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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Chest of Tools

It's the question always asked of the witch.

If your magic is so powerful, then why are they hanging you?

When things go wrong in your own life, you may well have asked yourself much the same question.

If I'm such a powerful witch and all, then why is my life such a mess?

Well, as they say, sometimes the magic works, and sometimes it doesn't.

But that's to miss the point.

When they gave us the Craft, the gods never promised that life would be easy.

They never said that there would be no hardship.

In fact, they gave us the Craft precisely because they foresaw that there would be hardship. Hardship, alas, there will always be.

The Craft doesn't make life easy.

The Craft gives us tools with which to withstand the hardship.


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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.


  • Thesseli
    Thesseli Tuesday, 18 July 2017

    "In fact, they gave us the Craft precisely because they foresaw that there would be hardship. Hardship, alas, there will always be." -- Reminds me of part of 'Aradia, Gospel of the Witches'.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Tuesday, 18 July 2017

    It's always flattering to be compared to one of the classics, Thesseli: thanks!
    Back in the day, writer Mike Howard and I used to go back and forth on the Old Craft line over whether the Craft were preeminently (Howard) a path of enlightenment and Gnosis or (Posch) a practical way to get things done.
    It's both, I suppose, but give me the practical application and the gnosis will in time take care of itself. It seems to me telling that the very beginning of the Charge goes: "Whenever ye have need of anything...."

  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Tuesday, 18 July 2017

    In Medicine Wheel by Sun Bear the Author says he is not interested in any philosophy that doesn't grow corn. Witchcraft grows the corn and celebrates the planting and harvest as well.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Wednesday, 19 July 2017

    If I can't charm warts, I don't want to be part of the revolution. ;)

  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Thursday, 20 July 2017

    Yeah, probably. I like that plastic Indian moniker. I say if the stuff works for you then use it, if it scares the crap out of the people who sold it to you when it actually works so much the better.

  • Chris Moore
    Chris Moore Tuesday, 18 July 2017

    That's a big chest of tools, depending on whom you ask.

    What tools of the Craft are the most needed, here and now?

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Wednesday, 19 July 2017

    Athame, chalice, and pentacle.
    Ha, ha: just joking.
    Three come to immediate mind, and of course they're all powers/strategies of thought:
    1. Indirection: The ability to think under, over, or around a situation in lieu of direct confrontation,
    2. Playing the Long Game: The ability to wait, and to think, and accordingly act, in the long term, and
    3. Tribe: The sense of identity, history, and collective endeavor that arise from the knowledge of membership in the tribe can root and empower more than practically anything else.
    To this, let me add a fourth, perhaps more important than anything else: The ability to think and act with rather than against.

  • John Zelasko
    John Zelasko Wednesday, 19 July 2017

    There is a saying in Zen that goes something like this:
    Before enlightenment - haul water, chop wood.
    AFTER enlightenment - haul water, chop wood.
    This is so perfect.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Thursday, 20 July 2017

    Gods, that's great, John.
    Good old Zen.

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