Monkhood

Currently: drinking sake and listening to Hindi Zahra

A certain monk, Chirrut Imwe, from Star Wars: Rogue One just popped into my head. It reminded me of how I’d like to incorporate a monkhood mindset into my practice. I often reach up to deities without being grounded in myself and the earth. This has resulted in mood swings and temper tantrums, as reaching towards the ethics of the divine without understanding my roles and my roots meant that I was, well, pretty ungrounded, spacey, and anxious.

For me, monkhood is not only about cultivating worship but also cultivating spiritual discipline in meditation, the breath, ritualistic actions, and care. I really enjoy the monk role and find great solace in it’s quiet solitude.

I used to want to be a Buddhist monk until I realized I was/am a pagan monk. Another reason why I wanted this path was because Buddhist monkhood seemed like a path to enlightenment and it didn’t seem like paganism offered this to me. But upon further reflection, if I study the Havamal and the runes in a more reflective way, I think I could stumble upon a kind of Nordic enlightenment.

I am one with the Force; the Force is with me.

After such trial and strife,  the rune that [currently] symbolizes enlightenment to me is jera, the rune of the year. I want to know what it means to live in time with the seasons, with my mind (i.e. not thinking excessively/unreasonably about the past or future), with death (i.e. no wondering excessively about the afterlife or future lives OR suicidal ideation), with religious festivals, and with my… path? with the Tao? the Way?

Like LeGuin, you know:

“Light is the left hand of darkness
and darkness the right hand of light.
Two are one, life and death, lying
together like lovers in kemmer,
like hands joined together,
like the end and the way.”

There is still some part of me that is learning to recognize that there is no war going on, there is no part of me that seeks Death, that everything is okay. I definitely feel like I’ve not *quite* wrapped my brain around that yet, but I am getting there. Finding solace in daily ritualistic actions, like morning/bedtime prayers, has been a great gift.

I think that I often fear that my priesthood with Lord Odin will end, thus signifying the end of my worship and spiritual practice as a whole. But, I realize now, that even if/when my priesthood comes to a close, I will still have a pagan monkhood practice. It’s sustained me all through these battles with mental health and will continue to sustain me as I explore balancing an artistic practice, work, and spirituality.

I fear/ed the priesthood ending meaning that Lord Odin would no longer be a part of my life. I imagine this is likely untrue. I don’t know where I will go after but I am sure it will be something interesting.

At any rate, I’m excited to get my act together and keep trying to pursue priesthood. I am very easily distracted by shiny things like new books (the Bhagavad Gita) or comics (the Thread that Binds) and new projects (starting new cross stitch projects). But I’ll get there! Somehow!

4 thoughts on “Monkhood

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