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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Time: The night of Holy Saturday

Place: A village in rural Greece


In the plaza outside the village church, the folklorist waits, along with the gathered villagers, for midnight, when the priest will come to the door and announce the resurrection of Christ.

The folklorist turns to the old, black-shawled yiayia (grandma) standing beside him.

Soon Christ will have risen, he says.

I hope so, she replies earnestly. Otherwise, we'll have no bread to eat this year.


Several things strike me about this story, which is a true story or, at least, was told to me as true.

First, the (one gathers, distinct) possibility that this year Christ might not rise.

Second, the conviction that the god's rising, or lack thereof, will affect the health of the crops.


Me, I'm convinced that paganism is inherent, native to humankind, inborn: that in our heart of hearts, we are, were, and will always be, pagan.

I'm equally convinced that nothing, nothing, can ever change this fact.












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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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