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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Barleycorn's Revenge

You know the Grain God: him they call John Barleycorn.

You've heard the songs; you know the stories. It's pretty disgraceful, really, what they do to that poor guy.

They cut him with scythes. They tie him up. They stick him with pitchforks. They beat him with sticks. They crush him. They drown him.

As if that's not enough, they eat his flesh and drink his blood.

Not to worry: he's a god, after all. He always springs up again.

And in the end, he'll have his satisfaction.

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The Greater Courage

Which is the greater courage?

To die with the Old God's name on your lips?

Or to speak the usurpers' words, and to live with the Old Ways in your heart?

To hide, to lie if need be, to this end: that “ever the Craft shall live”?

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Well observed.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I suspect that some must die so that others can hide.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Fimble-Winter

Just before Ragnarok, according to the Elder Edda, will come a terrible winter called Fimbulvetr, the “mighty winter.”

(Thanks to Edward Lear—remember the fimble-fowl, with the corkscrew leg?—we may anglicize this nicely as the “Fimble-winter.”)

The Fimble-winter, it is said, will last for three whole years, with no summers in between.

Shudder.

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  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    So mote it be.
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    I remember one of those PBS shows; either Nova or Nature, saying that if the Yellowstone Caldera erupts it would cover all of Nor

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Human Sacrifice in Contemporary Paganism

 “How long has it been since you last attended a good, old-time human sacrifice? 'Too long,' you say?”

(Kermit the Frog)

 

You know the stereotypes as well as I do. Those bloody pagans and their human sacrifices.

Well, as for the Pagan Past, there seems to be good evidence for thinking that human sacrifice did indeed take place in some places, at least from time to time.

And as for the Pagan Future, well: bard Gwydion Pendderwen (Tom deLong) once told Hans Holzer that he looked forward to the eventual reestablishment of the Sacral Kingship.

And of course there's no true kingship without King Sacrifice.

So yes, the stories of human sacrifice are true.

But mostly not in the way that you might think.

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When a Ritual Bombs

It's every ritualist's worst nightmare, and—if you stay in the field long enough—it will happen to you.

Your ritual bombed.

What do you do now, dear?

Well, the worst thing that you can do is to slink away shamefacedly with your tail between your legs.

The reason why this is the worst thing that you can do is that it breaks trust.

No. Instead you need to buck up, gird up your loins, and publicly confess.

“Well, that ritual bombed,” you need to say. “What I want to hear from you is what didn't work, why it didn't work, and how we can do it better next time.”

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A Rite for the Father of Waters

Procession to riverbank. People bear flowers, branches, and gifts for the River. Drums, incense.

At the river’s edge, officiant strips off robe (attendant receives it), and enters the water to the waist

Down drums.

Massed conch shells sound.

Libation Prayer (officiant).

Threefold Libation (officiant) [milk, wine, river water]. (Blasts on conch shells punctuate each libation.)

Hymn to the River (everyone).

People pray, make offerings.

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Prayer to the Mississippi

Father of Waters,

bison horned,

god that flows

through the center

of our lives:

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  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Beautiful!

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