Take a Moment, Folks…

I spent most of the day watching the news about Munich and then I found out about an attack on an indigenous holy site (by Christians) and an attack on a Wiccan Church and I actually felt as though the chaos and hatred were seeping into my veins. Every time we turn on the news it seems like there’s another attack. I think that we should be aware and engaged, but I also think we need to take care that we tend to ourselves as well, otherwise we will be consumed by the poison. It is poison, pollution, I would go so far as to say miasma. That being said, I know that I need to be much more careful how much time I allow myself to read the news. I’m only now realizing how much of an issue this is. Let me tell you a story.

Someone recommended a book to me last week. I got it and read it in one sitting and it infuriated me. It was the story of a girl who fled poverty and a bi-polar mother and alcoholic father (at the very least in terms of diagnoses) to the city only to have them track her down to “reunite the family.” it angered me so much I wanted to string the parents up and inflict upon them he same type of brutality they had inflicted upon their child through their own incompetence, unacknowledged mental health challenges, and unresolved issues. The story was autobiographical to the author which gave it that much more power. I was just wrathful after reading it and after I’d raged for awhile, Sannion told me to go do a cleansing. He’s got really good instincts so I did and afterwards I realized I’d absorbed miasma from the story that I’d been exposed to. It’s almost like virulent second hand smoke. The ideas, images, and emotional impact got in even though I was just reading words on a page. It shifted my internal world, my emotions and psyche around in a way that I was no longer centered or clean. I was no longer in a state of proper spiritual receptivity. I had to do a cleansing. If reading a book — however good and evocative it might be–can do that, how much more so can the constant barrage of hate and violence that is filling our world: black men being shot, cops being shot, terrorist attacks in major cities the world over, destruction of sacred places, and more on and on and on every single day. We can be affected by what we take in.

Tonight, I ended up getting my ass offline and going to dinner and a movie with my husband. I needed to cleanse my mind of the violence that I was imbibing. I had a ton of work I wanted to do, but having that moment where I could reset myself was more important. I can’t do clean work if i’m not clean myself. I can go back and read the news and ponder these things and write and engage later but for my own spiritual health, i needed to step back. I think it’s important that we do that from time to time. Get offline, read a book, watch a funny movie, go spend time with family and friends, go make offerings to the Gods, go for a walk in the woods — whatever restores your soul.

I also think that we can do something else. A long time ago, Sannion posted his “laws of Sannion” and I was amused and read them and thought ‘damn, that’s pretty good advice.” One of them is to redress the balance. How can we do that when there is so much horror in the world? I don’t know what answers each of you will come up with, but for me, i’ve decided that every time I see or read or hear something horrible, I’m going to go out and do some unexpected kindness for a random person. It’s a small thing, but it is a way of redressing the balance in myself and in my world at large — my territory if you will. I think that these things create ripples and those ripples expand outward, circles within circles and they do affect the wyrd.

That is all. Just…learn from my experience and don’t internalize the fear and hatred. We can address it most thoughtfully and efficiently if we do not in the end bow our heads and hearts to it, and that takes constant effort. 


About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on July 23, 2016, in Misc., Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Erin Lund Johnson

    Such good points and advice; thank you for the reminder.


  2. At the risk of sounding like someone that want’s to stick their head in the sand and ignore the outside world, I’m beginning to think paying too much attention to the news is a way of poisoning ourselves. I don’t mean that we shouldn’t be informed about the world, but the attention to the minutia of every tragedy seems to cause more harm than good. Why do I need to know that the Nice terrorist once got disqualified from a karate tournament? Does that serve a warning that anyone that cheats at karate is going to become a terrorist?

    I think the stacking of tragedies lately is starting to grind us all down, and I hope we can find some balance between being uninformed and continuing to suck at the malignant tit of the media for every last drop of poison we can get.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The thing I think is important to remember is that *anyone* is capable of violence; it’s not just monotheists. The world can be a truly terrifying place. The thing is, if anything is going to change, it *has* to start on a personal, individual level. We need to set an example for what we want the world to be-‘be the change’, as the motto goes.

    It doesn’t necessarily mean to be passive, of course, or to ‘take it on chin’, But it does mean that we can be better than all that vitriol.

    I’m a nerd, and I’m afraid it’s about to show. There’s a piece of sci-fi philosophy that goes, ‘offer them peace, and offer them peace again until you die-and in that way, you will have yours’. It might sound hollow-because if you’re dead when the peace comes, what good did it really do you? But if we’re talking about application to the afterlife, at least you can stand up and look your deities in the face and say you were resolute in doing *the right thing*. And maybe that’s just me, but I find that notion profoundly comforting.

    I think an ‘us vs. them’ mentality doesn’t work; it perpetuates the notion and cycle of ‘well they did x, so we have to do y to show z’. I think it profoundly misses the point in that we’re not focusing on enriching the world or *anything* around us, or even ourselves. Spiritual growth stagnates because we’re so hyper focused on what the other religions are doing WRONG that we’re determined to make it ‘RIGHT’ and the thing is, speaking in all due respect and seriousness here, none of us are going to know for sure until we’re DEAD. And jokes on us then, right?

    So why not worry about our own spiritual depth by focusing on being an example of what we want others to be. When they tear down our holy sites, they’re tearing down the physical structure, yes. But if we’re strong in our faith, it doesn’t tear down what matters *internally*, which is what will allow us to build the physical temples again when the time comes. Speaking as a healer-healing has to start with our own self care. A doctor is no good to his patients when he’s sick himself.


    • ganglerisgrove

      If this works for you, great. seriously. but i’m not a pacifist and I won’t ever advocate pacifism in any way. I think there are some things worth getting bloody over. Personally, i would like to see monotheism flat out eradicated from the earth. That doesn’t mean i want to see people eradicated, i don’t. I would hope that we can resist and educate educate educate and stand our ground but I’m also not naive enough to believe that we will be able to fully restore our traditions without risking violence. I’m ok with that. Our sacred sites are important. they belong not to us but to our Gods and I value them a *hell* of a lot more than I value the people doing the destruction. If we refuse to take a stand, we may find that we’re not around to rebuild.

      that being said, you’re absolutely right: a doctor is no good to patients if he or she is sick. We need to take care of ourselves, sustain ourselves and make nurturing devotion in ourselves first priority. Maybe if we did do that all the rest of it would be unnecessary.

      my ramblings for today. I’m gallery sitting in an absolutely sweltering building. lol. going off to pray for rain! ^_^


      • Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m not a pacifist either. But I do consider myself a realist- I don’t believe any person has the right to impinge on a another’s spiritual journey. That goes BOTH ways I might add. I’m also softhearted to a fault; it comes with the healer thing I mentioned, of course.

        Also I think we can entirely and respectfully disagree with one another. We’re all adults here, yes?

        Mind, unless someone would like me to flip my hat around and walk back through the field. But I’m trying not to be a butt. PFF


  4. ganglerisgrove

    I think so too. that is why i wanted to make it clear: i wasn’t being sarcastic when I said “I’m glad that works for you” i really was serious. I”m am very glad that you have found a way to work in this pollution.

    I am soft hearted with my friends but not with the Work and my Job, which a capital J is pointing out and resisting monotheism and all its many depredations. It is one of a handful of things upon which i will never compromise.

    but no, i don’t see any reason for you to leave! lol. you are not being a butt. 🙂


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