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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Unsympathetic Magic

I made a mistake yesterday.

More than halfway through [winter], I thought, and I haven't lost a glove yet.

Ha.

So today—of course—I lost a glove.

Let them talk about sympathetic magic.

Everyone knows that unsympathetic magic is far more powerful.

Need rain?

Sympathetic magic: sprinkle water on the ground. (If you really mean it, use a broom to do this.)

Unsympathetic magic: Wash the car.

Do you really not want it to rain today? Take the umbrella. If you bring it, chances are, you won't need it.

You could think of it as the Reverse Psychology of the Gods.

Call it the “cussedness of things.” My teacher, Tony Kelly, used to talk about “mischief.” “Mischief had it,” he'd say, when something had gone wrong. Or you could talk about the Mischiefs.

Or Spite. Or the Spites.

(One Mischief, or many? One Spite, or many? Sorry, I'm simply not qualified to answer.)

Whatever they are, whether or not they actually exist, the air, apparently, is full of them. They hover around each one of us, like germs, like mosquitoes, like a miasmic cloud of Goth Tinkerbelles, just waiting to foul things up.

Fortunately for us, as Powers go, they're on the small end of the scale. When I realized the glove was missing, I turned around and drove back to the store. Sure enough, there lay the glove, just where I'd knocked it out of my pocket while fishing for the car keys.

I donned the glove and resolved to guard my thoughts a little more closely in the future.

Unsympathetic magic really works. Those bloody Spites are everywhere.

The best course of action?

Just don't give them an opening.

 

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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.

Comments

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    Alvina Wednesday, 14 February 2018

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