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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In Which Our Intrepid Blogger Comes to Paganistan for the Very First Time

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

The omen could hardly have been clearer. I guess you could say that a wall spoke to me.

It was spring break of my junior year in college. I'd come to Minneapolis, ostensibly in search of a graduate program. Actually, I'd come in search of a community. In search of a people.

My friend had picked me up at the train station. Driving home down Lake Street, I saw it.

Minneapolis is a City of Murals. There it was, covering the entire side of a building.

Flowers, butterflies. (Hey, it was the 70s.) These words:

 The Goddess says: My children, a new day is coming.

I hadn't even set foot to ground yet, but already I knew where I belonged.

Since then I've heard stories about the Miji Dojo, the women's self-defense center whose mural had spoken so directly to my heart.

By the time I got to town two years later, the dojo was long gone, dissolved in acrimonious intra-feminist squabbling, and it took me a year (in those pre-internet days) to meet the pagans that I'd come to Minneapolis to be one of.

Well, it's going on 40 years now. I live (as I have for more than three decades) a few blocks from the wall where that mural once proclaimed its message of hope.

I've traveled far and lived elsewhere, but somehow I've always come back. Probably I'll die here some day. (I'm hoping for another 40 years, but who can say?)

Later today, I'll be addressing the Twin Cities Pagan Pride celebration at Minnehaha Falls, one of our most important local holy places. Then we'll process down into the caldera to make our Fifth Annual Harvest Offering to the Falls.

I think back to the 19-year-old that I was then, about to make the decision that would shape the rest of his life.

I wonder what he would have said, if he could have foreseen this day.

But, of course, in a sense, he did foresee it.

So happy Pagan Pride, folks.

We've come a long way to get here.













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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.


  • Eli Effinger-Weintraub
    Eli Effinger-Weintraub Monday, 12 September 2016

    I'm so glad you're here, Steven.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Monday, 12 September 2016

    Thanks Eli, the feeling is entirely mutual.
    How did we get so lucky?

  • Eli Effinger-Weintraub
    Eli Effinger-Weintraub Tuesday, 13 September 2016

    Y'know, it's funny: when I moved here from Michigan for college, I never expected to stay here. I had no intention of going back to my home town, but at least my home state, right? By the time I graduated, I had fallen in love with the land and the people, and I was putting down roots in the theater, queer, and Pagan communities.

    There are no unsacred places, and I know I could've found community anywhere. I just don't think anyplace else would be home in quite the same way.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Wednesday, 14 September 2016

    It's a weird place (in both senses of the term), in some ways a hard place, a cold place. Not everyone manages to fit in.
    Just makes me that much more grateful.

  • Chris Sherbak
    Chris Sherbak Tuesday, 13 September 2016

    And who'd'a thunk that just a little while later you'd join in at Paul's magickal place for a weekend hosting amazing men from all over the country!?

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Wednesday, 14 September 2016

    Well, speak of the Horned, Chris! I was thinking of you fondly just the other day. Hope this finds you happy and in health.

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