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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Thank You, Dr. Arya

 What IS a Yoke? – HOOK SPLINT


“What is the best yoga?”

My next-door neighbor studied yoga with the Himalayan Institute's Dr. Arya for decades. I'm not sure what answer he was expecting when he asked him this question, but—not for the first time in a relationship of more than 40 years—Dr. Arya surprised him.

“Putting-on-your-shoes yoga,” he replied.


What is the best kind of exercise regimen? It's the exercise that you get in the course of everyday life. It's arranging your life in such a way that living it gives you the exercise that you need to stay in health.

Think of the different parts of your body that you exercise when putting on your shoes standing. Pretty much the entire body, and balance to boot.

Yes, it's easier to put your shoes on while sitting down.

That's precisely the point.


Yoga is a discipline to train both body and spirit.

The word is cognate to English “yoke.” Consider the metaphor.

A yoga/yoke is a burden that you voluntarily undertake for larger ends.


People don't want to hear it, but the Craft is a discipline.

You may have the gifts, all the talent in the world, but you'll never be a great athlete, or a great musician, without practice. It's the same with the Craft.

If you don't have the discipline to practice, to exercise, to keep yourself limber, you'll never go anywhere with the Craft. Yes, it's hard. You'll have to do things that you don't want to do, learn things that you're not interested in learning, for the Craft to take you anywhere.

Is it easy? No. You want easy, look elsewhere.

There's more. The Craft isn't just what you do in the circle at full Moon. The Craft is every day: every moment of every day of your life.

The Craft is how you live. The Craft is how you think. Hell, the Craft is how you shit.


What is the best kind of Craft?

Putting-on-your-shoes Craft: not full-Moon-in-circle Craft, but the Craft of every moment, every day.

Thank you, Dr. Arya.





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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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