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.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Black Egg

Behold: black eggs.

Bright black.

To some, this might seem strange.

To us, it makes perfect sense.

Black is fertile. Black is rich. Black holds everything.

Other priesthoods wear white.

Not so ours.

Black as Mother Earth, who bears the red rye and white barley.

(See her likeness on the goose's egg?)

Black as Mother Night, with her great sky of stars.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Goat or the Hare?

 A Poem About Love

 

My friends all loved the Yule Goat best.

But I loved the Ostara Hare.

 

I know, I know. The Yule Goat brings presents.

Everyone likes presents, right? But look at them.

Shirts and socks and underwear?

You call those presents?

And the rest isn't even what you want.

(It's maybe what you'd want

if you were who they thought that you were.)

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Hare and the Sugar Bush: An Anishinabe Tale

As nights grow shorter and days grow warmer, the sap begins to run, and it's time for the year's first harvest. And while the Sugar Moon shines, it's time to tell tales of Hare, as we of Great Lakes Country have always done.

 

Well, nights were growing shorter and days were growing warmer, but in the lodge where Hare lived with his grandmother, the birchbark buckets were empty and the last of the food was gone.

Woe, woe, said Hare's Grandmother.

Woe on an old woman with no relatives left but one no-good grandson who can't hunt for shit. Shame, shame on a worthless grandson who would let his old grandmother starve to death.

She kicked him out of the lodge and told him not to come back until he'd found something to eat.

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Meatless Diets Promote Climate Change, Warns Scientist

AP: Minneapolis, Minnesota

You may have heard that the single most important thing that you can do to reduce your carbon footprint is to become vegan or vegetarian.

Not so, says Dr. Stanley Friehl of the University of Paganistan's School of Bio-Chemistry.

In an article in the current issue of Scientific American, Friehl suggests that the average plant-based diet actually increases the amount of greenhouse-gas emission.

“Admittedly, meat is bad for the environment,” writes Friehl.

“But while it's true that reducing the amount of meat that you consume will significantly lower carbon emission, studies show that giving up meat is actually worse for the environment,” he adds.

While this conclusion may seem counter-intuitive, the fact that the average vegan or vegetarian is far more likely to consume greater quantities of pulses—beans, peas, and lentils—than the average practicing omnivore, means that they in turn emit higher amounts of methane.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Should We Scrap the Word 'Magic'?

It's fascinating to note that the Anglo-Saxon Hwicce, the original Tribe of Witches, had no word for 'magic.'

Instead, they had numerous words denoting different kinds of magic. At this remove of time, we can often no longer distinguish clearly between them

Bealcræft, 'bale-craft': magic intended to harm.

Drýcræft, 'druid (?)-craft': Possibly, druid magic. Specifically what kind of magic the Anglo-Saxons believed the druids to have practiced, we no longer know.

Dwimorcræft: 'dwimmer-craft': Necromancy (?)

Dwolcræft, 'dwele-craft': Apparently, magic intended to mislead or cause confusion.

Galdorcræft, 'galder-craft': Sung magic.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    "Parthenogenetrix" is one of my own favorites.
  • Karena
    Karena says #
    I curtsy in your direction- parthenogenetrix is lovely! And so much less rare than one would be led to believe, LOL!
  • Karena
    Karena says #
    I'm not so sure. Although the word encompasses a number of experiences and intents, & isn't terribly specific, I think it might st
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    I, too, have always used the word spellcraft, together with the word ethical. As always, thanks for this.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Me too, Critter. Amazing word, 'spellcraft.' 1400 years, and it's still pronounced the same, and means the same thing.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Wanted: A Good Word for 'Energy'

It flows through everything.

Everything is made from it.

Energy.

But how do you say that in Pagan?

“Energy” is a word from the vocabulary of science, which is no bad thing in and of itself.

But I would contend that for so primal a concept, we need a primal word.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I was able to dig out a copy of the book. The word the author uses was Ruach not roika. Apparently roika is a word my subconscio
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Doesn't sound Yiddish to me. A quick web-search turns up nothing relevant; I'm guessing that it's made-up. Not that there's anythi
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I'm reasonably sure it's not Yiddish. It might have been coined by that guy who invented Anthroposophy, but I'm not sure. I gues
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Hmm. I speak Modern Hebrew and read Biblical Hebrew, and I can tell you that it doesn't look Hebrew to me.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I think the author said he got it from the Hebrew.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Tree of Sacrifice

The stang, or “Devil's Cross,” is the forked pole that, in Old Craft usage, represents the Horned.

It's a Tree of Life.

It's also a Tree of Death.

At the great temple of Uppsala in Sweden, they used to hang the bodies of sacrifices—strange and terrible fruit—from the trees of the sacred grove.

If you've ever seen the gutted carcass of a deer strung up from a branch to bleed out, you'll understand.

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