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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New Evidence Suggests Gardner Renounced Wicca Days Before Death

AP: London

New evidence released by the Gardner Family Archive suggests that Gerald Gardner (1884-1964), the Father of Modern Wicca, actually renounced the religion that he was instrumental in founding just days before his death.

In a posthumously-received letter to his eldest sister, Graizell, dated February 10, 1964—two days before his death—Gardner wrote:

This Wica [sic] is a cuckoo's egg, a rum deal really. Ive [sic] done with it. Its [sic] all rot, really. Well there's an end to it then, hands washed for good and all. Who knows, maybe Ill [sic] turn Turk [convert to Islam] next.

Handwriting experts have confirmed that the letter was in fact written by Gardner.

Although his motives for rejecting Wicca remain unclear, Gardner's biographers agree that a last-minute defection was nonetheless entirely in character.

"GBG was a mercurial figure," says Craft historian Mike Howard, "who throughout his life bounced from interest to interest."

Gardner wrote the letter (and later died) on board the steamship Scottish Prince off the coast of Tunisia during a winter cruise of the Mediterranean.

Experts agree that his proposed conversion to Islam was likely tongue-in-cheek.


Like Yule with its thirteen days, pagan Easter (also known as Ostara and Eostre) is a multi-day celebration that begins at the spring evenday (vernal equinox) and ends roughly thirteen days later with All Gowks' (Fools') Day.

The gowk or cuckoo is a traditional harbinger of spring; its reputation as a trickster comes from its habit of laying eggs in other birds' nests.

So congratulations, reader.

You've just been gowked.




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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.


  • Anne Forrester
    Anne Forrester Friday, 01 April 2016

    Aaaaaarrrrrrggggghhhh-- You totally got me!

  • tehomet
    tehomet Wednesday, 06 April 2016


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