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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Pagan Nativity



Pagan Nativity


Among the Kalasha of the Hindu Kush,

who alone among Indo-Aryan peoples

still hold to their old pre-Vedic religion,

all expectant women give birth

in the bashali, the house of blood. There

(as always until Enlightenment

doctors, pleading ease of access,

laid them out on their backs)

they squat to push, with gravity

to pull, bracing their labor against

the building's central column:

axis mundi, the typical Tree of Life.

Just so Leto clutched the bole

of a palm tree, bearing Apollo

and Artemis. Even Maryam

the virgin (in Sura xix) brought

forth Isa embracing the self-same

date-palm. Now in these days

of darkness, under the usual

tree of stars, how many

straining mothers crouch

among witness animals,

working out a world's salvation

there in its wonted place?



Yule 2020




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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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