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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The Osser Opens Like a Flower

PEONY • Rosa Black Baccara | Beautiful roses, Black flowers, Beautiful  flowers


The Osser Opens Like a Flower


The Osser opens like a flower.


Place the black bundle on the altar.

The outer cloth, which covered

the altar at the first Grand Sabbat

(which altar enthrones)

itself is black, but look

—here and here—

these two white ovoids:

prints of His sweet seat.


(And here, between, is where you kiss.)


Unfold the black. O shocking red!

Rich red silk, of course,

enwraps the witches' Hallow:

truly, what other color could it be?

Red petals unfold. Behold

the rose's heart: antler,

wood, the paint, the fur.

Animal, vegetable, mineral.

White, red, black.


How do you transport the sacred?

 Do you not enfold: to hold in, to protect?


The Osser opens, opens like a flower.

Animal, vegetable, mineral.

White, red, black.



June 6, 2021


In a Sabbatical Year



The Osser (or Ooser) is the carved wooden mask worn by the God of Witches during the Grand Sabbat and certain other ritual occasions.

It lives in a shrine in the Temple of the Moon, and receives twice-daily offerings.


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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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