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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White Horse Republic

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An Army of One

The major problem in the US these days in many ways parallels the paradox at the heart of the pagan community: just how does a collectivity of self-centered, radically-individual individualists actually manage to hold itself together?

Alas: without some sense of overarching, shared identity, it usually doesn't.



With Pride Month now in rearview, I confess myself, frankly, a little sick of flags.

The My-Own-Very-Special-Identity-of-the-Week flags that sprang up all over the neighborhood in the course thereof remind me in many ways of that silly hanky code that someone concocted during the oh-so-cruise-y pre-AIDS 70s, the color and placement of the hank telling the viewer exactly what permutation of sex you were looking for. I'll spare you the specifics.

Never bothered to learn the hank-code myself, just as I've never bothered to learn (or even closely read) the list of the supposed 72 (!) different gender identities either. (Sorry, waste of time and brain-space, both.) Ye gods: no wonder people vote Republican.

Really: just how self-absorbed, privileged, and entitled are we? Meanwhile, in Gaza, children starve to death.

Flags, flags, flags. Me, me, me.

Welcome to the Great Splintering: the Way of Atomization.


Earth-Horse, Moon-Horse

So I've commissioned my own flag.

(Hey, if we're going down, we may as well do it separately, right?)

A white horse on a green field. Since our days of Wandering, we've always been a Horse People. And in all its breathtaking minimalist dynamism, what better horse than the White Horse of Uffington?

Och na noch, the flag-maker that I consulted doesn't do green fields. Oh well: let us call, then, the White-on-Green the Earth-mare. She's already the unofficial flag of Berkshire, anyway.

We'll go instead with White-on-Blue: the Sky-horse, Moon-mare, mother of witches, mother of foals.

Welcome to the White Horse Republic.




If ever you've felt the need for a properly legendary origin story for the White Horse of Uffington—gods know it deserves one—look no further than Rosemary Sutcliff's 1977 novella Sun Horse, Moon Horse.

When you read it, you'll know that it's true.



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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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