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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Hiding in Plain Sight

There's a saying one hears (with variations) in Old Craft circles: Words are seeds. A word is a seed. Every word's a seed.

Old Craft is big into hiding in plain sight. Back when, you wouldn't be hanging a woodcut of the Old Buck on the wall, now would you, not even if you had one. So when it's time to be Doing and He's not to be there in his own self, so to speak, what do you do? Well, you take down that old wooden hayfork hanging there on the wall in the barn and you stand it to the north for the dancing and all. And next day after the doing's done, there's old hayfork hanging on wall again and none to know but them as do.

Never mind the pentagram big enough to crucify a toad on. One of the powers of the witch is the power to hide in plain sight.

Old Craft songs are like that. You could sing them in the pub, and none the wiser, except them as already know.

As the holly groweth green and changeth not its hue,

so I am, ever have been, unto my lady true.

Just a love song, right? But who's this Lady you're so faithful to, now?

Well, the horns that's on this ram, they grew,

why they reached up to the moon:

a little boy climbed up in January

and didn't get back til June.

A silly old brag-song about whose ram is biggest, right? Or is this the Old Tup himself now, him as sired us, and the death of him giving us and ours life forever and ay?

Words are seeds, they say. On the face of it, good pragmatic wisdom with a metaphor anyone can understand, and a counsel of action withal: what you say has repercussions, so speak your words with care. Good, solid advice, really.

Magical advice, that is. The power of the word to Change.

Every word a magical act, an act that changes the world. A deed is just a deed; but a deed with a word now, well, that's something else.

It isn't the flapping cloak that makes the witch, no: it's the word, hiding in plain sight.

Words are seeds, they say. Be careful what you sow.


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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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