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

The Flame Lives in the Wick



When you go to a holy place—a temple, say—sometimes you want to take some of the sacred Fire home with you.

But, of course, traveling with a living Flame is not always possible. (Just try getting onto an airplane with one.) So here's what you do.

You kindle a virgin candle—one that has never been lighted before—from the sanctuary Fire. Then you extinguish It. (You should do this by pinching, not by blowing; it's more respectful.)

Then, when you get to where you're going, you relight the candle. This will then be the same Fire as that of the sanctuary, sacred Fire of sacred Fire.

How so, you ask? Easily told.

Though extinguished, the flame lives in the wick.

Call this, if you like, a convenient legal fiction. But is it really? Is not all Fire, in the end, Fire?

(What, after all, is Fire? May we call It a Being? Is It not more process than thing, more verb than noun?)


There are some who would say that we can never be pagan as the ancestors were pagan. They would contend that too much has been lost, that we are too much changed by time, and that we can never now regain what was theirs by eldright.

Me, I disagree. Although we are, of necessity, the pagans for our own time and place—just as the ancestors were for theirs—I would contend that, in the end, the New Paganisms are as one with the Old.

By virtue of our humanity alone, and the world that we live in, we are one with the Pagans of Old, and our paganism is their paganism.

How so, you ask? Easily told.


The flame lives in the wick.




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.


Additional information