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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Big Luck, Little Luck

Posted by on in Culture Blogs



The “Luck of the Tree” they call it. You know the one that I mean: first ornament on, last off, the sine qua non. The luck of the tree.

I don't know what the Luck of your tree looks like, but for years—decades—mine was a clear glass bubble, big as two cupped hands held together, fingertip to fingertip.

That was the Big Luck. The Little Luck was the same but smaller, smaller than a balled fist. One for the front, one for the back of the tree: together, the luck that you see, and the luck that you don't.

Together, the two were the most beautiful ornaments on the Tree. Clear, they caught all the lights. Reflecting, each held the Tree within itself. I suppose that's what made them the Lucks.

Luck is fragile. Two Yules ago, the Big Luck broke. During the decking, a Sun fell from an upper branch and ricocheted off the Luck. The falling ornament survived; the Luck did not. Cleaning up shards, I told myself it wasn't necessarily an omen.

That Yule, covid hit.

Two years, two Yules gone by: so much loss, my life changed in so many unforeseen ways. Some griefs never really heal.

I watch the Little Luck as it hangs, lights dancing, Tree within.

“You're the Luck now,” I tell it, knowing that it's so.

Better a little luck, whole, than a big luck, broken.






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Tagged in: luck Yule tree
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.


  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham Friday, 17 December 2021

    Wasn't that the same year you wrote about having flies in your house for Yuletide? I believe I may have written and suggested that flies represent pestilence. If that really was an omen the thirteen days represents a full calendar year and the number of dead flies you found at the end of those days represents the number of years the pestilence will last.

  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch Saturday, 18 December 2021


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