Our week of protests commemorating Mother's Day culminated in a full day of magick and ritual drawn from women's wisdom of "Witches, Crones, and Sirens" on Friday, May 9 at the Marine Recruiting Station in Berkeley.
Witch Marie came all the way from the Sierra foothills to help us concoct a day of casting spells, incantations, singing, chanting, lamenting, wailing to display of our fervent determination to make the recruiting Marines and their office disappear as a step toward stopping the war.
We were aided in this effort through-out the day by about 30-40 pinks and pink friends of varying dress and demeanor. We also held assorted signs and banners as "What part of 'Thou Shalt not Kill' don't you understand," “All We Want For Mothers Day: Troops Home NOW”, “Leave Our Grandchildren Alone”, “Rise, Resist”, “From the bosom of a Devastated Earth, a Voice ‘DISARM, DISARM’”.
We began the day with a creation of sacred space, with a huge iron cauldron in the middle which we eventually filled with herbs and a candle. We continued with a grounding and centering ritual. Then we each wrote on a piece of paper our greatest fear or obstacle or negative thought either preventing us or others from acting now to end war. After we each shared those fears with the circle, we crumbled up the papers and threw them into our huge, cast iron cauldron.
At the end of the ritual, Marie knelt in front of the cauldron, chanting and preparing to transform our crumpled fears into ashes. She was briefly interrupted by an officer who told her open fires were prohibited on the sidewalk. Marie, in stunned disbelief, patiently explained to the officer this was not an open fire and it was not on the sidewalk. We concluded the ceremony and Marie was then cited for an open fire on the sidewalk anyway! We asked the officer to cite the Marines for being the on-going catalyst for a cyclone of open fires in Iraq .
Witches and crones re-created our memorial altar for mothers, especially those killed and in danger of being killed in Iraq . We added various flowers, herbs and plants, sacred art, candles and placed photographs along the sidewalk to help grieve and commemorate the women U.S. soldiers who were mothers killed in Iraq and the children orphaned. We displayed tragic samples and told their stories of the horrific toll children and women are paying in Iraq .
Within our sacred space, intentions for the day were offered up; invocations welcoming the spirits of our fierce foremothers; chants, laments and spells were elicited through-out the day.
Marie and Celeste used the residue of the incinerated fears and negativity, now transformed, to water the tree nearby. The 4 directions were called in and later released to the day at our closing ceremony.
Crone Grace had brought a reading by Mark Twain called "A Prayer for War" [or similar} which could barely be heard over the singing of nationalistic songs by the handful of counter-protesters present. Counter-protestors claimed they needed to protect the Marines from us so they brought ‘iodized salt’ and their own brooms! We sang "The Witches Song"; Becky’s a "Hard Day's Night at the MRS", and Toby’s “This Recruiting Station, We’re Gonna Shut it Down” to the tune of “This Little Light of Mine”, and many others through-out the day.
We cast a spell on the station and commenced to cleanse it by dancing with brooms, dusters, percussion instruments and noisemakers paying special attention to the entryway where about 3 officers were stationed. They got cleansed, too.
The counter-protesters didn't stay past mid-day, and our interaction with the public was very encouraging with lots of honking, thanks and praise - with a handful of disparaging remarks. A group of young women drove by exclaiming "Go, Army!" to which we replied “Yes! Leave Iraq and Go HOME Army!”
The main heat generated (except for by our match, which provoked an officer to cite Marie for having lit it) was in response to Zanne's determination to enter the station which was protectively blocked by the police. She let them and the recruiter who locked us out, know her opinion.
While the officers were distracted, witches and crones were able to tape the photos of U.S. soldiers, all mothers murdered in Iraq, to the front windows of the MRS. As usual the Berkeley police came out in adequate force to protect the station with, for a while, about 12 officers standing in a line in front of the station's window and entry. Once the officers were in place, the recruiter felt safe to unlock his doors and snatch the memorial photos of murdered mother soldiers from the window.
Celeste created a visual on top of her car, first as a ghost in white dress mourning the bloodied baby she clutched, and later as a dead soldier draped in the American flag. As the memorial grew, so our sorrow, despair and frustration deepened. Marie fell to her knees, weeping for the mothers, the babies, the people killed, dying, in danger. Charlotte clasped the dead baby and caterwauled. Several joined the lamentations.
We concluded with a die-in three deep in front of the door to the MRS.
Fox News was present all day with live broadcasts, a videographer-photographer and Salon.com and a couple radio reporters were present in the morning, as were a few of Melanie Morgan's people in the early morning. Go to Fox .com or the links forwarded earlier by Zanne to see footage and articles from Friday and prior days of protest and the 24/7 webcam.
It was a fine fierce day of magick at the MRS! And we will continue to increase the magick every day with our continued actions! See you Wednesday, if not before!