Joy is sacred, He said, and I didn’t understand. Isn’t all of this serious stuff? Shouldn’t I be in awe and terror of You?
Do you respect Me? Do you take Me seriously when I need you do that?...
PaganSquare is a community blog space where Pagans can discuss topics relevant to the life and spiritual practice of all Pagans.
(Image of Loki by Astral Eventide, commissioned by me in 2011)
The prompt for Week 3 of the Pagan Experience is to blog about Deity - Those Who guide you. Considering the fact that this blog is pretty much The Loki Show, it's probably redundant to introduce Him here; if you read my blog, you're familiar with His work....
I have been given an opportunity to read and review author Theodora Goss' newest book, Songs for Ophelia, due in stores soon. This is an exquisite volume of poetry, mystical, mythical, fantastical, even spiritual, a must-read, and I thought I would share my review here, so others might have the opportunity to read this volume themselves.
Thumping beats, crashing drums, melodic instruments, ecstatic signing, rhythmic pulsing, sweat pouring from your skin, a crowd surging together as one, shouting, screaming, chanting, touching, pounding heartbeats, flashing lights, the scent of alcohol and bodies, drops of sweat and water and saliva spraying over everyone and then you go home with your ears ringing, lying in bed thinking in the darkness “what in the heavens just happened?”
Not every concert I go to is an ecstatic experience, but there have been a few times when I’ve known deep down in my heart of hearts that the people I was watching on stage weren’t just making music, but they were putting on a show. Deliberate or not, they were channeling something different, something special, and the crowd was totally sharing in that experience with them. These moments can be rare and meaningful, and in some cases, completely cathartic and cleansing.
In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream—...
Lingering in the golden gleam—
Life, what is it but a dream?
—from “A Boat, Beneath a Sunny Sky” by Lewis Carroll
I'm writing today about Pagan monasticism, for a couple of reasons, one being that a colleague in my study group asked about how you can tell whether you’re called to clergy as a monastic, particularly as opposed to being a priest or priestess. The other reason I'm writing about it is because many Pagans are not aware that monasticism is a vocation in our faith, and certainly even fewer people outside Paganism.
“While in common usage the terms "nun" and "Sister" are often used interchangeably (the same title of "Sister" for the individual member of both forms), they are considered different ways of life, with a "nun" being a religious woman who lives a contemplative and cloistered life of meditation and prayer for the salvation of others, while a "Religious Sister", in religious institutes like Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity, lives an active vocation of both prayer and service, often to the needy, sick, poor, and uneducated.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nun
I can’t find the same sort of reference for the difference between “priest” and “monk,” although I suspect it’s somewhat similar. It’s been a long time since I formally studied Catholic doctrine. However, I’d also say that in Paganism, the lines are a bit fuzzier in terms of monasticism. If we were using the strict Catholic definitions, I’m somewhere between a nun and a Sister – I have a large amount of most of my days dedicated to contemplative study, prayer, and meditation, but I also do a lot of community work online and in person. This is why I have “free-range nun” listed as my occupation. It’s sort of tongue-in-cheek, but it’s accurate....