Through my weekly radio show, I strive to create a medium for pagan, and spiritually progressive voices. Mainstream media has neglected these bards, great thinkers, and earth spiritualists. Yet their ideas, stories and songs can help us better understand the connections between earth as sacred entity and living sustainably amongst ourselves and our environment. I hope you enjoy listening to these ideas, philosophies, songs and stories as much as I enjoy sharing them with you.
This week on Wheel of Wonder: A pagan perspective on the Fourth of July. I've been trying to look at our major national holiday: Independence Day. The Fourth of July is like a fire festival as the Celtic Wheel of the Year would see Lughnasadh, Imbolc, Beltane, Samhain. It is also considered a celebration of the United States' independence from British rule. This makes it much like a right of passage ceremony; the new, young nation standing alone, separate of its British forebears. That's not to say that since then the United States government have done everything right. No, I think these administrations, past and present, have done some things that are very wrong.
From the Pagan perspective though, one could see Independence Day as a mixture of fire festival and rite of passage ceremony. Barbecues, fireworks, celebration feasts drawn from the harvest now in season. Very much similar to a pagan fire festival. While also celebrating a "parent country's" "off spring" choosing to stand up as their own self-governed authority. A message from the Wiccan reclaiming tradition's way of engaging the world that seems to apply here is: The spirit of revolution and declaring independence can still be celebrated in these times not necessarily by calling up the old ghosts of British and colonial bloodshed, but in the spirit of declaring self-sovereignty and revolution. Today's revolution, to improve things in our very own country, nonviolent actions taken to ensure greater social and environmental justice, that is a good reason to celebrate the United States of America, a land with potentially more freedom to dissent from the injustices of the sitting government. People of America taking control of their own destinies as opposed to blindly following leaders who do not seem to have our best interests at heart, that is my pagan take on this holiday. I'll speak of fire festivals and rites of passage from different cultures and hopefully we'll connect the dots to how some modern social/political movements reflect a similar purpose to those intended by these rituals from the past, and how that applies to the present.
The picture to the right is from the Vancouver Fireworks Show, as posted on the blog Boga Yoga by Donna K. I hope to include some of this wise woman's quotes this week on the show.