In many ways, the video I am linking to is a challenge to older Pagans/Polytheists. HOW do we help younger members of the community? We have to be there for the younger members who are finding themselves at a loss. Many of us honor Warrior Gods and Goddesses, even if they are not the major focus of our praxis. Going back to one of my earliest posts on my blog Ares and Hestia: Partners in Social Activism (originally written in 2007) you can see that sometimes deities whose spheres of influence seem to be diametrically opposed to each other can and WILL work together towards a goal that both foster.
Now, comes the hard part. We as older members of faiths and traditions with more structure than what younger Eclectic Wiccans have NEED to stand up WITH them and help them find the stability to do what is needed.
As a devotee of Hestia, I am not one to pick up a weapon unless in a last-resort defense of myself or those who I love. However, there are many ways to fight a battle and Ares can inspire people to do such things as document injustice, comfort those who have been injured emotionally, and even bandage those who have been physically attacked. Are these things that I am ready to do? Yes.
As I have said, the roles of both Hestia — as builder of community — and Ares — who governs struggles of all types, are needed in our striving for a better future for ourselves. Sometimes those who are the “outsiders” in a system are the ones who see both the strengths and weaknesses in it. With the move towards eclectic forms of Pagan thought, many people have cherry-picked only the “good/light” portions of the systems. The election of 2016 has shown the weakness in that mode of thinking.
I as a practitioner of Hellenic Polytheism, see both the “light” and “dark” aspects of that system. I need to. It is sometimes BECAUSE of the “dark” that the “light” is brought into being. Heck, Zeus SWALLOWED his first wife Metis (in the form of a fly) and that is why Athena was born (dressed in armor, by the way) from his forehead. When Zagreus was torn apart and partially eaten by cannibal Titans, his heart — the only part not eaten — wound up sewn into Zeus’ thigh and born as Dionysus.
The FOLLOWERS of Dionysus were women who tore animals and sometimes even men apart in their frenzy of worship. Zeus himself grew up in a cave guarded by dancing warriors.
Are these examples “light”? I somehow don’t think so. Do they show us that there is strength in the darkness at times. Yes, they do.