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.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
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.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Know Your Lake

Let's face it: Revival Paganism has an authenticity problem.

This state of affairs is hardly to be wondered at. Our roots have been cut. Things that should, by rights, have come down to us, we've had to figure out for ourselves. Like every learner, we've made our share of mistakes.

But there's a ready solution.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Last Tree Standing

If it were a contest, I'd win every year.

Last Yule tree on the block.

Call it the “Long Yule.”

Up here in the North, through our dark days and cold nights, we come yet again and again to drink from that fountain of living light.

Yule is a long farewell. At Thirteenth Night we begin; again, a thirtnight later, at Twenty-Sixth (3 x 13) Night, we continue. Last of all is Thirty-Ninth Night, what in Shetland they call Up-Helly-Aa: “Up-Holiday-All.”

By then, of course, we can see the fires of Imbolc burning on the horizon: our midwinter, halfway hope, by which time the greens will all have been burned and the geegaws laid by, with nothing over but ash, and the pure, pure Light.

The rest of Yule is all boxed up and put away. Only the tree remains: a worn familiarity, its glories somewhat dimmed as the Sun's light waxes.

But for now, for just this little while longer, I'll fondly sit and warm my hands at the embers of a dying fire.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
I Have It from On High That...

I can't even remember what the meeting was about, or what we finally decided.

But the lesson that I learned that night, I'll never forget.

It was pagan politics as usual. Some wanted A, some B.

Then someone stood up and announced that she had "had it from On High" that we were supposed to go with A.

Well, those were arrogant times. These days, I like to think that anyone making such a claim would get laughed out of the room.

I'm not saying that the gods don't speak to us. Of course they do, if we care enough to listen. Still, what a god may or may not tell me is one thing; expecting what he says to be binding on others is something else entirely.

In the pagan world, some people do get to speak for the gods. But you don't get that privilege (and burden) by mere assertion. I myself know some—admittedly, only a handful—whose word I would trust in such a manner.

Last modified on
How Thunder Slew the Three-Headed Giant

They say there was once a three-headed giant named Motho.

Well, that's what they say.

You know giants: they're greedy. Motho just couldn't be content until everyone, everywhere, was his slave.

He went through the whole world, chaining the people. Wherever he went, balance was broken. Wherever he went, hatred and discord sprang up.

In time, it seemed as if he might enslave all the world. Then from their chains, the people called to mighty Thunder: men, women, and children, they called.

Mighty Thunder arose. His anger burned hot. He took up his lightning hammer and smote, smote, smote. He broke the baleful heads of Motho; he broke the chains that bound the people.

In this way, Motho was killed, and the world was freed.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Cats Know

Cats know.

People know that they know.

The wise know that they know that they know.

Witches know that they know that they know that they know.

That is to say:

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
A Tribe of Deicides

The world began with a sacrifice.

That's how the ancestors saw it, 6000 years ago.

6000 years later, that's still how witches see it.

Throughout Indo-Europeandom (and beyond it as well), one finds tales of the Primal Sacrifice. A divine or semi-divine being is killed; from his body, the world as we know it is created.

And so sacrifice becomes the central rite of public worship. Every sacrifice reenacts—reembodies—that primal, cosmogonic sacrifice.

Every sacrifice recreates the world.

Moreover, this is a true story. Truly, life lives on life. No matter what kind of -vore you are, others die so that you can eat them and live.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Lesbianistic

“Steve?”

It was the high priest of one of the local Wiccan covens on the line.

“We had an inquiry from a woman who's into...uh, feminism. I thought she might be...uh, a better fit for you guys.”

It was the early 80s. We were the new coven in town back then, still in the days of our coven household. (Barring time spent in utero, those were probably the most intense nine months of my life.) The local Wiccan scene still being pretty hetero at the time, with three bi women and one gay man, people naturally thought of us as the “gay group.”

(In fact, sexual preference just wasn't an issue with us. It still isn't. When our first straight member joined some years later, no one even noticed until months after that we had, so to speak, expanded our demographic.)

“Sure: give her the number, we'd be happy to talk with her,” I said. Riding the crest of the Second Wave at the time, we were proud of our unabashed feminism. We still are.

There was an awkward pause.

“Uh....”

He was fumbling for words. Clearly, this was going to be interesting.

Last modified on

Additional information