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 Mystery of the Golden Goddess

Many are the mysteries of the Russian land.

But of these, none is greater than the mystery of the golden goddess.

They say that long ago in a sacred grove on the banks of the Volga was kept a golden goddess.

Far and wide spread the fame of this golden goddess, and from far and wide did people came to see this wonder, and to offer to her.

And this was the manner of their offering: that they would hang all manner of gold from the branches of her grove.

And when the priests who tended this goddess had gathered to themselves sufficient offerings, they would melt them down and make from them yet another goddess around the first, the former enclosing the latter.

In this way, the golden goddess grew ever greater down the years, goddess within goddess within goddess, and with her grew her fame.

They say that when word of this golden goddess came to the ears of the church-priests, the fire of her fame burned their hearts, and they set out to find and destroy her.

But indeed, they could not find her, for her guardians had hidden her away.

Likewise the tsar sent men to seek out this wonder of wonders, but no more than the others did they succeed.

They say that in 1923 a folklorist asked an old shepherd about the golden goddess.

The shepherd laughed.

“Oh, she's well away,” he said. “They'll never find her, never.”

And where she is, she waits.

Memory lives long in the Russian land.

People do not forget their golden goddess, and into the hands of their children, they still place her image and likeness made as a doll, in wood as the other was gold.

Goddess within goddess within goddess.

Well, that's what they say.




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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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