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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'What No Man May Tell, Nor Woman Know'

 How to Plan Manhood Ceremonies - RTC 31 - Laurie Christine

Of Full Disclosure, and the Wisdom of the Ancestors


“Seriously? People have been asking you that?”

I'm talking with the mother of a boy that we'll soon be initiating into manhood. Incredibly, people have been asking her, “What will be happening at the Man-Making?”

Otherwise known as the Men's Mysteries, these are the ancient oath-bound rites by which the tribe's boys become the tribe's men. The traditional answer to this question—just possibly (so old are these things) one of humanity's oldest sayings—would be: What no man may tell, nor woman know.

“What have you been telling them?” I ask her, a little taken aback.

I've been telling them, How the heck would I know?” she says.

There are no women at the Men's Mysteries, nor men at the Women's. Any pagan should already know this. If it's non-pagans that are doing the asking—there will be a few at the after-party, friends of the boy, and their families—they'll be getting a crash course in pagan culture.

I note that no one has been asking this question of me, the actual keeper of this Mystery for the tribe. A sudden mischief seizes me.

“You have my permission to tell them that we'll be plotting to disempower women and subvert the matriarchy,” I say, grinning.

We both laugh. Really: if they'll believe that, they'll believe anything.


Secrets are important.

These days, full disclosure rules; but the ancestors knew better.






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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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