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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Steven Posch

Steven Posch

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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Live from Paganicon 2019

Plymouth, MN

Greetings from the Hotel of the Pagans.

We've got the whole place, with the exception of a few poor, unsuspecting cowans with preexisting reservations.

Now there's some sociology just waiting to happen.

Here's something interesting: I've been through every drawer in my room, and—Lady be praised—there's not a Gideon Bible in a single one of them.

(The Gideon Society is a group of spiritual imperialists with the motto “A Bible in every hotel room.”)

I can think of several possible explanations.

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Sacrifice Revisited

So: here was my evil plan.

Step 1. To lay the groundwork, as it were, the first year we'd do the presentation: “Sacrifice in Theory and Practice.”

Step 2. The next year, we'd bring in the cute little lambie and let the kids get to know it through the course of the festival.

Then at the big ritual we'd kill it and eat it.

Needless to say, we never even got to Step 1.

***

Thirty years ago, they wouldn't even let us talk about sacrifice at PSG. “Too controversial,” they said.

Well, that was 30 years ago, and this is Paganistan.

Moral of the story: Don't wait for Step 2.

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Oh Happy Day

 Oh happy day

Oh happy day

Oh happy day

Oh happy day

when She came back

when She came back

when She came back

when the Lady came back

when She came back

when the Goddess came back

when She came back to stay

Oh happy day

Oh happy day

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In Which Our Intrepid Blogger Comes Across Something Unexpected in a Gay Porn Mag

 Reader alert: Explicit gay sex

 

My friend hands me the open magazine.

“Steve, you have got to see this.”

I've never much been one for written erotica, but when I see the title of the story, my jaw drops.

The Cult of the Horned God.

So: our hero, a studly young anthropologist fresh out of grad school, has gone to rural France to study contemporary survivals of the Cult of the Horned God.

He's been staying in a farmhouse owned by two brothers: one blonde and one dark. Don't worry, you'll find something, they keep telling him, but the entire summer has gone by and he has turned up absolutely nothing. Watching the brothers swim naked at the beach, he can't decide which one is hotter, but really, what does it matter? he thinks: Just another disappointed hope.

On his last night in France, the brothers say: Hey, it's your last night: come with us. We have something we want to show you.

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What Do You Say When a Witch Dies?

What do you say when a witch dies?

Well, witchhood is a kind of tribal affiliation.

Those who have no tribe often find it difficult to understand the depth of the sense of belonging that comes with tribal identity. Those that do, know that, naturally, when you die, you don't want to come back just anywhere; you want to come back to your people, to those that you love.

Uncle Gerald got it absolutely right when he says in Witchcraft Today (140)that our hope beyond death is for rebirth among our own.

Once a witch, always a witch, they say. Not even death takes that away.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I'll note with amusement that in the WT passage cited above, the witches tell Gardner that to be reborn among one's own is a rewar
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    From what I've read in books on past life regression we do have a tendency to reincarnate in groups. Apparently a lot of American

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Kiss the Earth

When's the last time that you kissed the Earth?

I mean: got down on your hands and knees and actually kissed the Earth? Kissed Her, and really meant it?

The Kiss of the Earth has nothing to do with abasement. It's an act of love, of worship.

All that we know, all that we love, our very selves: all these are gifts of Earth.

That's why we do it.

 ***

In one of the “20th” century's greatest pieces of pagan art, Sacre du Printemps, we see the Spring Rites of an ancient Slavic tribe. In the original Nijinsky choreography, at the end of the first act, the Day Rites climax with the moment of utmost sanctity, the Kiss of the Earth.

The youths lead the tribe's Oldest Man into the midst of the people. With their assistance, he lowers himself to the ground and kisses the Mother of Us All.

On our behalf, he kisses Her.

***

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Shit on the Altar

What would you do if you came down one morning and found shit on the altar?

Literal shit?

It happened to a friend of mine.

She'd recently moved the household altar, with its antlered Grinnygog* and photos of the dead, from a wall-shelf upstairs to a beautiful painted alcove downstairs. By aesthetic standards, the move was a quantum improvement, and yet, there it was: desecration.

What do you do when there's shit on the altar? Well, first you wash everything as thoroughly as you can, and strew the altar with salt.

Then you figure out what's going on, and what you need to do about it.

It turns out that the shit wasn't actually shit, but—hardly an improvement—spew.

The kitty had jumped up on the altar, eaten the food offerings, and then puked them back up. Yuck.

Well, kitties will be kitties. Still, when it comes to the sacred, these things don't just happen.

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