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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Zap the World!

65 years ago the number of new pagans in the world was negligible. Now we number (possibly) in the (low) tens of millions, in (probably) every country of the world. (Did you know that there are New Pagan movements in virtually all of the Turkic-speaking countries of Central Asia? G****e Tengrism.) (Tengri = Blue Father Sky.) In the course of the history of religions, that's really pretty remarkable. How in the world did it happen?

According to Sparky T. Rabbit, it's a spell.

Yes, folks, Gerald Gardner cast a spell and zap! Here we are.

Sparky explained his thinking to me one night. Like so many insights, it seemed obvious once someone (else) had articulated it. I suppose this is the difference between conscious and unconscious knowledge.


“This movement was founded by people like Gardner who got an idea about what a new paganism could look like and work like,” he told me. “They experimented a little and then wrote books about it as if it already existed. Other people read those books, and they thought: Hell, this exists; I could do this too. And they did. And suddenly what didn't exist yesterday, exists and is real today, and all because somebody said so.

“Nobody ever talked about the process, but somehow other people figured out without being told that this is how you do it. That's how this all got started, we've been doing it all along, and we're still doing it today. You talk about it as if it already is and suddenly, zap! It is.

“I dream it, I say it, and suddenly it exists. That sure sounds like spell-casting to me. If that's not magic, I don't know what is.”

They call witching the “crooked path” because it's the way of indirection. Frontal assaults are not how our people tend to do things. We have other ways than through: under, over, around. The whisper, the casting of bones, the spell in the night. These things must be done delicately.

Witchiepoo was right.

Together we can zap the world.






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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.


  • Linette
    Linette Monday, 24 November 2014

    When I was a kid, even a very little kid, I had this "thing" I did with the Universe. This very wonderful innate relationship where I experienced myself as part of it all. But I had no name for it, no language and no one to talk about it with.

    The only religion I knew was the one I was raised in.

    Fast forward to my early 20's...when feeling no connection to the faith I was born into, I said "I'm going to practice what I beleive/know" BAM!

    Suddenly I allowed what I'd always experienced and known to have context in my life. It bloomed. I'd been doing it all along, and not realizing it.

    As the years rolled on I realized that many of the old ways were indeed preserved in my ancestral culture and likewise, I had been practicing them but within a different context that kept hidden much of their meaning. One by one I've been opening those doors.

    I believe a similar thing is taking place world wide. People are unlocking the doors and naming these things for what they are, and allowing them to inform and enrich our lives.

    The one's who went before us and founded the movement, gave us permission and offered an invitation to step forward. They sang the old songs once again, and responding, we dance to the tune.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Monday, 24 November 2014

    A tale lyrically told, Linette, and all the better for being true. I join my voice to yours.

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