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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Ground to Stand On: The Single Best Way to Explain Paganism to Non-Pagans

Zumwalt Prairie


After almost 50 years in the pagan community, I have yet to come across a better way to introduce non-pagans to the idea of living paganism

Alas, I can no longer remember who I learned this from; whoever it was, I'd never met him before. (I do remember standing shoulder-to-shoulder with you at Pan-Pagan, though, eagerly drinking up your words.) Whoever you were, you have my thanks. Your analogy is spot-on, and deftly avoids all the scary buzz-words; it's served me very well down the years.

“You know Native American religion, right?” you say.

They nod. Everybody knows Native American religion, or thinks they do. A lot of non-Native Americans even have a certain amount of respect for Native American religion. It's all about being close to “Nature,” right?

“Well, this is Native European religion,” you say.

Yes, it's a nutshell definition at best, and certainly doesn't fit all circumstances.

But it gives you good ground to stand on.


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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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