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 Is the Symbol of the Winds?

In the glyptic art of ancient Northwestern Europe, each of the Old Gods and Goddesses—the gods of “Nature,” who Were before we were and Will Be after we are gone—had his or her own glyph, or symbol. (In the Old Language of the Witches, this was called a tácen or, as we would say today, a token.)

Sun, of course, has a Sun Wheel, shown above.

Moon's, of course, is the Crescent:


Fire's symbol is the Fylfot,



Thunder's, interestingly, the compound Fylfot (shown here in one of many variants),


and Earth's, of course, her sacred Delta:


But what about the Winds?

Unlike the other Old Powers, the Winds are invisible gods, with no obvious visual representation. How do you draw a picture of the Wind?

The ancestors solved this problem very neatly. The Winds, of course, are spoken of—by immemorial tradition—as being Four in number. In this, of course, they also embody that rarest of cultural phenomena, humanity's near-universal division of the world into four cardinal Directions. (Presumably—humans being four-sided beings—this represents the ultimate extrapolation of our own bodies onto the world that we inhabit.)

So, the traditional symbol of the Winged Gods is the equal-armed Four Winds Cross:

In some places, people spoke indifferently of either Wind or the Winds, an ambiguity which the Four Winds cross embodies very nicely: both Four and One simultaneously.

As to just why it is that the symbol of the Four Winds thus “participates” in the symbol of the Sun—just as Fire's “participates” in Thunder's—well, that's a very interesting tale indeed.

Give me a nice bottle of Scotch, and I'll tell it to you some time.


 Highland Park Adds A Cask Strength Scotch Whisky To Its Regular Line Up -  The Whiskey Wash


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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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