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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Every Altar Is a Door

As keeper of the coven temple, it's my responsibility to make the daily offerings and prayers there on the People's behalf.

This I do twice daily, morning and evening.

(In an ideal world, with a full temple staff, there would be four offerings each day: at sunrise, solar noon, sunset, and solar midnight. Oh well. We do the best that we can with the resources available.)

A fortnight back I was staying at Sweetwood Sanctuary in the heart of Midwest Witch Country. While I was there, I made the daily offerings and prayers before the main altar in the Grand Circle.

There I noticed something very interesting indeed.

While standing before the Sweetwood altar, I felt deeply connected to the altar back at home.

And when I'm back at the home altar, I feel the same connection with the altar at Sweetwood.

In a sense, all the altars at which I've ever offered are connected with one another.

It's like something from a Dr. Who episode, in which there are many different doors in many different places that somehow all manage to open onto the same place, the same dimension, the same reality.

And every altar is a door.


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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.


  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes Thursday, 11 May 2017

    This is why I always put a pair of candlesticks on an altar (but not a shrine)...the candlesticks mark the doorposts.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Friday, 12 May 2017

    So to light the candles is to pass through the doorway. Nice.

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