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No. The Gods Are Not Punishing Haiti.

January 21, 2010 1 comment

One face of many, this boy already lived in slums, but now he doesn't even have that.

The earthquake in Haiti was a horrible tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people were lost as their buildings fell down upon them or the earth swollowed them up. The recent aftershock compounded the problems, as aid workers had only just begun to give the Haitians the help they so desperately need. You would have to have a heart made of stone not to feel compassion for these people. They’ve been reduced to a first world country.

What stings me the most is the reaction that some people have had. As usual, I’m disgusted by Pat Robertson’s take on the whole thing. He said a whole nation of people made a pact with the devil to get the French occupation out of their country. Umm wtf, Pat? Can you maybe cite your source? Thank goodness we Pagans don’t have that kind of shortsightedness, right?

In one of the message board forums I follow, a colleague was lamenting that she heard some folks saying that the earthquake was Gaia “shrugging off some fleas”. (I apologize for not being able to provide a more direct citation. If you find one in the wilds of the internet, please feel free to post it here.) There are two major problems I see with this statement: 1) that all human beings are a plague on this planet and are as insignificant and bothersome as insects, and 2) Haitians (read: black people) are as insignificant as insects.

Can this statement be interpreted other ways? Perhaps, but I don’t think any of them are positive or good. I have a big problem with the “humans are a virus” theory. It suggests that the Gods do not love us, when obviously that is not true. I believe they would not interact with us, talk to us, help us on our paths etc if they did not love us. Gaia is the spirit of the earth, and she loves all human beings, and all other beings on this planet–even fleas. The consciousness of our home planet is bit enough to encompass us all in her cycles of life and death. In Wiccan theology, the Goddess stands eternal while the Horned one gives of himself yearly so that others may live. Yet he is conceived in love and reborn. This love and generosity is not limited to people of one belief, race or nation, no matter how Pat Robertson tries to spin it. The Earth supplies bounty or starvation for every single creature. Even rocks have a life-cycle.

We don’t know why some places or people seem to suffer more than others. I’m reminded of the tower card in the tarot. Some folks think the worst card is the Death card, but I think it is the Tower (and so do these folks). It is fire, sudden and instant destruction, but the good news is that it allows you to rebuild. It forces you to take stock of what you have, and see what is still valuable in the new world. This earthquake asks the rest of the world how they will respond to those less fortunate than they are, and we are responding in spades. Like the Tower, what seems catastrophic can have some good effects, and we humans should not be so short-sighted as to see only the destruction. Gaia and the Gods see the whole spectrum of possibility and being, even if we can’t. Look at the way, even now, the tragedy is being transformed into good for the most amount of people.

So let’s stop with that kind of anti-human negativity, and stop trying to interpret the will of the Gods. Magically, like attracts like, and isn’t there enough tragedy and suffering in the world? Witches transform. So let’s get to work. Please consider donating money to help.

O Gods of all nations and all peoples, unite!

Show your people that the essence of

all that is truly spiritual is to live life to its fullest;

that what is true for one people is true for all;

that it is our duty as spiritual people

to encourage peace for all;

that to live between the fullness of love

and the emptiness of contentment is to live in peace.

For only in peace can we praise and worship.

God of light reveal to us this truth within us.

Goddess of love, show us how to live together.

Child of life, give us the courage to live in peace

Now and forever.

(pg 73. “Dewdrops in the Moonlight: A Book of Pagan Prayer” by Shanddaramon.)