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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Text Messages of the Gods

So, I heard about a guy who gets text messages from his patron deity.

Text messages.

My initial impulse was to roll my eyes and think, “Pagans.” To misquote G. K. Chesterton, “Once people start believing, they don't just believe in something; they'll believe in anything.”

But I've begun to reconsider.

I don't know the guy personally, so I don't know details and can't ask questions. But apparently these text messages of the gods have helped him with some important decisions and pulled him through some hard times.


Unlikely as this may sound, I think I can see how such a thing might work: the same way, in fact, that divination works.

Say I've lost the spare house key; I can't find it anywhere. Then I get a text from a covensib who's at the supermarket: Potatoes on sale @ Cub this week. I think: Aha, that's right! I hid the key in the potato bin before I went on vacation. Key recovered, problem solved.

In the Iliad, someone needs to make a decision. (Odysseus? I can't remember who or what the circumstances were.) So his patron goddess Athena takes the form of his best friend and whispers into his ear what he needs to do. He follows her advice, and things turn out just fine.

Well, it's happened to me, and (I'd guess) probably to you, too: when you hear exactly what you need to hear at just the right moment to help you take the next step. The gods speak through other people's mouths all the time.

The ways of the gods are manifold and mysterious, but they really are speaking to us all the time, in all sorts of ways.

Even, it would seem, by text.


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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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