That’s Me

The past two days, I have been talking about the “abridgment of Ann Coulter’s free speech rights” by the University of California at Berkeley. Or at least, that’s the way that Coulter has been spinning the narrative. The reality has been that UCB was trying to keep their campus in a state of a “safe environment” for their student populace – a number one priority for any University or College. What has started to come out of all of this conversation – both in face-to-face discussions and online – has seemingly come down to a labeling of me by quite a few.

So let’s get a few things out in the open.  I’ve talked about labels and my dislike for them before. I even wrote a poem about it. Yes, I know the world works via labeling. Its convenient to pile a lot of these similar things over here. And some of those things that are similar to one another, but not the first group in another pile over here – and so on. It makes it easy to understand what we believe is the basic nature of this, that, and those others. Except it doesn’t.

I have been labeled a lot of things. Crazy. Odd. Hippy. Old. Out of touch. Headbanger. Punk. And so on. The reality is that I ascribe to three labels. Pagan. Priest. Druid. For me, these three labels are who I am. These three labels are what I am. What I say, what I do, the way I do it – all reflects, in my opinion, on who I am as a Pagan, a Priest, and a Druid. As I told Scott (I’m sorry to throw this into the post, Scott – its not a reflection on you, but on what I am saying) earlier today on Facebook:

I don’t identify myself as much. I’m a Pagan, I’m a Druid, and I’m a Priest. My personal perspective of politics tends to lean towards the assignment of being a liberal, but liberal doesn’t define me. Its an ideology that I utilize from time to time. That doesn’t make me a liberal, it makes me….well…”me”. My actions, words, and personal worldview aren’t defined by politics. Its framed by my beliefs, by the way I serve my Gods, and the by the manner in which I find my connections in the world around me. My political striping is merely a singular – and honestly, rather minor – connective string in all of that.

I’ve mentioned before my aversion to the label of “Priest” – and then came back to revisit the concept a second time. So, in a way, this concept of defining labels is something I have talked about quite a bit. But there’s a reason for that. I don’t believe a word, which has a meaning ascribed to it by our wide-ranging concept of “society”, can truly be a complete descriptive of a single person. I’m a Druid – an Ovate grade student in OBOD. Cat Treadwell is also a Druid. So is John Beckett. So is Damh the Bard, Philip Carr-Gomm, Kristoffer Hughes, and so many other people I know. Not one of us is the same Druid. We all bring our own individual persons into what we are. To utilize a single descriptive of “Druid” and apply a wide-ranging, generic descriptive to all of us captures *some* of who we are, but it by no means is a complete descriptive of who we are. We are all individual human beings who approach our beliefs, approach our understanding of the Gods, and our perception of connectivity differently. And this unique approaches are what makes us the people we are. Not some singular, generic descriptive of a singular aspect of who we are.

Most interesting in all of this, it seems that politics – particularly American politics for me, are what showcase the nonsensical concept of singular word descriptives of people. Its almost as if politics takes the labeling concept and wraps it in the dull, glowing light of flash-fired neon lights down the Vegas Strip. Are you a conservative? Are you a liberal? Well, honestly I have liberal leanings, as well as some libertarian theories, and some aspects of classic conservatism wrapped up in my politics. So what does that make me?

Well, damnit, it makes me who I am. A Pagan. A Priest. A Druid. That’s me.

Fearing the Nightmare Scenario of My Youth

I try my best not to speak about politics. The tendency is for people to either agree with what I have said, or to try and start a debate or argument. None of that is what I am trying to accomplish. I’m not looking for validation of what I think, nor am I looking to play a war of words with someone. However, I do have to speak a bit about something that has taken place over the last few weeks that has brought the world closer to a nightmare that my generation was completely obsessed with – nuclear weapons exchange.

Growing up, nuclear war – well let’s call it nuclear holocaust (a term that was bandied about an awful lot back in the 1980s, but one I don’t particularly care for because of the implications that get tagged on with the word “holocaust”). Or, if you prefer an even more charged term, nuclear genocide. Whatever terminology you want to use, the exchange of nuclear weapons on the battlefield, even with smaller “tactical” nukes, was a much discussed and feared scenario. Just a few decades before I made it to my high school years, school children practiced the “stop, drop, and cover” exercise, in the hopes of protecting themselves from what would be a terrible moment. When I was in high school, the exercise had been given up, simply because it was a useless one. As the world became much more knowledgeable about the terrible nature of these weapons, the realization that there was very little that could be done for protection (aside from getting indoors and sealing your home as much as possible) quickly brought this stuff to an end.

The fear of nuclear weapons was rampant in the 1950s and 1960s, where families built bomb shelters in their backyards as a means of protection. By the time the 1980s rolled around, many folks were in a position of essentially saying “fuck it” and moving on with their lives with the knowledge that “something” could happen. And eventually the fear of nuclear weapons began to dissipate to a degree.

Until now. In North Korea, we have an unpredictable leadership that is capable of utilizing a weapon that could bring untold devastation to certain parts of the region, as well as a desire to develop a delivery system that could reach the western edges of the continental United States. Here in the United States, we have an equally unstable and unreliable leadership that would see such an attack as a reason to loose untold devastation on North Korea and the immediate region, which would include allies such as South Korea and Japan. A nuclear explosion does more than just destruction to an immediate area – there’s a radius of fallout that doesn’t discriminate between your intended foes and the people you claim to protect. Its an indiscriminate weapon that wreaks destruction in a wide swath that goes beyond a local region. The devastating effects will be felt world-wide. And a nuclear exchange between just two countries has the potential to change the entire world that we inhabit. With that untold power, we have two national leadership groups that are just aching to show how big and powerful they are to one another, and either would unleash literally Hell-on-Earth in retaliation to other, with little care for how their exchange would effect other countries and populaces. All to assuage the egos of two extremely petty individuals.

Agree with me or not about the personalities of these two; there is no denying the destructive capabilities of these weapons. Even utilized in “tactical” capacities, where the yield is much smaller, and thus the devastation would be far less – the damage would still be felt world-wide. Like it nor not, we work in a world-wide economy. Any issues that would effect the economic capacity of a single country will have a ripple effect for all other countries. That’s the nature of rampant capitalism. Once everything is connected in a global economy, things that effect the economic capacity of one country will have effects on all others. And none of this even brings into account the effect that radioactive fallout will have on areas in the fallout zones – including the oceans, and farming fields, which would make the precarious balance of food even more contentious throughout the world.

There is no doubt that this “game” of whose nuclear penis is larger could quickly spiral out of control, and the nightmare scenarios that played out in movies and TV shows back in the 1980s could come to fruition. This, folks, is the reason that picking leadership for a country is important, and should never be made on the basis of not wanting “her” to be President because she’s a “Democrat”. Or voting for “him” because he “tells it like it is” without varnish or polish. Because what you wind up with is an individual that gives discretion to military leaders to determine responses to actions taken by other countries. There’s a reason that a civilian is placed in full charge of the United States military. Its meant as a check-and-balance against the single-minded nature of the military. And that’s not a slap-in-the-face to the military. The military is very efficient at what it needs to do. But choosing the response options cannot, and should not be left to military commanders to determine. Short-term options fall to a civilian, the President of the United States. Long-term options fall to a civilian body, the Congress of the United States.

Am I fearful of the nightmare scenarios of nuclear exchange happening between the United States and North Korea coming true? Certainly. I only wish that this country had elected an individual with a little thicker skin.

#TwoPence

 

A Tune Called War

So, Donnie has decided to go ahead with the Keystone XL Pipeline, the Dakota Access Pipeline, and shut down all talk about Climate Change. In short, he has decided to wage war against the environment. And, in my opinion, declare war against the First Nations people. That’s nice (not really). There’s lots that can be done though. And there’s lots more than just what I have noted above. This is merely the straw in the wind for me.

Protests, writing campaigns, petitions, contact your representative in Congress. All good things to start with. Then there’s magick. Don’t look at me cross-eyed like that. I just said that working magick is an option. Seriously, don’t look at me like that!

I know.  I have said in the past that I do not work magick. And I don’t. Unless I have a really good fucking reason to do so. Well, that option has arisen. Donnie wants to be the bully in the room; then it is past time to break his nose and knock him on his ass.

Now, I know some of you are not magick workers. Totally get that. Some of you are, and it is a primary tool in your toolbox. In fact, you have probably already started using it to some degree shortly after tiny-hands took office. Those of us that work magick sparingly – for whatever reason – it is time to dust off the ol’ toolbox and set things in motion.

So, yes, do the petitions, get out to the protests, be the fly-in-the-ointment at the work camps (if you can), contact your congressional and state representatives. Be the loud person in the room. Being quiet, rational and calm is a good strategy, but at some point – you have to step it up a major notch. It is time to rain the magick down on Donnie’s head. That’s my call to everyone else…particularly those of you that were holding back (as I was). Donnie’s called the tune.  And its war.

–T /|\

College Education Did Not Make Me Who I Am

A college education is designed to provide you with a specific knowledge-set so that you may enter a specified field of employment. The classes that are added on — the Humanities, the English, the Math, the Sciences — are not placed there to up your tuition costs (though it may seem like that from time to time). Those are there to round out your education with knowledge in fields outside your area. In that manner, you become a more educated individual with a specialized knowledge-set (your major and minor if you have one). The idea is that college gives you a better understanding of the things around you. What it doesn’t do is make you smarter than everyone else. Nor does it indoctrinate you to become a political leftist. But it might get you to be a touch more compassionate to your fellow human beings.

See, I work at a two-year college. I hold three degrees. A Bachelor’s of Computer Sciences with a specialization in Database Management (BCS). I hold two Master’s degrees. My first degree was a Master’s in Management of Information Systems with a specialization in Information Security (MMIS). My second is a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA). Through the knowledge I gained from these degrees, I work with Database Systems to retrieve information for others at the college. My MBA provides me with information to understand work processes that I need to navigate to gather information. I have over thirty years working in some capacity in Information Technology. I have worked nearly every single job that one can think of related to computers from Help Desk to Server Administration to Vice President of Technology. Sounds impressive, eh? Well, it is not.

See, my degrees opened doors in my field that would otherwise have been closed to me. I managed to climb the corporate ladder through a series of promotions and moving from job to job. One thing was for sure, I am not upper management. I like doing the work myself. But that is getting off the point. #IRideTangentsTheSameWayIDriveMyTruck

What my degrees did not give me was an understanding of the world around me. My Druidry studies through OBOD have helped me see connectivity better. Books from authors like Joanna van der Hoeven, Cat Treadwell, Nimue Brown, Shauna Aura Knight, and a host of others have helped me to understand that connectivity. I read. I watch documentaries. I parse the information on my own, and find my own understanding of the material. Yes, this means that I read the opposite side of an issue, so that I may understand that point of view as well. That’s not indoctrination, that’s how one learns. That’s how one understands or I should say, how I learn and understand.

My education – from college, from my Druidry studies, from reading the viewpoints of others – makes me no better than anyone else. Every human being has worth within our society. Even those who denigrate another for simply educating themselves in a manner that the denigration chooses to mock. A recent meme on Facebook asked the following question:

If Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and Paul Ryan were all drowning, and you only had time to save one of them: what type of sandwich would you make?

I have seen this same meme with Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Nancy Pelosi fit into the scenario instead. My education – through college, Druidry, and reading – has helped to shore up a single moral value that I have: be compassionate to others. That includes people I disagree with. In the scenario, I would try my best to save all three. Because I believe that is the correct and moral thing to do.

I am not above these people. They are people, just like I am. It matters not what their education level is. It matters not what part of the political spectrum that they belong to. It matters that I am there and can provide assistance that may save their lives. And to further move that in the area of connectivity, I would do the same to try and save a drowning animal as well. My moral compass extends there as well.

Yesterday, I quietly watched as reports came in from city after city where women were marching in protest against Donnie (#NotMyPresident). Women with their spouses and significant others. With their children. With their friends. With complete strangers. They all came out and voiced their discontent with Donnie and his stated policies from the campaign trail. Added to that was the manner in which he described women as nothing more than blow-up sex toys that were there for his self gratification. As well as cuts to health issues that women have fought so long to get. I proudly watched as FB friends and my fellow co-workers made their way to those marches and added their voices to the crowds.

I also watched as people who voted for Donnie stated inaccurate, and spiteful statements concerning those that marched. People who profess to the world through their Facebook profiles and memes that they are devout Christians. Followers of Jesus ben Joseph. Supposedly adherents to the teachings of the Christ. Jesus ben Joseph would never have made commentary on the employment status of the individuals in the march. If the teachings of the Christ are to be believed as being historically accurate, He would have been standing within the nearest march to Him, decrying the loss of humanity by an uppr 1% of the economic base of this country. He would be standing shoulder-to-shoulder with those at Standing Rock, fighting to preserve lands from the corporate greed. He would also have been there, standing in front of the businesses that had windows smashed in by angry protesters, reminding those that did the damages that such actions prove nothing to the world about their cause. Except to turn those on the fence away from their cause. He certainly would be (and should be) ashamed of the hateful commentary left by those who profess to be striving to be more Christ-like.

However, if I have to point out – I am just as human as anyone else. I have made similar comments in the past about people that I cannot find enough connection to be compassionate towards. But I try. And my collegiate education did not get me to this point in my understanding of the world me. Nor did my Druidry studies. Nor did all my experience in the work force. Nor did all the authors that I read, and the topics that I tackle in my daily reading. All of that had a hand to getting me to understanding my connectivity to the world around me. But it was me who came to that conclusion. On my own. With my own thoughts. Through my own desire to be helpful and compassionate to others where I can. Extremely introverted, overly studious me. Education didn’t indoctrinate me towards this position. Druidry did not brainwash me to be the person that I am. Being extremely poor in my late twenties and early thirties didn’t get me to champion the underdogs of the world. No, all of that is me, and me alone. I came to those conclusions on my own.

And through all of that, I remember one other thing. No matter what anyone says about me, no matter how much I am denigrated and ridiculed for what I believe – even by my own DNA relations – how I approach my relationship with the rest of the world matters most to me. Family has a different meaning to me. Genetic code merely means we are related. True family does not necessarily make you related to me. True family runs far deeper than that.

I can only humbly hope that all of this makes sense to you, the reader of this blog post. But if it doesn’t, and you still believe me to be indoctrinated by education, and that I hate you and your way of life because you have it better than me – or that I am un-American for refusing to add the title of “President” to Donnie’s name — that’s ok. If I happen upon you and your car stuck in a snow-filled ditch, even if I am late to work, I’ll stop and offer to pull you back out. Because that’s how human beings should react to one another – with compassion for those who have need.

*photo by John Beckett

Against All Aggressors – Foreign and Domestic

Well, tomorrow is the “big” day for the little-hands guy. And I get where folks are fearing the worst. Donnie’s definitely got that in him. There’s folks that will be marching in protest. Awesome. All the folks denigrating these marchers – shut up. They are doing what they feel they need to, and in a manner of their choosing. They have that right, and they are exercising it. Let them do so.

Me?  Well, I won’t be marching. I won’t be protesting. But I will be watching. See, I’m ex-military. My enlistment oath had a line in it concerned with the protection of the Constitution against aggressors – foreign and domestic. At this point, Donnie’s made noises about bending the Constitution and the basic rights of peoples in this country. If I were a wolf, my ears would be perked up, and I would be watching over the field. Let’s just say that this is precisely where I am. I am watching. My interest has been increased because of some of the nutty things he has said. But anyone has the right to say nutty things. Its when he puts those nutty things into motion, where he actually fractures, breaks or flat out places himself above the Constitution – that’s where I go from watching to action.

What would I do? I honestly have no idea at this point. But I certainly will weigh my options and determine a course of action. Violent overthrow or violent action against the government? Not really. Not yet. That would be the ultimate last resort, and like President Obama I have faith in the American citizenry to keep its government in check.

So Donnie will raise his tiny hand and swear an oath similar to my oath of enlistment. I take my oath very seriously. I left the United States military services back in 1994. My enlistment oath, as far as I am concerned, continues to apply to me to this very day and beyond. I keep a very keen eye on the various governmental entities that provide governance to our daily lives. I measure what they do, and see where it holds water as being within the guidelines set forth by the US Constitution. I have seen where the US Constitution has been severely bent, but very rarely broken. As a citizen of my own state (Texas), I have made my voice known on various issues from time to time. Sometimes with no discernable action taken on the part of my elected representation, and sometimes definite steps on their part. My vigilance, along with the same on the part of everyone else, is what our government needs to understand. The statement that our government should fear its citizens, not the other way around, is true. But it shouldn’t fear an armed and violent overthrow. Our governments at every level should fear that its citizenry is watching, armed with knowledge at the next election cycle.

It will take a while for newer voters, the younger generation coming into the voting rolls, to understand how this concept of eternal vigilance as a citizen will come to be. In the meantime, much like the wolf at the edge of the forest – I wait. I listen. I weigh options in my mind. And when the time comes, I try to influence wrongs with the slightest of nudges. The howl of the wolf in the night places fear into the individual at the fire because a single wolf howl may mean more wolves are about. Silent. Watching. Waiting. When I voice my perspective to a representative, I remind them that I may be single voice writing or calling them – but there are many more who think the same way that I do.

I watch. I listen. I calculate. I act, when I need to. Donnie might not understand that right now – though I suspect he does – but one misstep across the unforgivable line of Constitutional rights is all it will take. And people have every right to fear what they are perceiving. That’s only natural. But remember, I am only one. A single sentinel that watches from the prairie lands of north central Texas. There are many, many others that are watching too. That is the checks and balances that are in place between government and citizenry. So long as we protect and cherish the rights and freedoms we have been given – individuals such as Donnie need to be fearful of the ever watchful citizenry.

Tomorrow is his day in the sun, so to speak. This weekend will be the time of citizenry here in the United States to voice support or opposition to his Presidency. The next four years will be another period of vigilance and observation by many others, myself included. Against ALL aggressors – foreign and domestic.

Planting Flowers

Well hello from Northern Ireland – Belfast to be exact. This trip to the northern section of Ireland has been quite interesting. Our trip into the divided sector of Belfast was designed to show us – a group of American tourists – a currently dormant struggle that is embroiled and entwined across political, religious, and class borders. Our guide, self-acknowledged to be biased to a greater degree to the Republican sphere of influence here, did a wonderful job of showcasing both aspects of the struggle or rebellion (depending on your perspective). Shortly before lunch, during on of his longer monologues, I began to look beyond the down-trodden, urban jungle that lay before me. I reached out for Spirits of Place, and found very, very few. I reached out for Spirits of Ancestor, which were more difficult fo me – an American of Germanic heritage – to locate. I reached out for the Gods and Goddesses. What I found was similar to a cold, barren wasteland.

For me, I found so few of the traces of the old Gods. The feeling was of something balanced on the edge of a knife. All that was needed was a slight push to one side or another, and rage would re-bubble to the surface. The wounds so recently closed and sutured would eagerly split and chaos would easily resume with a new vigor, fueled by young souls thirsty for the combat that they idolized of their elders. This isn’t the desire to serve the old Gods or the newer Christian Trinity. Rather, it is a desire for might through violent power. The rule of the Strong over the Weak.

img_0236All of that is easily seen in the “Peace Wall” a barrier that physically separates those advocating for British rule on one side, and those advocating for revolt against the Crown on the other. And even more emblematic than that is a set of gates which close at 6pm automatically – keeping cars and foot-traffic from crossing into one sector or the other. Separating two warring factions from one another during the night. It was while viewing this gate – as my tour bus passed through this demarcation point, I felt that hand on my shoulder, and felt soft lips lightly caress my ear with a faint whisper.

This is a very possible future. Heed it. Study it. Understand it. Be there to help stop it.

It took a short lunch nearby, for me to figure it all out. The whisper is all too familiar to me these days. Fliodhas. She has been whispering to me constantly throughout Ireland. This is Her land. Her forests. The animals are Hers. She has been a constant part of my life these days. Soft whispers about this or that. Some of it, I have understood. Some of it I haven’t. Not until recently. With a backdrop of Ireland, a lot of it has started to make sense. Like this…Fliodhas’ message isn’t about me trying to change the tide here or even about me joining the struggle here. Her words are whispers of watching for what happens at home.

img_0238Unless you have not been paying attention, the United States is going through its own division. Its a deep, scarred division over individual rights, expressed in the form of gender, sexual orientation, religious belief, racial, class, and a lot of other aspects rolled into the guise of political subterfuge. Just as the fight for rights and freedom have manifested themselves here in Belfast, Ireland in the form of the so-called “Peace Wall” – the same could happen just as easily within the United States. The culmination of which could devolve into the back and forth bombings that occured between the Irish Republican Army and the Ulster  Defense Association from the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s. And the true loser in all of that will be the rich Spiritual Lives we all lead in the United States. For instead of focusing on our Spiritual Lives, many would focus on how to retaliate to last weekend’s bombing of a grocery store or a Spiritual gathering.

The election of Donald Trump has certainly given rise to many people who have hidden in the deep, dark underbelly of the United States (as well as elsewhere). Those who teach of exclusion based on gender, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, skin pigemtnation and many other aspects of everyday life…feel that they have been given a mandate to separate all of us from another. They feel they have been given a mandate to build walls….Peace Walls….between us all. All because an individual who barely comprehends what freedom is beyond the spending limits of his credit cards, has been elected as President of this country.

I am a Pagan. I will not be pushed into a place to live because it is a “Pagan” zone and over there is a “Christian” zone. My neighbors are Christians of one sort or another. And they are fine people. I know several people in the Pagan community. And they are just as fine a set of people as the Christians. Their skin pigmentation….their sexual orientation…who they are fucking or how many at a time…none of that matters. They act ethically towards one another. In other words, they treat one another the same – as human beings. They do not need exclusion zones to separate them from one another. And honestly, neither do the folks here in Belfast. And in all cases, this is possible when we stop letting politicians, clergy, or anyone else dictate who we should treat other people based on some idiotic descriptor that was decided by some narrow-minded fool.

No matter what Donnie does as President, it is not going to change how I approach this new calendar year. I read a cartoon on Facebook that had two individuals taking about 2017. The first asks the other why 2017 is going to be great. “Because there will be flowers,” he replies. “How do you know there will be flowers?” the first asks. “Because I am planting them,” said the second with a smile.

2017 can be a really shitty year for you. If you let it. 2017 can be a really great year for you as well. I already have my goals strapped into the year. I have gatherings that I have planned for throughout the year. I plan on talking with people at these gatherings about how their years is going. About how we can band together, despite the distances we have. Finding ways to make our community webbing stronger. Even if that webbing is only strengthened by one person here and one person there. In short, I am working towards planting flowers….

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One Step at a Time, One Issue at a Time.

I still remember the mantra.

One step at a time. One issue at a time. Take things in the order you need to. Solve each issue, so that you can solve the next issue.

Back in Air Force Basic Military Training, this was the mantra that one of our drill instructors taught us. TSgt Moody was a very strict disciplinarian. Her point to all of us – fifty-two young men – was that we could beat the Confidence Course (an Obstacle Course that we had to finish in under a specified time), if we tackled each obstacle one at a time. If we were focused on the Tower (the obstacle I hated because of its sixty-three foot height), we might make mistakes on other obstacles ahead of it.

In the end, I finished the course with two and a half minutes to spare. I did so by following her mantra. Each obstacle had to be overcome, beaten, conquered before I could think of the next one. When I finished the course, I felt that I had accomplished something with a tool set I had never realized I had before:  my own sheer will.

Not even a year later, I found myself applying the same mantra to doing something that completely terrified me. My first duty assignment was at Carswell Air Force Base, and my first job was working in the base telephone switchboard until my clearance would be granted. Aside from answering and placing telephone calls, as well as providing phone numbers for folks that asked for various base locations, I also had to conference commanders together for radio and secure conference calls. These were people with ranks like Colonel and General, extremely high-placed individuals on the base. Trying to insure that they were pleased with my performance was stressed by both my duty section supervisor and the civilian workers who had been in this position for years. My first attempt at making a conference using both secured telephone connections and over-the-air hand-held radios was a sheer disaster. I was literally terrified of these upper-level commanders yelling at me. Shortly afterwards, it dawned on me, this was just another obstacle to overcome. I studied the steps needed to make the conference calls. I learned each motion. And when the second call came in, I connected all the commanders in what was considered record time. One step at a time. One issue at a time. Until resolution. That methodology has allowed me to remain calm in the face of most issues. Some people think I’m frenetic, but the reality is that I am calm inside. I solve one step at a time, and move on to the next one. I try to resolve the issue at hand.

On the morning of November 9th of this year, I woke up and checked the news. What I had realized the previous night had turned out to be true:  Donnie and Mikey had been elected to the positions of President and Vice President of my country. It was an election I had somewhat feared, but had braced myself for, nonetheless. I was in a state of shock for about three days. To this day, I still refuse to acknowledge the Republican nominee as being my President. Sure, some can see that as childish, but its no different than what was done when President Obama was elected to both of his terms. Its now the end of the month of November.

Many of the people I know are scared and upset over the election of this turd as President. And with good reason. He made statements during the election about changing laws regarding the equal treatment of people. He made demeaning statements against people of color, people in non-traditional lifestyles. Since he has been elected, he has made statements about changing laws regarding free speech rights. In short, he has turned the concept of human rights in this country back to what is nearly the 1950s. But that’s just his statements. There’s still the changing of the laws.

Remember the mantra?  One step at a time. Sure, Donnie can make the statements that he wants to. That’s free speech. Changing the laws?  That’s a different step. And that’s where I, as a veteran and a taxpayer of this country, draw the line. He can make all the statements that he wants, but when he starts to change the laws – that’s where stuff gets real.

Right now, I am grounding myself into my own daily practices. I venerate my Gods and Goddess daily. I continue to draw experience and strength from the connections with my local area. In short, I have gotten back to doing the things that make me the Pagan, the Druid, and the person I am. I wear a safety pin to signify that I am safe for those needing me. I will also not stand by when someone is berated or even physically attacked by others. I will step in. I will let the blows rain on me rather than them. I will fight back to keep us both safe. That’s my first steps. Where the next steps come from, I’m not sure yet – but I am ready to take those that are necessary. I won’t speculate how far that might be – I’ll worry about that when the situation comes about. In the meantime, I focus on the now.

One step at a time folks. That means assessing where you are now, and what needs to be done now. Once that is completed, what is the next step to take? Or is the issue resolved? If there is nothing there to take action on, reaffirm who you are. Be the person that you are. If you are a Polytheist, connect back with your Gods and Goddesses. Reaffirm those things that make you the Polytheist that you are.

Some of you are stronger into politics and stuff like that than I am. Be sure of what steps you need to take in that world as well, if that’s where you are. For me, its time to start scouting through all the people out there to find a political candidate I can believe in. Someone who stands with me on the issues that are the ideological pillars of what I believe. And once I locate someone who is close to that, I will begin trying to see how to get this individual to the forefront of the Presidential run in 2020. The race for 2020, as far as I am concerned started on November 9th. Time to handle the first step — find a candidate to support.

Remember….one step at a time. I cannot change who is President. But I can resist to the best of my ability. I can be a protector for those that need it. And above all, I can continue to strive to be the Pagan, Druid, and Priest that I am meant to be, which will keep me grounded in the right direction for everything else. Because THAT is what I am. No apologies. No explanations.