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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In Which Our Intrepid Blogger Realizes That He's Both More—And Less—of a Purist Than He Thought

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Check out HeatherAnn's jaw-dropping Great Goat/Black Phillip mask over at High Noon Creations.

Stunning. (And let's hear it for the model.)

It's enough to make any aigolater's* heart beat faster. Oh, the sabbats we could do.

Here's the catch. The mask is made from urethane rubber with NFT faux fur and acrylic eyes; its horns are lightweight plastic backed with a rigid foam.

The Minnesota Osser (sometimes spelled ooser, but rhymes with bosser), which for almost 30 years the witches of the Driftless have used at their Grand Sabbats, is made—in the old style—from wood, antlers, and leather. I am privileged to be its keeper. It lives in a shrine in my home, and I worship it with incense and offerings twice daily.

Call me old-fashioned, but it's difficult for me to imagine something made from urethane and acrylic as the recipient of cult.

Theological question: Granted this distinction between—shall we say, ritually fit and unfit components—could High Noon's Black Phillip mask be used at a sabbat?

Personally, I would have to say Yes, it could. Needs must, when the Horned One drives. Witches have a long history of making do with what's available. And it sure would be a hoot. I'd gladly dance at that sabbat any day of the lunar month.

But I can't see it as one of the Thirteen Treasures of Paganistan anytime soon.

And there's the difference between a mask and an osser.


*aigos: goat + -later: worshiper (Greek)






*aigos: goat + -later: worshiper (Greek)



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Tagged in: goat man goats ooser
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 Thursday, 29 November 2018

    Well...while plastics and synthetics dont appear in natural form, after watching nylon be created in a chemistry class from rearranged molecules from organic forms, well.. all synthetics have natural roots...
    ..and if you are an alchemist like me, you can appreciate how this sort of chemical magic can be just as amazing..
    ...though admittedly, leather smells way nicer that polyurethane...

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