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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The Youngest God

Fire does not exist in all worlds.

In order to exist, Fire requires three things: a spark, oxygen, and fuel.

If any of these is lacking, there will be no Fire.

Since fuel is (more or less by definition) organic, this means that Fire exists only on planets that support life. Of all the planets that we know to be, Fire exists only on ours. Fire may live on other planets as well, but this we do not know.

To the ancestors, Fire was a god (or goddess). In the Vedas, Fire is called the Youngest God, because he is constantly reborn.

Fire does not live on all worlds.


At this feast of winter's midpoint, let us be glad that ours is one where it does.


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Tagged in: Fire
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.


  • Lisa Kroutil
    Lisa Kroutil Thursday, 28 January 2016

    I can make fire without organic matter. There are many alternative fuels. For example, the combustion of magnesium metal. In fact, this burns very hot. Also note that you cannot put it out with a standard carbon dioxide fire extinguisher or even by sandwiching it between two slabs of dry ice. Likewise, you can create fire with just water and sodium. It doesn't even require molecular oxygen. It takes it from the water and there is a flame! I can give additional examples too if you want. The ability to support life is NOT necessary for fire.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Friday, 29 January 2016

    Clearly I need to be reading more chemistry. Thanks for the correction!

  • Lisa Kroutil
    Lisa Kroutil Thursday, 28 January 2016

    I would even argue that fire is the Oldest God. The sun and all stars are huge balls of fire. The nuclear fusion process that occurs in stars creates the elements needed for life, water, planets, etc.

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