I was having a nice day yesterday. I did a load of laundry before noon; I had groceries delivered, which might sound like a luxury but isn’t if you have bad knees and no car. After lunch I took my laptop and went to a Panera, where I had a frozen mocha and a pastry and wrote for a while. I’m fifty-one years old, and I’ve only just now found a coffee shop where I feel relaxed and comfortable enough to write. On my way home I stopped at a botanica and bought a bag of 100 tealights and some incense, the bread and butter of my daily offerings to the gods. The predicted thunderstorms stayed away while I was out. A nice day.
Then I got home, looked at Facebook, and discovered that Nazis had marched on the University of Virginia. Yes, I’m going to call them Nazis; they may be clean-cut, polo-shirt-wearing, gainfully employed American citizens, but when people espouse all the vows of the Nazis in Germany, use Nazi slogans like “Blood and soil”, give the Nazi salute and shout “Heil Trump”, I’m going to call them Nazis, because Nazis is evidently what they are. The horror of this protest, its support by local police, the attack on counter-protesters by a driver who killed one and injured nineteen more, is only sharpened by the absurdity of the marchers carrying tiki torches, no doubt purchased at Walmart.
While I was perusing incense in the botanica, I saw a variety labelled San Miguel. I know enough Spanish to identify that as St. Michael the Archangel. I remembered that I had a small figure of St. Michael, so I bought some of the incense. By the time I logged onto Facebook, I had formed the intention of calling on the archangel for protection, so I went to one of my magical groups and asked for advice. I was pointed to sources for traditional prayers and advised to do a novena for the archangel, nine days of prayer, to make initial contact with him. “He can be rather aloof,” said one person who replied to my query.
This morning I washed a few dishes from last night before making my tea and breakfast. For me there’s nothing like showering or washing dishes to open my head to new ideas. That’s when I received the phrase with which I titled this entry: Fighting fire with fire.
Those protestors with torches, marching openly with uncovered faces, would certainly identify themselves as Christians. They were shouting antisemitic slogans, so they certainly weren’t Jews. Despite their appropriation of some Norse pagan symbols such as the Othala rune, I’m sure they would disavow being witches, Wiccans, pagans, and probably even heathens specifically. And they were also vocally anti-Islamic, which likely rules out their being Hindu, Sikh, Zoroastrian, or Jain as well.
Despite their resemblance to the crowd that supposedly called for Jesus’ execution when Pilate the good Roman (actually a notorious hard-ass) wanted to free Jesus, they would call themselves Christian. Despite opposing everything that Jesus taught, preached, and stood for. Despite excluding, imprisoning, and executing people whom Jesus would have healed, talked with, and welcomed to his table. Despite that many local Christian clergy rightfully marched as a counter-protest. Despite their refusal to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, give water to the thirsty, or bury the dead (Matthew 25: 31-46).
“I came not to bring peace but a sword,” Jesus said, although he allowed himself to be arrested, tried, and executed and did not call for any natural or supernatural help. The sword I call on against these un-Jesus-like Christians, Nazis, white supremacists, racists, sexists, transphobic and queer-phobic and antisemitic bigots is the sword ot St. Michael, the leader of the heavenly hosts. The fire with which I oppose the fire of their ridiculous tiki torches, the fire of their hatred and fear, is the fire of the nine choirs of angels. Today I am starting a novena to St. Michael to oppose the Nazis in our midst with the fire of the love of the Trinity and to protect all those of good will who also oppose them.