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Posted by on in Culture Blogs



No wonder pagans like Middle-earth so much.

Let's face it: one of the guilty pleasures of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is that Middle-earth is a world without organized religion.

No churches, no bibles, no street-corner preachers: really, it sounds kind of idyllic, doesn't it? No Judaism, no Christianity, no Islam. This is a world in which the two major holidays—Midwinter and Midsummer—are largely (if not exclusively) secular celebrations. In Middle-earth, we find a world of unmediated experience.

No wonder pagans like Middle-earth so much.

But wait, there's more. On a recent read-through, I noticed that there is in fact a deity in Middle-earth, one invoked with surprising frequency throughout the entire trilogy, especially in moments of direst danger. (Guess what: she always comes through, too.) And guess what: She's a goddess.

Forget the Silmarillion. Forget Tolkien's made-up pantheon of not-quite-gods, the usual poor monotheist's masturbatory fantasy of polytheism.

Judging from the trilogy alone, there's one god in Middle-earth, and her name is Elbereth.*

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 Are Kentucky Farms Under Attack from Flocks of Ravenous Vultures? Not  Quite. | NRDC


If you're wondering what Minneapolis is like on the eve of the trial of the white policeman that murdered George Floyd here last May, I can tell you in one word: tense.

Everyone fears a reprise of the violence, arson, and looting that stalked last spring's protests.

Local activist groups have pledged peaceful protests, but everyone here knows that their pledges mean nothing. For four nights of terror in May, we watched our city burn around us as the peaceful protests were invariably followed by destruction and violence at the hands of bad actors from out-of-town and out-of-state.

That the vast majority of these bad actors came here, cowardly-wise, from elsewhere to work their morth-work and then leave again, is no consolation whatsoever to those of us left behind to sweep up the shards.

The scale of violence last spring caught everyone by surprise, and the arsonists and looters ran rampage here in the pagan neighborhood—my neighborhood—for four days before the authorities finally intervened. On one night in particular, four buildings burned within a block of my house. Most terrifying of all was the knowledge that if I were to call for help, none would come.

Some have accused city government of over-reacting in their pre-trial preparations. I'm not one of them. I, for one, have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that opportunistic bad actors, on both the Right and the Left, are already gathering from out-of-town, ready to work their havoc wherever, and whenever, they can. Call it vulture tourism.

Virtually everyone that I've spoken with seems to accept the likelihood of violence, which is in itself a bad sign. From what I'm hearing, the assumption seems to be that the best that we can hope for is that the destruction will happen somewhere else, probably downtown. That's not good news for the tens of thousands of people that live, or own businesses, near the trial's venue.

“I suppose we're all going to be sitting out on our front porches again all night,” my next-door neighbor, who's African-American, said to me today. She just turned 70 last year; she's lived in this house her entire life.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Thanks Jamie. Here's hoping.
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, Stay safe, brother.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs


This is Steven Posch, the pagan blogger.

This is Stefan Posch, the Austrian football player.

The Posches are an old Viennese family. (Back in the days when there were such things, the Vienna phone book had pages and pages of Posches.) Looking at the two of us, you can see something of the history of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Me, I look very Germanic. (When I'm in Germany, people on the street automatically address me in German.) Stefan has that square, south Slavic face. Ah, Central Europe, cauldron of nations.

Needless to say, we don't know one another, but I know about him, and I'm guessing that—the internet being what it is—he probably knows about me, too. (Such is the nature of being a public person.)

One wonders what Stefan thinks of his gay, pagan counterpart. If anything, I'm guessing that he probably finds our shared identity (such as it is) amusing. In his place, I probably would too.

Well, Stefan, if ever you should happen to read this: my greetings, brother, one to another. Next time you're in Minneapolis, let me know, and I'll happily stand you a beer.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    Ancestors, kinship, connections: all those things seem very pagan to me.
  • Meredith Everwhite
    Meredith Everwhite says #
    In all honesty I am very puzzled and have to ask what is the point of this and what does it have to do with Pagan culture?
Spring Full Moon - Invocation of the Flower Moon

This dazzling spring Flower Moon is an optimal opportunity to strive for the new, to initiate a phase of transformation that will last long after the Full Moon has waxed into darkness. This invocation honors the season, planting seeds of positive change in your life to bloom for years to come. Start by gathering red and green apples, candles of the same colors, and seed corn from a gardening store, along with three stalks of lavender and three long strands of night-blooming jasmine. Leave these offerings on your altar all day.

When the Full Moon of May reaches the highest point in the night sky, light one red and one green candle on your kitchen altar. Wind the jasmine and lavender into a crown for the top of your head, breathing in the lovely scent the flowers produce. Holding an apple in each hand, speak this spell while circling the altar clockwise three times.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs


A priestess friend of mine once took a class in Writing Your Personal Theology at the local UCC* seminary. Back in those days, if you wanted to expand your pagan academic horizons, that's pretty much what you had to do.

(Today, not so much: thank Goddess for Cherry Hill Seminary.)

As one would expect, some of what she learned was applicable, some wasn't.

“'What's my Christology?'” she laughed, looking over the list of seed-questions that they'd given her. “I don't have one!”

(In Christian thought, Christology is the study of Christ's person and role in spiritual ecology.)**

Me, I'm with her. Still, taking a step back—translating into Pagan, so to speak—I ask myself: Well, who—as I see it—is god of humanity? Who, among all the gods, is most like to us? Who stands between—in the sense of connecting us to—ourselves and the other gods?

For me, a witch of the Tribe of Witches, the answer is clear: this role is filled by Him that we call the Horned.

The other gods are who they are, but he's the animal god. (I would see Him as the collective body of fauna/animal life here on planet Earth.) As animals—as human animals—he's likest to us of all the other gods. Like us, he knows what it is to love, to suffer, to die. The other gods may (or may not) know these things too, but he knows them as an animal—and, in particular, as a human animal—can know them.

That's what makes him ours, ours to us.

That's what makes us his, his to him.

That's what makes him our god, our Horned, of all gods likest us: “like us in animality, like them in divinity.”

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

This is a story about how I manifested something I truly desired. It's a model of how I manifest things, which you may or may not want to try. It's so simple it sounds like it's not even magic, but it's definitely magical.

Back in the 90s, I had bought myself a set of silverware. Yes, I know, lol, "the sort of person who buys their own silver" haha, not very classy, but I was moving into an apartment in Las Vegas and needed my own things. (I had the money to buy things and and move to Vegas to start a business because my dad had died.) So anyway-- my own things that were better than what I'd had in my college apartment, that is. Now, there was a time when it was assumed that a woman in her 20s starting her household would not need to buy major housewares because she would get them as wedding gifts. For those who still move into their first place when they get married, fine, "you do you" as the young people say these days, but that wasn't me lol. So anyway, I picked out a really beautiful pattern and I loved it and then a few years later, after I had gotten so sick with PCOS that I had had to close my bookstore and was unable to work, I ended up having to sell the silver. I got better eventually, and gradually put my life back together, and went on to have success at other things, but from time to time, I still missed my silver. Silly, I know. What with everything else, what's a few spoons? But I did miss it. For decades. Occasionally.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Blowing in the Wind – A Charm

When the moon is waning, this is your opportunity to release anything that no longer serves in your life. We all need to embrace the winds of change in life, clearing away the old and making room for the new. This charm helps overcome upset and can help release anger and grudges. And isn’t this an important first step to happiness? What you’ll need: a blustery day, access to the outdoors, basil and sage.

Well, it’s not mandatory that you have a hill for this, but you do need an open area outside for happiness spells like this. It does need to be windy. 

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