Q: Where will I go next? (A: art)

As I ponder studying medieval literature for an MA in a year or two, I’ve been reading the anthology “A Sense of Wonder” and the introduction to Monica Furlong’s “Visions and Longings: Medieval Women Mystics”. It inspired me to look up Elizabeth Vongvisith, a (former?) pagan nun or monastic and then I led myself down a rabbit hole to pagan monasticism in general.

The Order of the Horae offered a lot of food for thought, as did the Universalist Unitarian church.

I scribbled down lots of notes on what a home-based monkhood could look like. Here are my conclusions:

Working on a daily artistic schedule seems more practical than a devotional practice. Part of the reason I took a break from paganism last year was because I spent too much time on religious practice, and not enough on art. Additionally, my prayers were quick and not heartfelt as I rushed out the door in the mornings.

Focusing on coffee and art seems workable. Then, as my schedule allows, creating some intentional time with the divine with chanting, prayer beads, prayer, or song seems sensible enough. 

So I think what could work is trying to get up at the same time every day with coffee or tea. Then, perhaps, scheduling 15-20 minutes during my week to pray. Preferably Wednesdays, perhaps after dinner with my grandmother or Sunday mornings.

I might try going to the UU church for a bit, for some sense of spiritual community, but I think ultimately, taking the time to make art should take precedence. I also doubt I have the conviction to end up in church every week because I am often tired from D&D or my work week in general.

I’m not convinced I will always want to pray either. I really don’t want to force myself at all, and would rather do it as inspiration takes me. Additionally, I would also sometimes prefer to pray “at myself” for centering on purpose, role, or task (i.e. reiterating to myself a commitment to warriorship or art or teaching).

Anyway, to be brief, while being a Norse skald&artist is a fascinating idea, I want to focus primarily on where my art calls me. Right now, without forcing myself into anything, I’m drawn to the Norse. It’s as if once I freed myself from all the restrictions I placed on my practice, I was able to naturally move towards the reason why the gods inspire me in the first place: their myths are cool, their wisdom makes sense to me, and the deities are bad ass and visible.

I still want to be a #nopressurepagan which is another reason why I’m avoiding a monkish life, appealing though it may be. Fostering artistic discipline will get me where I need to be.


2 thoughts on “Q: Where will I go next? (A: art)

  1. Yay, pagan monasticism! I was trying so hard to get a monastery up off the ground locally and it totally flopped, haha. however, I’m glad to hear that it’s something you’re interested in. I’d be interested in hearing how you would schedule day more, and to see how it plays out for you. Keep us posted!


    1. Oh but that sounds so cool. My original attempt at this was marred by illness. Now that I am healthy, I figure setting up and maintaining an artistic practice would be good, then adapting prayers&thanks alongside that after some trial and error. I’ll definitely keep updating here!


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