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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Equinox Light

Our last group ritual here at Temple of the Moon was the Eve of the Equinox this Spring. After people went home with their eggs and pussy willows, I extinguished the candles in the wrought-iron chandelier that (inter alia) illuminates the temple.

In retrospect, I'm not sure why I did that. Generally after a ritual I let the candles burn down, an offering for the holy tide. But this year, for some reason, I didn't. That the Equinox also marked the beginning of the Great Covid Lockdown here in Minnesota may have had something to do with it.

Since then, the half-burnt candles have stood unlit in the chandelier. The offerings that take place twice daily in the temple don't require so much light, and through the Season of Light our group rites have unfolded outdoors.

But now comes the Other Evenday, the Waning Equinox, with no immediate prospect of indoor gathering through the Winter to come.

I ask myself: should I leave the half-burned candles until they can once again light our next indoor rite together?

No: while I can appreciate the nice circular symbolism, in the end it's too much like inaction. Tonight, Equinox Eve, I plan to light those stubs and let their offering of light make way for what comes next.

As elsewhere, it's been a Dark Summer here in Paganistan. Now comes an Autumn of discontent, and the shadows gather.

In the time to come, we'll need all the Light we can manage to make, to see us through to Spring.



Temple of Mnajdra, Equinox Sunrise

Qrendi, Malta










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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.


  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Monday, 21 September 2020

    I like the circular symbolism, but I prefer a light in the darkness. Yes, I know that's a reference to The Rocky Horror Picture show. I don't know know if Paganistan has had as many flash flood warnings as we've had around here this year but I did read a newspaper article about the how the country West of the 100th meridian is drought stricken and subject to wildfires, while the country East of the 100th meridian is saturated and prone to flash floods.

    I think your going to need that little light in the darkness.

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