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Confronting Malevolent Forces

Malevolent; adj having or showing a wish to do evil to others.

Evil; adj profoundly immoral and wicked

I have struggled with the idea of evil since I was a child. I first learned about the concept of evil from Disney movies. Evil step-mothers, evil sea-witches, evil men. The evil beings wanted to take, control, and destroy what wasn´t theirs. To take away freedom, and joy. To take away our voices. To take away what we loved. Take & destroy.

Then I learned more about evil in Sunday school. Evil forces that worked inside our own minds and led us into sin.

Sin; n an immoral act considered to be transgression against divine law.

Things got really blurry for me here. How did we discover divine law? How did god tell us that things like having babies outside of marriage, or living with your boyfriend, or loving someone of the same gender were sin? How do we know that unbaptized people go to hell? I remember becoming agitated and indignant with my Sunday school teachers when they tried to explain that unsaved souls would go to hell, even if they had never heard of Jesus or Christianity. So, by no fault of their own, these souls would be damned for eternity. That sounded evil to me. Take & destroy....

As I got older, I watched the church take & destroy over and over. Take women´s rights. Destroy loving unions. Take self-esteem. Destroy humans connection to the planet. Take children´s innocence. Destroy their trust and sexuality. Take & destroy.

It took me a long time to believe what I was seeing. To believe that there was an evil in the church. I tried to understand, I tried to focus on the love and the good things that were happening. I tried to focus on my personal relationship with Jesus and ignore the institutional harm that had happened for thousands of years, and that continues to happen. But at some point, I couldn´t see beyond the taking and destroying and I left the church.

Then I started to see this pattern of evil all around me. In relationships. In business. In nature. Take & destroy.

The sparrow would take the bluebirds nest and destroy the eggs.

My english teacher took my paper and crumpled it up before my eyes.

European immigrants took the land of Turtle Island and destroyed the cultures here.

People who say they love each other destroy each other´s lives.

Big business destroys the environment and takes massive profit.

Take & destroy.

I deeply understood that this pattern, this evil, is inherent in this place. It is built into the program. It is part of our software. This impulse to take & destroy is a thread in the fabric of Earth-life.

Just like all things that are inherent to life here, I discovered that I cannot just cast out this evil and choose goodness. I cannot just transcend my animal nature, vibrate above my shadow, leave behind all of my lower emotions. They continued to exist, and at times of stress, hunger, fatigue, depression, these lower energies would surface, and often with a vengeance from being so long neglected.

I had to turn and face them. I had to confront the evil. The pattern of take & destroy. I had to look it in the eyes, in my own life, to deeply understand what was happening here. To look into the gaping mouth, always hungry, never satisfied, that is host to this evil.

The Cree people had a word for this pattern. They called it Wetiko. This devouring, hoarding, taking, destroying mind virus. They had seen it occasionally take one of their people, and they knew its fullest expression was cannibalism. The absolute violation of human life, and all other life. They were horrified to see that every European immigrant they encountered was consumed with the virus.

I became really fascinated by what made certain people more vulnerable to this pattern expressing itself through them. It seemed to come back to hunger. Insatiable hunger. Physical survival hunger. Emotional hunger to be seen and known and valued. Intellectual hunger to be right. Hunger for power, born out of hunger for safety and visibility. Unmet survival needs, kept unmet or barely and conditionally met, over a long period of time seems to create the perfect environment for this thread of take and destroy to firmly entwine itself into the psyche.

And this pattern is contagious. When someone takes what we love, and destroys it, we are left with our gaping hunger. Hunger for justice. Hunger for revenge. Hunger to have our beloved restored to us. This hunger can take us into the same evil that has visited us, and leave us there to perpetuate that evil in the world. I have seen this happen to good people. They could not resolve the bitterness and the anger, and became takers and destroyers themselves.

Like all things, this hunger, this desire to take and destroy, can be integrated into our whole selves, just a thread in the tapestry, without hijacking and taking control of our lives. You see, this evil wants to take and destroy from our lives, as well. This pattern guides us to sabotage our relationships. To see things that are not there in order to begin the process of destroying. This pattern whispers to us that someone is going to take from us, and destroy us, and in this process it hijacks our brain with the contagion. We cannot see clearly. We are seeing through the filter of the mind-virus. Everyone is a threat. Everything is coming to destroy us. We must isolate. We must protect. We make our circles smaller and smaller. We become more and more certain that ¨they¨ are out to get us.

When the mind-virus has ahold on us, we begin to vibrate with the energies of paranoia and fear, aggression and hostility, and the world responds to us in kind. People and animals can sense our hostility. The world withdraws from us, and this looks like evidence that we were right all along. We have become hijacked.

When I worked as a veterinary technician we would sometimes see dogs who had survived horrible abuse. They believed that everyone was a threat. They cowered and shook and postured, ready to defend themselves from a world that had proven itself inhospitable to their lives. Some dogs could never recover their sense of safety, even with lots of love and treats and a warm bed. They would still lash out at children, or men with beards, or anyone wearing camoflage. Their minds had compartmentalized the danger, but never integrated the part of themselves that had suffered so terribly. They were still waiting for the evil to revisit them, the trauma lodged in their bodies.

There is certainly plenty of evil in this world. And, this evil is just a thread in the tapestry. This world is not inherently evil, and the assertion that it is an evil world only primes us to be more susceptible to the contagion. Looking everywhere for those who would take from us and harm us. I see evil most prominently in the systems we have created. They were born out of hunger. Hunger for power. They are consistenly and methodically taking and destroying. In most other spheres of life, this pattern only emerges in extreme duress, like the example of our abused dog friend. It is not pervasive. It is not expressing everywhere all the time. I have also learned that I am most susceptible to the expression of this pattern when I have not dealt with my own needs and hungers. Physical hunger, and hunger to be seen and valued and loved.

When children are raised in an environment where their hunger is never satisfied, and where they cannot trust the world to see and meet their needs, they are at high risk for this pattern of take & destroy to grow strong in them. The systems we have created and consented to are perpetuating this growing hunger in our children. We do not see them. We do not hear them. We are so distracted. And their hunger grows. Their is an African Proverb that says ¨The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel its warmth.¨

This warmth is the antidote to evil. This embrace. Being seen. Fed. Cared for. Loved. Accepted. These things fill us with strength and belonging, they prove to us that their is safety in the world and that we will be provided for by the bountiful Earth herself, and by our community. I practice magick, and so I do energetic shielding, and I use black salt at the thresholds, and I burn rosemary to cleanse heavy energy....but none of these practices are nearly as powerful as being loved. Having a sister to turn to with my fears.

These systems we have created with a foundation of hunger for power offer us false belonging. Conditional belonging. The threat of exile or punishment always hanging over our heads, perpetuating the story that we are in danger of being cast out. This is veiled evil. The purpose is power and control. Not deep seeing, or valuing of people in all of our complexity and diversity. These systems uphold ideals of homogeneity and perfection, casting anyone outside of those ideals into the shadow realms of insatiable hunger for belonging. It is a recipe for the contagion to spread.

Take & destroy.

The Eastern religions have found that by emptying ourselves of a ¨self¨ there is no one there to be taken from. We shift our identity to the vastness of the All, rather than identifying with the individual self. This is a powerful tool to keep evil at bay. But it comes at a great cost. We miss out on the fullness of an Earth-life by constantly removing ourselves from our experience, and denying the reality of our experience here. The Western religions have leaned on a Savior, a being who stands as an intercessor to protect them from evil, and in return they owe the institution devoted to that Savior their loyalty, their money, and their lives. This is veiled evil. The concentration of power and control. The Pagan community has learned to wield the power of evil for their own purposes, and to ward against personal evil. This can be effective, but it can also lead to a hijacking of our sovereign power to perpetuate the pattern of take & destroy.

I believe that it is time for a new posture. A new way of being human. Where we see and understand the roots of evil, the hungers and traumas, and we work together to create true belonging. In this way, we identify as the community, the All as it is incarnated in physical form. Our systems shift from take & destroy, to celebrating diversity and strengthening individuals as a part of an integrated whole. I believe that this shift is well-underway and the forces of take & destroy are desperate to keep their power. They are getting louder and more fierce, more bent on separation and driving fear into the hearts of people-to intensify our hunger and to inflame our trauma. But it will fail. Those times are quickly moving behind us. We have grown too wise to fall for these power-plays. We have seen the effects of this mind-virus when it is given so much power, and we are ready to take our power back and invest it in true healing and belonging. I see this happening every day in the circles I gather in. I see it happening with clients, with family members. We are shaking off these old patterns, and we are finding new ways. We are learning how to live as infinite beings in conscious communities of diverse individuals. We are integrating, healing, protecting and guiding each other. We are coming alive, waking up, and seeing ourselves and each other with the eyes of the heart. We were made for these times.


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