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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I Married A Darrin

 Darrin Stephens Comics - Comic Vine

“What's a Darrin?” Seriously?

(Gods, what do they teach them in Witch School these days?)

It's an old Witch word. (I can't believe you've never heard it before.) It means a non-witch married to a witch.

Yes, it is an interesting word, isn't it? Got that witchy, kind of mysterious sound to it. Nobody knows where it comes from, or what it meant originally. Probably it's Anglo-Saxon, or maybe from some Celtic language, like pretty much the rest of Craft vocabulary.

(A friend of mine who's an Anglo-Saxonist suggested maybe déor-wine, “deer-friend”—that's deer-the-animal; witches, as you know, have always been a People of the Deer—but, really, who knows?)

Well, those are our roots, after all, Saxon and Celt: we've been a mixed people from the very beginning. Always have been, still are, always will be, I guess, though we've expanded the gene-pool some since those days. Hey, we're the witches: we'll take anybody, if they're our kind of folks.

My guess is, the word probably goes back to ancient times. You know witches: we've always been a clannish sort—that's clan-with-a-C, not a K: when witches wear hoods, they're not usually white ones—and in the old days there were some pretty strong strictures against marrying outside of the tribe. So it would make sense that there would be a term for someone who'd married in.

Interesting thing is, a Darrin's children are full Tribe of Witches by birth. There are no half-witches: you're either in or you're not. The old people used to joke about the "Old Blood”: one drop is enough, and all that. Usually, of course, they'd cackle as they said this.

As someone who's interested in language, I have to say that I'm intrigued by the fact that the word is nearly always spelled with a capital D. Nobody knows why. A sign of respect, I suppose. Really, you've got to admire the courage that it takes to out-marry.

Gender? So far as I know, it's a gender-neutral term. At least, I've never heard a specifically feminine form before. If you really wanted to specify, I suppose we could create one.

What, a Darrina, maybe?








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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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