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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Taking a Slitch

You know the song I mean. The one that begins:

Let the joyous news be spread....

Just to refresh your memory: first, the house begins to pitch. Then the kitchen takes a slitch, and lands on the wicked witch. In the middle of a ditch, no less. How humiliating.

It had been raining off and on for a week before we got to the festival site, and there were mud slicks everywhere. A friend of ours came limping into camp, clearly a little the worse for wear.

"What happened to you?" someone asked.

"Oh, I took a slitch in the mud," she said.

Well, you know witches. That was all it took.

Throughout the following week, lots of us were taking slitches. And because we had a name for it—a name coined by a Hollywood song-writer, defined as "an involuntary slide" (Robin Grimm)—it became a thing. Soon everyone was taking slitches, and laughing about it. Witches taking slitches, ha ha ha. Welcome to Oz. Watch out for falling farmhouses.

The vocabulary of modern witchcraft is wide, varied, and drawn from many sources.

Athames. Skyclad. Widdershins. Stangs. Cowans. Deosil. 







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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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