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Heathen Monasticism: The future of the Hermitage in Sweden

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
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Huntress, My Beloved

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
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Welcome to the new home of The Black Stone Hermitage!

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
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Uneasy Listening: Dark Ambient Music Appreciation for Pagans

“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,
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What Is Sacred Endarkenment?

“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
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My Polytheism: Contemplative Solitary Monastic Practice

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
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Ancestral Grief and My Future Pilgrimage to Sweden

[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

Meme: I stand with #HavamalWitches

“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

The Hermitage will soon be on the new Pagan Bloggers portal

[Edited in 2018 to add: Unfortunately I’ve had to halt my writings on the Pagan Bloggers portal. After my first two articles for the site were published in 2017, I took a full time freelance writing job, so I no longer had sufficient writing time available. I’m leaving the original entry here for reference.] I’m

Announcing: New Patreon for the Hermitage

[Ed. note: I closed down my Patreon campaign in February 2018 and retired the BIG (basic income guarantee) Polytheist Patreon Creator Pledge Network. 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.] I’m delighted to announce that I have launched

Pagan & Polytheist Monasticism Discussion Group and LANMIPP

If you’re on Facebook and interested in Pagan and Polytheist monasticism, there’s a brand new discussion group that I can highly recommend, for which I am a co-admin. The group is turning out to be so fantastic – so full of brilliant and prolific writers, and so supportive and community-driven – that it has consumed