Co-founders & colleagues Danica Swanson and Roger Finney (WeepingCrow) are pleased to announce our decision to formalize our contemplative polytheist monastic religious Order under the auspices of Black Stone Abbey.
Admin note for all subscribers – PLEASE READ Recently I received a report that the subscribe button powered by the Jetpack plugin was not working on my self-hosted WordPress.org blog. Oy! I was wondering why I hadn’t received any new subscribers for ages. I’ve also learned that some existing subscribers have not been receiving any
This year I've entered a new and deepened stage of a personalized alchemical project of endarkenment. Slowly but surely, it seems I'm being transmuted into a being who is an appropriate match for the responsibilities that await me when I move to Sweden to pursue a permanent home for the Hermitage. This includes developing a
Today marks the launch of my direct subscription email newsletter Endarkenment: Contemplative Writing on Dark Ambient Music Appreciation. At long last, I can go public with the great news I’ve been keeping under wraps for months: my upcoming (and rare!) long-read interview with the Swedish musical virtuoso and sound designer Ulf Söderberg, who is perhaps
I’m happy to announce that I will soon launch a digital direct subscription email newsletter as a “prelude” to my in-progress book Endarkenment: The Esoteric in Dark Ambient Music and Culture. The newsletter will feature new work, including in-depth interviews with musicians and labels, starting in October. An early preview is already up on the
The Winter Solstice is my favorite holiday. It’s the perfect time to announce that the Hermitage is hatching a plan to move to Sweden! In November, while I was in Sweden, I made a pact with my longtime correspondents and dear friends Birka and Räv Skogsberg to relocate the Hermitage to the beautiful village of
Huntress, My Beloved by Danica Swanson Beloved Skaði of the keen eye and deadly arrow, Ten years ago You came to me As my heart howled with the grief of divorce. You expertly guided me As floods of angry tears drenched me And shards of emotional shrapnel pierced my heart. Beloved daughter of the iron
The Black Stone Hermitage, as a concept and as a corresponding online + physical place, was founded in 2011 in Portland, OR. Inspired by a vision received by its resident hermit – that’s me – it began its online life in blog form at blackstonemonastery.wordpress.com. In 2013 the Hermitage began hosting visitors for short meditation
“Encoded in the earth, encrypted in our bodies, and built into temples is a knowledge that wants to live again as music.” ~ Susan Elizabeth Hale, Sacred Space, Sacred Sound: The Acoustic Mysteries of Holy Places “Dark ambient is definitely a big part of my spiritual life…It almost functions as a gate to another reality,
“I think the sacred is more readily available to us in the dark.” ~ Martin Lowenthal, Getting Enlightened in the Dark “…some people say we should never, ever leave the light. We should endeavor to be “light workers” who fill every shadow with light and eliminate all darkness. […] If the light’s on all the
“Ours is a planet in pain. If you need me to convince you of that, if you are unaware of the destruction of forests, oceans, wetlands, cultures, soil, health, beauty, dignity, and spirit that underlies the System we live in, then I have nothing to say to you. I only am speaking to you if
This piece started out as a list of my contemplative practices, but then expanded into a contribution to the My Polytheism project, which was recently launched by Jolene Dawe to celebrate diversity in polytheism. Yay! If you haven’t seen the blog yet, I recommend you go check it out! I love this whole project, but
[Ed. note: I finally went to Sweden in November 2017! This is archived material from the old blog; links and other info may be out of date. It will remain here as-is for reference.] A notable not-coincidence took place at the Hermitage today: I stumbled upon a video of Jonna Jinton practicing kulning – an
As things stand today, there is no organized monastic tradition in Paganism or Heathenry, and polytheists interested in monastic life seem to be few and far between. There is only one legally recognized Pagan polytheist convent in the USA (The Maetreum of Cybele), although there are a handful of folks making inroads in similar directions.
Recently I was interviewed by Sarah Sadie, a former Madison, WI Poet Laureate and a student of Cherry Hill Seminary, for a class on Pagan leadership. With her permission, I am publishing the full-length interview here. Q: Coming across your work and the ideas you present online has helped move me further down my own
“I am one of the witches the Hávamál warns you about.” This is the rallying cry of an international movement to address sexism in Heathen communities that is spreading like wildfire. It was started last week by Jade Pichette, a respected gythia in Canada, who writes: “So a hashtag #HavamalWitches has started to critique sexism