Voting and Columbia

As I said at Hail Columbia, voting is where the magical meets the mundane: we take our intent and put it into action. Go vote!

As Hecate says, we are the daughters and sons of iron-jawed angels. They and many others won us the right to vote. Go vote!

And finally, as a devotee of Columbia, this isn’t just the most important right of living in a democracy, it’s the most important rite. Go vote!

That last part is kind of a strange thing for me to write. I’m a secularist; I think we should base our choices for the country on secular, not religious grounds. I am motivated by my religion, obviously, but will seldom argue for policies on that basis, and when I do, I always also have sound secular arguments which will stand on their own. It drives me nuts when people say they’re going to write in Jesus for all the offices on the ballot and stuff like that. So where do I get off saying that Columbia has anything to do with this?

Well, I think Columbia’s a little like me: kind of conflicted. In some ways, I prize her as a contradiction in terms, a goddess of secular-ness. I think the values that she represents include the separation of church and state. If we’re going to be able to honor goddesses at all, we have to guarantee freedom of religion, and no religious tests for office, and all those other things that make us a secular country where many religions and none flourish.

This contradiction folds back on itself: I hesitate to say that voting is a sacred act – as opposed to a secular one – but I do think it meets a certain definition of sacrality. Voting to me is so very, very important that it is set apart. I focus my intentions on it beforehand. I take particular time to do it. Notice how voting places have their own boundaries defined, so that no overt politicking can take place within a certain distance of the polls. That reminds me of a circle, a set-apart space for this particular act of will to occur. So voting is set-apart, special, and perhaps that’s the right way for it to be to honor my goddess of secularity.

As a Witch, I will hold those tensions within myself. My religion and my insistence on the primacy of a secular government go with me, hand-in-hand, to the polls. And there, I will take a deep breath and put my intent into action. So whether I think of it as sacred or not, it’s a chance to make a change in the world: it’s magic.

So vote it be.

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About Literata

Literata is a Wiccan priestess and writer. She edited Crossing the River: An Anthology in Honor of Sacred Journeys, and her poetry, rituals, and nonfiction have appeared in works such as Mandragora, Unto Herself, and Anointed as well as multiple periodicals. Literata has presented rituals and workshops at Sacred Space conference, Fertile Ground Gathering, and other mid-Atlantic venues. Literata offers healing and divination services as well as customized life-cycle rituals. She is currently completing her doctoral dissertation in history with the support of her husband and four cats.
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