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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Great Herne Would Horn

 The Witches and the Grinnygog - Wikipedia


If you don't know Dorothy Edwards' 1981 The Witches and the Grinnygog, you're in for a treat. (For those of you who didn't grow up speaking Witch, a Grinnygog is a “Himmage” of the Horned God.) Even the 1983 BBC children's miniseries version has its moments.

One of the best is this old Witch song, half-remembered by their contemporary descendants among families of the Old Blood.

Both the book and TV versions are incomplete, so I put the pieces together along with some of my own. Just add round dance and voilà: a sweet little power-raising chant for your next coven meeting, singable to the tune of the show's title song.

Don't quite understand it all? That's by design. (Hint: "horn" here is a verb.)

That's witching for you: always leave room for mystery.



Great Herne Would Horn


Great Herne would horn

'fore us was born;

flash green and grin the round:

the blade of stone is found.


Up besom, fly:

'tween Earth and Sky,

weave feet and trip the round

our spell ere she be downed.



Dorothy Edwards, The Witches and the Grinnygog. London: Faber and Faber, 1981








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Tagged in: Grinnygog
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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