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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King of the Witches

 Stewart Farrar - Wikipedia

A Tale of Stewart Farrar


Forget those other claimants (Alex and Simon come to mind): in the mid- to late nineties, the real King of the Witches was Stewart Farrar.

(FAHRer, he pronounced it, with the first A as in arrow. His namesake ancestor was a farrier, he used to say: a blacksmith who specializes in shoeing horses.)

A novelist and Fleet Street journalist by trade, he become, late in life, an occult celebrity whose books nourished the worldwide burgeoning interest in modern witchery. Along with his wife Janet and brother-husband Gavin—that I have never heard so much as even one arch comment about this arrangement makes me proud of my sometimes-snarky community—he toured the pagan communities of the English-speaking world, and never once failed to charm.

As per this story.


Stewart and the Cigar


In the middle of the ritual, Janet fainted.

(According to my informant, it may or may not have had something to do with the margaritas that everyone had been drinking that day.)

In the rush to make sure of her, Gavin bashed his head against an exposed beam and gashed his forehead.

Eventually Janet came around. She sits up in bed and sees Stewart sitting in a lawn chair in the back yard smoking a cigar, surrounded by a rapt circle of admirers.

(A journalist by trade, Stewart was a skilled raconteur.)

Something miffed—she can sometimes, be it admitted, be something of a prima donna—she gets out of bed and storms out.

“Really, Stewart!” she says. “I pass out, Gavin has blood running down his face, and meanwhile you sit here telling stories and smoking a cigar. What gives?”

Stewart takes a nice, deep pull off the cigar and slowly, slowly, blows out the smoke.

“My dear,” he says, “it is good to be king.”



Do Cigars Cause Cancer? The Evidence Is Undeniable



In Memoriam

Stewart Farrar


Reborn to the People


With special thanks to Don the Druid


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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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