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.
Witching III: First Blood
I always say that when good pagans die, they get to be reborn in the Moore family.
Because believe me, these are the pagan parents you wish you'd had.
Some years back now, their eldest daughter had her First Bloods. A momentous occasion in any girl's life, of course, and in the Moore family...well, you can imagine.
The invitations go out. First Bloods Ceremony for "Blodwen" Moore, Saturday, May 10. Gather 2:00. Ritual 2:30. Feast and party to follow. Gifts optional.
Blodwen, is there anyone you'd like to invite?
Well, yes there is: her girlfriends from her home-school group.
The Moores live in the rural Midwest. (“We live in the corn,” Blodwen's dad says.) Blodwen’s home-school friends include some pagan kids, but mostly they’re from Mormon and Fundie families.
The Day comes and everything goes swimmingly. The women take Blodwen out to the stone circle in the backyard (you see what I mean about being reborn in the Moore family), and do what's traditionally done. (Meanwhile, the men are back in the house setting up the party and drinking beer, which is also part of the tradition: it keeps everyone in place and out of trouble.) When the women bring Blodwen back in to food, congratulations, and gifts wrapped in red, she's shining.
During the weeks that follow, we can be sure, the same scenario plays out in kitchen after Midwest kitchen.
“Mom, how come when Blodwen got her first period she got a party and a cake and presents and money and stuff, and when I got my first period I didn’t get any of those things and we can’t even talk about it because it’s not polite?
“Well, dear, that’s because we’re good God-fearing people, and Blodwen’s parents are godless heathens.”
Camera zooms in on expression on Jennifer's (Lisa's, Teisha's) face.
Fast forward 10 years.
Scene: Saturday night post-ritual bonfire and drum-jam at Midwest pagan festival.
Close-up: young Jennifer (Lisa, Teisha), stark naked, joyously leaping fire.
It's coming, and there's no way to stop it.
Better start stocking up on red wrapping paper now.
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