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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She of the White Track

What does it smell like, the Milky Way?

Well, I think I know.

Walking down the sidewalk, unaccountably, I find myself thinking of honey. Then it surfaces, a sweetness almost subliminal. I stop and consciously immerse myself in breath. It's June, and the clover is blooming.

White clover. Trefoil (“three-leaf”). Trifolium repens (“creeping”). That's Anglo-Saxon, French, and Latin, respectively.

Moon clover, Moon honey.

Shamrock's the Irish. (Seamrog, diminutive of seamar, “clover.”) Saint who? Pfft, nonsense. It's Hers, all the way. Waxing, Full, and Waning: Three. (During the Dark, there is no Moon. Then again, maybe that's what makes that fourth leaf special.)

Sing the wide-famed Moon. Where She walks, white flowers spring up. Olwen, “White Track,” they call her in Wales: ol, “footprint” + wen, “white.”

 

Supposedly “Native Americans” called trefoil “white woman's footprint,” since it seemed to spring up in the wake of Anglo settlement. (One wonders just which people this may have been. Probably the same ones that made dream catchers, I suppose.) Since T. repens is native to North America, this may be just more fakelore.

Or not. Maybe whoever it was, was thinking of the same White Lady that I am: She who walks in heaven as on earth. Leaving her sweet white track behind her.

What does it smell like, the Milky Way?

Well, I think I know.

 

 

 

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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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