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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Putting the 'Fly' in the Ointment, or: What Is the Witch's Most Important Tool?



Before the Sabbat began, the jar of flying ointment circulated among the crowd.

The “main ritual” at the large national gathering of witches that year was a Grand Witches' Sabbat in the Old Style: the Horned, in all his naked male beauty, towering on the altar, the wild dancing, the love-making in the shadows....

Now, there are flying ointments and flying ointments. This particular one had been formulated without any of the traditional “flight herbs.” (There was mint in it, though, to give that tingling sensation on the skin....) No one, I hope, would ever be so irresponsible as to hand out the Real Stuff to the unwary at a public gathering. Certainly not at any ritual that I have anything to do with, anyway.

It didn't matter, and there's the point.

“Oh my gods, that stuff last night,” people said the next day. “What did you put into it?”

Well, not we, but they. It's the old question once again: What is the witch's most powerful tool?

Hint: if you said “Athame,” you're wrong.






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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.


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