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Unicorns Will Always be Easier


Back when I first got to town, the Rowan Tree Mystery School was one of the big players on the local pagan scene. I myself never joined, but a number of good friends were committed members.

As part of their magical training, each student was expected to keep, in effect, an astral familiar: a unicorn, a dragon, a griffin. I'll admit, this always twisted my nuts the wrong way.

What's wrong with real animals? I wondered. If you're going to cultivate a relationship with an animal, why not Buffalo, or Groundhog, or Deer?

Why not real animals: animals that shit, and piss, and stink? Animals that we have to watch and study long to understand? Animals with wills and lives and ways of their own, animals that won't do what we want them to?

Unicorns will always be easier.


The Barrow-Wights Are Angry


A local high [sic] priestess had a mission. The barrow-wights were angry, you see, and it was her job to—I suppose—mollify them.

Well. This is Minnesota, and there are lots of mounds here. There are people in many of those mounds, the ancestors in the Land.

Seeing what has become of the Land, I could well understand that they might be angry. Well do we, the Younger Sibs, new in the Land, need to make our peace with the Land, and with the First Peoples of this Land: with what has been done, and with our role in that doing. Well might the barrow-wights be angry.

But no high priestess, however powerful, can do that work for me.

That work I need to do for myself.


Pagans in Exile

Why isn't the Earth enough?”

(Mark Green)


I once spoke with mythologist Joseph Campbell. After his talk, I asked him a question: “Do we, then, need to return to the Earth?”

I had intended my question—not, perhaps, as felicitously phrased as it might have been—seriously. The West is in spiritual crisis, granted; how, then, do we best address ourselves to this problem? Is the sacrality of Earth not central, both to this problem, and to its solution?

Campbell, though, who had his own story to sell [sic]—the Hero's Journey—blew it off.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


Image result for michael praed robin sherwood

Robin Hood (AKA Son of Herne)

Steals from the rich, gives to the poor


 Don't Forget to Blame Mitch McConnell for the Coronavirus Crisis | Vanity  Fair

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, I so wish I could take credit for it, but McConnell was given that title by Holocaust historian Christopher Browning.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I've borrowed your epithet, Jamie: thanks!
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, You are the man! I am a huge fan of Robin of Sherwood! I always associate ROS with the Fall season, because that's whe

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I found two tiny brown feathers b2ap3_thumbnail_fall-goddess-by-the-crabapple.jpg
on the sidewalk
and a puff of raptor down
caught on the grasses.
I picked some berries off the autumn olives
that line the sidewalk
and ate them,
careful not to spit the seeds
where they might grow.
The plants are aggressive
and invasive,
but also edible,
a friend has called them
“sweetarts of the forest”
and this is indeed how they taste.
We watched our shadows precede us
and talked of dreams and desires,
wondering and wishes.
As we neared the car,
a gust of wind swirled into
the walnut tree ahead of us
and a cascade of yellow leaves
began to dance and twirl
through the air.
I’ve written before of being in
an autumn snowglobe
and though I try to think of another way to describe it,
that is truly how it feels
to stand with your head
tilted back
laughing into the blue sky
as the leaves come drifting down around your shoulders.
This time, as I looked up,
a hawk,
previously unseen,
tilted down out of
the walnut branches
and slid away into the trees
above my head.
We all need time for restoration
and replenishment,
time to stand laughing
in the leaves  
with the sweet-tart flavor
of October
on our tongues.

(Side note: red fruits actually pictured are on a crabapple tree, not an autumn olive.)

And, my new book, In the Temple of the Ordinary is now available for pre-order!

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  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Molly, Your book just made it onto my Christmas wish list. Great poem as always, by the way. My sole experience eating autumn

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

In the arc of the Pagan wheel of the year, October is the time leading up to Samhain or Hallows (the midpoint between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice). It is, of course, the time when we all go a little crazy with spooky décor and witchy aesthetic, leading up to Halloween night, although the actual midpoint is around Nov. 7.

October is a time when we contemplate mortality and memory, remembering those who have died and our ancestors leading back into the mists of time. The skulls and bones and spider webs remind us that we are here only for a limited time, and will also one day be only memories in the minds of those who survive us.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Dreams: Failing a Test

Taking a test in a dream is often a sign of a challenge in your waking life, something that has put you under pressure or that is causing the people in your life to analyze you. Perhaps you actually have an upcoming exam in real life that is causing you anxiety, or maybe the “test” in your dream is a representation of some other trial you have had to face. Tests often symbolize being unprepared, and can reflect anxiety for the future as well as guilt about the past. Did you back down from a challenge?. There may be another lying in wait for you. In these dreams, people often find they feel like they are running out of time, or they can’t understand the questions, or their pencil keeps breaking and preventing them from finishing the test.

The feelings you experience while taking the test in your dream can reflect your confidence in your waking life. If you are failing a test or wallowing in the fear of failing, you may be struggling with self-esteem. You likely have all the tools you need to succeed, but are selling yourself short, or you are setting goals that are too high, and, as a result, you fear not being able to meet your own standards.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs



“So, what are you doing for Samhain this year?”

At a community pre-Halloween party, I'm talking with a local high priestess. (Witches mostly have other things to do on Halloween itself.) It's not long before I begin to regret my innocent question.

(Welcome to the Irony-Free Zone. What is it about the term “high priestess” that I find so cringe-worthy? Just how self-aggrandizing do we need to be? Isn't “priestess” enough?)

Turns out, the Seelie and Unseelie Courts [sic] have been duking it out recently over at Lakewood Cemetery—territorial disputes, I suppose—and the grand showdown is set for All Hallows' Eve. (Oof, Urban Elves: one of my most un-favorite genres.) Our HPss needs to go in, balance things, I guess.

Oh, my people. There's no one quite like pagans for letting our imaginations run away with us.

I suppose that, if you don't have anywhere better to be, there are worse places to spend the Eve of Samhain than a graveyard. Still, really? The Seelie and Unseelie Courts? In Minnesota?

There's little to her story that's not part of the Lore, I'll admit: inter-seasonal conflict, disputes between kindreds of the Other People, even the choice of a human referee to adjudicate. Surely a witch needs to work her territory, and that actively.

Still, where does reenchantment end, and delusionality begin?

Apparently, she believes what she's telling me. I do not roll my eyes. I do not.

Instead, I wish her luck in the endeavor, and (fortunately for my ability to keep a straight face) the conversation soon veers off in other directions.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
  • Mark Green
    Mark Green says #
    I have heard modern Paganism referred to as "a fantasy fandom, not a religion", and while I think that is really harsh, there are
Somebody (or Something) is Chasing You

This is one of the most common—and most frightening—dreams you can have. It’s the sort of chest-pounding, heart-stopping dream that makes you shoot up out of bed, right before the chaser lays their hands (or claws) on you. This dream has to do with feelings of stress and anxiety in a person’s waking life. It can be the result of your brain’s fight or flight in response to something that is threatening your well- being. Some things you will want to notice in your dream are who or what is chasing you, how you are feeling in the dream, and whether you escape whatever is chasing you.

Chase dreams are also associated with avoidance. A chase dream can mean that you are running from something in your waking life. It could be a situation you don’t want to deal with, a person you need to hold accountable, or a fear that needs to be confronted. Probably, the things that happen in this dream indicate how you cope when problems and pressures come your way. If you know the person chasing you in your dream, it’s possible that you have an ongoing issue with that person in reality. The chaser can also represent some part of yourself or some feelings that you have been keeping down. Let your intuition guide you—chances are you already know what this dream is trying to tell you, you just need to confront the truth. It’s time to stop hiding. Once you face the thing you’ve been avoiding, you will have much more peace of mind.

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