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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Witchcr*p Is In the Eye of the Beholder

“Do you think you can get rid of these?”

I look dubiously at the bag of books that my friend has just handed to me. It's filled with what, 40 years ago, we used to refer to as “witchcr*p”: the dregs, books that didn't adhere to the Wiccan party line.

My friend and I are both Second Generation Craft in the US: not the founders, but those who learned from the founders. In those information-starved days, when you saw “witch” in the title, you bought it regardless, good, bad, or indifferent.

“Well, we'll see,” I tell her, reluctantly taking the bag. “I kind of doubt it.”

Boy, was I ever wrong.

I took the books down to our next Warlock's Weekend at Sweetwood Sanctuary in SW Wisconsin. Most of the other guys there are Third and Fourth Generation Craft; they fell on the witchcr*p with glee.

“Omigods!” said one, “I can't believe it! This was my first book about witchcraft ever. It's the worst book in the world! I've been looking for a copy of this for years!”

Goddess bless 'em, I didn't take home a single book.

Who would have believed—who could have believed—that someone—anyone—would actually be thrilled to own his own copy of (to take just one example) June John's trashy King of the Witches: The World of Alex Sanders?

Note to elders: come time to downsize, please do bear in mind that what may look like witchcr*p to you, to other eyes might well look like humor, or nostalgia, or even (gods help us) history.

And 'round the Wheel doth turn.






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Tagged in: witchsploitation
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.


  • Haley
    Haley Monday, 01 April 2019

    We cleaned out this last haul as well! My own copy of The Golden Bough. Thank you!

  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza Monday, 01 April 2019

    And please think of your Pagan studies scholars! I ransacked used bookstores during my research looking for sources like these -- they may not be "party-line", but they do give invaluable information on our cultural history and how it has changed over time. These books are anthropology gold!
    Next time someone does a decluttering of these kind of books, I'll happily take them.

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