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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Thirteen Below

Dance, children, dance

as I sing a song of Summer:

children dance, children dance.


The thirteenth of February: Old Imbolc Day. Temperature: 13 below.

Swathed in wraps, the kid and I sit on the front porch waiting for the school bus, singing songs of Beltane.

Call it defiance.

Call it delusion.

Call it sympathetic magic.

We're not the only ones singing of Summer. In the back yard, a redbird trills, proudly delineating this year's breeding territory with a magic song.

Here in Paganistan, our cardinals winter down south in balmy Iowa, but round about Imbolc (New Style), the males come back and start the New Wheel turning. On the front porch, we sing along, turning a Wheel of our own.

Or maybe it's the same one.

Spring is coming, this we know. We may not live to see it, but that's no reason to lay down and give in.

We sing. The cardinal sings.

Come on, Spring.


Hal an tow, jolly rumble-O:

we were up long before the day-O,

to welcome in the Summer,

to welcome in the May-O,

for Summer is a-coming in,

and Winter's gone away-O!


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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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