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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Antlers Forever

Gods know that I'm no great fan of Patricia Kenneally-Morrison's Kelts-in-Space series, The Keltiad, but that's not to say that, in her envisioning of what a pagan society might look like from the inside, she doesn't occasionally get things right.

Indeed, sometimes she gets them very right indeed.

PK-M's Kelts-in-Space know of a figure called the Caberfèidh, pronounced CAB-ber-fay. In Scots Gaelic, this means “stag's antlers.” In fact, he's no kind of fay at all—or maybe, on second thought, he is—but rather the pan-Keltic Antlered God Himself.

On Earth, Caberfèidh is the title of the hereditary chieftain of Clan Mackenzie. (“Clan” means “children”: hence, the “children of Mackenzie.” It's the Q-Celtic version of the word that's plant in P-Celtic Welsh, as in Plant Brân, the “children of Brân.”) A pretty felicitous image, this: the clan itself the stag, and the chief the very antlers thereof.

The metaphor is a profound one. That antlers are by nature deciduous, while the stag himself lives on, comments obliquely on the sacrificial nature of the chieftaincy.

Sure, and when it comes to the Caberfeidh, we're of one body with Him, indeed, and He Himself the Antlers.

And if you should hap to meet the Antlers Himself, be sure to say Him so.

 

Caberfèidh

gu brath!

 

Antlers

forever!

 

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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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Comments

  • Jamie
    Jamie Thursday, 13 August 2020

    Mr. Posch,

    Who knows? Isolated off-world settlements might be ideal locations for pan-Pagan enclaves.

    Maybe not the future city on Mars where Elon Musk will probably be buried someday, but perhaps a small town in the southern highlands of Mars.

    "Off the beaten path", in Martian terms. Such isolated enclaves might also enable endangered languages, like Scots Gaelic, to survive far into the future if they become the local lingua franca.

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