When I heard about the shooting at Pulse in Orlando, and the massacre of LGBT victims, I was overcome with shock and grief. I couldn’t stop crying for an hour straight after I first heard, and each link I saw to further information triggered the tears anew. As the last few days have passed, it seems like I can’t even get past the shock and tears to express how I feel, or do anything meaningful.
Fortunately for me, there are beautiful and sensitive souls in my community who have come up with fitting ways of honoring the victims of this terrible act, giving voice to the shock and grief that so many of us feel, along with the hope that we long for. One of these people, Robert Lusch-Schreiwer, has crafted a deeply moving Urglaawe ritual response to the Pulse massacre, with plans to perform it in public this Saturday at 2:30pm. He is urging others who feel so moved to perform their own versions of this rite at the same time in order to amplify the loving energies and combat the hatred that fueled this tragedy.
I won’t personally be able to join in at the same time, but I’m planning my own observance of this ritual sometime next week. If I get enough interest, I will make it a public rite in the Greensburg, Pennsylvania area, so that others can participate. I am thankful for this beautiful ritual, and the ability to respond to this tragedy in a way that aligns with my Urglaawe practice.
In thinking about this ritual, I am reminded of the holiday Allelieweziel, which beautifully translates to “the goal of all love”, where we focus on honoring departed loved ones. If there’s anything we need to learn from this tragedy, it’s the importance of love, of growing our loving communities until everyone can be included, until love overcomes hatred. I am reminded of the LGBT people who have fought for our right to love, and who have died for that right, as Ancestors we need to honor, invoke, and offer to, especially at times like this, to empower us in that struggle.