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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Island at the Center of the World


Does a Twin Cities Coven Determine the Fate of Nations?


You know what they say: If they gave medals for rumor-mongering, the pagan community could field an Olympic-class team.


Did you know that, from atop seven towers across western and west-central Asia, Satanic adepts constantly broadcast psychic vibrations that guide world events?

Did you know that at Samhain every year, from an island at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, an old and powerful coven raises a massive cone of power in order to affect world events during the coming year?

I hear that this year they'll be doing it to bring down Putin.


As for those Satanic Towers of Power, they've told this story about the mysterious Yazidi people of Iraq and Syria for years. So far as I can tell, the story was fabricated out of whole cloth by a sensationalist journalist named William Seabrook in the 1920s, which hasn't kept it from gaining a life of its own since then.

In fact, the towers are a fiction, and the Yazidis aren't really Satanists at all: at least, not in the sense that people generally mean by the word.

As for that second story, though....


Witches tend to throw their Halloween parties two Saturdays before Samhain. (On Samhain Saturday, folks in our community tend to be otherwise engaged.)

So, I'm at my first Halloween party since the pandemic began when I first hear the rumors about the powerful coven on the island down at the Confluence determining the course of world events. Through the course of the evening, I hear it several times, from several different people. In fact, the story sounds familiar.

It should. That's my coven they're talking about.


In Lakota lore, rivers are gendered beings. The Mississippi, father of waters, is a male river; the “sky water” Minnesota, female.

Where the two flow together, the Great Rite occurs. Their confluence marks the center of the world, from which everything arises, and around which all creation turns.


As for that powerful coven, well: this coming Samhain will be our 43rd together. Sounds pretty powerful to me.

As for Samhain on the island at the center of the world: well, yes, that much is true, too. Kind of. (It's actually every other year.)

(The rumor had got the name of the island wrong, though. When I corrected one woman, she insisted: “No, no, it was Pike Island, I'm sure.”)

Massive cone of power: check. At least, it's predictably one of our most powerful rites of the year, in a river-mist-shrouded, newly-naked, golden-carpeted grove of cottonwood trees on the island at the center of the world.

And, in fact, we have already hexed Putin. (You can read about it here.) These days, his war in Ukraine's going pretty badly, I hear.

As for determining the fate of nations through the course of the year to come...

Well, if somebody has to do it, I'm sure glad it's us.


Humans are a strange species. Apparently, deep down, we want to believe that somewhere, somehow, there's someone, anyone, who's in charge of things.

Apparently, even witches, and the weirdos that hang with them, want to believe this, though—quite frankly—they really should know better by now.

Even if we don't like the way things are going, I suppose it's somehow consoling to think that, somewhere out there, there's a Master Plan behind it all.

Well, who else, if not the witches?


Witches are nothing if not resilient.

At first, people seemed a little disappointed when something that had grown to legendary proportion actually turned out to be a known quantity instead, however respected.

Then, of course, they all wanted to come.


At Samhain this year, as every year, from a river island at the geographic center of North America, a powerful coven of witches will be casting its spells to determine the fate of nations worldwide through the course of the coming year.

I hear this year we'll be taking down Putin.




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Tagged in: prodea Yazidi Yezidis
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 Monday, 31 October 2022

    Back in the 80's there was a set of divination cards called Star+Gate. Inside was a mat with twelve spots marked off and lines showing how they interconnected. At about the same time Steve Jackson games came out with a collector card game called Illuminati New World Order. Later when I read conspiracy books, I remember those two sets of cards and think how simplistic to believe that there is only one conspiracy. If there is one conspiracy it stands to reason that there would be many competing conspiracies all working at cross purpose to one another.

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