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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When the Wights Are Angry

Hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, floods.

I'm not really saying that Republicans are responsible.

Not really.

We would say: climate change.

Traditional societies would say: the wights are angry.

(Wights: literally, “beings”: also, elves, fairies, huldrefolk, land-"spirits", etc.)

Two ways, perhaps, of describing the same thing.

Why are the wights angry?

Tradition has it that the wights are angered by greed.

Tradition has it that the wights are angered by waste.

Tradition has it that the wights are angered by bad governance.

And when the wights are angry, everyone suffers.

Hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, floods.

I'm not really saying that Republicans are responsible.

Not really.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tagged in: climate change wights
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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Comments

  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Monday, 11 September 2017

    I remember reading an article on Shamanism.org about the author's encounter with an angry cloud being. It seems the cloud being was angry at being taken for granted and depersonalized. The article was from way back in 1999. Fire, flood, hurricane force winds, and an earthquake so far this month, it seems we still have to do a lot of work on our interpersonal relations with the fay.

  • Mariah Sheehy
    Mariah Sheehy Tuesday, 12 September 2017

    A couple years ago at the Irish Fair, I talked with Daithi Sproule, a traditional Irish musician who was retelling the old tales. An agnostic himself he commented "There is a crisis going on in our world, and it has to do with the Otherworld, with the Good People". I can't remember his exact words, but it was something about the Good People being angry, because we messed things up. We can describe it in scientific terms or spiritual, traditional cultural terms but it is really the same thing.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Wednesday, 13 September 2017

    I thoroughly agree; they seem to me like two different ways of observing the same phenomenon: one from without, one from within.

  • Tasha Halpert
    Tasha Halpert Tuesday, 12 September 2017

    What is the definition of a Wight?

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Wednesday, 13 September 2017

    I would say that the wights are the "interiority" of things. They're those Other People that inhabit the Land, that go by many names: elves, fairies, huldrefolk, nymphs, menehune, nagumwasuck, land "spirits." Most traditional cultures (if not virtually all of them0 seem to know some version of them. Whether they are literally beings (which was the original meaning of "wight": Old English wiht) or whether they are our minds' way of talking to itself about our relationship with the landscape, I'm not qualified to say.

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