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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Call It Catharsis

 Remember, remember, the fifth of November.

 

It must have been the ugliest pinata ever.

Since we were a young coven (36 now, and going strong), the Fifth Day of Samhain has for us been a night when magic and politics meet.

It's been a mild autumn, so we gathered in the back yard—gold above, gold below—to bless the leftover Halloween candy.

Then we cut a hole in his neck and stuffed in the sweets.

Gods, that orange hair.

U-G-L-Y.

We hung him from the bar of the swing set, yelling all the things that we've wanted to say these last six months and more.

You ain't got no alibi.

The bat circulated, widdershins. He was surprisingly hard to break.

You're ugly. Ugly.

But we broke him at last. He fell to the ground, spilling sweetness.

Your mama says you're ugly.

Call it catharsis.

After the remains had been reduced to ash and the traditional offerings made (a blessing should always follow a curse), we sat around the fire, singing, telling stories, and eating Samhain sweetness.

 

U-G-L-Y,

you ain't got no alibi:

you're ugly. Ugly.

Your mama says you're ugly.

 

 

 

 

 

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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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