Never Again the Burning Times

From my newsletter this week:

There is a fire in the belly of America, seeking the waters of Justice.

Last week, a Black man who never told me his name, middle-aged, of average dress and appearance, walked up to my store, saw the Black Lives Matter sign on the door, and broke down in tears on the sidewalk. He crouched down in a squat and wept, and I just stood there and patted his shoulder (with his consent.) He cried for a long time, then he just stood up, looked me in the eye, said, "Thank you," and walked away.

In the witchcraft community we hear the rallying cry: "Never Again the Burning Times!" This is shorthand for our commitment to our religious freedom, and the memory of a terrible time in human history.

Another terrible time in human history was the advent of slavery, which stole people from their homeland and cast them across the waters, with uncountable lives lost and untold horrors wrought upon Black people.

And, make no mistake, there is another terrible time in human history upon us right now, with the mass killings, shootings, police violence, and other outrageous happenings that continue to disproportionately target the oppressed and those who have been left out of the loop of privilege, and who suffer the most from the forcible application of the will of the privileged upon them.

Today, I was driving through Brookdale, an Oakland neighborhood that is largely Black and Latin@, and I stumbled upon a Jewish cemetery I have never seen before. I drove through and paid my respects to the ancestors there, leaving offerings, and it was as though I heard their voices in unison: "No more holocausts! No more mass murders! Learn from what happened to us! No more fascism!"

Every day, we walk through the Burning Times. They are still upon us in humanity, maybe not upon us as witches and pagans, but upon the Black community for certain. What can we do to stop the modern Burning Times? We must raise our voices along with millions of ancestors and cry out, "ENOUGH! NEVER AGAIN THE BURNING TIMES," regardless of whether that Burning is upon a pile of sticks, or in a gas chamber, or with powder from a white man's gun.