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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Real Witches Use Beeswax

 Image result for tapers burning

How many Old Craft witches does it take to change a lightbulb?

—If candles were good enough for the ancestors, they're good enough for me.


A buddy had signed up for a correspondence course in a certain Wiccan trad. I asked him how it was going.

He told me about the first lesson. It was all about what color candle to burn in order to get what you want: green for money, purple for passion, that sort of thing.

Well, at least you've got to give them credit for going for results from the very beginning.

He says nothing; neither do I. I think about the definition of authenticity that a couple of friends and I hashed out over the course of one particularly gratifying weekend together years ago: Contextual cognitive resonance. I ask myself how long dyed candles have been around. Early to mid “20th” century, maybe?

Colored candles. This is your witchcraft?

There was no need to say any more. We both knew that he wouldn't be continuing with the course.

We move on to another topic.




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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.


  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Thursday, 18 February 2021

    When I was very young we had some candles that were white with thin coats of colored wax on the outside. I think it was in the late 60's early 70's that solid colored candles came out.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Friday, 19 February 2021

    Back in the Paganolithic.
    I remember those days fondly.

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