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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Changing Minds

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The fact is, people do change their minds.

The question is, how to get there.

I came across an interesting story recently in Leonard Zeskind's 2009 Blood and Politics: The History of the White Nationalist Movement from the Margins to the Mainstream.

Zeskind was interviewing a heathen who held to a staunchly folkish position: i.e. that the Northern Way is exclusively for those of Northern European descent.

Well, but.

There's a man who has been part of the informant's local heathen community for years. Decades ago this man decided to make heathenry the center of his life, and he's done so ever since.

He knows the Old Lore thoroughly. He does lots of work in the community.

He's a committed Thorsman who offers to the Thunderer every day.

He's black.

“My position is firmly folkish,” Zeskind's informant told him,“But am I going to say that Thor doesn't hear his prayers? That he doesn't receive his offerings?

“No, I'm not going to say that,” he concluded.

“I would never say that.”

The fact is, people do change their minds.

The question is, how to get there.


Above: Mike Deodato, Jr., Mjollnir




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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.


  • James H. McCoy
    James H. McCoy Friday, 10 November 2017

    I like the post. Also being a Heathen who is black... just have to go the extra mile to show that the hammer around our neck is not a fashion statement.

    Took years for me - in the beginning... there were those right in front of my that would not even shake my hand. Now... almost 30 years later - no one questions more than once. Now... fellow Heathens who know me are the first to respond on my behalf to such questions about my being black and Heathen..

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Monday, 13 November 2017

    Studies show that when people change their minds, it's usually the result of personal relationships. It's a long, slow work, a work of years, but there we are.
    It takes true courage to go where love leads. My admiration to you, James.

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