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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Chicago River Desecrated; Cowans Call It 'Tradition'

Despite St. Patrick's Day COVID restrictions, Chicago River runs green -  ABC News 

This picture makes me sick.

Every Spring since 1962, the Journeyman Plumbers Union, Local 130, pour chemicals into the Chicago River to dye it green.

This they call a “tradition.”

It's not a tradition; it's a desecration. It's pollution, physical and spiritual.

A River is a sacred being. A River has rights. A River is our kin.

Search "river green Chicago" and take a look at what the press has to say about it. That, too, will make you sick. Where are the voices raised against this arrogance, this hubris?

Our ancestors worshiped Rivers (including, be it noted, the Boyne). Some of us still do.

Shame, Mayor Lightfoot, for enabling this desecration.

Shame, Plumbers Union Local 130, for perpetrating it.

Shame, Chicago, for permitting it.




"We have ended what Thomas Berry called 'the great conversation' between humans and other forms of life. We are becoming human narcissists, entombed in our cities, staring into our screens, seeing our faces and our minds reflected back and believing that this is all there is.  And outside the forests fall, the ice melts, the corals die back, and the extinctions roll on; but we keep writing love letters to ourselves, oblivious."

Paul Kingsnorth, "Singing to the Forest"










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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.


  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite Monday, 15 March 2021

    Yeah it's pretty sickening. It's a pity we can't do this in the grand ol' US of A...

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Wednesday, 17 March 2021

    If only.

  • Mike W
    Mike W Monday, 15 March 2021

    I agree, not a great idea to dump coloring into a living system. At least since 1966 it’s a vegetable based dye powder (Mental Floss article 2019).

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Wednesday, 17 March 2021

    Of course, even vegetable-derived compounds can be toxic in sufficient concentrations. Think of neo-nicotinoids.

    What dismays me most of all is the presumption that we have the right to do whatever we want to the non-human world, even for the most frivolous reasons. I was reading an article about the Crazy Horse monument in SouthDakota the other day. If Crazy House knew that a mountain in his beloved Black Hills was being defaced in his name, he would be furious.

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