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.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Lose the Chocolate

Ostara's the time when many would say: Loose the chocolate.

But me, I say: Lose the chocolate.

For religious reasons, lose it.


I live in Minnesota. It is wrong—wrong—that, in the stores here, apples should be expensive, and bananas cheap.



Chocolate, like copal and bananas, is an exotic visitor from the fabled Southern lands of Ever-Summer. There's the connection with Ostara: think of it as sympathetic magic.

In a few years, most of the world's cacao trees, grown unsustainably in inappropriate places where—as a cash crop—their cultivation has helped to destroy sustainable local agriculture, will be dead from cacao blight, anyway.

By then, of course, oil will be running out in good earnest, and it will no longer be economically feasible to move foodstuffs over large distances.

Then chocolate will once again become the expensive exotic that, by rights, it ought to be.


Spring is sweet, and it's right to welcome Spring with sweetness.

But better it be when that sweetness is local sweetness.

This Ostara, and every Ostara, fill your basket with Spring's true sweetness.

Maple sugar: the gift of Hare.


So, Posch: how is this a religious issue?

Oh my pulse, we're pagans.

For us, climate change is a religious issue.











Last modified on
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 Friday, 15 March 2019

    I remember back in the 80's they kept trying to pass off carob as chocolate. It never tasted right to me. Then back in the 00's Hershey wanted to replace cocoa beans with synthetics. During all this time writers in Organic Gardening magazine kept saying how good the hulls of cacao beans smelled when used as mulch.

    Last year Mother Earth News had an article on syrups made from trees other than maple. The article specifically mentioned Birch and Sycamore syrups but the author admitted that it takes even more gallons of sap to turn these into syrup than it does to turn maple sap into syrup.

    There has been a newspaper article about one of the local microbreweries that uses locally sourced maple sap in one of it's seasonal beers.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Saturday, 16 March 2019

    Birch beer is an old northern drink. I once split a bottle of it with a friend while standing under the tower on Glastonbury Tor in the middle of a violent thunderstorm. Some people's kids.

    I like carob, but it's at its best when treated as carob, and not faux chocolate. Although I do have to say that there's a traditional Middle Eastern breakfast dip called dibs: half carob syrup and half tahina (sesame paste), which in my opinion is well-nigh indistinguishable from chocolate syrup.

  • Please login first in order for you to submit comments

Additional information