A Global Day of Mourning and Invoking the Gods of the People
I read on wild hunt.org today that Jack Prewitt, a California Pagan has called for a Global Day of Mourning on April 18 in response to the destruction of antiquities and sacred sites by Daesh (to use the acronym ISIL legitimizes them and they are in no way legitimate). Why April 18? I was curious and read his site- you can get to it from the link above— and I almost burst into tears when I read his reasoning: it’s World Heritage Day. These living bags of excrement have destroyed two Unesco sites. They’ve spat upon the holy places of their own ancestors. They’ve set scholarship back in ways I can’t even begin to imagine. This is all in addition to their depredation of their own, and their terrorizing and torture of women.
I know some of you reading this are wondering what setting aside a day of mourning could possibly hope to achieve and maybe you’re right. I think, however, that this could be a powerful act of focused intention, of prayer and of magic. I would like to envision Pagans, Heathens, Polytheists of every denomination coming together with shared intent, with the shared focused will that this terrorist group be stopped, that the Gods of these lands —the indigenous Gods of these lands, the Gods of Sumer, Assyria, and Babylon—rise up and drive out the usurper, and that no other ancient sites fall victim to their destruction.
I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, pretty much since I first heard of Daesh attacking a Unesco site. I threw up. It was and is a desecration beyond comprehension. I thought then, maybe we should be making offerings to the Gods of those lands, calling Them back, asking for Their help. They may have been forgotten by Their own people, enslaved as they are to the yoke of monotheism, but that does not mean They have been forgotten. I’m not a soldier. I can’t go against this scum with bullets. I”m not (oh Gods we know I’m not!) a diplomat. I can’t attack and try to bring them down by weaving treaties. I’m a priest, a vitki, a spirit-worker. *This* is what I can do. This is the piece that has been give to my tending. I’ve decided to commit to a weekly offering ritual on Fridays to just this purpose. I will lay myself down before these Gods in homage, and ask Their help.
It will not be easy. I believe these Deities have been damaged, wounded even, long ago. They have been forgotten for a very long time. Their own lands turned away from Them. With few exceptions They are not even given veneration amongst contemporary polytheists. No, it will not be easy. Starting this Friday, in the evening, I will sit and pray and divine and choose how to dedicate that night’s ritual. I do not yet know which Deities I shall include in these Friday rituals, though I do plan to keep the selection relatively small, in part so that I may concentrate on developing a clean, respectful devotional relationship. I will have to sit down and do divination to figure that out. Right now, at the very least, I intend to focus on Assur, Inanna, Ishtar, Enki, (perhaps Sin and Nanna, perhaps Nergal), and Ba’al (Canaanite). I don’t know why, but I feel moved to include Him. I may expand this list after doing the divination, but for now this will very likely be my starting point.
There was a great deal of commerce, trade, and interaction between Mesopotamian cultures in the ancient world, and also to some degree with the Levant, even to certain cross-over (within Mesopotamian cultures) of ritual format. This will help. I do not know if I will honor every Deity Who steps forward in the divination on every Friday, or whether divination will point me toward One of Them only, a different Deity each Friday. This week will involve quite a bit of div. to sort these things out. I do know this: we need to reach deep, to dig deeply into our roots. We need to call upon those men and women who once honored these forgotten Gods, who once protected and nourished their people and their land with generations of veneration. We need bid them to rise up to inspire the hearts and minds of their descendants. We need bid the land to remember to Whom its true allegiance is owed. We need to help restore what was broken.
Daesh has promised to come for Egypt next.