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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Habitual Libators: A Mystery of 'Old Europe' Solved? (or, Why Archeology Needs More Pagans)

Admittedly, it's one of the lesser mysteries of the Copper Age Central European cultures that archeologist (and feminist ideologue) Marija Gimbutas called “Old European,” but no less intriguing for all that.

What the heck is the “binocular” vessel: two conjoined, mirror image ceramic vessels, lacking—interestingly—both tops and bottoms.

Well, nobody knows, and chances are that we never will know. Still, so-called "binocular" vessels are not an uncommon find at Old European sites, so clearly they had a cultural function of some sort, if only a symbolic one.

But I'll tell you what I think.

The problem with pouring libations is that they're messy. (I always say, “You can't pour a good libation if you're afraid of splashing your shoes.”) So here you go, habitual pourer of libations*, just what you've always wanted without knowing it: the user-friendly libation tube.

Yes, my friends: with Copper Woman's new patented conjoined libation tubes, you can pour libations to your heart's content, and nobody ever gets splashed!

Why two conjoined libation tubes, then?

Aha: there's the brilliance of my theory. I think that “binocular” vessels were used for making agreements. They even rather look like two people joining (or shaking) hands.

You and I come to an agreement. (Maybe we decide to handfast.) Before witnesses, we both pour out our libations simultaneously as a symbol of the agreement between us.

We'll never know whether or not my theory is correct. But it does go to demonstrate why the field of archeology needs more pagans.

When it comes to ritual, we've got lots of practical experience.


*Can we say libator here?








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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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