The Unflinching Gaze

On Wednesday I held an unflinching gaze. My nation crawled from what seemed like the cave of Medusa herself as I pushed through the early morning determined to bear witness to the state of our democracy. I witnessed my friends cry and hold each other in fear. I looked into the eyes of a dear friend and through a worried gaze she offered me comfort as if we were attending each other's wake. Together we held solidarity for each other through the hollowness of our own shared terror. I wanted to run away from it all, but I looked, I looked and I looked because in that moment my sacred purpose was to watch.

My stomach writhed in agony, my body shook in anger, and my eyes ached with sadness as I watched. No monster has been easy to witness. No death has been easy to mourn. Medusa has been with me for longer than a year now and she has challenged me every step of the way as she has removed veil after veil from my guise. I could feel her in every sob, every shout, and every breath of that morning. She has prepared me for this moment and for all moments of sacred witness to come.

As a witch I consider it my work to hold space for the sacred in my everyday life, and as an activist I consider it my duty to fight systems of oppression that seek to strip us of our divinity. So for me, it was no coincidence that when I looked at social media and at the TV screen that I was once again forced not to turn to stone. I was once again painfully reminded that my job is to heal and not to flee. I was once again reminded that it is an immense privilege to be surrounded by strong people and strong magic in my communities. I was once again reminded that when the towers of ignorance fall, we are given the opportunity to reclaim our divinity.


Medusa is not a bringer of ill omen, but rather a revealer of unpleasant truths. She challenges us to perceive things as they are, and for people in the United States that means taking a hard look at our nations history and politics. It means being extremely uncomfortable, completely heartbroken, and righteously angry at the devastation our nation is causing inside and outside of its borders. Medusa challenges us to reject complacency and to take action, lest we be turned into stone by our fear and refusal to see the truth. She is here to shake us to our core so that we will finally wake up.

Today, as a queer, trans, and non-Christian person I walk with larger targets on my back that I had just days before, but I refuse to let my world to be stolen. As a white, middle-class, educated, able-bodied person I also have a lot of privilege that will protect me from the violence that others will face. Each and every day we have to commit to toppling the towers of oppression and violence that keep us all from liberation. Medusa has simply lifted the veil, so that we have better aim.