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.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

What Sitting Bull's Great-Grandson Said

Ernie La Pointe raconte la mort chez les indiens Lakotas - Happy End

I once heard Sitting Bull's great-grandson, Ernie LaPointe (b. 1948), give what is probably the single most incisive description that I've ever heard, of how non-scriptural traditions operate.

“The Lakota Way,” he told the interviewer, “is transmitted through story and song, and actualized in ceremony.”

Transmitted through story and song, and actualized in (I'll translate into Pagan here) ritual.

You, witch: in your bones, you know that what he says is true.

When I first came into the Craft, nigh on (gods help us) 50 years ago now, I knew it in my bones too. “Teach me the stories and songs,” I said to them. But they couldn't. We didn't have any.

In those days, the Old Ways were young.

Now, half a century later (thank Goddess) that's no longer the case. Now, after a lifetime of gathering, if you come to me with a question, there's a story or song for, if not quite every occasion, at least (given a little wiggle room/lateral thinking) for most: just as ever we've done since the dawning of days.

Once, we were impoverished. Now, my friends, we are wealthy: rich in story and song.

An archivist from the Minnesota Historical Society who's currently working with the Local Pagan History Project—we have a lot of pagan history here in Paganistan—asked me why, five years ago, I started this blog.

As the ancestors would have done, I answered her question with a story: the story that I've just told you here.

“The Witch Way is transmitted through story and song,” I told her, paraphrasing, “and actualized in ritual.”

Thank you, Ernie LaPointe.




Last modified on
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.


Additional information