Blood moon over Huddersfield
This beautiful blood moon image was taken by my old friend, Gain Lee, an astronomer in Huddersfield. Given the associations of red and orange (think passion, fire, bombs, explosions, anger, sex and so on), it’s no surprise that people have historically and globally been terrified by this beautiful and terrible portent.
The usual small crowd of prophets have said their pieces about the end of the world and disaster for humankind, and even the Mormon Church issued a statement calling for calm amongst its ranks. Like I said, fear is a natural result of a blood moon, if for no other reason than that many people don’t understand it.
The terrors of war
Instead of taking me down the road of doom-filled prophecies and future terror, Gain’s picture got me thinking about a very clear and present terror that this moon looks over. The spectre of war has had our world by the throat for centuries though it’s worse than ever with the machines of war. Check this Reddit post if you want to examine that claim further.
Why is war the international political tool of choice? What does it gain? The answer is, in part, that war is a means to an end. The strategy game to end them all. Or it’s supposed to be.
There’s a catch.
War is no longer just a means to an end on a political stage. It also has a business end. The endless barrage of weapons is a constant stream of reliable income for the companies that build them. The results of the wars are that the winners are companies enabled to pillage countries for their fossil fuels and minerals.
The mechanised remote murders, displaced people, and increasingly obese bank accounts have dehumanised war altogether. They have destabilised whole countries with a few clicks of a mouse.
Wherever we see war, we should seek to understand it. Even if you aren’t interested in politics – it isn’t just about some half-formed idea of ‘politics’ any more. Politics is everything.
Whether you meet war in the form of displaced people, on the News, on Facebook or wherever, try to look behind the face and see the reasons why those people are there. If you’re lucky enough to live without war in your daily life, you owe everyone else this much.
Witchcraft spirituality and the Morrigan
I was recently approached by a battle goddess, the Morrigan.
I’d sensed her for some time, but because I’m as good as blind on the astral plane, it took me a while to understand. I was pretty surprised. Evocations to specific deities play only a very small part of my most recent spiritual and magical development, and besides, there’s nothing special about me.
But more and more, aspects and specific events of war are being called to my attention. The genocide campaign in Gaza in 2014 sent me into furious overdrive, and more recently, Aleppo and Syria as a whole have been thrust continually into the spotlight. The pure horror and the metallic taste of death on the tongue is almost palpable. I am guilty if I don’t speak out about it.
It is time to shout STOP! No more mechanised, corporate war. No more making money from the deaths of frightened and angry ordinary people. No more of any of it! There has to be a better world to live in than this.
So many, many lives have been lost. Our world has almost never had a time without war, but it is more devastating and furious than ever before, and increasingly automated. When you hear about ‘lives lost’, it’s explained in terms of ‘numbers of life forces lost’, and those numbers become meaningless quickly. There’s no emotional connection to numbers. But it isn’t just the life force lost.
It’s all those children who might have gone to school, made friends, grown up, played tennis, or football, or the piano. The unremarkable as well as the precocious. Some might have been bakers, mechanics, or teachers; scientists and doctors, too. They would have had families and pets, big occasions and small failures. It’s their families, parents, siblings, too, and their life experiences, their joys and fears and mental illnesses and long marriages.
Instead, they are killed, their bodies tossed in pieces on the rubble of their homes. Their future lives are extinguished with the life force.
No. More. WAR.
A last thought on changing the world
There are more ordinary people in the world than there are those who grasp the reins of warfare. All the mechanisms for changing society and reducing the liberties our western countries take with others (and with us) are slow, laborious jobs. Like elections, and law passing, and social mobilisation, protests, occupations, riots, and strikes. And all the while the culture has time to change too. Overnight cultural change is oppression.
I’m not the only person by far who has picked up this feeling that this is what is being asked of us. I play a tiny part in the giant machine that is politics, and hope the occasional seed hits home.
Strange, strange times.