As long time readers know, I look forward to the Pagan Values Blogject every June because it gives me an opportunity to rant in ways that I don’t normally engage in on this blog (except for occasionally in a PSA),and it is often the entry that breaks my spring hiatus from fucking in the fields. The same is more or less true this year. If you haven’t already checked it out, here is a link to the blogject: http://paganvalues.wordpress.com/. If you write a blog, I encourage you to participate.
I’m a documentary nut. Netflix passively aggressively feeds this addiction by supplying me with cool suggestions and then once I pick one, it conveniently goes out for fifteen minutes or some such FCC bullshit as that. A lot of documentaries cover the plight of people around the world and here in the US. You know that any time you see the word “plight” in the documentary description that these people are not living in pleasant circumstances. In fact, “oppressive” often follows “plight” in these teasers. My most recent documentary fixation has been in the women’s studies department with titles like “It’s a girl!” and “Half the sky”. Not pleasant documentaries, but timely ones. (There was that one about a kibbutz that was really interesting, but that’s for another post.)
Aradia, that controversial figure that is revered by many Pagans, was all about empowerment and overcoming oppression. According to Leland and his “truthful” accounts, Aradia promised “ye shall all be freed from slavery, / And so ye shall be free in everything.” If you slog through the text, Aradia in the end comes off as a little bit like Joan Baez and a little bit of a Commie or at least a socialist. However, those are not necessarily bad things. Those are some of the same virtues that Franklin Roosevelt and his lovely wife Eleanor had, and with out them, poor people and red necks all over the US would be starving and worse off than they are now.
Although a lot of Pagans view Aradia as a goddess-type figure, I don’t. I’m really fascinated by her, but I see her more as a saint. She’s someone who may or may not have been alive at one point, she did good works supposedly, and you can pray to her to intercede on your behalf.
Aradia was all about ending oppression. Even the most apathetic and cold-hearted Pagans can get behind the cause of lifting an oppressive force in a person’s life. While there are many Pagan groups that have started their own programs or that are supporting already existing programs in their own areas, there are many Pagans out there who do nothing. Even the poorest Pagans (and it’s these folks who often do the most) can usually scrounge a few pennies out from underneath the couch cushions to leave in the “leave a penny/take a penny” box at the convenience store. We are a loose collection of religious beliefs that at its core values freedom over oppressive forces. Since this is the case, I challenge you this summer to follow Aradia’s example and choose a cause to support in some way that will lift an oppressive force from somebody else’s life. If you hear about a really cool Pagan organization that is doing this or if your Pagan group is doing something cool, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You never know when you might need St. Aradia to come and lift your oppression.
Oppress these folks with your Internet browsing:
Mystic Artisans: https://www.facebook.com/mysticartisans
Passion And Soul: http://passionandsoul.com/
Hyperdreams Interactive Stories: http://www.hyperdreams.com/