Berkeley Pagan Pride Festival, May 2005
by Sam Webster ©2005
Greetings, my fellow Pagans,
We gather here today in celebration of Pagandom, the fact that after more than 1600 years of being outlawed We can hold Festival Again!
Congratulations! You have survived. Be Proud! They said the Pagans were dead but reports of our demise were greatly exaggerated.
There is a reason you survived: you are needed to save the world
We live in an unsustainable society: in about 100 years the kind of culture we have today will not exist, either because we changed it into something that is sustainable or because we have used up everything and we are dead.
Our culture is like an algae bloom. We are consuming all available resources and then we are going to drown in our own waste. And while some spiral down in a fetishistic orgy of conspicuous consumption others die for want of food & water, never mind education and medication.
The agenda of the dominant culture has failed: this is a dying culture … it just doesn’t know it yet. The agenda of the dominant culture has failed: It is time for a Pagan Agenda.
Without a just and sustainable society we all die. But here is the good news: three of the four things that need to happen first already have
Back in the 1970s it became clear that we could produce enough to feed, clothe, shelter, educate and medicate everyone on the planet. The problem was we could not deliver it. The distribution system could not get the goods to where they were needed. If you lived near a distribution point, you were good. But if not, tough luck.
But in the 1980s that changed. FedEx demonstrated that if you really wanted to, you could absolutely, positively, have it there tomorrow. So, today, even if you are far off the network, given a little bit of planning, we can have it for you this week. Distribution is no longer a problem. Knowing who needs and who’s got became the problem.
But in the 1990s that changed. Tim Berners-Lee invented the http protocol and gave us the World Wide Web. For the first time in human history we have wide-scale many-to-many communication. The revolution this has caused has not yet fully played out, but for now we know that who ever had and who ever wants can meet on the web and do business. The archetype of this new global marketplace is Ebay.
So, now, with the ability to produce, distribute and direct the flow of goods to there they are needed, why do we still have stockpiles of goods and hungry people? We are lacking the will to do something about it. It is still O.K. for some people to starve.
Without the Will To Do, none of the real benefits of this new and massive infrastructure will be received by most of the world. Rather, it will be used to consume this world like locusts on a farm field.
But the Will To Do is not a physical plane challenge, No! that part has been worked out. This is an internal challenge and this is to our advantage.
Like Sun-Tsu says: War is fought in the Mind of the Opponent. We who work Magick are most adept in the plain of mind. We have the greatest capacity to change the Mind of the Human World to produce a sustainable future
In fact, I warrant that we Pagan People have arisen now to do exactly this. We come from the Shadow of our culture. We are the Occult, the Hidden in this culture, the dark fertile bits that got left behind and forgotten in the drive for modernity. Don’t the Jungians say that it is from the Shadow that all real change comes? That in the shadow the resources to make profound change dwell? For this culture, we the Pagani, suppressed, repressed, and discarded, written out of history, forgotten and accursed, we the Pagani, are the Shadow.
And the repressed always returns.
This is what we must do: We must put our effort into changing that will to do in three ways: We must each act with Body, Speech and Mind
You must act with your Body:
By living in integrity with your values. I know many of you here: I know you do this.
So keep on living by your values and aspire to do so ever more deeply (perhaps even passionately) Every dollar you spend is a vote for or against a sustainable world. Spend wisely.
You must act in your Speech:
By speaking the truth, especially the truth about sustainability and justice: Humanity must not consume this world like an algae bloom or locusts It is wrong for some to glut themselves while others starve. But also the simple truth of the Pagan People: We exist and will never go away, for we are the bearers of the solution, where science & spirituality, where values & technology are united by the vision of the integrity and harmony of the world.
And most importantly you must act with your Mind.
By your magick invoke a world that lives in integrity with the Laws of Nature. We can do that best by invoking our Gods, speaking Their names, making Them offerings. Worship is, linguistically, worth-shaping. It is through your worship you shape the worth of the world, you define and determine the values the world is run by; What is Good, What is Bad, whether we live or whether we die. Through worship, the worship of our Gods, we establish the values that our Gods embody in the world: shape it well!
This is a battle to be fought in the mind of our opponents, those who would consume the world. We who wield Magick must step up to the plate and use our magick to project our values, sustainable and just values, into the world. No one can do this like we can. No one is in the position we are, here in the belly of the beast, to cause this change.
It helps if you can see the problem as a magickal one. Try this: This is a time of profound challenge for humanity and for the world we live on. Now is the time this planet decides if humans get to live on it. This is the global adulthood initiation for our species and if we fail it is game over—we die.
Climatory conditions are changing and non-renewable resources are being exhausted. The threat in any adulthood Ritual is death. The challenge is to wake up, and act like an adult: Responsibly.
Now we humans being are asked to do this, to behave responsibly on a planetary scale, to create a sustainable society. Because, if we don't, we die.
I say Pagans have a vital place to play in bringing about this change because science, religion, ritual and magick are all available to us!
We can invoke it into being with our will, with our word and with our work.
You know the old saying: you create your own reality. You do this, so do this! You are the Future, and the fate of the future rests on you
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