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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The Danger of Thinking in Pagan

the guests had one month fewer

they do not speak the language of nature

(Saami poet Nils-Aslak Valkeapää)


Och, maybe I've just gone too far into the mists.

Cowans just don't make sense any more.

I find that I can't even bring myself to write (or say) “God”—with a capital G, like a name—as cowans do, without the quotation marks. The way that they use the word is wholly a misuse, a misconstrual, of an old word, a fine word, our word, which never meant, nor means, nor can mean anything even vaguely resembling what they mean by it.

That's the problem of thinking in Pagan. Once you start to do it, it makes so much sense that, in time, nothing else does.

After more than 50 years, I find that when I try to think in Cowan, it's like trying to use a language that I haven't spoken since childhood. Increasingly, I find non-pagans looking at me, puzzled, knowing that something's not completely right, but not what it is.

Well, there's the danger. Stay with this, and that's where you'll end up: so far into the mists that nothing else makes sense.

Be told.










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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.


  • M.T. Noah
    M.T. Noah Tuesday, 18 September 2018

    i can't say i'm a decades long person in this fold. but i can't say i'm not. the 1/2 trained grandchild of someone who also cannot be pidgeon-holed by words, who learnt his truth at his mother's knee, who then taught me.

    I have to say. thought, Papa walked this world more easily than I do. I am always half in the mists, often more than that. The Night Market bustles outside and the merchants aren't human, for the most part. The ones who seem to be are the most dangerous for me to meet when I take the dog to pee.

    But I tend not to think there's something wrong. Not with me. The world is teeming with LIVING BEINGS. Why do so few SEE THEM?

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