Paganistan: Notes from the Secret Commonwealth

In Which One Midwest Man-in-Black Confers, Converses & Otherwise Hob-Nobs with his Fellow Hob-Men (& -Women) Concerning the Sundry Ways of the Famed but Ill-Starred Tribe of Witches.

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'Hatched in the Wrong Nest'

 Robin's nest with a brown-headed cowbird egg - Bing Gallery

A Religion of Converts?


One might, on the face of it, think that most New Pagans are—in effect—converts.

Some seventy-five years into the Pagan Revival, I suspect that, still, the vast majority of us didn't grow up this way. I myself was, as they say in New Crete, “hatched in the wrong nest.”

And yet, if they asked you, “When did you become pagan?”, would the most honest answer really not be, “This is who I've always been”?

In my travels, I've met a spare handful who became pagan as the result of (if you'll pardon the comparison) a “road to Damascus” experience: the overwhelming, life-changing epiphany of a god or, more often, goddess.

But the fact remains that, for most of us, becoming pagan is not so much a matter of becoming something that we weren't before as it is of discovering a name for who and what we've always already been.

What does one take more for granted than one's own experience? Nonetheless, in the history of human religion, this is a development both remarkable and utterly unique.

It makes us, frankly, unstoppable.




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Poet, scholar and storyteller Steven Posch was raised in the hardwood forests of western Pennsylvania by white-tailed deer. (That's the story, anyway.) He emigrated to Paganistan in 1979 and by sheer dint of personality has become one of Lake Country's foremost men-in-black. He is current keeper of the Minnesota Ooser.


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