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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Mother Cairn

Hey, let's build a cairn.

It will be a shrine, a place for the Mother. Everybody honors her. Well, they do if they have any sense.

To seed it, we'll bury her little image beneath where the cairn will rise. It will have to be a beautiful image, precious, enough to hurt. That's what makes it a worthy offering, a foundation.

Then we'll heap on the stones: small stones, each the size of a fist. We'll start with a small cairn, maybe a couple of feet high, but big enough to seed what comes after. And through the years it will grow.

A cairn is the ultimate in democratic architecture. Anyone can bring a stone and leave it. You'll place your stone, and then there will be something of you there forever, part of this thing that we're doing together down the years.

Down the years, the cairn will just grow bigger and bigger with all those prayers: big and rounded and firm, like a belly great with child. A hundred years from now, it will be huge, silhouetted against the sky.

The Mother Cairn, they'll call it.

Above: Cairn T, Loughcrew (ca. 3500 bce)

 

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Tagged in: cairn shrine shrines
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.

Comments

  • Greybeard
    Greybeard Sunday, 01 April 2018

    Heinlein once wrote that the secret to creating a proper English lawn is, "roll it and seed it for 600 years." Reading this story has me wondering if you also need to pick out stones from your lawn or fields for 600 years, or maybe for 1,200 years. Throw the stones in a heap over in the corner.

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