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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Urban Witching: Full Moon (with Frogs)

About half an hour before moonrise, we meet up at the coven bench in the park, big enough to hold a whole coven. Well, almost.

We catch up, laugh, dish a little. It's August, almost September, so zucchini bread, curds and apples circulate along with the wine.

When bats begin to wheel, it's time to make our magic: down the hill and around the lake, still high with summer rain, we go. We stride purposively, silent with intent. Cowans clear the way without realizing it. Frog after frog hops along our path as we walk: tens of them, scores of them. Clearly the frogs have magic of their own to make tonight.

We circle, right shoulders to night water. We meet up again where we started, where the three paths join. By Bat, by Moon, by Frog: So mote it be.

We go back up to the bench. As we begin to sing, the Moon soars out of a cloud-bank, red-ripe as a late August apple. She beams, ruddy, while we sing all three hymns, then slides back into cloud. Funny how often that seems to happen, and always manages to feel like acknowledgment when it does.


Then to business. We sit and discuss the upcoming Harvest feast, our 35th together.

We bid good night. We go off in our separate directions.

Another urban coven, another full moon. To the summon-stir-and-point-a-knife-at crowd, it might not even seem like ritual at all: no Book of Shadows, no circle, no invocation. But in fact some truly powerful witching has just taken place.

At a public park near you.

By Bat, by Moon, by Frog.

So mote it be.






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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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