Announcement: Black Stone Abbey, Public Forum Launch, and Book Anthology CFS

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Danica Swanson

  • CEO (Creative Endarkenment Overseer) at Black Stone Abbey
  • *****
  • 117
  • Contemplative Norse polytheist
    • she/her
    • Black Stone Abbey
5 May 2019

Co-founders & colleagues Danica Swanson and Roger Finney (WeepingCrow) are pleased to announce our decision to formalize our contemplative religious Order as of 21 April 2019 under the auspices of Black Stone Abbey.

Black Stone Abbey (formerly known as The Black Stone Hermitage) is a live/work studio space consecrated into service of the Ásynjur (goddesses) and other Holy Powers of Yggdrasil. While the studio space in Portland, OR will not be the Abbey's long-term home, it serves us well as an incubation space for our fledgling Order of polytheist-animist monastics inspired by pre-Christian Norse religious and folk traditions. Once the right long-term space is found, the next phase of the Order's work will commence.

Our service work includes:

* liturgical development
* creating space for contemplative practices
* incubation retreats
* religious outreach (both online and offline)

Our Order centers around the concept of sacred endarkenment. We structure our practice according to our (paradoxical) monastic Rule: "Follow the Ways of Non-Contrivance." Each monastic accepts responsibility to determine how to shape their own practice according to the Rule, and constructs their own liturgy for one or more of the Holy Powers according to their callings.

As our first major outreach offering, we present POLYTHEISTMONASTIC.COM, a new community-owned-and-operated web discussion forum supporting the development of sustainable polytheist- and animist-centered monastic infrastructure, fellowship, and distinct organized traditions worldwide.

We're fortunate to have two respected writers as moderators: Janet Munin (author of Queen of the Great Below: An Anthology in Honor of Ereshkigal) and Lorna Smithers (author of several books including Enchanting the Shadowlands).

Also in the works is an as-yet-untitled book-length anthology on polytheistic monasticism edited by Janet Munin. Danica is serving as an editorial consultant for the anthology. Interested parties can find the call for submissions on the forum.

This year we'll begin planning our vows and developing a web presence for the Abbey. Feel free to sign up to keep up to date with our Order through the Abbey's free newsletter, which will launch later this year.

We'd also like to express our gratitude to the membership of the Facebook Pagan and Polytheist Monasticism discussion group and LANMIPP (Loosely Affiliated Network of Monastically Inclined Polytheist Pagans) for their ongoing support.