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 Spell Works Two Ways: In Which Our Coven Casts Its Very First Hex

We started by turning off every light in the house.

Every coven worth its wood* has a story to tell about its first hex.

Here's ours.

The group had been together for not quite a year when we decided to move in together. The next nine months were some of the most difficult—and also some of the most gratifying—of my life. Much of what we've been doing together ever since was first gestated during those nine fateful months.

One cold day in January I got a call at work. There'd been a break-in.

That night was Hex Night.

First we went through the house and turned off every light.

Then, in the dark temple, we pounded out a slowly mounting cacophony of rage.

We are angry we are angry weareangryangryangry, we chanted.

Up and up it swirled, a red vortex of anger. With a wordless shriek, we loosed it, tornadic.

Then we went through the house and turned on every light.

A hex, like every spell, works two ways.

Considering the circumstances of the break-in, I have no doubt whatsoever that the perpetrators came to a bad end long ago. Whether or not what we did that night had anything to do with it is irrelevant.

As for us: having been put into a position in which we could do nothing, we did something. We fought back. Out of weakness, we came forth strengthened.

Thirty-eight years later, we're still going strong.


*I.e. worth the wood to burn. How do you say “gallows humor” in Witch?


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Tagged in: curse curses hex hexes
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.


  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien Tuesday, 05 February 2019

    Great, as always. Love to Prodea.

  • Tyger
    Tyger Friday, 15 February 2019

    for a good hex, you require only two things: Great need, and powerful intent. Well done.

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