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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Part of the underlying strategy for the Repaganization of the West is, shall we say...selective replacement.

Consider the so-called “Adam's apple.” A nasty bit of someone else's mythology has, mutatis mutandis, become attached to a perfectly innocuous part of the human body. What to do?

In this particular instance, at least, there's not far to look.

The old Witch word for the (to give it its technical name) laryngeal thyroid cartilege is thrapple: a contraction of “throat apple,” the apple being, of course, the prime sacred fruit of the Tribe of Witches (and, in fact, of Northern Europe generally).

A while back I was dishing with my friend “Granny” Ro NicBourne.

“Do you know such-and-so?” I asked.

“Wouldn't know him from Ash,” she deadpanned.*


Reuse, repurpose, recycle.


For years Sparky T. Rabbit (of Lunacy fame) and I had a running joke qua fantasy about “Life in Post-Motho America.”

Once, driving past a road sign for St. Paul, he chin-pointed to the sign and said in fausse tristesse:

Kind of sad, really: nothing left of them but a few old place names.”

And we laughed and laughed.

As for the thrapple and how it came to be where it is, and why mens' are more prominent than womens': well now, that's a tale to remember.

Remind me to tell you some time.


*In the Eddas, Ash and Elm (Old Norse Ask and Embla) were First Man and First Woman. We've been naming our children for trees ever since.


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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.


  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien Friday, 18 March 2016

    I love the term thrapple and will be using it henceforth. Remember we still have Achilles tendon.

    What a force our beloved Sparky was. As my friend Penny says, "“We are all ephemeral phenomena but we leave a wake through the energy fields of the lives of others. One who blessed the world with wisdom and humor can never be said to have completely ceased to live for their gifts carry forward for generations.”

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