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Author Topic: Pagan Vocation?  (Read 3505 times)
Setnusutekh
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« Topic Start: May 22, 2011, 03:34:16 pm »

   I was snooping around the Neos Alexandria website, looking for snippets on Apollo, when I found this essay, and it struck me as being very...nun-like, in some ways. I don't really mean as a pagan copy of a Catholic nun, but more along the lines of something sort of similar. I admit, the idea of being a sort of nun for one of my Gods is an enchanting thought, but I honestly do not think I can adhere to it permanently. (I've always had a fascination with nuns... Grin)

  I was however thinking about devoting a certain time period to a specific God in a manner that would be, in a way, comparable nunhood or monkhood. Either contemplative, or active in the vocation I'm called to. But that's something I have to work through, and try and get the logistics figured out.

    I'm now giving some deep thought concerning vocations in pagan religions, whether they be in priesthood, or something different, or even the kind of devotion seen in that essay. I've always been very interested in Apollo, but Set has always been my patron...but I get the feeling Apollo wants more commitment from me, and I'm being called to do something.

So, what are your thoughts on religious vocations, and have you had any? (And what are your thoughts on that essay?)
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 03:36:24 pm by Setnusutekh, Reason: Wording fail >.< » Logged

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« Reply #1: May 22, 2011, 04:44:35 pm »

  I was snooping around the Neos Alexandria website, looking for snippets on Apollo, when I found this essay, and it struck me as being very...nun-like, in some ways. I don't really mean as a pagan copy of a Catholic nun, but more along the lines of something sort of similar. I admit, the idea of being a sort of nun for one of my Gods is an enchanting thought, but I honestly do not think I can adhere to it permanently. (I've always had a fascination with nuns... Grin)

  I was however thinking about devoting a certain time period to a specific God in a manner that would be, in a way, comparable nunhood or monkhood. Either contemplative, or active in the vocation I'm called to. But that's something I have to work through, and try and get the logistics figured out.

    I'm now giving some deep thought concerning vocations in pagan religions, whether they be in priesthood, or something different, or even the kind of devotion seen in that essay. I've always been very interested in Apollo, but Set has always been my patron...but I get the feeling Apollo wants more commitment from me, and I'm being called to do something.

So, what are your thoughts on religious vocations, and have you had any? (And what are your thoughts on that essay?)


I believe there's a seminary for pagans somewhere, but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called. But I feel the same way about clergy, vocations and such within the Pagan community, I've always thought that more institutionalized traditions of priesthood within paganism could help legitimize it more in the eyes of it's detractors.
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« Reply #2: May 22, 2011, 05:19:22 pm »

I believe there's a seminary for pagans somewhere, but I can't for the life of me remember what it's called.

I believe you are referring to Cherry Hill Seminary. 

http://www.cherryhillseminary.org/

I would love to go through their program at some point. 
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« Reply #3: May 22, 2011, 06:08:34 pm »

  I was snooping around the Neos Alexandria website, looking for snippets on Apollo, when I found this essay, and it struck me as being very...nun-like, in some ways. I don't really mean as a pagan copy of a Catholic nun, but more along the lines of something sort of similar. I admit, the idea of being a sort of nun for one of my Gods is an enchanting thought, but I honestly do not think I can adhere to it permanently. (I've always had a fascination with nuns... Grin)

  I was however thinking about devoting a certain time period to a specific God in a manner that would be, in a way, comparable nunhood or monkhood. Either contemplative, or active in the vocation I'm called to. But that's something I have to work through, and try and get the logistics figured out.

    I'm now giving some deep thought concerning vocations in pagan religions, whether they be in priesthood, or something different, or even the kind of devotion seen in that essay. I've always been very interested in Apollo, but Set has always been my patron...but I get the feeling Apollo wants more commitment from me, and I'm being called to do something.

So, what are your thoughts on religious vocations, and have you had any? (And what are your thoughts on that essay?)


The author of this article reminds me of some of the Catholic mystics I read about as a child.  They were happy as nuns and priests because their connection to their God filled the space most people fill with sexual relationships. 

I'm kind of in a similar place.  I have made no vows of chastity and have no intention of ever doing so.  It just works out that way ATM because my spiritual work leaves me little time for dating.  That includes my rituals and my work in the community.    I'm oddly OK with this right now, although that could change if I met the right person.  I'm sort of quirky-alone and not very sex-driven.  I'd be as good a candidate for a Pagan "nun" as anyone.  I'm convinced "vocation" has as much to do with temperament as it does with a God's calling.

From what I understand, Cherry Hill teaches not just priesthood but ministry.  They're not the same thing.  Ministry, in our modern context, means spiritual education and community outreach.  I'm not familiar with the Hellenic tradition, but I know ministry didn't exist from a Kemetic standpoint.  Priests did the rituals, which weren't open to the general public.  Some modern priests might find themselves wearing minister hats because the role has become necessary in our society.  Pagans expect spiritual teachers and leaders, and somebody has to fulfill that role. Of course, you don't have to be a priest to do that.  You also don't have to be a minister to be a priest  Smiley 

Ultimately this is a question of what your God wants, and what appeals to you. 

It might be useful to research what priestly folks did in ancient Greek societies, and ask yourself which parts of that fit for you.
You might also want to think about why you're fascinated with nuns.  Maybe write down a list of the things about that vocation that resonate with you.

Once you've got your list together, figure out what types of commitments you can realistically make.  Then commit to making them for a specific period of time.  A month, maybe, to start.  If that feels right, consider doing it for a longer period of time.   When in doubt, err on the side of *less* commitment.  You can always change your mind and do more, if you want.  It's a little harder to change your mind and do less, especially if you've made promises. 
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Setnusutekh
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« Reply #4: May 22, 2011, 07:41:39 pm »



Ultimately this is a question of what your God wants, and what appeals to you. 

It might be useful to research what priestly folks did in ancient Greek societies, and ask yourself which parts of that fit for you.
You might also want to think about why you're fascinated with nuns.  Maybe write down a list of the things about that vocation that resonate with you.

Once you've got your list together, figure out what types of commitments you can realistically make.  Then commit to making them for a specific period of time.  A month, maybe, to start.  If that feels right, consider doing it for a longer period of time.   When in doubt, err on the side of *less* commitment.  You can always change your mind and do more, if you want.  It's a little harder to change your mind and do less, especially if you've made promises. 

I agree wholeheartedly with taking things slow. It's the last thing I want to undermine a promise because I decided to get too big for my britches. (One reason why I will never undertake an open statue for Set, at least not anytime soon.) I've thought about taking it a fortnight at a time, starting with maybe a daily ritual, then adding on from there. I do wonder what Set will have to say about my focusing so much on Apollo though Cheesy He doesn't seem to mind, but something tells me he'd rather be the only one I routinely go to. I'm not going to *replace* him, and he knows that.

And goodness knows, I cannot take a vow of chastity. Not for the sexual implications for now, I mean... I'm underage and happily inexperienced there  Wink. But emotionally, I'm taken. Which I think is alright, considering none of my Gods have an issue with this (unless we count a cynical, overprotective Set) and even if they did, I'd probably not do anything about it....

 I'm hesitant sometimes though. I've just had a moment where the Norse pantheon smacked me over the head again, and Frigga seems to have so much to teach me. I'll still continue with my other Gods if I do start a commitment to Apollo, but I don't see any harm in putting it off until I get to know the Norse deities better, aside from my impatience. For now, maybe starting with the research, a little meditation with Apollo, some prayers and perhaps some of the classics? (xD The Odyssey, here I come!)

Lordy, all the thoughts are buzzing through my head again.
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Utusitusi
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« Reply #5: May 23, 2011, 06:29:49 am »

I
When I was still a catholic, it was my greatest desire to become a nun. The idea of withdrawing from life into a spiritual community and commit completely to God was extremely attractive to me. I had already picked out the abbey I wanted to join, wrote to them and everything. Ofcourse, then my crisis of faith happened and twenty years later I'm a Kemetic Orthodox.
But the desire still remains and I will always be fascinated by stories of nuns and mystics.

Recently, I had an experience with my Goddess in which She asked a stronger devotional practice from me so I'm working up to that now. Starting very slowly, I hope in time to establish a practice in which I will do a morning, afternoon and evening ritual in Her honor. In a way, this will mean that I'm setting my entire life in relation to Her, everything I do will be connected to Her. As I'm a quite solitary person with absolutely no interest in romantic relationships, I suppose this could be interpreted as nun-like behaviour.
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Grimsman
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« Reply #6: June 12, 2011, 10:37:57 am »

   I was snooping around the Neos Alexandria website, looking for snippets on Apollo, when I found this essay, and it struck me as being very...nun-like, in some ways. I don't really mean as a pagan copy of a Catholic nun, but more along the lines of something sort of similar. I admit, the idea of being a sort of nun for one of my Gods is an enchanting thought, but I honestly do not think I can adhere to it permanently. (I've always had a fascination with nuns... Grin)

  I was however thinking about devoting a certain time period to a specific God in a manner that would be, in a way, comparable nunhood or monkhood. Either contemplative, or active in the vocation I'm called to. But that's something I have to work through, and try and get the logistics figured out.

    I'm now giving some deep thought concerning vocations in pagan religions, whether they be in priesthood, or something different, or even the kind of devotion seen in that essay. I've always been very interested in Apollo, but Set has always been my patron...but I get the feeling Apollo wants more commitment from me, and I'm being called to do something.

So, what are your thoughts on religious vocations, and have you had any? (And what are your thoughts on that essay?)


Earlier in life when I was a member (and latterly a minister) in the Church of England, I was a Benedictine Oblate, which is a lay Benedictine vocation. I felt at the time that it filled a need to be fully devoted to the God I then served and worshipped.

Now that I have found my way to Heathenry (and specifically an Anglo Saxon form of Heathenry), I feel that desire to be 100% committed no less keenly than when I was a Benedictine. However, it seems that Pagan applications of monastic spirituality attract everything from blank faced stares to outright opposition, most especially in Heathenry, which is mostly tribal (kindred based) in its nature, and doesn't benefit from a 'solitary' aspect in the same way that, say, Wicca has done under the influence of Scott Cunninghsm et al. My advice would be to take any call from your Deities in this direction seriously, and even though it means walking a pretty lonely road, to persevere in your seeking. To this end I have a blog at www.paganmonastic.wordpress.com and a Yahoo group - go to www.groups.yahoo.com and search for paganmonasticism. I'm always interested in dialogue with others who feel this call, and this is in no way a 'recruiting' post as I have nothing to recruit to!

Good luck in your search.....

Grimsman
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