Something Pagans Need To Know About Volunteer Emergency Response Efforts

Almost two years ago, I attended a state-run critical incident response training event over on the Peninsula along with a plethora of Christian chaplains. All of us were offered continuing education credits that qualified us to counsel people in times of deep crisis. An issue of concern arose for me when this government-funded group repeatedly promoted one religion; exclusively. I realized, after hearing many public prayers to a deity that not even the Jews acknowledge (as the son of their deity) that many citizens in our communities would not feel comforted by having a devout Christian attempting to counsel them; especially not if they were already enduring some serious environmental crisis. (Indigenous cultures, for one example, have historically been grossly oppressed by the Christian communities.)

Naturally, I asked the trainers why there was no representation (on this state level) from other religious communities. There were no Jewish leaders, nobody from the Muslim faith. No Atheists or agnostics. As far as I could tell (and classroom discussion seemed to confirm this) I represented the only alternative religion there.

The Christian chaplains obviously saw no issue with this -- not even after I explained that the communities we live in and serve are very diverse. Disregarding anything I had to say on the topic, the chaplains kept insisting they were open-minded enough to counsel anybody.

Meanwhile, they kept offering up their public prayers and one particularly vocal chaplain cornered me at break time. He told me a story I will never forget. Seems he had met a Wiccan {just once}!

His story droned on to sadly explain that the witch refused to give him entry into her house when he responded to an emergency call that he had heard over the fire station's radio. "I'm sorry you had a negative experience," I admitted, sincerely. Then the chaplain went on to explain that the woman was a total nut-job who had just killed her mother. {That story clearly defined what he thought about Pagans.}

While many different stories of Christian ministers who molest children came to my mind, I bit my tongue and excused myself from divulging such undesirable information. After all, it would not have helped me make friends in that environment. Meanwhile, my experiences were to the point where I realized that I had better start a revolution. That's why I began making contact with the governing powers that be and learned they would welcome outside groups with open arms. I’m hoping, desperately, that we as Pagans can work together as one unit in this regard. To form a phone tree, an email broadcast effort perhaps – just get better connected with one another to show we really do care about our community.

This really is a powerful opportunity to put our Pagan community in the municipal limelight. This Thursday is the first opportunity that’s arisen for showing up as a group. This is why I began sending out announcements to my community a few weeks ago. I'm asking for participation in a collective effort. I hope, if you cannot attend Thursday’s meeting, that you will at least send me your contact information so you can be called and made aware of future opportunities to serve our communities during times of crisis.

Please let me know if you would like to be added to that list. United we will change the way we are seen by local governments. Divided we will falter and fail. Lets network and get better connected. Please feel free to forward this message to any party you feel would benefit from the sharing.

NOTE: If you cannot attend Thursday but want to be added to a Pagan Emergency Response list, please send that information to me at SunTiger@usa.com.

WHAT: a meeting entitled "How Can You Help: Preparing for the Upcoming Flood Season" HOSTED BY: the City of Auburn & the White River Valley Community organizations Active in Disaster (COAD)
WHEN: Thursday, October 22 from 4-6 PM WHERE: Auburn City Hall, City Council Chambers, 25 W Main St. *Note: I’ve reserved spots for our forming group. YOU are invited.

Richest blessings, ~ SunTiger


Western Washington Pagans In Emergency Response

PUGET SOUND PAGANS UNITE for providing the local communities with emergency response and preparedness.

This Thursday there will be a meeting designed for faith/community and non-profit organizations comprised of individuals willing to volunteer for emergency response. SunTiger is an active Community Emergency Response Team (trained) member willing to connect the forming Pagan effort with all the necessary contacts and multiple resources that she currently has at her fingertips. It is imperative that anyone who attends the following event participates collectively as a group. Therefore please contact SunTiger and meet just BEFORE the event to sit collectively as a group.

Reminder of meeting date and time:

WHAT: a meeting entitled "How Can You Help: Preparing for the Upcoming Flood Season"
HOSTED BY: the City of Auburn & the White River Valley Community organizations Active in Disaster (COAD)

WHEN: Thursday, October 22 from 4-6 PM

WHERE: Auburn City Hall, City Council Chambers, 25 W Main St.

This meeting is designed for faith/community and non-profit
organizations (not for individuals wanting to attend or volunteer on their own) therefore it is imperative that we attend collectively as a group. Contact SunTiger@usa.com if you need more info.


* learn how we as collective Pagans can be of assistance during the upcoming flood season and to learn how to properly interface with the city's Emergency OperationsCenter in other times of disaster.
* a whole variety of volunteer opportunities will become available (opportunities for answering phones and giving evacuation advice to staffing heated meeting locations on the coldest days of winter to delivering sandbags as needed or -- should a large earthquake/volcano hit -- search and rescue work).

TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS IMPORTANT GROUP ACTIVITY: contact SunTiger: SunTiger@usa. com, 253.561. 3444

Goal: To become part of a Pagan group working to ease suffering during times of disaster . . .
[So far, only Christian groups have been participating -- it's time to step forward and
help better represent the diverse population being served]]


Stonehenge - Maryhill, Washington

Yesterday a couple of friends, Doug and I drove to Stonehenge in Maryhill, Washington. The drive took about four hours each direction. As you can see from the photos, the trip was well worth it! {Click on any photo to enlarge it.}

Here I am . . . looking pretty small by comparison to the artwork.

Check out these incredible views from just outside the monument!

How pertinent that Stonhenge (important to the Celtics with all their Earth-based spirituality) that Earth-friendly windmills dot the local hillside to generate CLEAN electricity.


ROAD TRIP: To Stonehenge, Washington (state)

Most of you are very familiar with Stonehenge, or what is now left of it, in England.

I'm now planning a full day's road trip with a gal pal and our mates. We're traveling to see the cement remake of the above pictured Stonhenge; located here in Washington state.

In honor of the Druid traditions [since many believe the ancient Celts and Druid Priests build the famous structure in England] we will be performing a ritual when we arrive.

While Washington's stonehenge was built for an entirely different reason than for Celtic magic (Washington's version serves as a memorial for all World War I veterans killed) the remake, which is a cement structure, is built to the exact scale of England's Stonehenge.

I have lived in Washington state for most of my life and this will be the first time I get to see it. While I'd prefer to be seeing the actual stones of Stonehenge, in England, this trip is going to serve as a much more convenient and affordable alternative.

In preparing for the upcoming ritual, I was searching for some Goddess chants and came across the following very fun website with some very familiar and other not-so-familiar chants and songs. Enjoy!http://www.witchscauldron.net/cauldron/chants.htm

Below is a picture of Washington's Stonehenge (click photo to see it in its original context)