Thursday, August 10, 2006

late night poetry blogging

Now with a pagan twist!

So I've been trying to answer this archived Witches Weekly for a while now:

Do you consider yourself a political pagan? If so, what topics are most important to you and why? If you are not a political pagan, why?

and I'm just finding it really difficult to articulate my thoughts. So, in lieu of my own ramblings, a poem.

Everywoman Her Own Theology

I am nailing them up to the cathedral door
Like Martin Luther. Actually, no,
I don't want to resemble that Schmutzkopf
(See Erik Erikson and N.O. Brown
On the Reformer's anal aberrations,
Not to mention his hatred of Jews and peasants),
So I am thumbtacking these ninety-five
Theses to the bulletin board in my kitchen.

My proposals, or should I say requirements,
Include at least one image of a god,
Virile, beard optional, one of a goddess,
Nubile, breast size approximating mine,
One divine baby, one lion, one lamb,
All nude as figs, all dancing wildly,
All shining. Reproducible
In marble, metal, in fact any material.

Ethically, I am looking for
An absolute endorsement of loving-kindness.
No loopholes except maybe mosquitoes.
Virtue and sin will henceforth be discouraged,
Along with suffering and martyrdom.
There will be no concept of infidels,
Consequently the faithful must entertain
Themselves some other way than killing infidels.

And so forth and so on. I understand
This piece of paper is going to be
Spattered with wine one night at a party
And covered over with newer pieces of paper.
That is how it goes with bulletin boards.
Nevertheless it will be there.
Like an invitation, a chalk pentangle,
It will emanate certain occult vibrations.

If something sacred wants to swoop from the universe
Through a ceiling, and materialize,
Folding its silver wings,
In a kitchen, and bump its chest against mine,
My paper will tell this being where to find me.
Alicia Ostriker

In a world where religion, for the last several thousand years, has been a means of social control by men, a woman seeking spiritual wisdom on her own, without intermediaries or hierarchy or written dogma--I believe that's a radical act. A woman seeking the divine just in her kitchen, telling the Real Religions, "No. Not good enough. I'll find my own way" is a powerful thing. I've been hugely influenced by Starhawk, who teaches that activism is a spiritual act, is magic, that you can't follow a nature religion and not fight for the earth, you can't believe that everything is connected and interdependent and not work for the benefit of all, you can't believe the divine is immanent in everything and not give everything you've got for justice and human rights and liberty. It was politics that lead me to pagan spirituality; this spiritual path influences my politics, in turn. So I consider my spirituality a political act; and I consider my political activism a spiritual practice. It's not about having it all dovetail neatly together, or toeing an ideological or thealogical line. It's about trying to "walk in beauty", as the Navajo say, in an ugly world.


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