Wands up for Orlando is a Pagan initiative designed to honour the dead of the terrible shooting in an Orlando LGBT+ nightclub, support the LGBT+ community, and celebrate the value of relationship as an answer to hate and despair.
At its heart is a ritual, written by Yvonne Aburrow and Spiritus Silvae, that they suggest is performed on any night between 25/06 and 02/07 to commemorate the dead.
“It can be performed alone or with your group,” they write. “We have tried to make it adaptable to any Pagan or polytheist practice.”
Why “wands up”? One of the founders, Salvatore Caci, writes: “In the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, after the death of Dumbledore, all students of Hogwarts take their wands and raise them into the air to light up the sky and sweep away Voldemort’s evil curse. Similarly, we want to sweep away the curses of intolerance and violence with the light that shines from our hearts and hands joined together and in support of one another.”
An excerpt of the ritual is below. As part of it, the authors suggest that the names of those who died are read out. And what still shocks is how long it is.
We are rising, out of the silence,
out of the hidden places, daring to be,
to shine forth our glorious queer radiance,
because we are the holy ones, the liminal ones,
the dreamers and the creators of possibility.