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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Are You a God-Fearing Pagan?


I'm dishing up the last of the kimchee out of the jar.

That will put the fear of the gods into 'em,” I say.

As kimchee matures, the red pepper just naturally migrates toward the bottom of the container. This is going to be Hot-with-a-capital-H.


Pagan, do you fear the gods?

Well, maybe you should.

Charged language, I know: uncomfortable. Redolent, maybe, of places where we've been, and don't want to go again.

Fine. For “fear”, then, read “respect.”


In my travels, I've met a surprising number of folks who seem to think—at least, they talk—as if they have the gods in their back pockets.

(“Hey, the gods are my buds.” Shudder.)

If you believe this, you're deluding yourself. Gods are not a tameable species.

The gods are big, powerful, and wild: therefore (at least potentially) dangerous. They have lots of concerns besides us, and—just like everyone else—we can be sure that they're operating first out of their own interests, not ours.

Besides which, what do you think they gave us smarts for? Maybe, like all responsible parents, they expect us to grow up and take care of ourselves, and one another, without our having to nuzzy up to them every time, for every little thing?


Consider the Old Gods: Earth, Thunder, Fire (to take only a few examples). Surely respecting the potential danger of such holiness of scale is only wisdom?

Well, it's on you. If you want to lay your hand on the coals, or court the lightning, or stand disrespectfully close to the lava flow, that's your nevermind. Still, wisdom is wisdom.

And who says Love and Fear are mutually exclusive?


Pagan, do you fear the gods?

You do if you're wise.

Now: how about some kimchee?





Another for AE

Where the conversation is always good






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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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