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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What Are You Doing for New Moon?

In the year 691 the emperor Justinian II convoked what has come to be known as the Quinsext Council.

Bishops from all over the Christian world gathered near Constantinople to pass 85 different canons, mostly of a disciplinary nature.

A clergyman may not own a tavern. No one may have a Jewish doctor or “consort with Jews in the baths.” It is forbidden to give communion to the dead.

Of special interest to pagans is Canon 65: It is prohibited to build New Moon bonfires.

New Moon bonfires.

In “a world lit only by fire,” the Moon is important. Nights are dark without the Moon. So when she comes back from her three-nights' sojourn in the Underworld, what you do?

You build a bonfire, that's what you do. You throw a party. You make a light in the night to celebrate, just as we've always done.

So: if you were wondering what to do next month when the coven comes over for New Moon, there you go. Just like the ancestors used to do.

Courtesy (and wouldn't their toes just curl up backwards if they knew it?) of the bishops.

 

 

 

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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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