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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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Santeria Envy, or: What Do You Say When You Hear Thunder?

Sometimes you can't help but be jealous.

Guillermo was born in Havana, so naturally our conversation eventually turned to Santeria. Like most New Pagans, I've got a pretty pronounced case of Santeria envy.

Guillermo grew up surrounded by the Way of the Saints but doesn't really practice it any more.

“I still find myself saying Eparreí Changó whenever I hear thunder, though,” he said, laughing. “Some things you never lose.”

Oh, those fortunate intact cultures.

What do you say when you hear that first peal (or rumble, or crash) of Thunder in a storm? Certainly it calls for some sort of response. When someone you love and respect calls to you from across the room, do you ignore it and say nothing? Probably not.

In the old days, pretty much all cultures had a healthy respect for the Thunderer. It's hard not to. He's big, he's loud, he's powerful, and we couldn't get along without him. 1400 years ago, the Anglo-Saxon Hwicce—the original Tribe of Witches—called Him Þunor.

We call Him Thunder today. When I first hear His voice, I've taken to greeting Him by Name, along with a vocable: a word without literal meaning that signifies nonetheless.

Eya Thunder, I say. (Rhymes with Leia, as in “Princess—.”)

Hey there, Thunder.

Thunder, the Big Guy of the Skies, is calling. He's calling to you.

How will you reply?

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

Comments

  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Sunday, 21 July 2019

    Honestly my usual response is: "was that thunder, or did someone crash their truck?"

  • Ian Phanes
    Ian Phanes Monday, 22 July 2019

    I say: "Hail, Taranis!"

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