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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Ramadan? Bah, Humbug!

Just before last New Moon I ran into my neighbor.

“Hey, Ramadan coming up,” I said. “Are you looking forward?

She frowned.

“Too much work,” she said.

Ramadan, ugh. It's as bad as Christmas.

Like Christmas, Ramadan is an old pagan holiday dressed up in motho clothing. (In this case, a hijâb.) This year it's almost back to where it started in the first place: the moon of the Summer Solstice. A fast every day, a party every night: sounds pagan to me.

Ramadan is a hot item these days. True, there are lots more Muslims in my neighborhood now than there were a few years back. But it's not just demographic. Since 9/11, Ramadan actually makes national news. (Before that, of course, although a quarter of Earth's population—including millions of Americans—were observing the holiest time of their religious calendar, somehow the American media never found this a newsworthy event.) But in these days of unthinking Leftist Islamophilia, non-Muslims fast “in solidarity.” (A friend's husband calls this “religious tourism.”) The yards of the terminally liberal sprout Blessed Ramadan to Our Muslim Neighbors yard-signs.

Well, kumbaya to you, too.

(In my favorite scene from the movie Elvira, Queen of Darkness, Elvira, accused of witchcraft—she mistook her late aunt's Book of Shadows for a cookbook—is being burned at the stake, while the good citizens of Falwell, Massachusetts stand in a ring around the pyre, holding hands and singing: Someone's burning, Lord, kumbaya....)

I laugh when I hear descriptions on the radio of how “spiritual” and “close to 'God'” people feel during Ramadan. More holiday hype of the Christmas variety.

My own experience of Ramadan (from the outside) is that people get short-tempered and nasty. That's what fasting does to you.

And did I mention the long lines at stores? If you want to shop, you'd better do it off-peak.

Oh, I still wish my neighbor Ramadán mubárak when I see her, just as I wish Penny next door Happy Christmas at her special time of year.

But on the whole, what I'm really thinking is: A plague on both your houses.

Christmas? Ramadan?

Bah humbug.






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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.


  • Mab Nahash
    Mab Nahash Thursday, 22 June 2017

    So with you on this. I like that Americans are more religiously tolerant than in the past, but the liberal Christians have yet to bring me a goat on Samhain in solidarity. Once that happens, I'll show up to the office Christmas party.

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