Hospitality and the Border

One of my favorite little exercises when dealing with complex ideas is to figure out how to represent said ideas with simple symbols. It helps me clarify my thinking and get down to the most fundamental part of a concept that I can.

I’ve done this with all of the ADF’s Nine Virtues, and the symbol I use for the virtue of Hospitality is a key. Because really, Hospitality is the key to everything.

And America’s legendary Hospitality, as enshrined by Lady Liberty herself, is being sorely tested at our southern border.

The plaque of "The New Colossus", mounted to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

The plaque of “The New Colossus”, mounted to the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty.

The dance of Hospitality between guest and host is a sacred one, a series of steps that ensure every movement apart will be followed by another chance to connect. To be hospitable is to make space in our lives for the experiences, insights, and feelings of O/others. Because of that, Hospitality is the key to every other virtue, is the key to the Three Realms, and is the key to interacting with E/everyone outside of ourselves.

Like most dances it’s also a joy when your partner knows the steps too. We in the US are stumbling hard during this particular dance, have been stumbling, and now we’re falling to the floor.

If we can’t dance the dance of Hospitality with other human beings, how can we ever hope to tred those steps with the Powers? How can we hear the whispers of the Gods when we close our ears to the screams of fellow human beings? What is a religious life, without Hospitality as an anchor and a shield?

As a human being I am horrified that children who came to us for safe haven are instead sobbing in terror on our southern border. As an American I find every justification for this horrorshow – as if traumatizing children is ever justified! – self-serving and hateful. And as a polytheist I find myself sickened by those using religion to support the infliction of said trauma.

The ADF has issued a statement of their own. Here it is, in full.

Statement from the Mother Grove:

The Mother Grove is aware of and concerned about the safety of families, both within ADF and in the communities around us.

At ADF, we look to our virtues as guiding principles, and the one that comes to mind is hospitality. We support safe environments for families, both within ADF and in the world in general. We see hospitality as acting as good guests and good hosts, both as members of the ADF community and as citizens of the world.

We cannot condone the separation of families, be they for political, religious, racial, or other reasons, that endanger the sanctity of family life, and put children in danger of being taken from their parents (except in instances where the children are at risk of harm or peril). We look to leaders everywhere to assure that families are kept together whenever issues relating to families or the movements of families arise. We ask this through the notions of national and international hospitality that come to bear when families are involved.

I am proud to see the ADF take a stand on this issue that mirrors my own. Here’s hoping the US will follow the examples of the ADF, other faith organizations, several state governors, and a large majority of the American people to reverse this disastrous policy and once again connect with people beyond our own limited perspectives and and national borders.

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The ADF’s Statement on #Charlottesville

Back in December 2014 I shared the very tepid official statement from Covenant of the Goddess on police violence, and my rewriting of it.

Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship (ADF) released a very different kind of statement in response to #Charlottesville.

I have included it below in its entirety:

From the ADF Mother Grove:

Last Saturday violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia. Neo-Nazis and
white-supremacists marched in the name of hate, intolerance, and violence.
Heather Heyer, one of the many counter-protestors, died standing up to
these monsters and many others were injured when a car was deliberately
driven into the crowd.

We as a nation and a world stood up to Nazi ideology more than 70 years
ago, and defeated it with the mentality that we would never see it return
to power. Fast forward to today, and we see these racists no longer living
in the shadows and causing violence, mayhem, fear, and death.

In response to this senseless tragedy, ADF’s Member’s Advocate reached out
to those members local to Charlottesville and made sure they were safe. We
will continue to work toward an inclusive environment and welcome people
from all walks of life, ethnic origins, and races.

As a safe haven and a pagan church, ADF denounces the actions by these
racists on not only on Saturday, August 12, but we denounce all of their
past and future rallies of hate. We stand against their ideology of racism
and intolerance. We condemn these groups for appropriating our ancestor’s
symbols for their own nefarious uses. As a church which uses Indo-European
myth and symbology in our worship, we want to be clear that we stand
opposed to these hate groups.  We as a church we stand together with all
the other pagan groups and churches in denouncing these white nationalists,
and together we will work to prevent this cancer from ever returning.
___________________________________________________________

Now that is a statement. Clear, concise, definitive, firm, and calls it all out by name. Well done ADF!

Eclipse/New Moon Prayer Ritual

I’ve been inspired by Stevie Miller over at Grundsau Burrow. She’s been holding regular formal prayer rituals of late and I think that’s a damn fine idea. I’m hopping on the bandwagon and joining in. In these trying times we need all the help we can get!

That being so, when better than the coming solar eclipse? I’ll be continuing this practice on every new moon for the foreseeable future, but this seems like a great time to start!

solar-eclipse-clouds

This is an open call for prayers to be ritually made on your behalf on August 21st. If you would like to participate, please let me know your name and what you’re praying for so I can add you to the list and do the prep work. You can comment here, tag me on Facebook, PM me, email me, whatever makes you comfy. And feel free to share! I’m taking the whole day off to make this happen, so let’s get it rolling!

I will stop accepting prayer requests at 5:30a EST, August 21st.

*Note: I reserve the right to refuse prayers for anything I find ethically dodgy. Thank you for your understanding.