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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In Which Our Intrepid Blogger Takes a Moment to Savor Life in the Irony-Free Zone

“I work with Ereshkigal, Oya, and Tlazolteotl,” she tells me.

Then she pauses for my reaction.

Welcome to the Irony-Free Zone.

Gee. The Sumerian Goddess of the Underworld, Santeria's Lady of Storms (mispronounced), and the Aztec 'Eater of Filth.'

Clearly, I'm supposed to be impressed.

Well, for one thing, it's oh-YAH, not OH-yah. You would think that getting your god's name right would be a priority. When a co-worker mispronounces my name, I always correct her. After all, it's my name.

Then there's the whole “The gods are my co-workers” approach. Personally, I've never understood this. Talk about banality. I suppose one advantage of the metaphor is that it leaves no possible doubt whatsoever as to who's really in charge.

And ah, crossover. My old priestess back east always viewed it as a ready admission of poverty.

“Nobody steals bread who already has a loaf of his own,” she used to say.

Ah well, Aînesse oblige: elderhood obligates.

“You like the heavy hitters,” I say.


Above: Tlazolteotl Riding a Broom

From a 16th century Nahuatl codex






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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.


    N5VRMRE Thursday, 16 March 2017

    Poverty due to a "crossover"; so eclectics are not good enough? If you mispronunce a name you've only ever seen written down you're not good enough? If you talk of working with rather than serving, worshipping, or commanding (which would be more in charge than working with), or just plain "believing in" a deity, you're doing it wrong? That's a lot of gatekeeping when paganism is a faith often turned to because of the strictures and policing found in more mainstream religions.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Thursday, 16 March 2017

    I'm stating my own opinions, N5.
    As do we all.

  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Thursday, 16 March 2017

    She didn't happen to mention what projects they might be working on did she?

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