Today is not an easy day in the UK. It’s incredibly hard to face the prospect of such a far right government and the human suffering that will inevitably follow. My heart especially goes out to those from the rest of the EU now living here, whose future must seem so uncertain, and to those crushingly affected by the austerity cuts, and by the rise in hate crime that goes hand-in-hand with intolerance in government.
I wanted to share ‘straiph’ today, as we reel from the impact and try to figure out a way forward in the face of such defeat for progressive ideas, and as we battle with our rage, our sorrow and our fear for the future. Straiph is the Celtic Ogham for the blackthorn tree, considered an ill-omened and unlucky tree for centuries, and long associated with the underworld, death and battle, but also transformation. This tree is often featured in stories of magical binding and testing, and it is the blackthorn that traditionally forms the impenetrable barrier around the sleeping beauty’s castle.
The OBOD ogham oracle has this to say about blackthorn: “Drawing a Blackthorn stave indicates the actions of fate in your life, something that cannot be avoided but must be faced and dealt with. Blackthorn gives you the strength to accept and persevere in the face of adversity.”
And so today we face something that cannot be avoided, which we must face and deal with. What do we do now? In the words of a dear priestess sister of mine today, we ‘hold the line‘. Now is the time to refuse to give in to hate and division, to reach out to those who are even more affected by this disaster than ourselves, to help those who are vulnerable as much as we can, to donate, to volunteer, to continue to campaign for progressive change, to fight hard to stop our environmental protections and workers rights being stripped away, to support our friends who may be non-British or muslim or refugees or struggling with their mental health and fearing the days to come.
Let’s work together to craft the story of changeGeorge Monbiot
Let us alchemise our anger into the will to action, our sorrow into compassion for others and our fear into determination to resist. As another friend reminded me, about 14.5 million people voted Tory/Brexit party, but about 16 million people voted for progressive parties. Hate and ruthless self-interest is not in the majority, not even now. Change is not here yet, but it is coming.
In the end, the force that breaks through the impenetrable blackthorn barrier around the sleeping castle is love. Our job now is to embody love into the world as hard as we can. Hold the line sisters and brothers, and may the blackthorn bring you strength and protection.