Many Pagans (as well as sci fi and fantasy fans everywhere) are, like me, in love with his longrunning Discworld novels--36 and counting at the moment. Lots of Pagan women have taken as role models characters like Morgaine or Vivianne from Marion Zimmer-Bradley's classic Mists of Avalon book. Personally, I find them both a bit gooey and treacly. And so, like many another Pagan woman with a strong sense of humor, I've always wanted to grow up to be Granny Weatherwax. On the Discworld, as here, you see,
Unlike wizards, who like nothing better than a complicated hierarchy, witches don't go in much for the structured approach to career progression... Witches are not by nature gregarious, at least with other witches, and they certainly don't have leaders.
Granny Weatherwax was the most highly-regarded of the leaders they didn't have.
Sadly, experience and observation suggests I'm not doing much to become the astonishing Granny Weatherwax--those in the know suggest I'm more on the way to becoming a version of Nanny Ogg, the perpetually cheerful, plump and earthy witch who loves to have a little too much Hogswatch cheer, jump up onto a table, and begin singing all the verses to "A Wizard's Staff Has a Knob on the End" or that other Ogg classic, "The Hedgehog Cannot Be Buggered at All."
Terry Pratchett, for those of you who don't yet know, is one of the funniest writers of the the century. And for Pagans, he's our funniest critic, a man who clearly knows us thoroughly enough to make the best jokes. It's not just Pagans who come in for satire, though: Shakespeare, rock musicians, Machiavelli, The Phantom of the Opera, and even Death are funny when he does them.
If you've never read his novels, do start now, while he's still producing more to delight us. Try some of his Death novels--Reaper Man, perhaps. (Death is actually one of my best-loved characters, and if the Grim Reaper shows up for me with those baby blue eyes of Pratchett's Death, I'll go with him only after I give him a bear hug to show it.) Or you might try the seasonally appropriate Hogfather--Samhain and Yule/Christmas have their Discworld equivalent, it turns out, a very funny jumble of wierdly twisted familiar lore. If you're a Pagan and you've never read his novels, start with Wyrd Sisters or Witches Abroad, or perhaps the more recent The Wee Free Men or A Hat Full of Sky.
The point is, read Pratchett. Celebrate Pratchett. Appreciate Pratchett. And light a candle, hold him in the Light, say a prayer, chant a spell, or do whatever the voo doo is that you do particularly well, that he remain with us in mind as well as body as long as possible, because this guy is an international treasure.
As Granny Weatherwax used to say, via a badly lettered cardboard sign propped on her chest when she would go out astral traveling, "I aten’t dead."
And, as he pointed out in his announcement, neither is he. For which I am grateful. May he receive every bit of the medical expertise, adulation, love, and attention which he deserves. Or even (if that's possible) a tiny bit more.