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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His Body, His Choice

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Handfasting? Sure, I'd be happy to handfast you two; honored, actually.

Well, but there's something you should know first. You know what a geis is, don't you? (That's GESH, with a Sh on the end. Hey, it's Irish, don't blame me.) If I handfast you guys, I have to lay a geis on you, and you have to accept it.

It's this: that if, someday, you have a son, you will not circumcise him.

Cutting off part of a boy's penis is inherently wrong. It's sexual violence against boys.

You guys are pro-choice, right? Well, if your daughter should have a choice—which she should—so should your son. His body, his choice. Nobody else has the right to make that kind of decision for him: nobody. Not his parents, not his community, and certainly not "tradition." (Just because something's traditional, doesn't make it right.)

Why do I insist on this? Call it breaking the cycle of violence. It's part of my responsibility to ensure, insofar as I can, that a wrong done to me not be perpetrated on some other little boy.

That's my price. For your son, I want what was wrongfully taken from me.

If you can't commit to rejecting violence against your son, I can't bless your marriage.

So let me know.



Circumcision = sexual abuse.

His body, his choice.

Leave your son intact.









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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.


  • Kile Martz
    Kile Martz Tuesday, 29 June 2021

    I broke the cycle by restoring my foreskin. Yes, it is possible to make yourself whole again with time, technique, and patience. There is no better magic than the magic we make for ourselves.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Tuesday, 29 June 2021

    Kile, you're an inspiration to us all.
    Gentlemen: many wrongs can't be righted.
    Fortunately, some can:

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