Wednesday, 20 February 2013

In Servitude....


So a blog post by the lovely Joanna The Belly Dancing Druid has had me musing....Pagan Monasticism.

Something a few, openly admit to striving toward and others have no interest in. Its something that crops up in conversation often with my nearest and dearest girls.

In principle the idea does sound wonderful. A scheduled life or with other like minded spiritual folk, a life in servitude of your chosen God or Goddess, daily ritual, prayer, chants etc Time spent working and living on the land. I've often joked about living in a hut in the woods devoted to Elen......but then in all honesty would I do it nowadays???

I think in days gone by, for our ancestors, that kinda of life was very achievable. A wise wo/man was a highly revered part of the community. The herbalist who healed the sick, midwife that birthed new life and also birthed souls into the next. A shaman, a spiritual guide, someone to turn to in life's ups and downs. A celebrant and see-r over life's rites of passages. A daily life spent devoted to their Path, living on the all spaces and forms.....edges of society, edges of sanity, edges of hunger, edges of material wealth. But cash wasn't the currency then. Community, self sufficiency, energy exchanges of a different nature. Of payment in respect, maybe a coin here or there, but actually it'll of been whatever the family could have afforded. A meal on the table, a chicken, some veg, whatever they specialised in I suppose.

My life now, as a Devotee/Priestess of Elen, is also a life of a Mother, a Partner, an Artist and Workshop Facilitator. Combining, more often juggling, all the areas of my life is no easy task, but I'm not entirely sure I could give it all up for a devoted life of servitude to Elen either. Not in the traditional Monastic sense. I certainly wouldn't walk away from my partner and children and my man is my grounding ;o) My best friend is a yogi disciple of the Satyanada Yoga Tradition, a Karma Sannyasa (I have linked that into an article which will describe better than I can). It makes a lot of sense to me, I want to achieve the best I can for myself, my man and my kids, but I also want to be in Servitude to Elen and be the best I can be in that too. To be fair, I think trying to achieve the life of a nun, monk, ashram life in our western society is tough! Really tough! But that doesn't mean my spirituality and daily practise doesn't strive to have that monastic devotion.

In reality I think the only way we can do it is, to do the best we can. Live our daily life in Honor of our chosen 'god' be that deity, land, planet, life. Incorporate prayer, chant, song, dance, drumming into your daily life. Be it small gestures of lighting candles and incense, eating wholefoods, using Eco friendly products, journal-ling.

Some of these tools I share on my Elen Retreats, suggestions of daily devotions. I'm hoping this year, along with Suzi, to give folk a deep sense of the work I've been led to do with The Temple of Elen. A sacred space to retreat to, even if only for a short period of time. Many things are on the brew at the mo with my work devoted to Elen....magic really is happening and it blows me away. The community is something really special and I'm blessed to have met these wonderful folk that hold the Antlered ways so close to their hearts!

And thanks again Joanna for making the musing juices flow........