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Laity Discussion / Re: John Michael Greer: Toward a New Monasticism
« Last post by Mdaoust245 on July 21, 2019, 03:33:08 PM »
I feel that what really sets aside the polytheist monastic movement from the other pagans I've met and worked with is a) the solitude or communal aspect b) the devotion to individual deities and not necessarily paths and c) just overall seriousness about their spirituality.
I know it may sound shallow but in my experience, these really set apart the polytheist monastics. I don't fit in with the other pagans in my area at all because of this! I'm not saying they're not serious about their paths, but they won't take it to a level of devotional intensity that the monastic movement *seems * to. They don't want to live secluded from society or just dedicate their lives wholly to their path's workings. They tend to see their spirituality as a fun thing they do on the side, or as merely a part of their life, while I find for a monastic, their spirituality IS their whole life. There is also a rigidity of belief that the polytheist monastics have that other non-monastics just don't have. Not that monastics are inflexible, but they're 'solid' in their beliefs? They won't easily be swayed? It's a level of devotion and commitment I guess.
I hope I've brought something constructive to the table! Please be aware I'm speaking from limited awareness of the polytheist movement, so I could be totally wrong.
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Lucifer has been with me for so long! After I began dabbling in paganism, I felt myself being called by a being 'like' Cernunnos but not quite...something to do with horns maybe? I dabbled in Satanism, feeling quite the call from Lucifer, but not liking at all what was associated with him. I'm really not sure when I began accepting him as a patron, but my wife was very much like 'stop fighting it and just go with it'. And then he became such a strong presence! When my mental health got really bad, I just reached out to him so much and felt so comforted. Like he really was there with me. I know other deities are there with me, but I feel so connected with Lucifer. I really wish he wasn't associated with the occult, as I'm not fond of that branch and don't associate much with it at all, and that makes it hard to find another luciferian to connect with. I more relate him to other strict underworld deities like Ereshkigal, who should be feared and respected, but aren't necessarily as evil and bloodthirsty (at least to their favourites) as they are painted as being. Anyways that's my rant :)
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Welcome to the Forum, Michael!

How did you become involved with Lucifer?
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So may be we have some things in common?

Could be! Send me an IM if you'd like to chat!
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Hi! I am very close to someone (in fact, maybe 2!) who are devotees or Ereshkigal IRL in my little pagan community. We also have that copy of Ereshkigal's anthology. It has been passed around quite a lot between these two. I'm going to try and coerce them into coming onto this forum, haha. So glad to meet you! I'm a bit of an introvert turned extrovert thanks to becoming more healthy and mentally stable. I used to be a folk Catholic mixed with esoterism (quite common in Qc) but converted to paganism in my teens. I might not be a devotee of the Queen of the Great Below but I do follow Lucifer, a similarly 'dark' (if I may so myself) and generally feared deity. So may be we have some things in common?
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Hey hey! Fellow transman here! So excited to see another self-dedicated priest out there! How did you become a priest? did you make a ritual, a dedication letter? Have you had lots of people challenge your priesthood? And how do you live out your priestly devotions? I'm so excited to meet you!
I became a priest gradually in the past year by taking on the role after a calling. It really began when I started following the call to cover my head while leading rituals. I did no ritual dedication or anything, I should have! Consequently, I'm not really a priest of anything in particular yet? I lead a fairly eclectic bunch of pagans who don't care who I'm devoted to (and some don't know). I've had so many people challenge my priesthood! Nearly every pagan so far has been like 'but are you a "real" priest?' to which I end up giving a lengthy discussion on why I decided to call myself a priest (because the calling was there and I answered it).   As for living out my priestly devotions... so far I find myself lacking structure! I work on books for my group (I am hoping to publish slightly monastic temple pamphlets and textbooks) and lead rituals, give classes, host events and stuff, but I'm lacking in the personal ritual side of things. Anyways, glad to meet you and can't wait to hear more from you!
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 :P Hi everyone! I am Michael, a transman just in the first steps of my transition from female to male. I'm a bit of a Luciferian nut haha (aren't we all a little obsessed with our deities?). I see Lucifer as being an enlightening deity, a sort of light in the darkness, which I relate to my struggles with mental illness as well as to buddhist concepts, which I am very fond of.
What brought me to polytheistic monasticism? Well, two years ago I got a calling to become a priest. I researched, and found I wanted to serve my community, and was very compelled to live a monastic life that also allowed for marriage? (I am married to a lovely woman) I've tried to live my calling out fully, starting a local pagan organization whose name I won't share for now for the sake of privacy, but we're starting to make some waves locally and I'm hoping to start up a temple soon. I'd love to make an abbey where pagans/polytheists can live to dedicate themselves to a year some odd of training and spiritual studies.
One thing that always made me feel like I was 'called' by the spirits is that I can't leave for long the area that I live in. I've travelled to other continents and tried desperately to move away, but boomerang back by the will of the gods. I was told when I was younger that shamans are tied to the land they are raised in, and I feel that's me. I just can't move away and have a calling to lift up the spirits of this land/local paganism in some way.
I am located in an anglophone pocket in QC, Canada, in Estrie (an area in QC).
I found this forum through the facebook group, which I found through the veiling discussions. I was called to cover my head when I started accepting myself as a priest, and am still struggling with a way to balance this. My local pagans find it weird, but I cover my head when I lead rituals and practice magic. They don't really get it, but I feel it's necessary.
What else? I have a mental illness (or two lol, grand anxiety, PTSD, and agoraphobia). I have a BA in world religions, where I did various independent studies on paganism and Wicca. Currently on a no-work from the doctor, I am spending all my time working on creative writing, taking care of my sick wife, or working toward pagan community goals, such as a community garden.
I worship various deities, such as Bast, Saint Michael, Kali, but am overall much more nuts about Lucifer than the others, because he has helped me so much through my mental illness.
I'd really love to chat with others who feel a priestly bend of a monastic calling, and those who balance marriage in their calling as well :)
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AMA: Ask a Monastic Anything / Re: How and why do you follow your Rule?
« Last post by James Miller on July 18, 2019, 07:26:26 AM »
In my experience rules also differ by monastery (even if under the same large rule) and then to some degree by individual. I was a Zen Practice leader for some time (Silent Thunder Order) and my rule currently has quite a Zen influence. Mine borrows from the Orthodoxy Church and Zen groups. I tend to gravitate to the Orthodox as it differs for the Western forms in some basic tenets. More individualized- they don't have the concept of "original sin" that the west does and that makes a difference in many of the forms and rules. They are more about Theosis (union with God) than becoming pure or getting rid of some bad human nature or mortification). For them salvation is theosis. They are also not as organized by order and tend to reflect the land and situation on witch they find themselves (like the Zen folks).  If interested "The Arena" is a monastic manual  and "Way of the Ascetics" is another. The Rule of St Basil (Rule of the Basilians)  is an interesting monastic rule that was influential on the Benedictine model. I find those differences make it a bit more palatable and transferable than the western forms esp in reference to Rules.

I have also found the Clann Bhride's touchstones helpful. I also like the vows that Buddhists take - they take a few to start and add them as they progress.  I also like the paramitas https://dharmagatezen.org/six-paramitas/ or perfections. they are also understood more like a guide / do-my-best than a moral rule.

I know that many of the more established pagan groups have lists of virtues and such as well and I have been trying to think of my rule as practices on the path to those virtues.
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AMA: Ask a Monastic Anything / Re: How and why do you follow your Rule?
« Last post by Danica Swanson on July 17, 2019, 08:30:15 PM »
From what I've read from Christian monastic sources, Rules are usually an entire document rather than a sentence or two, while vows encapsulate the spirit of the Rules in a few words.

Yes, as far as I know a Rule generally refers to an entire document. While the Rule we were given at Black Stone Abbey is currently just one sentence, I suspect it will eventually expand into a longer text as we work with it and learn more about what the Abbey "wants" us to do to bring it into its fullest form in the world.

I think the Clann Bhride touchstones (the nine do-my-best promises) would be an excellent start for forming a more expansive set of Rules.

I like the format of Clann Bhride's touchstones too, and I think the general idea of putting together a short, succinct list of values and aspirations that can shape a monastic Rule could be a good way to start for other polytheist-animist monastic Orders as well. 
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Hey everyone, I just wanted to update this since I've actually transitioned and use a new name and slightly modified pronouns. Everything is the same except I use masculine titles now. I will be updating my journal thread as well, as I've recently gone through and learned a lot the past couple months. If ya'll want me to post a new introduction thread, as to avoid confusion, I can do that too.
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