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The Dark Side. The Dark Ages. Dark Times. Dark Deeds.
This week’s Pagan Blog Project post is a dark one. For good reason. This is a subject rarely touched in the Pagan community, and when it is touched, it is rarely approached in the right way.
We all want a world filled with light and love. But the world is not such a place.
The stereotype of Pagans in the main stream tends to follow two paths: We’re all evil, or we all hold to “Harm none, do what though wilt.” This is helped along by the fact that many open Pagans refuse to be called evil, and will go to extremes in order to make Paganism look like anything but the “evil” that society has been programed to see it as.
This is not, inherently, a bad thing.
However, it has lead to many an issue. Some Pagans will chastise fellow Pagans for walking “too darkly” on their path. Or as is the case with some traditions that supposedly put forth both the God and the Goddess, the God is often hidden away and suppressed for his violent, dark, male nature. Some do this because they think we no longer need such things. Others do it to counter the “Patriarchy.” What ever the reason is though, the Dark Side is often suppressed. And with it, goes much of the magic and abilities of our Pagan people.
It is in this Darkness where we find abilities some consider to be unnatural. Indeed, we are unnatural according to a great many.
This is how many view the dark side:
Fear leads to anger,
Anger leads to Hate,
Hate leads to suffering.
How simplistic is the idea that we must reject the ideas held in the Dark Arts out of some moral imperative, when those who would wipe us out perform worse acts with the attitude that such acts are completely moral?
Of course, this suppression of the Dark Arts is because much of Paganism was renewed in the 60’s, an age of peace, love, and a smoky haze that means those that were there remember it through tented lenses of justice and righteousness, and the rest of us aren’t really sure what the hell happened. Violence was bad, authority was bad, war was bad, etc. So many a Pagan Path grew from this. For example, many a Druids look more like a hippy than the nightmarish figures who performed forced sex change operations on Roman soldiers captured in war and who made even my Norse Ancestors (who feared nothing but their wives) say “the F**** be crazy.”
The simple fact of the matter is, that as much as we wish it wasn’t so, Might does make Right, in the simple essence that those with power define morality. And those with power have declared us to be inherently evil.
But the times, as the song goes, are a changing. In the sixties, we could afford to be as anti-war and as peace loving as we liked. Thanks largely in part to MADD, also known as Mutually Assured Destruction. The only real enemy we had at the time was the USSR, and neither side wanted to wipe out the other and take the planet with them. Oh, we scuffled, and we came close, and each side wanted the other gone, but neither wanted to wipe out all the people, just see their way held supreme.
I learned long ago that you can’t fight the names and the declarations against you, especially those that name you evil. The best thing you can do is embrace it, study it, see what Evil really is, and learn the Ultimate Truth.
That isn’t the case now. On a global scale, we now have countries like Iran wanting nukes. Many don’t see the problem with this, after all every nation has the right to a strong defense. The problem is that Iran isn’t held by the same desire to see life preserved. It’s run by people who believe, possibly even stronger than anyone else on earth holds their beliefs, that it is desirable to sacrifice every person of their nation in order to spread their religion. All across the world, religions are becoming more radicalized, with Islam leading the charge (I read just the other day that roughly 250+ people are killed a day by Islamic Terrorists), followed closely by Christianity, as believers howl to their God in sacred bloodlust, intent on making their religion supreme.
That the energy you spend fighting the allegations that you are evil, especially when these allegations are made by religions whose bedrock is the idea that they are the only good in the universe, could be better spent gaining the power needed to make sure they never have the ability to force their views upon you, and cleanse you from the earth.
The days of peace are truly coming to an end.
Those that call you evil believe that Power is evil, except in their hands or the hands of their God. You will never change this fact. Those who practice Paganism inherently have a power they can never understand, and they believe it treads upon the thing that only their God is supposed to have.
Which brings me back to what I intend to talk about. Some argue that just because others are becoming radical doesn’t mean that we should. This is a fair point. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t become Ready. Because to counter faith and violence like what is growing in the world, we are going to need the same thing. We will need that near fanatical faith, and that willingness to be violent if needed.
All you can do is embrace it. Take it, make it your own. And then show them…
It is time we look once more to the Dark Arts or our magic. It is time that we stop suppressing the violence, and learning to embrace and master it. It is time to finally start invoking the War Gods and Goddess in our rituals and our prayers. Though many may find this morally repulsive, it must be done, and it must be done with Will and with Power.
Show them why they tried to carve the world up in blood and crush anything other than themselves. Show them what would have happened if our ancestors would have done had they been truly aware of what was to come.
It is time to not just call upon Odin for his wisdom, but for his frenzy. It is time to call upon Freyja, not just for her beauty and fertility, but for her blade and bloodlust. It is time to call upon Ares, because after almost two thousand years the time has come for him to claim fresh skins for his bed. Mars must be brought forth, and even Mithras. We must learn the death magics, the killing curses, the battle arts of our ancestors. And what we cannot bring back, we must learn to create and use with such power that people remember why Magic and the Magus were so feared and respected.
Because they will come for us. In many ways, they never stopped coming for us. And their stories are filled with what happened when we and the things from where we come from came for them.
It is time too, to stop being dismissive and derogatory to the things we are taught to not like. There has been much talk of building physical communities, and that time has indeed come. But we must do more when we build these communities, we must bind them together as Tribes, once again returning to the old ways where we put our Pagan kin above all others (regardless of color. It is our beliefs that bind us, as much as our heritage). We need to stop sneering at ideas like Tribalism and calling it “racist” but to embrace it and make it our own. We need to get over this insanity that says we shouldn’t teach our religions to our children, lest we prevent them from finding themselves. If Paganism is to survive, we must not only teach the next generation, but teach them to believe even harder than we do!
We must embrace the nightmares they made of us. Because those nightmares have power. Power that we can use to keep ourselves safe.
We need to take the destructive energies that we try to suppress, which so often tear apart kindred and covens, and focus them not amongst ourselves, but outwards to the people who would see us once more wiped out. We need to examine the ideas so often called Evil and see just what they are and learn why they are evil. And then we need to embrace them. Because Paganism is as much about the Dark and the Light. And we have been light long enough. It is time to bring back the darkness.
They say we are monsters, devil worshipers, the fiends in the dark that call down demons and lay curses upon them. To them this is the truth. To us, it is potential.
It is time to show all those who fill the air with their hatred and their venom and their cries for the destruction of Paganism to learn why they hate and fear us. They will never stop, they will never respect us. Individuals may, but the whole will never. It is time we regained the skills and attitudes needed to smash their teeth back into their hate filled mouths. It is time we bound ourselves together, cast off the rules imposed by those not our own, and restore the Ancient ways.
It shows us just what their weakness is. It shows us the tools we can use to safeguard our ways, take back the generations stolen from us. To bring back the ancient ways in force and numbers. And to make sure that they do not dare cross us again.
This is a better way to look at the dark side:
Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken
~ The Sith Code
Because the ugly truth is they already are pushing themselves into another bloodfrenzy, the likes of which we have never seen. And they have the weapons to make sure the world burns before it slips from their grasp. They have the technology. We have the magic. We must learn how to use it to even more devistating effect and inspiring creation. Or else we will be lost forever.
The Dark Ages come again. A wolf age. They require dark arts and dark deeds to survive. Let us not fade from this world for lack of the Power and Will to survive. Let us break our chains, and see the Victory that is our ways living on.