y’all mad.
“We die, y’all silent.”

So I pray this prayer in public
and I hope my voice is heard:

I ask You, O Gods,
to defend Charleena’s people,
to gird with armor Charleena’s people,
to sound the trumpet calling armies to Charleena’s people’s cause,
that Charleena’s people may be safe
in their own homes,
in their home cities,
in their homeland,

so that when we read the famous phrases
in the United States Declaration
“all are created equal”,
“life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness”—
so that when we read in the Preamble
to the United States Constitution
“common defence” and “general welfare”,
“justice” and “blessings of liberty”—
so that when we proclaim
in the United States Pledge of Allegiance
“one nation”, “indivisible”,
“liberty and justice for all”—

we do not by our actions
and by our inaction,
by our speech and by our silence,
make these famed words
into lies.

For this, O Gods, I pray.


Dear white people:

When will it end?

When will we stop?

When will we have taken enough respect from them?

When will we have taken enough wealth from them?

When will we have taken enough blood from them?

When will we have taken enough lives from them?

When will we have taken enough from them?

When will we be satisfied?

When will we stop?

When will we make it end?

Sonnet to Athena Alea (that is, Athena Escape-to-Refuge)

“I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Athena shouts, Her lightning torch aflame
In tarnished-copper green on New York shore.
Escape-to-Refuge is always Her name.
It matters not to Her from where you come;
What God, if any, you might answer to;
What talents, wealth, or skills you bring with you.
She cares that you are safe here; don’t succumb
To tempest tossing you and yours around,
Or rich men saying you are less than they,
More fearsome, and they’d rather you had drowned
Than found this world-wide welcome, found your way.
Come, weary one, whose journey’s at its end.
Be welcome, stranger, who might yet be a friend.

(hat tip Emma Lazarus, “The New Colossus”)

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the Trans Dead are furious

These Transgender Day of Remembrance verses of Rebecca Lynn Scott’s Litany for the Many Dead are licensed CC BY-NC:

I pray to the Trans Suicides
You who died in despair
Of a world that hated you
May you be uplifted
I pray to the Trans Suicides

I pray to the Trans Activist Dead
You who stood up and said No!
You who insisted that you, too, are human
May you be uplifted
I pray to the Trans Activist Dead

The Trans Dead are furious. Praying to them, I feel this. I am called to action: I think all ancestor worshipers who honor the Trans Dead may be being called to action.

I admit some uncertainty as to what action. There are many possibilities: Trans Lifeline, a crisis hotline by and for trans people, fielded four hundred calls in a twenty-four-hour period after the US election, and they’re hoping for donations so they can hire full-time staff, so that the number of LGBT people lost to suicide as a result of this election stays as low as it might. (I understand the number’s at eight already. Maybe higher; that number is several hours old.) I’ve seen suggestions that cis women try to get prescribed a particular contraceptive in order to share with trans women in danger of losing their hormones. The #translawhelp Twitter hashtag is connecting trans people who want to change their documents before the next president takes office with lawyers who are willing to help. And there’s always giving appropriately-gendered clothes or money directly to trans people in need.

I am not sure what action I am called to take. But as someone who honors the Trans Dead, and, separately, someone who honors Hestia and Athena, I cannot do nothing.

What are you called to do?