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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A Leaf from 'The Book of the Sabbat'

Grand Sabbat



Horned (on altar):

Stand forth [parents and godparents].

[Parents and godparents approach, present child to Horned.]


Horned (holding child):

[Godparents], do you swear by the Horns and the wandering Moon to teach, to protect, and, in need, to raise this child?


I do.



Then do I sain and bless you, my bonny little bird, in my own Name.

[Anoints child.]


Horned (rises):

People of the Red Thread: shall we name?




Shall we name?




Shall we name?




Horned (to child):

Then do I name you N! N! N!

[Lifts child with each naming; people join in.]


[Sits, returns child to parents.]

[Parents, godparents, and child rejoin people.]


Blessing Song (all):

Many years, many years,

many, many years;

many years, many years,

many, many years:

may you be blessed

with happiness and health

for many, many, many years!


Note: A child's first public Naming—traditionally performed on the ninth night after birth, or as soon thereafter as possible—marks the child's official incorporation into the thede (tribe, people). It is customary to refrain from naming the child publicly before this.


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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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