The era of darkness when religions, traditions, and culture suffered a holocaust at the hands of a government, sponsored by one religion, was one we must never forget.
“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.” ~George Santayana
The formative years of America certainly held ‘group think’ as a method of survival and control and most likely based on fear. However, the founding fathers were visionaries in their composition of the Constitution. Evolving thought and belief was very difficult in that era of survival and expansion in this new world. Even Benjamin Franklin had to write under a pseudonym to disseminate his profound wisdom to the people.
Those primitive years of American history were undoubtedly fraught with fearmongering in order to keep control. Those with twisted ideas of ambition sought to keep a firm hand on this new world for their benefit. The sacred principle of ‘freedom of religion’ held a powerful vision for the future when we could find ourselves living in a country that fights for the people’s right to hold their own beliefs and spiritual practices, independent from group think.
My soul hears the cries of those in states where this sacred principle is not upheld as well as it is in other states. Many pagans are walking on eggshells in their work places, their schools, and neighborhoods because they fear losing their job and being discriminated against. They’re deeply concerned for the safety of their children while they’re at school. Making waves in school can disrupt a child’s social acceptance and lead them to suffer depression under the tyrant bullies of their hallways.
For those of us who live in cities where we can live out loud without those fears may find ourselves enjoying the privilege of a society who honors freedom of religion. What will we do with that kind of privilege?
Living out our freedom is a key to supporting those who can’t. If we remain in hiding, we weaken our future abilities (and theirs) to truly benefit from this passionately sacred principle, Freedom of Religion.
We have an American and spiritual duty to raise awareness about lesser known spiritual paths. The Constitution protects the freedoms of minorities from being overtaken by the majority. How do you know if you’re a minority?
Louis Wirth, a Sociologist, defined a minority group as;
“a group of people who, because of their physical or cultural characteristics, are singled out from the others in the society in which they live for differential and unequal treatment, and who therefore regard themselves as objects of collective discrimination”.
Yet we need further clarification on this because any group can claim to be in the minority based on that definition alone.
The dictionary defines minority as;
“the smaller number or part, especially a number that is less than half the whole number.”
I’m certainly not intending to be political with this post, rather my hope is to send energy of support to our spiritual community that holds a daily concern for their safety and their rights as equal citizens regardless of their spiritual beliefs.
The pagan umbrella covers a wide array of spiritual beliefs and practices. Unfortunately, many spend too much time bickering about what constitutes a witch or a pagan, who is a real witch or not, and whose ethics are more morally sound than the next. But isn’t this exactly what the world’s majority religions are constantly doing? Uniting together for our freedom doesn’t require that we hold the same beliefs as a group, but it should require that we all hold our freedom as sacred.
While we each have our own heroes and deities, reviving those legends can help raise awareness about our historical culture and heritage. Our ancestors were stripped of theirs and we can do so much more to honor the suffering they endured.
How do you know what your ancestral heritage and culture was?
You can start by getting a DNA test done and conduct a name search of your last name. Dig into that regions history to discover what was held as sacred during your ancestor’s time, prior to the forceful religion’s arrival there.
You can also investigate who their deities were and what their stories consisted of. What lessons were being taught to the people through those stories?
Once you discover those fascinating details, begin studying what life was like for them. What kind of clothing did they wear? What were their spiritual practices? Who were the medicine people? What plants, herbs, and minerals were available to them?
As much fun as the films depicting those heroes are, they rarely tell the true stories in an accurate way. We know Themyscira is a fictional location, but the Amazonian women held sacred beliefs in Greek deities. Marvel’s Thor is inspired by the Norse religion, but he didn’t pair up with an Earthling that resembled Natalie Portman, he was actually married to Sif, a goddess of the earth with flowing gold hair.
The stories are filled with hints of what life and society may have been like for our ancestors. It’s a captivating journey!
Our own resident Mystic, Jess offers a 12 month series devoted to the goddesses of various regions. She takes you through portals of time and space to introduce you to numerous Goddesses and their kinfolk. You can read more about the series, Goddess Mysteries, or purchase a stand alone class of your favorite Goddess.
Reviving the Legends,
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