For several years now, They have been telling us to get ready: A storm is coming. Gather your people. Make ready. The Morrígan whispered this to me on a windy mountain place in the spring of 2011, and I soon learned that people all over the world were hearing this same message. From Herself and from other Gods too. A storm is coming. Get ready. Gather your tribes.
I feel that storm is here. We have been sensing its stirrings for a few years now, fitful winds that bring a shudder of warning and carry the scent of more to come. We have for some time been operating within the slow-motion decline of an empire; such declines have times of gradual change and times of sudden chaos and crumbling. This is one of those times.
I don’t need to detail for you the reason for this post: You’ll have seen the shock and horror rolling around the world as the most powerful and militarized nation on earth puts itself in the hands of a capricious demagogue without respect for democracy, at the head of a viciously racist, sexist, violent hate mob. You’ll have seen the wave of hate crimes, assaults, beatings, and threats. The most at risk among us – LGBTQ+ folk, People of Color, immigrants, Muslims, Jews, and women – have the clearest eyes for what is happening.
What do we do? This morning, my purpose here isn’t to give a comprehensive action plan. Other folks are developing those things and I may have more to add later.
What I want to share with you is this: Our strength is each other. You are not alone. And as terrible as this moment is, many of us hold a knowledge in our bones that we were made for times like these. We recognize this moment as the one that we’ve been asked to make ready for, so that just this much fierce love of one another and just this much defiance could rise in us. So that we would know that however terrifying it may be, the Gods knew we had it in us to resist and survive if we come together. The first thing we need to do is commit to each other.
Over and over, from the people in my life who are most at risk from the rising hate, and from people the Coru Priesthood have been counseling and supporting this week, I have been hearing this: “I need to know that you will fight for me. I need to know that I am not facing this alone. I need to know that you will not stand by and let them target me.” I thought about this as we prepared for our autumn public devotional this weekend. Words came down from the Morrígan:
I am not a warrior, you said
Why have you called me, Queen?
I called you to love
I called you to make your love a battle song
I called you because I saw your heart
For I am the Mother of Heroes
And I know the drumbeat of your heart
You do not need to know the weapon-dances
To be the spear in My hands
You do not need to be strong in body
To be the strong body of My sword
You need only to rise to the drum that calls you
Rise to Me and speak
Pledge to your heart its beating
Pledge to your people love
Pledge to fight for each other
And I will know you as My own.
And She gave us a pledge to take, a pledge to fight for one another. On Saturday night, we gathered before an altar enshrined with Her icon and Her presence. We sang Her names and offered our devotions. Then, we stood in a protective ring, encircling and holding those asking for protection, and we pledged to fight for each other, for those most at risk among us. We consecrated safety pins to wear as we carry this commitment forward every day.
Mother of Battles, hear my prayer
In time of violence, hate, and fear
Let the fierce strength of love move me
Let the courage of love uphold me
Let the tenacity of love root me.
Mother of Heroes, receive my heart
Grant me the protection of your presence
Grant me the backing of your host
Grant me the Hero’s Light
And I will hold this ground for kinship.
Mother of Victories, receive my pledge:
To my kindred under attack,
I will raise my voice to silence hate
I will rise to shield you from violence
I will stand with you when you need a hero
I will face the terror with you
I will share rest and care with you
I will hold you and I will fight for you
I will not stand down
Till the storm passes and sovereign justice arises
For I am the body of love
I am a weapon of love
I am love fighting for itself.
I share this with you as I hope it may be of help. Everyone reading this right now, even if you do not fear for yourself, you have people in your life who are at risk, who need your solidarity and your backing. It is going to get harder before it gets easier, and the easiest thing in the world will be to let this moment slide by and become the new normal without resistance. It will cost us to protect each other; it means taking risks to our own safety, our jobs, our social position. But know, and hold on to this knowledge, that the Hero’s Light breaks over those who choose risk in the service of their people over personal safety. Know that the Gods of battle and sovereignty stand with you when you stand and fight for each other. Know that this is what we were made for: to love one another and live.
If this pledge inspires you to make a similar commitment, you are welcome to it. Adapt it as you will: alter the prayer to include your own divinities. Write another one. Say it before your Gods, and someone in your community who can hold you to your commitment.
We can do this, friends. The life that is in us, the courage, the heart, the soul, the will of us is enough. If we love one another and let that love be what matters most.
Recent posts about resistance and solidarity networks:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Trans Lifeline: (877) -565-8860
Trevor Project: (866)-488-7386