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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It's one of the witch's most important powers.


Glamorie, glamory, glamorye: n. The art (and craft) of making others see what you want them to see, and (by implication) think what you want them to think.

In common usage, the term implies “...making others see what isn't there.” “She's got him glammed,” we say.

But in fact, the term is neutral. Glamor can be the lie that tells the truth. Ask any artist. A painter can take a piece of stretched cloth and some paint and make you think that you're seeing a landscape.

If you want to learn glamor, watch those that are good at it: make-up artists, actors, demagogues.

As a storyteller myself, I can tell you for certain that narrative works a very powerful glamor.

This beat-up old knife may not look like much, but if I tell you that it was Sybil Leek's athame, sure looks different than it did a few seconds ago. Glamor = resonance. In some ways, the history of the modern Craft is a glamor: a worldwide glamor now several million strong.

As witches, you would think that we would be less susceptible to glamor than some. Well, so you might think.

A certain (not-yet-convicted) child-pornographer kept getting invited back to a certain festival as a guest, year after year. Not everyone was glammed. The parents of teen-aged girls repeatedly told the organizers: This guy is a predator; why do you keep inviting him back? But the glamor won out, alas; until the FBI intervened, anyway.

But with glamor, as with any tool, it's all in how you use it.

With a mask and his naked body, the priest can make us think that a god is present.

And, in truth, he is.

Above: Paul B. Rucker, God (with Contrail)


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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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