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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Without Benefit of Magic

 Full Moon reflected in Water, Normandy, Slow motion 4K ⬇ Video by ©  slowmotiongli Stock Footage #156700990

 

“Oh, I'm sure we'll manage to muggle through one way or other,” says my friend.

I love in-group humor. She's riffing, of course, off of the phrase “to muddle through,” but the Harry Potter allusion appeals, rather poignantly, to our shared paganism. I suspect that "struggle" is somewhere in the mix as well.

One way or another, she's saying, we're going to get through this.

“Muggle,” of course, is J. K. Rowling's name for those who live—truly a shudder-inducing prospect to some of us—without benefit of magic. The precise etymology of the word is unclear—to me, anyway—but clearly “muddle” is somewhere in the mix, with its connotations of imprecision and the slapdash.

I've never much been one for spells myself but, after nearly 50 years in the Craft, I'm so accustomed to living magically that the prospect of living in any other way seems grim indeed.

What does it mean, to live magically?

I can best compare the process to a master metaphor. You're reading a poem, or a novel, and allusions to X keeping turning up throughout. Eventually, you realize that this underlying theme pulls together events that seemed otherwise unrelated, disparate. Magic is what connects them all, the strong currents flowing beneath the river's rippled surface.

We'll do what we have to in order to get through, my friend is saying. To the magical, even the non-magical becomes part of the magic.

My friend rolls her eyes. As intended, I laugh.

 

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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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