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 the Blood

The dead god lies stretched out on the altar. Mine is one of the knives that killed him.

Tears run down my face. In the hunter's immemorial gesture, I dip my fingers into the pooled blood on his chest and paint it across my forehead.

We're witches, of the Tribe of Witches. What we do, we own. I've been vegetarian for nigh on 50 years now, but others still die that I may live. Acknowledging this, owning this, the hurt that I do in the world, I take the blood. On myself, I take it.

It's called responsibility.

The gore rills down, over my eyelids, my nose, my mouth. The face that I present must be one of red horror.

As I turn toward the assembled people, my lips taste of salt and iron.




For Pangur Bann:

with thanks for the insight




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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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