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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In Which Our Intrepid Blogger Discusses (But Does Not Reveal) His Coven's Secret Name




Like people, like cities, every coven has a secret name.

Secret names are privileged, not public, information. (Someone who knows your secret name can, reputedly, harm you magically. An enemy that knows a city's secret name can thereby the more easily take it.) Therefore, in Ye Grande Olde archaic fashion, each coven has two names: a secret and a public, an inner and outer. When you join the coven, you learn the secret name.

Here's the story of my coven's.


Actually, we operated for years without one—or so I thought.

Then I realized that, in fact, we'd had one all along.


I went to one of our founding mothers.

“What's our secret name?” I asked.

She went inside herself for a brief while—the wise will know what I mean by this—and told me.

It was—of course, I'm tempted to say here—the very name that I'd been thinking of.


Since then, we've in-taken one new member.

“What's Prodea's secret name?” we asked her one night.

The name fits the group perfectly. Know the group, and you'll know the name. (So witchy.)

When she knew without being told, we knew she was in.

How's that for an ordeal?


Every name tells a story.

Inner names tell the deepest stories of all.



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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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