Magical Resistance and Self Care
Here in New York, the weather has finally, abruptly turned cold and rainy just a week after temperatures hovered near the triple digits. Autumn is seemingly upon us - literally dumped right on top of us. Personally, I’m reveling in it, but I know a lot of our friends are struggling with anxiety and depression as the weather takes such a sharp turn.
It’s all too much, too fast. Isn’t everything at the moment?
After a year and a half of marching in protest, calling our senators, and casting curses, Trump is an unindicted co-conspirator in multiple crimes. The chaos and ineptitude running the administration is splashed across cowardly op-eds and prestigious journalism alike (not that we needed to be splashed to know we’re all drowning). The president is evidently a danger to the country and to the world, and yet...the GOP has burned the constitution and run away with our government, pushing Kavanaugh into the Supreme Court despite the fact that he is both unfit for the position and an extremist who will fundamentally damage the civil liberties of Americans for generations to come.
It’s enough to make the most resilient of resistors abandon hope.
And I get it. We, too, are outraged, despairing. But not defeated. The powers at work here - and I cannot help but feel that there are real, dark forces fueling this inferno - are in a frenzy. It’s like watching a supernova before the star dies. This engine is running so hot, so furiously, it cannot sustain itself. In practical terms, Republicans are looting the government for all of its legislative and financial worth before the roof caves in. Those of us who work with the energies of this planet know that what is happening cannot go on forever. And that’s not to say it won’t get worse before it gets better. But it will end.
In moments like these, I try to shift my own perspective to that of deep time, rather than immediate time. The GOP and Trump administration benefit from our immersion in the immediate moment. Such a myopic view renders us in a constant state of crisis in which we can only be, at best, reactionary, and at worst, resigned to our sense of powerlessness. Do not let them fool you. This is going to be a long, long process, that - Goddess willing - will include impeachment hearings (of both the president and Kavanaugh), criminal hearings, and elections to remove corrupt legislators. And removing the diseased elements of government won’t be enough. We will have to fill that void with a new vision for the country, with constitutional protections for women, immigrants, transgendered people. We will have to address the abandoned people of Puerto Rico. We will have to rectify the mass incarceration of black Americans. We will have to overturn Citizens United and restructure our economy for greater income equality.
The list goes on, and on.
That is the work of being a citizen. It doesn’t end. And the battle of uprooting this administration is just one part of it. As they say, it’s a marathon, not a sprint, so do everything you can to resist the indoctrination into focusing solely on the immediate. For me, that means a few things:
1. TURN OFF THE NEWS.
Along with this, goes TURN OFF TWITTER. If you have to use it, don’t keep the app on your phone. Make yourself log in every time. Maybe those extra seconds will deter such frequent visits. I promise you, the fear you have that you will not be informed and therefore you will be a bad member of the resistance is lie. You can find healthier ways to stay informed that don't result in panic-scrolling. Find a podcast you enjoy with qualified hosts. I like Pod Save America. Consider paying for online access to a newspaper. I choose to read The Washington Post. I get the highlights in my inbox every morning, so I can actually read a journalistic explanation of what’s going on in the news, without a cacophony of opinions about it.
2. GET LOCAL
If you’re a witch, find a small way of connecting with your immediate land base as regularly as you can. One of the deceptions of the current frenzy is that it makes us constantly exist, mentally and energetically, outside of ourselves. Ground in yourself, and in your land base.
Whether you’re a witch or not, get active locally. You have so much more power in your own community than you ever will federally (that is not an excuse not to vote, though!). Is there a cause in your community that could use your attentions? A soup kitchen that needs volunteer? Community garden workers? Beach clean-up? Are there non-profits doing work you care about that you can give a few hours or a few dollars to?
3. OWN YOUR JOY
In the current state of affairs, joy truly is a radical act. So is pleasure. If you’re a POC, a woman, indigenous, trans, or of any oppressed group, this goes double. In my combat studio, they teach that one of the best mental games you can play with someone in a fight, is to laugh in their face when they hit you. The crazier you can seem, the better. No one wants to fuck with someone who get punched and laughs. So when you aren’t actively participating in resistance, fully live your life. Pay attention to it. Be present. Try to do everything in your with as much beauty and pleasure as you can. In the energetic battle happening, fight hate with joy. Or orgasms. Whatever.
4. CALL YOUR SENATORS... AND THEN CALL OTHER PEOPLE’S SENATORS!
This is a big one, folks. For those of us in New York, we are lucky enough to have senators who are leading the fight again the Trump agenda. You may live in one of those blue states, too. Have you called your senators to thank them? Do it. And then do it again tomorrow. If your senators are accomplices in the fuckery, call them every. damn. day. You may not change their minds, but you can annoy the shit out of them. And then we can all annoy the shit out of Senators Collins and Murkowski. They are the “swing” votes of the Senate, and frankly, our last hope against the confirmation of Kavanaugh. You are a citizen - even if you don’t live in Maine or Alaska, this decision will effect you as it will every American. They each have multiple offices, so try them until you get an assistant that you can talk to. Small, local branches tend to work better than DC.
Murkowski Anchorage office: (907) 271-3735
Collins Bangor office: (207) 945-0417
5. SUBSCRIBE TO HECATE DEMETER
Head over to hecatedemeter.wordpress.com, read, and subscribe. She is an anonymous ecofeminist lawyer in Washington DC, and she regularly drops serious wisdom regarding the GOP takeover and the resistance. She has also been sharing and leading an ongoing visualization practice of magical resistance, bringing together witches from around the world, inspired by the work of British witches to defend England during WWII.
I hope this information provides you with some hope, some armor, and some weapons in the ongoing fight. Above all, we must keep our heads and remember at all times to ask ourselves who benefits from our panic, our fear, our defeat. The answer is simple, and it’s reason enough to take a breath, ground, and carry on.