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 Well-Dressed Warlock

What will the well-dressed warlock be wearing in 2015?

My sources say: classic look, hoof to horn. 

Hats. The well-dressed man-in-black wouldn't dream of leaving the covenstead without one, and better it be if it's got a crow's feather tucked into the band. Any style will do, although the classic hood is a perennial favorite. Why hats, you ask? Simple: they hide the horns. 

Eelskin waistcoats. They say Old Hornie's a gentleman and, as everyone knows, gentlemen wear waistcoats. Scots warlocks made the eelskin jacket de rigueur centuries ago, and the fecket, as it's known, richly deserves its classic status. Admittedly, feckets can be difficult to find these days, especially with the EU's current environmental regulations, but trust me, it's well worth the effort. (You can find anything on the internet.) Why eelskin, you ask? Mythological reason: it links us to (and, in effect, identifies us with) the Earmengand, the Old World-Serpent “whose coils contain the ocean.” Practical reason: it makes us slippery and hard to catch. Plus an added perk: eelskin sheds bullets, even silver ones. What's not to like?

Boots. Those witch-boys don't take their boots off for anything, let me tell you, even if they're not wearing anything else. (Woof.) Any style will do—I myself clomped around Europe and the Middle East for years in a pair of grotty old biker boots—but the truly discerning will seek out the cloven-toed variety, the very ones denounced by 15th century ecclesiastics as “devilische.” Well, duh. Why boots, you ask? Come on, get with the program: they hide the hooves.

Colors. Well, it's right there in the job description; everyone knows that black's the Old Lad's color. (When 17th century Scots witch Isobel Gowdie and her coven broke into the dye-works at Auldearne one night, they hexed the dye-vats so that none of them would dye any color but black. I'll tell you, in those days witches were witches.) Blue is a close runner-up this season. (Think dark: woad-blue.) Red is still acceptable—for those who can pull it off—but (in my opinion) best used judiciously. And of course, there's always the classic Verdelet look, the man-in-green.

Plaid. What? You didn't know that the Devil has His own tartan? Who initiated you?

Skin. Whether it's yours, or someone else's, you can't beat primal. When in doubt, more is better.

Kilts (especially paired with chest-and-vest), torques, and body-paint will, of course, retain their perennial appeal in 2015.

So here's to a well-dressed, put-'em-there New Year.

And remember, gentlemen, you're not just doing this for you; you're doing it for us all.




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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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