2016 Looking Back and Moving Forward

I have been trying to figure out just the right way to write this article without taking sides on any of the issues and just trying to help others and myself move foreword into 2017. 2016 has been jaded with mass shootings a total of 462 so far. During those 585 people were killed and 1,732 were wounded. ( https://www.massshootingtracker.org/data) It has been a time of unrest and uncertainty and certainly the year that everyone found something to find offensive. Legalized Gay marriage turned a year old in 2016, but, there are still many hurdles to climb. 29 states still do not have laws to prohibit housing discrimination, 30 states do not prohibit discrimination in public, 16 states still have no laws protecting  the hiring process. (https://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2016/06/gay-marriage-scotus/488816/). Even though President Obama announced the first national monument to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights (http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/24/travel/stonewall-inn-first-lgbt-national-monument/) there is still a long way to go.

By Rhododendrites (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0
We have seen “bathroom bill laws”, (http://time.com/3974186/transgender-bathroom-debate/), debates over the “religious freedom laws” (which seem to end up being a debate of whose religion matters and whose doesn’t), (http://dailysignal.com/2015/03/27/the-true-facts-about-religious-freedom-laws/), and an even more wide spread feel of racism and tension since the 1964 debates between Barry Goldwater and Lyndon B. Johnson. (http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-09-02/racial-tension-in-the-2016-presidential-election) It has become a time for not only the LGBT community to have fears, but also for any non-white Christian male.

As a Pagan and witch myself, and having been out of the broom closet for many years, I am not only in fear for my beliefs, but also the fact that I am a woman.

 

Woman holding a sign, listing black people killed by police, and after each name, "no conviction" for all but the two most recent.
Photo Credit: Kenya Coviak all rights reserved

We have had to deal with not trusting our own police officers the same ones who take an oath to honor and protect. As of this point in 2016 1,096 people have died at the hands of police. Many of whom were unarmed, mentally ill, and people of color. The bothersome part of all of this is that even with that total amount of people killed, several officers have gone to trial but, none have received jail time.  (https://thinkprogress.org/this-is-how-many-people-police-have-killed-so-far-in-2016-7f1aec6b7098#.tw3kiuw7x) It is no wonder why most of us are looking foreword to 2017 in hopes for a better year.

We lost 111 famous people in 2016 as well, and quite a few were a shock. David Bowie, Prince, Arnold Palmer and Alan Thicke to name just a few. It feels like this year has taken up back in time to a place we long thought to have grown from. The attacks on humanity itself have seemed over whelming. Suicide rates in the US are at the highest they have been in almost 30 years. Rates for middle-aged women, aged 45 to 64 have jumped 63 percent, and 43 percent for men in that age group. The suicide rate has risen 24 percent since 1999.

 

 

The nation’s suicide rate is the highest it has been since 1986 with 13 per 100,000 people. (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/22/health/us-suicide-rate-surges-to-a-30-year-high.html?_r=0)

Image: Youth.gov

 

However, I do not want this to be all doom and gloom. There were several really good things that happened in 2016. Child mortality is down world wide and continuing to fall. New chemotherapy breakthroughs have increased the 5 year survival rate for pancreatic cancer from 16% to 27%. Coffee consumption has ben proven to help curtail cancer and suicide rates. Massive strides have been made in Alzheimer prevention.

The Anglican church resolved to solemnize same-sex unions the same as opposite-sex unions which required a super majority of all three orders of the church (lay, clergy, bishop).

Photo: Oscar Guzman

Death by heart disease has decreased by 70% in the United States. Over 800 Boko Harem Hostages were rescued by Nigerian Army. Pokémon Go players went insane with placing lure modules near hospitals for sick kids. Not to mention birthdays, family, friends, Thanksgiving, rainbows and even puppies to name just a few.  (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/11/11/amazing-list-of-good-things-that-happened-in-2016-delights-the-i/)

 

Will 2017 be better that 2016? Who knows, but, if we all work together and build up trust, respect, and communication with each other, I believe this could be one of the best years yet.

Hopefully we can all take the negative things that have happened over the course of this year and turn them around into positive things. Remember to call family, tell people you love them, value friendship, be kind to each other and most of all be a role model for others to aspire to. Be the best possible you that you can be and be true to yourself. Hopefully we as the human race can fix what has been broken and start mending this planet before it is too late.

 

 

 

 

I hope I see you, America by Kyle Coviak

Whether you voted for Hillary, Trump, or went third-party, I think we can ALL agree that there is something fundamentally wrong with America today. Heck, even the people that didn’t vote did so because they feel that the system has failed them.

One good thing about Trump getting elected…. all those uncomfortable truths that we collectively swept under the rug about our society are now glaringly out in the spotlight for all to see. We are all angry and scared….but in reality, this is the true America we have been living in for years…. decades even. There is no more passively denying the reality of the situation. America is fucked up.

Today, our nation enters the dark night of the soul. It is up to us to REALLY examine ourselves and how we allowed this seething hatred to continue. It is up to us to state, without blame, what is REALLY making us as a nation soo angry and afraid that we blame everyone that is “other” instead of addressing the real issues.

I hope I see you, America, in the dawns early light… because it’s awfully dark right now in this night.

We can no longer carry on like business as usual because we as a nation are no longer willfully blinded to our uncomfortable truths. Do continue to do so would be a disgrace on everything this nation is supposed to be about.

We are America, champion of freedom, protector of the weak and weary, bastion of liberty. It’s about god-damned time we acted like it instead of blood thirsty savages who’ll kill their neighbor for looking at them wrong

Image: Pixabay
Image: Pixabay

 

WE Can Make America Great, Again

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I refuse to allow myself to think that we have voted for the worst parts of humanity. I refuse to believe that Xenophobia, Homophobia, Islamophobia, Racism, and Anti-Femimism,are the things that won yesterday.  I refuse to believe that I must now fear that my neighbors, friends, and allies and family members will be rounded up, snatched from their homes and livelihoods and sent to Conversion Therapy, “back” to Africa, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Yemen, Lebanon, India, etc. or killed. I refuse to believe that I or anyone in my community should be or must be afraid to wear headwraps,Pentacles, Afro-Centric attire, jilbabs, abayas, afros, braids, locs or anything else cultural or religious.  I refuse to believe that people who I know and care for; wonderful, loving, kind, accepting and beautiful people who I interact with everyday, that I have prayed with, manifested with, casted with…, hell shared beers with would “not care” for my and all those I share intersectionality with to elect someone who  could cost us health,  safety, and autonomy. I refuse to ever again comfort my children and dry their tears because they fear their friends will have to leave school because their families are from afar.

No. I refuse to think or do any of this. Because I know better, I am better, and I know WE are better.

What I believe is that Fear has created a Servitor, and fear won, on both sides.  From the Tweets, Facebook posts, News pundits, family fights, unfriendings, hate crimes, hashtags and conflicts that both fan and foe of President-Elect Trump are guilty of, if nothing else is clear, what is, is that we have been operating in fear and have manifested exactly what we have focused on.

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Fear drives hate; hate is just fear unchecked. One side is fearful of nuclear war, marginalization, further loss of jobs and industries, and moral decay. The other is fearful of social justice setbacks, loss of economic safety nets, mobilization of the worst members of society,  theocracy, and, well, conservatism. Mix all of this with the fact that a lot of people have a “my way is the right way” attitude( yes, even we Pagans) and you have a recipe for mayhem.

At any rate, what’s done is done. President-Elect Trump,  while not having the majority of the popular vote, fairly won the needed number of Electoral votes. His party has the majority seating in both House and Senate. If his acceptance speech is any indication, the times of division, rancor and stalemate in Washington, D.C. are over and he seems set up to succeed. May Justice, Fairness, and Truth guide him as he leads this country.

Where our focus should lie now, is with being and molding the best humans that we can be. We can kill the Servitor that we have created by intentionally chosing to operate in an opposing energy.  That energy, Friends, is Love.

I choose to believe that we can make this country great again by choosing to be great people. I choose to believe that we all want what is just and best for humanity.  I choose to believe that everything will be well and will get better.  I choose to believe that we all know and recognize the Divine/ Ultimate Potential in each other and ourselves, and will treat each other accordingly. I believe that we ALL abhor the evils of Racism, Xenophobia, Islamophobia, Sexism, Homophobia, and the like. I also chose to believe that we as people will band together and fight these monsters wherever they may appear. I chose to believe that all that was wished to succeed is a change in politics as usual and to give an outsider a chance. I chose to believe that the hope for Change won over a promise of the same. I choose to believe that we all will protect them those whom injustice targets with all we have.

I choose to stop contributing to this Servitor by feeding it with hate, vengeance and division. I acknowledge that I have contributed to and been influenced by It. But I know I am better, and you are better. I know my coworkers are better,my neighbors are better. I know that by you and I treating ALL humans with Love,Kindness, Friendship, and Respect we can defeat the Hate that Hatred has produced.  I believe that we can disagree and still be civil.  I know we will not let our great society devolve into Nazi Germany or 1950’s America as so many fear. We are too great for that. And only by us remembering this, and committing to make our society better one interaction at a time, with all that we come across can we achieve the goals laid out in President-Elect Trump’s acceptance speech:

Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division; have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.
It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans, and this is so important to me…
I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country. I’ve said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign, but rather an incredible and great movement made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their families. It’s a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs who want and expect our government to serve the people, and serve the people it will.

I know we as people, as Humans can do this. only by suspending the fear mongering that has consumed the last 2 years and acting out of love towards all from love of ourselves can we defeat this evil that has infiltrated society.  We know better, we are better,  we can do better, and as Magickal Practitioners and Earth lovers we must do better. Espouse the Good, reprimand the evil, Love all and always love.

i-destroy-my-enemy

My perspective on election 2016

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode
I am a magickian. That means I can consciously choose to manifest change in my world and my reality. This is important today, because now the outcome of our nation’s cyclical political revolution stands boldly revealed.
https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode

Today, I will write. I will write because I hold the power to do so, my voice is still free and this is still my country where my freedom is protected. I will write and speak for those who have placed their words and hopes and fears into my heart and would see them written. I will not flee the lands where my bloodline lies buried and my progeny grows.

In this moment, I will congratulate those among my associations who have seen their civic goals realized and offer succor to those who feel all their gains destroyed. Yet, I do not share in the joy of my brother or sister who has possibly contributed to our national image the greatest damning evidence of reactionary bigotry and anger that our elections have exhibited in decades to the world.

Voting is the right of the citizenry. The results are decided by those who participate in the systems and the rules are determined by those who make it their business to do so. Complaining and disparaging them will not change history, but perhaps will motivate the loudest among us to use that passion to commit to having hands and “skin in the game” in the political cycles to come.

I am a magickian. That means I see beyond today. I am a spiritual person. That means I pray beyond today. I am a citizen. That means I create this country’s reality BEYOND TODAY.

Millions of our United States families came out and stated that they wanted this result. The factions and fights in the pulpits, the pubs, and the political posts all came to this result. The policies that will now be enacted, and repealed, lay in the direct path of the future we have wrought with last night’s actions.
The people who put President Trump in office knew exactly what they were voting for when they did it. They knew the Republican platforms and his personal views. This is the man they voted into the role of Commander In Chief.
They voted against the rights of the LGBTQA.
They voted against the civil law enforcement equality consciousness movement that has become known as Black Lives Matter.
They voted against the integration of this society in regard to cultures, genders, orientations, abilities, and national origin.
They voted against the rights of all citizens to have access to the political process equally and without impediment.
They voted against the rights of women to have autonomy and agency over their own bodies.
They voted against the rights of medical professionals to determine appropriate care for their patients.
They voted against continuing to refine a system of open access to affordable health care.
They voted against the support of organized labor and collective bargaining.
They voted against the enforcement and acknowledgement of environmental protections.
They voted against the voting rights laws.
They voted against governmental oversight of corporate  compliance with equal employment opportunity.
They voted against housing discrimination laws.
They voted against equality and respect of women and the non-gendered and the transgendered.
They voted against the people that they did not feel looked like them.
They voted against so much.
Woman holding a sign, listing black people killed by police, and after each name, "no conviction" for all but the two most recent.
But they also voted for what they believed this new era will bring.
They voted for the right to verbalize hatred.
They voted for the right to disenfranchise other citizens.
They voted for the right to increase the militarization of the public safety officers.
They voted for the code switching agenda of saying Blue Lives Matter, when in reality it was never a choice between Blue or
Black.
They voted for no accountability for the privatization and profiteering of corporate controlled officials with their hands out to lobbyists when it comes to sacrificing the interests of the citizenry in small and big towns.
They voted for patriarchy.
They voted for Judeo-Christian supremacy.
They voted for destroying anything that they did not feel selectively exalted their spaces.
They voted for closing down college colloquies and returning to protectionist ideologies.
They voted for obstructing international trade with not plan in place.
They voted for the right to terrorize and destroy those who did not look like what they felt an American should look like in 1952 in the congressional posters.
They voted for the Ku Klux Klan, The Covenant, the Sword, and the Arm of the Lord, and all the other groups that use (()) to call out Jews and others online and in person.
They voted to establish one supreme class to which everyone will bow.
See page for author [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
a_black_man_buying_some_of_j-_morisons_pills_hoping_they_will_make_him_white-_wellcome_v0011130 – Fae
They voted for the person who refuses services to anyone who does not believe like they do, or worship like they do.
Our majority of voters voted for what they felt was the only way to get back a shining memory of what they felt their country had in the past. A memory that was a paradise on the surface of the collective images from a “Leave it to Beaver World” where June shut her mouth, made the pies, wore the dresses and pearls, and met Ward at the door with her eyes in custody and ready to serve.
They voted for a world where there were no images of folks from other cultures competing for the same job because THEY LIVE HERE TOO. They are angry and afraid and wanted to feel that for a shimmering moment that they could slam a fist against all the change that they feel destroyed their futures and left them with uncertainty. And in doing so, they directed that fist against all of us, their sisters and brothers, who are…ALSO…citizens.
I am a magickian. I manifest things. I am a writer. I lay out my truth and beliefs. I am a Dreamer. I dream of a new possibility. There was the slightest glimmer of promise in the speech that President Trump gave last evening that may give me a shard of hope in the motes of the sun’s light on this new day.
He said
Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division, have to get together. To all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation, I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.
It is time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be President for all of Americans, and this is so important to me. For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country.
In my heart, I must trust in this possibility that all is not the great loss it would seem. Perhaps he will show us all a secret self that has yet to be revealed. He may show that, unlike the hysterical fever dream that the zealots have induced in those who chose this outcome out of fear and not reason, he has more to him. Perhaps he has seen this movie and it has all been a plan to move forward to seize control from the corporate controlled government for a masterful surprise revolution of change and conscience. Maybe that is why he referred to a partnership with the RNC to get to the presidency. Partnerships can be dissolved, and the conservative fringe may find themselves “fired”.
I am a magickian. I manifest things. I shall keep these words upon my altar for four years and place them over the image of our 45th President in the hopes that they will sink in.

 I should like to help everyone – if possible – Jew, Gentile – black man – white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness – not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way. – Charlie Chaplin, “The Great Dictator” speech

 

 

 

 

To my fellow Americans, I say to you this. I am deeply disappointed in you. But I believe in the goodness of the human soul and heart and it will prevail. I will hold space for all of us, and ask you to  do the same and keep us safe as we move forward in the vision of alchemizing the next four years. We are the children of the revolutionaries, always have been. And surviving is what revolutionaries do best.
Be the revolution you want to see. Be the love you want to receive. Be safe, be good to each other, and Blessed Be.

My voting experience

 As I woke this morning preparing my daughter for school and prepping for the arrival of my husband on the bus, I wondered what the day will hold for me. While dropping my seven-year old daughter off at school, she tells me

” mommy we are voting at school today!” It makes me proud that’s she is so excited to have this experience.

I know it is a mock election for fun, but I wonder if she will face ridicule if she decides to not vote the popular vote like everyone else in her class.I tell her to have fun and not discuss who she voted for or why. She smiled at me and like every other day hugs me and says

” I love you mama, you are the best mama ever!”

After this I went home and got ready for my day while waiting or the hubby to get here so we can go vote together. Driving to the polls we discuss the negative behavior and rhetoric we may face walking thru the doors, we are usually not greeted kindly based off our looks alone. On the way there, there were a certain candidate supporters parked on a side road standing in a small section of city property waving flags, holding their candidates sign, drinking beers, and growing in numbers minute by minute, and no doubt putting down anyone who opposed their point of view, as they usually have!

Upon arrival at the polls things were surprisingly smooth, we received our ballots, and proceeded to fill them in. I was dumbfounded at the lack of Democratic Candidates on the ballot, as far as local government is concerned. When the time came to cast our vote, the machine decided to jam!!!! So the volunteers told us to hand over our ballots and they would enter them in when the machine was repaired. I was hesitant to do so, but was reassured that everyone’s ballots would be entered.

Today was shockingly uneventful, it was a welcome change of pace! My daughter came home from school and announced that Trump won the school election.

Image: Raven Moore
Image: Raven Moore

 

I would say the most memorable part if my day would be my husband voting for the first time ever, and I had the privilege to be there with him.

No, we didn’t discuss who we voted for with each other, but it was a pretty amazing experience to share with him. Voting and having a voice is an honor and privilege for me, I have that privilege due to the women before me who started the women’s suffrage movement, and I will not let their sacrifices be in vain.

A word on election day from the Great Lakes Witchs Council of Michigan

Today we, as United States citizens, will take part in one of the greatest civic exercises in the world. Today, we will take part in a revolution. The Founders of this nation created a legacy work wherein we can change our government through civic action without bloodshed or tyranny.

Charges of tampering, voter intimidation, misinformation, and political warfare overshadow this year’s electoral rites. However, the right of the rite is  the same. NO ONE who is eligible to vote should be turned away, intimidated, or deceived into being divested of this most revolutionary act. For make no mistake, the idea of a voting society is, indeed, a revolutionary idea.

One person, one vote. This must be held inviolate. This must be held as a sacred societal trust.

No matter what candidate or issue you choose to vote to elect or ratify, know that by casting your ballot, you engage in a mindful act that reinforces the fabric of our society. Let no person ever take this right for granted or seek to deprive their fellow citizenry of their exercising of their own.

After all is said and done this year, also be mindful of another great truth of our nation. We are one people, made of many peoples. Our ways and mores, our societies and cultures, our differences and similarities make up the wonder that is the United States of America. The good and the bad, this is us. We are a family, and like a family, after this we must heal and come together to mend our differences and work together to meet  in the private and public spaces in trust and kindness and civility.

Those who would extoll division or exclusion of our values and honored beliefs must be embraced with the same forgiveness and inclusion in our national dialogues as the most free spirited, for this is what our democratic republic stands for in essence. We protect and sustain all of our nation’s family members, even the ones we do not invite to our dinner table. Because that is who we are as a people. That person who is your enemy today, in every moment, has a choice to change or not change their views …. as do we all. But what we do not do is let the freedoms we hold dear, that of speech, religion, association, and other guaranteed to be self evident, be washed away in a tide of hatred and intolerance and fear.

When you cast your vote today, you reach out your hand and lend your voice to join the choir of our beliefs in the face of the world and your own soul and affirm that you still believe in hope and the power of one voice making a difference. For those who because of religious reasons do not vote, we ask that you lend your voice to the conversation as well. Because no one should be silenced due to practicing their beliefs, or else we betray what we say we uphold. They, too, have the support of our national family. They too have a place at our collective tables.

Today, we vote. Today we believe in hope. Today we make magic. Today we share our love of our beliefs with our fellow citizens and say, “I believe”.

And we here at the Great Lakes Witchs Council believe in miracles, the miracle of you.

The Witches of the Fresh Water Seas

My name is Kenya Coviak, and I wrote and approve this message.