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

Core Paganism

You could call it Core paganism.

It's a paganism that anyone can practice anywhere, at any time, regardless of who you are or where your people came from, because it's the common inheritance of us all and we each of us spend every moment of our lives immersed in it.

You could call them the Old Gods; the ancestors did.

Earth. All paganism begins and ends with Earth.

My teacher Tony Kelly always used to say: The one thing we know for sure about Earth is that she's Mother. And I, good doctrinaire second wave feminist, would harrumph and demur.

But look at the other planets, with all their alien, barren beauty. Then look at Earth.

To her we call by her many love-names: our Earth, our mother, our home.

Sun. From 39.92 million miles away, he (some would say she) reaches down and we feel that touch on our skin. No wonder they call him Longhand.

If Earth is Mother, Sun is Father: our Sun, our Star, without whom life would not be.

Truly, we are sunlight and soil conjoined.

Thunder. Oh, his names are many: it seems that every pantheon knows him. Twin Sky Power, he is wet to Sun's dry, boisterous to his quiet, easterly to his westerly. Earth's other husband, our other father, whose amber-power sparked the first life in Earth's primal seas. By rights, every power plant in the world should house a shrine to him.

Moon. Third of the great Sky Powers, Earth's daughter and Other Self: goddess of witches, lady of inspiration and initiation, threefold Queen of Tides. Blessed be she.

Sea. For those of us who live in the middle of a continent, Ocean can seem a distant power. But she is Mother of Rivers, and we may behold her smaller selves in our many lakes; her saline waters still course through our veins. Who, looking upon the fish-tailed, mighty Sea, does not feel awe?

The Winds. Born of Earth's dance, Storm's constant companions, they were numbered four by the ancients. Winged messengers, swiftest of powers, the invisible gods, they speak to us of many things; but first, we must listen.

Fire. The new paganisms, sired by Ceremonial Magic, have often viewed Fire as an element, but the ancestors knew Fire as a god (or goddess): the god that lives in every home, to whom household offerings are daily made. But let this seeming domesticity not deceive us: Fire is and remains a wild, untamed power, dangerous in beauty.

The Green. In ages of ages, Earth bore Twins, and the eldest was the Green, lord of leaf and tendril. We do no violence to the ways of the ancestors if we regard him (or her) as the collective plant life of the planet: he who feeds and intoxicates, gazing down from the ceiling of forest and temple alike.

The Red. Praise also to the Younger Twin, Earth's wayward and mischievous child, Lord of Beasts: him that witches call the Horned, for the horned kindreds which have laid down their lives to feed our kind since the beginning. We do no violence to the ways of the ancestors if we regard him—male and female, oldest and youngest—as the collective animal life of the planet.

In the end, all paganism is a matter of relationship. For the past 150,000 years, our relationship with these elder and enduring powers has been the beating heart of human spiritual experience. In this, we are one with the ancestors.

Those same primal Powers that spoke to the ancestors are still speaking to us today, just as loudly and as clearly as ever they have before.

We need only listen.







Last modified on
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.


Additional information