I like to get out to an exercise class on Saturday mornings. My drive takes me past a women's health clinic about a half mile from my house. This morning the clinic was surrounded by protesters (most of them men). As I passed, I saw an old man with a white beard approach a young woman as she got out of her car.
It's probably a very good thing that this clinic is on a busy roadway with no streetside parking. Because if I could have stopped, I'd have done a knee-jerk reaction thing and gone after that dude.
But my Pagan values prevailed, and I drove on.
It works like this. If you respect freedom of the mind, and human rights, then you have to grant the bearded guy the right to speak his mind. He feels strongly about what he is doing. I couldn't possibly agree with him less, but the U.S. Constitution protects his right to behave badly.
If I get out of my car and go over there in defense of that woman he's bothering, I might actually step on his rights by giving him the whuppin he so richly deserves. He's not touching the woman, she's not touching him. If I intervene, the cops haul me away. And rightly so.
So, what is a Pagan to do about freedom of speech at the women's clinic? Do I go there with my wand and call peace from the Quarters? Frankly I think that would be as freaky to the clinic patients as the abortion protesters.
Except if I do it when no one is there.
One Pagan value, I think, is to do what you can to make yourself feel good about a situation. Driving past that clinic on Saturday mornings gets my weekend off to a horrible start. So I need to work some personal magic that will get me past that spot without sucking in the negativity. In the process, I also want to endow the property with protective spirits that will confound the protesters' abilities to prey upon women they don't know who haven't asked for their attention.
White magic can be as simple as endowing a place with an essence. It can be a seen essence, such as plastic dinosaurs on a playground, or an unseen essence, such as incense that disappears into the air. It can even be prayers or incantations.
Personally I like to leave something tangible behind -- something that people will find and puzzle over.
It happens I've got a nice sack of quartz crystals on hand right now. A judicious placement of crystals in the shrubbery surrounding the clinic will, at the very least, make me feel better. Quartz imparts calm. This clinic is a place that needs to have its energy level tamed a bit.
So there you have it. One Pagan's response to a troubling Saturday morning scene.
If you would like to send a crystal or other small stone to place on the property of the Cherry Hill Women's Health Center, please email me for address.