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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Post-Industrial Primitive

“So, what look are we going for?”

It was a good question. The general planning and walk-through for the Hunt ritual had gone well. Now the Hunters were meeting.

Well, what aesthetic were we after? Plaid and day-glo, no, but likewise loincloths and feathers were out, too. One reads funny, the other reads wannabe, and this is ritual: it needs to be real.

Well, the only pagans that we can honestly be is the pagans for our own time and place.

“Post-industrial primitive,” I said.

Which left most of us in jeans, skin, and face paint.

The rite went successfully. The Elders magicked the Deer into the circle. We hunted him down and killed him. We honored his spirit, and ate him.

Then suddenly (but this is a mystery), there he was in the middle of the circle again, dancing.

And we all danced together.

A guest at the ritual, a local, sidled up to me afterward.

“I sure hope somebody's going to be hunting this valley this year,” he said. “Be a shame to let something like that go to waste.”

 

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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.

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