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.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form

Tales of Paganistan: The Yule Viggle


For years, back when the local pagan community was a little less diffuse than it is these days, and folks mostly knew one another—not that that meant that we all got along, mind you—my friend Dan around the corner and his family used to hold the annual community-wide Mother Night Vigil. Pagans being pagans, of course, half of us used to refer to it as the “Viggle.”

(This was not just an in-joke, by the way; this was deep in-group humor—self-mockery, even. It satirized pagans who didn't know how to pronounce things correctly because they'd learned most of what they knew from books. Back in those days, that meant most of us.)

At sunset on Midwinter's Eve, they'd throw open the doors. All night long, the Viggle lasted, honoring the Longest Night. It ended with a sunrise breakfast. Covened folks with other obligations would come and go; the uncovened often stayed all night. In a community not known for community institutions, the Yule Eve Viggle was a community institution.

Dan's house being only a couple of blocks away from mine, I would generally walk over and drop in after our Mother Night ritual and feast. The house would be full of people, in varying states of intoxication, but all festive. There was always a massive fire roaring on the hearth, and tables and tables and tables of food. (“Meats and sweets,” my friend Ricky Bjugan always used to say.) The kids would be running around in a state of terminal excitement: they got to open their presents at midnight.

When Dan moved out of town, Thraicie and Jane over at our neighborhood witch store, The Eye, inherited the Viggle, and kept it going for (I believe it was) all of thirteen years.

These days, there's no community-wide Solstice Eve Viggle here in Paganistan any more; not that I know of, anyway. But you know pagans. The all-night Viggle, probably the world's oldest Yule ritual, will always eventually crop up again, because...well, you know what they say.

If you don't stay awake on Midwinter's Eve, you'll sleep the whole rest of the year.






Last modified on
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.


Additional information