In the past few days, I’ve noticed online a rather huge buzz about witches and magic users of all kinds coming together on the 13th of this month to work magic against the militant organization of thugs in Africa known as Boko Haram. While I agree that their actions are atrocious; and while I also agree that all the killing in Africa should get at least as much attention from the press as the Super Bowl or Donald Trump’s choice to repeat profanities shouted by his fans; I also think it would be a good idea, before Pagans around the world get pumped up on a chance to unleash energetic hell against Boko Haram, for everyone to understand that the governments of that region – to include that of Cameroon, who authorized the use of witchcraft against Boko Haram in the first place – often act just as atrociously against their own people as do the militant thugs they are fighting.
I would offer these two articles as a place to start getting to know these governments better, to perhaps take into consideration while allowing or causing your energy to be channeled into a working that has itself shown signs of having become sensationalized, even by our own Pagan media. The first is from Mail & Guardian Africa, pointing toward abuses by the governments of both Nigeria and Cameroon. The second article comes from Human Rights Watch, and is a 2015 report focusing on 2014 violence in Nigeria.
I do not raise this topic in any way to suggest that what is happening in Africa should not be halted. I do not suggest that what is happening in Africa is not atrocious and sickening. I am not trying to dilute the need for actions focused around bringing an end to the violence in Africa or anywhere else. I am however wary of jumping on a bandwagon at the behest of a government that has itself come under criticism for brutal actions against its own people. I see this as supporting Stalin to hold off Hitler. Would I pray to the gods to bring peace to Africa? Yes – more accurately, I would do so again, as I have already been doing this. Would I send my own energy to work on people in Africa? Yes – but not against anyone, as I cannot honestly say I know enough about all the powers involved in the conflicts there to take sides – I would instead send energy to try to promote peace and harmony. I would not attempt this on a day set aside because it seemed astrologically to be the most ruinous day for anyone in particular – that is not how I promote peace. It was a reaction to watching a video of Nigerian military personnel slitting the throats of Boko Haram militants, one right after the next, and dropping them in a mass grave that caused me to post my essay, On Relative Being, to the Internet. This article is about connection of beliefs, and was the best I could do at the moment to channel the outrage I felt at such a callous disregard for life.
In the end, we all make our own choices about our ethics when it comes to working with energy and the gods. I do not presume to remove that choice from a single person. I do however feel moved, in light of the sensationalism that seems to surround this issue, to suggest taking a really good look at everyone involved in the situation, and making your choice as informed as possible.