“Most painted dick in the Midwest.”

If I never accomplish anything else in this long and varied life of mine, I suspect that I can safely claim that distinction at least with little fear of competition.

Such is the life of a priest of the Horned.

At the Grand Sabbat, the priest wears a mask, a collar of fresh green leaves, and a coat of paint.

The god wears the priest.

Eight days on from Mystery Night, I've just about scrubbed off the last of the god-paint. Well, there's still a little around the edges of the toenails, and my navel (being too ticklish to scrub). Such things are neither lightly taken on, nor easily shed.

Do you know why the god's glans is painted red at the Sabbat? The way I heard it, it's because He's the Opener of the Way.

Now, I suppose—presuming consensuality—that there could be worse partners for one's first intercourse than the Horned. (That, at least, was my experience.) The stories say that they'd bring in the hobman from the next valley for such occasions, for obvious reasons.

Me, I suspect that such stories are mythic, rather than historic, history. It seems more likely to me that they refer to the divine presidency of Him of the Threshold over all Firsts, first sex in particular.

“Most painted dick in the Midwest.” Probably they'll engrave it—in Theban, no doubt—on the standing stone over my grave.

Well, I could think of worse epitaphs.


Image: Paul B. Rucker