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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The Once and Future Goddess

I wore the little silver goddess for years.

Then I lost her.

What struck me most was how much I missed her.

I own some beautiful jewelry, but—ritual aside—rarely wear it. The little silver goddess was the only exception: both symbol and reality, herself her own best symbol.

Then she was gone.

A coven-sib gave her to me (I think for Yule) years ago. Simultaneously unobtrusive and monumental, she's of no particular culture. Schematic, asymmetric, she beautifully embodies what singer-songwriter Sparky T. Rabbit once described as the perfect New Pagan aesthetic, managing somehow to look “both old and new at the same time.”

I was sure I'd left her in one of the tent's hanging pouches, but when I got home from the festival, there she wasn't. I searched and searched, and in the end resigned myself to mourning the lost. I looked all over the internet—there's certainly no dearth of silver goddesses these days—but none were like her.

Goddesses, it would seem, just can't be replaced.

Then, setting up for the summer's first event, suddenly there she was. Not in those hanging pouches, silly: up here, hanging from the roof.

Even goddesses need a rest sometimes. Call it hibernation.


There was a time in history when the goddess seemed to have gone away.


Well, who can know the mind of a goddess? But the stories say: She would know all mysteries, even the mystery of death.

For centuries, inconsolable, we mourned her loss, and in secret some of us loved her with that most delicate and poignant of spiritual emotions, love-in-separation.

But even then, we knew—hoping against all hope, perhaps—that some day she'd be back.

It's in her very nature, after all, written (as one might say) on her forehead.

And now she's here.

And we, O child of fortune, O children of the stars, have lived to see the happy day.

Thank Goddess.




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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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