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per amica silentia lunae

or, across the ferny brae with the evil voodoo celt

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"Don't mourn- organize" - Joe Hill
And that, I think, was the handle — that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn't need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting — on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave… So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark — that place where the wave broke and rolled back. — Hunter S. Thompson, "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas", 1971

Hunter was right, in the short term. But he didn't see the whole picture. The wave may've broken and rolled back, but what it touched would never be the same again. The tide of progress marched onwards by slow progression- two steps forward, one step back, always onwards.

Whether or not you believe in esoteric things like Aeons and the Age of Aquarius, the fact is that the world is changing, at a more and more rapid pace. The old, top-down structures are being supplanted by networks. More and more information, more and more innovation. More and more progress, for good and ill. Such times are scary- they require innovation, quick thinking, and the kind of individual consideration that I can only think of as "the new common sense." The old, groupthink touchstones no longer work. But many people (what interactivearts referred to as "the benighted") cling to them because they are still comforting, because they provide a reality tunnel that allows them to screen out the chaos and uncertainty.

But the change is still coming. Take the issues connected with GLBT rights. I heard a commentator point out today that some years ago, the country was 90% anti-gay-rights, and now it's more like 50%- of course there is some dust being kicked up. Aside from all attention that the amendments got, ravenrose pointed out some more encouraging news. It's not all bad. And it may not get better soon, but it will get better.

The rallying cry

Keep involved. Donate, work, but most of all speak out. Make sure that every day, no one forgets that there are 55 million Americans who didn't vote for Bush, that there are millions in every "red" state that don't support the conservative agenda. There is no mandate here; there was no mass rejection of progressive values. interactivearts has some more detailed suggestions. To talk of "healing" is all well and good, but that doesn't mean the issues have changed- injustice is still injustice, corruption is still corruption. Take some of the heat out of the discourse for awhile, yes. But speak out, nonetheless.

Do not descend to hatred. Hatred is the tool of the demagogue; it is fear and anger, gone wrong. It builds nothing, it does no good. Kill your irrational fears; let your rational ones spur you on. Ride the surge of your anger and don't let it ride you. Be a warrior.

Do not dehumanize the opposition, no matter how much you disagree with them. The most of them are not evil; they may be ignorant, deluded, frightened. They may just be wrong. But they are still humans, still people. Remember that the greatest horrors of history occurred when one group declared another not to be human.

Define your core principles and defend them, but be willing to compromise and negotiate. Absolutism is poison. There is no "one, true, right and only way". If there is healing possible, this is where it lies.

It may take years for the ill effects of this election to work out. We may not live to see the fruition of our dreams, but that is no reason to stop dreaming, no reason to stop working for those dreams. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." MLK never would see the progress that nearly forty years have made towards his dream, but even if he'd known that, he still would have dreamed his dream. And dreams are powerful things- they can be shared, they can outlive the dreamer. They can change the world.

Don't give up. Don't ever give up.

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You're welcome.

FWIW, I just came back from a magickal conference focused on the turning of the Age. Guess what? Most of what I said above was reflected in that conference, in events and speakers and other stuff. Too much to get into right now... must process it. But to sum up: there is hope. But we will have to work for it.

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