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
Moving the Longstones

I don't know how you go about moving standing stones where you live.

Here's what we do around here.

In these things, of course, it's always best to start in a sacred way.

Before the day's work begins, we gather around the stone. We lay out the eventual foundation offerings on the foot of the longstone. Then we pass around a horn of beer, and everyone takes a sip.

The rest of the beer we pour out over the stone.

Then we pack up the foundation offerings, and the day's work begins.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    http://witchesandpagans.com/pagan-culture-blogs/paganistan/13-different-ways-of-reverencing-a-standing-stone.html
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Macha, this is a splendid idea. The genius of the paganisms has always and everywhere been to be religions of the here, and nothin
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Since we now have an outdoor space, I'm going to see if the men in our circle at San Quentin want to do something similar on a muc
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Wonderful! Thanks for sharing.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I should add that we've taken to doing the same little ceremony at the end of the work day, as well.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Are You Bi?

So far as I can determine, it was the late Ray Buckland (1934-2017) who first coined the ghastly word duotheism to describe Wicca's two-deity, God-Goddess system.

Well, Uncle Ray accomplished many things in his 83 years, and all New World pagans owe him a deep debt of gratitude.

But a poet, he wasn't.

The term duotheism first saw print in the introduction to his 1974 The Tree: A Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft. In the absence of any earlier citations, my guess would be that it arose out of the theological ruminations that went into the making of Seax Wicca.

Alas, this amateurish botch of a coinage still sees light every now and then. It still makes me cringe every time.

In fact, the coinage was unnecessary. In the language of religious scholarship, a two-deity system is known as a bitheism. To this poet's ear, at least, this is a much less painful option.

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Poly, me too, in that while I believe the All is One, it is made up of the Many, yes?
Pagan Ms. Manners: Does Skyclad Mean Barefoot Too?

Dear Pagan Ms. Manners:

Does skyclad necessarily mean barefoot too?

It's hard to raise a cone when you can't feel your feet.

Frostbitten in Fargo

 
Dear Bitten:

Having grown up in the North Country, where "Minnesota skyclad" means no parka, I can thoroughly sympathize with your problem.

Here's the thing to remember: skyclad liberates because it gives you the freedom to adorn the body without having to cover it.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I hear that most of those advice columnists just make up most of the letters.
  • john stitely
    john stitely says #
    While your articles are always thought provoking, , the answer to the question seems obvious and is summed up in the proverb,
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    A writer could hardly ask for higher praise. Thanks for writing, Angela.
  • Angela
    Angela says #
    Every time I see an article title pop up and am intrigued enough to click and read, I don't dont often pay enough attention to see

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Reweaving the Reft in Time

The ancient Greeks dated years from the (mythic) foundation of the Olympic Games.

The ancient Romans dated years from the (mythic) foundation of the city of Rome.

We, however, date our years from the (mythic) birth of Christ.

Call it “Common Era” if you like, but clearly we need a more fitting way to count sacred time. We need some other pivotal mythic event from which to number our years.

For my pentacles, the best proposal to date comes from Merlin Stone's seminal 1979 essay “9980: Repairing the Time Warp,” in which she proposes that we date our old-new year-count from the beginning of agriculture.

For better and for worse, agriculture has changed everything that came after it. It's an event of both historic and mythic proportion. Better yet, it's something that we all share.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Interesting idea, and perhaps impractical for actual use, however interesting all the same.
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Well, since all dating systems are, in effect, arbitrary, I suppose some would recalibrate their calendar in the wake of new archa
  • Kayly
    Kayly says #
    But the changing dates are the problem. If we set our current year as 12,017 and in ten years, they find that agriculture is 10,0

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pagans, Pagans Everywhere

And this year's award for Most Beautiful Working Pagan Temple goes to...the pagan community of...(drum-roll, please)....Armenia!

The Temple of Garni, shown here, was likely built during the 1st century CE as a temple to Mihr (= Mithras). Toppled by an earthquake in 1679, it was reconstructed between 1969 and 1975, and has since become the national shrine of the New Pagans of Armenia. They hold rituals there regularly and, in fact, are in the process of planting a sacred grove of almond trees around it.

Now that's style.

Yes, there are pagans in Armenia. There are pagans everywhere. Check out the Wikipedia page on the Armenian community and follow the links at the bottom. You'll be amazed at where they take you.

Ossetia. Daghestan. Kirghizistan. Mongolia. Across Central Europe and Central Asia, New Pagan movements have sprung up since independence like mushrooms after rain, as people ponder their post-colonial identity and direction. Tengrism—the traditional shamanic worship of Tengri, Blue Father Sky—has undergone a massive resurgence across the steppes of Asia. In some countries, pagans actually constitute a substantial percentage of the population.

Last modified on

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Waiting for Prince Charming

A Note to Readers: As a general rule, I try in my posts to avoid shameless generalization, the spiteful, and the mean-spirited.

So humor me this once, OK?

 

Did you know that The World Teacher for All Humanity is Now Here?

Or that Millions now know that their awaited “Teacher,” whether they call him [sic] the Christ, the Messiah, the fifth Buddha, Krishna, or the Imam Mahdi...is already living among us and is gradually emerging into full public recognition?

No, neither did I.

But according to the local New Age rag, he [sic] is.

Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and now (if you'll pardon the comparison) the vapid narcissism of the New Age: all waiting for Prince Charming.

Well, let 'em fantasize. That's what makes pagans different.

Last modified on
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Those that wait get impatient, I guess. Me I don't wait either, I just have confidence that the Immanent is always with us and doe
  • Celeste Lovecharm
    Celeste Lovecharm says #
    I had a similar reaction when I saw the advertisement. I'm glad that I'm not the only one.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Old Covenant

Life for life: the Old Covenant.

(The Old Oneness, we would say in the old Witch language.)

And the sign and seal of the Old Oneness—“There's a oneness between us”—is the apple.

The apple is deep, deep. At its heart, cut one way, the Gate of Life (i.e. yoni). Cut the other, the fivefold Star of Birth, Life, Love, Death, and Rebirth.

They say that Elfhame's Queen took a mortal man to be her bard and lemman: Thomas Rhymer he was called.

Seven years he served her: and all his payment was an apple.

Last modified on
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert says #
    Awww, thank you ! I am honored. You are most kind. Blessings Bright, Tasha

Additional information