It is one of the Holy Days that I especially love to honor and note in my personal observances because it celebrates astrology, acceptance of strangers, generosity, migrations, and wisdom in the form of the Three Wise Men, or Magi visiting the new born child of light, Jesus.
For many years Epiphany has struck me as a particularly important Holy Day…as we have grown more connected we have also, in many ways, grown more insular: listening to only the voices that agree with us, being friends with only people who look at talk like us, tolerating only the views that match our own.
It is no small thing that in one of the core stories around which so many traditions turn, wisdom and magic are brought as gifts and laid at the feet of an Innocent not by familiar faces but by three men who were decidedly unfamiliar – foreigners with different ways, beliefs, languages, and habits – united with the Holy Family because they did what all good magicians do: they looked to the heavens and the earth and watched for the appropriate omens. It is a reminder that coming together, even and especially in the most adverse circumstances is possible…if we pay attention to what is true.
Epiphany is the final day of the Twelve Days of Christmas, the final day of Omen Days. It is an extremely liminal moment where, if we pay attention, we might also see certain signs that bring knowledge and encourage wisdom for us to carry into the rest of the year.
Yesterday my husband and I found ourselves in a now familiar position of having to explain to our oldest child what was happening in our nation’s capital.
I know many of you had to have similar conversations. We have to use words that are typically reserved for the worst parts of the history books: sedition, tyranny, coup.
We have to use these words and tell the truth about what has happened in our country while also using words that remind our children – and ourselves – how blessed we are to be in this country, how much there is that is worth preserving. Words like: free and fair elections, ratification of electoral college votes, words like: Georgia.
For our community there is a psychic and energetic toll that all of this takes on us beyond the impossible horror of watching our capital be taken over by violent insurrectionists actively looking to execute various elected leaders, actively seeking to overturn a government and nation they claim to love because the score didn’t break their way this time around.
For many in our community there is fear that they will become targets: because their skin color, accent, belief systems, and zip codes mark them out as different, mark them out as targets.
So along with the psychic and energetic toll, there is also fear…and exhaustion too. Those things can make it hard to see what is happening and harder still to know the right way to respond. So let me say this:
First, what happened yesterday in our capitol was an Omen, straight up and clear. Treat it as such.
Secondly, I gently encourage you to take in news in the right amounts for yourself, not to let yourself become overwhelmed, strung out, or utterly exhausted. Find your news from reliable sources that have trained journalists and that vet their claims. News designed for clicks – coming from any direction – should be regarded with suspicion at the very least.
This is exactly the time when we need to be clear, grounded, and present. So cultivate calmness. Ground, center, and anchor. Drink plenty of water and keep your people close.
Thirdly, call on your Holy Helpers. Your friends in real life that send you important news updates and quick texts to check on you, and dirty jokes to make you laugh in the absurdity and awfulness of it all AND your spiritual Holy Helpers so that you are fortified by their presence.
Fourth, talk to your Ancestors. They have seen all of this. Many of us have lineages that are being deeply triggered by current events. Many of us have lineages that feel complicit in current events. We need to talk to our Beloved Dead and most importantly, listen to what they have to say and do the work that they outline for us.
Fifth, speak to your Descendants. Those that come after we are long gone, those that inherit all of this. They are the future and they know what is possible. Now is not the time to suffer from dream deficiencies. Now is the time to dream boldly and clearly.
Sixth, be clear on what medicines you need. If you are afraid then ask: what will make me feel safer? It will not be one thing in most cases, it will be numerous things. List them out. Make/find/borrow/buy what you can. If you are angry then ask: how can I best channel this rage? If you are devastated then ask: how can I best move through this pain?
Seventh, let yourself rest. Let yourself dream. Let yourself feel and let yourself think. ALL of these, not just one or two.
I have always said that blessing medicine emerges precisely from our most broken places. This is true personally, certainly, it has been true in my life, and it is true for peoples and nations as well.
For those of us in the US, yesterday was Epiphany and we saw something break. We also saw our congressmen and women, many of whom are older, decide to reconvene, pull an all nighter – during a raging pandemic no less, and get their job done – as they should have. There’s a medicine in that.
In your own ways and in your own time I ask that you find blessing medicines in the broken places and carry them forward too – for yourself and for all of us.
And for those outside of the US, many of whom have reached out to me via email or private message to check on us and to let our country know that we are in your thoughts and prayers – keep the prayer magic flowing. Light the candles, dance the dances, and say the words that need to be said – they are needed, they are felt, and we are so grateful for them.
Anyone reading this makes magic, however, you understand it, whatever you may call yourself. When we make magic we transform always with an eye to wholeness, healing, and holiness.
So let’s get on it, Miracles. We have not a moment to lose.