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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Do You Suffer from Premature Celebration?

AP: Minneapolis, MN

Are you thoroughly sick of Yule by the time the Solstice rolls around?

Does your Yule begin the day after Thanksgiving and end on December 22?

If so, you may be suffering from a condition known as Premature Celebration.

Premature Celebration—also known as Christmasitis—is a debilitating and virulently contagious disease endemic among Americans. Characterized by temporal dislocation, manic activity followed by depression, and elevated levels of cynicism, Premature Celebration instills in the sufferer an overwhelming need to transfer activities previously reserved for the holiday itself, such as parties and rituals, to the period before the holiday.

Such a transfer, of course, inevitably results in a sense of anomie, déja vu, and exhaustion by the time that the holiday itself rolls around. In the case of Yule, it means that there's simply nothing left to do by the time Yule actually comes, because you've already done it.

Experts, for the most part, agree that Premature Celebration has more or less destroyed Christmas as a religious holiday for many American Christians. Whether or not it will have the same destructive effect in the pagan community remains to be seen.

The prognosis is not a good one, and a recent Gallup poll suggests that other holidays are already becoming infected.

A 2017 poll suggests that an increasing number of pagans regard Samhain as identical with the month of October, and believe that Halloween on the 31st marks the climax, not the beginning, of the holiday.

According to Dr. Stephanie Fox, Chair of Epidemiology at the prestigious University of Paganistan, “Pagans need to remember that Yule begins, not ends, with the Solstice.”




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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.


  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza Tuesday, 25 December 2018

    When I lived in the WI/IL stateline area, there were folks.who put up their Xmas lights after freakin Halloween...

    I grew up Mediterrean Catholic, and I'll say this ; not only did having a liturgical time differ from having a holiday season, but it framed the time as holy beyond one day. I think this may at work with Paganism too..if doesn't yet, it should...and keep in mind other friends holidays, there's no reason for a post holiday crash..we just keep.the warmth and fellowship going all winter...
    I observe: Thanksgiving, St. Nick's day; a post semester "advent"; Yule/Solstice; xmas eve; xmas day, New Year; and Epiphany/12th night/3 kings day. The Yule says up until the 3 kings leave and.Strega Befana follows them Epiphany night...
    I'd be happy to add a Krampus run someday...

    I was in Italy during Epiphany...*that's* the celebration..not xmas...

  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza Tuesday, 25 December 2018

    Yule tree stays up till the 3 kings leave...damn autocorrect..

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Wednesday, 26 December 2018

    Sounds exhausting.
    My Yule: Troll Night (13 nights before Midwinter's Eve), Mother Night (=Midwinter's Eve), Thirteen Days of Yule, Thirteenth Night, Twenty-Sixth Night (or Up-Helly-Aa, officially the last Tuesday in January).
    Exhausting, but gratifying.

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