PaganFM 042316

Musical Selectionsshadowofthemoon
Peter Bellamy, Oak and Ash and Thorn, Oak and Ash and Thorn
Tuatha Dea, The Landing / Tuatha De Danaan (feat Spiral Rhythm), The Tribe
Damh the Bard, Merlin Am I, The Hills They Are Hollow
Laura Powers, Trail of Her Tears, Echoes of the Goddess
Crow Women, Song of Beltane, Crow Goddess
Loreena McKennitt, Beltane Fire Dance, Parallel Dreams
Jonas Kauffman – Felix mendelssohn, Die Erste Walpurgisnacht
Prince, Purple Rain Requested by Andrew
Emerald Rose, Freya Shakti, Fire in the Head (Live) Requested by Ryan
Telling Point, Legend of the Old Wood, Waiting for Nothing Requested by Elizabeth
Magicfolk, Beltane (Calan Mai), Saltarello
MaterDea, Satyricon, Satyricon
Blackmore’s Night, Ocean Gypsy, Shadow of the Moon, Requested by John
Bob McCarthy, Transfiguration (Electric), Star of the Sea
Brocc, Wren King, 13 Moons
Todd Alan, Gently Johnny, Carry Me Home
The Waterboys, Church Not Made of Hands, A Pagan Place

Well, I got a message from Donnie Harris of Cerulean Kentucky. Apparently, he’s a “Christian” who doesn’t like this whole idea of transgender people being safe in bathrooms. He posted on my Facebook page “Your a nasty pervert Deirdre Hebert!!! I’d like to catch you in the bathroom with one of my kids!!”

As a transgender woman, I need to speak out about all of these transgender laws coming about. Donnie Harris – in his post on my page, demonstrates part of the problem – most of this is about fearful people who simply don’t know what they are talking about. These are people who think they have never shared a bathroom with a transgender person, they are people who have been programmed, through the efforts of cult leaders, to believe that gay and transgender people are pedophiles – because when the real dangerous people can focus attention on another group, their own nefarious deeds will go unnoticed. The efforts that cult leaders go to, to show gay and transgender people as dangerous aren’t simply misplaced, they are an active distraction by people who would really do harm

So, this guy Donnie Harris is upset with me, for supporting the rights of transgender people to pee without being assaulted. I’ve received some comments from people that this is an over-blown issue – that if we just calmed down, this would blow over. But really, it won’t.

Look at the case of Tracy Murphree in Denton County Texas, this would be Sherriff Tracy Murphree, who said on his Facebook page that if a transgender person walked into the same bathroom as his daughter, he would beat the hell out of her. This is the chief law enforcement officer of a county, tacitly encouraging violence against transgender people.

In the movie Billy Jack, Billy once noted that “When the policemen break the law, then there is no law; just a struggle for survival”. And that’s what’s going on with all of these unconstitutional “laws” that are doing nothing but enshrining a perverted understanding of Christian dogma into the laws of a number of states. And it’s this same perverted gospel that informs people like Donnie Hariss and Tracy Murphree, that suggests that people like me are somehow an automatic threat to children.

It’s people like this who are the direct cause of countless beatings and numerous deaths of transgender people throughout the United States, and throughout the world.

And what’s worse, is that it isn’t only transgender people who are suffering. There have actually been cases of women who simply look a little too masculine being assaulted in bathrooms. These people – our American Taliban, are creating an unofficial gender gestapo, and real people are suffering. In one case, a woman, just because she had short hair, was physically assaulted by a security guard at a restaurant in Michigan, picked up and thrown out of a restaurant, because she used the women’s restroom.

But this is what happens, when people use religion to justify their own fears, when they use religion to try to control society. It’s what happens religious leaders use a group of people they don’t like as a scapegoat. But in the end, all it serves is to prevent people from seeing where the real evil happens to be. It keeps their members looking outward, rather than inward. It keeps the leaders of the cults safe.

What’s funny is that this discussion got started on Facebook with a meme posted by some idiot who goes by the name of Dr. Brown. He has a show called Ask Dr. Brown, where people can ask him spiritual questions. He speaks out often against homosexuality – enough, in fact, that one might wonder whether the good doctor protesteth too much.

Anyway, this guy posted a photo of Tim Curry in his role as Frankenfurter, with a question – “Is this a harmless, male-to-female transgender, or is this a heterosexual predator dressed like a woman? And how can your daughter know?”
Now, aside from the obvious – if a person is in a stall – you can’t see them, and they are probably peeing – there is no problem. And if they were at the sink, washing their hands, or touching up their make-up – again, no problem. But if they were peeking under the stalls, it wouldn’t matter what they looked like – those people are the problem.

But, anyway, my response was this: “This is neither – it’s Tim Curry playing a fictional role in one of the most popular cult-classid films of all time, designed to be campy and outrageous. The sad part is that too many people are too stupid to notice this …” I went on to point out that more Republican men – indeed, more Republican Federal legislators, have been caught in bathroom sex-crimes than have transgender women.

Anyway, the post is currently one of my top rated responses – with almost 1600 likes, and the conversation has gone on for almost 400 replies. I’ve had people concerned for my soul, I’ve had people try to say this law isn’t about transgender people, and then there was Donnie Hariss who felt so compelled to reach out to me on my Facebook profile picture.

Meanwhile, Kudos to Target, who said that they, as a corporation, support everyone, and that people can use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity. At least somebody in this country is thinking!

Anyway, I needed to share this – in part, because I’m transgender, and in part because I promised sweet little Donnie, that if he didn’t request that I not mention him on the air, he’d get his own shout-out! So congrats to Donnie, for being the first uber-bigot Facebook stalker that I call out on my show.

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PaganFM Almanac

Today is April 23, 2016. It’s the 113th day of the year. The Moon is waning Gibbous, and will reach the Third Quarter on April 29. The Sun is in Taurus as of April 20.

It was on this day in 2007, that the VA formally recognized the Wiccan pentacle as an emblem of faith on VA issued tomb-stones. The case that brought this about was that of Sergeant Patric Stewart, who died on September 25, 2005, when his helicopter was shot down by an RPG in Zabul province, Afghanistan.

In 2006, the Attorney General of the state of Nevada said that the State governments – including Nevada had jurisdiction over state veteran’s cemeteries, and thus, could authorize the use of the Wiccan symbol, but this did not solve the problem for veterans in other states.

By this time in 2007, Wiccans had been fighting for recognition of their emblem of faith on tombstones for some nine years. Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed suit on behalf of Roberta Stewart, Patrick’s wife, on November 13, 2006. The argument was that by maintaining a specific list of only 38 religions entitled to have their emblems of faith, that the VA was showing favoritism toward those particular religions. The VA decided to settle the case, and on April 23, 2007, Wiccans throughout the United States, were able to have their own emblem of faith on their tombstones. There was also established, a legal pathway for individuals of other faiths not then recognized, to obtain their own symbols.

PaganFM Prayer List

For Holli Emore, who suffered a bad break of her arm, and has recently had surgery to fix it, and for Rick – High Priest of MoonPool Coven, who had surgery on Friday, and who is facing some 6 – 8 weeks of recovery.

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Being open to the unexpected …
We live in a world where we want everything planned out. If a meeting is supposed to begin at 1:00 PM, for example, we want it to start on time. If it lasts longer than expected, there is often hell to pay. We don’t like the unexpected, we don’t like twists in our plans.

Sometimes, we go so far to avoid things that disrupt us, that we will disrupt our own plans specifically to avoid encountering things or situations that we might not even be able to plan for. Consider how many of us will not travel on highways during certain times of the day – just because traffic might be more dense during those hours – even if we’re on vacation. We have this need to “avoid traffic” – we don’t want to drive slowly, we feel trapped, we need to move at a rate that is “comfortable” for us.

The problem with this avoidance of traffic and the altering of our plans to accomplish it, just so we can maintain a high rate of speed on the highway, is that it really gains us nothing. If we get up earlier to “beat the traffic”, all we managed to do is to start the day earlier, earning us less sleep than we might have otherwise had, and started our day off, already in a competition with other drivers.

And if we delay our departure to miss the morning rush, unless we’ve found something enjoyable or productive to do with that time, we’ve wasted it, and we’ve guaranteed that wherever we’re going, we’ll get there later.

So, why do we do this? Why do we feel a need to be so controlled by clocks and times and driving quickly enough for whatever journey we are taking? Why is it that someone driving at around the speed limit is so intolerable? Why is it that we can’t stand it if a meeting starts a couple of minutes late? Why can’t we stand the unexpected?

Another situation that might be problematic for us is with our children. As parents, many of us have hopes and dreams for them. This is natural – every parent wants a happy, successful, healthy child. Some of us go so far as to have plans for our children – by the time they are out of diapers, we have their lives planned out – from college to boyfriend to career, to family – we have our dream for them. We know what “should be”. And when those plans don’t grow to fruition, we feel let down, we feel resentful.

It might be that our child is sick, or gay, or trans, or that they have other wishes for their future, that we hadn’t considered. The problem with expectations for our children, is that as well as we might think we know them, they aren’t us. They have their own desires, wishes and dreams, and when we try to impose ours on them, we rob them of what is authentically theirs.

But sometimes those waits in traffic can give us the opportunity to try something new – maybe we can get off that highway and try a back way we didn’t know about. Maybe the child who follows a path we hadn’t chosen for them, will get an opportunity to fulfill their lives in ways that we could have never imagined. They might abandon our “safe” road, and wind up doing something we could only wish we might have had the courage to try.

It’s been said – at least by me, that expectations are the seeds of resentment. When we expect something, when we see something as how we believe it should be, when those plans change, we can take it personally.

It’s difficult to live in a world such as the one we have today, without expectations. Everything comes with its own set of expectations. We EXPECT broad-band Internet connections everywhere from our coffee shop, to the local pizza house. We expect trains and buses to be on-time, and certainly don’t expect them to be early! We expect people to be compassionate and civil. We expect physicians to heal what ails us. We expect the food to be to our liking at restaurants.

On Sunday, I had one of my own expectations challenged. I play guitar for a coven’s meetings in Haverhill, Massachusetts. It’s convenient for me. While this coven meets about 35 miles from my house, the local train station is 2 blocks from my home, and the station in Haverhill is a few blocks further from that station – still less than a mile away.

The circle starts at 6 PM, so I leave my house around 4, get into Haverhill at a quarter before 5, and at about 5PM, I’m at the UU church, where I can tune up, get a little more practice in, and relax. Usually our meetings get done around 10. We clean up, and I can take it easy, getting to the train station in plenty of time for the 11:48. I’m home easily by 12:30 and I can feed my cat, give her some attention, and then get to bed. It works out great! Except for the unexpected.

You see, last Sunday, our circle went on a bit longer. We got done at 11:30. But fortunately with the train station less than a mile away, I wasn’t really worried. That’s 18 full minutes – and someone gave me a ride. Then we hit a red light, and the sensor wasn’t working but we still had about 8 minutes to get there – and with 5 minutes to spare, we got to the train station – just in time – to see the train leaving 5 minutes early.

Well, the woman who gave me a ride needed to get home, so I figured I’d go into the parking facility to see what could be done about this situation. The next available train home was at around 9:00 AM. It was now about midnight, and I hate calling people, so I looked at a map. Between Haverhill and my home of Dover, there isn’t much. One city between, was Exeter – I could catch a bus from there, to my home – but even that wasn’t until around 9:00 AM. And I really didn’t have the money to spend on a hotel room, so I figured – what the heck – and with my crummy backpack (which weighed about 30 lbs with my computer, music books, music stand, etc.) and my guitar, which in the case, weighs another 6 pounds or so.

Anyway, I figured that a walk of about 18 miles wouldn’t be too bad – maybe six hours or so, and I could hang out in Exeter for a while, and then catch a bus home.

What I hadn’t expected was the weight of the pack, and that it wasn’t really designed for that type of walk, nor the fact that while my guitar weighs only about 6 pounds – that that can sort of add up over time … nor did I figure that the shoes I was wearing – quite light sneakers with little padding – would figure into this significantly.

Anyway, I did walk, and I did make it to Exeter – having walked around 20 miles that night – in somewhere between 7 and 8 hours total. But in the end, I’m really glad that I did it. I wasn’t expecting to be quite as sore as I was that day – and the next – but the experience of walking in what is pretty much a wilderness area – with few homes and very little traffic around was really wonderful. I heard frogs that I’ve never heard in New Hampshire before, I got to see lots of local wildlife – from skunks to wild turkeys, deer, and a few other creatures that I never got a chance to identify.

I suppose that what I’m getting to is that the unexpected doesn’t need to be something to be afraid of, or shunned, or suffered through – rather, it’s something that can bring another layer of fulfillment to our lives.

Certainly I’m not looking to repeat that walk soon – at least not without a better pack and better shoes. But what I am suggesting is that sometimes, the unexpected can be an opportunity. It can be an opportunity to challenge ourselves, it can be an opportunity to grow. It can be an opportunity to learn or experience something both new and exciting.

Expectations are the seeds of resentment, but the unexpected can, if we let it, lead to some of our most beautiful memories and experiences.

I guess that what I’m saying tonight is this: don’t fear the unexpected. Leave some room in your life for things that aren’t planned, for things that don’t have a certain outcome. Leave room for adventure, and be calm and open enough to experience it. Because, really, if we plan everything, how can we ever be surprised?

I’ve heard people say “I don’t like surprises”. Really, I don’t know anybody who doesn’t like surprises. What they don’t like is bad surprises. Be open to the surprises – they’re what make our lives worth living.