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 the Delphic Oracle Told Nero

 Prophecy or Chemistry? The Mystery of the Oracle of Delphi | by Paul  Halpern | Medium


“How long will I be emperor?” the emperor Nero asked the Delphic Oracle.

“Beware the seventy-third year,” the Oracle told him.


You are the Hierophant, the high priest and guardian of the Mysteries of Eleusis.

You receive a command from the Roman emperor to mount an out-of-season celebration of the Mysteries, in order that he may attend while he is in Greece. That emperor is Nero.

What do you do?


At the time of his visit to Delphi, the emperor Nero was 34 years old.

Needless to say, the Oracle's response delighted him.


Shockingly, but unsurprisingly, the then-Hierophant of Eleusis acceded to Nero's demand and—for the only time in their 1000-year history—the Mysteries of the Grain Mother were enacted out-of-season.

Alas: knowledge of mystery does not necessarily entail courage.


His whirlwind tour of Greece completed, Nero prepared himself to return to Rome.

Meanwhile, in Spain, a general named Galba—the man who would be the next emperor of Rome—was busily raising an army.

He was 73 years old.








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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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