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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Eleusinian Impact

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Ye gods.

In 37 years, we've done a lot of Samhains together. But none like this one.

Naked and cold in the dark, in the cave.

Then the light flares, and the Mystery is revealed.

Of course, I already knew what the Mystery was; Hell, I'd helped write the ritual.

And still, it hit me like a thunderbolt, like love, with an impact frankly Eleusinian.

The mystery revealed in the dark. You see it, and you know that it's true.


If you're hoping that I'll tell you the Mystery, well, of course I can't. Not here, not now.

But really, I don't need to.

The secret heart of Samhain: you already know what it is.

In your heart of hearts—I who have beheld it with my own eyes swear to you—you already know what it is.




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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.


  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien Wednesday, 02 November 2016

    Amazing how similar our experiences were! There were few of us and it was cold and rainy, so instead of climbing the hill I once took you to, we remained in a protected space at the end of the tunnel, one that faces West directly over the Pacific, the direction that sun, stars, and souls travel. There were bales of hay there that evidently the Park Service intended for erosion control; however, since they hadn't been placed yet, we had comfy seats instead of cold concrete. We sang, called the Ancestors, spoke the names of the Beloved Dead. Since the weather discouraged other and we were few, we spent time telling stories of the dead, remembering them. Surrounded by several jack-o'-lanterns in that cold tunnel, with fog, wind, and rain outside, we shared comestibles before we bid them farewell again.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Thursday, 03 November 2016

    Over and over, all around the wold, Samhain reveals itself. Happy new year, dearest!

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