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.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Rename the Falls of 'Saint' Anthony Now

Minneapolis, the capital city of Paganistan, has the great good fortune to be home to two sacred waterfalls.

The better-known of the two is Minnehaha Falls, on Minnehaha Creek as it approaches the Mississippi River. This year for the seventh year running, the local pagan community will process to the Falls and make the traditional offerings to her as we kick off our annual Pagan Pride celebration.

The other is the falls on the Mississippi River in the heart of what is now downtown Minneapolis. (In fact, the city of Minneapolis was originally sited where it is precisely because of the falls.) This is the Mississippi's only waterfall; it loomed so large in local lore that in Dakota the Great River itself is known as Hahawakpa, “the river of the falls (haha).” In the whirlpool at the waterfall's foot lived Wanktehi, god of waters.

In 1682 Belgian explorer and missionary Louis Hennepin “named” the falls for his patron saint, Anthony of Padua. They've borne this imposed name ever since.

Well, it's time and high time to lose this imperialist name, which has absolutely nothing to do with the falls themselves.

It's time once again to call these falls by their original—Dakota—name: Mnirara, “Curling Water,” which Anglicizes nicely as Minnerara.

Earlier this year, the Minneapolis Park Board made the decision that the city's largest lake, known for years as Lake Calhoun, should once again be called by its Dakota name, Bde Maka Ska, “White Earth Lake.”

Now Officialdom once again needs to step up and do the right thing.

Minneapolis, the capital city of Paganistan, has the great good fortune to be home to two sacred waterfalls.

Falling Water.

And Curling Water.




Last modified on
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.


Additional information