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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You're a Witch: Do You Know Where Your Goddess Is?

Quick: where's the Moon, right now?

Can you point?

I, of course, have no idea when or where you may be reading this. For all I know, the Moon may be on the other side of the planet from where you are right now.

But if you're a witch, shouldn't you know where the Moon is? Ideally, at all times?

And if (like me) you don't quite qualify for über-witch status yet, you can still figure it out.

First question: what phase of the Moon are we in? (If you don't know that, shame on you: hand in that pentagram, stat. Now bin—or, better, recycle—those Wicca 101 books, and go take a walk in the woods.)

Second question: what time of day is it? (If you don't know that, you really need to get out more.)

OK, here's the doggerel mnemonic, courtesy of The Witches' Almanac:

 The New Moon rises with the Sun;

her waxing half, at midday shows.

The Full Moon climbs at Sunset hour,

her waning half the midnight knows.

Sappho it ain't, but it does the job. Note that all times are solar standard time, e.g. midnight = the midpoint between Sunset and Sunrise, not 12 p.m.


The New (i.e. dark) Moon rises at Sunrise and sets at Sunset.

The Waxing Half Moon rises at solar noon and sets at solar midnight.

The Full Moon rises at Sunset and sets at Sunrise.

The Waning Half Moon rises at solar midnight and sets at solar noon.

From there, you can work out for yourself where the Moon is, at least approximately.

You can be a witch and not know how to cast a circle.

You can be a witch and not know anything about horoscopes, Qabala, or Tarot.

You cannot be a witch and not know your Moon.




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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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