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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Milk and Ash: A Rite of Sending

 Premium Photo | Milk in wooden bowl on black background top view free space  for your text

 Who comes?

A boy of the People, N son of N,

that he may die to his boyhood

and be reborn a man.


Faces white with ash, the men come for the boy; but first, one final rite.

A wooden bowl in her lap, the boy's mother sits on a three-legged stool. The boy kneels at her feet.

Hands on his head, she bestows her blessing.

She gives him the milk. (So began his life as a boy; so also, now, it ends.) When he has drunk, she takes the bowl.

He rises, and turns to go. Never, as a boy, will he return.

From behind, she gives him a push between the shoulderblades.

“Go forth a boy, come back a man,” she says.

Faces white with ash, the men take the boy.






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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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